You have seen the commercials that show brands like Nike and Puma accelerating your workout and improving your performance, so the question is, "Does workout clothing help your performance?" The answer is not so simple--yes it can and no it doesn't. Read on for a better explanation of what exactly this means.
The effort you put into a workout or into any sport you are participating in is up to you and your ability; your clothing will not assist you in that area. The one thing that clothing can help with when it comes to effort is making your efforts go further and keeping you from working too hard to get the same workout. If you are working out and wearing clothing that is too tight, you will be restricted and unable to perform certain workouts easily. Therefore, you will be required to put forth more effort into the workout to get the same benefits. So, the answer to the question in regards to effort is "no," the workout clothing will not help put forth more effort, but the yes the clothing can help you put forth less effort to gain the same results.
One area where the answer to the question is simply, yes, is the area of comfort. When you are wearing comfortable clothing and gear that is perfectly fit for the workout you are participating in, you will not only get a better workout, but you will be able to work out longer. Your workout is designed to give you the maximum benefits for the effort and time you spend, so by wearing the right clothes that fit correctly and offer comfort, you are adding to that time and minimizing the efforts while not losing any of the benefits.
Shoes are commercialized to offer better performance during a workout--is this true? Yes. Your shoes can really make a difference in your workout and some of the reasons why have a lot to do with offering protection for your body. If your workout consists of running or jumping in any way, the impact on your body can be devastating and create the risk for injury. With the correct shoes that are fitted properly, you can absorb the shock of the impact and relieve your body from the stress that the workout can create.
Many workouts will put unneeded stress on the body if the body is not protected and the feet are a great example of this. For example, if you are a runner, you are placing stress on your body every time your feet hit the hard pavement. With the right shoes absorbing that impact, you reduce the chance for sprained ankles, ruptured disks in the spine and even neck injuries. Keep in mind that when you see the commercials with the athletes jumping higher and becoming faster simply by placing the shoes on their feet, that this is not an actuality and is meant to be inspirational only.