The Adidas Tech Behind The New Team GB Kit

Stella McCartney stands next to Team GB athletes including Jessica Ennis-Hill and Tom Daley in Rio 2016 kit
(Image credit: Adidas)

Adidas caused quite a stir four years ago when, with the London Olympic Games in sight, it revealed Team GB’s kit – the result of Adidas’s partnership with Stella McCartney. The 2012 designs had a lot of muted blues and purples, small splashes of red and abstract sections of the Union Flag.

McCartney’s back for Rio 2016 and the new design, which launched this morning in London, looks to heraldic symbols for its inspiration. A new coat of arms has been created by the College Of Arms, which is a thing we only discovered this morning (probably along with everyone else with a single-barrelled surname). The coat of arms features elements of all the home nations – a rose, leek, thistle and flax – plus medals and relay batons. The shield blends into the flag in all of the designs and, unlike last year, features plenty of red.

So sure, it looks nice – well, we think so – but what sort of tech is involved? Adizero is the sportswear brand’s ultra-lightweight line and will be used for track and field athletes, and swimmers to (hopefully) shave those vital milliseconds off their times.

The Climachill fabrics used are likely to be welcomed by Team GB because they’ll prevent them from overheating in the Rio heat. The clothing will use titanium yarns to conduct heat away from the body and aluminium dots keep key areas of the skin cool. The track and field uniforms will use Climachill, plus it will be in the cycling kit and tennis tops.

For further ventilation, Climacool mesh will let cool air in and sweat out, and can be found in the shorts worn by our tennis players and rugby sevens teams.

Climalite (sensing a pattern here? Yeah, us too) is a stretchy, snug-fit fabric that will be worn at times when Adizero wouldn’t be suitable – such as in the jerseys worn by the rugby squads.

The final innovation is Boost, the shoe cushioning tech that first made a big splash in the Energy Boost shoe released in 2013. The concept has been refined in the years since and it’s set to make its Olympic debut this summer. It uses thousands of small energy capsules pushed together so it resembles polystyrene. Boost running shoes have won plenty of awards since going on sale and the tech will be seen on the feet of those competing in the marathon, track and field, basketball, tennis, handball and volleyball.

In our opinion, Team GB looks good enough to win a lot of medals. No pressure, guys…

Ben Isaacs

Ben Isaacs was the features editor of the print edition of Coach until it shuttered in 2016. Ben is currently the features editor at The Week Junior.