In modern sports, it is impossible to do without the use of new technologies and innovations. There is no doubt that physical exercise is an important part of the training process, but it is no longer enough to achieve high performance. Not only coaching staff, doctors, psychologists, nutritionists and scientists, but also businessmen, marketers and engineers are involved in the competitive struggle for championships and contribute to the achievement of high sports results.
Their best engineering solutions are immediately “field tested” and go into production and then introduced to the mass market. Here are some examples of new technologies and innovations that are currently being applied to sports apparel, footwear and accessories.
The North Face company, whose products are oriented to mountaineers, skiers, snowboarders and tourists, has developed a collection of clothes emphasizing the spectacular stunts of halfpipe and slopestyle (a sport discipline in snowboarding competitions).
Under Armour introduced high-tech apparel that maintains an optimal body temperature between warm-up and competition. A special ceramic coating on the inner layer of the outfit allows the air under the garment to warm up faster and store heat.
RECCO®, a brand specializing in rescue technology, equips ski suits with an avalanche rescue system. In the event of an emergency, sensors embedded in the garment allow the exact location of the athlete to be quickly determined.
Pentland Group (specializing in the production and sale of sports shoes and clothing) has introduced a swimming suit that reduces the frontal resistance of the swimmer. It would seem, just by 2% – and it already has 108 world records behind it.
Many sportswear brands use special fabrics that promote moisture wicking and air exchange between the skin and the environment. Some brands have even developed ventilation technologies that control perspiration based on temperature and workout intensity.
Special coatings and membranes
Leading manufacturers are actively using special coatings that provide protection from UV rays, rain, snow and dirt. Such coatings can be applied to any type of fabric. Breathable membranes are also actively used to effectively protect athletes from wind and precipitation, without disturbing the natural thermoregulation of the body.
Special insulators of a new generation. A bright representative of current ones is Tinsuleit The effectiveness of the material is explained by the increased density of fibers at their smaller (compared to more traditional insulating materials) size. It is considered the warmest thin insulation for clothing. At the same thickness, it is 1.5 times warmer than down and about 2 times warmer than other insulating materials.
Originally, this concept was only used in medicine. To prevent thrombosis in post-operative patients, as well as to reduce stasis and improve blood flow in the veins, doctors prescribed compression stockings. But after a number of experiments and studies it was concluded that compression underwear can improve performance in various sports. That’s how compression garments came to be:
- rashgards, t-shirts and tank tops;
- pants, tights or leggings;
- underwear and shorts;
- socks and socks.