8 Best Shooting Glasses Reviewed In 2020 ( Trap & Target Shooting )

man aiming a rifle

Your eyes are sensitive liquid sacks, and any damage to them can leave you permanently handicapped. That sounds scary, but the risk of that happening is pretty low for most of us in our day-to-day lives.

However, when you grab a gun and go shooting, you introduce a new level of danger into your life. In these situations, a pair of shooting glasses is an absolute must. They provide your eyes the needed protection to prevent injury and to keep you safe.

Good shooting glasses protect you from ricochets, unburnt gunpowder, and even lubricants and oils flying rearward. There’s a reason why every gun range in the nation requires them. But what shooting eye protection should you go with? Let’s take a look at your options.

 

The 8 Best Shooting Safety Glasses of 2020: Outdoor Empire Reviews

  1. Best for Use with Prescription Glasses: Allen Company Shooting and Safety Glasses
  2. Best for Trap Shooting: Bertoni Shooting Glasses
  3. Best for Indoor Ranges: Wiley X Sabers with Yellow Lenses
  4. ESS Crossbow Glasses
  5. Magpul Terrain
  6. Oakley M Frames
  7. Smith Optics Elite Aegis Glasses
  8. Revision StingerHawk

 

ProductESS Crossbow Glasses
ESS Crossbow Glasses

Oakley M
Oakley M

Revision StingerHawk
Revision StingerHawk

Best FeatureProvides 100% UVA/UVB protectionExceeds American, Canadian, Military, and Civilian specsOcuMax scratch-resistant coating
Pros- Very comfortable
- An all-in-one package
- Fog-free design
- Some of the most comfortable glasses on the market
- Filters out all harmful light
- Stylish for off range wear
- Interchangeable lenses
- Compatible with Revision prescription inserts
- Comfortable and protective
Cons- Far from stylish- Somewhat expensive- Nose piece is somewhat narrow
CostCheck PriceCheck PriceCheck Price

 

1. Best Shooting Glasses for Use with Prescription Glasses: Allen Company Shooting and Safety Glasses

Allen Company Shooting and Safety Glasses

Allen Company is a well-known company in the gun world, and they produce a variety of slings, cleaning kits, and more.

The Allen Company Shooting and Safety Glasses are designed to fit over your prescription glasses while providing the maximum amount of protection possible. These simple glasses are slightly larger than most, and this allows the glasses to accommodate your prescription glasses.

The Allen Company Shooting and Safety Glasses are rated at ANSI Z87 for impact resistance. This allows them to take a bit of abuse and still work. They also wrap around to maximize protection and comfort when being used with prescription glasses.

They are remarkably affordable and perfect for daily use as shooting safety glasses.

Features and Specs

  • ANSI Z87 impact protection
  • 100% UV coating
  • Clear lenses for versatile use

Pros

  • Remarkably affordable
  • Comfortable with standard prescription glasses
  • Great amount of protection

Cons

  • Large size makes finding cases difficult

The Allen Company Shooting and Safety glasses are perfect for anyone who’s already spent a fortune on prescription glasses. Who wants to spend more on shooting glasses? You won’t have to spend a fortune to get the protection your eyes and glasses deserve.

 

 

2. Best Shooting Glasses for Trap Shooting: Bertoni Shooting Glasses

Bertoni Shooting Glasses

The goal of trap shooting is to shoot a small orange target with a shotgun. It’s tricky and requires you to see your target as it races across the sky. At the same time, you’ll need to focus on protecting your eyes.

The good news is Bertoni Shooting Glasses both protect your eyes and allow you to see the clay with ease. In fact, these range glasses will make it easier to see the clays.

The glasses come with a variety of colored lenses: red, violet, clear, and yellow.

Red makes it easier to see orange targets against green backgrounds, and violet does the same for blue backgrounds. Clear is for any time, and yellow is for low-light conditions. Of course, you also have ballistic-rated protection.

Features and Specs

  • 4 different lenses
  • Cut to maximize field of view
  • Comes with case and cleaning cloth.

Pros

  • Multiple lenses allow you to maximize your shooting ability
  • Incredibly comfortable
  • Rated beyond all ballistic testing standards.

Cons

  • Somewhat expensive

Trap shooting is an incredibly competitive sport, and you should take every advantage you can get. Bertoni Shooting Glasses offer you both protection and an advantage when it comes to shooting clay pigeons. They aren’t cheap, but they are effective and comfortable.

 

 

3. Best Shooting Glasses for Indoor Ranges: Wiley X Sabers with Yellow Lenses

Wiley X Sabers with Yellow Lenses

Wiley X makes eye protection almost exclusively for both the military and civilians. The Wiley X Sabers are perfect for indoor shooting.

The yellow lenses help increase clarity in low-light conditions, and most indoor ranges are somewhat low lit. Even if they are not the yellow lenses will still ensure you are comfortable and safe.

The Wiley X Sabers are wrap-around glasses that allow you to have a maximized field of view. That’s important when shooting and doing specialized training.

Wiley X Sabers come with yellow lenses, but you can also purchase multiple colors and swap them with ease. The Wiley X glasses also provide excellent protection all around and exceed all ballistic and impact standards.

Features and Specs

  • Felt brow bar eliminates vision-destroying sweat
  • Air circulation cut prevents fog
  • Includes a strap to retain the glasses

Pros

  • Very comfortable
  • Yellow lenses are perfect for low-light conditions
  • Affordable

Cons

  • Lenses are difficult to replace

The Wiley X Sabers with yellow lenses are perfect for low-light and indoor range shooting. Their affordability and design make them a must-have for the range bag.

The anti-fog design is incredibly comfortable, and the wrap-around lenses offer maximum protection. They protect so much they could be called shooting goggles.

 

Wiley X Sabers with Yellow Lenses is also available at:

Cabelas

 

4. ESS Crossbow Glasses

ESS Crossbow Glasses

The ESS Crossbow series of glasses are widely issued across the United States military and were the glasses I was issued in the USMC. While they may not be the most stylish glasses on the market, they are very comfortable and well designed for shooting and protecting.

The Crossbow series is a full set of shooting eye protection. They come with black, clear, and yellow colored lenses for dependable 24-hour use.

The ESS Crossbow Glasses are designed to last, and if the lenses become scratched or damaged, they are easily replaceable. These glasses have a wrap-around design to maximize your protection and comfort. The ESS Crossbow design is also resistant to fog.

Features and Specs

  • Meets military, civilian, and European impact standards
  • Provides 100% UVA/UVB protection
  • Comes with wrap-around retention straps, 3 lenses, and case

Pros

  • Very comfortable
  • An all-in-one package
  • Fog-free design

Cons

  • Far from stylish

These are for the shooter who shoots in action sports like USPSA, IDPA, 3-Gun, and more. These glasses provide protection and allow you to see in all light conditions. The Crossbow series also allows easy use with a scope or optic.

 

ESS Crossbow Glasses is also available at:

Cabelas

 

5. Magpul Terrain

Magpul Terrain

Magpul makes a ton of gun parts: magazines, sights, stocks, and much more. They recently dived into the shooting sunglasses market with three sets of shooting glasses. The Magpul Terrain glasses are designed to provide both protection and style.

The Terrain glasses come in a ton of different colors, including yellow and your traditional smoke. These are ballistic rated to  exceed both civilian and military ballistic specs.

The Magpul Terrain glasses offer a lightweight but tough frame that will give you a comfortable option for nearly any size head. These glasses offer a strong coating over the lenses that reduces glare and allows you to have a sharp, clear picture.

Features and Specs

  • Ballistic rated to both military and civilian standards
  • Available in polarized and non-polarized models
  • Low-profile design

Pros

  • Stylish for off-range wear
  • Great anti-reflective coating
  • Excellent for larger heads

Cons

  • Lenses are not interchangeable

The Magpul Terrain glasses are stylish and designed for tactical use. They provide a low enough cut to provide clearance for hats and other headwear. They are perfect for tactical shooting, training, and competition. Like everything Magpul makes, the Terrains are an awesome product.

 

 

6. Oakley M Frames

Oakley M Frames

While not government-issued, Oakley M Frames are worn by a ton of Marines. The ESS glasses provide outstanding protection as well as comfort, but Oakleys are better. Not only are they more comfortable, Oakleys are lighter and offer a more durable lens system.

The M Frame itself is cut to work with Kevlar helmets, hats, and other tactical head gear. The Oakley M Frames are incredibly durable, and they offer awesome interchangeable lenses.

They have an interchangeable nose piece for increased comfort and positioning high on the nose. The Oakley M Frames give you 100% UV protection. Oakleys are trusted by armed professionals worldwide for their clarity, comfort, and protection levels.

Features and Specs

  • Exceeds American, Canadian, Military, and Civilian specs
  • Easily interchangeable lenses
  • Flexible frame material

Pros

  • Some of the most comfortable glasses on the market
  • Filters out all harmful light
  • Stylish for off range wear

Cons

  • Somewhat expensive

The Oakley M Frames are premium grade glasses designed for action shooting sports and tactical use. If you are training for defensive shooting or running a 3-Gun match these glasses will suit you well. The Oakley M Frames are durable, flexible, and they offer an unmatched level of protection.

 

 

7. Smith Optics Elite Aegis Glasses

 

Smith Optics Elite Aegis Glasses

 

Smith Optics is mostly known for its fashionable sunglasses, and if you like those glasses, you’ll love the Elite Aegis glasses. The Smith Optics Elite Aegis glasses are wrap around ballistic glasses that provide you ballistic-rated protection that meets all the common standards.

The Elite Aegis glasses are also designed to be comfortable when worn with standard headgear. They also have interchangeable eye and nose pieces.

There are a wide variety of different colored lenses available for the Elite Aegis glasses, including smoke, yellow, clear, and violet. They come with both clear and dark lenses. The glasses provide excellent coverage and offer you an expansive field of view. They are also comfortable to use with rifle scopes.

Features and Specs

  • Meets all ballistic standards
  • Come with black and clear lenses
  • Includes a custom-fit hard case

Pros

  • Comfortable and low profile
  • Works well with hats and over ear earmuffs
  • Compatible with prescription inserts

Cons

  • Not compatible with most retention straps

The Smith Optics Elite Aegis glasses are perfect for any and all shooting. From action shooting, to slow-fire rifle marksmanship, the Smith Optics provide a comfortable and protective mid-tier option for all shooters.

The Smith Optics brand is one that has made a very effective transition from fashionable to tactical.

 

 

8. Revision StingerHawk

Revision StingerHawk

Revision is a company that has made its bones in the protective eyewear industry. Revision glasses are well reputed for being extremely strong, durable, and comfortable.

They are trusted by military and police forces across the nation—and for good reason. They are some of the most durable glasses on the market. The StingerHawk set is no different. These wrap around glasses meet all military and civilian standards for impact and ballistic protection.

The Revision StingerHawks are compatible with prescription inserts, but the base lenses are coated with the OcuMax high-performance scratch-resistance and anti-fog coating system.

The Revision StingerHawk glasses come with two or three lenses depending on your options. These lenses are clear, smoke, and yellow. They also come with a handy carrying case as well as a retention strap to keep the glasses well positioned.

Features and Specs

  • Exceed ballistic impact resistance tests
  • OcuMax scratch-resistant coating
  • 100% UV protection

Pros

  • Interchangeable lenses
  • Compatible with Revision prescription inserts
  • Comfortable and protective

Cons

  • Nose piece is somewhat narrow

The Revision StingerHawks are well designed for all types for shooting. They have wide, wrap-around lenses that provide excellent protection from both fragmentation and the sun. The wide field of view they offer grants you an awesome view. These are perfect for hunters, soldiers, and police officers.

 

 

Why Do You Need Eye Protection For Shooting?

man fully geared for airsoft

We touched a bit on why you need shooting glasses, and we want to expand on that so you fully understand the importance of shooting glasses.

First, a gun is a device that contains a miniature explosion to propel a piece of metal beyond the speed of sound. What part of that leads you to believe you do not need something protecting your eyes?

Failures occur, sometimes dangerous ones. A round can be overloaded, or you can get a squib load. In those cases, your gun may explode. When it explodes, you’ll want something between your eyes and that gun.

After that, we always have the possibility of a ricochet or splatter.

man practice shooting in an open field

A ricochet is when a round strikes a surface and redirects instead of being absorbed. When redirected, a round flies in a direction you cannot control. A ricochet can cause death but is more likely to cause injury. Injury to the eye is a very real possibility.

Splatter is when a round strikes a surface and splits into multiple pieces that fly outward. This splatter sends fragments in multiple directions and can easily cause injury to the eye.

Beyond the main injury-causing issues, a pair of shooting goggles will also prevent any blowback from the gun from striking your eyes. Some guns have gas blowback which can cause discomfort.

Some platforms will also eject carbon, unburnt powder, and oil during use. Getting these materials in your eyes can be incredibly painful.

 

How to Choose the Best Shooting Glasses?

man in a shooting competition

Standard sunglasses are not eye protection. Your average pair of dollar-store specials isn’t likely to stop much in terms of hot, supersonic metal. What you need is a set of glasses that meets an established and recognized standard for eye protection.

There are a few recognized standards you should understand when purchasing ballistic glasses.

 

ANSI Z87.1+

ANSI Z87.1+ certified glasses

This is the most common standard and is the American civilian safety rating that guarantees the safety of your glasses. This rating is used for safety glasses overall, not just shooting glasses. The rating includes protection from dust particles, mist, and liquid droplets.

In gun language, that’s hot carbon and burning gun oil. The + sign also means they are ballistically tested against impacts. Some glasses lack the + and these are not great protection for shooting glasses.

 

U.S. MIL-PRF-31013

soldier aiming rifle against wood planks

This is the United States military’s seal of approval for ballistic glasses. Glasses that are MIL-PRF-31013 must be capable of withstanding a 5.8-grain, 0.15-caliber projectile with a T37 shape, traveling at a velocity of between 639 and 661 feet per second. T37 shape is essentially a rectangle.

They also have to protect their user from UV rays and resist chemical wear. Glasses that provide you this level of protection are perfect shooting glasses.

 

EN166A

EN166 is a European rating system that you may see on high-end European shooting glasses. EN166 is a whole list of different ratings for European glasses.

The EN166A are shooting glasses designed to provide ballistic protection from a 6 mm steel ball weighing .86 grams and flying at over 600 feet per second (190 meters per second).

Choosing a set of shooting glasses with these standards is a must. Don’t skimp here.

 

What Type of Shooting Do You Do

Plinking and Target Practice

man aiming pistol for target practice

The old standards for fun shooting are plinking and casual target practice. Both often involve a square range and not much movement. In these cases, you can use almost any range glasses you want. There isn’t much in the way of danger from dynamic movement or target choices.

 

Trap and Skeet

Man shooting skeet with a shotgun

The end goal of trap and skeet is to hit a small orange target flying through the air. Your glasses should allow you to see the orange clay. Outside of standard shooting glasses specs, you should look at the color of the lenses. Certain colors make seeing that flying orange disk easier.

Clear lenses work in overcast conditions, or really at any time. Yellow help highlight the disk in low-light. Red helps highlight the clay pigeon over green backgrounds, such as trees or grassy hills. Violet lenses highlight a disk against a blue sky.

 

Action Sports

man in camouflage aiming airsoft gun

Action shooting like 3-Gun, IDPA, USPSA, and SASS require both movement and rapid firing. Quick movement means your glasses need to stay in place and be secure when running and shooting. For this reason, flexible polymer arms are often best since they’re supportive and cling tight.

You also need a full field of view, so wrap-around glasses are a great option. You’ll also likely be using optics in 3-Gun, so you need slightly recessed glasses that allow easy use of optics.

 

Tactical Use

soldier standing by the door

If you are training for defensive shooting, or even conducting police and military work, you want glasses that offer a variety of lenses, minimally a dark and clear set. You also want lenses with military specs. Fog-proof lenses with UV protection ensure you’ll be safe while you shoot but also comfortable.

Like action shooting, you can expect lots of shooting and moving. For this reason, you may want flexible arms and a retention strap to help them stay in place.

 

Fit and Comfort

full geared soldier upclose

I have a big head, so I know all about fit and comfort. Let me tell you, without proper fit and comfort, you’ll hate your glasses. Research the sizes and measure your head. Most sizes are in centimeters, with the three sizes being small, medium, and large.

Do research committing to a pair of glasses. Try them on if possible, but with most glasses offered online, ensure you do the proper research. Flexible polymer frames are more forgiving than metal frames, so keep that in mind.

 

Elements and Environmental Protection

man aiming a handgun in the forest

We’ve talked ballistic protection and even mentioned UV protection. Let’s talk a bit more about environmental protection. Imagine you are shooting, and a strong gust kicks up, slamming dirt in your eyes. In most situations, you’re likely okay, but now you are blind and handling a live firearm.

Extreme safety precautions are therefore required. Beyond that, we’ll need protection against the sun because a bright enough sun will challenge you in accurately aiming your weapon. We also have to account for rain and wind blowing carbon and smoke into your face.

 

Top Brands

ESS

ESS logo

Eye Safety Systems (ESS) is a relatively young company that was founded in 1998. This name perfectly describes what ESS does. They provide outstanding safety glasses for a variety of tasks.

They hold the USMC contract for issued safety glasses, and in my experience, they do a very good job at it. They do produce a wide variety of glasses that cover most users’ requirements.

They produce glasses purely for safety’s sake, with interchangeable lenses and wrap-around lenses. They also produce more stylish glasses that still offer ballistic and environmental protection.

ESS is the leading provider of glasses to the DOD, and they provide individual servicemen and women with outstanding protection.

ESS glasses are a dedication to duty. They stand apart by focusing almost entirely on the duty and tactical market. Their glasses provide excellent options for all shooters but are especially well suited for the action shooting and tactical markets.

ESS glasses will not let you down and will provide you the best in environmental and ballistic protection.

 

Oakley

Oakley logo

Everyone knows Oakley. They are a legendary company that started by producing fashionable sporting glasses. In what seemed to be a short period of time, Oakley was embraced by the military and police market, so Oakley shifted their focus.

Oakley now makes tactical glasses, boots, gloves, backpacks, and more. Oakley ballistic glasses are masters of mixing both style and protection.

Oakley glasses are well made and designed to hold up. Most have interchangeable lenses and allow for easy transitions. Oakley glasses are also remarkably clear, and their polarization is second to none.

Oakley’s glasses are also incredibly comfortable and often come in different sizes for different heads.

Oakley is a company that makes a premium product, and the price reflects that. These are not cheap glasses. The price may turn some off, but they are well made enough to last well past their price.

They are often the tactical choice, as well as the choice of action shooters. They are a bit much for plinking wear, but they will certainly provide you plenty of protection.

 

Wiley X

Wiley X logo

Wiley X is a little less known that ESS, but in the optic’s world, they present a viable alternative. Wiley X truly produces glasses for everything. This includes ballistic shooting glasses down to glasses made for riding dirt bikes.

The Wiley X tactical brand is their shooting sports division, and they produce a number of innovative glasses.

Wiley X owns their own lab, and that allows them to constantly experiment and produce better safety glasses. Innovation is their strong suit, and they are not afraid to try something new.

This includes low-profile glasses, wrap-around lenses, as well as low-profile goggles designed to be ballistically rated. They produce outstanding lenses that provide excellent clarity.

Though they are well made, they don’t seem to hold up as long as Oakley or ESS. They are, however, a bit more affordable than the other two big brands.

Wiley X makes glasses for shooting sports that some companies tend to overlook. As shooting sports grow, we will see more safety gear aimed at him.

 

FAQ

1. What color shooting sunglasses should I choose?

That depends on what you are shooting and when you are shooting. Listed above we talked about colors for trap shooting. In general, if shooting the day, smoke-colored lenses are awesome. In low-light, clear or yellow lenses work best.

2. How do you keep shooting glasses from fogging up?

Anti-fog spray is the best bet. Apply some daily or before a long day of shooting, and you’ll be good to go.

3. Are shooting glasses the same as safety glasses?

No! Shooting classes are ballistically rated for impact resistance and environmental hazards. Some safety glasses may be tested properly, but shooting glasses are always and unquestionably qualified to do the job.

Travis Pike
Travis Pike is a former Marine Machine gunner who served with 2nd Bn 2nd Marines for 5 years. He deployed in 2009 to Afghanistan and again in 2011 with the 22nd MEU(SOC) during a record setting 11 months at sea. He’s trained with the Romanian Army, the Spanish Marines, the Emirate Marines and the Afghan National Army. He serves as an NRA certified pistol instructor and teaches concealed carry classes

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