Nike Releases Performance Hijab for Female Athletes

Nike releases its performance hijab, known as the "Pro Hijab." 

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BEAVERTON, Ore.-Nike releases its performance hijab, known as the “Pro Hijab.” Originally announced in early 2017, the company says it designed the headwear to meet the demands of women athletes who wear the traditional veil. 

Initially, athletes who wore hijabs were subject to stiffer, less accommodating designs. Fabrics of classic hijabs typically do not feature breathable fabric and in some instances, the thicker materials have even made it difficult for some to hear referees during competitive events. Champion fencer Ibtihaj Muhammad explains in a Nike press release that she’s experienced multiple false-starts and received penalties because of this issue.

“First, I’d get a warning and then a point against me…I can’t tell you how many times that happened,” Muhammad says in the release. “And I’d tell the referee, ‘Oh, I’m sorry, I couldn’t hear you.'”

Nike says it consulted with a variety of women athletes who wear the headdress, including figure skaters, weightlifters, runners, and boxers. The result is a lightweight garment built with breathable fabric, like other athletic apparel and wearable sports accessories.
German boxer Zeina Nassar wearing the Pro Hijab. (Image courtesy Nike) 

Outside of the athletic world, other retail and wholesale apparel companies continue to develop more modern, comfort-focused designs of the hijab. High-end lines such as Dolce & Gabbana, as well as retailers like Uniqlo offer collections and updated styles of the garment.

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