Like all other sports, padel requires suitable clothing that can make it easier for you to play the game, whether that is casually or professionally. It is important to know what kind of padel clothing will work well for the sport so that you know what to look for when you start shopping.
Clothing, in this case, includes the shirts and pants that you will wear, accessories, and most importantly shoes, which give you a better grip against the courts and help you move around with ease.
Using this guide, you can figure out the kind of clothes, shoes, and accessories that you should have before you start playing, as well as the things to consider while choosing them. Let’s take a look!
Official Clothing Requirements
According to the International Padel Federation, which is the governing body of the sport, the attire that players should wear during official matches and tournaments should ideally (but not strictly) be the same for both players of the same team.
There are no strict requirements for shoes. Players can wear any kind of footwear they want, however, anyone who’s even a little bit serious about the sport will wear padel shoes for their superior grip.
Sleeveless t-shirts and swimsuits are not allowed during official games and wearing these might result in faults or disqualification.
Of course, keep in mind that these requirements are only for official competitions and not necessarily for casual playing and practice or training.
What Kind of Padel Clothing Should You Buy?
Although most casual players can make do with what they already own, as you play and get better, having the right apparel can make a big difference. The more you play, the more clothes you’ll need, so it doesn’t hurt to buy several pieces of clothing in order to have spares and not need to do the washing so regularly.
The key to finding the right clothing is to find something you feel comfortable in, since you’re going to be running around and exerting yourself. Choose clothing that doesn’t impede your movement.
When it comes to buying padel shirts, it’s all about what you’re comfortable in. There are almost no IPF regulations when it comes to shirts, and they only apply for competitive matches. Casual players can use regular t-shirts or casual sportswear of any kind.
However, we suggest you wear something lightweight, breathable and comfortable — since it can be easy to overheat while playing.
Those that do play competitively should keep in mind that when it comes to an official match, the IPF forbids sleeveless t-shirts for both men and women. However, women are allowed to wear sports dresses while playing.
Pants, Shorts and Skirts
Unless you’re playing competitively, the bottoms that you can wear while playing padel are only limited to what you feel comfortable in.
For men, the bottom garment is usually a pair of shorts — since these can make it quite simple to move around flexibly during a game and prevent overheating. Much like with shirts, the right materials can make a big difference in comfort levels.
Women have a wider range of options when it comes to the bottoms. Shorts, skirts, dresses, leggings or tights are all acceptable options, depending on the ones that you feel comfortable in.
Things to Consider Before You Buy
Finding the right padel clothing is not as easy as it sounds. Yes, almost all types of clothes are allowed, but that doesn’t mean that most kinds of clothing are good for playing in. Below you’ll find some things you should consider before buy, so that you don’t waste your money.
One of the most significant things that you should keep in mind is the fit or size of the padel clothes that you’ll wear. The best thing to do would be to try them on before you go ahead with the purchase, so that you can ensure that you will be able to be comfortable while playing.
For online purchases, look at sizing charts. Different brands have different size measurements, so make sure you look at their size charts closely instead of simply buying the size that you usually wear.
Having too tight-fitting clothes might make it difficult for you to maneuver yourself well, which could also end up impacting how you play. On the other hand, if the clothing is too loose, then it might be easier for your equipment to get caught in it, or for you to trip.
Ultimately, the fit depends on your usual comfort level. You’ll be running around while playing, so choose clothing that allows for greater freedom of movement.
There is no restriction on the fabrics that you opt for while playing padel so this, again, comes down to personal preference and comfort.
There are several options that you can choose from when it comes to the material such as cotton, nylon, spandex, polyester, synthetic, microfiber and more. Ideally, choose something that is durable enough to withstand any slips on the court, while also allowing you to play to your fullest ability without acting as a hindrance.
If you’re playing outdoors, also consider fabrics that will protect you from the weather — be it for added warmth, protection against the rain, or with a UPF rating to block the sun’s ultraviolet rays.
Breathability and Moisture-Wicking
Breathability is another significant factor that you should account for. It refers to how well a fabric allows air and moisture (from perspiration) to pass through it. If a fabric is breathable, such as cotton, then you won’t overheat as easily while playing. This means you’ll be more comfortable and won’t sweat as much.
Of course, you’ll probably still sweat while playing, which is where moisture-wicking becomes important. This is the fabric’s ability to move, or wick, sweat from your skin to the outer surface of the garment and have it dry rapidly. By removing excess sweat you are more comfortable and can focus on playing.
An essential requirement when you are playing padel is to make flexible and quick movements. Agility allows you to maintain rallies and score points, helping you to win the game.
While your body’s flexibility and movement are the driving factor in this regard, it is also important for you to choose clothes that don’t impede this kind of movement.
An important aspect in this regard is the stretchability of the material that you wear so that the clothes do not end up tearing or falling loose in the middle of the game or even after a few games.
In this sense, your clothes should accommodate your body so that it has the freedom to move as necessary. Spandex clothes or tights can be some good options for you to consider in terms of stretchability.
Believe it or not, the weight of the clothes that you wear while playing padel (or, in fact, any kind of sport), is something that you should account for.
When sporting gear is too heavy it can affect your performance during a match, since it will add a few grams to your overall weight. This can prevent you from making light, quick and more instinctive movements during the game, causing you to lose points when you do not get to the ball in time.
You might also have to exert a lot more power and energy while making certain kinds of plays, which could reduce the stamina that you will need to get through the rest of the match.
The clothes that you wear while playing padel should last you for a long enough time without you having to keep replacing them on a frequent basis.
On the one hand, padel is not an intensive sport where clothes are liable to break. Although, it’s still possible for players to snag their clothes on something, or trip on the court and cause a tear. On the other hand, regular wear and tear can still cause issues, especially in areas like the armpits where clothes rub against each other.
As previously mentioned, flexibility also plays a role here. It wouldn’t do to have your clothes rip at the seams because you lunged to get a shot.
How exactly can you figure out the durability of certain kinds of clothes before buying them? Make sure that you only buy your sportswear from reliable and recommended brands that make use of high-quality material, even if it means spending a bit more upfront.
You can also go through the reviews left by previous customers who have already tried the clothes out.
Cost is an important factor to consider no matter what you buy. It might not be feasible for you to buy high-end sportswear, especially if you are just starting out or simply considering learning the sport on a casual basis.
If you find that the clothes you want to buy for playing padel cost a lot more than what other brands or stores offer, then it is essential for those clothes to also reflect this in their quality and durability. In this sense, higher quality may reduce the long-term costs even if the purchasing cost might be higher.
While higher costs do not always imply better quality, make sure you do not end up buying clothes of lower quality just because of the cheaper price tag.
Shoes are probably the most important piece of equipment you’ll buy — aside from a padel racket. There are padel-specific shoes help you to play to the best of your ability, while also avoiding injuries.
Take a look through some things you should keep in mind while choosing padel shoes for yourself.
Look for shoes that provide a good amount of cushioning to your feet. You want to play comfortably, without having to worry about the impact on your joints from moving around on the courts.
Your shoes should be able to handle and absorb high-impact plays so that you can land on your feet correctly without risking any kind of injury. This can also help you transition faster, moving more quickly so that you can easily reposition yourself, ready to receive the next shot from your opponent.
The grip that your shoes provide is another factor for you to consider when it comes to buying appropriate shoes for padel. Grip is also a key aspect in keeping you safe from injuries while playing the sport.
Choose shoes with just the right amount of grip. Too much and you’ll be running around the court slowly and exerting more effort than you need. Not enough and you can slip easily, face difficulties when trying to change direction swiftly and, ultimately, be more at risk of injury.
Stability is quite necessary when it comes to playing padel. It is essential for making quick and sudden movements as and when required, without risking any kind of injury while doing so.
By allowing you to land on your feet properly, the right kind of shoes can make your movements a lot cleaner and consistent. Thus, you should ensure that the shoes you buy for yourself have stable soles so that you do not end up concentrating too much weight on a single part of your foot.
You should also look at the structure of the shoe. Thicker soles will provide greater cushioning and stability, yet will be less flexible and possibly impede some movement. Finding the right balance between stability and flexibility is a choice that comes down to foot strength, shape, and personal preference.
Quite importantly, your shoes should be comfortable for you to play in. They should serve the purpose that they are meant to serve, which is to support your feet while making all kinds of movements during the game.
Games, as well as training sessions, can last for a long time — so make sure that your shoes do not cause any issues. What seems like a small annoyance at the start can easily turn into a painful blister by the end of the match.
Shoes should also be breathable enough to get rid of the sweat absorbed by your socks, as this will prevent you from overheating or being uncomfortable because your socks are wet.
The padel shoes that you opt for should be lightweight so that they do not end up adding too much weight to your overall body during the match.
If your shoes are too heavy, then you’ll move slower, or have to make more of an effort to move around, causing you to miss certain plays while also becoming progressively more tired.
Of course, your shoes should be durable enough so that they can last you for a long time in the sport. Having to replace them too often can cost you quite a bit of money, so it might be better to invest in a good pair of shoes initially.
For this, you should opt for reliable brands that offer high quality. In some cases, official tournaments or your own coaches might also recommend a certain pair of shoes for the sport.
Other Clothing Accessories
So far, we’ve covered the basics. However, there are several other accessories you might need, that you can look into below.
- Socks: Socks can not only help with sweat absorption while playing padel, but can also provide an added layer of cushioning and protection to your feet.
- Bands: Wristbands and headbands can help you wipe your sweat during a game, while also preventing it from running into your eyes.
- Cap: A cap can protect you from the harsh sun while playing outdoors so that you can retain your energy and prevent the sun from getting into your eyes.
- Bag: A bag can help you carry all your equipment and clothes before and after the match or training.
- Gloves: Gloves can help you prevent blisters and ensure a better grip on the racket so that it doesn’t slip while playing.
- Sleeves: Arm sleeves or calf sleeves can protect you from the harsh sun while also reducing the impact if you fall.
Ready to Play Padel?
That brings us to the end of this padel clothing guide. In our post, we have taken you through all that you need to know about shirts, bottoms, shoes and other accessories for the game, as well as the considerations to make before you buy them.