“After asking questions about current recovery techniques, the conversation prompted me to ask myself: Why does it feel good, after running, to pour a bottle of water over your head? I don’t know the physiological answer, but the fact that it does feel better makes me perform better.”
The above passage by Olympian and decathlon record holder, Ashton Eaton, triggered Nike to formulate a prototype for sideline recovery in the upper extremities called the Ice Hat.
Eaton, then, pondered about thermoregulation and the body’s capability to manage an equilibrium in body temperature post-performance. In thinking so, Eaton recalled the Nike PreCool Vest from 2004 and proceeded to wonder how identical technology can be applied in proximity to the face and head.
After speculation – and Nike’s own trials prior to collaboration with Eaton – Eaton, Nike’s Research Lab and the Nike Apparel Innovation Team eventually concluded that the facial area is two to five times more sensitive to temperature changes than any other region of the body. As a result, the Ice Hat was born.
To fuel optimal athletic performance – both psychological and physiological – Nike’s VP of Special Projects, Sandy Bodecker, tested a structural hood frame of lightweight material centrally aimed to reduce heat around the eyes.
Bodecker expects to smooth over any defects in the hood prototype and – pending trials for the next 18 months – will officially launch the hood exclusively for track and field competition.
*Featured Photo (above) credit to USA TODAY Sports