Every runner has experienced it: as soon as they start their run, their temperature begins to rise. They heat up. Aside from shedding clothing layers, to stay cool the body undertakes a process of thermoregulation, releasing sweat that evaporates to help the body maintain an optimal temperature.
We need thermoregulation to sustain significant speed over distance without overheating. But the harder the body strives to stay cool, the more difficult it can become to perform optimally.
Enter, Nike AeroReact technology: a new responsive, lightweight fabric developed with insights from the Nike Explore Team (NXT) Sport Research Lab and runners the world over.
“The apparel industry has always been based on the concept of layering,” says Brian Stewart, Vice President of NXT’s Apparel Innovation team. “But how can we create apparel that adapts, so that as you change – as you heat up during your run – or as the weather changes around you, you don’t have to make those adjustments?”
AeroReact is uniquely engineered to adapt to changes in a runner’s temperature. Supporting the body’s existing thermoregulation capabilities, the textile’s bi-component yarn senses moisture vapor and opens its structure to maximize breathability.
As Stewart explains, “Everything we do is focused on how we can help athletes perform better, be more comfortable and stay focused. AeroReact has this ability to adapt as you change and as your environment changes — to help keep you comfortable the whole time you’re wearing it.”
To develop AeroReact, Nike spent several years honing the fabric via research, testing and trials. Then, prototypes were distributed to worldwide runners, who wear tested the technology.
Runner feedback helped validate the team’s work, says Peter Harrison, Nike’s Innovation Project Director for AeroReact. “Many runners were amazed, as they felt that they would either be too hot or too cold at some point during the run, but instead they got to the end and forgot that they were wearing AeroReact. That’s brilliant news for us, because we want the athlete to be able to focus on what they love doing and what they do best – not to be distracted by their clothing.”
The women’s Nike AeroReact Pullover Top and men’s Nike AeroReact Half-Zip are available October 1 at nike.com.