In this article I’m going to name the best squash goggles that I’ve tried so far:
I’ll also cover the following topics below:
- Why you should wear squash goggles
- What are squash goggles
- What I know about options for “squash glasses“, including prescription squash goggles
- All the squash eyewear brands I’ve blogged about so far on Squash Source
- Some frequently-asked questions about squash eye protection
Best Squash Goggles
These are the best squash goggles I’ve tried so far.
Prince Pro Lite II
These have been a longtime favorite of mine.
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Buy (France): amazon.fr
Buy (UK): amazon.co.uk
They come in a few different colors:
I like these for a few reasons.
Most importantly, they do not fog up. I think this is partly due to the small vent holes at the top of the lenses.
These also feel a little larger than some of the other models I’ve tried, which suits my LARGE FACE. They have adjustable temples, which helps with the sizing. You only need to set them once, but it gives you a chance to customize the fit a little bit. I think that may also help minimize fogging. If goggles are too close to your face, that’s going to contribute to fogging.
Oh, and I also like the white and green vibe.
Here’s a quick video I did on these goggles:
Release year: 2021
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Buy (US): riaeyewear.com
RIA — pronounced RYE-uh — are the official eyewear partner of US Squash. They make an ultra-high-end frame that is manufactured in Italy. One of the founders is Chris Hanson, a multi-time US national champion.
Launching as they did in the Covid era, RIA started off making goggles for pickleball. That was called the Model One. They’ve just released Model 2, which comes in both indoor and outdoor models. The Model 2 Indoor is their first squash-specific product.
I purchased a pair of these to review and they’ve become my personal favorites. They are lightweight, the lenses are super clear, they do not fog up, and they are very comfortable. Here’s a video review I did:
Release year: 2019
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Buy (UK): amazon.co.uk
These Dunlop goggles are a staple for players around my squash courts. They come in a few different nice-looking color schemes, and Dunlop reliably keeps them in stock. I’ve played with these a ton.
While comfortable and good-looking, I sometimes have trouble with these goggles fogging up on me. It could be because they do not have vent holes in the lenses, like the Prince model, or maybe that they sit a little close to my face so there’s not enough airflow. Anyway, I have a couple pairs of these lying around and sometimes grab them in a pinch.
Here’s a video I did on these goggles:
Image via imaskusa.com
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Buy (Australia): ebay.com.au
Buy (Germany): dlsports.de
Buy (US): squashgear.com
The iMask is a completely different approach to squash goggles. It’s basically a large, wraparound face shield. It’s large enough that you can wear it over top of your normal glasses, like this:
A word of caution about that: US Squash’s goggles policy states that “For i-MASK users: Polycarbonate spectacle lenses should be used if spectacles are worn under protective eyewear.” I really don’t understand why that’s necessary, since the iMask itself would provide an outer shield of protection.
You can also just wear it as a regular pair of goggles. This is what Mostafa Asal did when he was a junior:
Anyway I’ve tested the iMask and it’s pleasant to use. Because the visor lens is so large, it doesn’t obstruct your view in any way. It also sits off your face a bit, allowing for better airflow. And it doesn’t fog up at all.
I found the iMask to be especially useful in the pandemic, when it was required to wear a face mask over your mouth while playing. Usually a face mask will cause ANY pair of goggles to fog up immediately. But the iMask was very resistant to fogging, even while wearing a face mask.
One last benefit of the iMask is in addition to protecting your eyes, it also protects your face a bit more that standard goggles, because of the size of the visor.
The downside of the iMask is it’s a bit bulky. It doesn’t feel heavy, it’s just… large.
Here’s a review I put together a while back on these:
Prince Scopa Slim
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I’ll throw one more into the mix here and that’s the Price Scopa Slim goggles. These are designed to fit smaller faces, so will work better for juniors or women/men looking for a narrower frame. I don’t have too much experience with junior-sized goggles but I happened to try these on the other day and they felt comfortable (even on my LARGE FACE). I’ve also got a roundup page for junior squash goggles if you want to see some more options.
Actually here’s one more for smaller faces. These were comfortable and fog-free, but just a little too small for me. I put this video together:
Should You Wear Squash Goggles?
Why Wear Squash Goggles?
Protect Your Eyes
I wear squash goggles to protect my eyes. Squash is played in close quarters and I don’t want a flying ball or racket to smash into my eye and potentially damage my eyesight. Personally, I know two guys who have permanent eye damage from squash.
Here’s how US Squash puts it:
The risk of eye injury in racquet sports such as squash is “high” according to the American Academies of Ophthalmology and Pediatrics, the American Optometric Association, and eye care professionals who have studied sports eye injuries. Fortunately, these injuries are almost totally preventable with appropriate protective equipment.–US Squash Protective Eyewear Policy
The pros don’t wear goggles, but I think that’s a mistake, because even the pros get hit in the face on occasion.
The guy in this photo is Jonathon Power, one of the greatest squash players of all time. He got whacked in the eye playing David Palmer — another one of the greats — in the semifinals of the World Open. The point is it doesn’t matter whether you are a beginner or a world number one: you’re still at risk of getting hit in the eye.
Here’s a quote from a lengthy James Zug piece about squash goggles:
If you play squash regularly, you have a one in four chance of getting hit in the eye.-Paul Vinger, ophthalmologist in Boston, who has been researching eye injuries for more than thirty years
Actually let me give you a second quote from that article:
I lost sight immediately and was rushed to the hospital with what they called an eight ball as my eye was completely full of blood. I was scheduled to get surgery as the pressure was mounting. First time I have ever had morphine, and I needed it, as I thought my head was going to explode.-Doug Lifford
Are we having fun yet?
There are differences of opinion on this though.
England Squash doesn’t seem quite so worried about it. They say:
While eye injuries are rare in squash and squash 57, England Squash strongly recommends the wearing of protective eyewear on court for all players and coaches.–England Squash Equipment Guide
Wait a sec: so US Squash says the risk of eye injury is “high”, but England Squash says eye injuries are “rare”?
And as for the pros, Greg Lobban makes the case that eye injuries amongst the top players are basically freak accidents.
Well, who ya gonna believe? I choose to wear the goggles. Worst case, I’ll be protected from a freak accident.
Follow the Rules
I consider myself lucky to be playing in the US, where squash goggles are usually mandatory, so it’s not considered “weird” to use them. Most squash facilities, squash leagues, and squash tournaments require players of all ages to wear protective eyewear on the court. Goggles are required at all US Squash-accredited events. I wish I could link directly to the US Squash guidelines but you have to click here and then click on “Protective Eyewear Policy”. According to US Squash, eyewear must meet something called the ASTM-F803 standard, and US Squash helpfully provides a printable list of approved eyewear.
I’m not saying everyone in the US is good about wearing goggles. A couple of my friends regularly flout the rules and don’t wear eyeguards.
Personally, I’ve played with goggles since I was a junior. At this point they don’t really bother me. I’d even go so far as to say it feels weird not to be wearing goggles these days. I’m used to them. For me, it’s an easy trade-off to play with them.
Outside the US and Canada, I believe wearing goggles is less common. That must make it tougher to wear goggles, because not many people want to be the ONE guy that’s wearing them. I give you permission to be that guy.
As for the UK, eyeguards are only required for junior players and when playing doubles, but “England Squash strongly recommends the wearing of protective eyewear on court”. The standard there is called British Standard BS7930.1 Squash.
What Are Squash Goggles?
Squash goggles are impact-resistant sports goggles that protect your eyes in the event you get hit with a squash racket or ball. The goggles must meet technical standards that may differ by country, but the basic idea is they can withstand high-velocity impacts without shattering.
There are four main things to consider when buying goggles:
Are they certified impact resistant?
This is the central point. To get sufficient eye protection, you need goggles with polycarbonate lenses. It’s OK to wear contact lenses as long as you wear polycarbonate lenses over them.
Each country has their own certification standard for squash eyewear safety, so check with your local squash governing body to find out the guidelines in your area. For example, in the US, I searched for “US Squash goggle requirements”. As mentioned above, the US requires goggles to meet something called the “ASTM-F803” standard (or better).
Note: regular eyeglasses and open eyeguards (with no lenses) are not safe enough to play squash with. If you wear prescription eyeglasses, you’ll need to purchase prescription squash goggles or wear squash goggles over your glasses.
How well do they resist fogging?
Some goggles give me a real problem with fogging. I don’t know if it’s because they sit too close to my face or what. But it’s important to find a pair that won’t fog up, because if you can’t see, you can’t hit the ball, and you’re going to end up taking the goggles off, which defeats the whole purpose.
How well do they fit?
Each pair of goggles is built slightly differently. Some are better for larger faces. Some are better for smaller faces. Some have adjustable temples and some don’t. Most brands have a model for juniors, which can be used for anyone with a smaller face.
How do they look?
Ah yes. This is a matter of personal taste. You might like the way a certain design looks, have a favorite color (I am partial to white), or have a preferred squash brand.
If you’re going to wear goggles, you want to look as cool as possible, so pick a model that you like.
Prescription Squash Goggles
All the models mentioned above are designed for eye protection but they are not “glasses” — they are meant for those with normal vision or anyone, like myself, who wears contact lenses for corrective vision and just needs the safety component on top.
But what if you need squash glasses, meaning certified impact-resistant goggles that also act as corrective lenses?
You best bet is to go to a local optician (i.e. anyplace that sells glasses) and ask for prescription sports glasses. The lenses should be impact-resistant to the standards of your local requirements, as discussed above.
My friend Peter plays with a pair of prescription squash goggles and the brand he uses are called Liberty RecSpecs. This is a brand I believe many opticians in the US sell.
You can also order these directly from the RecSpecs website.
Squash Goggles Over Glasses
You can also wear goggles over your regular prescription glasses. Here’s Hope Prockop doing that with the iMask:
There are a few other options, although they can be difficult to track down. This one is called the Karakal Overspec Pro:
I’ve got a page collecting the options I’ve seen for squash goggles over glasses.
Squash Eyewear Brands
Here are some brands of squash goggles I’ve posted about on Squash Source:
There’s also a separate page for junior squash goggles.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can you use regular safety goggles for squash?
The best goggles mentioned above are sport-specific safety goggles. Can you use regular safety goggles for squash?
There are many providers of safety goggles aimed at occupational safety, meaning they are meant for safety on construction sites or in settings with a danger of chemical splashes. The standard for those types of goggles in the United States is usually ANSI Z87.1, which is a standard for occupational protective eyewear. These products can be relatively inexpensive compared to sports goggles.
Obviously, wearing regular safety goggles would be WAY safer for your eyes than playing without goggles entirely. So in that sense, yes, wear them!
But there are also some reasons to upgrade to sport-grade squash goggles.
For one, they’re safer. Sports goggles that meet the ASTM F803 standard are subject to even stricter eligibility requirements than ANSI Z87.1. In fact:
The American Academy of Ophthalmology recently went as far as to call ANSI Z87.1 ‘not satisfactory’ for eye-injury risk sports, recommending the ASTM standard instead.–opticiantraining.com
Compliance with US Squash
As mentioned earlier in the article, US Squash sanctioned events require goggles to meet at least the ASTM F803 standard. I don’t believe regular safety goggles (meeting ANSI Z87.1) would qualify.
I have a hard time picturing anyone at US Squash “busting” you for wearing ANSI Z87.1 goggles, but if you want to be in full compliance with US Squash, just pay a little extra for sports goggles.
Squash-specific goggles may have other upsides, including a more comfortable nose piece, improved ventilation, adjustable temples, cooler designs, and better branding.
Got any more questions?
Leave a comment below!