Top sprinter English Gardner doesn’t mince words: “I have to have my tights. Tights help keep you stabilized, [and yet] give you enough free flow of movement to have the power."
A full-time training schedule, with the motivation of winning in Rio in her mind’s eye, keeps Gardner on the track all week, which means she relies on her tights to help stabilize sore muscles and aid recovery.
Taking Gardner’s insights as a starting point, Nike designers crafted tights to aid the linear motion of running and the muscles it engages.
Designers employed a slim cut to maximize compression provided by a lightweight, high-elastane Dri-FIT fabric that has ample stretch and retraction to smoothly adapt to the runner’s stride.
Notably, enhanced compression along the hip, thigh, calf and Achilles tendon boost muscle control. These compression zones are accentuated by screen-printed graphic lines, inspired by the flow of a track, that visually enhance the natural beauty of the athlete in motion.
Beyond Gardner’s immediate requests, designers solved for the needs of elite and everyday runners by adding an encased drawcord at the waist for a personalized fit, reflective details for low-light conditions and bonded ankle zips for easy on and off. A vapor-lined pocket for phones or keys sits on the back hip for men and at the center back for women.