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Olympic athletes are wearing a range of face masks in Tokyo, but one face covering keeps garnering attention: the Nike Venturer mask.
Several people on social media have compared it to Batman villain Bane’s face covering.
A Nike publicist told Prevention that the Venturer mask, which is designed for sports performance, “will soon be available for consumers.”
The Tokyo Olympics has been packed with jaw-dropping athletic feats, emotional medal ceremonies, and, unlike any year before, close-ups of athletes wearing face masks—when they’re not crushing it during competition, of course.
While the Olympic athletes are wearing a range of masks, there’s one face covering in particular that keeps garnering attention: the Nike Venturer mask, which several people have compared to Batman villain Bane’s face covering on social media.
The $60 masks have a boxy look with a pleated front that sits out from the wearer’s face. It isn’t for sale yet—Nike says on its website that it’s “coming soon”—but it’s generating plenty of early buzz.
The angular shape of these masks is getting plenty of attention—but don’t forget to pay attention to the basics. “The important feature of any mask is that it fits firmly against the face,” says Richard Watkins, M.D., an infectious disease physician and professor of internal medicine at the Northeast Ohio Medical University. “The tighter the seal, the better the protection.”
Comfort is also key, says infectious disease expert Amesh A. Adalja, M.D., a senior scholar at the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security. “The more comfortable a mask is, the more likely it is to be worn,” he says. “As the next generation masks are developed, ease of wear is a very important parameter to incorporate.”
Designed for “optimal breathability,” the mesh mask does help optimize fit, as it comes in five different sizesranging from XS to XL. It also has a moldable nose wire and adjustable straps that loop behind your head for extra security. You can also change up the straps to have them sit behind your ears. (Nike encourages the behind-the-head design when you’re working out and ear loops when you’re “taking it slow.”)
The mask’s soft-but-sturdy exterior won’t collapse when you’re working out, but it still feels lightweight. The whole thing comes with a protective, zip-up case with a carrying strap to help the mask keep its shape during travel—oh, and it’s machine washable.
When reached for a comment, a Nike publicist told Prevention that the Venturer mask “will soon be available for consumers.”
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