Most men aren’t shoppers, per se, but every sports-minded fellow can appreciate the purchase of a quality piece of American sports gear. From basketball to baseball, volleyball to golf, sports fanatics have a wide array of games to get involved in. Stock up on the essential athletic gear that belongs in every sports buff’s stash. Whether you’re on the field in a fiercely competitive intramural league or just want to get out and throw the ball around with your son or daughter, these are the five iconic American sports gear items you need.
Easy to grip, sturdy, and the perfect amount of bounce—there’s a reason Spalding is the manufacturer of official NBA game balls. Spalding actually standardized early baseballs, and their Spalding League Ball was chosen for use in National League in 1880. By 1894, the company had developed its first basketball. Full-grain leather covers, sturdy construction, and ideal grip combine in a ball sure to provide the best in performance up and down the court, whether you’re dribbling or sinking that free throw shot. Trying to channel your inner Kobe? This is the ball you need.
Cue the yells: “Wilson! Wilson!” Okay, all Tom Hanks jokes aside, a Wilson volleyball is more than just a castaway’s best friend. With premium microfiber composite leather covering, Wilson volleyballs are perfect for indoor courts or beach play. America is a country that was built on immigration, and Wilson is no exception. This Chicago, Illinois subsidiary of Finnish Amer Sports has become a well-known name in sports of all types across the country. Smooth with the perfect weight, within just a few minutes of spiking and bumping, it’s easy to recognize the high-quality manufacturing that goes into these bad boys.
There are few shoes in the sporting industry that have made as much of a name for themselves as Air Jordans. Since their introduction to the mainstream market back in 1985, these have become some of the most popular, status-boosting sneakers around. It could be due to the fact that their namesake is six-time championship winner and American hero Michael Jordan, it might be as a result of their sleek design, or the bevy of choices that allow buyers to find the perfect aesthetic fit—whatever it is, Jordans have a fierce fandom. These sneakers have wandered far beyond the court and infused themselves into street style, so get with the trends and grab a pair of these famous bad boys.
Rawlings Baseball Glove
Every baseball fanatic knows the importance of finding the right mitt before heading out onto the diamond, and when it comes to baseball gloves, Rawlings is a household name. It’s no surprise that Rawlings is a baseball staple; this company has been an official partner to the MLB since 1977, and been in business in America since 1877. Whether you’re a longtime baseball player who knows the ins and outs of the game like the back of your hand, or a dad trying to get his son into America’s favorite pastime, it’s essential to purchase high-quality leather mitts, and Rawlings baseball gloves fit the bill perfectly. Turn on any baseball game, and you’ll likely see that Rawlings logo in the hands of some of your favorite players, and it’s no wonder MLB hotshots choose this brand. Created with tight grain structure to offer a supple feel, these gloves can last for years and years—a true mark of exceptional manufacturing. There’s no faking quality, and Rawlings offers the real deal with a glove that can handle even the most aggressive of pitches.
The Louisville Slugger is a staple in American baseball. Originally manufactured by Hillerich & Bradsby Company, the story of the Slugger is the American Dream come to life. Legend has it that John “Bud” Hillerich created a one of a kind bat in his woodworking shop for baseball player Pete Browning that cured him of a hitting slump. Woodworker turned baseball bat manufacturer extraordinaire? That’s a story to write home about. Patented as the Louisville Slugger in 1894, the bat and its subsequent variations have been used for the past century by some of MLB’s best players. Amateurs and pros alike value this bat for its high quality feel, and if its $70 million sale to Wilson Sporting Goods early last year is any indication, it’s a brand poised for permanent success.
With sports gear manufacturers coming out of the woodwork, sniffing out the best gear options for your preferred sport can be a tough task. Stick to the American icons on this list for high-quality products each and every time and improve your game in no time.