An new pair of Oakleys has been spotted on a couple of big-name cyclists competing at the Vuelta a España – Tour de France champion Chris Froome (Team Ineos Grenadiers) and Sam Bennett (Deceuninck–Quick-Step). The unique looking glasses, still unreleased by Oakley, have drummed up quite the stir on the internet.
Bennett wore them to victory on Stage 4 last week. A few days later, Froome conveniently posted an up-close look at the glasses on Twitter for those who were squinting at their screens trying to figure out what was going on with the nose bridge of his shades.
— Chris Froome (@chrisfroome) October 25, 2020
So what do we know about these mysterious new frames?
According to Oakley Forum, the glasses will be called the Oakley Kato. They debuted during the 2020 SuperBowl on the face of Patrick Mahomes of the Kansas City Chiefs, but the company still hasn’t released any official information on them.
Ready for takeoff 🚀✈️ pic.twitter.com/Xt6L7rBJol
— Kansas City Chiefs (@Chiefs) February 2, 2020
(Some of ) the design
The design of the Kato sunglasses is different in a number of ways. The arms are thinner than many other models and they attach directly to the lens. They don’t have the option to attach anywhere else, as the sunglasses are all lens, no frame. The body of the glasses, simply one large lens, extends down and wraps around the nose.
Oakley Kato, coming soon… pic.twitter.com/Ld4EZbNX3g
— Aitor Ruiz de Zárate (@triaitor) October 26, 2020
Oakley has not yet stated whether the interesting nose-covering design is for aerodynamics, airflow or to give the wearer a panoramic shaded view free of any frame material. At this point, we can only speculate it’s some combination of the three.
A vague release date
Oakley says the model is scheduled for release in early 2021, but won’t share any information beyond that. For now, fans and haters of the frames will have to wait patiently and keep their eyes open for a glimpse the Okaley Katos in the peloton.
It will be interesting to see if we see any Oakley-sponsored triathletes sporting the new glasses at either Ironman Florida or the PTO Championship in Daytona over the next few weeks.