The first few times you go to a rock climbing gym, you will likely wonder what you should be wearing. Aside from looking around at what others are wearing while they climb, consider these tips to help you find the right outfit for you to send your project.
Comfort & Mobility Are Key
Rock climbing is an athletic activity that requires the ability to move freely. Your clothes should not be restrictive. They also should not be overly tight.
For the most part, any athletic clothing you already own can be work for rock climbing. Women tend to wear sports bras, loose tank tops, and leggings. Men often wear a plain t-shirt and gym shorts.
When you are climbing, you want to feel comfortable. You will burn calories and sweat (a lot). Moisture wicking articles are incredibly popular in this sport.
Do not be surprised if you see someone wearing jeans at the gym. Remember, comfort is what matters. For these individuals, they are the most comfortable climbing in jeans!
Over time, you may find yourself looking for rock climbing specific clothing. When you do, make sure you can still move easily. If you can, find clothing with pockets, which will be useful when you eventually head outdoors.
Avoid Shoes & Socks
For the most part, you should avoid wearing shoes and socks to the gym. Your feet will become sweaty after you are using your rock climbing shoes for the entire session. When you try to put socks on after, it can be quite difficult.
After wearing the air tight shoes for so long, your feet are going to want to breathe. It’s not uncommon to see rock climbers walking around the gym barefoot in between climbs or after their session. Their feet are hot, tired, and ready to not be confined.
Pro Tip: Use a shoe deodorizer after your climbing session. Your nose will thank you!
Flip flops are a popular option to wear because they allow you to easily slide your shoes on. Crocs, Birkenstock, and hiking sandals are also frequently worn by climbers. So long as you can slip them on, wear whatever shoes you like!
Many gyms do have a fitness area in addition to climbing walls. If you plan on running or using the stationary bike to warm up your muscles, this should be the only time to wear shoes and socks. However, still bring a pair of non-restrictive shoes for after your climb.
To easily bring these into the gym with you, simply use a carabiner or a quickdraw. Attach one end to your climbing bag and the other to your shoes.
Keep Hair Out Of The Way
Men and women both need to keep their hair out of their faces. Otherwise, they will not be able to see where they need to grab next. Hair can also be annoying because it can get in the way of moving with confidence.
A simple hair tie or hair clip can easily resolve the issue. Most climbers keep a few in their climbing bag and/or on their harness for easy access.
Additionally, a hat can be beneficial for keeping hair (and forehead sweat) out of the way. By wearing the hat backwards, any long hair is kept away from the climber’s line of sight.
The rock climbing community is just like any other sport community. Some individuals will represent their favorite brand from head to toe, and others will wear whatever is clean.
The choice to wear apparel from climbing brands is a personal choice. It does signify to other climbers that you are serious about the sport. This can help if you are looking for a new climbing partner or friend.
However, there is no requirement to wear name brand apparel. Many climbers love to represent their personality and interests through their clothing. Black Diamond, Meticulous, Mad Rock, random taco patterns, rainbows, and funny sayings can be seen in any gym at any given time.
The Same General Rules of Thumb Extend Outdoors
As you work through your climbing bug and new found obsession for the sport so many of us love, keep in mind that the same clothes worn indoors can be worn outside. Regardless of where you climb, you always want to be comfortable and agile.
You can choose to represent who you are or brands you love. So long as you keep your hair out of your face and let your feet breathe, you don’t really need to worry about what you are wearing.
When it comes to climbing, no one really cares about what you are wearing. They care about having a fun, positive environment to climb. Simply remain respectful of others and comfortable in your own skin