Header: Lead Solo, Winner in Sport Equipment Design / Mountaineering, Climbing, Hiking. University: Nottingham Trent University. Lead Designer: Tom McNeill.

FIT Design Awards 2024 Crown Top Design Innovations in Sports Gear & Apparel

The FIT Sport Design Awards, a prestigious program that recognizes innovative and sustainable sports products and solutions, has announced the winners of its second annual competition. Entries were received from 20 countries across 45 categories, showcasing the diverse range of talent and innovation in the global sports industry.

The FIT Sport Design Awards – Design of the Year – winners are:

SPORT GEAR DESIGN OF THE YEAR: The BetterGuard by Betterguards Technology, Inc., is a company developing next-generation sports technology that is changing the game in injury prevention, recovery, and performance innovation. In clinical trials, athletes who wore The BetterGuard returned to play 54.4% faster and reduced the risk of severe ankle injuries by 62.5% compared to traditional recovery methods. Bolstered by the NBA Launchpad Program, all-star athletes across the NBA, NFL, and NCAA, such as Detroit Lions wide receiver Amon-ra St. Brown, rely on The BetterGuard to keep them in the game. The lead designer is Vinz Bichler (Chief Technical Officer & Founder), while the other designers include Dr. Tobias Consmüller, Elron Borchardt, Amo Paul, and Lillian Rickermann.

Betterguards Technology, Inc.

SPORT APPAREL DESIGN OF THE YEAR: IMBRACE Snow by IMBRACE with Geoffrey Hanson as a lead designer, Julie Greengrass as an other designer, and in collaboration with 4 X Olympian downhill skier Chemmy Alcott. The world’s first and only protective compression base layer leggings were designed specifically for downhill skiers and the unique challenges they face. Featuring an adjustable high waist with built-in heat pad pockets for muscle warmth and protection, these leggings enhance core engagement and posture. Specifically crafted panels promote pelvic alignment, reduce fatigue in hips and thighs, and offer knee support for injury prevention and recovery. Made from 77% Recycled Nylon with HEIQ Smart Temp(TM) technology for thermo regulation and HEIQ Anti(TM) Bacterial treatment for freshness, these leggings ensure durability and comfort.

EMERGING SPORT GEAR DESIGNER OF THE YEAREzun by Soof Azani from Holon Institute of Technology,  is designed to provide a home solution for knee and ankle injuries. One of its main goals is to fit all the steps and parameters in the physical rehabilitation process while emphasizing the user experience. By using gamification values Such as setting goals, tracking, real-time feedback, and belonging, EZUN empowers motivation and involvement in the user’s personal process.

EMERGING SPORT APPAREL DESIGNER OF THE YEARAquaRevive designed by Huali Qu and Lucy Hui from  Artcenter College of Design, is a collection crafted from innovative algae-based materials, with snorkels, fins, masks, and wetsuits redefining the underwater experience. Extensive Life Cycle Assessment and process tree analysis validate their commitment to eco-conscious design.


“The second edition of the FIT Sport Design Awards has far exceeded our expectations. We’ve been overwhelmed by the sheer volume and exceptional quality of entries submitted. Throughout the voting process, the jury members were consistently impressed by the level of innovation and novelty showcased in the designs. Many of these entries represent truly groundbreaking advancements that have the potential to revolutionize the sports gear and apparel industry. The FIT Awards are proud to play a role in highlighting this incredible talent and dedication that is shaping the future of sports design,”

commented Astrid Hébert, Director of the 3C Awards.

The winners were selected by an esteemed jury of sports gear designers, textile and clothing experts, consultants, and industry leaders, who evaluated each entry based on various criteria, including aesthetics, innovation, practicality and functionality, durability, impact, ecological compatibility, and emotional quotient. The jury members included Tetiana Shevchuk, a visionary designer specializing in rhythmic gymnastics attire, Donte Cotton, Product and Collections Manager at Pensole Lewis College of Business and Design, Cheresse Thornhill-Goldson, Director of Design Education & Growth at adidas’ S.E.E.D – School for Experiential Education in Design, and Daniel Shirley, Football Footwear Designer at Puma.

These innovative designs represent the best of sports gear and apparel design, as well as a commitment to sustainability and accessibility in the industry. To learn more about the winners and their designs, visit the FIT Sport Design Awards website – fitdesignawards.com. Congratulations to all of the winners and participants for their contributions to the sports industry and their dedication to innovation.

Header: Lead Solo, Winner in Sport Equipment Design / Mountaineering, Climbing, Hiking. University: Nottingham Trent University. Lead Designer: Tom McNeill.