PARIS/ROUBAIX 1985Oakley began it’s meteoric accent as a sports and lifestyle company by developing a motorcycle grip of soft rubber that was comfortable in all conditions. Still largely focused on the motorcross market, the next project the Southern California based company would tackle was  O Frame MX Goggle, which combined excellent peripheral vision, a optimized low profile fit, and razor sharp clarity, to raise the bar for performance in the early 1980s.

Where the story becomes relevant to cycling is in 1984, when founder Jim Jannard helped reinvent performance eyewear with the iconic Eyeshades. Over the top in appearance, the glasses utilized a similar lens shape to the O Frame goggles, and offered many of the same optical advantages.

To market the outlandish design, the company reached out to Greg LeMond.While cycling at this point was still very much rooted in traditions, Greg had always been one to buck trends, and the”garish” sunglasses worn by the American drew frowns from the European establishment. Yet, LeMond kept winning on cycling’s biggest stages, and soon everyone wanted a pair of Eyeshades.

09/03/1986  Andy Hampsten in action Photo: Offside / L'Equipe
To celebrate that wonderful history and the start of the Tour, Oakley is launching three new collections: Heritage Lifestyle, Heritage Sport Performance, and Tour De France.

Oakley Sunglasses Re-release

Oakley Limited Re-Release

We first got a sneak peak at these new collections when we visited Oakley earlier this year for a Factory Tour.

The Heritage Lifestyle collection is a limited release of their vintage collection, and includes the Eyeshade, Frogskins, and Razorblades. Each model will be available in three different color schemes, including this Seafoam Green.

2014 Oakley Sunglass Colleciton
The Heritage Sport Performance pairs Oakley’s modern performance eyewear with a svelte stripe graphic, that incorporates the the colors of the original eyewear.

Tour de France Oakley Limited Edition Eyeshades Tour de France Oakley Limited Edition RaceJacketThe Tour de France collection is limited to three models – two performance options, and the legendary Eyeshade. Each features a subtle pinstripe graphic, that incorporates the colors of the tours three most important jerseys.

The Eyeshades will set you back $200, the Racing Jacket (bottom left) retail for $250, and the Radarlock Path are $330. They’re available now at the Oakley Online Store.

Bonus: Original Design Sketches

Oakley Flak Jacket Sketch Just for kicks, Oakley also sent along some of the original design sketches. This image was the blueprint for the Flak Jacket.

Oakley Radar SketchOakley Radar

Oakley Blade SketchOakley Blade

Oakley Eyeshade SketchOakley Eyeshade

We’re still waiting to hear back on all the pricing details, but head over to Oakley to learn more.


  1. These prices are insane. $330 for some polycarbonate pcs of plastic? I remember when a set of Oakley’s were around 100-120, and that was considered pricey. I have zero sympathy for them seeing knockoffs sold from china for $25. By selling these for so much money, it raises the price of all sunglasses because if Oakley will sell at $300, then Smith or Spy or name your company here can sell at “only” $100 and seam like a bargain.

  2. That’s right! I can tell you that in the past 25 years Oakley is the ONLY company that’s dared to raise their prices. Inflation is a myth! I failed economics in high school!

  3. No mellon, if that was the case of everything increasing in price by 3X in ten years then a minivan would cost $60,000 and a gallon of milk would be nearly $9.

    Its not “Oakley” but their owner, Luxottica. Listen to the 60 minutes peace on them how they made rayban’s go from selling for $35 10 years ago to nearly 200 today.

  4. Luxottica is the devil. I hate what they have done to the domestic optical industry. They are the Rockefellers of optics.

  5. Perhaps Oakley could develop something new, instead of pushing ancient and antiquated designs as something we would actually want to buy. Or did Luxottica dismantle the Oakley R&D team as well.

  6. @Colin, if you can’t afford it, don’t buy it! This stuff is amazing and I love how the prices are weeding out the wanna-be’s. We get richer, you wine about it!!!!!

  7. Is the shades that Cavendish was wearing on the Tour de France the other day there too???

    Those looked interesting…these just look retro for retro’s sake.

  8. @Collin S
    Oakley still sells eyewear across a range of prices starting around 100-120 (and a Racing Jacket back in the 90s would have cost you way more than $120).

    You do know Oakley is still making other models, right? If you don’t like Radarlock, too bad. It’s not antiquated at all.

  9. @Ralphy: Indeed, Oakley has a multitude of models, all based on 80’s designs. Where are the new ideas? A $1.5B brand has the obligation to deliver new designs and technologies to propel their industrial category. Again, where are their new ideas? Radarlock is just an expensive M frame variation from the 90’s. Oakley has spent all of their energy and money re-selling old ideas for the past 12-months. I can only question whether there is either no new tech, or just a horrible marketing team.

  10. Greg, you sound like a person I would want to hang around with /sarcasm. (BTW, wine=grapes, whine = tears).

    As others have pointed out, they’ve been only offering maybe 3 or 4 styles of cycling glasses for the past 10 years with almost not change. I’ll go with a company like project Rudy, Julbo, or Smith which offers fresh designs every few years. Any frame that looked Cool in the 80’s and 90’s probably should be put out to pasture.

  11. So much Oakley hate, reminds me of Specialized haters lol.

    As for the prices, have you guys checked out prices of other high-end sunglass brands? Maui Jim, Costa del Mar, Rudy Project, RayBan, etc. All have glasses well over $250-300. At least the Oakleys at this price range are innovative with interchangeable lense, hinged frames for lens swaps, indestructable lenses and frames, etc. $300 aviators from Ray Ban gets you what, 70’s style?

What do you think?