Yet to be released Oakley sunglasses have been teased on social media by Chris Froome and Sam Bennett. The new design sees a lens that curves around the nose and wraps wide around the face.
The photos were first shared by Sam Bennett (Deceuninck-Quick-Step) following his stage 4 victory at the Vuelta a España on Friday, 23 October. This head-on angle clearly reveals the striking new design that curves low around the nose—continuing the trend for even greater face coverage in cycling sunglasses.
Since then, Chris Froome has provided us with a less coincidental look at the new glasses, with a close-up side-on view that draws attention to the key design features.
The frame of these glasses is minimalistic, with the narrow arms being attached only at the top corners of the lens, similar to Oakley’s EVZero Blades model. From the angle of the photo, we can see that the glasses wrap further around than the EVZero Blades—offering significantly more peripheral coverage. Looking closely, it’s also possible to see the curved lens bending around Froome’s nose.
Rumour has it that these sunglasses will fit into Oakley’s range under the name of ‘Kato’ and will include a model that forgoes the nose covering called the ‘Kato X’.
It appears as though the range will utilise the brand’s Prizm lens technology which is designed to enhance colour, contrast and detail. From our previous reviews of Oakley sunglasses such as the Radar EV Path sunglasses, we can confirm that the Prizm lenses really do just that.
The new glasses’ bold look is likely to divide opinion, as Oakley's Sutro glasses did when they were first released. But to consider what function their form may provide, perhaps the smooth leading edge over the nose could give a slight aero advantage? We await further details from Oakley and will update as more information becomes available.
Anna has been hooked on bikes ever since her youthful beginnings at Hillingdon Cycle Circuit. As an avid road and track racer, she reached the heady heights of a ProCyclingStats profile before leaving for university. Having now completed an MA in Multimedia Journalism, she’s hoping to add some (more successful) results. Although her greatest wish is for the broader acceptance of wearing funky cycling socks over the top of leg warmers.