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STAY FIT IN STYLE


Ask a school-going youngster what is keds? And he will stare at you with a blank face. Go a step further and ask him what is a sneaker? And pat shall come the reply, "Oh! Those trendy and funky shoes that are worn by Sachin Tendulkar, Yuvraj Singh, David Beckham, Michael Jordan", and the list will go on. Adding to the list of celebrities he would top it further with the names of top international brands that manufacture and market these shoes like Adidas, Reebok, Nike and Puma.

Well, that is the level of awareness created by these brand gurus by endorsing their products through top sports personalities. Branded sportswear is the latest fad among all age groups not only in India but also on the international arena. They are basically classified into three segments, footwear, apparels and accessories. But the question that crops up is whether the branded sportswear forms a basic need for the budding sportsman or just a commodity enhancing haute couture.

"In the present context, it is for both. If it is not worn for sporting activities then they can well be worn as casual wear and that is the current trend. But there is no doubt that the present sportswear and gear that are manufactured by these companies give that added advantage while performing, like the Adiprene Plus shoes from Adidas. This shoe is designed to give forefoot propulsion and it helps joggers and long distance runners," says the exclusive Adidas storeowner Ravi Kumar.


"The apparels and shoes are not only trendy that go with the latest fashion but they are a necessity in today's world of fitness and sports. Jogging or walking on a hard track with a plain pair of shoes could injure your knee and ankle. A good cushioned shoe is ideal for the purpose. Similarly if one is working on aerobics then he or she has got to have a very flexible soft shoe so that one doesn't hurt oneself in the process of working out," says the fitness instructor at Vyayaam, Ganga Raj.

Companies like Adidas, Reebok and Nike manufacture shoes and apparels tailor-made for particular sports. You name the sport and they will furnish the required gear, right from boxing shorts to football jersey and from cricket shoes to tennis sweat bands. The gear caters for all the requirements like grip, balance, cushioning effect and safety, and absorbs sweat and heat. All the products come into the market after years of research keeping in tune with the latest fashion.

The Adidas exclusive outlet near Dwarakanagar is loaded with a wide range of apparels featuring from tennis shorts, jogging lowers, full length track-suits, basketball singlets to a variety of T-shirts for both casual wear and sports. The price ranges from Rs.350 onwards. The store also displays a variety of footwear in different categories like Adiprene, Adiprene Plus, Torsion and Traxion ranging from Rs.999 onwards.

If Adidas is here Reebok cannot be far behind. The exclusive Reebok showroom that is coincidentally located in the same area displays a range of apparels and footwear. The apparels are priced from Rs.499 onwards and footwear ranges between Rs.990 to Rs.4,500. The Reebok outlet also has gym accessories like stepper, rebounder, stability ball, stretch tubes and dumbles to add to the world of fitness gadgets.

If staying fit is the order of the day than doing it in style is the fad of the hour.

SUMIT BHATTACHARJEE

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