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ROKA is a boutique online retailer that offers eyeglasses, sunglasses, safety glasses, and more. The company tailors its eyewear products to athletes and those with an active or outdoor lifestyle.
This article reviews everything a person needs to know about ROKA and its eyewear products. We also list some alternative eyewear brands and answer some frequently asked questions about ROKA.
According to the ROKA website, the company began in Austin, Texas, in 2014. Two swimmers started the brand in an attempt to create eyewear designed for optimal sporting performance.
ROKA engineers designed all the products available for purchase on the ROKA website. The website features glasses for men, women, and children, plus sunglasses and protective eyewear, all designed for performance.
ROKA’s eyewear products feature an ultra-lightweight nylon material. The company claims that its designs:
- are almost fall-proof and will not slip from the face easily
- are lightweight
- resist fogging, sweat, and chemicals
- withstand movement
- avoid pressure points
ROKA sells its products directly to the buyer, meaning there is no go-between company that could mark up prices. This sales model enables the company to maintain a more affordable product.
In addition to its website, the company has an Amazon store where people can find many of its products.
- a 2-year warranty on most purchases
- a 30-day return policy for nonprescription products
- direct retailer, does not use third-party retailers
- inability to purchase automatically via insurance
- inability to return prescription eyewear
- a warranty that does not cover normal wear and tear
The Better Business Bureau (BBB) gives ROKA an A+ rating, the highest rating possible. However, ROKA is not currently accredited with the BBB. It has three complaints and holds a 1.5-star rating out of a possible five stars.
Amazon reviews give mostly positive feedback, with most products receiving 4 stars or above.
The ROKA website offers a large selection of products and includes three broad eyewear categories. These are:
- Glasses: With styles for men, women, and children, ROKA offers progressive lenses, readers, and protective eyewear.
- Sunglasses: ROKA’s sunglasses offering includes various styles and prescriptions, alongside activity-specific varieties.
- Blue light-blocking glasses: ROKA’s prescription and nonprescription glasses can block blue light emitted from the sun and some electronic devices. However, the American Academy of Ophthalmology does not recommend using blue-light-blocking lenses due to the lack of evidence for their effectiveness.
ROKA’s other items include:
- various training suits and equipment
The company also offers an online vision test called “Visibly.” The test takes around 10 minutes to complete. It can provide a person with an updated eyewear prescription.
ROKA offers at-home trials for some of its prescription glasses, allowing a person to try them for a while before committing to a purchase.
The home trial includes a fee, which is refundable if the person purchases the glasses within 30 days.
The company does not currently work with insurance companies for direct billing. However, it provides an itemized receipt that a person can use to submit a claim for reimbursement from their insurance provider.
A person should check with their insurance provider to see how much their plan will contribute toward the purchase. Some policies may not cover more than the basic lenses.
The starting prices for ROKA eyewear are as follows:
- sunglasses from $165
- eyeglasses from $215
- nonprescription blue light blockers from $145
People purchasing prescription glasses can also opt to pay via their health savings or flexible spending accounts.
When purchasing from ROKA, a person should have a current and valid prescription ready so that they can enter the information on request.
Those who need a new prescription or who want to try Visibly can use the service to update their prescription. There is a small fee for this service.
When purchasing ROKA glasses, a person needing a prescription selects whether they want progressive or single lenses. They can select from different lens materials, ranging from standard to ultra-thin and lightweight. They can also select options for blue light protection or transition lenses.
A person can then upload their prescription, use Visibly to create a new one, or select an option to send the prescription later.
Warranties and returns policies
ROKA does not allow returns on prescription eyeglasses. However, they do offer a 30-day trial for nonprescription sunglasses.
A person should review the company’s full returns policy before purchasing.
ROKA offers a 2-year warranty on most of its products. The warranty includes issues with construction or materials.
The warranty for eyewear products does not cover the following:
- lost or stolen items
- normal wear and tear, such as scratches or dents
- damage due to item misuse, accidents, or negligence
- damage due to chemicals
A person should read ROKA’s full warranty policy before purchasing its products.
ROKA offers prescription and nonprescription eyewear for both everyday use and sporting activities. However, a person may be interested in considering other options.
The following are some alternatives to ROKA:
- Warby Parker: This company offers custom designs and lenses directly to consumers, but it does not specifically cater to athletes. The website offers contact lenses, an eye exam, and a home try-on service. Read more about Warby Parker here.
- HILX: This company offers sunglasses and snowboarding goggles that compete with ROKA’s active lines. Most products come with proprietary hinge technology to fit all head sizes and ear shapes.
- MVMT: This company offers custom designs for sunglasses and eyeglasses. The brand sells sunglasses, blue light glasses, wristwatches, and jewelry.
- ZenniOpticals: Zenni offers a wide range of eyeglasses and sunglasses for adults and children, starting from under $10. Their range includes the thinnest prescription lenses, progressives, and reading glasses, in a variety of shapes and colors. Learn more about ZenniOptical here.
- LensCrafters: This company provides eyeglasses, sunglasses, contact lenses, lens replacements, and eye exams. Most products come from big brand names, including Michael Kors, Versace, and Ray-Ban. Learn more about LensCrafters here.
Below is an overview of how ROKA compares with the above alternatives.
|Glasses home try-out
|Caters to sports
|yes, for orders above $150
|yes, for orders above $150
|yes, for orders above $50
|no, shipping charges are not refundable
|yes, except for custom prescription eyewear
|lifetime, except for custom orders
Eye health is an integral part of a person’s overall health. People should schedule regular appointments with an eye doctor to check their eye health and vision.
Certain people are at increased risk of eye disease or poor eye health. They will require eye exams more frequently.
People who should have more frequent exams include those who:
- wear contact lenses
- have an eye infection or injury
- have a family history of eye disease
- have diabetes
- have high blood pressure
The American Optometric Association recommends the following schedules for eye testing according to age and risk:
|When at low risk
|When at high risk
|at least every 2 years
|at least every year
|at least every 2 years
|at least every year
|65 years and above
|at least every year
Anyone with risk factors for eye disease should consult an eye doctor to establish an appropriate schedule for their visits.
Benefits of eye checkups
Some conditions that regular eye exams can help detect include:
- Age-related macular degeneration: A gradual loss of central vision due to natural aging.
- Cataracts: Lens clouding that causes blurred vision and eventual vision loss.
- Glaucoma: A group of conditions that, without treatment, may cause optic nerve damage.
- Diabetic retinopathy: Diabetes-induced damage to the blood vessels in the backs of the eyes, which may lead to blindness.
People should use caution when using prescription renewal services (PRSs) such as Visibly. While PRSs can work well for people with lower prescriptions and those at lower risk of developing eye disease, they should not take the place of regular and comprehensive in-person eye exams.
Below are some answers to frequently asked questions about ROKA.
Where can I buy ROKA Eyewear?
What makes ROKA eyewear different from competitors?
ROKA sells direct to consumers, without any middle persons. This means there are no resellers that will increase the price of products.
ROKA offers prescription and nonprescription eyewear, including eyeglasses, sunglasses, and protective eyewear for men, women, and children. The company states that all of its eyewear is designed for performance, with frames that stay in place during physical activity.
ROKA does not offer returns on prescription eyewear but does offer a 30-day trial for nonprescription eyewear. The trial is available for a small fee, which is refundable if a person purchases the product within the 30-day trial period.
People who are considering purchasing eyewear may want to consider alternative brands. A person can explore the options fully before making a purchase.