Everyone knows that when it comes to sunglasses Oakleys are quite the definitive brand. They are big on the sports and performance scene, provide all sorts of frames, lenses and coatings, and other gear to keep you visually at an advantage. Mind you they are not the only brand on the international scene (Rudy Project, Smith Optics, Tifosi, Julbo, Ryder, Bliz, Kaenon, and so on) but they do manage a good balance between performance and commercially popular. Also, they are the only ones you will find in India and their range is not at all lacking so you’d be fine with these.
But, like performance sunglasses, they aren’t cheap. What else would you expect from a sunglass brand that delivers you functionality and practicality as also all the technical capabilities that you didn’t even know you can or should expect from sunglasses?!
Here are a few features (the ones I remember that is, for am too lazy to pull out the press kit, or even google it for that matter):
1. They are incredibly light and the rubber grips help keep them in place without any pinch even as you bob up and down. I have worn mine for a good few hours and never experienced any pain. A small dent on the nose (as also on the sides of your head) however is inevitable. And the marks on the sides of my head were only noticed in my case on account of my bald head.
2. The water-repellent lenses keep sweat at bay and even when you a few drops do splatter on them, they disperse quickly without smudging. I do hope this coating doesn’t come off easily.
3. Small vents on the sides help with
air-flow so as to prevent fogging. The general aerodynamic design as it helps in this regard and although you won’t feel any special draft hitting you through the tiny slits on the lenses, just know that they are doing their job.
4. The polarised lenses are great and came in extremely handy when running in white deserts which stretched on for miles in every direction. With no mirages to distract, and cutting out all the glare off the surface, they helped in the, pun intended, long run.
5. Oh, the best part, the lens is one contiguous piece of plastic (I know, that didn’t sound very complementary but praise and prose aside…) and it can be removed very easily with a simple Switchlock® pull, click, and lock mechanism. You can replace this with another lens which comfortably snaps into place. Why would you need to do that? Well maybe not in the middle of a race but say if conditions were to turn, on the same run or on two separate occasions, all it would take is a simple manoeuvre to switch from a dark shade to a light tint lens, something that is more suited for the time of day and lighting conditions.
6. The half-rim design supposedly provides an unobstructed view on the lower half but I don’t know how pertinent or useful that might be. So far I have used normal glares and glasses and any stumbles that I have had are nowhere more frequent that one may attribute to my general clumsiness.
7. The advantage of the half rim that I can easily acknowledge is that you can have shape options for the bottom half. So you have Path® and Pitch® where the former is a slightly leaner cut whereas the latter provides more umbrage.
8. HDO® or High Density Optics is how Oakley defines their line of lenses which provide the best of their engineering prowess (clarity, impact resistance, et al) in one transparent (OK, translucent) piece of plastic.
I would love to get my hands on the photochromic lens which would be a great addition to the pair I already have. But choice is always consuming so for now, I think I will manage just fine with the set I already have.
Going ahead, it would be fun to see if they can create more frame shapes that can take these lenses or, alternatively, do something that can make this rather sporty pair convert into something more conducive for urban wear. Now that would be straddling it all. It also goes to show that no matter how intense and serious a brand gets with its product, we the lazy consumers will still expect more.
PS. I really enjoyed putting in all the ® throughout this piece. To use current parlance; it was definitely “trending” on my mind.