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Nike Lacrosse Defines the Future of the Game

The Syracuse men’s and UNC women’s teams will unveil the Nike Untouchable Speed uniforms during play this week.

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Zero distractions. That’s the mission Nike designers lived by when creating the Nike Untouchable Speed uniforms that debut on field today with the Syracuse men’s team and April 15 with the UNC women’s team. “Our goal was to eliminate anything that made a lacrosse player feel restricted, hot or heavy so the athletes would be able to perform better,” says Hal Melhart, a Nike Senior Product Line Manager for field sports apparel. 

Lacrosse is a high-energy game. Shots can travel faster than 100 mph. Attempts on goal can be fierce and direct. Taking speed and angular play into consideration, and after conversations with athletes who provided feedback that jerseys were too big, and a meeting with the Thompson brothers who mentioned current game shorts had too much fabric, the designers knew the key was streamlining the overall fit to improve mobility.

The Nike Sleeveless Untouchable Speed Jersey is thus cut smaller and made with fewer seams than previous silhouettes. “It’s much cleaner and fits better, which improves range of motion and comfort when shooting and passing,” says Brian Chilton, a Nike Product Line Manager for field sports apparel

The biggest update to the men’s shorts is a floating vent, which widens and narrows as the player moves (much like a split-leg short many runners wear). “One thing we kept hearing from athletes was that their shorts were tugging at them when they sprinted or crouched,” says Chilton. Nike designers first used the floating vent on men’s Nike Vapor Basketball uniform and adapted the idea for the Nike Untouchable Speed Short.

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The game short is made out of lightweight four-way mechanical stretch woven fabric. The innovative floating vent enables maximum mobility. Lower-back-leg laser perforations offer breathability.

UNC women will compete in the Nike Untouchable Speed Short Sleeve (conversations with female lacrosse players revealed a preference for sleeves rather than a tank) and the Nike Untouchable Speed 2 in 1 Kilt. Because the athletes expressed previous kilts moved around too much, designers built a compression short into this version, which helps to keep it in place. They also added a floating vent along the sides to allow for maximum mobility and breathability. “The kilt is a traditional garment the athletes have worn on game day since they started playing lacrosse, so this version is an ode to that heritage but has features that help the athletes play at their best level,” says Melhart.

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The game kilt is also made out of lightweight four-way mechanical stretch woven fabric. It has a built-in three-inch compression short with a four-inch inseam that holds the kilt in place. As with the men's, lower-back-leg laser perforations provide breathability.

Later in the tournament, lacrosse athletes from Nike schools will wear the new Huarache V lacrosse shoe, the Prism Flash, that features an iridescent Swoosh and lace aglets and an oil-slick chrome-finish cleated plate. “We wanted to showcase the speed of the game and the angular patterns in which the players move through light and color,” says Tyler Luckey, a Nike Product Line Manager for cleats.

The Nike Untouchable Speed launch is about more than the uniforms. “This is just the beginning of a series of major updates we’re working on in lacrosse over the next year,” says Melhart.

The Huarache V Prism Flash will be available April 11 on and at select retailers. The Untouchable Speed uniforms will be available October 1 on