Several Oakley styles took top honours. In the polarized lens category, Oakley Square Wire® 2.0 was the top performer; Oakley Splice beat the field in the men’s sport category; and Oakley’s Fate earned top ranking in the women’s sport category.
Robert Cochran, author of the article, noted the importance of optical performance in sunglasses:
“Do optics really make a difference? For the average person, they certainly do; for pilots, they’re an imperative. Anyone who drives a car or flies a plane should be aware of how ordinary sunglasses can corrupt their view of the world. What you see isn’t necessarily what you get, and at 200 knots, that’s not a good thing.”
Cyclists don't go quite that fast, but they need good optics nonetheless.
To conduct the tests, ICS Laboratories purchased sixty-five pairs of non-prescription sunglasses representing numerous brands, including Oakley, Maui Jim, RayBan, Vaurnet and Smith. ICS Laboratories then analyzed the randomly selected eyewear samples using a standardized testing series developed by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI). The ANSI Z87.1 tests measure lens definition, prismatic power, refractive power, prismatic imbalance, and astigmatism caused by imperfections in lens geometries and materials. Additional analysis was performed by an independent optometrist.
When lens definition was tested, a vast disparity was immediately evident.
“In simple terms, this test measures how much an inferior lens can blur an image of thin lines drawn close together and viewed at a distance,” wrote .
“It proves that even ordinary non-prescription sunglasses can change your view, and not in a good way.”
Private Pilot included photos from testing that gave readers an indication of how vision — even the vision of perfect eyes — can be corrupted by inferior sunglass products.