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What Are Football Visors and What’s Their Purpose?

Last Updated: 11.08.22


Football is a sport that relies a lot on vision, and athletes need a clear view to scan for running lanes, open receivers, and the ball carrier. Installing a visor on a football helmet is a sound way of protecting your eyesight, and in our recent post, you can find all the useful information about this essential accessory.


How does the football visor work?

Before we can talk about the visor, let’s take a short moment to look at the helmet. The football helmet is the protective gear that covers the head of the player, and it is usually constructed with a polycarbonate shell, and it has a facemask and a chin strap so that it can protect the entire face.

The helmet and the visor work together very well since the visor attaches to the facemask part of the helmet to protect the eyes. Visors aren’t required, and some teams won’t allow them unless the player has a medical need for one. However, they are an excellent purchase since they provide protection, improved vision, expression, and more.

Just as the helmet, most visors on the market are made of polycarbonate since this material is light yet durable enough to handle impacts without breaking. A visor needs to be durable since its primary function is to protect the wearer from debris, flying dirt, player’s fingers, foot strikes, and other objects that could injure the eye.

With visors, the shape is one of the most important aspects to consider, and there are two primary shapes available on the market: the two-prong and the three-prong visor. Two-prong visors are generally more versatile since they are compatible with different kinds of helmets, and they won’t distort your vision as much.

Three-prong style visors, on the other hand, provide much better protection for the eyes and have a more secure fit. However, they can distort your vision.

Compared to the other parts of a football player’s uniform, visors are still relatively new since players began wearing them in the mid-1980s. At first, they were used mainly by players who were recovering from an eye injury.

There are players to this day that still use a visor temporarily to prevent more damage from occurring to an already existing injury. However, many players wear visors permanently to prevent injuries from occurring in the first place.

These days, visors have become very common, and players use them not just to prevent injuries but also to reduce glare, prevent other players from reading potential next moves, or just to look cool.


What’s their purpose?

There are many reasons as to why football players wear visors, but their primary purpose is to protect the wearer from suffering injuries to the eyes. Even the most basic visor does a very good job of protecting the eyes from blows and debris.

According to recent studies, visors can handle an impact of around 650 pounds of force. This means that they are more than capable of sustaining heavy blows from a kick without snapping in half.

Another reason why players wear visors is that they have the ability to improve vision, especially when the ball gets lost in the overhead lights or the sun since the visor can operate as sunglasses. Tinted visors can improve the vision of the wearer when looking into bright lights. They can also benefit players who have light sensitivities.

A tinted visor can also be used as a strategic accessory since it can prevent the other team from seeing your eyes and reading your next moves. However, this can turn into a safety risk if a player ever gets knocked down or injured since the visor can prevent the person giving the first aid from properly assessing the player’s condition.

What’s more, athletes who don’t have perfect vision can get a prescription football visor that allows them to see properly without having to use contact lenses, corrective lenses, or glasses. This provides a huge advantage since unlike glasses or contact lenses, the visor is not likely to fall in the middle of a rough play.

Visors can also be used as a means for players to express themselves since there are currently plenty of models available on the market that come in different colors and patterns. The visor can be the one part of a player’s uniform that can set him apart from the rest of the players.

Some football players will further personalize their visors by adding stickers which help set them apart for the audience and get the opponent intimidated. However, it is worth noting that all the major leagues have strict rules about what types of visors can be worn, and some teams will only allow them to be used by players who have a medical need for one.


Types of football visors

Visors are available in different colors, and it is up to each player to decide which one is the better fit for his or her needs. There are four primary types of visors to choose from, and these are clear or transparent, tinted or polarized, and colored.

Clear or transparent visors are the most popular type, and this is the one that most leagues will recommend. They are made from a clear material that will give the player a clear view of the field, and they add an extra layer of protection to the eyes. They don’t provide any extra advantage other than that.

Tinted or polarized visors are designed to protect the wearer from the damaging effects of sunlight. They help players see what’s going down on the field clearly, even on the sunniest days, since tinted visors prevent glares of sunlight from becoming a distraction.

Polarized visors are available in 20, 45, and 60 percent variants that can block different UVC, UVA, and UVB rays. Some players choose to use tinted visors simply because they want to prevent the other team from seeing where they are looking.

Lastly, colored visors, as the name suggests, are visors that are available in just about any color one can imagine. They help players stand out, but they are not advisable since very few leagues allow them.

Before making a purchase, you need to take the time to read the standard requirements of the league you plan to play in since you may find that not all of the visors available on the market will be permitted during the game.


How to install a football visor?

Football visors come with an attachment mechanism that uses two or three clips. Visors with two clips will fit most helmets while 3-clip visors will require a football helmet that comes with three mounting points.

As long as you’ve made sure that the visor you’ve purchased can fit your helmet and facemask style, the installation process is fairly simple. It shouldn’t take more than five minutes, and it requires only three items: the helmet, the visor, and a Phillips-head screwdriver.

Start by removing the protective film on the visor from both sides. Next, locate the clips at the bottom of the visor and remove them so that you can slide it properly under the facemask. You’ll then need to take the screwdriver and loosen the top screws of the facemask so that the visor can slide all the way into place.

Now you can take the visor clips and screw them onto the facemask so that the visor can be secured in place without the risk of it moving around when you’re out in the field. This is also the time to retighten the top screw on the facemask.

Now you can try the helmet with the visor on to see if it sits comfortably under the facemask and if it impacts your vision in any way. Keep in mind that a visor is designed to enhance your experience, and if you feel that it is impractical, uncomfortable, or that it hinders you in any way, this is a sign that you’ll need to remove it and go look for a better one.

All things considered, a football visor is an excellent accessory to bring with you on the field since it is affordable, easy to install, and it can protect your eyes from defenders, debris, and bad weather. With so many models available to choose from, it is also easy to find the one that will allow you to play with more confidence.



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