Dress For Success: Singlets vs. Fight Attire
One of the most overlooked aspects in sports is the uniform. What an athlete wears can dictate their performance as well as their team’s representation to the crowd. From mesh jerseys in basketball to reinforced helmets in football, attire can be a game-changer for many sports. The same approach applies to wrestling, as recent years have seen the push from the traditional singlet to compression shirts and fight shorts. The response has been mostly positive, though there are detractors of the new uniforms who want to remain part of the “old guard.”
With that said, there are demonstrable benefits and drawbacks to both the singlet and fight attire. Such as…
Fight shorts and compression shirts can be designed in a number of ways, each with their own potential for creativity. They can be designed independently from each other, meaning that older versions of the fight shorts can work well with newer versions of the compression shirt, and vice versa. However, the versions you use cannot be too out of date, or else your wrestlers will have asynchronous uniforms.
By contrast, singlets are one unit, so the design you choose is consistent. This can be good for matches as it keeps the team looking visually cohesive. On the other hand, it does leave much to be desired for designs, and customization is not an option given its singular construction.
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Compression shirts are mostly made with spandex, while the fight shorts are made with 100% polyester microfabric material. The shirts can be tested under harsh practice and competition conditions and last at least six months. This would more than cover your athletes for the season and possibly the post-season. The board shorts are designed to last as well, making your uniform perfect for preseason and postseason.
Singlets can be made with a combination of lycra or a blend of 80% nylon and 20% elastic. As a result of this, there may be some inconsistencies with how durable they can be. Some may last for years while others may tear at the strap. Nevertheless, both of these options are meant for competition wear instead of regular practice wear, so they both can extend their shelf life.
Appearance and durability may be a factor in your decision, but how do your uniforms affect your wrestlers’ performance? There are positives to both fight gear and singlets. Fight shorts and compression shirts give some leeway with movement due to the loose nature of the former and the lack of straps for the latter. The tight fit of the singlet, by contrast makes movement seamless and prevents fingers from being caught in the material.
However, both options have their drawbacks. Fight shorts are often tightened with Velcro or laces, meaning that there’s still a likelihood of loosening during the match. Singlets have straps that can be pulled or manipulated during the match, so your athletes may be concerned about that on match day.
Fight shorts and compression shirts are perfect for bringing in wrestlers who would’ve never competed before based on the comfort they bring, while singlets are a staple among aficionados who prefer the old-school look. Both sets of attire have their advantages and disadvantages in terms of appearance, durability, and performance, yet they both have earned their place as the go-to uniform for the next generation of wrestlers.
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