Football Glasses and Goggles
How to Select Football Goggles
Table of Contents
Close physical contact make football a moderate risk sport for eye injuries. Goggles give protection from injury, but can fit with your prescription in them. Look for the following when selecting the right goggle:
Polycarbonate Lenses: (Referred to as PC): This is the most important property of all protective goggles. Good PC is virtually unbreakable, and will sustain the impact of a ball or finger. 2mm polycarbonate is what is recommended for the ASTM safety standard. But there are quality issues with PC. Low end PC will have a lot of distortion in the lens which may reduce reaction time. Look for higher quality, high end PC lenses to decrease distortion. or NXT based products can also be considered. Trivex has better impact resistance than CR-39 plastic (but not as high as PC) but has minimal distortion. In prescription, this is a great choice.
Durable Frame Design: The frame must also be able to withstand the impact of a ball. A frame made out of PC is the best choice. Frames rated with ASTM F803 standard is the best choice. This is a government sports safety standard that encompasses all ball/stick sports. This rating also ensures lenses are 3mm thick PC for the best impact resistance. A popular choice for baseball is also a shield design where the whole front of the frame is a lens made out of PC, with temples made of plastic or some other material. This is also a suitable choice, and if you play at different times of the day, the shield can be interchanged with other colors to block sunlight (see Lens colors). Yet, most shields do not meet the ASTM safety rating. Look for at least ANSI
(military safety rating) standard for shields to make sure better impact resistance than standard sunglass frames.
Coverage: The frame must cover the entire eye socket, not the eyeball itself. Impact to any of the "soft" parts of the eye can cause serious damage. Look for a frame that sits closely to the face, as a finger can make its way through any gap. Shields can become dislodged so a finger can penetrate underneath. Be careful if choosing this option.
Padding: The frame should have padding at the temple points and bridge points to "cushion the blow". Padding will absorb some shock to lessen the impact, and to help prevent injury to the bone structure.
Prescription Lenses: Polycarbonate or Trivex lenses are the materials that should be used for prescription lenses for safety reasons. We are often asked if football shields can be in prescription. The short answer is no, the technology doesn't exist for this. The problem is that shields sit so far from the face and so curved that massive measurements need to be done to compensate the prescription for the angles and distances a shield would have. Some technology may be available to professional athletes but not to the general public as the time and mathematics needed to make these puts the costs in the thousands of dollars.
Shields type sunglass designs these are not the safest of frame as they can be dislodged and do not offer the same protection. Other good shields that don't meet the ASTM sports standard but do appeal cosmetically are from Tifosi, Rudy Project and Wiley-X. Or, you choose a regular sunglass style and put clear (or tinted) safety lenses in them. Secure the frame with a strap. Again, this is not the safest option. The shields that fit on football helmets are not available with prescription. See our blog for an article on this.