Practicing Archery With Glasses: What You Need To Know


My wife and I practice archery in our backyard quite frequently, and she wears glasses. Although the glasses aren’t stopping her from practicing archery, there are useful tips and tricks we’ve learned.

Can you practice archery with glasses? Yes, you can practice archery while wearing your normal every day glasses. Some archers use optimized shooting glasses specially made for archery practice, while other archers have sights on their bow that work with their everyday glasses.

You will be perfectly fine shooting with your normal everyday glasses, but there are some helpful tips and tricks that will eliminate any disadvantage glasses may give you.

Archery With Your Regular Glasses

Even though you can practice archery with your regular glasses, you may notice some things that cause you to have a disadvantage. The first, most noticeable disadvantage, is that the glasses get in the way when aiming your bow.

Most archers will place their face close to the bow string and their hand as they aim. Where their hand touches their face, is called the anchor point. Try changing your anchor point to keep your glasses from interfering. You may also find luck in simply wearing a smaller pair of glasses.

Many archers who wear glasses will recommend having a strap on your glasses to prevent them from falling off. If you plan on doing this, consider getting a tight elastic strap to hold the glasses closer to your face and out of the way.

If you can, set the bridge on your glasses so they sit higher on your nose. You may notice that’s all you needed to do to keep the glasses out of your way. If you do adjust the bridge of your glasses, try to shoot with them set to that location every time you use a bow. This will establish consistency across your archery practices.

Tips:

  • Wear a tight glasses strap
  • Try smaller glasses
  • Define your anchor point with glasses on
  • Wear the same type of glasses every time you shoot
  • Set glasses high up on your nose

Once you have your anchor point and glasses set right for you to shoot, try your best not to change it. Practice makes perfect, and if you’re constantly changing up your approach, it can be harder to get better. I don’t wear prescription glasses myself, but I wear sunglasses or safety glasses every time I shoot.

Here’s a video of one of the most accurate professional archers and how his glasses play into his shots. This video is proof that wearing glasses won’t stop you from becoming a great archer.

Archery With Optimized Shooting Glasses

You can always just go to your optometrist and have a second pair of glasses made that you only use for archery. This is really the best way to go about this if you want to make absolutely sure your glasses aren’t causing you a disadvantage.

If you can, bring in some shooting gear with you to the optometrist, leave the arrows at home. This might not make sense, and some optometrist offices won’t allow you to do this. That’s ok, you can still do this without your archery gear.

Ideally, you would stand with your bow and the optometrist will measure with your lenses where the aiming is taking place. They can then offset the optical focus center on a new pair of glasses to match up perfectly with your aim. I would call ahead and make sure your optometrist can accommodate you.

The only issue is that these new glasses will really only be useful for archery practice. With the optical focus different from your daily glasses, you will most likely notice blur when doing your other everyday activities.

Archery With Progressive Lenses

I just wanted to note that progressive lenses may be a good option, but many people have complaints about them for archery shooting. The downside of progressive lenses is that the prescription is only in front of your vision when looking forward.

Depending on how you hold and aim a bow, this could be a problem. Just keep that in mind when deciding which approach you plan on taking. Maybe single vision lenses will work better for your situation.

Pair A Bow Scope With Glasses

Many archers will use an additional bow scope for aiming. These can be a great way to overcome any disadvantage your glasses may cause you. Consider, getting a larger peep sight for your bow if you are struggling with the stock peep sight.

They make something called a clarifier. A clarifier is typically used in tandem with a bow scope, but can be a great way to help clarify the sight picture for archers struggling to see with glasses.

You may notice that your glasses will help sharpen the target while you aim, but the sight pins seem to be fuzzy. A verifier will solve that for you. A verifier is a small lens that you insert into your peep sight to clear up any fuzziness you’re seeing with the sight pins.

Stop Your Glasses From Fogging Up

Glasses fogging up is one of the major drawbacks of practicing archery with glasses. This will happen with sunglasses and safety glasses as well, so we don’t really consider it a disadvantage. But it’s definitely an issue when shooting.

A cool method I just learned about is using shaving cream to prevent glasses fog. You just wash your glasses with some shaving cream and they will fog up a lot less often. I started doing this with my sunglasses now as well.

The most popular options is to use an anti-fog wipe or some anti-fog spray. Just spray on your glasses and wipe away with a cloth. This is a must have when using goggles, but sometimes with glasses, you can have them away from your face far enough that they will never fog up in the first place.

Did You Know?

Archery can actually help improve your eyesight. Check out this article I wrote that explains some archery exercises you can do to Improve Your Eyesight With Archery. The aiming exercises I put together in that article mimic eye exercises given to patients from their eye doctor.

Archery With Contact Lenses

If you have contact lenses they can be a great way to avoid these issues all together. But even then, I would recommend wearing sunglasses or safety glasses when you shoot anyway. So for us, this isn’t such a big problem solver.

This is however, an excellent option for someone having trouble with their anchor point because their glasses are getting in the way. If you have a pair of sunglasses or safety glasses that don’t obstruct your anchor point, then wear contacts and sunglasses.

Contacts can get pricey over time, trust me I know, our bank account takes a hit every year when we order them. But if you only use them for archery practice, you can really extend their life, and save some money too.

Archery After Lasik Eye Surgery

Lasik eye surgery has grown in popularity over the years, and the prices have come down quite a bit too. This might just be the push you need to get the surgery and say goodbye to glasses all together. Keep in mind, there is a recovery period after the surgery, so you won’t be able to shoot again right away.

Even if you get the lasik eye surgery, you should still wear sunglasses or safety glasses when practicing archery. You’re holding a bow string under great tension really close to your eyes. That’s enough for me to wear eye protection.

Archery Sunglasses

For the most part, archery is done outside. There are indoor ranges that can be really fun to shoot at. But most archers will practice outside on a sunny day most of the time. Sunglasses are a great way to get the eye protection you need, but also keep the sun from interfering with your shot.

If you can find a good pair of sunglasses to shoot with that have some sort of UV polorizing technology, you will notice clearer sight picture and increased accuracy. Some of the sunglasses have a contrast boosting feature built in which help highlight your bow sights better.

Archery Eye Protection

Many archery competitions require some form of eye protection or glasses to be worn. Glasses, even prescription glasses, count as eye protection in most cases. I would say the danger is pretty minimal if you’re doing things right. But even when we’re just shooting in our backyard, I’m always wearing a pair of sunglasses.

They do make archery goggles to wear while shooting. I’ve never personally tried this, but I have seen some professional archers using some really nice looking goggles.

The safety glasses aren’t meant to stop an arrow from going into your eye, that’s why we have range rules. But they will help prevent dirt or debris that can throw off your shot and cause a dangerous situation.

Robert Sampson

I'm Robert Sampson and I live in Colorado where I spend a lot of time in the backyard with my family either grilling, playing games and sports, or working on a project to make our backyard a better place to be.

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