Nike – The Pressure & Heat Are On
This June and July the world’s fifth largest country will stage some of the greatest football matches ever played. These matches will vary from locations in the north, a few degrees shy of the Equator, to
This June and July the world’s fifth largest country will stage some of the greatest football matches ever played.
These matches will vary from locations in the north, a few degrees shy of the Equator, to the southern tip; and from coastal cities to those deep in the heart of the continent. For some teams, it may be a short trip from one venue to the next; for others, a four-hour journey.
Effective recovery between games will be of paramount importance, and the precious few days teams have between kick-offs are a period of active recovery, carefully managed by highly- skilled support staff and tailored to each player’s needs. Part of this recovery regimen includes decreasing lower limb swelling. To aid this recovery regimen, teams can utilize the Nike Pro Combat Recovery Hypertight.
The Nike Pro Combat Recovery Hypertight is designed to be worn away from competition, during active recovery’ — while the body is moving, but not competing or engaged in intense exercise. The graduated compression provided by its advanced design targets specific zones of the leg, aiding recovery.
“Our research led us to conclude that graduated compression can help impact recovery,” said Nike Innovation Design Director Eddy Harber, who focuses on apparel. “Our new Nike Recovery Hypertight has been developed and tested with some of the top athletes and teams around the world, across multiple sports.”
For decades, athletes have been looking for effective recovery solutions – using ice baths, compression wraps and muscle ointments. The ongoing grind of training lasts 365 days a year for top athletes, with official seasons stretching out for months. Bodies are tested; muscles maxed out, especially in the legs.
Top athletes across multiple sports, including footballer Zlatan Ibrahimvoc and basketball star LeBron James, were involved in the testing and development of the Nike Recovery Hypertight, providing crucial feedback.
“It helps my performance in the simple fact that I am able to recover from game to game, and I am able to get back to feeling great before the game starts and during the game,” said LeBron James.
DESIGN AND DEVELOPMENT
Harber worked with a core team on the testing and development of the Nike Recovery Hypertight for more than 18 months. After identifying the challenge of helping athletes to recover faster, the team searched for a solution.
The team followed the insight that compression helps reduce swelling, which can aid muscle recovery. After many different prototypes and comprehensive testing, the Nike design team had just what they were after: a comfortable, graduated compression fit that reduces muscle swelling by putting pressure exactly where it’s needed.
The amount of compression provided by the power grid pattern creates a smooth transition down the leg, with compression firmest at the ankle, where swelling can be most severe.
Football played in Brasil this June and July could see temperatures around 25°C (77°F), with at least 10 matches pushing 30°C (86°F).
For athletes playing 90-minute matches in these conditions, keeping cool is crucial to performance. Nike’s 2014 national team kits have been designed with optimal cooling solutions to give athletes a leg up in these conditions and help them stay cool under pressure on the world stage.
Key cooling elements in Nike’s National Team Kit system of dress include:
- Sweat-wicking Nike Dri-FIT fabrication
- Dual-knit construction moves sweat away from skin to the outside of the kit where it can evaporate more quickly
- Dual-knit construction features a fabrication that is cooler and softer against skin
- Burn-out mesh at the back of the national team kits and Nike Pro baselayer reduces weight by removing fabric in key heat zones for added breathability
- Laser-cut ventilation increases airflow over the skin
- Nike Pro baselayer options are 16 percent lighter than their predecessors with added cooling and ventilation
- Increased abrasion protection in the Pro baselayer Slider Short match athletes’ sliding patterns with increased breathability and decreased weight.