Nov. 5, 2009
BEAVERTON, Ore. (November 5, 2009) – On Saturday, Nov. 21, the Florida State University football team will take the field wearing the Nike Pro Combat uniform, a new system of dress and the lightest football uniform Nike has ever created.
Nike designed the Nike Pro Combat uniform to address the evolution of the game: Today’s players are stronger and faster and the collisions are more violent and explosive than ever before. Nike also worked with coaches and administrators at Florida State to bring inspiration to the Nike Pro Combat uniforms that the Seminoles will wear on Nov. 21.
According to Florida State officials, these limited edition uniforms will be used at the discretion of the Seminoles’ football program after November 21.
Superior Lightweight Innovation
The Nike Pro Combat uniform is 37 percent lighter than current designs (23.7 ounces vs. 37.4 ounces). Nike utilized a four-way stretch twill that does not hold sweat or water and as a result, the new uniforms are 46 percent lighter than the current designs when wet. Overall, the Nike Pro Combat uniform, when wet, is still lighter than the current Florida State design when completely dry.
Designed from the inside out, the Nike Pro Combat uniform begins with the Nike Pro Combat padded base layer. Strategically placed padding zones in the Nike Pro Combat Deflex shorts cover the thighs, hips and tailbone. The padding zones are composed of dual-density foam cells that absorb, deflect and disperse the impact of on-field collisions. A foam grid intersects the cells to maximize impact absorption and increase flexibility. A hard plastic shield covers the thigh padding where impact frequently occurs.
The Nike Pro Combat Deflex shorts are made with Nike Dri-FIT technical fabric to provide superior moisture wicking, helping to keep players dry and cool.
With the padding incorporated into the base layer, players gain greater mobility over traditional padding and the outer uniform becomes a lightweight, breathable shell with a sleek, explosive look.
“Players need their uniforms to be as light as possible so they can play the game at top speed,” said Kris Aman, Global VP and General Manager for Nike Athletic Training, which includes football. “The Nike Pro Combat uniform is a modern system of dress that is dramatically lighter while providing durability and protection.”
Nike scrutinized every detail of the Nike Pro Combat uniform with the goal of shedding as much weight as possible, right down to D-ring on the belt. Nike opted for a titanium D-ring, which is extremely durable and 66 percent lighter than the standard steel belt enclosure.
Engineered high-tenacity yarn inspired by Nike Flywire is incorporated into the high-impact shoulder area. The belt loops have been padded to provide added protection to the hip area without the bulk of traditional hip pads.
The new uniforms also feature improved ventilation and breathability. Side ribbed piping on the uniform pant has been replaced with sublimated Nike Dri-FIT mesh, which not only shaves ounces off of the pant weight but also aids evaporation in key areas. Nike Dri-FIT mesh wraps behind the knees, a key cooling zone on the body. By adding innovative evaporation and cooling zones, the player’s body expends less energy regulating body temperature, leaving more energy for the game.
“The technology involved in this new design and fabric is really remarkable and we are pleased to be one of the 10 schools that Nike selected to debut the product,” said Spetman. “I know that any time you tell a player he can wear a uniform that weighs significantly less, their eyes light up. If you compare this uniform with our current uniform it is much lighter and that becomes even more pronounced when it’s damp. We will keep these as a limited option, but will wear our traditional design with this technology next year. “
Randy Spetman, Florida State Director of Athletics
Completing this true system of dress for football is the new Nike Zoom Vapor Fly cleat, which Nike customized for Florida State featuring the Seminoles’ team colors, team logo and chrome-plated outsole. This incredibly lightweight cleat at just 10 ounces is available in 2010. It features Zoom Air cushioning in the heel and Flywire engineering in the medial and lateral quarter panels.
Florida State players will also wear the new Nike Vapor Trail 2.0 gloves, which come together to form the Seminole logo on the palm.
Inspiration to Succeed
Nike designers immersed themselves in Florida State Seminoles history and lore to bring inspirational cues to the look and direction of the Nike Pro Combat uniforms.
The feather pattern on the pant and jersey symbolizes the proud and unconquered heritage of the Seminole Tribe of Florida, whose ancestors were never defeated over the course of three wars in the 19th century, surviving by moving deep into the harsh swamps of the Florida Everglades.
The solid black helmet pays tribute to Osceola, the legendary Native American warrior whose leadership of the Seminoles during the Second Seminole War has made him an enduring symbol of the unconquered spirit that Florida State athletes seek to embody.
Osceola’s name was an English translation of the Creek Indian name Asi-Yahola, meaning “Black Drink Singer.” The name referred to a ritual among many Southeastern tribes of drinking a pungent black tea prepared from the roasted leaves and stems of the Yaupon holly before battles or other important events.
### About Nike
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