According to the Daily Mail, in the Olympics, it is very important to wear the right clothes to compete. As apparel design and testing technology advances, innovation in apparel and sneakers is also accelerating. Many apparel manufacturers are developing clothing and shoes that allow athletes to run faster and jump higher, but they need to prevent them from becoming new “doping”.
At the Rio Olympics, Nike used 3D printing technology to develop silicone bumps that could change the air flow around Olympic athletes, allowing athletes to run faster. Body scanners help Adidas design new suits to keep swimmers in ideal shape. Swiss bicycle company Assos turns a wind tunnel into handmade, custom-fitted uniforms for the U.S. Cycling Team.
Adam Clement, senior creative director of the sports team of Under Armor, a well-known high-end functional sports brand in the United States, said: “We need to ensure that we are within the Olympic rules, but we can try to get closer to the edge of the rules. Our goal is to create A way to ultimately force Olympic rule changes. We’ll make adjustments, but we’re proud of this achievement.”
The clothing worn by athletes participating in competitions needs to fit as closely as possible to minimize air resistance, especially in speed-related competitions such as cycling, swimming, and track and field. “In a 4-kilometer race, the difference between first and eighth place is only four seconds,” says Jim Miller, director of the U.S. Cycling Team. Improper materials or the wrong design can leave athletes feeling uncomfortable. Comfortable and adds unnecessary weight, which negates an athlete’s advantages. In addition to not affecting the athlete’s speed, the clothing also needs to be able to reduce other worries for the athlete, such as heat and sweating. In a hot climate like Rio, Brazil, this is critical.
The clothing itself is certainly not as good as the improvements that come with years of hard training, coaching from famous teachers, and correct body mechanics, but inappropriate clothing can have a negative impact. American marathon runner Desiree Linden said: “In the Olympics, magic shoes alone won’t win you the race. But if you train hard, but the shoes give you blisters or you can’t walk, There is little hope of winning the game.”
At the Sochi Winter Olympics in Russia two years ago, Under Armor designed high-tech clothing for the U.S. speed skating team, which many people blamed for the U.S. team’s poor performance. But Under Armor said it will test new apparel for the 2018 Winter Olympics that can be customized to fit individual body types. At the Rio Olympics, the U.S. Cycling Team wore uniforms designed by Assos, but members can wear regular clothing if they don’t like it.
Clothing or shoes worn by athletes are often part of a brand sponsorship deal. Running brand Brooks turned to Linden to help design its Hyperion shoe. The shoe’s fabric reduces the risk of blisters, and the rubber ring on the sole improves traction on slippery surfaces while providing propulsion. “I feel like I’m putting on springs, no energy wasted, I feel faster,” Linden said. Brooks will start selling the shoes in July, and the shoes for Linden and others will have additional laser perforations to cope with Rio’s heat. .
The uniforms designed by Under Armor for the Canadian rugby team, Swiss and Dutch beach volleyball teams draw on NASA spacesuit technology to reduce body temperature. There is a crystal chip device inside the clothes that absorbs body heat. Nike has embedded silicone bumps into the clothing of more than 20 track and field teams, including the United States, China, Brazil and Germany. Nike is also embedding it into tape that track and field athletes can attach to their arms or legs.
Swimming has come under the most stringent scrutiny since Speedo’s suits for Michael Phelps and other swimmers helped win medals and break world records at the 2008 Olympics. The company’s full-body suit, designed using NASA’s buoyancy and drag-reducing technology, has been banned from competition. But apparel manufacturers are still innovating. Michelle Miller, Nike apparel concept director, said figuring out the “how” is my favorite part of the design process.
Nike is also using 3D printing technology and wind tunnel technology to improve its air-resistance silicone bulges. Michelle Miller, Nike apparel concept director, said that 3D printing prototypes help Nike find the best shoe shape for long-distance running. Deborah Yeomans, Adidas’ head of futures, said engineers will be conducting 10 years of design research and they are being held to higher expectations.