There is an ongoing debate about what is more important in sport – simply enjoying it or trying to do your best in terms of performance. Part of this dilemma has to do with the question whether it is a good idea to spend money on all sorts of equipment, from apparel to nutrition, in an effort to get an upper hand during competition. There are authors who criticize modern sport as unduly commercialized and prone to conspicuous consumption which flies in the face of traditional assumptions behind physical exertion and play. But, in fact, there are good reasons why both amateurs and professionals might find it reasonable to invest in sport gear.

One. Performance. Sport is a competitive discipline and even if you do it for yourself, you can try to beat your own records. More often than not, this is actually what drives people to become committed to workout as part of their everyday life. With specialist equipment, they can steal extra seconds in their times or improve other parameters.

Two. Health. Jogging or biking might look completely innocent when it comes to their negative impact on the human body, but the truth is that even moderate effort can lead to strains, sprains and deeper injuries. Some parts of the body require intense protection, for example knees during runs on hard surfaces. There is no shame in letting professionals take care of it.

Three. Motivation. It might sound odd, but people are more likely to keep up doing something when they add extra motivation to whatever motivation they already have. Nothing compares with the passionate internal motivation, but when you decide to buy tennis shoes, complete outfit and a good racquet, you might find it harder to quit playing, knowing how far you have come in a financial sense.

Four. Comfort. Imagine somebody taking part in a triathlon without having the right all-in-one outfit for the sport. Of course, there are athletes who can do just fine with the bare essentials and their determination to perform, but standards are shifting towards greater convenience in practically every area of life and this naturally affects sport. With a specialist triathlon gear on it is just much more pleasurable to swim, run and cycle.

Five. Style. It is easy to say that sport has nothing to do with fashion, so there are no arguments to support the idea that athletes, professional or amateur, should look good. But in fact the opposite is true. Look at the Olympic Games or the World Cup, with all national teams presenting themselves in the opening parade, featuring the latest trends in elegance. It does translate into other areas of sporting life and there is no reason to neglect it.

Six. Community. Sportspeople like to be together and highlight their commitment to the same high-flying ideals and specialist gear is one tiny building block of this spirit. Just like video blogger need a webcam to do their job, you might need a couple of things to join fellow athletes in their sporting experience.