During the last few years, outdoor sports and recreation activities have skyrocketed in the number of participants for reasons we all know. Many of these people come without any serious background and, consequently, experience issues choosing gear and clothing appropriate for their sport. Our sporting goods store considers enlightening people on sporting equipment the prime mission because specialized gear not only defines your comfort but also ensures safety. That’s why choosing the right equipment is vital.
This article overviews different types and categories of sporting equipment and accessories to give you a rough idea of how to approach picking up items for your outdoor adventures.
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Sports clothes are often overlooked because novices tend to concentrate more on the equipment that determines their sports discipline, like a bike, kayak, racket, fishing rod, or surfboard. And this approach has its colors of reason. But while the importance of wearing appropriate clothing is more evident when discussing such sports as skiing and snowboarding, what about cycling, running, fishing, or hiking? Do these sports require specialized clothing?
Well, in most cases, it’s strongly recommended. Advancements in materials, stitching, and design have given us clothes that actually work in challenging environments, be it snowy mountains, river coasts on a rainy day, or hot flats.
Let’s take several examples and talk more specifically. To ensure a minimal level of cycling comfort, you need clothing that stretches for an increased range of movements, breathes, dries fast, and wicks sweat. You may want bike pants or shorts with a built-in chamois that prevents friction, a neck gaiter for windy weather, or a waterproof cycling jacket for colder, rainy weather. Fishing clothing is chosen based on the environment and fishing style. For instance, hot weather surfcasting may require fast-drying clothing with a high UPF rating, while boat anglers fishing in cold climates may require a clothing system with heavy wind-/waterproofing and insulation. Fly fishing almost always requires waders. In most cases, watersports, such as surfing, kayaking, and, doubly so, scuba-diving, are unimaginable without wet or dry suits that are fully waterproof and intended to keep you warm for a longer time.
Also, don’t forget about accessories. A cap will protect you from sunstroke during long fishing or golfing hours, a warm hat will prevent your head from excessive heat loss in the cold, and cycling gloves will enhance grip and keep your hands away from weather bites.
Sporting clothing should be an essential part of your gear because it directly influences your performance and comfort. And while there are sports where having specialized clothing is optional, we recommend you at least think about it.
Different footwear serves different purposes. Generally, a pair of quality sneakers can ensure comfort and even protect you from mild impacts and elements. But if you take your hobby or sport seriously, you need sporting shoes designed to deal with particular tasks.
At first glance, sneakers seem like a viable alternative to running shoes. And indeed, you’re unlikely to experience any problems if you plan to run around your town once or twice a week. But if you want to run several miles every day or every other day or run off road, you absolutely need to invest in a pair of high-quality running shoes. Such footwear is built to give you more forward movement and features stiffer soles and cushioning for shock absorption. On the other hand, tennis and other racket sports shoes are made to provide you with more side-to-side movement.
If you plan to engage in hiking or backpacking, you need hiking boots. They are designed to hold up against rough terrains and ensure full protection of your feet through thick materials, a thick sole, higher ankle, and water resistance.
Fishing boots exist in various designs intended for different styles and weather conditions. If your waders for fly fishing come without shoes, you need wading boots that look similar to hiking boots. Shore anglers can go with rubber boots, deck and boat anglers often choose athletic-style fishing shoes, while sandals and clogs are great for hot weather fishing.
Sports Equipment and Accessories
As for core sporting equipment, everything seems pretty clear here. However, you should carefully consider the exact type of activity you want to practice to pick up sporting gear that suits your needs best.
For instance, what type of bike do you need? Do you plan to ride off-road or mainly in your city or town? Yes, a mountain bike is an all-around option, but a road or a fixed-gear bike will be much easier to use on sealed roads. Besides, if you want to engage in off-road cycling, there are several mountain bike types. Do you need a cross-country bike, a trail bike, or an enduro? A cross-country bike will be most efficient on ascents, while an enduro’s specialty is fast descending. Trail bikes are the most versatile, balancing between the two mentioned designs.
We’ve mentioned running. Not only will running shoes differ for different distances and environments. So will running gear. For instance, trail runners and long-distance runners use hydration packs or vests to store items like a phone, keys, or a raincoat and, most importantly, to keep water always accessible.
These two examples illustrate that you should understand what exactly you want to do because gear may differ even within one discipline. So we recommend you do your homework and learn what features the sporting equipment in question offers to avoid situations when you’ve invested in some piece of equipment and its features turned out to be insufficient or unwanted for your activity of choice.
Sporting safety gear shields you from serious injuries or reduces the severity of one you may suffer. Since almost all outdoor sports are associated with the risk of injury, such protective gear is a must.
A helmet is a basic equipment for many outdoor sports such as biking, mountaineering, skateboarding, skiing, and snowboarding. Though everyone knows that a helmet actually reduces the risk of head injury, in real life, many people choose not to wear one because they consider it uncomfortable. However, if you pick up a properly fitted helmet designed for your sport, you won’t feel any inconvenience.
Protective eyewear can be optional or required, but a proper pair of sunglasses or goggles won’t go amiss anyway. Fishing sunglasses are polarized to reduce glare, while alpine goggles protect your eyes from snow and ice.
Guards and safety pads are also essential pieces of sporting safety equipment. Safety pads are inserted in the sporting clothing or are integral parts of the body armor to cushion an impact. Guards are separate rigid-plastic pieces for protecting your knees and elbows from abrasions, scrapes, and fractures.
We hope this introductory article will help you pick sports apparel, gear, and accessories wisely based on your needs and preferences. Your choice should be guided only by function, though today, many sports brands have achieved a perfect balance between performance, style, and value. Good luck on your adventures, and stay safe.