My uncle had the original Blades and was a repeat Oakley customer. He says that the quality has dropped noticeably in recent years, and he no longer uses them. One of my Oakleys has a tint that's so uneven I can see colors change when I turn my head. You'd think that they'd improve their product as materials like Trivex (which Rudy Project calls ImpactX and Kaenon also uses sometimes) were introduced, but it seems they regressed and started banking on their name. It's not all their fault, though. They had a dispute over pricing with Luxxotica, who owns Sunglass Hut, Lens Crafters, Pearle Vision, and most of the sunglass brands people know about. Luxxotica removed Oakley products from their distribution, which drove their stock prices down. Then Luxxotica bought them up and used their monopoly power to add Oakley to their lower-quality-higher-cost business strategy.
I had the original Blades in the 1986 era when iridium "yellow Chrome" lens first came out. You could buy the glasses like parts, getting one color of frame and another color of lens and side frames. They were $100 back in the mid eighties when $100 was $100.
I lived near the factory in Irvine were they were first designed and made.The cool thing was if you had a broken pair they would replace them no questions asked. They have a lifetime warranty if you personally take em back and walk in the factory/design center in Irvine California. I have three pair now and the inner lens is peeling on the Monster Dogs and Hyjinx designs which does affect the image quality. I know if I walk into the factory they will give me all new lens replacements. The deal with Oakley supposedly is the plastic protects your eyes from projectiles, even if the image quality is crap.
Edited by Redcarmoose - 3/21/13 at 5:32am