The Oakley Encoder is the sporty sibling of the popular Kato and Kato X frames. It was released on the heels of the striking Katos, so these look-alike sunglasses are getting a lot of attention. They are both rimless and have a more contoured fit to the face than traditional sunglasses. The Oakley Encoder frame is similar to the Kato design, but we're pleased to have discovered some key differences.



Froome and Cavendish first took the Oakley Kato public in October 2020. Six months later, Oakley officially announced the launch of its Kato sunglasses. Said to be the result of decades of product development by Oakely, the Kato features innovative rimless lenses with an extended wrap and built-in fixings that better fit the contours of the face than traditional sunglasses, while the lenses cover the nose.                                                                                                        

Oakley offers three nosepieces for the Kato sunglasses, each with different offsets to fine-tune the fit. The arms are adjustable for angle, but not length. With the socket at the hinge open, you can select one of three angle settings to get the lens properly seated. Compared to other Oakley sunglasses, Kato's arms are a little thicker and longer, making it somewhat difficult to fit into a helmet.




  • Features an innovative frameless lens that wraps around your nose
  • Adjustable rake system and multiple nosepieces for an adjustable fit
  • Unobtainium nosepiece and ear stems for enhanced grip even when sweating


Kato X

The Kato X uses the same design as the Kato, the only difference being the cut at the nose bridge. The Kato takes a more aggressive approach with the lenses wrapping around the bridge of the nose, while the Kato X uses a more traditional nose bridge cutout. The temples and nosepiece are adjustable.



  • Features an innovative frameless lens that opens around the nose
  •   Adjustable rake system and multiple nosepieces for an adjustable fit
  • Unobtainium nosepiece and ear stems for enhanced grip even when sweating



Released in February 2021, the Oakley Encoder is a slightly softer version of the radical Oakley Kato, also Billed as a 'multisport' pair of glasses. Both it and the Oakley Kato have a similar rimless single-lens design, but the Encoder's lenses are slightly less aggressive, less heavily wrapped, and the lenses are deeper. And the nose section cut is the same as the traditional one. The sunglasses work well with several popular helmets - the lenses don't touch the edge of the helmet excessively and the arms don't interfere with the helmet's retention system.



  • Large goggle lenses for enhanced coverage with an open nose similar to the Kato X
  • Arms do not interfere with the helmet's retention system and work well with the helmet
  • Unobtainium nosepiece and ear stems for enhanced grip even when sweating


Oakley Kato vs. Kato X vs. Encoder

Now that we've discussed each sunglass, let's compare them to see how they are alike and how they are different.

What differentiates the Encoder from the Kato, Kato X the most is the gripper. The Encoder has large Unobtainium ear stems and a nose rest, similar to most other sporty Oakley sunglasses. And that means this frame Encoder can definitely stand up to cycling, running, or almost any sportwhile Kato looks more like a very "cycling specific" pair of glasses.



The other difference is that the Kato, Kato X sunglasses have a Rake mechanism. It is a clever feature that allows you to adjust the angle of the lenses and temples. Behind each Oakley logo on the temples are hinged plastic caps that can be opened. The Kato arms can be adjusted for angle but not length, so the arms are too long to fit the helmet well. The Encoder arms are not adjustable in angle but can be adjusted in length. They solve this problem by shortening the ear stems so that they don't interfere with your helmet.

The Kato and Kato X are identical in design except for the cutout at the nose.

Both the Kato X and Encoder have modern, traditional nose cuts, while the Kato lens wraps around the front of the nose to provide complete coverage and a unique look.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           If you are considering replacing your lenses and are not 100% sure which style you have, please feel free to add a picture in the comments below or send a email to our MRY support team. We'll be happy to help you solve your problem. 

  • Oct 05, 2022
  • Category: Education
  • Comments: 0
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