What to Wear for Indoor Rock Climbing
If you are new to rock climbing, you probably noticed that climbing gym fashion is unlike anything else. Some climbers wear incredibly baggy clothes, others wear jeans and beanies, and some wear ordinary athletic wear. Proper indoor climbing attire is not as self-explanatory as you might think. Whether it’s your first or tenth visit, you’re wondering what to wear to the indoor rock climbing gym. Keep three things in mind in preparation for the gym.
You Want to Be Comfortable While Climbing
The first is comfort. It is essential to be comfortable while you are climbing. We recommend any fitness or athlete clothes since these are already comfortable. Climbing is tough! You may have already figured this out, but you might get hot and sweaty and will want to be wearing cool, moisture-wicking clothing.
Another comfort hack is to always wear pants instead of shorts. Even if it’s warm outside, it’s easy to accidentally bang your knees on big holds or the walls when climbing. Wearing long pants will prevent you from breaking skin if this does happen. If you plan on climbing the roped walls with a harness, you want to wear something other than short shorts. Climbing gym harnesses aren’t the most comfortable, and if you are wearing shorts, it can be uncomfortable if it pinches your skin. For this reason, leggings, or other tight athletic wear, are the clothing of choice for many rope climbers.
Leave Room for Flexibility
Next, let’s talk about clothing flexibility. While climbing, you’ll most likely engage in irregular movements, like reaching far and placing your feet up by your hips. You’ll want your clothing to be stretchy to perform these necessary movements effectively so it doesn’t prohibit your activity.
We are talking top and bottom. Not only will you reach with your arms to grab onto the next hold, but sometimes the foothold you use is not conveniently located. You may have to step extra high. To test your clothes, perform a high step before leaving the house. Try to place your foot on a surface above your hip. You are good to go if your clothes don’t impede your mobility!
Climbing Clothes Fit
The fit of your climbing clothes will also affect how effectively you can climb. Ideally, you’ll want to avoid big, baggy clothing. But you also only need to wear something skin-tight if you want to. The issue with loose-fitting clothing is that it will get in the way of your climbing movements. For example, wearing pants that are too long or flared at the bottom could get caught on your shoe, inhibiting your ability to place your foot on the hold. Wearing an oversized sweatshirt can obstruct your vision when looking down at your feet for a foothold. Though climbing fashion occasionally involves climbing in oversized, baggy t-shirts, this is because of the freedom of movement a big t-shirt provides. T-shirts also stay in the way. We suggest athletic wear that is comfortable for you! Whatever you would lift weights or go on a jog in will likely be fine.
Rental Shoe Tips: Socks!
This section is for the rental shoe gang. The gym will have harness and shoe rentals if you still need to get climbing gear. You don’t have to rent climbing shoes, but it helps a ton. So if you rent shoes, remember to wear them or bring socks. Putting your bare foot into a shoe that hundreds of feet have been in before socks will save you is no fun.