As part of Oakley’s lifestyle range, the Oakley Valves are designed to be on the cutting edge between sports performance and lifestyle, these glasses feature some interesting technology that allows them to be used for both active and casual wear. We’ve been testing these out in the French alps to see how they performed in a variety of situations.
Comfort & Fit
Our first impressions of these glasses were that of high quality, and lightweight frame with a wrap around design that hugs your face whilst the rubber arms help keep the glasses in place. During running, climbing and walking there was little or no movement, Oakley say they have used ‘unobtainium®‘ components that apparently increase grip with perspiration – whilst we don’t understand that word in the slightest, they certainly didn’t budge when the going got sweaty.
Oakley say these frames are for ‘Medium to Large’ faces, I think I fall into that category of having a fat head and they fit very well. The lightweight carbon frames did provide all day comfort (even with headphones on), they don’t really feel like they are ‘on’ and you soon forget you’re wearing anything. Anyway, good marks for comfort!
Durability & Weight
The lightweight carbon construction feels tough and resilient, Oakley say the Valves conform to ANSI Z80.3 basic impact standards – and whilst I wouldn’t recommend standing on them, flimsy they are not. The protruding frame also gives some protection to the lens itself against accidental grazes.
The valves are polarized which keeps glare to an absolute minimum (Oakley claim HDPolarized lenses filter out 99% of reflected glare without the haze and optical distortion), whilst filtering out 100% of UVA / UVB / UVC & harmful blue light up to 400nm, and before I copy and paste any more specifications, it’s probably worth mentioning how this all measures up in the real world.
The optics on the Valves are fantastic, they darken by a nice amount without overdoing it and create a wonderful ‘HD’ world seeming to pick out definition and increased contrast. It’s worth mentioning (probably our only critique) that on colder days (-4c>) the close fitting lenses did fog up during intense exercise, it wasn’t a major issue as allowing a tiny gap would quickly clear the fog – but the Valves might not make great skiing sunglasses because of this.
A fantastic and lightweight pair of sunglasses that continue to modernize the wrap around design. The price tag does produce a quality product in this case and this lifestyle frame can certainly hold its own in an active world. For more information please visit: www.shadestation.co.uk