SPORTS GEAR MUST-HAVES EVERY ATHLETE SHOULD OWN

McDavid partnership with NZ Breakers Basketball

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 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 skull cap to keep your skin cooler in summer and warmer in winter, with the added feature of 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 way cooler, and can even help reduce the likelihood 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 professional leagues, athletes everywhere swear by them for use during training and competitions. Compression supports muscles, lessens vibrations, and increases blood flow which helps aid in recovery and reduces muscle soreness, according to one 2015 study. 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.

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.

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, the Jumpers Knee Strap is lightweight and flexible (but still offers increased jumping protection).