Sportswear (or Active attire) is
clothing, including footwear, worn for sportor exercise.
Typical sport-specific garments include
shorts, tracksuits, T-shirts, polo shirts and trainers. Specialised garments include wet suits and salopettes. It also includes some underwear, such as the jockstrap. Sportswear is also often worn as casual fashionclothing.
For most sports the athletes wear a combination of different items of clothing, e.g.
sport shoes, pantsand shirts. Some athletes wear personal armoursuch as helmets or American footballbody armour.
Almost every piece of sports clothing is desgned to be light weight so the athlete is not encumbered by its weight. The best athletic wear for some forms of exercise, for example
cycling, should not create drag or be too bulky. On the other hand it should loose enough so as not to restrict movement.
Clothing worn for some other forms of exercise, should not unduly restrict movement and may also have specific requirements for example the
Keikogiused in karate. It should allow freedom of movement in competition. Various physically dangerous sports require protective gear, e.g. for fencing, American footballor ice hockey.
Standardised sportswear may also have the function of a uniform. In team sports the opposing sides are usually made identifiable by the colours of their clothing, while individual team members can be made recognisable by a back number on a shirt.
In hot weather garments should allow the wearer to stay cool. In cold weather garments should help to stay warm. In cold climates the best athletic wear should not only provide warmth but also transfer sweat away from the skin. For activities such as
skiingand mountain climbingthis is achieved by using layering: moisture transferring materials must be worn next to the skin, followed by an insulating layer, and wind and water resistant shell garments.
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