Oakley Westcliff Review

7.8
7.8 score
[Editors rating (7.8)] = (WalkJogRun) score (7.8)/10


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Editor rating: 7.8 / 10
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Did you know that the Oakley Company first started selling innovative motorcycle grips? Founded in 1975, by the highly ambitious James Jannard, the Oakley Company was a product of a big dream. Oh, and a lot of hard work, and small 300 dollars investment. Oakley went on to make different sets of motorcycle gear, like protective guards, gloves, and goggles, and since the early 80’s even ski equipment.

One of their best-known products is the infamous Oakley sunglasses, but since the mid 90’s they design and sell pretty much everything you can think of. Shoes included. But did you know that the Company donated 35 pairs of their famous sunglasses to the Chilean miners? Yes, the Oakley sunglasses were used in the extraction of the miners in Chile back in 2010. Not bad for a company that started off with 300 dollars’ worth of investment.

Here’s another great fact. The Oakley Company got its name after Annie Oakley. One of the best sharpshooters in the history. And coincidently Oakley was the name of James Jannard’s dog. But since the Oakley Company makes shoes, let’s take a closer look at some of their finest specimens.

The Oakley Westcliff is the subject of this review. Hope you’ll like it.

Editor's Pros & Cons
Pros

Synthetic and suede used in the upper

EVA midsole

Comfortzorb type of cushioning in the midsole

Ortholite performance in the insole

Cons

Runs half size smaller

Outsole

Outsole

Made with the good old rubber, the outsole is a true classic. Having the rubber in the outsole is highly beneficial to the traction properties and to the insulation properties. Not to mention that the flexibility is also on point, despite the Westcliff is a casual type of a sneaker.

Yes, the casual style means a different design is applied in this particular area, but that doesn’t mean that traction isn’t needed. The traction is very much needed in the lifestyle sneakers, and what better way to get it, than with the use of rubber? Now an added bonus in the outsole’s design is the prominent indentations or ridges as they’re commonly known on the outsole’s surface, and they help tremendously with getting that premium traction property in every situation, and especially in every terrain. It doesn’t matter if the terrain is slippery like a wet marble or rough like the busy city streets, the traction is always one of the top 3 priorities. Luckily, the Westcliff has it covered down to a T.
Midsole

Midsole

While the outsole of the Westcliff was simple but impressive, the midsole is a lot more complicated in a good way. It has plenty of additions that make wearing the sneaker a real joy.

First and foremost, the midsole is the well respected EVA midsole. Which means the arch area is heavily contoured and nicely developed to provide the best possible support, not just to the arches, but to the entire foot as well. The contouring is anatomically correct, and it gives gentle but very resilient support to the entire foot. Secondly that EVCA midsole is reinforced with a special cushioning layer called Comfortzorb. And lastly, the insole that sits on top of the midsole has a prominent Ortholite performance built in. What does it mean? It means that the insole is eco-friendly, it has a cushion that’s designed for long time support, it means that the insole is the open-cell type of a structure that’s featured in the design of the insole provides most of the moisture management properties to the entire midsole. The Ortholite performance of the insole featured here allows for it to have a lightweight feel to the foot, and because it’s removable it’s washable at the same time.

That’s right you can put in the washing machine and re-use it once it’s clean. But these types of insoles are featured in basically every style of shoes, not just in the everyday ones. For instance, because of the dual density that they have, they’re also used as a special footwear accessory with people that have diabetes. Most of the diabetics suffer from highly sensitive skin that’s prone to ulcers and sores development so the dual density really manages the fit, the comfort and the support of the leg when it’s on the insole. The moisture is also regulated thanks to the insole, and there’s no need of worrying about any of that thanks to the Ortholite performance.
Upper

Upper

Why is the moisture regulation needed in the Westcliff you might ask? Well, because despite all the efforts to make it a waterproof sneaker, the Westcliff is sadly not one. It does have a high amount of air fluctuation and aeration in general, but it’s not waterproof. The reason for that is the presence of a synthetic mesh at the sides of the upper. Most of the upper is made out of high-quality suede, and it’s the leather that amps up the quality of the entire sneaker. However, the mesh on both sides of the upper and the perforations on the suede are the ones that really take good care of the moisture, and the odor that could accumulate in the crevices. We’ll cover the aeration a bit more in another section of this review, but for now, let’s focus on the stitching. The entire upper is sown with a delicate and intricate thread. The stitching is done nicely so that it could not overpower the simplistic style of upper, but on the practical side of things the stitching is strong to hold everything together and I look nice as well.

And there’s no way of forgetting lacing system. Well, just like pretty much the rest of the Westcliff, it’s also as classic and simple as it gets. Made with the simple 5 eyelets on each side of the upper, the laces are just your basic regular laces. They fit nicely in the casual and very cool style, and most of all grip and secure the foot nicely with very little effort. And the laces are strong and secure enough to be adjusted to your preference.
Comfort

Comfort

The comfort really comes from all areas and it’s a feature that should not be taken for granted. Even the low cut type of opening really provides much of the comfort; because it makes the shoe that much easier to put on to take off your foot at the end of the day. But that’s one seemingly insignificant small detail that not that many people think about. The lacing system is another one. Think about it. If you don’t have a good and structured lacing system, chances are that the comfort will be diminished. Nobody wants a sneaker that will become loose and basically fall off the foot.

No, the grip, the fit, and the actual comfort depend on the laces as much as anything else. But when it comes to the bigger stuff, the EVA midsole first comes to mind. Especially when that midsole comes with a layer of Comfortzorb style of cushioning. Secondly, the insole is a fairly big factor in comfort as well. Equipped with the regarded Ortholite technology the insole is the crown jewel of the midsole area. It's eco-friendly, allows high levels of breathability, it’s responsible for regulating the moisture management, and best of all it's removable and washable. So you can use it over and over again.
Support

Support

Don’t knock the power of the rubber outsole and the suede upper in providing the support. The midsole does a great job as well, but the support in this particular case is very much teamwork from the top and the bottom part of the shoe. When you have a rubber outsole and a leather (suede) upper with a classic yet firm lacing system the support is there from the get-go. Everything else feels like finishing touches on an already great product. The low cut type of opening is one of those finishing touches, and so is the width of the upper. The width is just right to give you the support that you need in the toe area, and pretty much everything really comes in place after that.
Durability

Durability

Using the natural rubber in the outsole really amps up the durability of the shoe. The very same can be said about the use of real leather in the upper. The rubber is a highly durable and very slip-resistant material. It’s mostly used in the making of running shoes, but the biggest practical purpose in everyday counterparts is the insulation and traction purposes. The rubber and especially natural rubber has incredible traction properties and phenomenal insulation. And for an everyday style of a sneaker, it’s really one of the requirements. You’ll probably wear the sneakers on all types of weather conditions, and all types of terrain, and keeping the hold at bay from the bottom part is really the key to owning really quality sneakers.
Flexibility

Flexibility

Although valued for its durability, the rubber is not one of the most flexible materials out there. And considering that this is a fairly flat and uniformed outsole in the entire surface, one might say that the flexibility is not that impressive. The flexibility is much improved in the upper though. Although suede leather is a fairly rigid material, not known for his elasticity, the mesh used in the upper eases the flexibility quite a lot and allows it to bend with the movement of the foot. The mesh is the true saving grace when it comes to flexibility.
Stability

Stability

Much like with comfort, the stability really comes from almost every area. There’s not a single bad word that could be said about the stability of the Westcliff, and that applies to the use of the materials, the technologies and the design itself. The low rise and the strong, secure fastening system with a classic style of laces helps a lot in providing the stability and so does the EVA midsole. Every bit helps.
Airflow

Airflow

You’re quite lucky. This particular pair has set the airflow on high and it’s not only due to the fantastic upper. Yes, he’s the big reason for the airflow, but that comes from the most unexpected places as well. But let’s start from the upper since it’s the biggest and most elaborate part. The airflow in the Westcliff is quite high for a lifestyle type of a sneaker, mostly because of the use of suede leather, mesh and the tiny but strong perforations of the upper’s surface. But don’t underestimate the power of the Ortholite technology in the midsole as well. Because it’s eco-friendly and repels most of the moisture/odor, it’s safe to say that the midsole allows some of the airflows as well. Thanks to the innovative technology called Ortholite.
Style

Style

Casual style has never looked better. The Westcliff has that simplistic, all too familiar feeling in the style that screams comfort, effortless style and the possibility of wearing the sneakers almost every day. And why wouldn’t have that possibility? Made with great clean minimalistic lines in the style, this is a model that exurbs cool from each seam.
Color

Color

Speaking of style it’s a crying shame that a great sneaker like this has only three color options to choose from. It deserves plenty more color variety that’s for sure. Black, white and grey cannot be the only options. The outsole on each of the color options remains white, but the thread used in the stitching is blending nicely with the color used in the perspective’s upper.
Bottom line

Bottom line

This is a great option for your everyday adventures. The Westcliff is a great option for pretty much every occasion, and the simplicity in the style mixed with the quality of the materials create one awesome structure that will rotate in your shoe closet on a daily basis. You will not get tired of wearing this model that’s for sure.