3D knit sleeve construction combines with a woven body for superior movement, protection, comfort and fit

Written By: Tony Covey

Today I’m going to attempt the impossible. I’m going to try and get you excited…actually, excited is probably overreaching. Today I’m going to attempt to plant within you a seed of intrigue about Nike’s newly announced Innovation Woven Cover-Up.

And yes, I realize that somewhere between the words “woven” and “cover-up” I probably lost half of you, but c’mon guys, let’s see this through. Nike’s new sweater jacket or I suppose jacket sweater is, at an absolute minimum, one of the more interesting pieces of apparel we’ve seen recently.

More Innovation

Nobody in golf talks about innovation with more regularity than Nike. Actually, scratch that. What I should say is that nobody in golf can make it through so much as a single sentence without using the word innovation, and Nike is no different.

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So yes, like everything else you’ll see from nearly everyone else in golf, the Innovation Woven Cover-Up is totes innovative. It’s right there in the name.

What does that actually mean?

Honestly, I’m not sure what innovative really means anymore, but what I can tell is you is that, at Nike, innovation (however they choose to define it) starts with one very simple question.

What if?

In this particular case the entirety of that question reads What if we left a sweater and wind jacket alone in a dimly lit room with a bottle of wine and some smooth jazz playing on the really innovative wireless sound system?

One thing clearly led to another and, as is often the case in circumstances like these; Nike’s seemingly bizarre hybrid of a sweater and wind jacket was born.

What’s the justification for such an unusual creation?

“Golfers love wearing sweaters on the course. They're soft and warm, and easy to move in, unlike a lot of jackets. With the Innovation Woven Cover-up, there's no need to choose one over the other or add layers. It's the best of both worlds." - Merritt Richardson, VP of Global Golf Apparel for Nike Golf

She’s right. Sweaters are soft and warm, and easy to move in, but they’re not exactly awesome in the wind. Wind jackets are great for wind, but they’re not exactly warm and snuggly. At times they can be almost crunchy.

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There’s a logic to the new (woven) Cover-Up (functionally a quarter-zip wind jacket with sweater sleeves), but I’m going to be brutally honest. When I first saw the Innovation Woven Cover-Up…when I first put it on, quite frankly I thought it was just about the dumbest piece of so-called golf apparel I’d ever encountered.

If the weather calls for a sweater, I’ll wear a sweater. If the weather calls for a wind jacket, I’ll wear a wind jacket. There’s absolutely no reasonable need for the bastard child of both. Or so I thought…

Now is probably the right time to mention that the Cover-Up was part of the door prize package media members received for attending Nike’s Innovation Unleashed Summit in Portland and Vegas this past November.

Seeing the entirety of the media in attendance dressed like assimilated Nike drones would have been disconcerting if not for the fact that we all looked so damn good, but I digress.

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Then Came Vegas

The tail end of the Nike Summit required a trip to Las Vegas where we were supposed to demo the latest Nike gear and play 9 holes at TPC Summerlin. As I’d soon discover, Nike’s power is infinite. Somehow Nike was able to create what was basically the worst day ever in the history of Las Vegas.

Intermittent rain, plenty of wind, and temperatures in the 40s; thanks for that Nike. Golf…forget about it. Of course when the rain stopped and I found myself standing in a frigid wind trying to decide if it was worth trying to hit another golf ball with the new Covert 2.0 Driver, the practicality of a garment that mostly moves like a sweater, but protects your core like a wind jacket became immediately apparent.

It turns out, some days are cold, some are windy, and some are both. I feel like I should have known that.

The weather, I believe, was all part of Nike’s plan.
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We've done a lot of research around the thermal properties of 3D knit and increased articulation for a better fit. The knit is fabricated to be higher in certain zones to trap heat and offer flexibility, and dialed in around places like the elbow to reduce material and weight.” – Merritt Richardson

I don’t know about thermal properties and articulation necessarily, but what I can tell you is that Nike puts a ridiculous amount of thought into the placement of every stitch and every seam. Comfort and movement are central to every piece of apparel Nike Golf produces, and that’s absolute the case with the Innovation Woven Cover-up.

It’s absolutely a strange looking…whatever it is…Frankenjacket-sweater-thingy, but the execution of the particular vision is pretty damn solid.

Now I’m not going to tell you that Innovation Cover-Up kept me perfectly warm…40° is more than sweater weather. At least I was able to stand outside without being miserable. Get me to 50°+ and Nike really has created something cool…or warm.

I’d tell you that it’s innovative, but as I said, I don’t know what that means anymore.

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Availability, Colors, and Pricing

The Nike Innovation Woven Cover-up, available now at retail, features a bonded seam down the back, eliminating stitching and added distractions. A traditional collar offers additional protection from chilly temperatures and wind.

Colorways: Medium Base Grey and Light Base Grey

Retail: $120