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How Athletic Clothing and Equipment Have Changed

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Bree Watts

on 11 July 2013

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Transcript of How Athletic Clothing and Equipment Have Changed

How Athletic Clothing and Equipment Have Changed
Padding: Volleyball knee pads resemble a stretchable fabric sleeve typically 6 to 9 inches long with some form of thick padding- either high density foam or memory foam- placed around the tops of the knees. High density foam provides superior protection and comfort as well as the ability to stay flexible while playing the game. Memory foam contours better around the knees, providing even better protection and support. Both types are built with durability as well as an outer coating to keep you from sliding across the floor.
Helmets have undergone many changes through the years. In the early part of the 20th century, players wore leather helmets to protect their heads from significant trauma. Chin straps and leather pieces that covered the ears were added to the basic helmet form. Plastic helmets were manufactured in the 1940s and were used in the 1950s. Since the 1950s, padding has been added to the front, back and sides of the helmet to protect players' skulls from violent collisions.
In the Past:
The first basketball uniform was not used until the 1920s, according to Uniform-I.com. It consisted of shorts with padding and a wool jersey. Spalding was one of the first companies that produced the padded shorts. According to EpicSports.com, the 1930s introduced the jersey material to uniforms. This material allowed players to be more active while feeling cooler, and producing less sweat. The materials also washed well. At first, the uniforms were quite long for men. In the 1950s they shortened and then during the 1970s and 80s men wore short shorts, according to EpicSports.com. In the 1990s, the length increased to what it is today.
One major change in uniforms for basketball was footwear. Players started out wearing simple high-top sneakers, which provided ankle support to prevent injuries. Converse was synonymous with some of the first high-top sneakers used in the NBA. According to Uniforms-I.com, footwear today contains features that help players jump and cut across the court. Two other popular accessories that caught on during the 1970s and 80s were headbands and tube socks. According to EpicSports.com, both eventually faded, though some players still sport the headband to help keep perspiration off their face and eyes.
Design: There are two types of volleyball knee pads styles available -- bubble and flat style. Bubble style is the most recognizable form of volleyball knee pads. These provide a big, thick, padded cushion on top of the knee. The disadvantage of this style is that it may be difficult to maneuver and it doesn't provide much protection for the sides of your knees.
Shoulder Pads
Shoulder pads first started to be worn by players shortly after 1910. President Teddy Roosevelt had decried football as a violent game and said changes were going to have to be made to protect players in order to keep the game legal. Leather shoulder pads were worn to protect the players' upper bodies. By the 1960s, the pads used a plastic shell and foam to protect the players' shoulders and chest.
Michael Jordan was one of the first players who helped lengthen the hemlines of basketball shorts. According to EpicSports.com, he complained that the shorts were too tight and bothersome while playing. Over the next 10 years, the hemlines kept lowering until the baggy look became the norm. Today, players feel that these shorts allow you to move, breathe and even play better.
Shin Guards
Shin guards became more prominent after soccer rules (Laws of the Game - 1863) became a permanent fixture to protect against the brutal forces that soccer was famous for. Shin guards protect the shin from injury during the game. Today a wide range of choices are available, so knowing what you or your youngster needs is essential. Different brands feature different styles and advantages. Adidas is known as a leader in design and protection, but other names, such as Umbro, are known for comfort, and many people like Estero. From novice to expert, shin guards are an important piece of safety soccer equipment.
In a few hundred years soccer footwear has gone from a pair of heavy leather boots made by Cornelius Johnson in 1525 and famously worn by King Henry VIII, to high-performing lightweight shoes specially designed for kicking, lifting, and manipulating the ball. Having undergone much change over the centuries, the soccer shoe's first traceable history began in the 1800s with the steel-toed work boot. Metal tacks were pounded into the soles for traction. Eventually, the slipper shoe called "soccus" replaced the heavy steel-toed boot, and for once player's feet began to look the same. But much progress was on the horizon for the soccer shoe, as it sought to become more resilient, lightweight, and less prone to absorbing moisture. And that would be the work of the next century. To this day, science and technology have combined to create superior, high performing soccer shoes.
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