What to Wear for a Paintball Event

The day has come and your finally playing paintball. But wait, does it hurt to be hit by a paintball? Simple answer is yes however you can reduce the sting by wearing the right clothes thus reducing most of the sting felt.

For beginners, you will want to leave as little skin exposed as possible to avoid direct paintball hits as they can sting quite a bit. But by wearing long sleeve clothes, gloves, and a hat you can reduce any pain felt and have a more enjoyable game.

Here is a list of what most wear to play paintball for the first time:

  • Paintball Mask/Goggles: Protect your face. This is mandatory and you will be removed from play if you remove your mask
  • Hoodies and Sweat Shirts: Protect your body and arms
  • Baggy Pants: Sweat Pants, Blue Jeans, or Cargo Pants
  • Head Gear: Hats, Beanies, and/or Headbands to protect your head
  • Gloves: Offers protection for hands and fingers
  • Athletic Shoes: Cleats are preferred to prevent slipping while running
  • Jumpsuits and Coveralls: Full Body Protection. Cheat guards can be purchased separately

Sounds worst than it probably will be but If you are worried about paintballs hurting, you can wear layers to create extra padding. Most will only wear a layer of clothes as it will be enough to protect the skin and not cause you to overheat.

If your going to be playing in the heat, You may want to not use layers and just wear a basic shirt and shorts to keep their body temperature regulated.


Example of Paintball Clothing

There are lots of different ways that people will dress up to play paintball and it will usually vary from those who play often and those who are just getting into the game.

Most if not all beginners will have no paintball gear at all and may find themselves not knowing what to wear. You will probably already have some old clothes to wear and all the playing gear you will need can be rented out at the paintball.

Here are several different clothing options for paintball players going paintballing.

Beginner Paintball Clothes

Some of the more commonly worn clothing for paintball is a simple sweater with pants combo. Everyone has an old sweater, pair of paints, and a pair of old set of shoes to wear to the field that they don’t care about getting dirty.

Old Hoodie or Sweater

The best clothing options for beginners who are getting into paintball is an old sweater, or better, a hoodie. Since they will have long sleeves and are thicker than a short sleeve shirt, they will reduce the stinging that comes with the impact of a paintball on your skin. Your old hoodie will work the best when using the hood to pull over your head sense it offers some head protection and has pockets to carry extra paintball gear.

Baggy Pants

Wearing pants protects your legs from the impact of paintballs and the environment.

Wearing loose fitting canvas pants, sweat pants or regular cargo pants for paintball. If you wear skin tight pants your on your own as they may restrict movement while running and wont  slow down the paintballs impact before it hits your legs.


Being the most common places to get hit with a paintball is the hands. Easily solved by wearing simple winter or shop gloves. They maintain some finger dexterity, pick up some tighter fitting gloves or finger less gloves.

Hats or Beanies

Don’t have a hoodie? Protect your head a bit more by wearing a backwards hat. When you take a hit on top of your head, the sting is greatly reduced. Wearing a hat or beanie has the additional side benefit of helping your mask fit better and more comfortable to wear.

Old Shoes

For paintball you will need shoes to fully cover your feet and toes and provide traction so that you don’t slip. Preferably cleats.

Paintball Jumpsuits and Coveralls

If you want to cover yourself from head to toe then quickly switch back to more comfortable clothing when off the field, wearing a thick jumpsuit or coverall gets the job done. Some paintball fields offer these as rentals.

What Do Pro Paintball Players Wear

Professional paintball players are experienced paintballers. Using primarily clothing and padding designed specifically for paintball. These clothes will typically be more durable, have padding in key locations, and have ventilation built into the clothing to keep the player cool.

Those who are serious when playing paintball will have clothing that they set aside just for the field, lets go over the most popular options below.

Paintball Headbands and Head wraps

Paintball players typically use something to protect their head from direct paintball hits, and the most popular items in the paintball community will be headbands and head wraps.

Both headbands and or head wraps that are specifically made for paintball will typically have padding in the front and will wick away sweat so it doesn’t roll down your eyes behind your mask.

Paintball Shirts and Jerseys

Most players have paintball shirts in the closet that they use specifically for paintball that provide padding in the arms and chest with extra ventilation under the arms and on the back.

Paintball Elbow Pads

One of the more popular paintball padding options are elbow and forearm pads that are specifically designed for paintball. These will protect your arms from paintballs and are perfect for protecting your elbows from the ground when you are sliding and crawling on the field.

Paintball Gloves

Used to protect both hands and fingers from both paintballs and the environment, paintball gloves are a great option. Paintball gloves use padding on the back of the hands and fingers as well as rubberized grips on the palms to keep your hands protected and your gear in your hand.

Paintball Pants

Paintball is an energetic game that requires lots of running, squatting, crawling and kneeling. Wearing pants that allow for a full range of motion and also provide padding in key locations.

Some important features in paintball pants are built in knee, shin, and groin padding to protect you from both paintballs and the ground. Paintball pants use strategically placed elastic fabric and ventilation to allow full range of movement. Ventilation also helps keep you cool.

Athletic Shoes and Cleats

The vast majority of paintball players will wear running shoes, hiking shoes, or cleats. The goal is to wear a shoe that doesn’t let you slip while running but still gives you a full range of motion to sprint, kneel, and crawl on the field.

Paintball Body Armor and Padding

There are plenty of options available for those who want extra padding to dampen the impact of a paintball. While hard armors mostly eliminate pain, you may to start to notice restricted range of motion and added weight which will slow you down.

Here are the best options for choosing any paintball padding or armor.

Beanies and Headbands

When your going to protect your head from the sting of a paintballs, the two best options are using a thick beanie or a paintball headband.

Padded Shirts and Vests

Players usually use compression fit padded shirts as they properly contour to the body and have padding in all the places you need them.

Elbow Pads, Knee Pads, and Gloves

If your a paintball player who likes to slide, crawl, and get low to the ground while playing paintball, elbow pads, knee pads, and gloves are a necessity. Most paintball field shops have  elbow pads, knee pads and gloves available to rent.

Paintball specific pads and gloves are designed to stay in place when your running, jumping, and or crawling on the paintball field. This is extremely important so you don’t have to consistently fix them while playing the game. This also protects from the environment and ground so you reduce the chances of any bruises or scrapes.

Sliding Shorts and Athletic Cups

For those players who will be sliding on in the dirt or afraid of getting hit in the groin by a paintball, They can rent or purchase sliding shorts with the option to have an athletic cup. Trust anyone who has been hit in the groin sliding shorts and cups will help keep your hips and groin protected from any pain from getting hit by a paintball or sliding on the ground.

Paintball Chest Protectors

The simplest and cheapest is a chest protector, thankfully there are quite a few affordable options. These are typically “one size fits most” also, you may be able to rent them from the paintball field you are playing at.

Proper Paintball Footwear

Many new players are not sure what shoes to play paintball in. If a shoe that doesn’t fit properly or stay on your feet while running you can slip and hurt yourself while running around. The worst is a shoe that is worn out and too smooth on the bottom.

Wearing a basic running shoe or basic athletic shoe for playing paintball is OK. However these shoes are not sports shoes and had not been designed to provide much traction on soft grass or wet soil and you may slip and fall.

The ideal option for shoes when playing paintball is wearing running shoes, soccer or football cleats, hiking shoes, or even army combat boots. All of these shoes are designed to provide the paintball player with the most traction when running on soft soil or grass and prevent slipping thus allowing you the player to freely move.

FYI cleats are for the field only. When walking on paved roads, walking around inside buildings, or walking across wooden bridges, cleats may actually cause you to slip and fall as it isn’t a surface they are designed for. Put on cleats when your ready to enter the field to play paintball.