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5 Best Eye Protection Brands for Shooting
5 Best Eye Protection Brands for Shooting
by Paula Li,

5 Best Eye Protection Brands for Shooting

In the world of shooting sports, the importance of eye protection cannot be overstated. Not only does it safeguard one of the most vital senses, but it also enhances the shooting experience by providing clear vision and comfort. Among the myriad options available, five brands stand out for their commitment to quality, safety, and innovation: Wiley X, Smith Optics, ESS (Eye Safety Systems), Oakley, and Gatorz. Here’s why these brands are considered the best in the market for shooting eye protection.

 STNGR Ballistic Sunglasses

How We Chose

Before we dive into that list, let me share with you how we picked. 

The selection of the 5 best brands for shooting eye protection was based on a comprehensive analysis of expert reviews, product testing outcomes, and consumer feedback across reputable sources. Here's an overview of the criteria used in the selection process:

  1. Compliance with Safety Standards: Preference was given to brands that meet or exceed established safety standards for impact resistance and eye protection, such as ANSI Z87.1 and MIL-PRF-32432.

  2. Quality and Durability: The construction materials of the glasses were considered, with higher marks for brands using durable, high-quality materials like polycarbonate lenses and aerospace-grade aluminum frames.

  3. Comfort and Ergonomic Design: Brands offering adjustable features, lightweight designs, and comfortable fits were rated highly, as comfort is crucial for extended wear.

  4. Advanced Lens Technology: The optical clarity, UV protection, anti-fog properties, and the versatility of the lenses played a significant role in the selection process.

  5. Customer and Expert Reviews: Brands were also chosen based on positive feedback from users and recommendations from reputable publications and professionals in the field.

  6. Innovative Features: Brands that demonstrated innovation in design and functionality, enhancing the shooting experience, were included.

This approach ensured that the selected brands represent the best in the market, offering a combination of safety, quality, comfort, and innovation.

The Best Eye Protection Brands

So now that you know what kind of criteria we used to pick the best brands, here are our top picks based on all that was mentioned above.

Wiley X

Wiley X Logo

Wiley X is synonymous with durability and protection. Their shooting glasses are designed to meet stringent safety standards, including ANSI Z87.1 and MIL-PRF-32432, ensuring your eyes are shielded from high-velocity impacts​​. What sets Wiley X apart is their attention to comfort and style, making their glasses suitable for all-day wear, both on and off the range. Additionally, Wiley X offers prescription lens options, catering to shooters who require vision correction without compromising on safety or clarity.

Smith Optics

Smith Optics Logo

Smith Optics excels in innovation with their PivLock interchangeable lens system, allowing shooters to easily swap lenses to match the lighting conditions​​. This flexibility is a boon for shooters who move between indoor ranges and outdoor settings. Smith’s commitment to quality is evident in their use of high-grade materials, ensuring that their glasses are not only safe but also comfortable, with features like thin alloy frames and adjustable nose pieces that make them a favorite among discerning shooters.

ESS (Eye Safety Systems)

Ess logo

A subsidiary of Oakley, ESS is renowned for its military-grade eye protection. Their Crossbow Suppressor model is particularly lauded for its compatibility with earmuffs, featuring ultra-thin arms to minimize interference and ensure comfort during extended use​​​​. ESS glasses are built to withstand the rigors of shooting sports and tactical applications, offering unparalleled protection without sacrificing visual clarity or comfort.


Oakley Logo

Oakley’s reputation in the realm of ballistic glasses is unmatched. Their M Frame series is a testament to the brand’s dedication to providing top-tier protection, with lenses made from Plutonite that offer clear, true-to-life vision while protecting against fogging and high-speed impacts​​. Oakley’s commitment to innovation is also evident in their SI program, which provides service members with access to their premium products at discounted rates, making elite-level protection more accessible.


Gatorz Eyewear Logo

Gatorz stands out for its use of aerospace-grade aluminum in constructing the frames of their Magnum series, ensuring that their glasses are not just protective but also exceptionally durable​​. The ability to adjust the frame for a perfect fit, combined with a selection of lenses designed to meet ballistic protection standards, positions Gatorz as a premium choice for shooters who demand the best in terms of both safety and style.

ShellShock Protection's Aspirations

At ShellShock Protection, we're aspire to be recognized among the elite brands in the industry. With a commitment to excellence, ShellShock is dedicated to ensuring that every pair of eye protection not only meets but exceeds the rigorous standards for shooting eye protection. ShellShock will be checking all the criteria boxes for safety, durability, comfort, and functionality. 

Deflectors Eye Protection by ShellShock

This dedication to quality and performance is what ShellShock hopes will distinguish it as a top-tier brand in the realm of shooting eye protection, offering unparalleled safety and clarity to enthusiasts and professionals alike.

Check out our collection of eye protection for details on the level of protection we offer. More is set to be added by March 2024 so stay tuned and subscribe to our mailing list for launch alerts.

Final Thoughts

In conclusion, these five brands represent the pinnacle of shooting eye protection, each bringing unique strengths to the table. Whether it’s the rugged durability of Wiley X, the innovative lens systems of Smith Optics, the military-grade precision of ESS, the unparalleled clarity of Oakley, or the premium craftsmanship of Gatorz, shooters can trust these brands to provide exceptional protection and enhance their shooting experience.


1. What makes a shooting eye protection brand stand out?

A brand stands out based on its commitment to safety, quality, and innovation. Key factors include compliance with safety standards like ANSI Z87.1 for impact resistance, offering a range of lens options for different lighting conditions, and features such as anti-fog, scratch resistance, and UV protection. A great brand also listens to customer feedback to continuously improve its products.

2. How do I choose the right shooting eye protection brand for my needs?

Consider the type of shooting activities you engage in most frequently and select a brand that specializes in products catering to those conditions. Look for brands that offer glasses with interchangeable lenses, comfortable fit, and robust construction. Reading reviews and recommendations from experienced shooters and instructors can also guide you to brands with a strong reputation for quality and reliability.

3. Are expensive shooting eye protection brands always better?

Not necessarily. While price can be an indicator of quality materials and advanced features, there are many affordable options that do not compromise on safety or comfort. Focus on the safety ratings and features of the eye protection rather than the brand name or price alone. Sometimes, mid-range brands offer the best balance between quality, performance, and cost.



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