What to Wear Rock Climbing + Bouldering (Men & Women)

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There is a big difference between the clothes you would wear for indoor rock climbing and outdoor rock climbing. For indoor climbing, you can wear pretty much anything as long as it’s comfortable and doesn’t restrict your movement. But for outdoor climbing, you need to be more careful about what you choose to wear.

In this article, we will be focusing on the essentials of what to wear rock climbing, indoors and out, providing recommendations for both men and women.

What To Wear Rock Climbing – The Short Answer

When you rock climb or boulder indoors, it’s essential to wear clothes that won’t make you too hot and sweaty.

Unless you are already an experienced climber, don’t feel the need to purchase high-quality climbing gym clothes just yet – your regular gym clothes will probably suffice.

Whatever indoor rock climbing outfit you choose, make sure it checks a few of these boxes:

  • When picking out your clothes, ensure they’re not too tight and that you’ll have a full range of motion in your shoulders, hips, and knees. (Some popular choices are shorts, breathable tank tops, and leggings.)
  • To avoid looking like a wilted mess, choose breathable fabrics, and don’t overdo it with the layers.
  • Bring a warm, removable layer like a hoodie or fleece to stay comfortable while resting or belaying.

Although you will need climbing shoes, don’t feel pressured to buy your own right away. Many gyms allow you to rent climbing shoes.

Though, personally, I WOULD invest in climbing shoes as rental shoes can really negatively impact your experience if you can’t quite find something that you’d like. Besides decent climbing shoes are only about $100.

What To Wear Rock Climbing Indoors

In this next bit, ill be covering what you should be wearing when climbing indoors, including suggestions for men and for women.

Men’s Wear Indoor Rock Climbing

When it comes to what men should wear when indoors rock climbing, you’ll want to go with something that can let your body breathe while still keeping you safe and comfortable. A good outfit would include shorts, a tank top or t-shirt, and leggings if needed.

The main things men should be wearing at the climbing gym:

  • Men’s Rock Climbing Shirt – For Men a Tank Top or T-Shirt is Perfect.
  • Men’s Rock Climbing Pants – Flexible pants that don’t restrict movement are important when climbing indoors.
  • Men’s Indoor Climbing Shoes – Climbing shoes with good grip will give you better control, specifically designed for indoor climbing gyms.

Men’s Rock Climbing Tops + Vests

For rock climbing tops, you’ll want to stick with light, breathable fabrics like cotton and technical materials like polyester. Tank tops are a popular choice for indoor rock climbing since they allow your arms full range of motion.

You may also want to consider investing in a climber’s vest or harness specifically designed for rock climbing. These provide extra support and protection when you’re up on the wall.

Men’s Rock Climbing Pants

When it comes to pants, you’ll want something that is flexible and won’t restrict your movement. Flexible materials like spandex, nylon, and polyester are great for indoor climbing walls since they allow you to move freely.

Men’s Indoor Rock Climbing Shoes

Climbing shoes with a good grip are essential when it comes to indoor rock climbing. The right shoe will give you the control and stability you need while on the wall. Look for shoes that have stiff uppers and sticky rubber soles.

Women’s Indoor Rock Climbing Clothes

Women should choose lightweight and airy clothing that won’t overheat them when indoors rock climbing. Shorts, a tank top or t-shirt, and leggings are all good choices that will also keep you safe.

The main things women should be wearing at the climbing gym:

  • Women’s Rock Climbing Shirt – Tank Tops and Long Sleeve Shirts are great options.
  • Women’s Rock Climbing Sports Bra – Look for a sports bra that is breathable and provides full coverage. It should also be supportive enough so it won’t move or shift while on the wall.
  • Women’s Rock Climbing Pants – Flexible pants that don’t restrict movement are important when climbing indoors, both for men and women.
  • Women’s Rock Climbing Leggings – Leggings or tight fitting shorts are great for women as they provide support and help avoid any wardrobe malfunctions when climbing.
  • Women’s Indoor Climbing Shoes – Climbing shoes with good grip will give you better control, specifically designed for most indoor climbing gyms.

Women’s Indoor Rock Climbing Shirts

Look for ones made from light, breathable fabrics such as cotton and technical materials like polyester. A tank top is a good choice to wear when indoor rock climbing since they enable your arms full range of motion.

You should also look into a climbers’ vest or harness specifically designed for rock climbing, as this will provide extra support and protection when you’re up on the wall.

Women’s Indoor Rock Climbing Sports Bra

It’s important to find sports bras that won’t move around when you’re rock climbing, as this could be very dangerous. Search for a material that is both comfortable and breathable so you can stay focused on your climb.

Women’s Indoor Rock Climbing Pants

If you’re searching for the best fabric to wear pants-wise when at an indoor climbing gym, look for something stretchy that won’t limit your movement. Spandex, nylon, and polyester are all excellent choices since they enable a full range of motion.

Women’s Indoor Rock Climbing Shoes

When indoor rock climbing, be sure your shoes have a good grip. The right shoe will provide the control and stability you need while on the wall. Search for shoes with stiff uppers and sticky rubber soles.

Can You Wear Jeans Rock Climbing Indoors?

No, you should not wear jeans rock climbing as they are not flexible or breathable enough. Instead, opt for fabrics like spandex, nylon, or polyester which will enable flexibility and movement.

You may see some advanced climbers rock a pair of climbing jeans once, in a while, these are not your ‘normal’ skinny jeans, as they have been made from a much more flexible material such as spandex or nylon.

Is It Better To Rock Climb in Shorts or Leggings?

It ultimately comes down to personal preference and what you find comfortable.

Shorts allow more airflow and freedom of movement, while leggings offer more coverage and support.

If you’re climbing indoors, leggings are generally a more popular choice as they provide better protection against any scrapes or bruises. On the other hand, shorts may be more suitable when rock climbing outdoors in warmer climates.

What Should I Wear For Bouldering?

For bouldering, you’ll want to wear comfortable and flexible clothing that won’t restrict your movement, just as you would for any rock climbing activity. However, if you’re going to a bouldering gym, make sure you have (or can rent) a specialized pair of bouldering shoes so you can have as much grip and control as possible.

Another thing to consider when it comes to bouldering is gloves. To protect your hands from scrapes and blisters, you may want to look into a pair of specialized climbing gloves that provide grip and extra cushioning.

What To Wear When Rock Climbing Outdoors

The most vital element to take into consideration when outdoor rock climbing is to wear comfortable, breathable clothing. And make sure that you bring extra layers (or wear extra layers) in case the temperature drops in the middle of your session.

You’ll be much warmer if you wear layers of clothing, starting with a base layer made of synthetic or wool materials. Add extra layers on top depending on the temperature. Also, bring along water-resistant outerwear for rainy days.

Men’s Outdoor Rock Climbing Clothes

The main things men should be bringing along to their favorite outdoor rock:

  • Men’s Outdoor Rock Climbing Shirt – Choose a lightweight, breathable shirt made of synthetic or wool material.
  • Men’s Outdoor Rock Climbing Pants/Shorts – Look for a fabric that is both lightweight and breathable. Choose climbing-specific pants or shorts that are flexible enough to provide a full range of motion while climbing and are moisture-wicking.
  • Men’s Outdoor Rock Climbing Shoes – Look for specialized outdoor rock climbing shoes that have a good grip and are waterproof.
  • Men’s Climbing Jackets – Choose a lightweight and breathable jacket to layer on top when the temperature drops.

Men’s Outdoor Rock Climbing Shirts

When choosing a shirt for outdoor rock climbing, you’ll want to look for one that is made of a lightweight and breathable material. Synthetic or wool materials are best for this, as they will help keep you cool and comfortable while you climb.

Make sure the shirt is flexible enough to allow you to move freely, and choose a style that will be comfortable to wear for an extended period of time. Avoid baggy clothes at all costs.

Men’s Outdoor Rock Climbing Pants/Shorts

While outdoors rock climbing, choose pants or shorts made from a lightweight and breathable fabric. You’ll be doing a lot of movement, so make sure the fabric you chooses gives you plenty of mobility.

The pants or gym shorts you choose should be comfortable, with a fit that isn’t too tight. They should also have plenty of pockets to store things you might need during your run.

Men’s Outdoor Rock Climbing Shoes

When looking for outdoor rock climbing shoes, it is important to find a pair of climbing shoes that have a good grip. This will help you stay safe while climbing, and keep you from slipping. Again, you could be renting shoes from your local climbing store, but I would advise that you buy your own pair.

It is also important to wear shoes that are waterproof. This will ensure your feet stay dry, even if it rains while you’re out climbing.

Also, feel free to wear socks with your climbing shoes if you need the extra warmth for your toes – if you’re unsure if that’s a good choice for you, check out this article: Do You Wear Socks With Climbing Shoes?

Men’s Outdoor Climbing Jackets

When the temperature drops while you’re climbing, invest in a lightweight and breathable jacket. This will help you to stay warm and comfortable without adding too much bulk or weight.

Choose a style that is waterproof, so it can protect from any unexpected showers. Make sure the fit is comfortable enough for extended wear, but not so big that it gets in the way of your movements.

Women’s Outdoor Rock Climbing Clothes

The main things women should be bringing along to their favorite outdoor rock:

  • Women’s Outdoor Rock Climbing Shirt – To keep you cool and comfortable, a women’s outdoor rock climbing shirt should be lightweight and breathable. Look for a short-sleeved technical tee with wicking fabric to help pull sweat away from your skin before it can become uncomfortable.
  • Women’s Outdoor Rock Climbing Pants/Shorts – Select pants or shorts that are loose-fitting and provide your legs with plenty of freedom for movement. Look for fabrics that offer UPF protection, which will block the sun’s harmful rays and keep you safe while you’re out on the rocks.
  • Women’s Outdoor Rock Climbing Shoes – Shoes are one of the most important pieces of outdoor rock climbing gear for women. Look for shoes that offer a snug fit and plenty of ankle support, as this will provide you with plenty of stability and protection while you climb.
  • Women’s Climbing Jackets – Jackets are essential for outdoor rock climbing, as they will keep you warm and comfortable while you’re out on the rocks. Look for a lightweight jacket that is both wind-resistant and waterproof to keep you protected in all types of weather conditions.

Women’s Outdoor Rock Climbing Shirt

When choosing a women’s outdoor rock climbing shirt, go for something lightweight and breathable. Wicking fabric is ideal to pull sweat away from your skin. For added sun protection, look for a collared or mock-neck design.

Women’s Outdoor Rock Climbing Pants/Shorts

When you’re shopping for outdoor rock climbing pants and shorts, go for looser items that won’t restrict your movement.

You’ll also want to find fabrics that offer UPF protection from the sun’s rays. In addition, look for features like reinforced knees or seat areas to add durability when you’re out on the rocks.

Women’s Outdoor Rock Climbing Shoes

When picking women’s rock climbing shoes, make sure they fit snugly and support your ankles. The soles should also be able to grip the rocks well. Try to find shoes made with a rubber toe cap and heel cup so you’ll feel more secure while climbing.

Women’s Climbing Jackets

A good women’s climbing jacket should be both lightweight and wind-resistant. Waterproof designs will help keep you warm and dry if the weather unexpectedly changes. And it’s always a good idea to bring an extra layer of clothing in case you need it.

Make Sure You Bring Extra Layers When Outdoor Climbing

Depending on the weather, you might need to adjust your climbing plans. Make sure to check the forecast before you leave and see what kind of temperatures and conditions you can expect. That way, you can dress appropriately in layers so that you’ll be comfortable no matter what the weather does.

Wearing a light base layer made from nylon, polypropylene, or other synthetics will help pull sweat away from your skin. A middle layer that is warm and insulating should be worn on top of the base layer to protect you from the cold weather.

Keep yourself warm with fabrics such as fleece, pile, or wool. Wear a layer on top that will act as protection against bad weather conditions. Make sure this outer layer is made of waterproof or water-resistant fabric material so that perspiration can easily escape.

When Outdoor Climbing, Avoid Cotton Clothing

In cold and wet weather, refrain from wearing cotton clothes. When waterlogged, the cotton fabric will absorb your body heat, possibly leading to hypothermia.

Cotton clothing is often summer apparel because it takes a while to dry, meaning you’ll have a wet layer next to your skin. Choose different fabrics for climbing in cold or drier conditions.

What Else Do You Bring When Rock Climbing?

Aside from your clothing, you will also need to bring a few other pieces of rock climbing gear, depending if you’re doing sport climbing, bouldering, or any other climbing discipline. These include:

  • Harness – A harness is essential for outdoor climbing as it secures you while on the wall.
  • Climbing Helmet – Helps protect your head from any falling rocks or debris.
  • Carabiners – Used to attach your rope and other climbing gear to the wall.
  • Rope – A must-have piece of equipment that allows you to rappel down from the wall or climb up onto it.
  • Belay Devices – This tool helps control the rope while belaying or rappelling.
  • Chalk Bag – Keeps your hands dry and provides grip during the climb.
  • Climbing Shoes – Allows you to stay secure on the wall by providing better traction.
  • Quickdraws – Used to attach your rope to the wall or other anchors while climbing.

Summary – What To Wear Rock Climbing

Picking the right clothing and gear for rock climbing is important for a successful and safe climb. Be sure to choose items that are comfortable, durable, and fit well.

And don’t forget to bring extra layers in case the weather changes. With the right gear, you’ll be ready to take on any challenge the rocks throw your way!


What Should a Girl Wear for Rock Climbing?

A girl should wear comfortable and breathable clothing that will fit snugly. Look for items made with stretch fabrics to keep you flexible when on the wall. A good base layer, insulating mid-layer, and waterproof outer layer are essential for cold or wet conditions.

What Should a Beginner Wear for Rock Climbing?

A beginner should wear suitable clothes that are comfortable and allow for movement. Look for items made with stretchable fabrics such as nylon or polypropylene for the base layer. Long pants, long-sleeved t-shirts, and a mid-layer jacket can provide good insulation against the cold.

Durable climbing shoes with rubber toe caps and a snug fit are also recommended.

Should I Wear Shorts or Pants to Rock Climb?

I recommend wearing long pants when rock climbing. Shorts can provide too much exposure to abrasive surfaces, and provide less protection in the event of a fall. Look for lightweight, breathable materials with good stretch for maximum comfort and flexibility.

What Shoes Should I Wear for Rock Climbing?

Climbing shoes are an essential piece of rock climbing gear. Look for shoes with a snug fit, rubber toe caps, and a sticky rubber sole for maximum grip on the wall.

For beginners, look for shoes with extra cushioning to help protect against bruising from awkward foot placements.

What Do You Wear for Indoor Rock Climbing?

For indoor rock climbing, look for lightweight and breathable clothing such as shorts or yoga pants and a t-shirt. Look for stretchy materials that move with your body while you climb.

Is It Better to Rock Climb in Shorts or Leggings?

Wear long pants or leggings when rock climbing for the best experience. Shorts can give you too much exposure to harsh surfaces, and won’t protect you as much if you fall. Pick materials that are lightweight, breathable, and have good stretch so you’re comfortable and flexible.

What Do You Wear to a Rock Climbing Date?

If you’re planning to take your special someone out for a date at the rock climbing gym, it’s important to make sure that you dress appropriately.

While the most important part of any date is having fun and making sure your special someone has a great time, being comfortable and safe are also key factors in having an enjoyable experience.

Can I Wear Leggings to Bouldering?

Yes, you can wear leggings when bouldering. When choosing a pair of leggings to climb in, make sure they are form-fitting and provide enough support for your muscles. Additionally, opt for fabric made from breathable materials such as lycra or nylon that will allow air to circulate through the garment.

Should I Wear Long Pants for Bouldering?

Long pants are usually not recommended for bouldering since they can lead to overheating and excessive sweating.

However, if you prefer extra coverage or need a bit of protection from scrapes, choose lightweight materials like cotton or linen that will still give you freedom of movement.

Should I Wear Pants or Shorts for Bouldering?

When bouldering, it is best to opt for shorts over pants. Shorts are typically more comfortable and the less fabric you have between your body and the wall, the better your grip will be.

Look for lightweight fabrics that are breathable and offer a good stretch for maximum comfort and flexibility.

Can I Wear Sneakers to Bouldering?

No, it is not recommended to wear sneakers when bouldering. Bouldering requires specialized climbing shoes with a sticky rubber sole that will help you grip the wall, as well as extra cushioning and support for your feet.

Do You Need Shoes for Indoor Climbing?

Yes, you need to wear climbing shoes for indoor gyms.

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