Sports Gear No One Should Ever Wear Again

Nick Dimengo@@itsnickdimengoFeatured ColumnistDecember 1, 2013

Sports Gear No One Should Ever Wear Again

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    Rob Carr/Getty Images

    I understand that athletes are always hoping to get a leg up on their competition—as well as feeling comfortable—but sometimes the gear they wear is laughable to me.

    Even if something helps improve a player's performance, I'm not sure it's worth the risk of looking silly by wearing it.

    Maybe that's just me being a jackass, but in my opinion, these pieces of sports gear should never be worn again.

Adidas Kobe II

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    Image via

    Are the Kobe Bryant II the ugliest sneakers to ever grace a basketball court? I'm not sure, but they have to be close.

    In today's retro society where sneakerheads are always trying to grab vintage gear, let's all hope that Adidas is banned from ever releasing these again now that Kobe reps Nike.

    What's worse than the normal black-and-white version? How about the very limited edition, American flag version that Bryant wore.

    Thankfully, being patriotic only extended to just a few other pairs, as some high school kid with the last name of James ended up with his own set.

    Wonder how that happened?

Skull Caps

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    Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images

    I understand why players wear these things. They keep their hair pulled back and out of their face, but are they really that necessary?

    Maybe in former baseball player Manny Ramirez's case. He had to wear one because his braids were so thick, keeping a hat or helmet on top of his head was nearly impossible.

    I'd like to just attribute that to "Manny Being Manny," though. For the rest of you athletes who don one, please stop.

Turtlenecks Under Anything

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    Image via YouTube

    For anyone who actually still wears a turtleneck—or the much appreciated, always ironic dickey—please admit that it's just for a goof and not for serious.

    Wearing one of these things is style suicide.

    I remember the days before dri-fit material was available and players, coaches and fans had to wear one as a base layer to keep warm, but unless an athlete is trying to cover up a hickey from the night before, it's time to lose the neck warmers and stop trying to make them happen.

MLB Players with Batting Masks

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    Image via Topps

    I know that it's been awhile since we saw a major league player use one of these, but thanks to increasing safety in Little League, they are becoming more popular.

    While typically I'm all for something that will prevent anyone from getting hurt, these are just stupid to me and need to be dropped from baseball fields everywhere.

    Thankfully, no baseball player has gone to the full-fledged hockey-style mask as former NL MVP and seven-time All-Star Dave Parker once did.


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    Nathaniel S. Butler/Getty Images

    There was a time when wearing a headband was for one purpose and one purpose only—to capture sweat and prevent it from going into a player's eyes.

    Not anymore, though.

    These days, wearing a sweatband is more about style than substance—just look at the whole LeBron James ordeal from last year's NBA Finals.

    For anyone rocking a band for the sole purpose of catching perspiration, keep doing it—Kevin Garnett probably needs one—but for everyone else, lose it.


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    Chris Chambers/Getty Images

    Were these ever in style to begin with—besides in Europe, of course?

    The only time speedos should be acceptable is when a fan wants to distract a shooter at the foul line and catch the player completely off-guard before his release.

    But even in the sport for which they were made, swimming, I still advocate against wearing one of these and instead going with a Jammer.

Eye Black

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    Doug Pensinger/Getty Images

    I get why athletes have eye black beneath their eyes—to prevent glare—but, like the headband in basketball, it seems to be more about the statement than the practicality.

    As we've seen plenty of times recently, players have started using eye black to express their feelings or personal opinions—which got so absurd that the NCAA banned players from using it.

    Might I recommend a visor or just some sunglasses as an alternative instead?

Bane-Like Facemasks

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    Jim O'Connor-USA TODAY Sports

    For any football player who wears one of these crazy facemasks, I applaud you for trying to think outside of the box and toss in a little extra personal intimidation—it's too bad the NFL doesn't think the same.

    Still, as cool as they look, are they necessary?

    We all first thought that the extra mask was for added protection, but that turned out to be wishful thinking because it did turn out to be just for show.

Shooting Sleeves

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    Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

    Do compression shooting sleeves make a baller look like he knows what he's doing before running down the floor? Of course.

    But while they're stylish and throw a bit of swag in a guy's game, the research doesn't show that they help all that much.

    Go ahead and argue that the pad on the elbow is to help support a shooter's release hand, that's fine.

    I'd be OK with that explanation if so many NBA players didn't wear it on the opposite of their primary arm, so let's ditch them—especially when the guy wearing them can't even shoot!

Nose Strips

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    Rodolfo Gonzalez/Getty Images

    The concept of putting tape or a Band-Aid over one's sinuses seems to make plenty of sense. It has shown to increase oxygen.

    But too many guys don't wear nose strips properly, so let's just keep them in the bedroom to help cure the snoring rather than on a playing surface.

Rec Specs

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    Brian Bahr/Getty Images

    OK, Matt Kiebus over at Buzzfeed, I see why you might think that rec specs are the dopest accessory in sports, but the majority of people who wear them still come across as the nerdy, dopey kid from middle school rec league.

    As someone who gets mad at his contacts every time they slide around when I work out, I understand they're not the most convenient things to wear.

    I just don't think they're worse than reverting back 30-plus years to rec specs.

Golf Swing Shirt

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    I don't care if this Hannibal Lecter-like straitjacket does improve your golf swing—or that three-time major champion Padraig Harrington endorses it—I wouldn't be caught wearing that thing.

    Look, no one likes to get frustrated during a round of golf—though it's bound to happen anyway. If this little contraption is such an easy fix, why isn't every golfer on the planet wearing one?

Bike Coaches Shorts

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    Image via GQ

    These shorts make me think of my tee-ball coach from kindergarten, who used to wear a gray pair of the buttoned-up, skin-squeezing kind.

    Unless you're a total meathead little league coach who wants to show how piped-out they are by terrifying players and parents alike, these unintentional compression shorts should be kept gathering dust. They're a bit too risque for sports.

Strength Shoes

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    While Billy Hoyle (Woody Harrelson) may have disproved that white men can't jump, please never admit that you were one of those people who bought into these gimmicky shoes made to build calf muscles.

    The things may have actually worked—I don't know since I never tried them out—but you weren't exactly the hippest-looking dude out there with these clumpy shoes on your feet.

Titanium Necklaces

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    Image via YouTube

    I'm not trying to put a company like Phiten out of business or anything—especially since it employs people much smarter than me—but it turns out that plenty of people are as skeptical as I am about if these bands' functionality.

    They are touted to improve balance and increase energy, but it's always a bad sales pitch when the company that sells the product admits it doesn't do as promised.


    For anyone still wearing these in hopes of getting a major boost, it's time to stick to a lot of sugar to help with an added level of rush.


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