• Jessica Perez for POLYCHROME

Innovations in Activewear!

Fitness, health, and lifestyle have only increased as a dominating influence on fashion in the past decade. This puts athletic brands in the unique position of leading the charge in what will be trending across the spectrum of apparel categories as these innovations trickle down to products beyond those intended for professional athletes. With the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo a mere eighteen months away, all eyes are on new tech advances in performance wear.

Innovations in Activewear pave the way for fashion trends

images via Polychrome, Callaway,Puma, Reebok, Nike,

Adaptive Footwear:

In the athletic world, performance is everything. Whether you are running, walking, doing some sort of activity to improve your athletic potential, data is essential to determining and mapping out progress. Although smartwatches and data-tracking clothing have skyrocketed over the past few years, connected footwear is on the rise.

images via Nike, Ian Allen

One company making headlines with their connected footwear is Nike. Their innovative new shoe, Nike Adapt BB (“BB” stands for “basketball”), not only self tightens but also digitally collects data to adapt to the wearer in order to achieve a better fit. This high-tech basketball sneaker not only measures activity performance but more importantly, can alter its shape to fit foot movement during wear, something previous tech Nike shoes like the Nike Flyknit or Nike React foam shoes can't do. Moving from a fixed state to a fluid adaptive state where the shoe alters to fit a performance need - such as tightening for a drive up to the hoop or loosen up for a performance break - this shoe is changing the game for performative tech advances. Paired with an app that is downloadable on any smartphone device, Nike Adapt BB is the first shoe of its kind and has athletes eagerly awaiting its release on February 17th.

images via Puma

Although Nike is making great strides in creating technological advances in performance improving activewear, Puma is looking to rival the Nike Adapt BB shoe. Puma will be introducing self-lacing sneakers called Puma Fi; this shoe similarly comes with a smart sensing capability that adapts to the foot of the athlete and can monitor performance and adjust fit through Puma’s smartphone app. Unlike the Nike Adapt BB shoe, Puma Fi is designed for a variety of workouts like light running and is not limited to the sport of basketball. While Nike Adapt BB shoes automatically adapt with tightening technology, the Puma Fi shoes require a swipe up or down on a motor cable system located on the tongue of the shoe to tighten and lace. Set to launch in 2020, the Puma Fi shoe hopes its adaptive capabilities can help athletes perform to their very best.

Re-engineered Garments:

Although engineers and designers have been investigating how high tech can be fused with activewear, innovation for the sake of helping performance is not only limited to what devices can measure regarding athletes’ biofeedback. One company that is looking beyond using sensor technology to improve athletes’ performance with better comfort and support is Callaway Apparel.

image via Callaway