Playing paintball can get pretty dirty, so wearing the right gear is crucial. You’ll get sweaty, dirty, and shot at, so you need to be prepared. If it’s your first time playing, follow these tips, and you’ll have a blast.

Most first-timers rent equipment, which usually includes a paintball gun, hopper, tank, and a mask. Many paintball fields offer coveralls to protect your clothes. However, you can do better. It’s best to wear old clothes that you don’t mind getting dirty or ruined. Check your closet for something you don’t wear anymore, like old pants and a sweatshirt. These are great options because if they do get dirty or ruined its ok.

In a wooded area, consider wearing camouflage. It helps you blend in with your surroundings. There are various camo options, but look for one that suits your environment. I’ve found that the OCP or multicam design works well in dry, brown settings like where I play. But if you’re in a different environment, go for what matches best.

IDOGEAR Men G3 Combat Uniforms Set with...
• 4-way stretch-woven accents ripstop clothing
• Removable combat knee pads and concealed elbow pads
• Perfect for airsoft, paintball, hunting, shooting

Choosing the right shoes is essential. You need closed-toe shoes that offer mobility. Vans work fine for fields with tubes and obstacles. But if you’re playing in a wooded area, go for shoes with ankle support, like work boots, hiking boots, or even trail shoes. Some players prefer cleats, especially on artificial turf, for better grip and mobility. Just make sure your shoes fit the terrain you’ll be on.

Don’t forget to wear a beanie or baseball cap. Getting hit in the head is painful, so having something on your head makes a big difference. You don’t need a pillow taped to your head, just something to absorb the impact. There are paintball-specific options for added protection, like padded beanies or hats, but remember, paintballs won’t cause serious damage, just some pain and maybe a bump.

If you want extra protection, you can get a chest protector, neck protector, and paintball gloves. Chest protectors range from basic foam padding to more comfortable, shirt-style options. Neck protectors are simple and come in various designs. Paintball gloves are another option for added hand protection.

Meet the HK Army Crash Chest Protector: designed for top-notch protection with your comfort in mind. Its dual-layered pad system cushions impacts, and it’s made from tough yet lightweight materials for ease of movement. Plus, the 4-way stretch inner lining adds extra coverage and keeps you cool on hot days.

So, that’s the gear you need for your first paintball experience. Find old clothes, check out thrift stores, choose the right shoes, and consider a beanie or cap. Most importantly, have fun on the paintball field!


Yo! My name is Brad Johnson, I'm the author/creator/owner/janitor of Paintball Ruined My Life. I worked in the paintball industry for over 16 years, before starting this website and my YouTube channel.