Nike, one of the leading sports brands, understands probably better than anyone else, the importance of sportswear for optimum athlete performance. Nike Hijab is one such effort to empathize with the Muslim women athletes.
Nike Hijab Entry into the Middle East
Nike fully understands the market dynamics and demand for such project. The company introduced the new Nike Hijab first in the UAE. The Pro Hijab by Nike will not get launched for female Muslim athletes world over until Spring 2018.
Cost: $35 (Estimated)
Material: Stretchy Mesh Polyester (Lightweight)
Colors: Gray, Black, and Obsidian
Product Development Behind the Nike Hijab
A group of UAE women Muslim athletes tested the Pro Nike Hijab at each stage of development.
These are the women who tested this Nike product.
The first female skater from the UAE who competed in international sporting events.
Manal A Rostom
Rostom is a triathlete and runner who currently lives in Dubai.
Amna Al Haddad
Haddad is an Olympic weightlifter from UAE.
Nike’s Collaboration for the Nike Hijab
Nike’s new Hijab was the result of a collaboration with Emirati Weightlifting Olympian Amna Al Haddad to understand the problems faced by female athletes with the available headgear.
Al Haddad gave her input about the problems she faced with the existing sports hijabs. She always wanted to find a performance-grade head covering. However, she only had one, and she had to hand-wash it the night before the competition.
Here is what she had to say about the problems she had about her existing sports headgear.
“The one obstacle that’s always there if you’re a hijabi is what are you going to wear on your head?”
“For us, we come up with ideas and ways to be comfortable in what we wear, but to have the number one sport and fitness brand in the world facilitate this process for us is going to change everything.”
The existing Hijab was heavy to wear with the problem in movement and breathability issues.
The company took this feedback and incorporated it into making the Hijab. The company has used a single layer of Nike Pro’s power mesh fabric, featuring polyester with tiny holes to make it more breathable yet making it completely opaque.
Nike has already allowed a select group of Muslim women athletes participating in the Personal Gulf region’s competitive sports game to use the hijab.
Here is what Zahra Lari had to say about the Nike Hijab.
“I was hesitant when I first saw it. I have tried so many different hijabs for performance, and with how fast I spin on the ice and in training, so few of them work for me. But once I put it on and took it for a spin on the ice, I was blown away by the fit and the light weight.”
The Ban on Hijab-Wearing in Sports
Muslim women athletes have struggled in the past as several sports organizing authorities barred them from wearing Hijab.
FIFA only lifted the ban on women wearing religious headgear back in 2014.
FIBA, a basketball organization, has not yet lifted the ban. The matter is postponed to be discussed and voted for in May 2017.
Other Companies Making Sports Hijabs
Nike is not the only company which has come up with sports head Hijab for women. Many other companies are already manufacturing Hijabs for Muslim women athletes.
Capsters claims to lead the world in sports hijabs. The company also claims that is making sports hijabs since 2001. The company offers a variety of women sports hijabs for Outdoor, Swim, Team, Football, Runner, and Fitness categories.
Asia Sports also offers Hijabs. There is not much variety when it comes to finding sports hijabs. The company current lists three sports hijabs for women including ASIYA Fit, ASIYA Lite, and ASIYA Sport. The company has described each product in detail. For example, ASIYA Lite is an ultra-lightweight and soft ASIYA Cool Technology Fabric, which keeps the athlete cool and available in Black, White, Dark Grey, and Navy colors.
Nashata is another brand selling women sports Hijabs online. Nashata offers a lot of variety regarding the Hijabs provided to Muslim sportswomen. The company’s website shares a total of 16 Hijabs. The majority of the products provided by the company are for the young and vibrant Muslim sportswomen.
These are some of the most prominent brands of sportswear offering Hijab for women. There are several others, and they may not have Nike’s reach, but they inevitably developed a healthy customer base.