Oakley partners with Vicis to create the new Edge Shield helmet

football helmet

The dangers of tackle football have made national headlines as of late, but an innovation from Oakley and Vicis may be able to make a difference when it comes to player safety (though it’s unclear just how effective it will be). The two companies have just announced the launch of the Vicis Edge Shield by Oakley, which has purportedly been “engineered to enhance performance and optimize safety.”

Heralded as the first co-developed football optics system, the new helmet was developed exclusively for Vicis Zero1. The new piece of gear features an optically correct shield that aligns with the unique shape of Zero1 facemasks. As a result, this helmet promises the widest field of vision of any existing football helmet, which could be crucial in player safety. Ultimately, Vicis’ collaboration with Oakley was meant to improve both clarity and contrast for football players.

“Oakley’s collaboration with Vicis is a testament to the brand’s belief that everything can and will be made better,” said Ryan Saylor, Oakley vice president of advanced product. “Extending our leading optics technology to another field allowed us to create the highest performance football shield for the highest performance helmet. We are excited to see the impact that it will have on the game of football and athletes’ performance and safety.”

According to a news release, the new Vicis Edge Shield by Oakley takes its place as the only football shield that comes complete with Oakley Prizm, a lens technology that ensures that eyewear is an integral component of sports gear. Oakley notes that “Prizm is engineered to dramatically enhance detail and help improve performance by providing ultra-precise color tuning, designed for specific environments.” The shield of the new helmet is created with Oakley’s high impact Plutonite, a synthetic material that claims to keep out 100 percent of  UV rays and helps protect players’ eyes during gameplay.

Of course, when it comes to truly protecting players, it’s unclear whether having a wide field of vision or clear views will really help in preventing degenerative diseases like chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), though other solutions are being tried. After all, these helmets aren’t eliminating head trauma (though they may help players see oncoming tackles more clearly). All the same, the new helmet could be a hit among players. The helmets will be distributed beginning in September 2017.