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Pole vaulters generally wear shoes designed specifically for field events. And some governing bodies have also begun requiring the use of a pole vault helmet. But other clothing worn by pole vaulters tends to be more generic.
Shorts and singlets are predominant for men. Many women opt for bra tops or even "sprint suits," which better address their special support and coverage concerns.
Various forms of nylon and polyester are the most common fibers used in track and field wear today. Lycra and Spandex are commonly added to stretch and form-fitting items.
By the mid-1940's, both nylon and polyester had been invented - and nylon was in wide use for certain products, such as women's stockings. But, at that time, cotton held about 75% of the fiber market. It wasn't until later that man-made fibers became predominant in the manufacture of track and field apparel.