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If you are planning on getting started in paintball then you should be aware of all the equipment, tools and supplies you need to get together for the game, you also need to prepare various clothing and safety gear that you have to wear during gameplay.
Whether you’re a newbie or a professional to the sport, preparing for what to wear when paintballing is very important. The importance of what to wear can totally make or break your first time paintball experience. One of the most asked questions we received from beginners is “what to wear during paintball?”
Well, paintball is played with many different types of protection such as paintball markers, masks, air tanks, chest shield, elbow pads, and knee pads, etc.
With that said, what you choose to wear during battle is completely up to you, the rule of thumb is to always dress in layers that are comfortable and can be adjusted to weather fluctuations throughout the day. Below is my recommended list of what to wear during paintball gameplay.
Table of Contents
What to Wear During Paintball
You should keep in mind that paintball travel through the air at 280 feet per second. This equates to about 200 miles per hour. If a paintball hits you in the head during a battle and you are not wearing protection, it will definitely hurt.
Since the area around your head is very sensitive, you certainly don’t want to get shot directly on the head, so what I normally recommend first is some sort of head protection.
It’s best to cover up your head as much as you can for safety. The most affordable option would be to wear a baseball hat, beanie or a headband. They are pretty inexpensive and you usually can find these in almost any local sports store.
My favorite option is headband because the rim of the baseball cap usually gets in the way when wearing a mask. You should definitely stay away from winter hats, you’re just going to get really hot as you play and it doesn’t really offer that much greater protection.
If it’s cold outside you should also opt for a beanie or a knitted cap to stay warm. If you have camouflage that would be a great choice to wear but I really don’t think it’s necessary. It won’t be a huge advantage on the field so I don’t recommend buying it when you’re just starting out.
2. Long Sleeve T-Shirt/Hooded Sweatshirt
This is a must have, you need to make sure whatever you are wearing is extremely comfortable and you won’t be too hot or cold because you will be running around a lot so if it is cold make sure to wear extra layers so that you can easily remove in case you get hot over time. You will also want to wear something that’s long sleeve. You should note that paintballs hitting your bare skin might sting a bit so it would be best to cover yourself.
With that said, the best idea would be to wear a loose sweatshirt, a hoodie that also comes with a long sleeve shirt, and jacket in case if there are any fluctuations or changes in weather.
It is not advisable to wear a t-shirt. You should definitely opt for darker colors and bring clothes that you don’t mind getting dirty, eventually, the paint will wash out but the grass and dirt could possibly stain the shirt.
You want to be running around freely without worrying about your clothes getting ruined. It’s very common to see beginners in the playing field wearing jeans, and a t-shirt.
Also wearing loose clothes helps with hits to not break on target, which means that you will get eliminated less and the shot won’t sting as much which is a huge advantage. You can even invest in a chest protector if you want but it is not really needed.
Another important thing that you should definitely consider getting is a pair of gloves. I don’t recommend getting any winter gloves as they’re not comfortable to wear. You need to remember that you’ll be holding the gun and pulling the trigger constantly so wear big winter gloves just won’t do the trick. If you do, I can guarantee that you will have a bad experience so it’s a lot better if you simply wear your work gloves. If you have any pair of gloves that you use to take care of your gardening that should work just fine.
Note that your hands are one of the most common parts of your body to get shot when on the battlefield and the reason being is because they are exposed, especially if you point your gun or marker at your opponents.
Also, you may know by now that your hands come with tender spots. These spots are usually very sensitive. This is why it’s best to always keep your hands fully protected during the gameplay and you can do this by investing in a pair of gloves or simply use one that’s laying around the house as long as it’s not winter gloves.
Among the ideal gloves that you can wear are gardening, football, golf, finger weight lifting gloves, etc. Gloves are extremely important and in some fields, you can borrow but nothing beats having your own.
Now it is time to talk about pants. Since paintball tends to expose your legs to a variety of elements depending on where you are playing. Some of these elements include rocks, dirt, twigs, and thorn that might scratch your legs and knees up a bit. With that in mind, shorts are not recommended to wear.
What you can wear is a pair of baggy elastic sweatpants or you can simply opt for a pair of old baggy jeans on top of long johns. You’ll notice that a lot of players choose to wear jumpsuits, cargo pants or pants made specifically for paintball.
Your main goal is to give your lower body as much protein as you can, just like the upper part of your body, you need to do the same for your lower body as well.
Most paintball players roll around the field, crawl, kneel and dive. Therefore, the baggier the pants, the better it is. They also provide you with the opportunity to move more freely, reduce the chance of bruises and paintballs are less likely to break when coming into contact with them.
The next thing you should consider is the shoes. However, before deciding the type of shoes you’ll be investing in once you start playing paintball, the first thing you’ll have to consider is the type of paintball you will be playing – whether it is woodsball pr speedball. If you are planning on getting involved in scenario paintball or woodsball then the best option would be to invest in a shoe that has proper ankle support.
One of the best choices would be a steel toe boot. Wearing a pair of these boots would certainly make your day better. They’re going to help out a lot to keep your feet dry. There is one downside to wearing boots which is why many beginner players don’t like them. They tend to be heavier and slow you down especially if you are not in good shape.
You can also opt for cleats but take note that they are more suitable when you are playing speedball compared to woodsball. Soccer cleats seem to be the best and are the ones that most people seem to purchase as well. They never break if you invest in a reputable brand and are very easy to move around the field with.
This may sound like a no brainer but you would be surprised by how many people don’t listen. I highly advise that you stay away from footwear that exposes your toes such as sandals. There are lots of people who have fractured their toes because they just don’t listen to this obvious advice.
Another awesome tip is to not wear shoes or sneakers that are brand new and haven’t been worn before. You will most likely be uncomfortable the whole day and might end up losing the game.
6. Groin Cup
The final thing that we’ll be talking about is a groin cup protection. Guys, if you are going out to take part in a paintball game you must wear one of these. Even though paintball shots in the crotch are very rare, when they happen, they can be extremely painful. While wearing a cup to protect this area is pretty much uncomfortable, it will surely provide additional protection in your most sensitive of places.
I never forget to use it when entering the field. I wear mine every time and especially as a new player it’s something that you should take into consideration in order to protect yourself.
Here is a List of 12 Best Protective Gears and Clothing For Experience Players
1. Paintball Mask
Your paintball mask is very important which is why you shouldn’t leave it at home when coming to play paintball because you can’t enter the battlefield without wearing a mask. Mask is necessary and I strongly suggest that you bring an extra lens for them because you never know what might happen or even concern your conditions.
I have 3 lenses that I’ve purchased for myself. Two of them have dark lenses and the other has one with light lenses. Both of them do a pretty decent job as one works within certain conditions while the dark one works in other conditions.
So if something bad happens while you’re on the field you won’t have to worry since you have backup lenses. Also, wearing a mask will help to protect your eyes and ears which can be damaged permanently if you don’t cover them up properly.
While most mask on the market only covers the face and back and back to the ears, there are certain masks that cover the entire head. These are not very common and you should avoid getting hit at the top of the head very often.
What I really like about paintball masks or goggles is the fact that they are presently accessible in a wide range of styles, sizes, and shapes. A very important thing when it comes to goggles is that they come with fans.
If you are playing in a certain environment you can simply turn on your fan to help you see better. It’s always necessary to invest in a mask/goggles because they are very important and does a pretty good job at the same time.
2. Boots and Extra Socks
As mentioned earlier, one of the most important things when it comes to paintball is your shoes. It’s very important to bring an army boot, hiking shoes or a comfortable steel toe boot with you since you will be going through a lot of different terrains. You never know, it can be a possibility that you’ll be going through sand, mud water, etc.
You can also use spike according to the terrain. A lot of speedball players tend to use spikes, but the drawback is that they may not work well if you get on wood terrain or cement. I also think it would be a good idea if you bring extra socks with you because if you jump in a puddle of mud you are going to get wet your feets wet. So, in order to be on the safe side, it’s best to have an extra pair of socks so you can easily change.
3. Paintball Pants
Having good quality paintball pants is very important as well. There are many companies these days that make specific pants for paintball. You can simply wear camouflage or you can get actual paintball pants by popular brands.
These pants are usually durable and come with many pockets that you may need as well as a knee pad.
4. Tactical belt/Holsters
Tactical belts are extremely useful. They are very good and really helpful if you have accessories you want to add on to your loadout and it’s also great for players who use a paintball pistol for their sidearm while paintballing.
5. Paintball Jersey
This type of clothing is actually specifically designed for the paintball game. You also have the option to customize it based on the color and name of the team. If you are planning on playing speedball then you should know that the jerseys designed for it are usually made out of ventilated and lightweight materials.
The material used is capable of absorbing impact while promoting bounce. You should also opt for a jersey that is loose enough so that it can be easily fitted over the protective pads. In some cases, these speedball jerseys also display vibrant colors and patterns.
If you are a fan of woodsball, then the jersey normally uses for this sport is camouflage patterns and muted colors. These patterns and colors are used so that the players can be easily blended in with the surrounding environment.
6. Tactical Vest
In most cases, you may also need to invest in a paintball vest especially if you are a tactical player. This clothing is more essential, especially if you are planning on playing woodsball. The vest normally comes with padding designed to absorb shocks and impact.
The most high-end vest you can invest in is the ones that have multiple pockets, providing you with the ability to hold anything you need while you are on the battlefield. These include a watch, radio, map, water bottle, squeegee or any other personal items that you may need like keys and wallets.
7. Knee Pads
You also need to invest in a pair of knee pads. My paintball pants come with knee pads built-in but you can also purchase a few if your pants don’t have them. These pads are extremely important especially when you are kneeling down in the bush or crawling.
There are lots of stones and nasty stuff that’s located on the ground so getting a pair of knee pads will help to protect your knees. Most people usually forget about them I do that at times but they’re useful to tag along with. So better keep them around because they may come useful.
8. Elbow Pads
Same as knee pads these pads are extremely essential especially if you are playing speedball. If you are a player that enjoys running and diving around, you should never forget to wear your elbow pads as it will prevent you from injuring yourself.
I don’t like diving around because tree stamps are usually everywhere and they can cause serious injury. But for speedballers, these are great protection for their arms.
9. Tactical Gloves
Wearing these types of gloves is not to look cool, we wear gloves so that we can easily make our way through terrain to go through bushes and to move branches without causing any injury to our fingers.
Wearing gloves have saved me many times throughout the years of paintballing. Note that your hands are among the most commonly shot parts of your body when you are paintballing.
Hands tend to have a sensitive spot on them and paintball shots to the hand (especially getting shot at close range) can be relatively sensitive. So in order to keep your hands fully protected during the game, make it a point to invest in a pair of gloves.
If you are a tactical player I think wearing a scarf or shemagh would be a great idea. They are amazing as they could be for head protection or simply use it for conceal. A lot of players also use these for neck protection.
I rarely play without any sort of neck protection and I know that having a scarf or shemagh is very essential to have with you.
As I have already mentioned earlier, it is very important to have head protection. The area around your head is the most sensitive part of your body. This is why you’ll need to cover it up as much as you can and focus on the most sensitive areas first.
It is extremely painful to be hit in the face by a paintball when the paintball is traveling well over 250 feet per second or around 200 mph.
So what you need to do is cover up your head with a cap, you could opt for a camouflage cap so that it is easier for you to hide in the bushes from your opponents. You can even wear it backward and it would help to shield your back part of the neck and also keep the mask in place.
Paintball Tip – Bring Extra Clothing or a Towel
This is the first mistake I’ve made when I take part in my first paintball game. I played for hours trying to learn more about the game and after the game, I was wet and muddy. I did not bring any extra clothing and I had no choice but to sit in my car with all the mud over my body. I actually stain my car seat and it was extremely hard to recover.
This is why I highly recommend that you bring extra clothes or even a towel to sit on in your car. It will save you hours of time and energy when you have to clean your car after a long day of running around.
With the right paintball gears in your possession, you will enjoy the game even more. You’ll also be better equipped to dominate your competition with ease. For other ideas on what to wear, check here.
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Alwayne is a Pro Paintball Coach in profession. He has a long experience as a Paintball Coach. Now, Alwayne is sharing over 10 years of experience of all tips and tricks about paintballs. The reviews and guide are elaborate at its best!