At the 2000 Sydney Olympics, Trinidad and Tobago’s Ato Bolden debuted the Oakley OVERTHETOP sunglasses when he competed in the men’s 4×100 metre relay semi-finals. Now, 20 years later, Oakley has brought back the iconic design to commemorate what would have been the end of the 2020 Olympic Games — which was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“In a year where there are no medals, we celebrate the 20 year anniversary of OVERTHETOP™,” the Oakley website reads. “Honouring the games that never happened, and those who stand in a world of uncertainty, it’s only right to re-introduce the product that defined disruption.”
The sunglasses have a truly distinctive design, as they sit atop the head rather than over the ears and the goggle-like circular lenses look like something out of a superhero movie. According to Man of Many, the updated OVERTHETOP sunglasses were made from the same mold as the original glasses but there have been a few updates made on the new version.
While the original glasses were silver, the updated version includes the “Precious Mettle” colourway of aged gold, silver and bronze that “celebrates something bigger than finishing first, second or third. It honours the victory of humanity.”
The frame is made from O Matter, a nylon-infused plastic that is stress-resistant and shapes to the head, making the glasses comfortable to wear for long periods of time. The lenses also feature Oakley’s Prizm lens technology, which is designed to enhance colour and contrast so you can see in more detail.
“When creating new products, our goal is to find a solution to a problem our athletes are facing,” Oakley’s VP of product creative, Brian Takumi, said. “The OVERTHETOP was born with the purpose of minimizing pressure points and reducing bounce created by force, specifically in our track and field athletes.”
Unfortunately for prospective buyers, the OVERTHETOP sunglasses have already sold out. Oakley produced just 20 pairs of the limited edition sunnies and sold them for US$2,000 (over AUD$2,700). Oakley now has plans to retire the iconic style.