Korea and Nike unveiled the new national away kit for 2014, revealing a design rich in national pride combined with the best in performance innovation.
“This kit possesses both revolutionary performance benefits, and a strong sense of celebrating the country,” said Martin Lotti, Nike Football Global Creative Director.
The new Korea away jersey is a classic white and prominently features the Taegeuk, the yin and yang symbol from the Korean national flag.
The red and blue interlocking shape from the Taegeuk appears at the top of each sleeve, with the right shoulder accented by red detailing, while the left shoulder sports blue details. The shapes give the jersey a modern appearance and match the contours of players’ bodies.
The design team also wanted to give Korea a unique collar, one that has clear Asian influences and draws inspiration from classic Korean attire.
The collar features red piping on the right side to correspond with the color of the shape from the Taegeuk on the right shoulder, while blue piping on the left side matches the left shoulder.
Inside the back of the neck, a pennant tab features a Tuhon symbol in traditional Korean calligraphy that translates as "Fighting Spirit" and represents the inherent qualities of Korean football.
“The clean and crisp white kit, with highlights of red and blue, is visually stunning,” said Korean National Team midfielder ChungYong Lee. “Coupled with performance innovations that cool the body, this kit will play an important role for us in the heat and humidity of Brasil this summer."
The new away shorts are white, simple and iconic, with a slimmer fit that is tailored to the body. The cut has been specifically designed to aid movement and comfort. The center back of the shorts features Nike’s signature laser vents to further aid in cooling and allow for moisture management. The new away socks are also white.
ULTIMATE IN COOLING AND COMFORT
The kit aids performance by helping regulate player body temperature over the course of a match. By using a combination of Nike Dri-FIT technology, “burnout” mesh and laser-cut ventilation holes, designers are able to localize cooling where players need it most.
Nike Dri-FIT technology pulls moisture away from the skin to the outside of the garment where it evaporates more quickly. Laser-cut ventilation holes and engineered mesh in key areas where heat is generated allow for increased breathability and airflow across the skin.
“By managing sweat and keeping the body cooler longer, players feel more comfortable, sweat less, and perform better,” said Lotti.
In addition, to help keep players cool, the kit is made with a new dual-knit fabrication that incorporates cotton and recycled polyester for the best in moisture wicking properties, while adding a softer feel and more flattering shape.
In line with Nike’s commitment to superior performance with lower environmental impact, the shirt, short -- and for the first time in a Korea national team kit, the socks -- all feature fabric made from recycled plastic bottles (100 percent recycled polyester in the shorts, 96 percent recycled polyester in the shirt and 78 percent in the socks). Each kit is made using an average of 18 recycled plastic bottles. Since 2010, Nike has diverted almost two billion bottles from landfills, enough to cover more than 2,800 full-sized football pitches.
“Incorporating environmental sustainability is a key part of the design and development process for us,” said Lotti. “Our aim is to create a kit that performs for players and is good to the planet.”
Designers utilized three-dimensional body scans of elite footballers to collect data on the physique of today’s players and identify an updated fit — improving comfort and allowing the body to move more naturally within the kit.
The new shorts have a slimmer fit and are more tailored to the body, with a cut specifically designed to aid movement and comfort. The center back of the shorts features Nike’s signature laser vents to aid in cooling and allow for moisture management.
While looking at every element of the modern football kit, Nike designers even paid special attention to the kits’ socks.
Combining athlete insight and research with new materials and fabrications, the Nike Match Fit sock for 2014 features a sleeker fit specific to football. Strategically cushioned zones provide comfort and protection at the big toe and anklebones where the majority of impact occurs, while arch support locks down the foot to help prevent slipping. Material was also eliminated to enhance touch and decrease bulk, and flex grooves were added to the ankle and the top of the foot to prevent any bunching.
NIKE PRO BASELAYER
The new Nike Pro baselayer is the lightest ever from Nike and features increased venting and breathability. Players have a variety of Nike Pro baselayer styles to choose from. These are designed for the varying temperatures and conditions athletes will encounter in Brasil, which are expected to vary from high heat during mid-day matches, to much colder temperatures in the southern match locations during evening games.
Nike has redesigned its baselayer short for 2014 taking insights directly from some of the best players in the world.
“When we asked players to talk about the kind of protection they need during a match, they showed us scars and abrasions on their upper-back hip area from sliding,” recalled Lotti. “Several players showed us these same injuries so we set-out to add more protection, while balancing the need for lightweight and breathability.”
The result is the Nike Pro Combat Ultralight Slider Short. Featuring increased and adjusted abrasion protection zones to match the athlete’s sliding pattern, the short is also 20 percent lighter than previous versions and made with 87 percent recycled polyester. Weight was eliminated through the addition of mesh for increased breathability and cooling where the athlete generates heat.
The Korea kit is available in Nike stores and on nike.com
from April 3.