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When you are having trouble with shadows on the court because of the sun, your bad vision can be your biggest competitor.

But what are the best sunglasses for pickleball?

In this article, we’ll help you explore your options to help you keep your eyes protected and focused where they belong — on the ball!

Best sunglasses for pickleball: Options from Oakley

Oakley is our choice for pickleball sunglasses to help protect your eyes during the game.

Oakley brands are known for their legendary product design and technology.

With technologies constantly being developed, Oakley enjoys a steady, loyal flow of repeat business. This is a testament to their amazing products!

Some benefits to Oakley brand sport sunglasses include:

  • Classic design with materials of the future. The patented Unobtainium nose pads will never slip. 
  • High Definition. Designed to enhance colors and contrast so you can see more detail. The high definition Optics (HDO) lenses do not compromise on clarity and offer razor sharp focus. 

The history of Oakley

Oakley went form a niche action sports company to being worn by the likes of famous athletes and celebrities. 

In 1975, Jim Jannard started Oakley with $300. Jannard developed the brand out of his garage and it was originally a company selling motorcycle handlebar grips at motor cross events. 

His handlebar grips were known for being innovative.

Jannard lived in California where the main sports were surfing, skiing, or BMX. Those are the sports the brand naturally gravitated to. 

Jannard was a visionary and began to make goggles for these sports. There were no anti-fog coatings at the time.

At first, BMX pros wanted to put the goggles on the top of their helmet on the visor. 

Soon after, every kid following the sport wanted to wear them this way!

The goggles didn’t work well technically but they looked great on a helmet. 

Functionality

The first Oakley sunglasses were designed purely for functional purposes.

They were born from an augmented pair of Oakley goggles tweaked to look slightly less like goggles. 

The first Oakley sunglasses were called the Eyeshades. Jannard realized that the sun would come directly off to your side at sunset.

You would get a lot of glare with regular sunglasses.

He wanted to make a pair of sunglasses with the same amount of coverage as a goggle. 

He actually took a pair of his goggles, cut out a smaller shape and put some coat hangers on the sides!

The eyeshade was born and the sport eyewear market was also born. The original eyeshade actually looked like a goggle as a sunglass. 

Oakley design

The sunglasses were designed on the computer. Nothing like that had ever been done before.

This was done to create the sculpted, rounded look. No one would be able to do that by hand. 

Now the design team at Oakley is made up of transportation designers.

They look at sunglasses or eyeglasses as the side of a car or the headlights or the grill.

Function over fashion

Jannard was making sunglasses that were specifically designed for doing things at high speeds, whether it was cycling or speed skating.

Olympic athletes were using the product.

Before Oakley, they didn’t have the luxury of wearing glasses for the sake of eye protection. 

Greg LeMond won the Tour de France wearing a pair of Oakley sunglasses in 1985. 

In 1994 Michael Jordan wore Oakley’s in an advertising campaign.

The oval shape of the glasses was completely new to the market. It was still rooted in performance but the brand also became a lifestyle brand. 

In the late 1990’s Tom Cruise wore Oakley’s in Mission-Impossible 2 when just a decade earlier Tom Cruise was wearing Ray Bans in Risky Business! Tom Cruise was never paid to wear the glasses, it just happened because they were the cool thing. 

The following options may work well for use during pickleball play, although you should always consult a medical professional before using any new product to protect your eyes.

Oakley Men’s OO9154 Half Jacket 2.0 XL Rectangular Sunglasses

The Oakley Half Jacket 2.0 polarized composite lenses have a protective coating offering 100% protection from UV rays.

This is the updated version of the classic Oakley Half Jacket which historically was one of the brand’s best sunglasses. 

Benefits of this product can include:

  • The frame features Oakley’s patented no-slip Unobtainium material used on the nose pads and temple tip (ears) to prevent slippage. 
  • The snug fit is the key component to a good pair of pickleball glasses since you don’t want them sliding down or falling off when you go for a shot. 
  • The material is designed to keep the sunglasses properly fitting when you are sweating profusely!
  • The rims are semi-rimless which means the bottom of the frame has no solid rim. The open design on the bottom of the lens is a plus when you’re looking downward. For any racquet sport, you need a less obstructed view especially on the down angle such as the pickleball serve. 
  • The half jacket has the interchangeable lens system making it compatible with Oakley lenses. The extra sets of Oakley interchangeable lens would need to be purchased separately if you want to swap out colored lenses for different lighting conditions using the same frame.

Features include:

  • Lightweight O matter frame material with eclipse metal ion accents 
  • Unobtainium ear socks and nose pads for increased comfort and performance
  • 8.75 base lens geometry with HDO 
  • Compatible with Oakley authentic prescription lenses. 

Pros:

  • Polarized
  • Prescription ready
  • No slip design

Cons:

  • Not exactly a negative, but most players will not take advantage of the interchangeable lenses. 

View these glasses at Amazon to learn more about how they might work with your game.

Oakley Men’s OO9154 Half Jacket 2.0 XL Rectangular Sunglasses

Prior to the arrival of Oakley’s Flak Jacket, the half jackets were the best selling sunglasses made by Oakley. 

Both models are great-selling products but many people see the Flak Jacket as an upgrade from the older model. 

The Flak Jackets offer the same UV protection and also feature anti-smudge lens coating. 

The slip-free material to improve the grip has also been incorporated on this model. 

This is a nice feature for playing pickleball since playing in full sun causes you to sweat!

Standard sunglasses that aren’t designed for sports will slip down on the bridge of a player’s nose. 

Features and benefits include:

  • The overall shape fit the average player’s face
  • The lenses provide more peripheral vision
  • The temple hinge has a stronger, more lasting construction
  • The temple tips are more flexible than the half jackets giving you more comfort behind the ear
  • Comes with a hard case 
  • The mounting tabs (where the top of the lenses attach to the frame) is more solid, giving the glasses more durability
  • Some women players prefer the half jacket due to its smaller size
  • Compatible with Oakley Authentic prescription sunglasses

View at Amazon for more information on how these glasses could work for you.

Featured image credit: DepositPhotos.com