What Should I Consider When Buying Aviator Goggles?

Tess C. Taylor

Aviator goggles are a style of protective eyewear that have been around since the late 1800’s when they were introduced as aviation equipment to pilots, then later to auto drivers and bicyclists in France. Aviator goggles feature large protective glass or plastic clear lenses that are housed in cushioned frames made of leather, metal or plastic. Aviator goggles also include a head-strap which fastens the goggles to the head of the wearer.

Aviator goggles were introduced in the late1800s and were originally used by pilots.
Aviator goggles were introduced in the late1800s and were originally used by pilots.

Aviator goggles are popular with outdoor recreation and transportation enthusiasts like motorcyclists, bicyclists, convertible car drivers and action sports players. The unique style of aviator goggles serves to protect the eyes of the wearer from dirt and debris which can be a hazard while operating a moving vehicle or being exposed to the elements. Aviator goggles also protect the wearer when engaging in outdoor recreation like sports.

Helicopter pilots commonly wear aviator goggles.
Helicopter pilots commonly wear aviator goggles.

Over the years, aviator goggles have been modified and improved to meet the needs of wearers. Features such as shatter-proof plastic lenses, prescription lenses, mirrored lenses, brightly colored parts and rubber nose guards have been added. Aviator goggles come in many shapes and sizes to fit different types of wearers. However, the classic style and function of aviator goggles endures.

Next to helmets, aviator goggles are important pilot headgear as the glass helps the pilot keep his vision clear and focused. Due to being held in place by sturdy straps, the goggles stay in place and prevent loss of eyesight due to flying debris, sweat or loose equipment. Many pilots choose aviators goggles that come in tinted, mirrored styles or prescription eyewear for use when in flight.

Aviator goggles are often worn by members of the military and police departments. Eyewear fashioned in the goggle style is valued for durability and protection on the job. The goggles worn by military and police are made to protect eyes from damage caused by shrapnel from fire and chemicals used in combat.

Aviator goggles have become part of the popular youth culture and are featured in many illustrations, comic books and animated movies. Aviator goggles are a feature often seen on characters in the popular Steampunk genre due to the unique look which fits in well with the industrial themes presented in this artistic medium.

The reason why aviator goggles are a popular choice for active professionals and recreational enthusiasts is because they are sturdy, shatter-resistant and provide much needed eye protection. Aviator goggles are a classic eyewear choice that have had a long successful history and will continue to be used for many years to come.

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Discussion Comments


I bought a set of two aviator goggles for when I ride my motorcycle. I drove across two states to see my family with them and they were great. They had UV protection and kept any dirt (or bugs) out of my eyes.


@bear78-- Like the article said, aviator goggles were first made to provide protection from wind, dirt and debris. While other supports goggles provide the same protection, the goal may be protection from the sun's rays, which is the case with skiing goggles for example. The aviator goggles used by sportsmen like cyclists also provide protection from debris, as well as from the sun with tinted plastic. This is not the case with all aviator goggles though. Some are just clear.

So there are different types out there for different uses. It's a good idea to read up on the various properties of the product before selecting one.


When people think of aviator goggles, they usually think of the first style that pilots used. Now, aviator goggles look a lot different. Most look like standard sports goggles.

My brother asked me to buy aviator goggles for him and I was surprised to see that most of the ones on sale looked much like snow sports goggles, like skiing goggles. I guess the basic idea behind all protective goggles are the same.

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