Sometimes called active wear, sportswear is the type of clothing worn for physical exercise or specific sports. These are worn for safety, comfort, and practicality. Sportswear also includes footwear. Common garments for specific sports are polo shirts, tennis shirts, tracksuits, shorts and T-shirts. Salopettes, leotards, and wetsuits are more specialized types of sportswear.
Most of these garments are designed to let the athlete move freely with weight kept to a minimum to enhance performance. They should not be bulky or create drag. Lately, drag has become a significant factor in sports that require speed like cycling, track and field, speed skating and even swimming. For this sportswear clothing has evolved to be form-fitting. Safety is a factor in the design and usage of active wear. Some sports require certain garments to be worn for the athlete’s protection.
Another purpose for wearing sportswear is to serve as a uniform for a team. This way it is easier to identify them, even from afar. This is applicable for sports like football, basketball, baseball, and many other team sports. Weather also plays an important role in the design of sports clothing. These products should have a degree of thermal insulation depending on the specific sport and the weather. Sportswear should keep the athlete cool in warm conditions, and warm in cold conditions.
In these modern times, aesthetics is no longer the solitary factor in the design of sports clothing. Sports apparel manufacturers have learned to combine form and function in their products with the use of ergonomic standards. Runners select the pair of running shoes that are most comfortable for their feet and possibly help in the cushioning and enhance the forward movement of the feet and legs. Swimmers look for swimwear that help reduce drag and increase flexibility for better speed and faster movement. Basketball shoes help the player jump higher and land softer as well.
Through continuous research and development, manufacturers keep improving their products. Combine with competition in the market, this has only helped the regular athlete gain more benefits from the ever improving clothing. The results are garments that are very comfortable, much better than regular clothing. In fact, fashionable sportswear has earned its place in today’s culture. This crossover between fashion and active wear has led to the creation of a new niche for sportswear manufacturers to cater to.
With the passage of time and research and development, sportswear plays an influential role in what people wear and bring fashion to new and greater heights.