Oakley Sutro South Africa – The Ultimate Review

Although most people will know Oakley through its small-framed, casual-looking pairs of eyewear including the Oakley Frogskin and the more recent Flak Jacket and Radar, their first sports sunglasses were actually a pair of sport-oriented, goggle-like Factory Pilot Eyeshades released in 1984.

Just like what happens with fashion trends, big, goggle-style lenses are now back in style.

Despite the arrival of new players such as Roka, POC, and 100%, Oakley has carved for itself a name almost synonymous with innovation, technology, and style in the sports eyewear industry.

The Oakley Sutro, one of their recently released models, is considered by many as one of the, if not the, company’s greatest offering yet.

With an exceptional combination of style and performance, the Sutro is fast becoming one of the most in-demand sports sunglasses in the world.


Sunglasses are often seen as “adult” items that kids don’t have a need of. But that’s just not true.

When on a vacation, kids are the first ones to run to the beach and the last ones to leave. Playing for hours under the sun exposes their eyes to several health problems.


The Oakley Sutro is a cycling-specific pair of sunglasses featuring a large wraparound design that is meant to provide excellent coverage for users on the road.

The Prizm lens not only gives crystal-clear clarity but also reduces glare and enhances contrast.

As a result, it’s a lot easier to see moving objects in changing light conditions or changes in road texture.

Users also find these lenses great in dealing with low to bright light conditions.

Users love its perfect, comfortable fit and the fact that it stays in place despite movement thanks to the rubber nosepiece.

The thin arms provide just enough pressure without pinching your head but lack the sticky rubber nose-piece material.

With these said, users with small to medium heads find it too large and overwhelming on their faces.


Excellent coverage, ultra-clear vision, comfortable fit, stays in place despite movement.


Size may be too big for small to medium-sized faces, arms lack sticky rubber grip.


Shape: Rectangle

Fit: Large

Weight: 32 grams

Best suits: Oval, round, and angular face shape


Shape: Rectangle

Some sunglasses, particularly those on the small size, tend to block your vision with the frame especially when in a head-down position.

This is problematic for cyclists or anyone who needs an unobstructed vision in any position.

Sutro is Oakley’s biggest frame yet, which works well in giving it a startling coverage.

Your field of vision will not be interrupted by the frame – anywhere you look, it’s all lens.

This is a great feature for head-down cycling as you will not be trying to peer at the top rim of the frame just to see where you’re going.

Peripheral vision is great as well. It lets you stay aware of your surroundings and keeps your eyes safe from dust and other debris that may enter through the side.

Excellent coverage also makes this a safer choice in urban cycling where you have to have excellent vision to stay aware of fast-moving traffic and pedestrians suddenly stepping into the road.


As with all Oakley’s sports sunglasses, Sutro uses Prizm lenses which are designed to fine-tune vision in specific environments.

These lenses enhance contrast to make it easier for users to see every little detail in their environments, allowing them to react quicker.

This can mean the difference between swerving your bike just in time to avoid a branch or getting caught on it and losing your balance.

The Prizm lens is available in more than 10 choices, with each suiting a specific sport.

This makes Sutro a versatile piece of eyewear that can be used in cycling, running, fishing, hiking, and even golf. Whatever your sport is, there’s a Sutro for you.

The Prizm technology also allows up to 75% light transmission while blocking 100% of harmful UV light.

This means equal performance both in the full-on brightness of day as well as in low-light situations.

Users swear by these lenses as the best they ever used in low-light conditions.


When you’re out there grinding, the last thing you want is a headache caused by an ill-fitting pair of shades. With the Sutro, you won’t have to worry about that.

The fit is incredibly snug and comfortable, and its lightweight build adds up to the overall barely-there feel.

The frames are made of O Matter, Oakley’s patented frame material made of a combination of nylons and plastics.

It’s extremely lightweight yet durable – and no, it’s not just all talk. You have to wear it to believe it.

The Sutro also has Unobtainium rubber grips that are designed to get stickier the more you sweat, ensuring that the glasses stay right in place even in humid or rainy days.

As for the arms, they lack the rubber grippers unlike other Oakley’s pairs, but they still stay in place if you apply enough pressure to it.

The lack of arm grippers may mean that they don’t stay in a helmet garage as securely as other models like the Radar.


A poorly ventilated pair of sunglasses will cause a fog build-up as you sweat and breathe more heavily. This obviously poses a risk as it obscures the user’s vision.

As for Sutro, the ventilation is excellent despite its full-coverage frames.

Fog build-up is minimal, but some users report sweat collecting on the lower part of the frame. This shouldn’t be too big of a problem though.


Not everyone may like Sutro’s big, flashy, retro style, but you can’t deny its stand-out presence and visual attractiveness.

It’s actually a throwback to Oakley’s 1984 Factory Pilot Eyeshade which also looked more like goggles than shades.

1984 Oakley Factory Pilot. Image from merlincycles.com.

Sutro’s bold look makes it ideal for anyone looking to spice up their sports look.

Although it’s marketed as a piece of eyewear for urban cyclists, more and more professional riders and other athletes are sporting these sunglasses not only because of its outstanding performance but also because of its unique, fashion-forward style.


While Sutro is being labeled as a “man’s” eyewear, we all know gender lines are getting more blurred, and this extends to eyewear.

Sutro admittedly has a large size and edgy shape, but it can work on women as well.

The bigger factor to consider here is your face shape and size.

Because the Oakley Sutro has a rectangular shape, it tends to look good on round, oval, and angular face shapes.

Small to medium face sizes may also be overwhelmed by its large frame.

With that said, let’s take a look at women absolutely slaying it with this versatile piece:

Caroline Buchanan, Australian cyclist
This is a limited edition Sutro Eyeshade released in early 2020.


It’s been more than three decades since the Factory Pilot Eyeshade was released, and Oakley celebrates their long rich heritage with the Sutro Eyeshade, a limited-edition version of Sutro that nods back to the 1984 Factory Pilot.

It’s part of Oakley’s Origins Collection which aims to bring back to the forefront their older designs with a touch of modern technology.

The Sutro and Sutro Eyeshade share a lot of similarities including the highly durable O Matter frame, sticky Unobtanium rubber material on the nose piece, and the clarity-enhancing Prizm lens technology.

Their main differences lie in the design:

  • Colourways – Sutro Eyeshade has a few exclusive throwback colourways not available in Sutro.
  • Design elements – In Sutro Eyeshade, the Oakley Factory Pilot logo is displayed on the outside temple arm. Sutro Eyeshade also has additional port hole vents at the top part of the shield to provide extra airflow to keep the user cool and fog-free.


There’s no denying that Sutro is a show-stopper, but more than its visual strength, it also has exceptional performance in terms of lens clarity and coverage.

The Prizm lens makes the colours pop and reduces glare for more eye protection. It also enhances vision even in low-light settings.

The wide, wraparound design also gives great coverage on all sides.

The enhanced peripheral vision is a huge benefit for urban cyclists and off-the-road cyclists in a head-down riding position.

It also fits comfortably and stays in place despite sweat and movement thanks to the rubbery grip on the nose pad, although it would have been better to have the same material lining the arms to make it even more stable.

The bold look also may not be to everyone’s liking, and the huge size makes it less than ideal for people with smaller face sizes.

Overall, the Oakley Sutro brings an equal dose of powerful performance and attention-grabbing design to create a hard-to-ignore sports sunglasses.


Although the Oakley Sutro is available in several brick-and-mortar stores nationwide, Oakley doesn’t have a store finder in South Africa, making it hard to find a specific store that carries it.

The good news is Oakley has online-based authorized resellers that sell authentic Oakley sunglasses.

Oculux is an authorized reseller of Oakley, Rayban, Arnette, and Vogue Eyewear online and has made over 11,000 customers happy over the years.

Check out Oakley Sutro and other Oakley sunglasses today!