The word athletic supporter often relates to jockstrap for men. This is an undergarment worn by males to give them support and protection during physical activities such as close-contact sports or for football underwear.
The jockstrap is, as we have said, a special type of athletic supporter. It is made of an elastic waistband (it could be made of other material, but it is usually elastic) and with a pouch to contain the male genitalia, offering support and protection. There are two elastic straps that are fixed to the base of the pouch and connected to the left and right sides of the waistband at the hip. There are some varieties of jockstraps that have a pouch where an impact resistant cup (athletic cup) can be placed. This will protect the male genitalia from injury.
Jockstraps have been in use since 1888 and were originally designed for bicycle riders or ‘bike jockeys’ hence the name ‘jockstrap’. In 1874, the bike jockey strap was the first jockstrap that was manufactured in America.
As mentioned earlier, some varieties of jockstraps or athletic supporter have a pouch where you can place a protective cup which gives protection for contact sports (athletic cup). The protective cup can be made of steel or plastic or steel. There are jock straps that are designed for specific sports and their design allows for the one wearing it to be more comfortable in his sport.
Swim jocks have a narrow waistband to allow for a farther range when the swimmers move their feet in water. Hockey jocks come with adjustable elastic straps and clips made of garter that can hold them in place while the goalie protector is made with genital and abdominal foam padding. Football underwear is usually the more traditional jockstrap. Finally, for winter sports, windproof jockstraps have a special layer of fabric that gives extra protection and warmth to the wearer from cold.
Jockstraps are not just used for sports, there are jockstraps that are fashioned from exotic material like satin, leather or chain mail these kinds of jockstraps are for the adult fantasy market and consumers. These are not really the same as the other athletic supporter!
If you are not comfortable with the general design of the jockstrap as an athletic supporter there are other designs you can try. For example the jock brief, otherwise known as support briefs that are basically a jockstrap but in briefs style. You could also try compression underwear which is usually made from spandex – the type you see sprinters wearing, but worn purely as an undergarment. There is also a thong style jockstrap available, this is also called a dance belt. There is also a jock sock or what is sometimes called a slingshot that is basically an elastic pouch that holds the male genitals from the front.