Think About Weather Conditions
Many of the activities that you may be looking for sportswear for may be outdoor activities, so it is important to choose weather-appropriate clothing. Protective clothes may have a wind barrier that can minimize chapping and that can keep the chill of the wind off of you. Some may be lightweight and suitable for use in warmer, sunny weather. Some items even have built-in UV protection. During warm or hot weather conditions, look for clothing that is lightweight and that wicks sweat away. During cooler weather conditions, think about dressing in layers so that clothing can be removed as your body warms up. The under-layer should wick away sweat.
Consider the Need for Waterproof Apparel
There are many instances when waterproof apparel may be needed. When rafting or canoeing, you may get soaked, so choosing waterproof clothing is a smart idea. This can keep the chill of the water off of your body. When you are participating in other outdoor activities, such as walking, running, biking or hiking, you may get wet from a rain shower. If you plan to go out on a rainy day, a waterproof hat and jacket are a smart idea. If the weather is warm, any material that wicks away moisture and that is lightweight is a good idea.
Choose Clothes That Allow Free Movement
Each activity will require you to do different types of movements in a repetitive fashion. Many of these activities require full body movement, but some may increase friction in different areas. For example, hiking, running and walking may increase friction on your thighs. Canoeing and rafting may increase friction on the upper body and may require more range of motion with the shoulders and arms. Some people prefer tighter clothing that will not rub and cause chafing in these areas. Others prefer looser items because they feel less hindered with their movements. While this is a personal preference, you may consider moving around while trying on different clothes to ensure that you can move around comfortably and without feeling hindered. Keep in mind that clothing should stay put while moving around with some activities. For example, when swimming, you want your swimsuit to cling to your body rather than ride up. Form-fitting suits are often better with swimming.
Think About Undergarments
While you may spend a lot of time focusing on clothing and outerwear, undergarments are critical. Undergarments should be form-fitting and snug. Movement can be uncomfortable for both men and women in certain areas, and this movement can even lead to chafing and irritation. While cotton may be comfortable, it can also retain moisture and make your clothes feel heavy. Nylon may not retain moisture from sweating, rain and more as much, so it may be a preferred option.
Select the Right Footwear
Unless you are swimming, the footwear that you choose is also critical to comfort, health and even safety. Shoes should have the ideal amount of support and stability features for the activity. Some activities, such as hiking, may require more support than activities like walking on a sidewalk. Cushioning is also important, and it may be more important when hiking or running due to the impact these activities have on your joints. When canoeing and rafting, footwear may need to be protective as well as waterproof. Because you may need to get out of your watercraft and walk on natural surfaces from time to time, shoes that also have a gripping element are beneficial.
Finding the right clothing to wear for your activity may take time, but this is time well-spent. Your clothing choices can protect you from the elements and keep you comfortable. They can also promote healthy, safe body movements. As you shop for sportswear, keep these important points in mind.