What to Wear for Indoor Rock Climbing?

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You are seeking what to wear for indoor rock climbing, aren’t you? Don’t worry; we are here to help you out. The most important thing you have to remember is to keep it simple.

Rock climbing is more or less a workout. Thus, when you prepare yourself with gym clothes, you will be ready to go.

Most indoor climbing gyms rent shoes which you can use instead of buying new ones. And clothes for rock climbing should meet the following requirements:

  • Breathable and lightweight as you are going to sweat
  • No movement restriction
  • Comfy

What Tops to Wear Indoor Rock Climbing?

You can choose between a gym top or a t-shirt. Both of the options are fine. The most crucial thing is that it needs not to be baggy. Thus, it cannot get in belay devices. One more thing, long sleeves are helpful to stop bangs and scrapes.

Another criterion is that the material should be comfortable to wear. There are various kinds of fabrics, such as cotton, linen, etc.

If you often sweat, you should avoid tops made of cotton as this kind of fabric will absorb sweat. So when the sweat stays there, the cotton tops will get soaking wet.

You know, cotton isn’t moisture-wicking. In other words, it cannot pull the sweat away from your skin and doesn’t allow fast sweat drying.

In this situation, synthetic tops appear to be handy.

Unlike cotton-made tops, they are sweat-wicking and allow moisture to evaporate faster. Synthetic material releases sweat instead of locking it, suitable for the critical cooling evaporation process.

For men, we highly recommend going for a breathable, slim fit, moisture-wicking, and stretchy T-shirt. Meanwhile, women can choose the same type as men or a sports bra and a comfortable tank top for optimal breathability.

Or you can go for any funny tank top that you like. It will boost your spirit and motivate you to go rock climbing.

Here are some products for your consideration.

1. Nike Men’s Dry Tee

Nike Men's Dry Tee

  • Sweat-wicking
  • Comfortable fit
  • Machine washable
  • Relaxing and easy feel

2. Reebok Women’s Activewear Tank Top

Reebok Womens Team Legend

  • Comfortable spandex material
  • Racerback design
  • Fast sweat dry
  • Machine washable

3. Funny Climbing Shirts

Climb Hold Funny Tanktops

  • Extra durability
  • Side-seamed
  • Lightweight
  • Machine washable

What Bottoms to Wear Indoor Rock Climbing?

If you are a newbie, you had better go for yoga pants or shorts. Shorts should not be too short as they can get caught up under the harness. The ideal length is above your knee.

You might not know this, but it is helpful to see your feet for footwork. Rock climbing is about pushing up with your feet rather than pulling with your arms.

We highly recommend you to get a pair of climbing pants in case you enjoy climbing. They are slightly baggy, feature a gusset crotch, and are made of breathable materials. More importantly, you can roll up the hems whenever you want.

We will dive into the advantages and disadvantages of shorts, yoga pants, and climbing plants. Thus, you can compare and choose the most suitable type for you.

1. Shorts

Wrangler Authentics Men's Classic Relaxed Fit Stretch Cargo Short
Wrangler Authentics Men’s Relaxed Fit Stretch Cargo Short


  • Long enough to wear casually
  • Convenient
  • Stretchy


  • Slightly baggy

2. Yoga Pants

THE GYM PEOPLE Thick High Waist Yoga Pants
THE GYM PEOPLE Thick High Waist Yoga Pants


  • Highly flexible when moving
  • Comfy
  • Waistband for added support


  • Fewer design choices

3. Climbing Pants

Ucraft Xlite Rock Climbing Bouldering Pants
Ucraft Xlite Rock Climbing Bouldering Pants


  • Stretchy for high flexibility and mobility
  • Durable
  • Allow rolling up
  • Handy for climbing


  • Expensive due to extra cost

So now, you know what to wear rock climbing gym. But we still have some other helpful information for you. Scroll down to find more.

Can I Wear Jeans for Rock Climbing?

Absolutely yes. You will see many climbers wearing jeans when climbing. You probably wonder how they can do this without movement restriction.

Well, it is because of lycra, spandex, or elastane. There are several climbing jeans built with added stretch and gusseted crotches. This feature allows split movements and keeps your legs from climbing holds.

Various famous brands provide stretchy denim. You can opt for stretchy jeans online or in major retailers. We are big fans of this option as you can wear jeans for climbing and daily life while getting the needed stretch and protection.

In a nutshell, as long as you feel comfortable, you can wear jeans for climbs.

Why Do I Need Climbing Shoes?

As we mentioned above, many indoor climbing gyms provide climbing shoe renting services. So you can rent them instead of investing in an expensive pair.

The question is, “Why do you need a pair of shoes specialized for climbing?”

BUTORA Unisex Acro Rock Indoor Climbing Shoes
BUTORA Unisex Acro

Unlike conventional shoes for daily walks, climbing shoes come with sticky rubber soles, helping you improve the hold gripping ability.

They are supposed to fit tight as well. Your toes might be slightly curled up at the front. Thus, it is best to try rentals, in the beginning, to become accustomed to the feel and the fit.

Moreover, it is helpful to have easy-to-wear shoes, which will help when you want to go to the restroom. You can see various people wearing slips on or crocs when belaying someone climbing.

One more thing, climbing shoes are probably uncomfortable, so feel free to take them off between climbs.

Other Accessories You Can Consider

1. Socks

If you are wondering whether you should wear socks, our answer is yes.

Climbing shoes can be worn out quickly without socks. Moreover, they can provide a tight fit, giving you a feel on the holds. That said, many people sweat in rental climbing shoes.

So we highly recommend you to wear ankle socks when using the rentals for hygiene.

Besides, other accessories you can bring with you include snacks, water bottles, and slip-on.

3. Snacks

You can choose mixed fruits, nuts, or a protein bar to provide the needed energy.

4. Water Bottle

It is best to use a reusable bottle with fun stickers to distinguish yours from others easily.

5. Slip-Ons

They are helpful for you when going to the restroom and belaying.

Final Thoughts on Indoor Rock Climbing Clothes

So you have gone through our topic of What to wear when indoor rock climbing. In short, you need to choose tops and bottoms that can provide high comfort, flexibility, and durability.

More importantly, it is crucial to choose suitable materials. The synthetic fabric appears to be the best material as it will quickly wick away sweat and keep you in a comfortable condition all the time.

Don’t forget to choose appropriate climbing shoes and bring other accessories when climbing.

By the way, if you have any further questions, please feel free to let us know.

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