Founded by James Jannard in 1975 and taking the name Oakley from his English Setter, he first started selling motocross grips out of his garden shed. These were unlike any other at the time because of the unique material ‘Unobtanium’ which he used and soon became very popular. As this grew he went on to making gloves, protective Armour and Motocross goggles. One of his first sports goggles designs was used by the famous Tour de France rider Greg Lemond. The secret was his own unique creation of materials which are still used in today’s products.
The company is based in the Foothill Range in California and is mainly famous for its eyewear. Oakley now have a huge catalogue of products from shoes, bags, and watches to sports equipment, and hold over 600 patents for their products. Oakley is now owned by the world’s largest eyewear company – Luxottica Group S.p.A, who bought it in 2007 for $2billion Dollars. Jannard now runs RED Digital Cinema, who have shot the Great Gatsby, The Amazing Spider Man, The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo and many more feature films, and he was voted as one of the top 100 most creative people of all time.
Oakley manufacture the most cutting edge sunglasses on the market, and produce performance and protective sunglasses for almost every sport. The clear, sharp, accurate vision that Oakley lenses provide gives the user the confidence and assurance they need to make an accurate judgment, whatever the weather or light challenges imposed upon them. The HDO lenses offers truer and more accurate vision as opposed to other conventional lenses that make objects appear shifted from their true position, by showing a distorted and magnified image of the view ahead. This can be very disconcerting and make it more difficult to judge things accurately.
The lens tints Oakley have available also enable you to see things better, and they are all different depending on what sport you are taking part in or what light challenges you face. They are not just designed to help you in the sunshine, they are also unbelievable in normal conditions as they can help you see things much more clearly and pick out features that the naked eye would not normally see.
For a cyclist that is on the road for many hours or in difficult light, you can start to become distracted and tired by the glare from the road or the sky and start to miss potholes, misjudge corners, or lose the ability to judge how near or far things are from you, which itself can lead to other mistakes. Oakley’s HD polarised lenses would help to give the confidence and focus required to perform at your best. The lens is like no other, being a single layer of technology that is infused by a special moulding process that gives it an unparalleled performance. This manufacturing process means that they require no glues or resins, which enables the lens to give the most accurate vision possible. To give it that extra winning edge, both the left and right lenses are made at exactly the same time so that the alignment and axis of polarisation is a precise as it can be.
The lenses are also tested to extreme levels to guarantee their safety. An optically pure material called ‘Plutonite’, which is unique to Oakley, provides 100% protection from UV rays, and as is the lenses are cut from a single sheet, the ‘Plutonite’ gives the lenses superior strength. In tests, a ball bearing fired at it at 102 mph did not pierce or break the lens, which gives total piece of mind if this kind of protection were ever needed.
You don’t need sun to damage your eyes – UV rays can still penetrate your eyes on a cloudy day without you realising it. Oakley sunglasses protect your eyes even on a cloudy day, and with their precise lenses and special tints you can see things in a whole new light. The lenses filter out 100% of UV rays so you rest assured of your eyes’ safety, and you can even get your Oakley lenses in prescription if you need it too, with a massive range of lenses going from +4 to -6. If this wasn’t enough, they offer a progressive lens so you can focus on objects near and far, which is very important in the current demands of performance sports such as golf, cycling, fishing and many more.
Changing the lenses also couldn’t be easier with the Switch lock system– this allows you to change the lenses with an easy to use switch so you can always use the lenses to suit the environment or conditions you are up against.
Oakley has grown hugely over the years, and is now part of one of the biggest companies in the world. Oakley understand the demands of modern day competition and use every bit of intelligence, expertise, advice, testing, materials and technology to create an unprecedented product that stands out above all others. With some of the best athletes in the world using their products you can have the confidence that you are riding with the best. Cycling’s Chris Froome, Mark Cavendish, Vincenzo Nibali and Tejay van Garderen are some of the pros that are currently riding with Oakley. Three time World Champion Mountain Biker Nino Schurter and Downhill Sensation Rachel Atherton are also both supported by Oakley, along with the triathlon beast that is Craig Alexander and talented athletes Gwen Jorgensen and Britain’s Leanda Cave who all choose to use Oakley sunglasses.