Sports Gear Must-Haves Every Athlete Should Own
If you’re a sports junkie, you probably already own an assortment of sports gear to help you achieve your personal best. But sports technology is constantly changing, so keeping up to date on the latest gear is a must.
1. Skull Caps
Whether or not you’ve used a skull cap for sports training sessions, consider getting one if you’re training in the heat of summer to wick sweat away and keep you cool. Moisture management technology in skull caps is all about cool and dry and makes for snug-fitting protection under football helmets. Try a cooling skull cap to keep your skin up to 5°F cooler, with the added feature of 50 + UV skin protection!
2. Cooling Towels
If you live in a hot climate, summer sweat sessions can be brutal. That’s why having cooling towels handy is a must-have this summer season. These towels, when wet, keep surface temps up to 30°F cooler, and can even help reduce effects of decreased performance due to being overheated. Throw that cooling towel on the back of your neck between sets or during water breaks, and you’ll never leave home without it.
3. Compression Shorts
You’ve probably seen a ton of different athletes sporting compression shorts, and for good reason. From combines to college stadiums, athletes everywhere swear by them for use during training and competitions. Compression supports muscles, lessening vibrations, increases blood flow which helps aid in recovery and reduces muscle soreness, according to one 2015 review. Compression also helps keep muscles warm to optimize the way you train, prevent chafing, and keep your body cool and dry with moisture management technology.
4. Ice Compression Sleeves
As athletes, sometimes we can’t avoid strains, sprains and overuse injuries. Getting hurt happens, so it’s important to take proper steps to recover quickly. That’s where ice compression sleeves save the day. This type of compression gear stays cold, so you can reap the full benefits of compression for recovery -- and cold therapy to reduce swelling -- to get back in the game that much faster.
5. Knee and Wrist Braces
Nearly every athlete can benefit from a knee or elbow brace from time to time. Whether we’re recovering from an injury or simply want to prevent re-injury, the extra protection a brace offers can save you from having to sit out a season. The North Central Surgical Center says high school basketball players who wear lace-up ankle braces are 68 percent less likely to suffer an ankle injury, and ankle braces appear to be beneficial for injury prevention (in both football and basketball players). Keep yourself in the game with a little extra protection to avoid those costly injury setbacks.
Knee Brace w/Dual Disk Hinges
Knee Brace w/Dual Disk Hinges
6. HEX® Skin
Athletes of all shapes and sizes can benefit from using lightweight HEX skin, as this durable sports accessory may protect the body from abrasions, burns, body-to-surface contact and body-to-body contact. All you have to do to use HEX skin is cut it to size, and apply it directly to your own skin for extra protection and injury prevention.
7. Athletic Tape
Athletic tape is a must-have, as many athletes can attest to its necessity. You’ll never be sorry for packing athletic and kinesiology tape in your training bag. This lightweight sports gear accessory can work wonders for potential injury prevention, extra support, and pain relief when you’re already sore. Ask an athletic trainer (or other qualified sports medicine professional) how to get taped up properly to stay in the game.
8. Athletic Supporters
Okay, so not every athlete needs an athletic supporter, but many male athletes who’ve used them are sure glad they did. A variety of supporters are available to choose from based on fit and material preference, from soft and flexible to extra HEX support for full contact sports. Athletic supporters can give athletes the protection (and peace of mind) they need to maximize performance.
Specialty Sports Gear
While there are certain types of sports gear every athlete should own, don’t forget about the sport-specific gear you’ll need. For example, HEX compression basketball shorts are lightweight and flexible (but still offer the added protection of all HEX products). If you’re a football player and need even more impact protection, a 5-pad girdle or HEX shirt may be more up your alley.