Contestants will wear a V-neck uniform called a "dobok" (pronounced "doe-bok"). The dobok is based on traditional peasant garb.
While the top of the garment will be white (as has traditionally been the case), the World Taekwondo Federation (WTF) implemented a new policy in regard to the pants in 2016, which will continue in Tokyo. Competitors will be allowed to wear colored pants that correspond to their national team color. Each country will be allowed to select one color (including white), which all of their athletes will compete in.
The idea of colored pants was suggested by the WTF Technical Committee as a way to help evolve and modernize the sport. It "will transform the look of competition, adding to the vibrant, carnival atmosphere in Rio, and will give athletes an even greater sense of national pride as they compete for their countries," WTF president Chungwon Choue said of the change.
All competitors are required to wear a trunk protector and headgear. The color of that equipment will be either blue or red, corresponding to that participant's designated color for the match.
The trunk protector and headgear are equipped with electronic sensors as part of the Protective Scoring System (PSS). The sensors in the protective equipment work in conjunction with sensors in the socks of the participants to measure the impact of any strikes delivered and automatically record valid points for those strikes.
The PSS electronic scoring debuted at the London Games, but was limited to just the trunk protector and socks.
For protection, an athlete must also wear a mouthpiece, groin area protector, gloves, and shin and forearm guards. The forearm and shin guards are to prevent nerve damage to those areas.