Any expert paintballer will tell you that knowing what to wear for paintball can make all the difference in how much you enjoy the game. What doesn’t seem enjoyable about chasing down your opponents, dodging whizzing paintballs and strategizing your next move with your teammates all in the great outdoors?


If you’ve ever seen really good paintballers in action, you’ve probably noticed two things: They’re having a ton of fun and they’re strapped head to toe in some serious looking gear. While you may think these Darth Vader looking outfits are only for the professionals, they’re actually necessary for anyone who wants to have a good and safe experience playing paintball. The reason paintballers spend so much time meticulously choosing their gear are twofold: safety and strategy. Now, if you’re just a beginner who doesn’t need all the bells and whistles right away, no worries. The following list covers what to wear for paintball if you’re just starting out.

Paintball Mask

The paintball mask is undoubtedly the most essential item on your “what to wear for paintball” shopping list. Not only does it provide you with necessary protection, it can also give you some serious style points. In terms of safety and general strategy, you want to make sure to purchase a mask that covers your entire face and that comes with anti-fog goggles. It may not seem like it, but those little paintballs are packing some serious punch, and a hit to an uncovered face could actually cause some serious injury. When trying on masks, you want them to feel snug yet breathable. The last thing you want is to have to make an adjustment to an uncomfortable mask when you’re trying to shoot down your opponent.

Goggles that are made of anti-fog material are super important because chances are high that you will be playing outdoors in some serious heat. You’re also going to be running around a lot while wearing a full-bodied uniform, so there’s a good chance those sweat glands are going to be going into overdrive. Lifting your mask to clear out fog from your goggles is cumbersome and annoying, so always ask before buying if the goggles have that crucial feature.

A great mask for beginners is the Invert Helix Thermal Paintball Mask. Equipped with e=vent thermal lenses, many reviewers state that after playing for hours this mask still does not fog up. The Helix offers full coverage, and coming in at only $30, it is a great option for someone who doesn’t want to fork over a ton of money on a mask.

Paintball Vest/Shirt

Your chest area will most likely receive the most hits at paintball matches, so making sure it’s appropriately covered is essential. Ensure that you purchase a vest with an appropriate amount of padding to help lessen the blow. In terms of strategy, you want to be able to easily reach your pellets so you can quickly and efficiently reload your ammo. A with adjustable pockets like the GXG Deluxe Black Paintball Tactical Vest, is a great option.

You have a couple of decisions for the shirt underneath your vest. If you are looking to be cost-effective, you can simply choose to layer up with clothing you already have at home. A good rule of thumb is to wear two long sleeve shirts as a base layer and then a relatively thick hoodie as the top layer. This may seem like an excessive amount of clothing, but at least bring these layers to the pitch, as you can always remove a layer if you feel too hot. Another option is to buy a paintball specific shirt that comes with padding, like the Empire Paintball Prevail F5 Jersey. Costing as low as $30, customers love that this jersey offers complete protection for the shoulders and arms, is made with breathable material and has a very stylish design.

Paintball Pants

Just like the upper body gear, you can either opt to wear clothes you already have at home in order to save money, or you can purchase specific paintball pants. For those wanting to save money, two pairs of baggy elastic sweatpants will get the job done just fine. Those looking to purchase should keep in mind that the baggier and thicker the pants, the better. You will be crawling, jumping, pivoting and running all on rough terrain. You want pants that will protect your from the elements and that are easy to move around in. A great option for pants are the Empire Paintball Prevail FT Pants. Made of the highest quality material, customers consider these a top line purchase for paintballers, as the pants are extremely comfortable and breathable and even come with pockets to keep your valuables safe.

Paintball Paintball Shoes

Paintball shoes are probably the least uniform item you will see when playing, as many people, even those who are experts, opt to wear a good pair of hiking shoes or army boots instead of purchasing paintball specific shoes. Hiking shoes and army boots make for great paintball footwear because they are easy to move around in and are waterproof. There’s nothing worse than a soggy pair of socks! Football and soccer cleats also make for good shoes because they offer good traction to help keep you from slipping.

But if you are set on buying a pair of shoes that are just for paintball, the HK Army Shredder Paintball Cleats make for a great pair of shoes. Made of durable leather material, customers enjoy that these shoes are lightweight and that they offer great traction.

Paintball Gloves

In terms of what to wear for paintball, there is a lot of debate over full coverage gloves or fingerless gloves. Full coverage gloves obviously give you better protection, whereas fingerless gloves make the process of reloading your gun much easier. For beginners, a full coverage glove, like the Valken V-TAC Full Finger Plastic Back Airsoft Gloves, is probably the best option.

Customers love that their hands stayed sweat free even after hours of playing and that these gloves offered full knuckle protection.

The above items listed are essential items to answer the what to wear for paintball question. In terms of what to wear for paintball, you will hear a lot of differing opinions on what the best brands are. Just remember, what fits well on one person may not fit well on another, so always make sure shop based on personal comfort and not on price tag. Also, style points never hurt either, so if you’re deciding between two items that offer an equal amount of coverage, don’t be afraid to pick the one you feel you look best in. Quality paintball gear is made to last a long time, so making the right choice when first purchasing can save you money in the long run. Paintball is an extremely addicting sport for those who love teamwork and an adrenaline rush. Along with all this gear, don’t forget to bring your sense of adventure and fierce competitive spirit!

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