Tennis season is in full swing. And while pros typically don’t wear sunglasses during Grand Slams, many wear them for practice, and it’s extremely common for recreational or even college level athletes to don a pair of sunnies on the court. Not only can sunglasses protect your eyes from harsh UV rays, many are also made with special tech, like polarized lenses for optimal color contrast, that may allow you to take your game to the next level.
The best sunglasses for tennis, at a glance
- Best for full coverage: Smith Boomtown Active Sunglasses, $180
- Best budget-friendly: Goodr Au Revoir, Gopher Sunglasses, $25
- Most lightweight: Maui Jim Hikina Polarized Rimless Sunglasses, $198
- Most bold: Oakley Sutro Lite Sweep, $184
- Best low profile: Bollé Bolt 2.0, $140
- Best for stability: Glade Townie Sunglasses, $99
- Best for color contrast: Spy+ Helm Tech Sunglasses, $150
- Most stylish: Alo Speed Sunglasses, $150
- Best for everyday wear: Nike Cool Down Women's Course Tint Sunglasses, $159
- Most durable: Nathan Summit Polarized Running Sunglasses, $50
- Best for ventilation: 100% Hypercraft Sport Performance Frameless Sunglasses, $155
- Most eco-friendly: ALMA Plant-Based Small Wrap Polarized Sunglasses, $159
What to look for in sunglasses for tennis
When looking for sunglasses to wear on the tennis court, you need a pair that can keep up with your speed and quick changes in direction, ones that won’t bounce, fog up, or slip around during a long sweaty match, and most important, shades that allow you to have the most sharp, clear vision of the ball, court, and lines. “I like to look for sunglasses that are breathable, stable, and ones that have a lens color that is comfortable for my eyes on the court,” Anthony Evrard, founder and CEO of Court 16 tennis club in New York, NY. “It’s all about personalized comfort, so trying a couple different styles before you buy a pair is a good idea if you’re able to.”
Need some ideas on where to start? Below are some of the best sunglasses for tennis that we’ve tested and have expert recommendations. Give one or a couple pairs a shot today!
Best for full coverage
If you hate the thought of the sun sneaking through the sides of your shades, consider this pair. The lens height is 135 millimeters wide by 51 high, so nothing is getting past this smudge and moisture resistant shield. Plus, the fuller coverage is fashionable, too. Thanks to the non-slip grips on the nose and temples, they stay in place too, as you sprint, jump, and slide around the court.
Pros: Full coverage, wrap-around style
Cons: Not best for narrow faces
Best for the price
This company’s “Flamingo Eye” technology lens was created with golf in mind, but it provides the same polarized HD high-contrast needed to enhance the color of the tennis ball on the court. The grip coating keeps the glasses in place, too, and did we mention the incredible price point?!
“I use these all the time,” says Christo Schultz, head coach of men’s tennis at Brandeis University in Waltham, MA. “These do the trick, particularly on hot days, when it’s easy to sweat—they stay on. Not to mention, they’re super reasonably priced, so I don’t feel like a total idiot when I inevitably lose two pairs every summer.”
Pros: Great price, lots of colorways
Cons: May scratch easily
Best for a lightweight feel
You’ll barely even notice these on your face, as they’re the thinnest, lightest lens made by this brand. “They’re the lightest, which would be my pick,” says Schultz. The PolarizedPlus2 rimless lens also eliminates glare from the sun while providing color contrast you need on the court. The nose grips also allow for airflow, so they don’t get too sweaty and slip out of place.
Best for a bold statement
These frames pay homage to the brand’s throwback style with an extended field-of-view for optimal coverage. “Oakley has been the gold standard in the sports sunglasses space for quite some time,” says Evrard. The sporty, lightweight design has vents built into the lenses to allow for airflow, so you stay cool and comfortable. And the Prizm lens technology enhances both color and contrast on the court, so you can see all the details you need.
Pros: Fashionable, full coverage
Best low profile
An upgrade to the brand’s original, this new version has lenses that not only enhance color by 30 percent, but also depth perception, too. The lightweight, nylon frame is lined with Thermogrip rubber to stay in place, and adjustable nose grips give you a personalized fit. “There’s lots of jostling and changing of direction in tennis, and these frames are effective because of their stability,” says Schultz.
Pros: Enhanced depth perception, lightweight, stable
Cons: No wrap-around coverage
Best for stability
You’ll barely feel these eco-friendly shades on your face, thanks to the lightweight bio-based frame. The polarized lenses give a clear shot of the court, and you won’t have to worry about the glasses bouncing around or slipping down thanks to the grip inserts on the nose and temples. “This is super important as you don’t want to feel like you may lose the glasses if you have to change direction quickly,” says Evrard.
Pros: Polarized lens, lightweight
Cons: Not prescription compatible
Best for color contrast
Using AI technology, this company created these sunglasses with a lens that enhances color by 30 percent more than you’re able to see with the naked eye alone, creating the most amount of color contrast you’d ever be able to see on a tennis court. While the frames do have side shields, they’re removeable in case you don’t feel like you need to wear them during your match. Nose grip pads and sweat channels in the templates keep them in place for hours of play.
Pros: Enhanced color contrast
Best for fashion
Fashion meets function in this pair of shades. We love the oversized, wraparound frames that have both an anti-fog treatment on the interior and a scratch-resistant exterior (in case they do end up falling off at any point). Adjust the rubber nose pads to fit your face.
Pros: Anti-fog, scratch-resistant, Lightweight
Cons: Style isn’t for all
Best for everyday wear
Pick up this pair of sunnies if you plan to head right from the court to coffee or lunch. Not only will the lightweight frames stay put on your face while you serve up match point, thanks to the adjustable temple arms that are lined with rubber for an enhanced grip, but the lifestyle-like design easily transitions to your next activity, too. The lenses also have the brands “Course Tint” tech, which makes colors pop for increased contrast. “Nikes are a go-to choice when I play,” says Evrard.
Pros: Secure, Lightweight, increased color contrast
Cons: Not prescription compatible
Best for durability
With the polarization built directly into the lens (versus just as a film), you won’t have to worry that a scratch or dink will change the way you’re able to see out of this pair. “There’s definitely value in a polarized lens, as it allows you to best see the ball on the court,” says Evrard. The lightweight, flexible frame can withstand a fall or even being thrown around in your tennis bag.
Pros: Stable, polarization in lens, flexible Frame
Cons: One size fits most, only two colorways
Best for ventilation
Make a statement on the court with these full coverage, bright sunglasses, that have a wraparound style to block rays from all angles. The scratch and crack resistant lenses also have ventilation built into the shield at the most optimal and aerodynamic angles. Plus, the glasses only weigh 23 grams, which won’t make them a noticeable distraction during your match. “Fuller coverage glasses are definitely becoming more popular,” explains Evrard. “Having more protection might be some people’s preference.”
Pros: Wraparound coverage, superior ventilation
Cons: Full coverage not for everyone, pricier than other options
Best for the environment
Don’t worry if these glasses fall off your face at some point during your match—they are both impact and scratch resistant. “It can get expensive if you’re breaking a lot of glasses, so these are great because they’re simple and don’t have any malleable properties,” says Evrard. The frames and lenses are made from plant-based materials, which is better for the environment, too.
Pros: Eco-friendly design, prescription compatible
Cons: Made for narrow faces
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