Last month, Mark Cavendish gave a hint of what was coming from Oakley when he happened to win a race while wearing an as-yet-unreleased pair of sunglasses. What he wore at the Tour of Turkey now has a name: Kato.
Look around your local riding bunch. Notice a prevalence of any particular product? Where I ride at least, there’s a proliferation of Oakley Sutro sunglasses. They once seemed oversized but that was years ago. Now they are ubiquitous. Clearly the market agrees that the style and fit are ideal for cycling, because I see them on faces everywhere… including in the mirror.
Of course, it was Oakley that pioneered the notion of sporting sunglasses – or, as it’s dubbed in 2021, ‘performance eyewear’. And so the arrival of a new shape deserves a mention, even before there’s been an opportunity to sample the Kato offering.
And of course there’s a detailed explanation about what makes the Kato great in Oakley’s PR statement. “Oakley Kato’s purpose-built design features an innovative, frameless lens, crafted with an extended wrap and built-in retention to mimic the structural properties of a typical frame,” says Oakley in the launch material.
“The result is a product intended to fit close to the contours of the face, creating a mask-like feel. When paired with Oakley’s unparalleled optics and clarity of vision, this product removes limitations and provides the wearer with the confidence to be at their best, unlocking their inner superpower.”
What? My inner superpower?! Get me a pair of these sunnies, I’d like to know how I’ll ride when that’s unlocked. Maybe I’ll go faster, but chances are I’ll just look different (and, probably, see things differently).
In other words, there’s little more to say in this mini-review other than: have a look at the pics. Like what you see? I do. And I’d like to see more of the Kato. If that happens, I’ll let you know.
– By Rob Arnold