Cover The new face mask has been specially designed to protect athletes returning to training (Image: Under Armour)

The first-of-its-kind UA Sportsmask aims to protect athletes returning to training

Additional reporting by Andrea Saadan

This story was updated on July 24, 2020.

Many athletes and fitness enthusiasts around the globe have been grappling over how or when training will be possible to resume as it was before Covid-19 set in—but Under Armour is aiming to make working out while social distancing a little more comfortable thanks to their new first-of-its-kind face mask designed for physical performance.

“At Under Armour, we always want to be part of the solution, especially during this extremely challenging time,” said Patrik Frisk, CEO of Under Armour, in a press release. “We specifically designed this mask for athletes and for all of us who want to exercise and train while also keeping ourselves, and those around us, safe.” 

The face masks were made available today in Under Armour's stores at Orchard Central, Funan Mall and VivoCity as well as online, priced at $35 each. However, the masks are currently sold out and will only be available in August, according to Under Armour's website.

Additional colours of the mask will be available in the coming months.

The Under Armour Sportsmask is reusable, water-resistant, and designed for maximum performance thanks to its inventive breathable fabric. The mask features a moldable nose-bridge which helps secure it in place while mitigating airflow to the eyes and ensuring a reduced spread of respiratory droplets, as a regular mask would.

Stretchy ear loops and side panels offer a more comfortable and custom-like fit across four size offerings: SM/MD, MD/LG, LG/XL, XL/XXL. 

The brand designed the mask while practising social distancing measures, with materials sent directly to Ella Mae Holmes, the Under Armour seamstress behind the brand’s original compression shirt.

“As soon as we finalised the design of our face mask for PPE, we dove straight into the innovation process of optimising a mask for performance," said Kyle Blakely, VP of Materials Innovation at Under Armour. "We knew our athletes would need us to come through quickly with a solution to aid their return to training, one that would put health and safety first and adhere to current CDC guidelines.” 

After 13 different prototypes, the brand decided on a unique, three-layer model that should help athletes during performance. The layers include a light, spacer fabric to help structure the design, an open-cell foam that lets air through but makes it hard for moisture or sweat to pass, and a third ISO-CHILL fabric that has been treated with PROTX2, a non-metal antimicrobial technology which inhibits the growth of bacteria and is thought to destroy Covid-19, according to the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

“We applied learnings in fit, feel, and ease and speed of manufacturing from the face mask we created for PPE purposes. Throughout it all, the speed of the design process and a meticulous eye to quality and details were paramount,” said Blakely.

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