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It hardly seems like you'll need sunglasses this summer, but on the off-chance that the sun does emerge from the banks of glowering clouds, these Oakleys are a pretty good bet. At £80 or so, they do come at a bit of a premium, but they're hardy enough and sexy enough to justify the price tag.
I earlier reviewed my other pair of Oakleys, Fives - and the majority of the praise I had for those glasses applies to these just as much. They score highly on both aesthetic and practical levels, and although they tend to be my backup pair, worn less frequently than the Fives, I'm still entirely pleased to have spent the money on them.
On a visual level, these are perhaps less distinctly Oakleys than other models - the flat face of the glasses is free from logos and branding, and only the trademark "O" on each arm indicates the make. The design is also more angular and straight-edged than Oakleys typically are - there are less smooth, flowing lines here, and the effect is harsher and less organic. That's not to say it doesn't work though - the glasses are pretty striking, and the look comes together nicely, with the thick arms carrying through the squared-off shape of the lenses.
They're comfortable too - not as lightweight as my other pair, and probably heavier than most Oakleys, but they're still designed to rest happily on the face. That said, they don't sit atop your head as easily as more rounded pairs, the squarish design struggling to hug the curve, and they don't feel as snug on the nose. I don't tend to wear these for sport like I do my Fives, for this reason - so in this sense there are practical limitations, and these glasses are less of an all-rounder than other varieties.
The larger, angular frame also means these don't fit into standard sunglass-pods - you'll need to buy a specially-sized variety, though you'd likely buy this anyway to protect the glasses.
One area in which they really do excel is in terms of durability - these are some seriously tough sunglasses. I'd say they're the cockroaches of the eyewear world - sole survivors of a nuclear blast and all that - but it's not an especially flattering comparison. So they're alligators, bulldogs, something like that.
Like my other pair, the polarised sepia-toned lenses feel a little odd the first time you put them on, but you adjust pretty quickly, and somehow the colours seem to have all their natural intensity, even with this off-brown tint to them. As you'd expect from a brand like this, they also offer you all the sun protection you'll need.
All in all, they're my second pair for a reason - they're not quite as comfortable, nor - thanks to a touch of the Stevie Wonders about them - quite as attractive as my Fives, but they're still fine sunglasses, with long-lasting toughness that makes them good value.
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