While on vacation in Maine a few weeks ago I happened to break my sunglasses. Luckily I was near a place that sold them and was able to pick up a replacement pair.
The pair I ended up with are Oakley Monster Dogs.
They’re not my first pair of Oakley glasses. I’ve owned a few.
Oakley has been around for a while and always seems to be at the forefront of the sunglasses market with its innovative frames.
A brand of choice among active individuals they have stood the test of time.
This got me thinking. How has the Oakley frame changed over the years?
As a company, Oakley started in the early 1970s with motorcycle hand grips.
Their first piece of eyewear came in the early 1980s, in the form of the O Frame. The O Frame Goggle set to provide maximum comfort while at the same time providing maximum clarity.
Unsatisfied with simply succeeding on the slopes Oakley set out to manufacturer a frame which other athletes could wear.
In 1982 the Eye Shade was born.
Worn first by Greg LeMond, who became a three-time winner of the Tour de France and eventually other professional athletes like Scott Tinley, Mark Allen and Lance Armstrong, the Eye Shade still sort of looked like a goggle.
Everyone’s different, and so in 1984 Oakley introduced the first customizable sunglass.
With the ability to change lenses, nose pieces and frames, the Blade gave athletes the opportunity to to adapt to the various lighting conditions in which they played.
An athlete can work out all day and all night, but the quality of his/her eye site won’t even change. Realizing this, in 1990 Oakley introduced a line of prescription sports glasses. The lenses were said to go above and beyond what traditional prescription sunglasses do and filter light like nothing before.
In 1992 Oakley set out to create the lightest sunglasses ever created. The Sub Zero weighed in at only .69 ounces and featured a single lens design.
In 1997 Oakley released what would become one of its most popular frames, the Eye Jacket.
The Eye Jacket was the first frame Oakley designed on a computer, breaking away from the traditional method of drawing on paper.
Around 2003 Came the X Metal Juliet.
The all metal frame was awarded 20 different patents.
Worn by athletes such as Michael Jordan and Ichiro Suziki it gained worldwide popularity.
Seeing the popularity of the Mp3 player, in 2005 Oakley released its line of wearable audio players.
The THUMPS combined Oakley’s world famous eyewear with a built in Mp3 player. Athletes could now jam to their own playlist while getting their workout in.
Even me, Mr. Convergence, owned a pair of these. I found them perfect for running. The pair I owned featured flip up lenses so I could wear them even on a cloudy day.
Fast Forward to 2009, and the pair I selected recently, the Monster Dog.
Oakley has wide range of both lenses and frames that still retain the same stylish look without sacrificing performance.
I’ve only touched briefly on a very small segment of what has become a full fledged brand. Oakley has glasses tailor-made for many sports, golf, biking, surfing, snow, motor cross and more.
Oakley now makes clothing, bags, watches, electronics, other apparel and more. They have a full line of prescription indoor glasses as well.
Of course you don’t have to be a professional athlete to wear them, or even an athlete at all. Their frames are both comfortable and perform admirably when worn on the field, on the beach or just in your own backyard.