What To Wear To Paintball

Wondering what to wear to paintball? Then you’ve come to the right place! Below I will go through every item of clothing and gear you need to enjoy your game of paintball. Let’s dive in!

What To Wear To Paintball – Introduction

There are 2 types of environments that paintball is most commonly played in: an outdoor park where you can experience muddy and slippery trails, uneven terrain, snow, rain, and varying temperatures; and an indoor, airconditioned arena.

Whatever the environment, there are common paintball outfits, gear, and equipment that you need so that you can get the most out of your game and, most importantly, avoid any injury or accidents and stay safe.

What To Wear To Paintball – At A Glance

Here is a summary list of what to wear to paintball:

  • Paintball mask and/or goggles or full face helmet
  • Cap, hat or sandana
  • Long sleeve t-shirts with a sweatshirt or hoodie over the top
  • Long pants (sweatpants, jeans, or cargo pants – whatever you can move in)
  • Gloves (can be fingerless)
  • Comfortable sneakers, runners or hiking boots depending on the terrain
  • Overalls/coveralls if you have them for added padding and protection

Now let’s go through the detailed requirements of what to wear to paintball so you can ensure you have the perfect gear for your game!


paintball mask
Example of a Paintball Mask

Paintballs can reach speeds of between 260 and 280 feet per second or more than 200 miles per hour which can make headshots rather painful.

For head protection, wear a baseball cap, a winter hat, or headwear specifically designed for paintball such as a sandana.

A sandana is a headband equipped with netting and is attached using velcro attachments or ties. It provides a padded covering that is increasingly becoming popular among paintballers.

Of course, masks, goggles and/or helmets are also crucial so that your entire face from ear to ear and chin-to-forehead is protected.

These must be made from durable polycarbonate that can withstand a paintball shot, along with eye protection that conforms to strict ASTM standards for safety.

This equipment is usually supplied by the paintball park, so you shouldn’t have to buy your own unless you want to!

Upper Body

Paintballs also come in different sizes and calibers, and even a low impact paintball such as .50 caliber can deliver a considerable sting, especially on bare skin.

A basic rule is to have as little skin exposed as possible. Loose or oversized sweatshirts or hoodies on top of long-sleeved t-shirts, paintball jerseys, or jackets are a few options.

If you are playing outdoors, especially during summer, you need to be careful of overheating, or heat exhaustion and heatstroke.

Paintball specific shirts that have a small amount of padding but have breathable panels at the same time can provide you with adequate skin protection and airflow.

Lower Body

paintball pants
Example of Paintball Pants

Paintball, whether played indoors or outdoors, can subject your legs to various harmful conditions.

Playing outside, you will encounter dirt, thorns, twigs, rocks, and even mud.

Playing inside is no better as you can get your skin burned when you crawl, slide or dive across the floor or turf.

Long and loose sweat pants, jeans, cargo pants, jumpsuits, and paintball specific pants are your best options to protect your legs.


Next to your head, your hands are one of the most vulnerable parts of your body as they are the ones holding your gun out to shoot.

They do not have bulky muscles and shots to your knuckles can be extremely painful.

You can choose from light-duty mechanics’ gloves, golf, gardening, weightlifter, and football gloves.

They protect you not only from getting shot, but also from scrapes, cuts, splinters, thorns, and rub burns.

Paintball specific gloves are fingerless and are designed with rubber backing that protects the back of your hand up to the first knuckle.


The most common type of paintball injury is ankle twists, and your choice of shoes is crucial to your enjoyment of the game.

Some options to consider are army or hiking boots, high-tops, and football or soccer cleats that offer good ankle support and considerable grip if you are playing outdoors.

On the other hand, sneakers, running or tennis shoes can work equally fine if you are playing indoors.

For your safety and comfort, most paintball parks discourage players from using open-toed shoes and sandals.

It is also recommended that you do not wear brand new shoes. Opt for old but still comfortable ones so you can enjoy playing as much as possible.

Any Additional Items to Bring/Wear

paintball coveralls
Example of Paintball Coveralls

Miscellaneous items that you can bring along include garbage bags to put your dirty clothes in, rags or old towels to clean your equipment with, and plenty of drinking water.

There are a few things to consider when making a checklist of things that you may need and these factors include the type of paintball field, the type of paintball guns to be used, and the age of the player.

Some paintball parks require players to be at least 12 years old and wear paintball specific clothes or overalls.

A few, however, especially low-impact paintball fields, allow players as young as 6 years old.

Protective equipment and clothes such as age-appropriate overalls or coveralls are strongly recommended.

Protective chest equipment, which is ideal for female paintballers, can also be considered.

Other Tips For Paintball Clothes/Gear

Check the Weather

One of the most important things to keep in mind when selecting clothes and gear for your paintball game is the weather.

Many beginners tend to choose thick clothing such as a sweatshirt to reduce the pain of getting shot.

This idea may not be very wise if you are playing outdoors in the middle of summer, as the chances of you getting heatstroke and heat exhaustion are quite high.

It is therefore highly recommended that you dress in layers.

Light, loose-fitting clothing that can be easily taken off if you start to get overheated is crucial.

If the weather is cold, you then need to make sure that you have warm clothing readily available including gloves, socks, sweatshirts, hoodies, or beanies.

Try not to opt for bulky clothes that can weigh you down or make it difficult to move – instead, light but heat efficient clothing is best.

Again, layering is a good idea so that you can remove layers if you heat up as you run around.

What Colors to Choose

The consensus among paintballers is that dark-colored or camouflaged clothing is the way to go.

This reduces your likelihood of being easily seen by other players, thus minimizing your chances of being a target.

Light-colored clothing also tends to stain easier, and even if paintballs are water-soluble, some stains simply stay there as stubbornly as possible.

Wear Old Clothes

Playing paintball involves a lot of crawling, kneeling, diving, and scurrying about.

If you are playing outdoors, you might want to wear clothes and shoes that you don’t mind getting dirty or muddy.

As for stains, most paintballs are water-soluble and will easily come out in the wash.

However, there are cheap brands of paintballs that can leave stains, even faint ones, that any kind of washing will not remove.

One idea is to bring along a stain remover so that once you are finished playing, you can immediately apply it to your clothes to reduce the staining, and then wash them as soon as you get home.

Spare Clothes to leave in the car

Once you’ve finished your game, it is more than likely that you will be covered in splatters of paint or dirt.

Spare clothes or towels may be a good option to prevent you from bringing paint and dirt into your car.

Some players even cover their car seats with plastic sheets or bed sheets, especially if they have children.

What If I Still Have Exposed Skin?

Most paintballs are hypoallergenic, so if you get some on your hair or skin you shouldn’t suffer any adverse reactions, and it can easily be washed away when you shower.

The only problem may be you will get a mark or bruise if you get hit on the skin directly.

Protection is the main thing you need to keep in mind when dressing for paintball.

Another option that will cover you from your neck to your wrists up to your ankles is full-body coveralls that you can wear on top of your clothes.

These coveralls are offered at some paintball parks, and they sometimes come with a chest and back protector to give you a layer of armor.

What To Wear To Paintball – Conclusion

I hope this article has helped you decide what to wear to your next paintball game.

As you can see, having the right clothes and gear can make or break your paintball game.

When selecting what to wear, protection and ease of movement should be the first things to consider.

As long as you’re wearing the right apparel and protective gear, you can forget about what you’re wearing and enjoy your game!

Here are some related articles you may also enjoy:

Best Paintball Guns Under $300
Best Paintball Guns For Kids