Friday, 22 July 2011

Rest Day Review: Oakley Asian Fit Flak Jacket sunglasses

I've been wanting a pair of sunglasses for a long time, especially since I often look directly into the sun when running on the Brighton seafront (when the sun's out that is)! After a little research I thought I would give Oakley Flak Jacket sunglasses a try--seemed to have great reviews and good for both running, cycling and other sports.

I checked out the Oakley UK website and was really excited to learn that they do Asian Fit sunglasses, modified to compensate for a lower nose bridge. With my Asian nose I'm always concerned about sunglasses hitting my cheeks so I thought these would be a great option. I ended up ordering two pairs to try out (pics not to scale):
  • Women's Asian Fit Flak Jacket in Lipstick Red with Black Iridium Lenses - these didn't come in black :(
  • Unisex Asian Fit Flak Jacket in Black with Black Iridium Lenses - since black is always my color of choice

I did have a few hiccups with my order and it took a little longer that expected, so I was anxious by the time they arrived. 

Asian Fit Flak Jacket vs Women's Asian Fit Flak Jacket
For both pairs I could immediately tell the difference between these and non-Asian Fit sunglasses. The nose piece is a little more narrow and bigger to prop the glasses up higher so they sit better on the face. I was thrilled when I found that both pairs sat high enough not to hit my cheeks! Both glasses felt comfortable on, but the Women's Flak Jacket was slightly smaller--a little less wide with shorter arms. They fit my petite face a little better so although I really wanted to go with my beloved black (and I still don't understand why they don't make the women's in black), I decided I could live the lipstick red.

Worth mentioning that the size difference between the two was small. If they didn't have a women's version I probably could have gotten by with the Unisex.
Hitting the road with my new Asian Fit Oakleys
The hot weather a few weeks ago gave me a great chance to test my new sunglasses, and overall I love them.  They are very comfortable and light, and most importantly they don't bounce at all when I run--that was my biggest worry. There was no uncomfortable rubbing or headache caused by the arms, and the seafront looked crisp and clear through the lenses. Despite the heat and sweat the lenses didn't fog up at all. The nose pieces are rubberized but despite that there was some slipping after I started to sweat, and I'm sure my sunscreen didn't help! But I think this would be the same with any pair (more to do with my nose than fit) and it didn't bother me during my longer runs. I also wear over-the-ear headphones, and the sunglasses sat comfortably on top of them and I had no issues with either as I was running.

The sunglasses also came with:
- Hard case
- Soft case that also acts as a polishing cloth
- 2nd pair of nose pads in a different size
- Hydrophobic Pen for treating lenses

The lenses are removable and you can purchase different colors to be used in various conditions. The black iridium lenses work just fine for me now so I'm not planning to purchase other ones, but nice to know I can if I start doing other activities.

THE VERDICT: I would definitely recommend the Flak Jackets to any runner (they also come in a 'regular' fit), but in particular if you're looking for an 'Asian-Fit' option. They've been great so far for my petite face and nearly non-existent bridge, and I'm looking forward to using them for many years to come!


  1. Hello! I just found your blog while looking into running gear for petite runners (being only 5'1 myself) and was excited to find this post, as I'm looking into buying the exact same sunnies!

    I too was annoyed by the lack of choice for the women's Asian Fit frames (they don't even have the option of coming with polarised lenses!) but when I rang up the sales team and explained what I wanted, they told me that all the Flak Jacket dimensions are all the same: Asian Fit, Women, or normal - they're all the same dimensions, but the normal ones come with 2 interchangeable nosepads (one of which makes it into the "Asian Fit" style). So apparently I can go ahead and order the colours/lenses I want in the standard size as they're all the same! This confuses me, as you noted a difference in the unisex/women's Asian Fit frames, never mind the standard version.

    Mystery pervades! So I guess my question is, are they the same as the Oakley SA says, or did you really notice a difference?

    1. Hi there! I didn't talk to any SAs when I ordered the glasses, I just bought them online based on their description. Since both of the ones that I tried were labeled as Asian fit--and I didn't compare them to 'normal' Oakleys--I can't tell you if what the SA said is true. But I usually have problems with most sunglasses from various manufacturers and these Asian fit Oakleys were the first I found to sit up higher on nose and off my face. These did come with two sets of nosepads but I've only used the ones that came attached since they seemed fine.

      I don't know if this helps or not but my husband (who definitely does not need Asian Fit) tried on the unisex Asian Fit glasses and felt they were way too high off his nose and far too narrow across his bridge. Don't know if it would have been different with the other set of nosepads but I didn't get that impression.

      Sorry not to be able to give you a definitive answer but I hope this still helps a little.

      Good luck!

  2. Quick question, I'm 5'5" Asian women, would you suggest the women's Asian fit version or the unisex? How much of the difference was the length of the arms? Measurements would be great! Thanks!

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