Racquetball Goggles Buying Guide
Racquetball goggles is a very important piece of racquetball equipment. Getting hit in the eye with a rubber ball that is traveling a 100 miles per hour or a graphene racquet can result in permanent loss of vision. So regardless if they offend your fashion sense or you find them to be uncomfortable, you absolutely must wear a pair of racquetball goggles any time you step foot on the court. And if you ever want to play tournaments, they are absolutely required and USAR has very particular requirements for what kind of goggles you need to wear in order to participate.
It’s a pretty cheap and simple piece of gear. The price range for racquetball goggles is about 10 to 30 US dollars. There are a few features for you to consider when choosing a pair. But since our faces are all shaped slightly differently, it all really comes down to just finding a pair of goggles that work well for your face mostly through trial and error.
Racquetball goggles come in two different styles:
|Two Piece Lens style, like these Head Pro Elite Goggles, features two separate lenses like most traditional sunglasses. I find these kind of goggles to be more stylish, since they have a smaller profile. At the same time, because of that smaller profile, they simply cover less of your face and thus provide a bit less protection. They also have separate nose pads for each side which tend to fall off more easily than a one-piece nose pad.
|One Piece Lens, like these E-Force Crystal Wrap Goggles, have one uninterrupted lens. These tend to wrap around your face more, thus providing more protection and better peripheral vision. They also feature a one-piece nose pad and some manufacturers include several differently sized pieces for a more comfortable fit (like these E-Force goggles). They might not be as stylish, but I prefer this design.
One of the biggest problems that people usually have with wearing racquetball goggles is having to deal with fogging. Almost all manufacturers apply several layers of anti-fog coating to their goggles at the factory. This coating really helps with the fogging problem in the begging. But eventually the coating wears out due to interaction with sweat, being scratched off during cleaning, and just general wear-and-tear. So this is one reason to replace your goggles more frequently and not waiting until they physically break. Recently, manufacturers started to produce vented lenses as another way to combat the fogging problems. They are basically small holes in the top of the lens, like these Ektelon Strobe Goggles, and they increase air circulation to cool the air in behind the lens so condensation does not have time to develop into fog.
Another small tip to help with the fogging problem is to simply try not to have the goggles press too close to your face. If you move them close to the tip of your nose, that by itself creates more space for the air to circulate and really helps with condensation. Also, wearing a Headband not only keeps the sweat from your eyes, but helps to reduce fogging as well.
I tend to buy goggles that feature an elastic strap. This way I know the goggles are staying on my head during a game. Remember, if your goggles fall off during a rally, you automatically lose the rally. So I like to have this extra layer of security. But I see plenty of people play without straps and the goggles seem to stay on most of the time. So it’s a personal choice.
Another feature that some manufacturers include in their designs is adjustable side-arms, like on these Ektelon More Game Air Goggles. This allows you to customize the length of the sidearms appropriate to the shape of your head for maximum comfort. The downside of this design is that like all moving mechanical parts, these eventually fail. So you avoid this problem by going with a single frame design. But I think what you gain in comfort is worth it whatever you lose in longevity, so I only buy goggles that provide this feature.
Finally, the last thing I want to mention is that some goggles allow you to easily switch off the lenses. This comes in really handy if you often play in very different lighting conditions, such as both indoors and outdoors. For example, these Ektelon Speed Goggles include 3 interchangeable lenses – clear, smoke, and amber. So you can select the color that’s appropriate for the current light conditions for maximum visibility.
So that’s a fairly in-depth look at some of the features you can consider when selecting a pair of racquetball goggles. But just like I mentioned in the beginning, the most important thing is to find a pair that’s the most comfortable for you, regardless of the price or features (more expensive is not necessarily better for you, in this regard). So you just need to experiment with a few until you find a pair that works perfectly for you.