Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Product Review: Oakley Style Switch


My current pair...

Malaysian shores a couple of months later. I purchased mine in July of Okay as the title suggests, this is something someone asked me to try and write about. So here goes.

The Oakley Style Switch was released in the U.S. sometime around March 2013 it reached that same year, so approximately 3 months upon release give or take.

Oakley’s logo of course.

First off a little back story about my relationship with Oakley. I haven’t a clue as to how or where I got to know of Oakley, the closest I can guess at is that my cousin introduced it to me. Back then not that many in town knew about it and only a handful of places had brought in Oakley sunglasses as I remember it. This was maybe around 94’ or 95’. Oakley themselves had been around since 1975 starting with making grips for motocross bikes before making their first ski goggles in 1980. The rest is history.

Not really my 1st pair but close. The lens are right but imagine the frames as polished chrome.

My first pair of Oakley sunglasses was the e-Wire. They had a chrome polished frame; grey ear socks and the lens were OO® Red Iridium® Polarized. I was told by the salesperson that it was a limited edition. Maybe they were. I lost this pair when I completely forgot about them and left them somewhere.

My 2nd pair of e-Wire.

My next pair was also an e-Wire but this time it had a matte black finishes frame with Black Iridium lenses. This pair was accidentally crushed when i left it in a bag and someone else stacked something heavy on top of it. The lenses were fine but the frame was bent out of shape. I’d forgotten about it for a while and in that period they have since disappeared.

 These fit my fat head pretty well and I love the look of it.

My next pair would not be for a while after that last pair, maybe about 3-4 years I’d say. But the next pair I did get was a pair of Polarized Whisker. Matte Gold frame with Polarized Brown Iridium lenses if I’m not mistaken. This pair got stolen right out of my glove compartment when I accidentally left the car unlocked one evening.

So 3 pairs gone because of bad luck and carelessness. Sucks.

Why 2 pairs of wire and a Whisker? Well, truthfully I have a pretty large head. Wide that is. Most sunglasses and this include most Oakley models will pinch at my temples. This is not comfortable for any length of time. The ones I remember that would fit me well were the O-Metal series i.e. the Juliet and Romeo. Those were way more expensive than the wires I had. The reason for my purchasing the e-Wire and the Whisker lies in the design of the stem which if you take a look at the pictures you’ll notice that they flare out/away from the lens and then angle back towards the head to provide a really good grip with those ear socks. And the other reason being they were incredibly light and felt sturdy too in a way. You could wear them all day comfortably.

So there you have 2 reasons why I like them which is also the 2 of the 3 criteria I have for sunglasses. The third criteria I have is that they block the sunlight as much as possible around the edge. Have you ever worn sunglasses in a hot sunny day and turned your head just so and suddenly the sun shines into that gap between your eyes and the lens and it bounces back into your eyes? Yeah, it needs to not do that as much as possible. And both the e-Wire and the Whisker did that for me. I could get both right up to my eyes limiting that from happening considerably.

Why not wraparounds you say? Well, as mentioned before wraparounds don’t fit too well on me. Those that do don’t look too good on me or are a little too expensive for me at that moment.

The box it came in.

So now to my current pair which is the Style Switch. This pair are as different from my previous Oakley’s as silk boxers are to cotton briefs. Men who have tried these will know what I’m talking about. I have no similar metaphors for women though. Ask the men around you.

What was inside the box. The microfiber bag looks cool and has pockets on the inside to store the extra set of lens.

The pair i bought has a Crystal Black frame and comes with a pair of Chrome Iridium lenses and a pair of Black Iridium Polarized lenses. Why did i buy these?

First off they are wraparounds. And they fit my bulbous head and don’t make me look too hideous. Other pairs will pinch my temple, make my face look too round or make me look like a big brown fly. Not cool on all counts. These don’t look too bad on me. And they fit just right.

Details on the side and a better look at the translucent Crystal Black Frame.

Second they are plastic not metal. Oakley call it O Matter® but let’s be honest it’s plastic. Which makes them light. So all day wearing them? No big deal. The only issue i have is that when i sweat and that happens a fair bit down here on the equator it’ll lose its grip and begin to feel as if they’re slipping off my head. I wish they had ear socks for this model.

 2 sets of lenses come with this bad boy.

Thirdly, because of the fact that it comes with two sets of lenses. One standard and one polarized. The difference other than one being polarized is that one is a little darker as well as has a more reflective/polished look that hides your eyes better. Assuming hiding what your eyes or hiding what you’re looking at is something you want. That for me is like buying two pairs of Oakley for the price of one, especially when you consider the price difference between a pair of polarized sunglasses to a non-polarized one of the same model. And it’s incredibly easy to switch them because of Oakley’s’ Switchlock Technology. When you do it right the lenses stay there. No amount of jiggling, jarring and rattling will make them pop out. 

 A rough idea of how the Switchlock system looks unhinged and the difference between the 2 sets of lenses.

The lenses are beautiful. It’s the one of the main reason why I will only buy Oakley sunglasses. They make everything you see look good. The real world seems to look more real; more defined when you wear a pair of Oakley’s. Even with them being curved you get absolutely no distortion whatsoever. It’s like viewing the world in HD. And because you can switch from Polarized to Non-Polarized you’re covered for every situation. Since they are switchable buying a replacement set and putting them in won’t have you going to the shops to have them do it for you. All a plus in my book.

I’ve had these pair for about a year now and other than the fact that they feel like they’re slipping off when i get too sweaty, i love them. And I’m thinking of maybe getting a second pair soon. My current frames are translucent but dark the next pair I plan to get is the one with the Polished Clear frames. I love the translucent look of the frame, it looks like an X-Ray. I’m a child that way.

So there you go. My verdict after living with a pair of Oakley’s Style Switch for a year. I’ve only got one complaint and it isn’t a big one. I like them so much I’m thinking of getting a second pair. And the bonus of getting a second pair? I’ll have four sets of lenses to switch between the 2 frames making for a different look every time. I think that’s a good thing.

Want to know more about the Oakley Style Switch? Go here to read more about the technology behind the frames, lenses and even check out the available colours. http://www.oakley.com/en/mens/sunglasses/special-edition-sunglasses/style-switch/product/W0OO9194

Or you can just wear them like this without the lenses, like all the silly kids are doing these days.


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