Airsoft is safe when played with proper protective gear. Most airsoft guns on the market are usually below 350 ft/s (110 m/s), but projectiles expelled from any type of airsoft gun can travel as slow as 65 ft/s (20 m/s) to more than 700 ft/s (210 m/s) and are capable of breaking skin at 350–400 ft/s (110–120 m/s). For example, skirmish play in the United Kingdom has a maximum of 350 ft/s, with some airsoft locations having a limit as low as 290 ft/s.
If under 300 ft/s (91 m/s), the hit would have to be within a short range. Blood can be drawn, but injuries that do occur are predominantly superficial. Full-seal protective eyewear (goggles or glasses) is widely considered the minimum protection for airsoft players, as the eyes may be injured by any type of impact. The least amount of protection a player should seek will meet or exceed ANSI/ISEA Z87.1 standards, which indicates the eyewear is rated for ballistic strikes. Mesh eyewear has also seen some limited use by players due to low cost and its inability to fog, although it has drawn some criticism for its non-impact rated construction and vulnerability to debris. A face mask (like that used for paintball) is recommended to protect eyes and teeth. Metallic mesh masks and mouth guards have recently seen popular use.