With summer on the horizon, now is the time to replace your haggard, scratched, and loose sunglasses with something fresh. Since it’s bright nearly every day here in paradise, erm, Southern California, we are never without a set of lenses to block out the sun’s super-harsh rays, like the latest releases by Fox, SPY, Von Zipper, Oakley, and Arnette. Let these five frames do their magic on your face…
Fox Racing Decorum
Product: Fox Racing Decorum
Price: Starting at $100.00
Colors: Eight Colors
Fox has made a solid effort to branch out of their T-shirt and motocross gear roots in the last decade or so, and now each catalog is filled with high-quality denim, running shoes, and sunglasses. Each model, such as the Decorum, is not simply a cheap frame with a Fox head slapped on the side. Instead, they are incredibly strong nylon frames with Carl Zeiss lenses installed. Could this be the product that propels the once niche brand to full mainstream acceptance?
Product: Oakley TwoFace
Price: Starting at $150.00 (Polarized shown: $190.00)
Colors: Seven colors between standard and polarized lenses
Oakley is undoubtedly the leader of the sunglass market. We all know the story of how a small motocross grip and goggle company grew to be an empire renowned the world over, and that growth is what allows them to constantly pump new frames and technology into the market. Their latest model is the TwoFace, a bold and boxy design that includes the standard aluminum lower and O-Matter upper frame construction, Plutonite lens, and the option of polarized lens. What does all that mean? That the TwoFace are a technologically as badass as they look.
Product: Arnette Dibs
Price: Starting at $89.95 (Polarized shown: $119.95)
Colors: Six colors with interchangeable arms included
Arnette debuted in 1992 and were at the height of their popularity just shortly after in the mid 90s. But just as quickly as they appeared, the little brother brand to Oakley was gone. After years away, Arnette is back and better than ever with sunnies like the timeless Dibs. Think of them as Wayfarers with attitude, interchangeable colored arms, and polarized lens. Doesn’t matter if you are sipping on a cocktail or a 40oz of King Cobra, you cannot go wrong with the Dibs.
Product: VonZipper LoMax
Price: Starting at $105.00 (Gnarr-Waiian shown: $120.00)
Colors: Six color options
VonZipper has been known to inject a bit more color and variation into their frames than the competition, as you can see on the LoMax shades Sarai has on. Tropical patterns are the rage this year (look at Volcom’s site for proof) and the Gnarr-Waiian nails the vibe of a warm, sunny island. If you’re a bit more reserved, VZ offers the LoMax in black, with the same impact resistant Base 6 lenses and cam-lock arms as the Gnarr’s.
SPY Optic Helm
Product: SPY Optic Helm
Price: Starting at $99.99 (Orange Matte with Happy Lens shown: $159.95)
Colors: 24 color options between standard and Happy Lens models
Our neighbors at SPY Optics raised quite the controversy when they erected a billboard over downtown Encinitas that read “Happy To Sit On Your Face,” and members of the seaside community raised such a ruckus that it was pulled down a short time later. The whole fiasco didn’t affect the all-new Happy Lens’ performance, and SPY has been selling out the newest lens in a number of frames. Our favorites are by far the Helm, with its simple lines and ultra-lightweight feel. It takes a brave person to run orange glasses, someone like the genius who would come up with an advertising campaign containing so many sexual undertones.