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Climbing Attire: What to Wear

Twice a week the thought “what am I going to wearing for climbing?” runs through my head. Unlike other sports, climbing doesn’t require certain articles of clothing to perform in. You have the freedom to wear whatever you want. I think within reason.

Decisions, Decisions

When it comes down to it, I go for comfortable and unrestrictive clothes. These are the groups I pick from when choosing an outfit.

Looking up over the boulder.

I recommend wearing clothes that are breathable or you don’t mind getting sweaty in. I burn up while climbing so I try to wear loose shirts or tanks so I don’t heat up so fast. But I will sweat for sure. Rarely I will come out of the climbing gym not sweaty and smelly. Oh, if you like to use chalk for climbing, wear something you don’t mind getting climbing chalk on. However, chalk does come out easily in the washer.

I Wear the Pants

The same goes for pants. Keep it breathable and flexible. Kinda like yoga. I alternate between yoga pants and cargo shorts. Depending on how warm it is outside. The slight drawback to the cargo shorts is that the ones I have don’t cover the knees so my knees easily get banged up without the extra pant length.

You might ask, what about jeans? I don’t particularly care to wear them while climbing. I have seen climbers wear them and if it works, more power to them. I think jeans would hinder movement. But apparently for some, it doesn’t.

No Short Shorts

Bicycling on an overhang problem.

On a related note, this is just personal preference but I don’t recommend wearing booty shorts. Unless you know that you’ll be bouldering the entire time, don’t wear them. I say this because if you want to do any other climbing that requires a harness, the harness makes the shorts ride up. So, you’re having to check on them and make sure they’re pulled down. Then it gets uncomfortable and annoying wearing them. It’s best just to leave them at home.

Showing the Support

Attemping a problem with a two-hand plus leg start.

Some may comment on my photos and ask why do I wear tops that show my sports bra? For starters, I wear sports bras because they are supportive and I don’t have to mess with the straps sliding off when I move. I do wear t-shirts and muscle shirts but tanks keep me a little cooler.

Tank tops are usually low cut and sports bras aren’t (at least on me). So, you are going to see it. Honestly, I don’t care if they show. I’m comfortable with showing my sports bra when I climb. I have a small chest, nothing is going to be seen. If anyone has an issue with it, that’s their problem. Not mine.

Comfy Footware

Lastly, what shoes to I wear before running out the door? I usually wear flip flops or sandals to climbing. This is so my feet can air out after taking my climbing shoes off. You would be surprised how hot and sweaty your feet get after climbing. What you want wear is completely up to you.

I hope this article gives you some ideas for clothes whenever you want to go climbing. Until next time, happy bouldering!