Oakley has long been at the forefront of performance eyewear. For decades they’ve manufactured high end sunnies to meet the needs of a multitude of sports. Apart from offering great looking products, they’ve always put substance ahead of style. With the release of the Encoder range we have seen the boundaries pushed even further.
The innovative design starts with the aesthetic. The frameless shield layout and oversized lens have an avant garde style that offers generous coverage. Having no frame means the field of view is extremely good, plus having less material across the brow and around the nose, they feel almost weightless. In terms of the fit, you’ll be surprised how secure and snug they are. This is despite having slightly shorter temples, which are an addition to make the Encoder a better fit for most helmet retention systems and for wearing with hats.
We tested the Encoder’s in a couple of scenarios, running and cycling. These are the main applications for our readers, however they’ve been designed for use in many other sports, from baseball and golf to cricket. On both the bike and run they performed extremely well. The tight, form-fitting design protects against the sun and wind, but allows adequate airflow to prevent fogging. They’re also not so tight that they feel restrictive in any way. The clarity of the lenses is also very good, with great contrast and colour. For trail runners, this means on technical terrain you’re ale to see every rock and tree root, even in dappled light.
The build quality is typically high – They’re made to last and endure serious use. The Encoder comes in four different colour combinations with a retail price of $311.