Is it worth buying Oakley sunglasses? We take a close look at this popular sunglasses brand

Oakley sunglasses display

When it comes to designer sunglasses brands, it doesn’t get much bigger than Oakleys. You can spot the distinctive style and branding of these sunglasses from a mile away, and they’re the eyewear of choice for many of the worlds top athletes.

There is no denying that Oakley sunglasses are well-known, but is it actually worth buying Oakley sunglasses? We wanted to take a close look at the sunglasses from the brand to find out, let’s get into it.

What is the Oakley brand story?

People are often shocked to learn that Oakley sunglasses have only been around since the 80s - the Oakley brand initially made motorbikes, but saw an opportunity to take the same technology they’d been using to make motorbikes and use it to create high-end sunglasses.

What makes Oakley sunglasses so special?

Every pair of Oakley sunglasses is tested to ensure that they exceed the highest ASNI standard for high impact velocity, meaning that every single pair of Oakley sunglasses can withstand quite a beating (or at least, a drop from a height).

Unlike when we looked at the Tom Ford frames, we love how much detail the Oakley website provides about how Oakley sunglasses are made, and what makes them so special.

What material your Oakley sunglasses are made from will depend on which type of sunglasses you buy from the brand, as every type of sunglasses uses a different material. For example, the sportier sunglasses are from Oakley are made using BiO-matter, which is a material that the team at Oakley has developed.

The more stylish sunglasses from the brand are made using a material called O matter, which is a stronger and more flexible version of acetate, a material which is often used to make other pairs of sunglasses. For example, many of the sunglasses from Gucci are made using acetate, such as these.

The more stylish sunglasses from the brand are made using a material called O matter, which is a stronger and more flexible version of acetate, a material which is often used to make other pairs of sunglasses. For example, many of the sunglasses from Gucci are made using acetate, such as these.

O Matter Oakleys sunglasses

What are the main features of the Oakley sunglasses?

What are the main features of Oakley sunglasses?

Another really impressive aspect of Oakley sunglasses is how durable they are, and this is a big part of why so many athletes choose to wear these sunglasses. It’s nice to know that if you drop these sunglasses then it’s highly unlikely that they’ll break. The reason they’re so durable is that they’re made using

The Prizm lenses that you’ll find on many Oakley sunglasses (pictured) are really impressive - these lenses can actually enhance the colour contrast of certain things that you look at, and can also provide additional clarity in certain environments. The Prizm Trail lenses actually enhances browns and reds which makes greens stand out more so that riders can spot transitions between dirt in different light conditions, which is quite amazing.

Oakley Prizm lens

How much do Oakley sunglasses cost?

We’re fans of Oakley sunglasses, but the elephant in the room is that they’re expensive compared to your average pair of sunglasses.

Having said that, when sorting the Oakley website from cheapest price to highest price, we found more than 30 pairs of sunglasses that you can buy for less than £100. This is really impressive as when you look at the Gucci collection of sunglasses, you won’t find any sunglasses for less than £1000. In fact, the cheapest pair of sunglasses you can currently buy from the official Gucci website still cost £135.

Compared to other sunglasses on the market, there is no denying that Oakley sunglasses are expensive - in fact, the average cost of a pair of Oakleys sunglasses from the official website is

When you think of Oakley sunglasses, chances are that it’s the sporty style of glasses which pop into your mind, as this is the style which is most frequently associated with Oakley. However, the brand also produces an excellent range of stylish sunglasses (pictured) which we think can rival anything that the major fashion brands produce.

What are the third-party reviews like for Tom Ford frames?

We love to refer to third party reviews when we publish this sort of guide as it really helps to see what people think of the products or services that we’re reviewing, and we were happy to see that there is an active Trustpilot profile for Oakleys sunglasses. It’s also been verified which means the customer service team at Oakleys can reply to reviews directly. Currently, Oakleys is sitting with a ‘Great’ rating of 4.1 out of 5 from more than 1600 reviews. We would have liked to see an ‘Excellent’ rating, but we were surprised by some of negative reviews on Trustpilot. The negative reviews mostly seemed to relate to the customer service, and surprisingly the quality of the sunglasses. But what’s really impressive is that every single negative review on the Oakley website has received a personalised reply from a member of the Oakley team. This is certainly not something you see on competitor Trustpilot profiles - for example, the Gucci Trustpilot profile isn’t verified, and the negative reviews about their sunglasses (of which there are plenty) go unanswered.

Oakleys trustpilot

Anything else to mention?

Yes - as we were surfing the Oakley website to learn more about the sunglasses, a very interesting pop up appeared. As of September 2023, you can get a voucher for 50% off a new pair of Oakley sunglasses if your old sunglasses from the brand break. This definitely shows how confident Oakley are that your sunglasses from them will last a long time, and we imagine that there aren’t many people who’ve had to use this discount voucher!

So, are Oakley sunglasses worth buying?

Overall we’d say that if you’re looking for durable and stylish sunglasses which will provide top of the range UV protection, then you can’t really do much better than Oakley sunglasses. They’re extremely well-made and there is a reason why they’re the favoured sunglasses of the top athletes.

What do you think of Oakley sunglasses? Let us know if you think they're worth buying and any other thoughts you have in the comments below. If you want to read something similar, we have a similar guide about Tom Ford frames here.

Finn is the editor of You Well and has been writing about travel, health, and more for over 10 years.

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