Shooting sports like trap shooting, handgun and rifle shooting, and archery are on the rise in popularity. As more athletes engage in these sports, they constantly seek ways to enhance their skills. One common technique many shooters employ to gain an advantage is the use of shooting glasses. But are these glasses actually helpful? To really answer this, you have to determine the type of glasses, the sport, and the proposed benefit of the glasses. Let’s explore the topic in more detail.
Understanding Shooting Glasses
The term “shooting glasses” encompasses a range of products available in the market. However, there is no well-defined standard for what constitutes true shooting glasses. Over-the-counter versions of shooting glasses are often unregulated, with some glasses simply offering a tint, limited protection, or functioning as a fashion accessory. While some products may not provide any additional benefits, most shooting glasses have features that can be attributed to enhancing sports performance.
The wide array of shooting glasses on the market can make it difficult to determine which if any is right for you.
Tinted Shooting Glasses
One of the most common features found in shooting glasses is tinted lenses. These tints can come in various colors such as yellow, orange, brown, or gray. The primary advantage of tinted lenses lies in sports where the shooter aims at a small target against a background. For example, in trap shooting, the goal is to hit a small orange clay pigeon against a light blue or white sky background. Wearing properly tinted shooting glasses can increase the contrast between the target and the background, making it easier for the shooter to locate the pigeon.
Yellow-tinted lenses generally provide the highest increase in contrast for most shooting sports. Depending on the color of the target and background in different shooting disciplines, various tinted glasses can enhance contrast. Additionally, tinted lenses often reduce overall brightness, similar to wearing sunglasses on a bright sunny day. This reduction in brightness decreases the likelihood of experiencing dazzle or getting disoriented due to intense light.
Safety Glasses for Added Protection
Another benefit of many shooting glasses is the added protection they provide. Shooting sports come with inherent risks due to the nature of the activities involved. For instance, in fast-paced handgun competitions, rounds are fired rapidly, and shell casings are ejected just as quickly. This creates a risk of injury from debris and the firearm itself. Shooting glasses designed to offer additional safety should comply with the ANSI Z87.1 standard. This standard ensures that the glasses are made from appropriate materials and can withstand the required force or impact.
Is There a Benefit to Shooting Glasses?
The advantage shooters seek ultimately depends on whether a tinted lens improves contrast in their specific sport and if it leads to better performance. However, the safety aspect provided by suitable shooting glasses is certainly a worthwhile investment. If you already wear prescription glasses, having your prescription incorporated into a pair of appropriately tinted shooting glasses that meet safety standards can greatly benefit you as a shooter.
Our eye doctors at Eye Theory in Houston, TX excel in the prescription of contact lenses, glasses and various eye diseases. Call our optometrist at 832.831.7386 or schedule an appointment online if you would like to learn more about shooting glasses. Our eye doctor, Dr. Jonathan Tsao, provides the highest quality optometry services and eye exams in the Midtown, Downtown, Museum District, Montrose, East Downtown, and Southside Commons (Southside Place) vicinities of Houston, Texas as well as our newest location in the Stone Oaks neighborhood of San Antonio, Texas.