When the Nike Sports Research Lab studies athletes, hours are spent analyzing, diagnosing and observing all of the performance minutia. The collated information helps create products that support breaking individuals' barriers, and it informs subsequent, more universally-applicable innovations. The NSRL Series, a performance capsule through Nike Design Exploration, builds from the NSRL's 40-year heritage of listening to the voice of the athlete with a subtle addition: a review of wide-ranging statistical themes collected from the Nike Run Club App and global Nike running crews.
From this study, clarity around athletes' cold-weather needs emerged. The two greatest challenges for city-based daily runners in winter are temperature regulation and visibility in low-light conditions. The NSRL collection is a solution to these performance problems and a glimpse into the future possibilities that come from accelerating connections with athletes.
Patterns of runner frequency, time of day and paces in various weather conditions all impacted the design and creation of the NSRL Series garments. These include the Transform Jacket, Aurora Bomber, a men and women's pant, a women's tight and accompanying layering tops. Each piece in the collection responds to runner-needs, whether temperature control or visibility, with a unique environment-first approach.
The Transform Jacket, available for men and women, tackles temperature control. The design incorporates four fully-removable down pillows to allow for modular insulation responding to weather conditions and an athlete's thermoregulation needs. The pillows are easily rolled and stored in the jacket's chest pocket. Similarly, the removable hood and sleeves store directly with the garment as it moves from insulated jacket to lightweight vest. The jacket's shell is constructed of GORE-TEX INFINIUM™ fabric, an innovative material that makes products completely windproof, water-resistant and breathable.
Solving for visibility on evening runs, the Aurora Bomber takes inspiration from bioluminescence to give off a subtle ambient glow, creating a a stunning, all-over rainbow-reflective effect when illuminated. The integration of glow and reflectivity offers a compelling interactive component to the jacket. Body-mapped, quilted-insulation offers warmth, and the jacket's style transfers from daily commute to daily sport.
The NSRL series Packable Pant, made of a windproof fabric and offering a high range of mobility, also addresses visibility. Its gray tie-dye aesthetic hides a ghost-flash pattern activated against direct light sources like headlights and helps runners to be seen. Like the Transform Jacket, the pant also zips into itself for easy packing.
The collection is rounded out with highly-considered basics that serve the nuances of city running. The Women's Thermal Tight offers an innovative phone storage solution at the center of the back and additional storage for small items like credit cards and keys. The body-mapped merino wool base layer provides breathability, and the NSRL Series Performance T-shirt, with cut and hand-feel elevating the familiar cotton tee, features wicking benefits, a hidden side-seam pocket and reflective bars that are revealed when the sleeves are flipped up.