The face cover is said to be ~almost~ as breathable and comfortable as not wearing a mask.
Imagine a world where all runners and joggers wore face masks or covers. There would be no worries of inhaling suspicious droplets from panting runners around, no side-eye when someone nearby coughs or clears a throat, and no pressure to keep running when not masked up. How pleasant that run session would be.
High-intensity sports such as running may be exempted from the mask-wearing rule, but masking up during any outdoor or group activities is actually a safe and ahem, civic-minded thing to do. A global study by sportswear company Asics found that 66 per cent of regular exercisers avoid certain routes or spaces to maintain social distance with others. The same study also showed that 68 per cent are more motivated than ever to get fit. No prizes for guessing what’s top on the workout list: outdoor running.
In light of that, Asics has launched a face cover that’s specially designed for runners to wear throughout their run.
Created by scientists, engineers and designers at the Asics Institute of Sport Science (ISS), the Asics Runners Face Cover boasts a curved structure that allows for more breathing room than typical masks. Another key feature: strategically placed air vents that provide unobstructed airflow while preventing the spread of droplets. The face cover is made of quick-drying, water-repellent material that’s easy to clean.
Based on tests conducted by ISS, the Asics face cover is significantly more breathable and comfortable than a conventional non-woven mask, with runners feeling little to no difference from wearing no mask.
Kenichi Harano, executive officer and senior general manager at the ISS said: “We know how important it is for runners to protect themselves and others when running, but also that many find face covers uncomfortable and restrictive. So, we created the Asics Runners Face Cover uniquely for runners with cutting-edge technology. The innovative design gives runners room to breathe comfortably while performing at their physical peak.”
Unlike other face masks that come in various sizes, this comes in just one size that’s said to be “specifically designed to accommodate a wide range of faces”. It has an adjustable cord that allows for a customised fit. For those wearing glasses, this feature may help to prevent the annoying fog build-up.
At a relatively steep price of $55, we are expecting the Asics Runners Face Cover to be as nifty as it promises to be, taking us through interval runs, tempo runs and recovery runs without a hitch – without us having to catch more breaths than usual, or adjust the mask while running (that would be as irritating as stopping to tie a loose lace). And hopefully, no skin irritation or breakouts afterwards please, TYVM.
Wearing a mask while running is not a thing yet, partly due to a lack of exercise-specific options. But who knows, this Asics face cover may very well be the kick-starter we need.
The Asics Runners Face Cover ($55) will be available on the Asics site from October 2020.
*The information in this article is accurate as of press time. For the latest updates on Asics Runners Face Cover, head to asics.com/sg.