Oakley vs. Ray-Ban: Comparing the Top Eyewear Brands for 2022

Now that lockdown restrictions are starting to get somewhat lifted, you can go back to your ordinary life outside your home!

Taking a morning jog, hitting the gym, meeting up with friends—all of those are part of anyone’s usual day-to-day that can be taken to the next level with the proper wardrobe! 

And what better way to do that but with a stylish pair of glasses!

Now, do the names Oakley and Ray-Ban ring a name? If yes, then you’re just in luck! 

Here, you’ll learn more about two of these well-known brands, and who knows? Maybe you’ll want to give them a look once you’re done!

About Oakley

Oakley vs Ray-Ban

What Goes Around, Comes Around

Knowing that this famous brand (technically) started from bike grips might be hard to wrap your head around.

But James “Jim” Jannard (titled as the “Mad Scientist”) has never been known for his predictable ways, and so here we are!

His name gradually became known because of those bike grips, and you can thank the material he created- the Unobtanium.

Jannard also designed a rubber grip to go along with his Unobtainium that opened many possibilities for the biking community because of its revolutionary “cam-shaped design and octopus tread pattern.”

And he did all of that as a college drop-out!

His booming success didn’t come as a surprise, as he had enough resources to build up a growing company, which he named after one of his many beloved dogs, Oakley.

Then, he went from handgrips to getting his hands on designing motocross goggles of his own, which landed him another milestone for his success!

And it’s all because he used his Unobtainium for the earsocks and nosepiece, along with a question that made everyone go nuts:

“What’s going to happen if we have UV protection from a pair of sunglasses and the shape from a pair of goggles TOGETHER?”

The answer: another spike of Oakley’s popularity!

Then, Oakley started to dabble in chic eyewear, which everyone received well because of its quality lens tech and durability!

However, this popularity stemmed from attention, be it good or bad.

In this case, it led to Luxottica striving hard to have Oakley in its grabby hands; it even got to a point where it threatened to pull out from Luxottica’s retail branches if Oakley didn’t cooperate.

Since then, Oakley’s quality took a nosedive, and its designs that used to stand out in the crowd began to blend in with the rest of the eyewear brands out there.

The longer time went by, the more Oakley’s avid fans kept dropping off, and the more Oakley struggled to keep itself afloat.

Until 2005, Oakley was delving back into sports again instead of staying as a fashion brand (but with lifestyle thrown into the mix, as well!) to show the world Oakley’s first wrap-around lifestyle shades- the Oakley Gascan!

About Ray-Ban

A Classic Reborn

As soon as it was created, Ray-Ban already had one goal in mind: to help people.

Although it’s based in Milan, Italy, Ray-Ban was born out of the American eye health manufacturer Bausch & Lomb in 1936 with Colonel John A. Macready’s help.

Because Colonel Macready is part of the US Army Air Corps, he’s more than familiar with the ails that come with being a pilot; some of those being the pilot’s goggles fogging up in the sky.

Since then, Macready and Bausch & Lomb have worked together to create the best eyewear for US Air Force, launching a brand new feature that uses green lenses to reduce the glare from light, which they aptly named “anti-glare.”

Then, impact resistance came into play.

Until Ray-Ban replaced its plastic frames for metal ones and patented this entire design as the Ray-Ban Aviator followed by the Wayfarer.

These two particular models became the talk of the eyewear bustle, but that was short-lived as trends were fast-changing.

Instead of Ray-Ban’s sturdy appearance and wide lenses, people turned to small, thinner glasses to complete their outfit.

This fall from grace got so bad that Ray-Ban had no choice but to sell the company to Luxottica, just like what happened to Oakley.

Clearly, that can’t be enough, so Ray-Ban turned to online auctions because there are still many avid fans who adore the Aviator and Wayfarer models and wanted to support Ray-Ban.

Not only that, but it also went overboard in having media advertise it so subtly you don’t even notice they’re doing it!

A couple of examples would be the alien-fighting partners’ Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones from Men in Black and Johnny Depp from Fear & Loathing in Las Vegas.

Eventually, though, the Aviator and Wayfarer start to get picked back up by the present generation, too, and there are no signs of their love for Ray-Ban dying anytime soon!

Oakley and Ray-Ban

Comparison about Oakley and Ray-Ban

Aging Like Fine Wine 

Admittedly, it did have its ups and downs, but you can see how Ray-Ban got out of it relatively unscathed!

It did little to change anything in its signature design, except for some slight corrections like making the classic Ray-Bans lighter than the original for prolonged wearability.

Meanwhile, Oakley did a complete 180 when it decided to put more focus on the sporty feel of its eyewear, perfected with a wrap-around design!

There’s a Time and a Place

Speaking of, Oakley made sure that its area of expertise would be sports-related, as you can see from the Oakley Gascan and Fuel Cell.

On the other hand, Ray-Ban is more attuned to being a fashion brand since its designs never deviated from the purpose of completing your outfit for the day.

So you can say that both of these brands have their perks that anyone can enjoy!

Worth Its Weight in Gold

This part gets a little tricky.

On one side, Oakley offers a PLETHORA of goodies in its lens technology. Of course, numerous experiments will do that to any eyewear brand.

First is the Oakley High Definition Optics (HDO).

All Oakley eyewear has this technology, which maintains optical correction and clarity for refraction and prismatic power.

Long story short: it makes everywhere you look well-defined.

Not only that, but Oakley’s sporty eyewear (i.e., Gascan and Fuel Cell) ALWAYS have the Oakley Impact Protection, which leaves both its frames AND lenses shatter-proof!

But that’s not the signature technology from Oakley!

Enter: Plutonite Lens.

Its material is highly durable against any mass or impact while maintaining “optical purity” that can handle UVA or UVB.

With all of these perks, you might think Ray-Ban’s way down there, which is honestly valid.

Now, if you compare it to Oakley’s features, Ray-Ban can only hold a CANDLE against all of that!

Sure, it has glass lenses that are great for scratch resistance and clarity with 100% UV protection, and it’s all kept safe by a durable frame, 

But honestly? Those only make up a quarter of what Oakley has.

Still, design-wise, Ray-Ban’s got the upper hand, so that should be something.

The critical question here is: are you willing to pay about half a grand for it?

Which Brand is Better?

Now, the most challenging part is choosing which one is better between Oakley and Ray-Ban.

Well, with how many features Oakley has, you’d think that’s the best option between the two, right?

You’re not wrong, but you’re not right, either.

If you’re taking the practical route, Oakley will be perfect for you, hands down.

However, despite its superior lens technology, many of you might look for something else to sate that unfulfilled desire inside of you because somehow you still feel like something’s missing.

So maybe you’ll find that missing piece from Ray-Ban!

As one of the many iconic designs that lived on for years, your outfit can go one step further because Ray-Ban never gets old!

And it doesn’t hurt that, although minimal, Ray-Ban still has UV protection applied on its glass lenses, so you don’t have to worry too much that it’ll break on you if you hold it wrong.

Final Thoughts

In the end, both eyewear brands, Oakley and Ray-Ban, can satisfy different people’s varied requirements, which is why there isn’t any definitive answer over which one’s much more superior.

Maybe you’ll adore Ray-Ban’s elegant aesthetic, or perhaps you’ll want to have Oakley’s adequate protection while doing some rigorous drills.

Either way, Ray-Ban, and Oakley can help you in ways that are solely dependent on your preferences, so go ahead and give them a try!

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