There is a lot of rubbish written about sports sunglasses by people who know very little about sunglasses. They read the description on the webpage, use them and write a review.
There is nothing wrong with that (AMO Sunglasses encourages third party reviews of its products) but most reviews are quite superficial and don't really understand the product. There are some exceptions.
My wife and I are founders of a sport sunglasses company (AMO Sunglasses) and I thought I would write an in depth review about the reasons why AMO Sunglasses are different and better than other sports sunglasses brands.
As most blogs have to include a list "reasons" I have decided to use this format but in reality all the reasons equally apply.
If you get to the end of this blog and really read it (and I know most of you will not and that's okay) you may understand why AMO Sunglasses is not an Oakley copy and why AMO makes superb sports sunglasses.
Here are the top 9 reasons why AMO is better (or different).
We (my wife and I) started AMO Sunglasses because I am passionate about sunglasses and sports, and we thought that some sport sunglasses brands were not giving athletes a fair deal.
We thought there was lots of marketing "hype" around sunglasses, with some sports sunglasses companies offering an average product at high prices.We saw a gap in the market by providing high end quality sports sunglasses at reasonable prices to serious athletes.
AMO Sunglasses did not want to copy other brands but be honest about their products and offer an alternative to the market leaders. We wanted to be honest and original.
2. DESIGNED BY ATHLETES
AMO Sunglasses were not designed on a drawing board in an office; but by athletes by trial and error; in the field. They were designed by me, a user an Ironman Triathlete, keen cyclist and ultra-marathon runner.
During the design process we looked at the best features of sports sunglasses from several brands, added a few more features and developed our own style. Then we selected endurance athletes who tested them in extreme conditions.
The result is that AMO's sports sunglasses which have more and better features that any sports sunglasses model on the market and are simply the best on the market.
3. NOT CHINA MADE
I have the luck to live in Hong Kong and we are close to the biggest factory in the world; China. My wife is chinese and has been buying products from China for years. She is also a ultra runner.
When I started in the sports sunglasses business it seemed pretty obvious that the sports sunglasses brands were being made in China. Sure I had read the marketing that said they were made in Italy (for example) but was skeptical.
I spent the first year going to factories in China and the rest of the world looking at how sunglasses frames and lenses were being made. It became pretty obvious to me that if you wanted to make sunglasses in China you had to follow the standard model, buy the factory model and stick your brand or logo on the side.
I did not want this. I wanted AMO Sunglasses to be different and soon found out that mass production in China was not right for AMO. We were too small to interest them and they were not flexible to my demands in material specification and quality control.In the end we selected frame material from Switzerland (Grilamid TR90) and lenses from the USA or France. Only the packaging is made in China.
Basically if you buy AMO Sunglasses you are buying sunglasses where the parts are made throughout the world.
4. NO COMPROMISE ON MATERIALS
One of the reasons we started AMO Sunglasses was to develop an premium sports product. We did not want to compete with the cheap brands, or sell my sports sunglasses at the local petrol station or discount store.
From my research into materials and visiting factories and trade fairs it soon became obvious that there was a wide variety of materials that sunglasses could be made of. The problem was that it is very difficult to see the difference in the materials and secondly most people don't know what are the best materials are in the first place.
Notwithstanding this, we decided that for AMO Sunglasses there should be "no compromise" on materials used and AMO Sunglasses should only use the best materials on the market. this can been seen by the use of Grilamid TR90 for our sunglasses frame material and NXT for our lenses. Both materials are the best in the world for sports sunglasses.
5. EDUCATION IS KEY
It was quickly obvious to us that athletes knew more about their bikes that they did about their sports sunglasses.
Often we would explain the virtues of the materials used for the AMO sport sunglasses frames and lenses and it would not be understood. It shocked us how little these passionate athletes knew about sports sunglasses.
I remember I was doing the Nice Ironman in 2013 and went to talk to an Oakley representative and he also knew nothing about the materials Oakley were really made from. He told me about the frames being made on "O matter" and the lenses were made of "Plutonite" but when I asked him what this material really was or was the material patented he could not say. When I really pushed him he was pretty honest and said they were made of "really good quality plastic".
We knew that the AMO Sunglasses market strategy had to "education focused" as until athletes knew more about what were poor sunglasses they would continue to buy rubbish products and get deceived by "slick" marketing.
6. NO BULLS...T MARKETING TERMS
There is one key brand leader in the sports sunglasses industry and they are superb at marketing. This company spends millions of dollars differentiating their product from the others. Most people even think this brand is from the USA - it's not.
This brand uses special cool sounding words like "Plutonite" and "Unobtanium" to describe the materials they use in their sports sunglasses. Initially we thought this was a great idea and AMO would follow the same.
Then we began to see this as deceptive. It meant nobody really knew what these materials, their property and if they are really proprietary. The more we researched these materials the less we k new about them. Of course, their properties and advantages are well promoted; but not what the materials are.
After some agonising what to do (as I am a big science buff and love cool sounding names) I decided that AMO Sunglasses would be called the materials they use by their real names so people can know what they are and their properties.
7. SUNGLASSES WITH MORE FEATURES
I have been into sunglasses most of my life since an eye accident made my left eye more sensitive to the sun making me squint in bright sunlight. I am also into running, biking and swimming so spend a lot of time outdoors.
When we began looking into and testing sports sunglasses it soon became apparent to us that certain features made a difference whilst others were really just great marketing.
For example, lens vents; I don't believe they make a difference to anti-fogging as much more air gets to the sunglasses lens from the sides but hydrophobic coatings (which shed sweat and water) are a useful function to have. That said, often people would ask me why AMO Sunglasses did not have lens vents so eventually I added them too.
For AMO Sunglasses, we wanted all the features. we did not want compromise so when you buy and AMO Sunglasses you get more features that any other sports sunglasses. For AMO Sunglasses these features include:-
- Adjustable nose pieces
- Adjustable/flexible temple ends
- Removable temple ends
- Removable (replaceable) lenses
- Soft rubber pads on nose pieces and temple end
- Hydrophobic lens coatings
- Anti-fog lens coating
- Super lightweight
- Lens venting
AMO Sunglasses are packed with more features than any other sports sunglasses brand.
AMO Sunglasses does not mass produce sports sunglasses.
We are a niche brand that produces a superb product but that's not really enough. We wanted customers to be able to individualise their sports sunglasses so they could buy a pair of sunglasses that practically nobody else on the planet would own.
I am a "gear geek" I love my bike, my kit, my shoes and wanted the sports sunglasses to match all these but what happens if I change my bike or running kit ? I wanted change my sunglasses colour. What happens if I want to complement club or team colours ? Could I choose sunglasses colours to match.
In the end we achieved this in the Transformer range of AMO Sunglasses by giving people the option to change the lens colour AND the temple arms. In this way people can customise their AMO sport sunglasses for their kit, bike or just to select colour combinations they want.
Now, with a lot of hard work and lots of options I truly believe that only AMO Sunglasses are able to offer a level of customisation for both their lenses and their temple arms and really make AMO Sunglasses different.
9. QUALITY LIFETIME GUARANTEE
We wanted top quality products and decided early on that we could not trust a single factory to mass produce for us. AMO was a premium brand that must be top quality. This meant that we needed to control the materials and the specification of all the constituent parts that made up the product.
This meant ordering the lens from one place, the frame from another and the packaging from another. In this way we had total control over the quality of the product and the factory would not be tempted to make shortcuts in my product to save cost.
The sunglasses are then assembled by AMO staff so we know if the parts do not fit together.We could have stopped there and let the product speak for itself but then everyone talks about their product having superior quality. We had to go one step further.
We did this by offering a "lifetime guarantee" so that if there is any failure in an AMO product during its life (except for wear and tear) then AMO Sunglasses will replace the sunglasses for free.No other sports sunglasses company goes this far.
I started off this blog and got a bit carried away. I am sure I have broken several blog rules in writing this and given away many of AMO's secrets but if you have read this far then maybe you are beginning to see why AMO Sunglasses is different and better than other sport sunglasses brands.
That's what we call "the AMO difference".
These are my views. If you have any comments then please let me know your views.
As a reward for reading this far, AMO sunglasses are offering you an additional 10% discount if you purchase a new pair of AMO sports sunglasses. Just enter discount code "BLOG1070" at the AMO Shop.
Tim Hallworth is a triathlete, adventure racer and ultra marathon runner and with his wife Fenny is co-founder of AMO sunglasses.
There are also similar blogs and artless about sports sunglasses and mutisports on the AMO Webpage at http://www.amosunglasses.com/latest/blog.