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Head-to-Toe (and Mouth) Protection for your Football Player

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Mouth Guards and Gloves Go High Tech!
 
Back in the days (when dinosaurs roamed the Earth and TV was black and white), we didn’t wear gloves to help us catch the tight spirals or mouth guards to prevent repeated visits to the orthodontist. Luckily – for athletes and parents – times have changed.
 
Flavorful Protection
 
Speaking of evolution, plain mouth guards are as passé as landlines and portable CD players. Extremely popular with today’s athletes are flavored mouth guards.
 
“We see players wearing mouth guards even in non-contact sports because they help prevent injuries,” said Tom Hoey of MoGo Sport. “We have developed technology that allows us to take natural flavors, embed them in the polymer and have the flavor last for the life of the product.”
 
Mogo Sport mouth guards are available in six flavors: blue raspberry, fruit punch, lemon, mint, orange and bubble gum.
 
“With other mouth guards, you see athletes removing them to take in water. Our flavor technology helps generate saliva, pre-venting dry mouth. This ensures kids wear their mouth guard properly and longer,” Hoey said.
 
Mogo Sport mouth guards are available in junior (11 and younger) and adult (12 and older) sizes. The company also makes special mouth guards for kids with orthodontics or braces.
 
Tacky in a Good Way
 
Yep, football gloves are tacky … meaning they can help junior (or senior) make more catches.
 
“All of our football gloves feature Armour Grabtack, providing the best tack in the industry. They give any player a slight edge,” said Ryan McGrath of Under Armour.
 
Extremely popular for summer football are the company’s gloves with HeatGear technology in back. It wicks moisture away from the hands, keeping the player cooler. New for 2013 is Under Armour’s Highlight glove. It features a long cuff that extends approximately three inches from the wrist.
 
“The Highlight glove delivers enhanced performance and unique styling,” McGrath explained.
 
Under Armour gloves are available at your local Dunham’s in four men’s styles and one youth style and in a variety of colors. Under Armour’s most popular style, the F3, can be found at all Dunham’s stores in both adult and youth sizes. The Renegade and Highlight adult gloves are available in limited stores.
 
If you’re considering football gloves, McGrath offers the following advice: “The glove shouldn’t be too loose. The fingers should comfortably go to the edge of the fingertips. I hate to say it, but it should fit like a glove.”
 
Protect Your Quarterback
and the Rest of Your Team with the Proper Equipment

 
Let’s face it, modern athletes are much bigger than yesterday’s counterparts. For example, today’s NFL quarterbacks, tight ends and even some wide receivers are bigger than offensive linemen from the 1960s. The average player is also faster, making full-speed impacts all the more jarring and potentially damaging. That evolution in size and speed is also evident at lower levels, including youth ranks. That’s why it’s extremely important to make sure young football players are outfitted with the proper pro-tective equipment.
 
High-Tech Protection
 
Just as players have evolved, so has protective equipment. It’s lighter, more comfortable and provides better protection.
 
“Protective performance apparel has come a long way,” said Steve Arensdorf of Stromgren Athletics. “Today, girdles, padded arm sleeves and padded compression shirts are made of closed-cell EVA foam. They can be laundered daily and the pads don’t need to be removed prior to washing.”
 
Here’s something else that’s sure to make any parent – and any sibling riding home with the athlete – much happier: the mate-rials used in the protective equipment are antimicrobial and moisture-wicking. That should cut down somewhat on the need to ride home with windows down and noses out the windows.In addition to ensuring the protective equipment is appropriate for the child’s age and size, Arensdorf offers the following advice when shopping for your child: “Make sure it’s a quality product; it should have antimicrobial and moisture-wicking properties. Check out the quality of the pad; squeeze it to see how it feels. Our pads are also perforated to help them breath, making them more comfortable,” he said.
 
However, just as your child is likely to outgrow his or her shoes in the span of a season, protective equipment is not meant to last forever. In addition to needing a larger size, there are limitations to how long the antimicrobial properties will last.
 
Choosing the Right Equipment
 
“Typically, football equipment will last through the fall and spring football seasons and should be replaced the following sea-son. We also don’t encourage that schools hand down garments from one child to another. We recommend new ones for each athlete,” Arensdorf explained.
 
A team’s best chances of winning any game is to have the best 22 kids on the field. That takes the best protective equipment.
“If it prevents an injury, protective equipment more than pays for itself,” Arensdorf concluded.
 
For the best in football protection, visit your local Dunham’s where you will find a range of products in a variety of sizes to help protect yourself and your teammates this championship season.
 
-Laces Out
 
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