Striking, functional, stylish and most importantly, innovative, Oakley have been making sunglasses to help athletes perform better since the late 70′s and now make sport-specific frames and lenses. The company’s first sport orientated eyewear came in the form of the O Frame goggle, which has become a mainstay in Moto Cross racing for the last two decades. Created with a lens that cureved in a perfect cylindrical arc, riders praised the goggle’s clarity and wide peripheral view, pushing Oakley sunglasses to the forefront of sport-focused eyewear.
In the last thirty years, Oakley have cemented their place in the sports arena (particularly motor sport) with some very high profile sponsorships and endorsements; let’s take a look at the best athletes and sports that have chosen to align themselves with the Oakley brand:
Probably Oakley’s most well known rider is Ryan Dungey, who was recently crowned 2010 Supercross Champion and 2010 World Supercross Champion. He uses his own signature series goggles made by Oakley; the Ryan Dungey Signature Series CROWBAR MX.
Oakley’s MX Goggles are designed to keep the rider’s eyes protected from dirt and debris whilst still giving them unparalleled clarity and maximum field of vision.
Oakley have been a huge part of the cycling world for years, endorsing several big name riders with some amazing riding glasses:
But in recent times their big name cyclist has been the amazing Lance Armstrong:
Lance is Oakley’s most famous endorsed cyclist, he’s won the Tour De France, been the Associated Press Male Athlete of the Year (2002, 2003, 2004 and 2005), the BBC Sports Personality of the Year, The US National Cycling Champion and finished with a Bronze medal in the 200 Olympic Games in Sydney. Lance uses his own signature series – either the LiveStrong JAWBONE or the LiveStrong RADAR PATH, both designed and manufactured by Oakley.
In 1996 Lance founded the Lance Armstrong Foundation for Cancer, which is now called LiveStrong. In 2006, Lance ran the New York City Marathon, raising in excess of $600,000 for his LiveStrong campaign.
Oakley have been making extremely popular sunglasses designed specifically for golf a little while ago now and have picked up several key golfers in the process. My personal favourite would be Ricky Barnes:
Ricky is considered a real up and comer in the golfing world, recently finishing runner up at the 2009 US Open and T-10th and the 2010 Masters. Ricky uses the Oakley FLAK JACKET XLJ Golf Specific sunglasses, which feature no loss of light when outside, no glare and feauture heightened contract lenses that make it far easier to track your golf ball in mid-flight.
My personal favourite of the Oakley endorsed skaters is Bob Bunrquist:
Generally seen as one of the best vertical ramp skaters in the World, Bob recently finished 1st in the Vert Section at the Rio Skate Jam in Brazil.
As with a lot of Oakley athletes of his standing, Bob has his own signature Oakley sunglasses, the Bob Burnquist Signature Series Recycled GASCAN, although i’ve seen him wandering around in his aviator sunglasses and they might not work as well for skating, but they look damn cool!
And that’s just four of the sports Oakley are involved with, they also endorse athletes in the sports of fishing; skiing; snowboarding; hockey; NASCAR; MotoGP; FMX; surfing; mountain biking; wakeboarding; tennis; triathlon and several others.
If you’re an athlete and serious about your sport then Oakley’s designer sunglasses should be your first stop for quality eyewear that’s designed for the sports you love. You never know, one day it could be you with your own signature series.