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Oakley Sunglasses Complete Guide-Review (Polarized, Iridium, Sports, Active, Lifestyle)

Updated on January 6, 2015

Oakley Sunglasses

During the last three decades Oakley sunglasses became inseparably associated with sports, extreme sports, and athletes who excel at these disciplines. In fact, the growth in popularity of both coincides historically.

While the company offers several fashion and casual models, and markets its own apparel and accessories, it is the selection of aggressively defined, highly original in appearance, and occasionally simply shocking sunglasses that form its product core.

Perhaps the most significant quality of Oakley sunglasses – an underlying quality that can be traced in their vast majority – is their ability to look cool and project confidence in an inherent, effortless manner. It's all been built in, so it seems.

Historically...

As latest material technology and engineering innovations allowed to develop more durable&reliable sports gear – bicycles, snowboards, skateboards, footwear – taking athletes to new levels of hazards and risks, the demand for specialized guarding eyewear grew more apparent.

Oakley used their existing expertise to launch collections of sunglasses that broke with tradition in terms of both design and technology, and that matched, and even outmatched those upgraded implements.

In many ways, the brand shot ahead of the rest (especially direct competition), and became a leader, and an example of application of advanced research and manufacture.

Designs/Activities

Oakley's creative, and occasionally unbridled approach to design gives the company a significant advantage over its competitors, especially in the sphere of sports and athletes' sunglasses. Instead of traditionally contoured oval, square, and round lenses, Oakley shades will often exhibit very complex, almost liquid shapes.

Brand designers don't shun places where ergonomics and the technology of comfort lead them – even if they appear counter-intuitive at first. Eventually, this bold, innovative, and uncompromising attitude gave Oakley the final boost to the very top of popularity Everest.

The company divides its sun protective eyewear according to three main categories: sport, active, and lifestyle. These include women's selection, which also offers several dedicated fashion lines aimed to rival Ray Ban, Prada, Versace, Armani, and other American and European names.

Today's it's the more intense, sports variations that enjoy the most recognition by customers across the globe – but that may change in the future, as Oakley continue to develop their prescription, footwear and bags&backpacks departments.

Technology/Materials

Oakley incorporate a wide range of lens and frame enhancements that span the fields of optics, advanced materials, and ergonomic design. HDO (high definition optics) sets the standard for clarity and sharpness of vision; polarized shades (polarization blended, and not in the form of coating) filter glare; photochromic lenses actively react to the level of light; and hydrophobic spectacles repel alien fluids. Geometrically optimized and structurally strong frames constitute a reliable basis that binds everything together into a mean pair of sunglasses.

Watches

Oakley watches comprise several collections created in the spirit of the most avant-guard eyewear the company offers. TimeBomb, Warrant, Minute Machine, Blade, Holeshot, Judge and Crankcase timepieces contain Swiss Quartz movements and demonstrate unorthodox cases, dials, and bracelets – clearly made by a company that's not inhibited by watchmaking traditions.

Collections

Sport

  • Radar eyewear fuses Oakley's ergonomic frame and lens architecture with latest water repelling technology (Hydrophobic) and high-definition optics. Aggressive, attacking design that's also flexible, allowing to change the nosepieces and other parts for personalization. Coming in three variations, Path, Pitch, and Range, this is the ultimate Oakley (one of such, in any way).

  • Jawbone sunglasses, designed for racing, feature a mechanism that allows to unlock the frame and change the lenses – without affecting the integrity of the structure, or the optics. Includes a specially a constructed suspension system, HDO, polarized, hydrophobic, and photochromic utilities.

  • Flak Jacket is a classic Oakley design that combines semi-rimless frames with color matching lenses – silver, plasma, iridium, and black. Separate models utilize carbon fiber, lending the spectacles extra durability; complex shaped temples with three point fit set-up.

  • Half Jacket presents a rare calm oval lens configuration (standard variation) – a surprisingly appropriate layout for a pair of Golf/Tennis sunglasses (worn by Ian Poulter and Sam Stosur). The frame offsets the optics with fluid aerodynamics. Dual-lens (interchangeable) technology.

  • M Frame: another Oakley classic, worn by Lance Armstrong himself, tests everything positive on testosterone levels – ultra-sharp triangular lenses that seem more like a weapon than a vision accessory. Comes in various of shapes and equipped with a range of technologies.

Active

  • Straight Jacket is more similar to Jawbone than to its Sport Jacket relatives. Quite reserved in black and grey versions, becomes a little crazy in Red Iridium. Stands out for its thick, strong frame; available in Asian Fit, and dedicated Ducati line.

  • Fives sunglasses tone down the intensity levels while keeping the overall focussed template. Thinner, and in some models elegant earpieces reveal the more relaxed character of these shades; includes junior items(XS), and is prescription friendly.

  • Monster dog (and pup) spectacles resemble Straight Jacket, but display a more muscular, sculptured frame the temples of which remind of stone age primitive tools. A powerful, uncompromising, and even angry look – another typical Oakley.

  • Juliet uses the strength and flexibility of titanium to build a thinner frame that can rival its more massive counterparts for durability and stress resistance. Technologically loaded, this eyewear blends well in urban environment, effectively becoming a two-purpose item.

  • Whisker enter the territory of sports-casual sunglasses (introduced by Juliet): masculine, yet suit (or matrix type of coat) intended, these shades rely on refined charisma rather than raw power of the sports models. Interesting Ray Ban analogs exist.

  • Wire collections, Square and Half 2.0, elaborate on the megapolis motifs evident in Juliet and Whisker: slender earpieces, quietly delineated square and rectangular lenses, ultra-light frames, and cool&neutral colors. Standard, polarized and fishing specific.


Lifestyle

  • Oil Rig exhibits a conceptual design reminiscent of goggles and fashion wraparound sunglasses at the same time. Complex frame architecture and lens manufacture, supported by trademark Oakley utilities, create a futuristic, expressive design.

  • Hijinx: eclectic eyewear that comfortably combines sports, casual, and fashion elements – each of which becomes prominent depending on the coloration. A more casual alternative to the Active Straight Jacket and Fives.

  • Gascan sunglasses repeat the Oil Rig layout but in a format that's less avant-guarde and friendlier to a wider range of settings – casual, sports, and dressy (includes tortoise version). Another collection where Oakley adapt their sports traits into a more universal aesthetic.


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