Bang for your buck?
optics, fit, durability, customer service, wrap around, definitely look like you spent a ton
cost! not for athletic endeavors
The Bottom Line:
If you have the moolah, go for it. A great pair of glasses that looks great as well. I give it only above average just because of the price.
Ah, Oakleys. Let me start off by saying I would probably not pay retail for these glasses. It was bad enough paying $125 and $150 (I own the black and the gold versions)! The retail price of $250 or so...when I bought them, Oakley currently wanting $300-$350 is overpriced.
What do you get for such overpricedness? Well, quite a bit. I will save you the techno mumbo jumbo...assuming that if you wanted that, you can find it at Oakley's website, or elsewhere on the net. Basically, these glasses feel...expensive. You know when you get the box with the silly coin and what not, that you have indeed payed quite a bit of money. Putting them on, the same feeling: they are solid, stylish, and for sure no one is going to miss them. I assume that is some of the point of spending the money in the first place.
The fit on these can be tight if worn for long periods. I sometimes am outdoors quite a bit, or driving, and if I have these on for extended periods, I start to feel it. It is hard to describe, but not a painful feeling, just that the automatic fit that it gives you can be tight. This lessens with time, to the point where they begin to feel great, then with more time, it is time to change the rubber pieces that reside in the hinges (they come with the glasses and there are two replacement sizes, depending on how tight you want the fit...or how big or small your head is).
Speaking of those rubber doo dads, don't lose the replacements that come in the box...you will need them at some point, even the nose pads, as eventually they will wear out or fall off at inopportune times. Ah, but do not fear, because of Oakley's great customer service, all one has to do is call, and more are on the way. I have done this twice. No charge for the first time at least, in my case, neither.
And more on customer service...say the hidden hinge in the nose bridge becomes extremely loose (happened on my black pair after a few years) you can call them up, and for $40 (plus the cost of you shipping the glasses to their HQ in CA) they will replace the lenses and "refurbish" the frame. What I have gotten back from them always appears to be a brand new pair of glasses. Now, I have sent back glasses to them before that were relatively new (the black XXs I sent back were four years old at the time) and the cost is free if it is a defect. The $40 was basically for the lenses, and they threw in the "refurbishing".
And lets not forget the optics. Good grief, the whole reason I was intrigued with Oakley in the first place was their XYZ optics (and lens durability) Can you really tell a difference just putting them on and looking around? Well, maybe not so much from Ray Bans to Oakleys, but if you buy cheap, then yes, you will see a big difference. I love the curved lenses, the wrap around feel, and keeping out that pesky sun.
The black lenses are some of Oakleys best for blocking out sun, if you want dark glasses. I like the gold as well. Sure, the lenses are yellow, but it does not seem like the world is yellow when you are wearing them, and it does a great job of blocking out light as well....what do I mean by that? No squinting, worrying about things being too bright, etc. The wrap around aspect helps with that too. I am very sensitive to the sun, and Oakleys in general have helped me more than any other manufacturer that I have tried.
These glasses have great build quality. I am hard on glasses, and these constantly are up for any unexpected challenge they are given (oops, did I kind of sit on them...drop them, have flying debris from the weedwacker hit them? etc.)
Sounds pretty positive doesn't it? Well, it is. If you want to spend the money, you won't be disappointed. Luckily, I did not have to spend the retail dollars, which helps me think of these glasses as higher in the value category than others might think. Still, I have two, so there must be something good here. Expensive, but good.