SHOT Show 2010: Wiley X unveils Black Ops line

New series of tactical eyewear debuts at SHOT that uses lessons learned in the sandbox

Steve Gerlovich says the “prebook” for the new Black Ops line of eyewear from Wiley X is “the largest we’ve ever had in all the years we’ve been around.”

One look at the product and the reason for so many orders from the company’s universe of distributors becomes clear. With special operators returning from Afghanistan, Iraq, wherever else the war on terror has taken them, there’s an emerging market for eyewear that reflects that aesthetic.

“Glossy plastic rims and ear paddles, or highly reflective and colorful wrap around lenses,” Gerlovich, says, “is not the look that resonates with young officers today.”

But there’s more to this new line than matte finish and blacked out logos. The Selenite polycarbonate lenses are ANSI Z87.1-2003 certified, resisting a .25 inch diameter steel ball fired at a speed of 150 feet per second. The ear paddles are constructed of a “sticky” type of rubber that really hugs the ears without irritating your temples. The frames themselves are incredibly light and feature soft rubber nose pads are practically unnoticed as you wear them.

Wiley X is a family- and U.S. Veteran-owned company which has been serving military and police for two decades. Many elite SWAT units are already wearing Wiley X and that number is sure to grow with the introduction of this new line, which was unveiled on the opening day at SHOT 2010.

In related news, Wiley X has teamed up with 5.11 Tactical to create a new line of high-performance eyewear. In a company press release we obtained from the folks at 5.11, CEO Dan Costa says, “We entered into a partnership with Wiley X to offer our customers a wider selection of styles that meet or exceed our customers’ needs as well as all of the industry standards. Not only does Wiley X share our commitment to excellence, there’s probably no other brand out there that has protected more eyes than Wiley X.”

Look for more on the strategic partnerships forged by 5.11 in an upcoming PoliceOne feature article. 

Visit Wiley X online for more information

About the author

Doug Wyllie is Editor in Chief of PoliceOne, responsible for setting the editorial direction of the website and managing the planned editorial features by our roster of expert writers. An award-winning columnist — he is the 2014 Western Publishing Association "Maggie Award" winner in the category of Best Regularly Featured Digital Edition Column — Doug has authored more than 900 feature articles and tactical tips on a wide range of topics and trends that affect the law enforcement community. Doug is a member of International Law Enforcement Educators and Trainers Association (ILEETA), an Associate Member of the California Peace Officers' Association (CPOA), and a member of the Public Safety Writers Association (PSWA). Doug is active in his support for the law enforcement community, contributing his time and talents toward police-related charitable events as well as participating in force-on-force training, search-and-rescue training, and other scenario-based training designed to prepare cops for the fight they face every day on the street.

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