After unveiling the Nike Pro Hijab back in March, Nike has now released its first sports hijab worldwide.
The brand set out to design the new hijab after meetings between Nike designers and various female athletes highlighted many of the performance problems associated with wearing a traditional hijab during sport.
After learning that a lighter, softer and more breathable hijab was the priority for many of the women, the Nike Pro design team used their knowledge of sports base layers, the layer closest to the skin, to develop a prototype.
The new hijab was then given to athletes to test in their various sports, including weightlifter Amna Al Haddad and figure skater Zahra Lari, both from the United Arab Emirates, runner Manal Rostom, a Nike Run Club Coach in Dubai, and Zeina Nassar, a German boxer.
After assessing the athletes' feedback on performance and appearance, a final request to modify the fit was made, in order for the garment to suit a range of head sizes and face shapes, and the Nike Pro Hijab was complete.
The result is a lightweight, breathable hijab available in XS/S and M/L, which is not only more comfortable than a traditional hijab but in some cases actually boosts performance.
"It really sunk in how much my previous hijab was hindering my performance when I tried the Nike Pro Hijab," says fencer Ibtihaj Muhammad, who first experienced the Nike Pro Hijab this summer. "Suddenly, I could hear, I wasn't as hot and it felt like my body was able to cool itself down better and faster."
Manal Rostom, one of the athletes who tested the hijab in its early stages also added, "It inspires me to reach greater heights and to run farther distances. And I believe it's going to inspire girls worldwide to follow their passion for sport."
The Nike Pro Hijab is available now in black and obsidian on nike.com and at select retailers in Europe, North Africa, North America and across the Middle East.
Other colorways, including white and vast gray, will launch in January on nike.com and at select retailers in more than 20 countries.