What's Up With Those Futuristic Sunglasses?
Nike's Wing sunglasses are hingeless, earpiece-less, and made from a single curved and faceted lens designed to resist fogging. Created specifically for track-and-field professionals, the Wing snaps into place with a silicone nose piece and a back band that won't slip when an athlete starts to sweat. Mere mortals can also purchase them, if they have $1200 to spare.
Hey, Why Are Team Australia's Sailing Uniforms So Snug?
Last December, German sailor Erik Heil was hospitalized for skin infections that he believed he contracted from the water in Rio de Janeiro's Guanabara Bay. While Heil's claim was never verified, it was enough to scare the Australian sailing team into commissioning ultra-waterproof gear from Aussie company Zhik. The label is known for its "hydrophobic" fabric Avlare, which is 75% lighter than Spandex when wet.
What's on the Bottom of That Sprinter's Shoes?
Nike created custom spiked sneakers for Jamaican sprinter Shelly-Anne Fraser-Pryce that are inspired by ocean organisms and designed to keep Fraser-Pryce's feet close to the track. Early prototypes of the soles were 3-D printed before a final version was made out of an injected plastic material and coated in iridescent paint to resemble the wings of a tropical bird in flight.
Wait, Can a Uniform Be Antimicrobial?
That's what Team U.S.A.'s rowers are banking on. Like the Australian sailing team, they're mounting their defenses against Rio's possibly virus-infested waters. The athletes' seamless, one-piece suits, made by Boathouse Sports, are knitted with an antimicrobial finish. One major caveat: the suits are sleeveless, which means those microbes still have plenty of exposed skin to target.
What Is This Crazy Helmet, Even?
It's a cooling hood, created for decathlete Ashton Eaton by the Nike Sports Research Lab. The hat was designed to help the athlete recover between each of his 10 events by lowering the temperature of his head via the hat's inner layers, which are filled with cold water.
Hey, Those Don't Look Like Swimsuits.
That's because they're Olympian swimsuits. The souped-up onesies, made by Speedo, feature abdominal seams designed to stabilize swimmers' cores, vertical stretch fabric for maximum freedom of movement, and a super-tight fit to eliminate drag.
What Are Those Weird Leg Patches?
Another Nike invention, AeroSwift Tape is designed to be applied to the parts of the body that are the most wind-resistant while a runner is in motion. It's studded with tiny blades that are meant to move wind around the body and propel the athlete forward.