Muslim athletic women take note – Nike has just announced the launch of “Nike Pro Hajib” for Spring of next year. The “Pro Hijab” is a specially-designed head-covering featuring an elongated back so that the top does not become untucked during competition. The athletic hijab is inspired by two female athletes: Sarah Attar, a runner from Saudi Arabia who competed in the London Olympics 800-meter race while wearing a hijab, and Amna Al Haddad, an Emerati weightlifter who competed in the Rio Olympics last summer.
“We worked with Amna and a variety of other athletes to see what they needed and wanted in a performance hijab,” says a Nike spokesperson. “What we heard was that women were looking for a lightweight and breathable solution that would stay in place without concern of shifting.”
“There are a lot of … women and girls who are breaking barriers,” comments Nike+ Run Club Coach Manal Rostom. “For me growing up, though, I never had these women to look up to. I had to break these barriers for myself.”
The Washington Post calls the launch “a timely combination of empowerment and merchandising as more Muslim women than ever pursue athletics. In addition, Nike wields a great deal of influence in sports, which is important at a time when not all sports allow women to compete in hijabs.”