Can football players wear glasses?

At the professional level football players are not able to wear glasses. Instead these players will wear goggles or contact lenses. Glasses present too big a risk of injury which is why most leagues do not allow them.

At the youth level, some leagues may allow players to wear glasses under their helmets. But if the referee determines this is presenting a danger for the player they may ask them to take them off.

To learn about other equipment football players wear see our guide to wearing eye black in football or if most players wear jocks while they play.

Youth football players that wear glasses may also wonder if they can play football with braces.

Why do players wear goggles?

You may be wondering how goggles are safe to wear in sports but glasses are not. Below are some of the main reasons why most sports leagues allow for goggles to be worn.

Durable frame

One of the main reasons that goggles are allowed in sports is due to the durability of their frame.

Traditional glasses are not built to withstand the impacts of a football game. This can lead to the glasses breaking causing a potential risk for the player.

With sports goggles, the frames are built to withstand these impacts and will not break.

The lenses as well as the frame will not be broken by any sort of contact while wearing a football helmet.

Football has shown they will allow extra equipment onto the field as long as it can isn’t a danger and can withstand the damage of the game. A great example of this is fanny packs often worn by quarterbacks.

Fastened to head securely

Another reason goggles are safer than glasses is because of the straps used. Glasses feature arms which rest on your ears. While wearing a football helmet this is not going to stay secure.

Most sports goggles feature an elastic band material that keeps them tight to your head.

Compatability with helmet

The arms of regular glasses will often cause issues when wearing a football helmet. Helmets are meant to be tight to your head making it hard for the arms of the glasses to fit.

This can be uncomfortable for the player and can damage the glasses themselves. With the elastic band, sports goggles are designed with helmets in mind.

The band fits comfortably under the helmet as they were designed for this purpose.

Tinting options

On top of the safety concerns, some leagues also allow players to have tinting in their goggles. Most leagues banned tinting of visors as they considered this an unfair advantage.

While wearing sports goggles tinting can help with vision if you tend to play in sunny games. This can give you an advantage other players don’t have.

Alternative options to glasses or goggles

Though many players choose to wear goggles under their helmets there are several other options as well.


Contacts are one of the most common solutions to not wearing glasses in football. The main issue with wearing contacts in football is that on occasion they will fall out while you play.

Von Miller stated his contacts will fall out once every few games. When this happens Miller will go to the sideline and get it put back in from a team employee.

Contacts are a great option because they allow you to see normally without having to wear anything on your face. If you do not mind picking up your contacts every once and a while this can be a great option.

Lasik Surgery

Another way that players avoid wearing glasses in football is by getting Lasik surgery. This surgery corrects the eyesight of the player and allows them to see correctly.

This surgery does carry some risk but can be a permanent solution for some players. There are several examples of NFL players that underwent this surgery in order to not wear contacts or glasses in football.

If you enjoyed this article on NFL football players wearing glasses check our guides to why players tape their ankles or why players have tape on their arms.

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