Many Olympians Are Wearing a New (and Unusual) Nike Face Mask—Here’s What to Know About It

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Olympic athletes wear a range of face masks in Tokyo, but one face cover keeps attracting attention: the Nike Venturer mask.
Several people on social media have compared it to the Batman villain Bane's face covering.
A Nike publicist told Prevention that the Venturer mask, which was designed for athletic performance, "will soon be available to consumers."
The Tokyo Olympics were jam-packed with breathtaking athletic performances, emotional medal ceremonies and, unlike every year before, close-ups of athletes wearing face masks - if, of course, they don't crush it during competition.
While the Olympic athletes wear a range of masks, one face cover in particular keeps drawing attention: the Nike Venturer mask, which several people on social media have compared to the face covering used by Batman villain Bane.
The $ 60 masks have a boxy look with a pleated front protruding from the wearer's face. It's not for sale yet - Nike says it's “coming soon” on their website - but it's causing quite a stir.
Photo credit: Laurence Griffiths - Getty Images
The angular shape of these masks gets a lot of attention - but don't forget to pay attention to the basics. "The important thing about any mask is that it fits snugly against your face," said Richard Watkins, M.D., an infectious disease doctor and professor of internal medicine at Northeast Ohio Medical University. "The stronger the seal, the better the protection."
Comfort is key too, says Amesh A. Adalja, M.D., an infectious disease expert, a senior scientist at the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security. “The more comfortable a mask is, the more likely it is to be worn,” he says. "When developing the next generation of masks, wearing comfort is a very important parameter that needs to be taken into account."
Credit: OLI SCARFF - Getty Images
The netmask was developed for "optimal breathability" and helps optimize the fit, as it is available in five different sizes from XS to XL. It also has a malleable nose wire and adjustable straps that loop behind the head for added security. You can also change the straps so that they sit behind your ears. (Nike encourages behind-the-head design when you're exercising and ear loops when you take it slow.)
The soft but robust exterior of the mask does not collapse during training, but still feels light. It comes with a protective zippered pouch with a strap to keep the mask in shape while you travel - oh, and it's machine washable.
In response to a comment, a Nike publicist told Prevention that the Venturer mask "will soon be available to consumers."
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