Sports protective gear may look unfashionable, but their benefits cannot be overstated. The right protective equipment can come in handy for reducing the seriousness of sports-related injuries or avoiding them.
Remember that the goal of ball sports is to enjoy the game, and consumers getting injured can douse that excitement and even keep them off the playing field for extended periods. Thankfully, businesses can offer the right protective gear for ball sports to fuel the energy and reduce injuries.
Here are the top five items of protective gear for ball sports businesses to stock up on in 2023.
Why the market for protective sports gear is booming in 2023
Protective gear is an important aspect of every sport. So, it’s no surprise that the market is booming in 2023. According to experts, the global market share is currently US$ 8.5 billion. On top of this, it’s forecasted to hit US$ 14.2 billion in 2032—with a 5.3% compound annual growth rate (CAGR).
Outdoor and sports activities are gaining momentum due to the rising awareness of healthy lifestyles, allowing safety equipment to also trend. However, the protective sports gear market is growing even more due to different sports gaining ground nationally.
The increasing acceptance of e-commerce stores is also a primary driver for the market, with manufacturers producing different forms and styles to catch consumer attention.
Five ball sports protective gear trends in 2023
There’s a good chance a stray ball or flying elbow can hit one in the jaw while playing sports, making mouth guards essential to keep teeth protected. But they’re also great at preventing tongue/lip injuries and dampening the risks of suffering fractured jaws or concussions.
When consumers wear athletic mouth guards, they protect the teeth from heavy impact. As a result, the effect won’t knock out the user’s teeth when others tackle them or they fall on the field.
More importantly, mouth guards are usually durable enough to withstand concentrated force and resist tears. And consumers can usually breathe and talk comfortably while wearing them. However, not all mouth guards offer this benefit.
For instance, stock mouth guards take a “one size fits all” approach, making it challenging for most users to breathe or talk when in use. And although they offer some protection, it’s not enough to secure the teeth from damage during contact sports.
On the other hand, custom mouth guards are the best regarding performance and protection. They’ll fit the wearer’s mouth comfortably, allowing them to breathe and talk easily.
Lastly, boil and bite mouth guards offer something similar to custom variants and are slightly better than stock models. Manufacturers make them from a thermoplastic material that softens in hot water, allowing consumers to bite into them for the perfect shape and fit.
Mouth guards are a very popular item in 2023. According to Google Ads, “mouth guards” enjoy an impressive 110000 average monthly searches. The search volume for the keyword also increased by 20% in the last six months, reaching 135000 in September.
It’s easy to forget the importance of protecting the eyes when enjoying the thrill of sporting activities. And what better way to secure the eyes during contact sports than protective eyewear?
Interestingly, manufacturers design protective eyewear to offer maximum safety levels. They benefit both professional and amateur athletes. Protective eyewear gets its impressive impact resistance from polycarbonate lenses.
The material is highly resistant to even the most severe impacts, preventing it from shattering and potentially damaging the wearer’s eyes. But that’s not all. Most protective eyewear has built-in UV protection—-an important feature for outdoor sports.
Nevertheless, untreated polycarbonate lenses are weak to scratches. However, manufacturers apply a scratch-resistant coating on both sides of polycarbonate lenses to increase their durability against such factors.
Frames also contribute to this protective gear’s durability. Usually, they feature impact-resistant plastic or polycarbonate, with some offering rubber padding to enhance comfort.
Protective eyewear also comes in various shapes and sizes. Although most are tailored for racquet sports, businesses can find other variants for basketball and soccer. The good news is manufacturers even design some sports goggles to fit in American football, baseball, and hockey helmets.
Based on data from Google Ads, “sports glasses” attract a healthy 49500 average monthly searches. However, its search volume increased from 49500 in April to 60500 in September, a 20% increase in 6 months.
Proper athletic shoes
Players move in different ways on the field. Whether running back/forth, zig-zagging, or changing their speed, these movements require a lot of force. However, performing such feats without the right shoes can cause serious damage.
Fortunately, people can prevent these situations by wearing proper athletic shoes—-and, for ball sports, they’ll need cleats. These athletic shoes are critical for outmaneuvering and changing velocity quickly.
More importantly, cleats add enough traction for players to move around different surfaces without injury. Athletic shoes without cleats produce reduced friction, increasing the chances of slipping on the field.
However, the perfect cleats differ according to the ball sport. For example, Rugby cleats offer more robust and stiffer outsoles, allowing them to handle the sport’s short bursts of intense action. Plus, they can withstand repeated ground contact with a sturdy grip while maintaining the player’s ability to make rapid directional changes without the risk of injury.
In contrast, football cleats are more nimble and light. Since the players run around the field constantly, the shoes allow them to perform all kinds of quick and smart dribbling techniques without breaking their ankles or slipping.
Baseball requires a different set of cleats. They have a toe spike that offers more grip when players throw, run the bases, and move on dirt. Nevertheless, baseball cleats vary according to the player’s position because they stand and run on different surfaces.
According to Google Ads, “soccer cleats” garner a staggering 301000 searches, while “rugby shoes” generate 201000. On the other hand, “baseball cleats” gain a healthy 74000 inquiries monthly.
Search volume also differs for each cleat type. Soccer and rugby cleats have maintained a consistent search volume in the last six months. But, their baseball counterparts peaked at 135000 searches in April but dropped by 9% in September, stopping at 60500 inquiries.
Helmets are trending for one reason: head protection and serious injury protection. They can easily absorb any impact and prevent objects from reaching the wearer’s head. Although they can’t stop concussions, they’d stop a ball moving at super speed from cracking the players skull.
But how do they do that? Manufacturers design helmets to keep the brain steady during any intensive activity. Helmets get their energy absorption property from a crushed foam layer lining, which is very effective against blunt force.
Wearing helmets in ball sports offers various benefits apart from protection. They can improve the player’s confidence, performance, and comfort, allowing them to focus without worrying about potential head injuries.
According to Google Ads data, “football helmet” averages 90500 monthly searches. However, the keyword’s search volume increased by 80% from 49500 in April to 135000 in September.
But that’s not all. Baseball helmets also deliver incredible performance, with search interest averaging at 22200 monthly. However, search volume dropped by 20%, sinking to 18100 in September.
Safety pads and guards
Protective pads and guards are important in ball sports as they help lower the risk of injury. Interestingly, almost every body part has a pad/guard style. Businesses can offer variants to help consumers protect their wrist, thigh, shin, chest, knee, shoulder, elbow, neck, and hip.
Usually, guard material ranges from soft padding to hard plastic, depending on the sport and injury severity. For instance, cricketers wear shin guards to shield their shins from hard cricket balls—-otherwise, they could hurt them badly.
Footballers also wear shin guards to prevent fractures from tackles or trickly ball plays. In addition, knee pads prevent cartilage and joint damage, while shoulder guards support the joint, reducing the risk of fractures and sprains.
Pads and guards are always on trend because they are important for safety. According to Google Ads, “knee pads” are the most popular options, generating 135000 average monthly searches. Interestingly, search volume bumped by 10% to 165000 monthly inquiries this month.
Stock up on these trends
Regardless of the sport, protective gear is essential to keep athletes safe from injuries ranging from severe to mild. The human body is fragile, making many parts prone to breaks, sprains, and strains that can hamper activity or lead to permanent issues.
Sports are a fantastic way consumers can improve their quality of life, but injuries can easily sideline them. Luckily, businesses can offer mouthguards, protective eyewear, proper athletic shoes, helmets, and safety pads/guards to keep them safe and protected.