Usain Bolt is Jamaica’s not-so-secret weapon for shattering track and field records, but at this year’s Olympic games, Nike’s cooked up its own secret weapon — a tracksuit dimpled like a golfball — that will help athletes from countries like the United States, Germany and Russia chase him down.
The Pro TurboSpeed, as Nike calls it, leaves no doubt as to what the suit is designed to do. Taking inspiration from what is probably the world’s laziest sport, golf, the suit is covered in hundreds of tiny dimples designed to reduce its aerodynamic drag. And after thousands of hours of testing in a wind tunnel, Nike claims it can cut 100m dash times by as much as 0.23 seconds compared to the company’s previous generation tracksuits. Which of course could easily be the difference between a world record, a medal or not placing at all.
The suits are also designed to be as comfortable as possible to not hinder an athlete’s performance. They’re created with fabrics that are lighter than ever, and have all of the elastics and edge finishes placed on the outside so there’s nothing rubbing against their skin that could distract them.
Of course, critics will point out that such events should only come down to the capabilities of the individual runners, not the highly engineered garments they’re wearing. But until the naked 100m dash is recognised as an official sport (I’ve almost got enough signatures) the athletes are going to have to wear something. So why not make it as minimal a hindrance as it can be? [Nike via FastCo Design]