Close physical contact make football a moderate risk sport for eye injuries. Goggles not only provide protection from injury, but can also be fit with your prescription in them. Look for the following when selecting the right type of goggle:
- Polycarbonate Lenses: This is the most important property of all protective goggles. Good polycarb is virtually unbreakable, and will sustain the impact of a ball or finger.
- Durable Frame Design: The frame must also be able to withstand the impact of a ball or finger. Therefore, a frame made out of polycarbon is the the best choice. Shields are becoming more popular for this sport, however, do not offer the best protection. (see coverage below).
- Coverage: The frame must cover the entire eye socket, not only the eyeball itself. Impact to any of the "soft" parts of the eye can cause serious damage. Look for a frame that sits closely to the face, as a finger can easily make its way through any gap. Shields can easily become dislodged so a finger can penetrate underneath. Be careful if choosing this option.
- Padding: The frame should have padding at the temple points and bridge points to "cushion the blow". Padding will absorb some of the shock to lessen the overall impact, and to assure the frame itself does not cause damage to the facial structures.
- Helmet Compatible: Since helmets are required in this sport, the frame should be designed to fit securely under a helmet. Temple pieces or a goggle specifically designed for helmet sports should be selected.
- Lens Color: A clear lens is the best for general purpose use. However, if you are playing in bright sunlight or have light sensitivity, a gray tinted lens can be used.
- Prescription Lenses: A goggle gives the widest field of view for the athlete. Shield must be fit with a prescription insert that fits behind the lens, and therefore, limits the periphery a little. Wrap frames also work for low prescriptions. In high prescriptions, wrapped styles will cause some distortion.