Oakley sunglasses: The brand, popular styles and the NFL partnership
These days, buying a quality, name-brand pair of sunglasses can cost a pretty penny. Besides the price tag, the color and style choices seem endless, which can make buying new sunglasses feel more like a daunting chore than a treat.
Oakley has sunglasses for just about every sports activity, which can be overwhelming when looking for a pair that meets your particular needs and preferences. Before you drop some serious cash on a pair of shades, it’s important to do the proper research to help you decide which Oakley sunglasses are right for you.
About the Oakley brand
Jim Jannard, the founder of Oakley, started the company in 1975 by selling hand grips for motocross and motorcycles out of his garage. He named the company after his dog, an English Setter named Oakley Anne (not to be confused with Buffalo Bill’s, Annie Oakley).
In 1980, Oakley created its first pair of goggles called The Oakley Original. They were designed for dirt biking and motocross, which gained the attention and recognition of people in the sports industry.
The O Frame and Pro Frame goggles followed the Original Oakleys. Jannard then created ski goggles using the O Frame design and began selling them in 1983.
From there, the brand developed their first pair of sunglasses — the Oakley Lite, shortly followed by the Factory Pilot Eyeshades — in 1984. The shades, which resembled the original ski goggle design and were made specifically for sports.
In 1985, a more classic frame called Oakley Frogskin was created to compete with Ray-Ban’s Wayfarer sunglasses.
Oakley went public in 1995 and was quickly a tremendous success. The company relies heavily on research and development to create sunglasses that visually enhance sports performance. Over time, Oakley has expanded its brand to include clothing, shoes and accessories.
Acquired by Luxottica in 2007, Oakley continues to be one of the top sports performance brands in the world. Offering the spectrum of sunglasses — from sporty goggles to everyday shades to elegant cat-eye frames — the brand caters to those who want reliability, quality protection and style.
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Oakley sunglasses for men
If you’re new to the Oakley brand and are unsure where to start, here are the most popular sunglass styles for men:
If you’re looking for a simple pair of timeless frames that get the job done, look no further. Holbrook frames are an Oakley staple that combine classic design with a modern flair.
The Lightweight O Matter frame material ensures comfort and wearability without compromising durability. You can install Holbrooks with standard, PRIZM and PRIZM polarized lenses, as well as prescription lenses.
Flak 2.0 XL
Flak 2.0 XL sunglasses feature utilitarian frames that work as a second skin. Enhanced lens coverage protects the eyes while High Definition Optics reach every bit of your peripheral view. Plus, the patented Unobtainium earsocks and nosepads offer ultimate comfort for long days on the course or at sea.
The partial frame design makes it possible to change out the lenses to accommodate whatever activity you’re up to. Available in standard, photochromic, PRIZM and PRIZM polarized lenses, Flak 2.0 XL frames are a must for ultimate sports performance.
Radar EV Path
For those who are looking for sunglasses that can double as protective eyewear, these frames may be a good fit. Radar EV Path frames are equipped with impact-protection lenses, which were tested under high-mass and high-velocity conditions to ensure protection in demanding environments.
The taller lens of the sunglasses extends the upper peripheral view range, which makes them perfect for athletes or those who work in a physically strenuous job. The Radar EV Path frames have lens options for cyclists, snowboarders and skiers, golfers and more.
For those wanting an edge on the competition, Gascan frames are an excellent sunglasses choice. The idea behind the design was to replace soft curves with straight edges and sculpted lines to create a high-wrap style.
While considered lifestyle shades, Gascan sunglasses can be equipped with lenses that enhance vision when fishing, hiking or simply enjoying a sunny day outside.
Oakley women’s sunglasses
While many Oakley lenses are considered unisex and can flatter any face, the brand offers more feminine options preferred by women. Here are some of the favorites:
One of the top-rated frames for women also happens to be the most popular men’s frame. Holbrook is the universal frame for cool, effortless UV protection. Heroes of the 1940s, 50s and 60s inspired the classic design, which epitomizes wanderlust.
Offered with standard, prescription, PRIZM and PRIZM polarized lenses, there are enough color options for Holbrook frames to meet anyone’s preference.
One of the original frame styles from Oakley, Frogskins are one of the most popular choices for everyday shades. The Wayfarer-esque design has the slightest cat-eye shape that gives the frames a feminine touch.
Frogskins come in several lightweight frame colors and can be equipped with standard or PRIZM lenses.
If you love the Oakley brand, but you’re not looking for something sporty, the Side Swept frames may be right up your alley. Featuring a modern, geometric cat-eye frame, Side Swept offers a fashion-forward option for those who want a little extra pizazz in their sunglasses.
Side Swept frames come in several frame and lens combinations and are also available for prescription eyeglasses.
Feedback frames offer a more elevated look with a C5-wire front and a feminine aviator style. The popular style is the first Oakley wire frame designed for women, which makes them a popular choice among consumers.
While there are several frame and lens color choices, the most popular is the rose gold with brown gradient lenses. This style also offers HD and PRIZM Polarized lenses, which helps to reduce glare and protect the eyes from UV damage.
Half Jacket 2.0
These sunglasses mean business. The sleek, no-nonsense design is perfect for days when you need a comfortable, reliable pair of shades. The partial-frame Half Jacket 2.0 makes it easy to switch out lenses to meet the needs of any activity.
The lenses have an impact resistance that is unmatched, ensuring they can hold up to your wildest adventures. Multiple frame and lens colors are available, including standard and PRIZM lens options.
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Oakley sports sunglasses
If you notice a professional athlete wearing sporty shades, it’s likely they’re a pair of Oakleys. The brand offers sports sunglasses for just about every activity: football, golf, cycling, baseball, snow sports, fishing, water sports and more.
Oakley equips frames for each sport with lenses tinted specifically for improving vision during the activity.
For example, Oakley’s PRIZM golf lenses are made to increase contrast and reduce glare, which helps players gauge the greens more accurately during a round. Goggles used in certain snow sports have anti-fog lenses that offer a larger periphery and allow wearers to change out the lenses to accommodate different conditions.
The brand’s expertise in supplying quality protective sports eyewear led to a partnership with the NFL. In 2019, the National Football League agreed to a four-year deal with Oakley that included having a PRIZM shield installed in participating players’ helmets.
While the non-prescription shields do not replace corrective lenses, they enhance colors and contrast on the field, which can help players during a game.
Where to buy Oakley sunglasses
One of the many perks of Oakley sunglasses is that they’re widely available. Many eye care practices and optical shops, including Sunglass Hut and LensCrafters, carry Oakley products.
You can also find Oakley sunglasses at certain sporting stores, including Bass Pro Shops, Cabela’s, Academy and Dick’s Sporting Goods. Or you could go straight to the source and purchase sunglasses directly from one of the many Oakley storefront locations.
If you prefer to shop online, you can also visit the Oakley website, where they frequently offer discounts and clearance items. Other online retailers that sell Oakley sunglasses include FramesDirect, Macy’s, Kohl’s and other online outlet stores.
READ MORE: How a sports vision specialist can help you
The history of Oakley, Luxottica and your sunglasses. Oakley Forum. March 2021.
Oakley. Luxottica. Accessed June 2021.
Oakley, NFL agree to 4-year contract on helmet shields. Bleacher Report. August 2019.
Page published on Wednesday, July 7, 2021