Participating in sports of any kind is great for your overall health and well-being, but if you are not careful, it can come at a cost. You need to consider registration and membership fees, the cost of transport and the price of all the equipment and clothing that you need to feed your hobby. However, the cost of sports clothes can be kept to a minimum if you are careful. There are a number of ways that you can save money on sports clothes.
Many sports fans like nothing better than to browse high street and specialist stores, looking for the clothing and shoes that they want. It can be a great way of finding out exactly how something fits and feels, but buying from bricks and mortar outlets can be a very expensive way of purchasing sports clothes. Once you have a good idea of what you want, look online. You will almost certainly be able to save some money, even when bearing the delivery charge in mind, and if you are lucky, you may be able to buy unworn items on eBay for a fraction of the price.
Mix and match
Don’t feel that you have to have a brand new outfit for each sport that you play, or that every top you buy has to match a particular pair of bottoms. Most of the time, sports clothes are interchangeable; you can wear the same outfits for going to the gym that you do for running, cycling and playing hockey. For most sports, you can buy bottoms in a plain colour that you can then wear with a series of tops in any colour. If you get into the habit of buying complete outfits that can’t be mixed and matched, you could find yourself spending a lot of money.
Buy up old models
An article on about.com has a very good suggestion; rather than waiting for the newest models of shoes, or indeed, any form of sports clothing, go for the older models. They will be a lot cheaper and, if you know a particular model suits you very well, you can even buy in bulk, ensuring that you don’t need to buy any more for some time. Don’t presume that, just because a model is new and apparently improved, it is going to be any better than what you already have. Sports clothes’ manufacturers will use all sorts of marketing ploys to encourage you to buy.
Look in charity shops
People can be very snobby about buying clothes from charity shops, particularly if it is something in which someone else has sweated. However, you can often pick up some real bargains in charity shops; look out for brand new sports clothes that are a fraction of the price, as well as barely worn clothing that you can always wash thoroughly if you are concerned that it has not already been cleaned properly. The only thing you may want to avoid buying is worn sports’ shoes – even if they have been thoroughly cleaned, they will have moulded themselves to someone else’s feet and almost certainly won’t fit you properly.
Be careful with brand names
Don’t be persuaded to buy brand names all the time; they aren’t always the best. Of course, quality is a necessity when it comes to sports clothes. They will need to be hard-wearing and able to cope with sweat, weather conditions and quite possibly ripping and tearing. However, brand name quality isn’t necessarily better than high street quality. Take the time to look at the stitching and the fabric used and, once you have discovered an item of clothing that you like, stick to it. What suits you is a very personal thing, so don’t fall for manufacturer’s advertising.
Look after what you have
Finally, you can save money on sports clothes by looking after what you have. Shoes and clothes can be carefully cleaned and monitored for wear and tear. Basic repairs can be carried out in many cases, especially if it isn’t clothing that is immediately on view. Read and follow the washing instructions carefully where necessary; specialist clothing may have particular instructions that should be followed to avoid undue stress. Washing clothes soon after wearing is also advisable so that your sweat doesn’t have time to damage the fabric. Then store your clothes away.
You don’t need to look upon the cost of sports clothes as a reason not to participate in sports; with some careful planning, you should be able to buy what you need without breaking your budget.