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Road Gear

Oakley Kato sunglasses launched for $291

A pivoting sunglass shield or an adjustable mask? Yes, Oakley says.

After showing up on the likes of Chris Froome at the 2020 Vuelta a España, Oakley’s Kato sunglasses finally launched today for $291. Featuring a wrap-around nose shield, three different rubber nosepieces, and an adjustable tilt, the glasses are designed to fit close to your face. And yes, the look is, well, unique.

Oakley is not afraid of going over the top with its sunglass design. In fact, back in 2001 the California company had a pair of glasses called Over The Top, which wrapped over the top of the head instead of around to the sides. I searched high and low for a good photo of them, but alas, the only Getty Images shot I could find was the one below of David Millar at the Tour de France prologue. You can also peek over at Pinterest for a better look.

David Millar (Cofidis) wearing Oakley Over The Top FMJ sunglasses before the start of the prologue Individual time trial for the 2001 Tour de France. Photo: Pascal Rondeau/Getty Images

In any event, the new Kato glasses come in red, blue and silver Prizm lenses, and all have black frames.

Oakley has offered multiple nosepads for a while with its glasses so users can customize the fit. Here, part of the fit includes how close you want the shield to sit to your face, in addition to how the nosepad fits on the bridge of your nose.

Oakley, 100% and others have offered frameless glasses for a few years that maximize the field of vision. What added benefit covering part of the nose offers is unclear.

Oakley claims the lens mimics the structural properties of a frame, so perhaps the Kato is a bit stiffer than a standard frameless design.

Aside from the unique shield design, the fact that the arms pivot to adjust the angle of the shield is novel.

The shield tilts up and down at the red O just behind the Oakley logo on each arm. The additional nose-covering portion of the shield is unlike anything else in cycling.

You can check out the Kato now on Oakley.com.

Oakley Kato
Chris Froome in the unique Oakleys during the 2020 Vuelta a España. Photo: David Ramos/Getty Images