So you’re looking for some new Oakley sunglasses and struggling to decide which frame to go with – Holbrook or Frogskins? Whilst all of Oakley’s sunglasses range are made using top quality technology, with optimum comfort and high end aesthetics consistently at the fore, these two models remain the brand’s most popular frames. Let’s take a look at them and examine the differences, so you can decide which style is right for you.
The Back Story
Oakley Frogskins originated in 1985. Heavily reminiscent of RayBan Wayfarers, Oakley founder Jim Jannard has been quoted as saying that the name for the brand comes from the phrase ‘frog skins’, meaning dollars, as Jannard was keen to remind himself that creating sunglasses isn’t just about the money but also about pushing creative and technological boundaries. Frogskins, he felt, weren’t “interesting”. Since Oakley was, at the time, a very small company – it only began in 1975, working out of Jannard’s own garage – they created the Frogskins with profit in mind. However, the style turned out to be a huge success, and this first batch became known as ‘Generation 1’ (or ‘Gen 1’), with many successive generations being created by Oakley since then.
Perhaps Jannard changed his mind later on, given this triumph, because Oakley Holbrooks, in turn, are themselves inspired by the famous Frogskins. They first emerged in 2010, and are a fresh take on the iconic mid-80s model. Designed in collaboration with Olympic snowboarder Shaun White, the theme for this particular brand is ‘spirit of adventure and exploration’. Oakley have, in a sense, embodied this theme in a more literal way, since, post-Frogskins, they’ve always sought to improve the technical aspect of their sunglasses with each successive evolution of their brand.
Aesthetics are all important when it comes to choosing the right sunnies for you. We can be sure, given the story above, of Oakley’s commitment to utilizing cutting edge technologies. But what are the real, tangible differences between the two frames, in terms of their composition? Certainly, you already know that both models are supremely high end, and this goes from their design down to each individual component part. Read on to find out more about the various elements that make up these superb designer shades before you choose one to buy.
The Gen 1 Frogskins were formed from plastic, and that remains the same now. These days, however, Frogskins are made from tough, nylon-based ‘O-Matter’. O-Matter is durable and lightweight, with a modicum of flexibility, meaning that the sunnies made from it mould comfortably to your face and are high on wearability. It’s an impressively high tech material, and Holbrooks, unsurprisingly, are composed of the exact same stuff.
O'Matter is 25% lighter than acetate as well as twice as strong. It’s also, quite brilliantly, sweat resistant, which makes either of these two styles perfect for sunny days, or for sports. In 2017, however, Oakley also decided to offer Holbrooks in a stainless steel frame, for those who want the reassurance of weight on their face. There’s also a ‘Holbrook Mix’ option, in which the arms are metal, but the rest of the frame is made from O-Matter, offering the best of both worlds.
It’s important to note, too, that modern day Frogskins now have non-metal hinges, instead of the original metal of the Gen 1, whilst Holbrooks feature metal rivets that form an important element in their distinctive frame design.
Since Holbrooks were based on Frogskins, and Frogskins, in turn, on RayBan Wayfarers, it’s worth noting the design style that’s filtered through all three of these iconic brands. Creativity is to a great degree about influence and inspiration, and both Holbrooks and Frogskins, boast beautifully rounded frames that flare at the top outside edges. It’s simple, and it’s stunningly stylish. The timeless design of both Holbrooks and Frogskins comes courtesy of the movie heroes of the 40s, 50s, and 60s – no wonder so many celebrities since then, and up to the present day, have been seen sporting them, from Tom Cruise and Liv Tyler to Rihanna and Daniel Craig.
Additionally, both Holbrooks and Frogskins feature metal rivets, plus Oakley icons, as an inherent part of their frame design. These icons are not so large as to be garish, but not so small as to be irritatingly indistinct – rather, they’re an embedded element of the brand, and as iconography goes they sit just right on the spectrum between subtle and striking.
Although Oakley Frogskins were based on the classic Wayfarer shape, it was partly their iridium-finish lenses which made them so famous in the beginning. These days, both Frogskins and Holbrooks are marketed by Oakley as possessing these lenses as standard. To be clear, however, ‘iridium’ is a marketing term, rather than a technological substance in its own right. It is in fact a metallic oxide coating, and nothing to do with polarization, which Oakley offers with both sets of sunglasses as an optional extra. Oakleys lenses are made from Plutonite, their term for high-quality Polycarbonate plastic, and include what they call High Definition Optics (HDO), which help to reduce glare.
Prizm is a further marketing term used by the company and, again, it’s something you can choose as an addition. Another technology designed to reduce glare, it’s a process in which the lenses, when created, are melted down to liquid form; dyes are then added to give the desired color and tint. This dye is scientifically engineered to match the peaks in light transmission across a variety of conditions and, as such, it’s claimed that they help filter out ‘noisy’ light and sharpen the wearer’s perception.
A pair of contemporary Frogskins, purchased directly from Oakleys at the time of writing this article, cost around $140. Holbrooks are a little more, at just under $200 for the plastic frame sunglasses, and up to $235 for the metal. That’s just the price of the frames. The lenses, then, might be a couple of tens of dollars more, if they’re not prescription, or hundreds of dollars more if they are. It depends on the level of customisation that you’re looking for, but in terms of the frames themselves, there are myriad colours to choose from and you can mix up the tints on your main frame and temples at very little extra cost. Prizm lenses, too, if not prescription, are very little more, even if you choose polarized.
Oakley Holbrook replacement lenses
Whether you choose a pair of metal Holbrook frames in classic, stylish black, or a Frogskins frame that’s as green as actual frog skins, the lenses themselves are unlikely to last as long as the frames themselves. We hold a very large selection of Oakley Holbrook lens types, so you can rest easy in the fact that your frames can be replenished with new lenses very easily.
Oakley Frogskin replacement lenses
Frogskins are no exception, either. Even if just one of the lenses gets scratched or damaged, we can get another one over to you straight away. We replace Oakley Frogskin lenses and we replace Oakley Holbrook lenses – so, whichever model you eventually decide on, rest assured that we offer the most high-precision, low-cost, excellently-made lenses out there, so that when your sunglasses need new lenses, you can do that far more easily than just throwing them away and buying a new pair.
Why Sunglass Fix?
Like the names Holbrooks and Frogskins, we’re proud of our own, ‘Sunglass Fix’. Fixing sunglasses is what we do, and we do it better than anyone else. No matter the frame, and no matter where you are on the planet, either, we stock replacement sunglass lenses for all top brands. The process is simple, and it’s incredibly cost effective, too. Your frames might cost a mint, but you needn’t spend out so much when purchasing replacement lenses for them from us.
We don’t make up fancy marketing terms. Our lenses are made from polycarbonate, a strong, state of the art plastic that possesses the perfect, crystalline clarity of glass. All of our lenses feature 100% UV block-out – sunglasses are to protect your eyes from the sun, after all – and are fully compliant with American, Australian and European safety standards. You can also add Japanese Polarization technology to your new lenses, which possesses an impressive 99% efficacy.
So, whether you decide on Frogskins, or order a pair of Holbrooks, it’s all the same to us – their frames are fantastic, and their lenses very good indeed. But, when they inevitably scratch up – or if you have an old pair of Oakleys hanging around in a drawer somewhere – we can aid you in restoring them back to perfect condition. And, our Sunglass Fix™ lens options are, quite simply, the best in the world.