Nike is unveiling a new performance garment for Muslim women athletes.
After a year of testing and feedback from its roster of elite female athletes, the sports retailer launched the Nike Pro Hijab. With its second-skin feel and breathable fabric, the Nike Pro Hijab will provide Muslim female athletes with the apparel support they need during everyday practice and major competitions.
In the past few years, Nike World Headquarter meetings with top female athletes have discussed performance issues connected with wearing traditional hijabs at competitions. Several female athletes, including United Arab Emirates weightlifter Amna Al Haddad, expressed how the hijab’s weight, ability to shift and uncomfortable material hurt her focus. Other athletes also expressed difficulty in finding performance hijabs in the current sports apparel market.
To tackle this problem, Nike launched first prototypes of its Pro Hijab and had other athletes, including Emirati figure skater Zahra Lari and Nike + Run Club coach Manal Rostom test the hijabs. After receiving positive feedback from international athletes, Nike altered the hijab to fit universal cultural requirements. Further testing also resulted in a modified fit to accommodate different face sizes and shapes. After these adjustments, the Nike Pro Hijab was complete.
Nike power mesh, a durable single-layer fabric is the core component of the Pro Hijab. As Nike’s most breathable fabric, the polyester is composed of strategically placed holes for optimal air movement. The mesh is also stretchy and soft. An elastic binding is also combined with the fabric, which enables each athlete to customize the hijab’s fit based on size and sport. Other features include elongation to prevent tucking and fluff threads to eliminate irritation.
The Nike Pro Hijab, set to launch in early 2018, will be available in four neutral colors and two sizes— XS/S and M/L.
With the Pro Hijab, Nike aims to inspire other Muslim females who still face limited access to sports and serve its top female athletes in their everyday performance.