Nike has recently redesigned the home and away jerseys for the English women’s football team, the Lionesses, after concerns were raised regarding difficulties female athletes faced when menstruating. The previous white kits had left some players feeling pressured to take oral contraceptives to avoid bleeding through during games. However, not all athletes are agreeable to using medication to prevent getting their periods while tournaments are in progress. To address these concerns, Nike has introduced the clothes in two shades of blue: Gym Blue for the home kit and Coast Blue for away games. In addition, the new outfits also feature Nike’s Leak Protection: Period technology, which consists of an ultrathin absorbent liner that is built into the shorts so that players can bleed more comfortably and discreetly if they find themselves on their period during a match.
The team’s new white top draws inspiration from the “chalky white brick exterior” of the original Wembley Stadium and complements the shorts to complete the new kit. The move comes after England players, including Beth Mead and Georgia Stanway, spoke out about the impracticality of wearing white shorts during last summer’s Euro 2022 tournament, which the team won in an all-white kit.
Jordana Katcher, Nike women’s global sports apparel vice president, said: “Professional footballers play two 45-minute halves without breaks or time-outs. Many told us they can spend several minutes on-pitch concerned that they may experience leakage from their period. When we showed them this innovation, they told us how grateful they were to have this short to help provide confidence when they can’t leave the pitch.” Ahead of this summer’s World Cup, the updated Nike kits will debut at Wembley Stadium where the England women will play Brazil in the first-ever Women’s Finalissima.
Manchester City Women have also recently switched from white to burgundy shorts, designed by Puma, as a result of player feedback. Other national women’s teams, such as West Bromwich Albion and Swansea City, have also made similar changes, opting for navy and black shorts respectively.
This Nike kits redesign is part of a larger trend in women’s sports, with individual players pushing for more comfortable clothing options. Other women’s football teams too have ditched the white shorts in favor of colored options. The move is rippling through the entire sports world as athletes in tennis are doing the same. Female contestants can now deviate from Wimbledon’s all-white dress code by including dark shorts under their skirts and dresses.
Nike saw the change coming and has made a virtue out of necessity. With the Women’s World Cup coming up this summer, Nike is also introducing the anti-leakage technology to the uniforms of 13 different teams. Overall, this redesign represents a step forward for women’s sports, offering more inclusive and comfortable clothing options for the beautiful game. For Nike, what’s good for its customers is good for business. Woke-ism for Nike is about ushering in positive change into society. It is not easy to do – that too time after time. But then that is what makes Nike the brand it is.
Nike has been one of the first brands to take a stand in the wake of the murder of George Floyd, twisting their famous slogan to tell viewers, “For once, Don’t Do It”. On May 29, four days after George Floyd’s death was caught on video, Nike released an advert featuring only white text on a black background. In the video, the brand urged viewers: “Don’t pretend there’s not a problem in America. Don’t turn your back on racism. Don’t accept innocent lives being taken from us. Don’t make any more excuses. Don’t think this doesn’t affect you. Don’t sit back and be silent. Don’t think you can’t