The Nike Pro Hijab is officially here. We can truly say it is just as incredible as the female athletes who inspired it, despite the backlash it received when it was first announced in March. The stars behind the launch on December 1st include Olympic fencer Ibtihaj Muhammad, figure skater Zahra Lari, and weight lifter Amna Al Haddad. This is long overdue and we are so glad to see equipment being made for everyone. Nike relied on multiple rounds of prototype testing with athletes in various sports to nail the fit and manufacturing. The final version is made of an ultra-breathable, flexible fabric that both fits different face shapes and keeps athletes cool and comfortable. Style Station loves seeing the sportswear world taking steps towards inclusivity. Female Muslim athletes were not properly represented can now find the gear they need easily and from one of the world’s biggest and most recognizable brands.
For Muhammad, one of the powerful featured athletes, the light and functional hijab came at just the right time. She explained how in the past, she faced disadvantages not being able to hear through the thicker fabric of her regular hijab. She said, “When the material is wet, it gets really heavy and stiff. It would completely obstruct my hearing.” Imagine how hard it must have been to hear a warning from a referee during a match. Thankfully, designers discovered the most breathable fabric for this purpose, while taking what the athletes are looking for into deep consideration. The Nike team also made the decision to sell the hijab in two different sizes instead of having one-size-fits-all with an adjustment option. The Nike Pro Hijab became available on Dec. 1 at select retailers in North American, Europe, North Africa, and the Middle East. It is supposed to drop on Nike’s website very soon, with a wider variety of colors launching in the coming year. Muhammad added that she hopes the hijab will “advance the conversation around hijabs and Muslim women in sports and further make sports an inclusive space.”