That’s an easy one if you’ve already got gym gear or sport gear: just wear that. It’ll be loose enough and comfortable enough to go bouldering or rock climbing in.
However, if you don’t already have a decent set of gym clothes, then your best bet will be to do as follows:
- Get a comfortable t-shirt or tank top. Any will do, as long as it doesn’t restrict your arm and shoulder movement.
- Get some pants that are comfortable to move around in.
The pants are the most important part to get right. You can’t really go wrong with a standard t-shirt or any other casual top, but most pants aren’t particularly suitable for climbing.
Unlike gyms, you’re allowed to wear jeans when you go climbing. Outdoor climbers do this more often than indoor climbers do, because jeans offer a bit better protection from scrapes and bumps against the rock than flimsy sport pants do.
As for recommendations, pants like the Silver Ridge Cargo Sun Pants are a perfect example for men’s climbing pants. They’re loose without being baggy, they’re comfortable without being flimsy, and they’re also moisture wicking, which means you can stay cool and dry on intense climbing sessions.
Remember, you will sweat when climbing, so moisture wicking clothing is pretty nice to have. Make sure to order one size up from what your usual size is with these pants in particular.
For women, the Outdoor Research Ferrosi Pants have everything you’re looking for. They’re abrasion resistant, wind resistant and moisture resistant; not that there’ll be much wind with indoor climbing.
The only thing is that they might be a little long for some, so if you always need shorter pants when you buy them in clothes stores then there’s Black Diamond’s Notion Pants, which are specifically designed for climbing. Black Diamond is also a top brand for climbing safety gear, so they know what they’re doing.
What About Shoes?
You’ll need some climbing shoes. No other shoes will do.
Well, you’ll need a normal pair of shoes to get to the climbing place with, but once you’re there you’re going to need to slip into a pair of climbing shoes.
On a budget? The Evolv Royale climbing shoes are the cheapest ones that you can get which are actually good. The design is also super beginner friendly, with the thicker sole and symmetrical toebox. I wrote more about them in my post about climbing for as little money as possible.
However, for anyone who wants to get the climbing shoes that the pros wear, then your best choice would be the La Sportiva TC Pro. They’re super comfortable, unlike some of the more aggressively down-curved shoes out there. I’d actually say they are the most comfortable climbing shoes. I wrote more about them in this article about the most durable pro shoes out there.