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Clothes For Climbing

Whenever I get ready for climbing, “what am I going to wear?” goes through my mind. Unlike other sports, climbing doesn’t require certain clothing to perform in. You can wear whatever you want 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.

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 to stay cool. Rarely though do I come out of the climbing gym not sweaty and smelly. If you like to use chalk for climbing, wear something you don’t mind getting chalk on as well. However, it does come out in the washer.

I Wear the Pants

Climbing up on a red V2-V3 slab problem

The same goes for pants, keep it breathable and flexible. I alternate between yoga pants and cargo shorts. Depending on how warm it is outside and inside. A slight drawback to cargo shorts is that mine don’t cover the knees, so they get banged up without the extra pant length.

You might ask what about jeans when it gets colder? I don’t particularly care to wear regular jeans while climbing. Although, I have seen climbers wear them and if it works, more power to them.

However, there are some businesses like Boulder Denim that make stretchy denim pants for climbing. I have a pair from BD and wear them in the winter. They’re more like skinny jeans but are more elastic and comfortable. Plus, they look nice enough that I can wear them to more places than the gym.

No Short Shorts

On a related note, this is just personal preference, but I don’t recommend wearing booty shorts. Unless you’re only bouldering, don’t wear them. I say this because if you do any climbing that requires a harness, it 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 to leave them at home.

Showing the Support

For womxn, a sports bra is your go-to for supporting your chest while climbing. Plus, you don’t have to worry about pesky straps. I recommend Tera Kaia (formerly Arét) base wear (link). Their bras are super comfy and cute to wear. They have low and high cut types that you can wear as a swimsuit top as well.

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 (duh), 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 (or at least on me). So, you are going to see it. Honestly, I don’t care if they show. I’m comfortable with it showing when I climb. I have a small chest; no one is going to see much. If anyone has an issue with it, that’s their problem, not mine.

Comfy Footwear

Lastly, what shoes do I wear before running out the door? I usually wear flip flops or sandals to the gym. 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 to wear is entirely up to you.

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