Buying Eye Protection

I know there are some tough guys out there who say, “I don’t need to wear safety glasses. They’re for wimps.” Well, I’d rather be a wimp who can see than be a tough guy who’s blind.

Eye injuries are no joke. And when you’re swinging training sticks up to 90 mph, it’s foolhardy to think you’re too good, fast, and skilled to get a hit in the eye. That’s why we always train with safety glasses once we bring out the training knives and sticks. Here’s a quick run down of what you need and where you can buy them.


This type of eye protection looks like your regular reading glasses or sunglasses but with shatter-resistant parts. They have two arms, two separate lenses, and a nose bridge of some sort. These come in the widest range of styles, from the most affordable to the ridiculous expensive. The most important thing is that they must have some sort of safety rating, such as ANSI Z87.1, ISEA Z87.1, MIL-PRF-31013, or MIL-DTL-43511D.


Here is a range of eye glasses that I recommend:

  • Howard Leight Vapor II ($9)
  • Peltor Sport SecureFit 400 three pack ($15): This is a good deal considering it comes with 3 glasses with clear, yellow, and black lenses for both indoor and outdoor training.
  • Wiley X Vapor ($60): Top quality glasses with three sets of lenses (clear, rust, and grey) that make it quite versatile for various activities.
  • ESS CDI Max sunglasses ($88): Expensive, but excellent. Comes with interchangeable clear and tinted lenses, so you can use these as heavy-duty sunglasses or indoor safety glasses.

SHIELDS:This type of eye protection is different in that the lens is a single piece. Why is this good? A single piece provides greater visibility, structural stability, and surface area of protection. It also aligns with the thinking that the fewer moving parts, the less chance of breakage. Again, the most important thing to look for in eye shields is that safety rating (e.g. ANSI Z87.1, MIL-DTL-43511D, etc.)


Here are some eye shields that I recommend:



This type of eye protection provides the greatest degree of protection and comfort … but usually the least level of aesthetics. (There’s always a tradeoff, right?) You’ll find variations in racquet sports, industrial use, and military gear. These goggles will usually have a full frame for protection, padded gaskets for comfort, and an elastic band of some sort that wraps around your head for retention. Don’t forget to look for that safety rating, such as ANSI Z87.1, MIL-DTL-43511D, etc


Here are some goggles that I recommend:


Don’t forget that you can always look for the eye protection that’s right for you at brick-and-mortar stores. Safety glasses are sold at big box stores, sporting good shops, and automotive chains, and even home improvement franchises. Here’s a list of where you can go in person:

  • Big 5
  • Autozone, O’Reilly’s
  • Lowe’s, Home Depot
  • Walmart, Target, etc.