Over the last couple of years I’ve been able to test some fantastic kit from The North Face, Brasher, Merrell, Hi-Tec and other outdoor brands.
Apart from looking the part, The North Face have now discovered that wearing “proper” kit from premium brands actually gives you an advantage when it comes to performance.
I have no doubt that wearing the right kit (properly fitting decent footwear, good quality clothing etc) does make a difference to how far you can go – but does the label also matter? I personally love a premium brand, but does that in itself mean I can walk further or cycle faster?
Apparently it’s to do with your mental attitude – your self belief. Wearing the latest premium branded clothing makes you feel better, makes you believe you are more able, and we all now how positive mental attitude makes your chances of success much greater. Your mental state is key to the level of your achievement.
So – wearing the right kit for your sport (eg decent boots for hiking, properly fitting well-made trainers for running) helps with your performance, and wearing a premium brand gives your mental state a boost, also affecting your performance.
If this is true then it means my love of premium brands is a good thing – and not just expensive.
What do you think? I’ve reproduced the press release below so you can decide for yourself.
Branded Kit Gives Sportsmen a Huge Advantage
Sports enthusiasts wearing the latest premium branded kit have a distinct mental advantage over their rivals, new research has revealed.
Not only does wearing branded gear, made out of advanced, technical materials, give competitors the physical edge, it also enhances their ‘self belief’, which could be enough to give them that vital boost to propel them across the finish line first.
Kylie Roberts, sports performance coach to The North Face sponsored ultra runner, Jez Bragg, carried out research into the phenomenon, which has revealed sportsmen wearing the best and latest branded sports kit have a considerable mental advantage over their rivals in the field.
Kylie said: “A significant portion of a successful performance can be attributed to mental toughness. Therefore an athlete’s mental state before and during a race is crucial.
“Preparation for the perfect race involves an absolute conviction that everything the athlete has done to get to the start line gives them the competitive edge.
“Trusting the science that goes into developing the performance kit, (and trusting the well respected brands) provides the athlete with a boost of confidence in their kit performing for them, and allows them to focus fully on the moment.”
The findings come as the nation gears up to welcome the world’s top athletes in their droves at the Olympics this summer.
The Olympians and other professional sportsmen are ‘tuned’ for success in every aspect of their approach to competition after years of preparation and research. But Kylie has discovered that the boost effect to morale is echoed exactly when amateurs invest in the latest pro gear for their sport of choice.
Kylie added: “Just as one dresses for success for their first date or an interview for their dream job, an athlete also dresses for success for their perfect race. In recent years technology has evolved to provide an athlete with lightweight, absorbent, breathable, performance-enhancing kit.
“Lining up on the start line, calm and focused are those that are mentally and physically dressed for success.”
The North Face brand communications manager EMEA, Wendy Woo, said: “We’ve known for a long time that having the best available kit for any sporting event is crucial in terms of performance – our athletes at The North Face rely heavily on having the right gear to perform to the best of their capabilities.
“What we have discovered though, is the effect on an athlete’s state of mind. Knowing that you have the best tools for the job can provide an extra mental toughness that can make the difference between winning and losing.”