What to Wear For Paintball: A Head to Toe Guide

what to wear paint balling

Paintballing is one of the most exciting extreme sports that both beginners and professionals can play and enjoy. Sprinting through the woods, ducking flying paintballs and diving to capture the flag are all parts of the game. From shooting and hitting your friends causing a chuckle, to winning a tournament with your pro team, there are many things that you need to know; specifically, with the equipment that you need and what to wear for paintball.

Obviously, you’re going to need your paintball gun (with a barrel and hopper) and gas canister alongside the actual paintballs. But have you ever wondered what else you need to wear? What clothing is either most appropriate or the best in competition to give you a leading edge?

The point is making sure it’s appropriate for the conditions, but also helping you out in some way or another. Below is a comprehensive guide of what you need from head to toe:

What to wear for paintball


Of course, you going to need your paintball mask – either having one yourself or if you’re going as more of a beginner one will be provided for you. These are super important for your safety as you don’t want to catch a ball in the eye.

Other than that, it’s all about preference. There is no harm in wearing a baseball cap or headband. First off, it will probably not hurt as much if you get hit on the top of the head – but also it can both keep your hair out of your face for maximum vision and is great to stop sweat interfering with your play.

They can also make wearing the paintball masks a little more comfortable and add as some extra cushioning.


There is nothing worse than wearing something brand new; it will be ruined after a day of paintballing. It is recommended that you wear something that’s a bit older and has taken some wear and tear over the years – something that you really don’t mind getting dirty.

In terms of shirts or layers to wear on your upper half, it is recommended to wear long sleeve shirts. You don’t want anything too constricting, so something a little loose fitted that you feel comfortable enough to move around and dive about in. Try not to wear too many layers – you’ll be doing a lot of running and want to be careful about overheating.

So, something loose-fitted and long sleeved. You’d hate to cop a sharp striking paintball on the arm without any clothing to soften the blow.

For your lower half, a pair of old jeans would be perfectly fine. They’re not too tight and they give you enough flexibility that you can run around in – just don’t wear skinny jeans. Trackies are also a good option, as long as they’re not too thick and you don’t mind getting them filthy.

Don’t worry about buying any fancy paintballing gear! Some activity centres with give you overalls to wear during the match up!

HK Army Hardline Paintball Pants (Fire)

HK Army HSTL Line Jersey (Red)

YEVHEVE G3 Camouflage Shirt with Elbow Pads

XKTTAC Tactical-Combat -Airsoft-Military-Shirt

Maddog Tactical Paintball Rip Stop Coverall Jumpsuit


There is no rule stipulating that you must wear gloves when going paintballing, but it can certainly help out for a few reasons. Again, it will soften the blow if you get caught on the finger or hand and it will certainly help with sweaty handy on your trigger. If you’ve got a quick finger and able to fire rapidly, you’d hate to be obstructed by slippery fingers.

Not only that but oftentimes paintballing takes place in the woods. With sharp sticks and thorns often laying around, gloves will certainly help protect your hands from and cuts or scratches.

There are different types of gloves that you can wear. Some are specially made for paintballing with some extra protection, but you could just wear some golfing gloves or fingerless grip gloves that players often wear in other sports. You want to be careful of wearing anything too thick, otherwise you’d never be able to pull on that trigger fast enough to eliminate your opponent.

HK Army 2014 Pro Paintball Gloves

Zephyr Tactical Half-Finger Paintball and Airsoft Gloves


When it comes to what footwear you should be taking to paintball there a few factors to consider. But before we consider those lets figure out what you shouldn’t wear. Any open toed, or sandal-like shoes are a big no! Not only are they impossible to run around in, they give little grip and ankle support and also, would be extremely painful in you were to be hit there.

There is a certain element of being sensible for the beginner.

We’d recommend some sort of boot, cleat or trainer that is specific for doing outdoor activity, particularly that with ankle support. Hiking boots would be the perfect example, but if you don’t have any of them any sort of shoe with good grip and ankle support should suffice; running shoe would be fine.

Rubber-spiked shoes are good for speedball which tends to be played on flatter grass with inflatable obstacles. They’ll certainly gives some extra grip but would not fair well in the woods with too many different terrains like concrete, tree stumps etc.

Avoid metallic spiked shoes as not only are they dangerous for other players, you could pop an inflatable obstacle in speedball. This is especially for those elite level players!

We have reviewed the best cleats for paintball in a separate post. 

What to look for in summer

You may be thinking now that you’ve got all the necessary gear, but what if it is boiling hot.

We know you’d prefer not to wear long-sleeved tops and trousers, but when paintballing your safety has to be at the top of the priority list. Let’s see what you can do though, just to help with those sun rays.

You want some sort of airflow in your gear; that’s why we don’t recommend anything too tight fitting. You’d want to choose some breathable, sweat absorbing materials to help bring the moisture away from your body and avoid getting those clothes super heavy. Sportswear tends to be the best for this as it is designed with sweat and movement in mind!

If you want to wear a belt that you can attach some sort of water bottle onto go for it! It will really help with your water intake to ensure that you don’t become dehydrated.

What to look for in winter

When it comes to winter you need to think a little bit more about what you need to wear. Firstly, layers are the most important things. You need to stay warm or your body could just cramp up and find it extremely difficult to move. But also, those layers will act as extra protection as in the colder month’s paintballs become much harder and often don’t burst on impact – making the blow pretty harsh.

So multiple-long sleeved layers would be recommended, more is always best, as you can always take the layers off if you become too hot from all the running around.

Extra protection

Some of you may want a little extra protection, as you know that your body is sensitive to impact. So, there are many things that you can bring along to help you:

The easiest, is just thicker clothing or more layers. This would be better in the winter months, but if you don’t mind the heat and have a constant water source, you should be fine.

You can order or have arranged a chest-pad to wear or bring along some joint pads to go on your elbows and knees – a bit like when you go skateboarding. This will ensure that when you dive around your not putting too much pressure on those joints and making them hurt.

If you’re nervous about being hit in the lower region, you know where I mean, you can always wear a box. That will ensure that any flying paintball will be guarded from your nether region and avoid any nuisance pains.

What you need for when you are finished

When you’ve finished your session of running around and shooting your mates, hopefully hearing them squeal a little bit, you might want to bring a few things.

A towel can be useful for a few reasons. Firstly, you will become very sweaty so can help you dry off. However, some places have optional showers for you to take after the activity or tournament.

With this you’d definitely want to bring a change of clothes. There is nothing worse than travelling back home in mucky ripped clothes that definitely don’t smell as good as when you first put them on.

Finally, if it in those colder months and you’ve taken off some layers because you were getting too hot, make sure that you bring an extra clean jacket for after the game. It will help keep you warm whilst you are travelling back and you don’t want to wear any dirty or sweaty layers, especially if you’ve just had a shower. 

Conclusion: what to wear for paintball

Overall, the list is pretty simple to follow. The main thing to keep in mind is just to be practical and sensible. Running and diving around in the dirt is impossible to avoid, so make sure you’re bringing those older long-sleeved clothes.

It’s all about protecting yourself, whether it be from sticks and stones on the terrain to being comfortable in the colder weather. Wear layers and protective gear to ensure you’re being safe.

At the end of the day it is all about having fun. What’s better fun than not getting hurt because you were wearing the wrong clothing.

Aside from clothing, many players also decide to take a paintballing camera which usually attaches to your barrel or hopper, allowing you to capture all the fun!

We look forward to seeing you on the course!

Other posts you may like


I have been a keen outdoorsman since the age of 5, being exposed to the wondrous mountains of the Lake District, UK. Hiking has become more than a hobby for me as I completed survival skills training and competed in endurance challenges across Europe.

Recent Posts