Oakleys - are they worth it?

by wjputt   May 12, 2013  

Considering getting some Oakley glasses. Ones with a prescription required though. Seem very expensive. Are they worth it?

37 user comments

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Yes they are a bit pricy and you don't want to lose them, but the transition ones that go from 50 to 20% or so are great for being on the bike. I've got some 12% ones as well for really sunny or skiing, all prescription.

I'd definitely buy again, I don't like taking them off to put my normal glasses on!

They do need careful measuring for the rx, to make sure the pd. is correct, online suppliers seem a bit hit and miss so your optician is probably safer.

I have tried glasses with an extra insert, but don't like the extra weight, and they tend to make the lenses sit further away, so don't work so well, particularly in bright sun

Get some!

posted by jengy [65 posts]
12th May 2013 - 22:58

17 Likes

Never buy cheap glasses, slight optical imperfections can in the short term cause headaches and do lasting damage in the long term - You get what you pay for.

posted by andycoventry [120 posts]
13th May 2013 - 6:56

20 Likes

'They charge a ton for plastic.'

no, they charge a ton for superb optics.

posted by andyp [973 posts]
13th May 2013 - 8:08

17 Likes

How strong is your prescription? I can't use Oakleys because they only go up to -4.0 or -5.0 (depending on which design you choose). I need -6.5, and my Bolle Bounty prescription specs are superb. They cost £254, so that gives you an idea of how good I think they are.

Personally, I try never to take my sight for granted, and won't buy cheap specs. Not worth it.

Last night I would have considered trading a very loud baby for a really nice bike.

posted by notfastenough [3348 posts]
13th May 2013 - 8:27

17 Likes

I had the DHB ones for a while, they get sweat on them and half way through a hot ride you cant use them. Now I have some BBB ones, they are great, £30, never muck up and if I drop them, have done already, its not a heartbreaker.

posted by lolol [122 posts]
13th May 2013 - 8:50

16 Likes

I would guess that most glasses over £30 - £35 will be just as good as the Oakley's. There are some great glasses made by smaller brands like Julbo, Cebe, BBB and Uvex that will be as good. With Oakley you are paying as much for a bit of branding and fashion as anything else.

mr-andrew's picture

posted by mr-andrew [299 posts]
13th May 2013 - 10:15

18 Likes

I've had numerous oakley's over last 20 years never a bad pair, currently using jawbone custom with polarised lens, fantastic, highly recommended for on/off the bike. Reasonable value too at balance optics

posted by Wando [4 posts]
13th May 2013 - 14:58

19 Likes

Gkam84 wrote:
Get some Endura Triggers. I can't see past them now, best I've ever owned

Does that not defeat the purpose ? If you cant see past them Devil Devil Devil

There are no stupid questions, just stupid people.

stumps's picture

posted by stumps [2810 posts]
13th May 2013 - 18:32

19 Likes

To be honest i've got a pair of Oakleys and they look the biz, but they are not prescription and after a long ride me heed is knackered.

There are no stupid questions, just stupid people.

stumps's picture

posted by stumps [2810 posts]
13th May 2013 - 18:33

16 Likes

Oakleys every time.
Lens quality superb and they don't seem to scratch. Best thing, when you decide to change them, pop them on Ebay and get at least 60% of your purchase price back, Not sure any other sport glasses do that....

fizzydroadie Smile

posted by fizzydroadie [8 posts]
13th May 2013 - 18:42

18 Likes

I've had Rudy Projects with inserts and never got on with them and I've been happy with my Oakley Half Jackets that I got last year. They didnt work out that expensive either as I got the lenses from http://www.balanceoptics.com/index.php/lens/prescription-sports/prescription-lenses.html and the frames from ebay. All in with transitions presciptions came in at a little over £200 including postage which is only a little more than the cheapest presciption sunnies.

TheHatter's picture

posted by TheHatter [811 posts]
13th May 2013 - 18:47

17 Likes

'I would guess that most glasses over £30 - £35 will be just as good as the Oakley's'

I suspect your guess would be very wrong.

posted by andyp [973 posts]
13th May 2013 - 18:57

17 Likes

Contact lenses and any sunglasses you fancy. Take you sunnies off: still see! Don't have to carry spare glasses. Clear vision if you glance over your shoulder and no joggling movement effect. Look like yourself not like a hipster.

I might be biased against glasses after wearing childs NHS specs in the 80's.



Suffering from Low Cadence.

bikeboy76's picture

posted by bikeboy76 [1356 posts]
13th May 2013 - 18:59

18 Likes

'I might be biased against glasses after wearing childs NHS specs in the 80's.'

Thing is, those NHS specs would have had decent optics. Unlike 'any sunglasses you fancy'.

posted by andyp [973 posts]
13th May 2013 - 19:03

19 Likes

yourpaceormine wrote:
The prescription bit is ridiculously expensive. If you want interchangeable lenses for different conditions then consider Rudy Project. I have used Rydons with the prescription Rx insert for about 8 or 9 years. Insert clips into frame and sits just behind the Rydon lens. Can change Rydon lens as normal, or if you don't want to use the Rx insert (if you start using contacts say) then take the Rx insert out. (Other plus side is if you prescription changes than it is a heck of a lot cheaper).
Negatives - felt a bit strange at first, but soon got used to it. Insert not really visible to the outside world except when I use clear or yellow lenses. In very cold conditions + wet they steam up. (Anti fog treatment works well unless you go for coated prescription lenses).
Big plus is you can often pick a Rudy Project pack up cheap, frame and a few different lenses. Rx insert can be ordered in by Rudy srockists. Your optician can glaze the insert which is handy particularly as most opticians refuse to give out your PD measurement (as not part of the prescription). You will need to check Rudy website for maximum Rx index that insert can support.

This is really helpful. Please clarify what the Rx is? Would I need to go back to my optician to get the insert lenses or is there another way of doing that? That is getting the prescription and obtaining it from the Rudy Project provider?

posted by wjputt [44 posts]
13th May 2013 - 20:37

18 Likes

I've got Bloc shades. They're fine, fit well which is kinda the point. Sports glasses, lets be honest, universally make you look like an utter twat. There's no getting past it. You can't argue it. You look like a bollock whether you spend 3 quid in Lidl or 250 quid on Oakleys. So it just comes down to how fussy you are about the optics, and how well designed they are to not fog up. Diminishing returns over 40 or 50 quid, I expect. But hey, you want the quality of the Oakleys, go for it. It just doesn't come cheap.

posted by bashthebox [647 posts]
13th May 2013 - 21:03

18 Likes

andyp wrote:
'They charge a ton for plastic.'

no, they charge a ton for superb optics.


I know luxotica employees. The mark up is substantial.

[custom] '12 Cannondale CAAD10 - Rival

badkneestom's picture

posted by badkneestom [129 posts]
13th May 2013 - 23:37

16 Likes

'I know luxotica employees. The mark up is substantial."
I work in this business - as with many other things, there's a fair mark-up. But to say that the cost is down to the plastic is incorrect.

posted by andyp [973 posts]
14th May 2013 - 5:06

16 Likes

notfastenough wrote:
How strong is your prescription? I can't use Oakleys because they only go up to -4.0 or -5.0 (depending on which design you choose). I need -6.5, and my Bolle Bounty prescription specs are superb. They cost £254, so that gives you an idea of how good I think they are.

Personally, I try never to take my sight for granted, and won't buy cheap specs. Not worth it.

I'm -10.5, but luckily get on OK with contact lenses. Dread to think how thick plastic lenses with that prescription would be.

The problem with expensive sports glasses for me is leaving them at cafe stops, driving off with them on the roof of the car and snapping off the arms because of following rule 37.

Crosshouses's picture

posted by Crosshouses [203 posts]
14th May 2013 - 13:05

3 Likes

The list price is made up, and opticians have lots of mark-up to play with. I got nearly 50% off the total price with a bit of haggling.

posted by jamtartman [36 posts]
15th May 2013 - 11:05

5 Likes

Crosshouses wrote:
notfastenough wrote:
How strong is your prescription? I can't use Oakleys because they only go up to -4.0 or -5.0 (depending on which design you choose). I need -6.5, and my Bolle Bounty prescription specs are superb. They cost £254, so that gives you an idea of how good I think they are.

Personally, I try never to take my sight for granted, and won't buy cheap specs. Not worth it.

I'm -10.5, but luckily get on OK with contact lenses. Dread to think how thick plastic lenses with that prescription would be.

The problem with expensive sports glasses for me is leaving them at cafe stops, driving off with them on the roof of the car and snapping off the arms because of following rule 37.

Ok, I believe Bolle max out at between -8.0 and -10.0 depending on the astigmatism bit (can't remember the term - might be the 'axis'). The lenses are MUCH thinner than you'd expect - the reason Bolle are the only ones doing this is because they took out an exclusive license on some new innovation that varies the prescription (and hence the lens thickness) across the surface of the lens, so while they might be thick in the centre (I can't tell), they aren't thick at the edge.

I can't wear contacts anymore (too much drunken partying in them years ago). If you can, I'd probably just go with contacts and some decent sports specs.

Last night I would have considered trading a very loud baby for a really nice bike.

posted by notfastenough [3348 posts]
15th May 2013 - 11:23

4 Likes

andyp wrote:
'I might be biased against glasses after wearing childs NHS specs in the 80's.'

Thing is, those NHS specs would have had decent optics. Unlike 'any sunglasses you fancy'.


So very true.Back in the 80's one of my mates was backed by Oakley.The sunglasses rrp £140 he could buy for me at£20.Someone is getting rich through good marketing.

big mick

posted by big mick [184 posts]
15th May 2013 - 11:51

3 Likes

andyp wrote:
'I know luxotica employees. The mark up is substantial."
I work in this business - as with many other things, there's a fair mark-up. But to say that the cost is down to the plastic is incorrect.

Oh I agree, R&D is massive. I just dislike being told "Unobtanium" is some magic formula.

They're top of the line for a reason.

[custom] '12 Cannondale CAAD10 - Rival

badkneestom's picture

posted by badkneestom [129 posts]
15th May 2013 - 13:48

2 Likes

Apparently Tesco Optical will do Adidas frames with prescription sports lenses. I say apparently, because when I checked, they were having a promotion, which meant they couldn't sell them. Huh? Hey - it's Tesco. I emailed Tesco to check on the madness (twice) but never got a reply. That's a class act.

Rose do some nice sunglasses which accept a prescription insert. The insert is cheap enough (30 Euros, I think) but then you have to have it ground to your prescription.

I went to the US on holiday, went into a mall, found an optician, had my eyes checked and then bought a set of decent prescription sports sunglasses. $100 for the eye test, $200 for the glasses. Ready next day. AND I have a copy of my prescription with IPD (interpupillary distance - or how close yer eyes are together Smile

Ride your own ride

posted by CanAmSteve [157 posts]
15th May 2013 - 18:39

3 Likes

I too have Rydons with Rx lenses and while the fit and optics (transitions lenses) are pretty good the frames are not in the same league as others I have used, after 2 years use the metal arms are corroding and I'm not sure how long they will last.

On the other hand my plastic M frames which are maybe 15 years old now are fine. But won't take an Rx insert.

posted by Bagpuss [102 posts]
15th May 2013 - 19:13

4 Likes

To me they're not worth the money because I don't use sunglasses very much, but if you use them a lot then they are worth the money. Much the same as I have a good quality bike because I use it a lot whereas someone who only rides once a year around to the park and back really doesn't.

Municipal Waste's picture

posted by Municipal Waste [190 posts]
15th May 2013 - 19:50

3 Likes

TheHatter wrote:
I've had Rudy Projects with inserts and never got on with them and I've been happy with my Oakley Half Jackets that I got last year. They didnt work out that expensive either as I got the lenses from http://www.balanceoptics.com/index.php/lens/prescription-sports/prescription-lenses.html and the frames from ebay. All in with transitions presciptions came in at a little over £200 including postage which is only a little more than the cheapest presciption sunnies.

Thanks very much for this. I can't believe the difference in price. I can't see where the option on the website is for transitions though. Did you get your pupillary distance from your optician? On the Balance Optics site frames and lenses [prescription] are coming out at £250 & optician was £439! Am I seeing things and do I need to get my eyes re-tested??!!

posted by wjputt [44 posts]
18th May 2013 - 3:55

4 Likes

They're expensive due to the bullet proof lenses. My blue iridium lenses sharpen up the dark days and keep the sun out on brighter days.

posted by pcb24 [4 posts]
18th May 2013 - 8:19

5 Likes

I've got a pair of prescription Oakley Whiskers and they are fantastic. The frames are very strong and they have excellent lenses. The shape is great for cycling. I'm getting another pair with transition lenses so I can use them after sunset, but this time I will shop around on the web. I've found I can get a pair for about £125, although the lenses won't be Oakley, but good enough for what I need. Hope this is helpful.

I'm a human being, God damn it! My life has value. I’m as mad as hell and I’m not going to take this anymore.

posted by Carl [136 posts]
18th May 2013 - 20:32

6 Likes

wjputt wrote:
TheHatter wrote:
I've had Rudy Projects with inserts and never got on with them and I've been happy with my Oakley Half Jackets that I got last year. They didnt work out that expensive either as I got the lenses from http://www.balanceoptics.com/index.php/lens/prescription-sports/prescription-lenses.html and the frames from ebay. All in with transitions presciptions came in at a little over £200 including postage which is only a little more than the cheapest presciption sunnies.

Thanks very much for this. I can't believe the difference in price. I can't see where the option on the website is for transitions though. Did you get your pupillary distance from your optician? On the Balance Optics site frames and lenses [prescription] are coming out at £250 & optician was £439! Am I seeing things and do I need to get my eyes re-tested??!!


Yeah they are much cheaper and the service was fine. I'd had my eyes tested at specs avers and they gave me my PD though I had to specifically ask for it. The transitions options are mentioned in the titles such as these ones http://www.balanceoptics.com/index.php/brand/oakley-prescription/oakley-...

TheHatter's picture

posted by TheHatter [811 posts]
18th May 2013 - 21:49

5 Likes