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 What to Wear Rock Climbing

If you’re gearing up for your first ever rock climbing experience, you might be wondering what to wear rock climbing.

So you’ve finally taken the plunge and decided to start rock climbing–good for you! The sport itself is one of the most physically demanding and beneficial workouts you can do, as well as being a lot more fun than just staring into space on the treadmill for hours on end.

What’s more, once you’ve mastered the rock walls, you’ll be ready to start climbing some real-life mountains. Rock climbing does require certain items and apparel, so you’ll need to read up to make sure you come prepared. Luckily, you’ve come to the right place.

Here’s everything you need to know about your rock climbing outfit

Rock Climbing Outfit Clothing

Whether you’re opting for outdoor or indoor rock climbing, the clothing requirements are pretty simple. Your first consideration should always be mobility. You’ll want to wear a t-shirt or vest which doesn’t limit the movement of your arms in any way, as you’ll need them to be in top form. If you’re climbing indoors or it’s a nice day, men typically go rock climbing shirtless, which is also a fine option.

For the bottom half, you’re best off wearing shorts, as mobility is the name of the game here too. You can also wear sporty pants such as track pants if you’re worried about looking too revealing – make sure your flexibility isn’t compromised.

Materials are also a key consideration, more so for outdoor than indoor climbing. You’ll want to wear durable materials that don’t degrade too easily, such as synthetic spandex or wool spandex.


Wearing the right pair of climbing shoes is one of the most critical climbing tips you’ll ever need. You’ll need specifically-designed rock shoes to get the most out of your climb.

If you’re headed to a climbing gym, most venues rent these out so you won’t need to buy any. If you’re more comfortable with your pair, any sporting store should sell them in your size.

Make sure they are a perfect fit and unable to fall off at any point. Rock shoes typically are not worn with socks, so keep that in mind when you’re slipping into them.


If you’re going for indoor climbing, there’s not much you’ll need to bring by way of equipment, as the gym will likely provide it all.

The most important item is probably a chalk bag for your hands, which you should bring along with you as many gyms don’t supply chalk. For both indoor and outdoor climbing you might want to consider bringing a lightweight jacket, to ensure you’re warm enough during your climb (those AC temperatures can feel arctic sometimes).

As a final note, never bring a pair of gloves to a rock climb. You’ll need full control of your hands and fingers to get a proper grip, and gloves will only get in the way.

Learn More

If you’d like to learn more about how to get the most out of your first rock climbing experience, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us to find out everything you need to know about your rock climbing outfit and more.