Protecting your eyes while shooting firearms is a must!
Although any set of glasses is better than nothing, having eye protection designed and intended for shooting can really make all of the difference for eye safety as well as shooting performance.
Below is a list of our picks for the best shooting glasses. If you want to skip ahead to a particular model, just click on the appropriate link.
List of Best Shooting Glasses
Best Shooting Glasses by Rank
|Rank||Shooting Glasses||Check It Out||Mobile bottom line|
Reviews of the Best Shooting Glasses
Oakley Tombstone Glasses Background
These shooting glasses are my go-to glasses lately for when I’m going to the gun range.
Check out most of the recent videos on the GunUniversity YouTube channel and you’ll see me wearing them.
Oakley is obviously a big name in sunglasses and it is awesome to see the company make these shooting-specific glasses and deliver them with a set of lenses and case.
These glasses come with a great case for carrying the glasses and the extra lenses to the range and they come in two sizes: Spoil (smaller) and Reap (larger). And, even though I have a HUGE head and normally get the larger option for glasses, I have the smaller Spoils and think they’re perfect.
Oakley Tombstone Glasses Specs
|Extra Lenses Available?||Yes|
|Lens Colors||Clear, TR22, TR45|
|Field of View||120 degrees|
|ANSI Safety Spec?||Yes|
In the video above, you can see what went into designing these shooting-specific glasses and, if you’re active in the shooting community, you might recognize two of my friends in the video: my Ranger-buddy Mike Cassidy and shooting phenom Daniel Horner.
What I love about these: First, the reason I grab these glasses most often is because of how high the lens goes. Notice that the lens extends above my eyebrows.
Why is this a good thing for shooting eye protection you ask – well, for pistols it doesn’t matter as much but for long-guns (rifles and shotguns) once my head is on the stock, I am looking out of the very top of my lenses. On some glasses (regular sunglasses for me), the top frame of the glasses impedes my view and either prompts me to take them off while I’m shooting (not good) or to alter my head position to see clearly (also not good).
The frameless design also seems to help keep these from fogging up for me by allowing heat to flow up freely.
The colors of the lenses are awesome. First, clear is a must. Second, having some protection from the bright sun without being too dark so that it becomes difficult to see the sights and/or target can be a tough balance. Oakley figured this out with the rose-ish and grey/brown-ish lenses in the Tombstone kit.
Also, if you’re into shooting clays with a shotgun, Oakley even made a specific lens that makes it easier to see clay targets! If that’s not dedication to making the best set of shooting eye protection, I don’t know what is.
Interchangeable lenses are not new, but having them be this easy is. Most glasses I’ve used with interchangeable lenses involve smearing up the lenses with your hands while you’re trying to snap the lenses into place while worrying that you’re going to break the lens. This is not the case with these – there’s a simple push button mechanism on each side that allows for super easy lens changes and a place on the lens to hold them so you don’t dirty them up. A+
What I’d change: I only have two minor gripes. First, I wish they had a polarized option available. Second, I wish the arms were flatter so that they were more comfortable with over the ear hearing protection.
I prefer to wear my Howard Leight Impact Sport Bolt ear muffs while I’m doing a lot of shooting or teaching. And, even with the NoiseFighter Gel Pad upgrades, feeling ear muffs push the arms into the side of your head can be annoying and uncomfortable after a while.
Oakley Tombstone Glasses Pros and Cons
- Kit with extra lenses.
- Nice case for the range.
- High lens profile for shooting long guns.
- Easy to change lenses.
- Great color options.
- No polarized option available.
- Arms a little thick.
Smith Pivlock Echo Glasses
Smith glasses are a great choice for shooting protection – they are so good that it was tough putting these in second place.
Final Grade : A
Smith Pivlock Echo Glasses Background
For many years, all I would wear were Smith Optics glasses for eye protection while shooting. This was because they had no optical distortion near the edge of the lens like some others do and they have flat arms that were super comfortable under ear muffs.
So, why aren’t they our #1 recommendation? Well, it was tough. It is probably fair to say that these would be tied for #1 except for the fact that I find myself using my Oakley Tombstones more often lately.
The distortion free edges were important to me because, as we discuss above, when shooting a long gun, you very often are using only the very top section of the lenses. This meant that the edge of the lens was often in my view.
Smith Pivlock Echo Glasses Specs
|Extra Lenses Available?||Yes|
|Lens colors||Clear, Grey, Ignitor|
|ANSI Safety Spec?||Yes|
Well, the Oakley Tombstones have lenses that are a bit taller thereby keeping me from having to use the edge and for my size head, I prefer them a bit more. However, these Smiths have superior arms over the Oakleys and are almost half the cost.
So, I’ll make it easy for you: if you like the larger lenses on the Oakleys and the cost isn’t an issue, get them. However, if you’d rather save some money and have flat arms on your glasses, these Smith Pivlock Echos are for you.
What I love: THE FLAT ARMS! This seems so simple but they are not only much more comfortable when wearing are muffs, they also allow a better fit, and therefore better function, of your ear muff hearing protection.
I also love the superior clarity and protection given by these glasses.
What I’d change: I’d make the lenses a bit easier to swap out, I’d have them come with a nicer carrying case, and I’d make the lens a bit taller.
Smith Pivlock Echo Glasses Pros and Cons
- Superior optical quality.
- Flat arms.
- Great eye protection.
- Less than ideal colors/tint.
- No range case.
- Not the easiest lens change.
Beretta Clash Shooting Glasses Background
Beretta makes quality products (including my favorite shotgun) so it is no surprise that their shooting glasses are so popular.
As you can tell from my top two recommendations above, I tend to wear wrap-around style shooting glasses, however, if you are looking for a more standard/frame style of eye protection, I highly recommend these Beretta Clash glasses.
These glasses come in GREAT lens colors for shooting – yes, even the purple I’m wearing here are awesome for shooting at clay targets with a shotgun.
Beretta Clash Shooting Glasses Specs
|Lens Colors||Clear, Yellow, Purple, Brown, Rose|
|ANSI Safety Spec?||Yes|
The only down-side I can think of with these glasses are that the lenses aren’t interchangeable. For many shooters (maybe you?) that is a good thing – no pieces/parts to lose or break and you have the simplicity of having one pair of glasses to grab and go.
These are so nice/such high quality that you probably don’t want these as just an extra set of eye protection that you keep in your range bag for someone else to borrow while they’re shooting. Instead, get the much less expensive Radians below as your loaner set – when you look through these, you’ll see that you won’t want to let anyone else wear them. 🙂
Beretta Clash Shooting Glasses Pros and Cons
- Great colors for shooting.
- Simple design.
- Less expensive than options above.
- High quality.
- Not interchangeable.
Radians Revelations Glasses Background
These glasses may have come in at #4 of our list for best shooting glasses but they should be the FIRST ones you purchase.
Because they offer everything you need to protect your eyes while shooting at a super low price. And, they’re not “cheap” feeling – sure, they aren’t as nice as the safety glasses above but they aren’t junk either.
Even if you prefer another style of shooting glasses as your main set, these are handy to keep an extra set of shooting safety glasses in at least your range bag. I think grabbing a few pairs makes sense and keeping another set in your vehicle makes sense too.
Radian Revelations Glasses Specs
|Lens Colors||Clear, Yellow, Brown, Grey|
|ANSI Safety Spec?||Yes|
Sometimes, I might forget my favorite glasses. It happens. If I do, these are there as a backup. Or, perhaps I take someone shooting and they need to borrow a set? No problem, they can borrow these.
But, there are also times where I’ve wished I had some safety glasses with me and that’s why I like to keep these in the console of my truck. If they get scratched (or stolen) I’m not heartbroken. 🙂
These are no frills, but they are great to protect your eyes while shooting. Grab an extra set or two and I’m willing to bet that sometime in the next year you’ll thank me.
Radians Revelation Glasses Pros and Cons
- Available in many colors.
- Not the best fit/comfort.
- Not interhcangeable.
Buyer’s Guide for the Best Shooting Glasses
When it comes to firearms, you can never be too safe. It is very important to wear the correct PPE whether you are out and about on a hunting expedition or enjoying yourself at a shooting ranch during target practice.
Shooting glasses are one of those must-have pieces of protective gear to include with your kit whenever you go shooting. But don’t simply dive in and buy the first pair of safety glasses you find. In this buyer’s guide to shooting glasses, we will show you what to look for if you want to enjoy the best possible protection.
Benefits of Using Shooting Glasses
Safety glasses are super important for shooters. And this type of safety gear can offer you lots of benefits–aside from keeping your peepers in one piece– such as the following:
- These glasses offer good protection from natural elements such as wind, twigs, branches, dust, and sand that could irritate or damage your eyes.
- Glasses can protect you from excessive gunpowder that can blow back into your eyes.
- The eyewear will offer protection against spent cartridges as they eject from yours or other firearms.
- Quality glasses can also improve your vision so you can perform better during target practice.
- Colored glasses will reduce the intensity of bright colors like white that could hurt your eyes on hot and sunny days.
- Some glasses also offer added UV protection.
What to Look for When Buying Shooting Glasses
Quality shooting glasses are made according to specific safety standards. And there are quite a few different types of shooting glasses on the market. However, do you know what to look for? Or what safety standards your glasses should be compliant with?
Levels of Protection for Shooting Glasses
Shooting glasses must be made according to one of two eye protection standards: the ANSI or the MIL-PRF-31013 standard.
The ANSI Standard
Glasses that are made according to ANSI standards are referred to as Z87 glasses and meet all standards set by the American National Standards Institute. Z87 standard glasses all offer resistance against a .25 steel ball traveling at 150fps. This resistance level offers you ample protection, but probably won’t stop a bullet.
Shotgun ball pellets, for example, travel at a speed of 1000fps or more and will probably easily shatter these glasses, but they still offer ample protection against many other elements.
These glasses can resist a 0.15 diameter ball traveling at a speed of 650fps. As you can see, these glasses offer more protection than ANSI standards but still aren’t powerful enough to stop a projecting shotgun pellet. Still, this pair does offer quite a lot of protection from projectiles.
By buying glasses that are ANSI or MIL, you are guaranteed that the glasses you use for eye protection will offer the best impact resistance you can get from eyewear.
Shooting Glasses Construction and Material
Shooting glasses are made of several different materials. The type of materials used can impact the strength and resistance of your glasses and can also impact the weight of your glasses.
Most shooting glasses are made of a polycarbonate that meets required safety standards. Polycarbonate is a preferable material for shooting glasses because it’s the same one used to make bulletproof glass.
This material isn’t just powerful, it is also a lightweight product that won’t cause discomfort when you wear your glasses. When you are buying a pair of shooting glasses, you should also check the certification on the materials used. Quality manufacturers ensure that the glasses are scratch-resistant.
What are Shooting Glasses Lens Colors Best For?
Shooting glasses are available in a huge variety of colors. Many simply buy shooting glasses based on color preference. But…these different colors have some real effects on your vision during shooting. Here’s a quick look at the top colors you can look out for when buying shooting glasses.
These lenses are usually a standard option. Many do prefer a clear look because they are perfect for operating in low-light situations. They are also a good pick for group sessions or ranches where multiple individuals might be borrowing the same pair of eyewear.
These tinted glasses are ideal for blocking out blue light such as blue sky-glare, haze, or light fogginess. Yellow lenses also tend to create a more detailed edge around objects so you can see depth with greater accuracy.
Orange lenses are also great for blocking out blue light. These lenses can also bring out the orange or red colors on targets so you can acquire your target easier.
Amber lenses will also block out some blue light. They are the second-best option behind clear lenses in low-light conditions, because you can still see relatively well while wearing these glasses. The amber lenses also create more contrast in your view so your target can stand out better in foggy or low-light conditions.
These lenses are often mistaken for orange lenses. They also bring out orange and red-colored targets, but also offer good protection from damaging UV light. Brown lenses are usually ideal for tactical or quick-paced target practice like disk shooting, because these lenses will calm your eyes and enlarge your pupils so you can detect movement with ease.
Gray lenses work a lot like your typical sunglasses. They offer good UV protection and reduce the glare of bright conditions. These glasses have a calming effect on your eyes and many do enjoy buying gray glasses because they can double as sunglasses.
Purple or blue lenses are ideal for hunting or for shooting against trees, camouflaged setups, or greens. The blue or purple lenses create more contrast between green and orange or other colors. This makes it easier to blur out the background so you can focus better on your target.
Whether you choose to buy clear glasses or colored glasses, it is important to get a pair that offers needed UV protection so your eyes will be shielded from the sun’s glare.
Other Features to Watch for When Choosing the Best Shooting Glasses
The previous three points are the most crucial to keep in mind when buying glasses. But there are also a few other things that can affect the way you feel about your new shooting shades. Here’s what to keep in mind when you go shopping for shooting glasses:
Size and Fit
It is important to feel comfortable in your eyewear. Glasses that pinch your nose and ears, slide down your face, or are otherwise ill-fitting can be very annoying to wear. The glasses you choose should fit across your nose and shouldn’t move when you look up or down. Wraparound glasses are often preferable for sport or tactical shooting conditions because they offer a tight fit.
Prescription or Fit Over Glasses
You can get prescription shooting glasses custom made, but these tend to be expensive. If you do wear specs, it is better to invest in a pair of safety glasses that fit over your spectacles. This way you can still see well and protect your eyes and eyewear.
Always opt for the lightest pair of shooting glasses you can find. Any spec wearer will tell you this. Heavy specs can cause headaches and are a pain to wear.
Shooting glasses come in a huge variety of styles. Your personal preference will have the biggest impact on the pair you buy. It is good to get a pair that you like and that you feel comfortable wearing in public, because this encourages you to wear your protective gear more often.
Anti Fog Coating
Some shooting glasses do come with an anti-fog coating. This coating is ideal for shooting in cold or humid climates since it prevents your eyewear from getting all foggy when warm air from your face suddenly condensates against your cold lenses.
Scratch Resistant Coating
If you are buying an expensive pair of glasses, it is best to look for ones that have a scratch-resistant coating. Glasses can get scratched up pretty quickly, and these scratches are irreversible. If your glasses get too scratched up, you will need to buy a new pair. This scratch-resistant coating will offer more protection so your glasses stay in great shape for longer.
Polypropylene and plastic used in the manufacturing of shooting glasses can expire over time. Exposure to sunlight can increase the degrading of these materials. It is good to check out the manufacturing date on glasses to ensure that your pair is still in good condition. It is also a good idea to replace your shooting glasses every 2 – 3 years, especially if you wear them frequently or leave your pair out in the open instead of stored in an eyeglasses case.
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