While all of the sports apparel giants have put out their own face masks, they've served more as exercises in branding than performance. That looks to change as Asics has released a covering made specifically for runners.
The Asics Face Cover is made of a quick-dry, water-repellent fabric intended to provide unobstructed airflow and a cooling effect. It's also been cut to create more room around the mouth, which should make it feel less suffocating while breathing heavily. Air vents at the bottom should add to the effect, making for what could be the best mask for exercise yet.
An elaborate lacing system — The adjustable cord system extends well beyond the ears for additional fastening on the back of your head. This will ensure a more comfortable fit for heads of different sizes, and Asics says it will help prevent fogging when worn along with glasses. For runners and non-runners alike, that last function should be a godsend. As a person with delicate blue eyes, the struggle of accommodating shades and a mask at the same time has been real this year.
Throw in some sustainability — Asics' face mask is made from 31 percent recycled materials, making it a more sustainable option than most. Normally, I'd preach about the pitfalls of scooping up more "sustainable" products than you actually need — but a mask is an item we could probably all use more of. Ideally, the pandemic will be the spark for Americans to wear masks in public whenever they're sick going forward. So it wouldn't hurt to stock up for the longterm.
"Coming Soon" — Asics has created a landing page for its face mask, but it's not for sale yet. All it says is that it's coming soon, and you can sign up for notifications when it becomes available. You absolutely should, especially considering it's only $30.
However long it takes, it'll be here much sooner than Reebok's wacky prototypes.