Developed with the input of Muslim athletes, Nike's sporting hijab launched last week, to fanfare from some, complaints from others – and a rather relateable cheeky whinge from Twitter influencer Hend Amry, who lamented she'd been 'successfully using hijab as an excuse to avoid running for years'.
The sportswear giant seems to be earning criticism for getting attention – as some smaller businesses had been producing sports hijabs before now, with less fanfare. Nike's huge global platform means that its efforts to kit out Muslim athletes are instantly amplified. No real proof yet of whether the women of the Muslim world will actually purchase the product (one Twitter commenter asked herself, 'But is it cute enough?') – still, any company seeking to end the tyranny of the overheating head and celebrating the achievements of female Muslim athletes has to be acknowledged for having its thoughts in the right place.
Nike's new hijab is designed to make sport more comfortable for Muslim women and goes on sale in 2018. The light fabric has tiny holes for breathability and the length has also been designed to stop it coming untucked during activity. Nike said it had been developing the new sporting hijab for a year. Sporting hijabs have been around for several years, but Nike is the first major international company to embrace the sports needs of Muslim women.