Oakley has always been at the forefront of sports sunglasses design, no wonder there’s more than one model from the American brand featured on our best cycling sunglasses guide. However, the new Oakley Kato is something different. Don’t get us wrong, they are for cycling and also sunglasses, but we haven’t seen unique designs like this before, not to mention, the process also required Oakley to completely revamp its manufacturing technology. In Oakley’s words, “this next-level innovation required a complete overhaul of the fabrication process – from molds to optical axis machines and lens adhesive.”
The new Oakley Kato’s ‘radical aesthetic’ features a frameless lens, crafted with an extended wrap and built-in retention to mimic the structural properties of a typical frame. We have no doubt that the Kato’s new design will be divisive among athletes, to say the least, and without questioning the innovative nature of the design process, we’re not 100% sure what function the new protruding part of the Kato serves. Will it improve aerodynamics? Who knows? It’ll certainly protect the bridge of your nose from sunburn.
Oakley Kato: price and availability
Oakley Kato: features
Although Oakley emphasises the disruptive design of the Kato the most, the glasses have other notable features too, including the lightweight O Matter stems and Unobtainium earsocks, molded over the stems for comfort and grip. The Kato is also available with Oakley’s Prizm lens technology that enhances colour and contrast so you can see obstacles on the road better.
The adjustable rake mechanism helps tilt the lens to create the right bridge and cheek contact to properly adapt to any face type. We hope this adjustability won’t make the stems less durable, though. To further improve comfort, the Kato comes with three Unobtainium nose pads of different thicknesses and depths to tailor the fit of the curved lens to your face.