How to Choose The Best Apparel for Pickleball: Top 6 Things to Look For
So, you’ve found a great pickleball court in your area and you’re all set to get playing. You’ve chosen the perfect paddle for your skill level, bought a great pair of shoes, and you’re ready to get out there.
But wait! Before you hit the courts, don’t forget that other essential part of your gear — pickleball clothing.
Of course, we all want to look great for a day out on the courts, but pickleball clothing is not only about the looks and style. What you wear when playing serves an important role in your performance and comfort, and can genuinely improve your game.
That’s why we’re dedicating this article to the world of pickleball clothing, and highlighting 6 key factors to keep in mind when choosing apparel.
Above all else, prioritize your comfort. There are few things more distracting than an itchy shirt or uncomfortable shorts when you’re trying to focus on your dink game.
Choose lightweight, stretchy materials that are designed with sport in mind. You need to be able to move around quickly and freely without any chafing or irritation, so anything that restricts movement should be avoided.
No matter the conditions, running around on the court is going to make you sweat, so always pick pickleball clothing that is breathable. Allowing sufficient airflow on your skin is essential to your comfort but, more importantly, overheating seriously affects your performance.
Your body, like a motor, has an ideal running temperature, and breathable pickleball clothing allows your built-in cooling system to operate correctly.
Many modern fabrics employ cutting-edge technology to ensure ultimate breathability, allowing you to keep your cool on the courts. Heat and moisture that build up inside your clothes need to be able to pass quickly through, so the fabric must have tiny holes, or “micro-pores,” as they’re called.
3. Moisture Wicking
The magic of moisture-wicking fabrics is that they pull the sweat away from your skin to their outer surface, which in turn dries super quickly. They do this by being “permeable,” or breathable, as discussed above, and by promoting capillary action to suck moisture up through the small spaces in the fabric.
The result is a fabric that keeps you cool in warm conditions, and avoids any clammy sensations as you play.
In colder conditions, moisture-wicking fabric also helps you to stay comfortable, as moving the sweat away from the skin keeps the inside of your clothes dry.
4. Sun Protection
When you’re running around on the courts, it's easy to overlook how much sun you’re exposing yourself to. If you’re lucky enough to live in a climate where you can play pickleball outdoors, remember to choose pickleball clothing which will protect you from the sun’s intense rays.
Think long-sleeve shirts, leggings and baseball hats, and always check the garment’s UPF (Ultraviolet Protection Factor) rating. The UPF is a measure of how much of the sun’s UV radiation a fabric lets through to your skin.
A fabric with a UPF of 50 will only allow 1/50th (or 2 percent) of UV rays to pass through to your skin. Fabrics should have a UPF of at least 30 to offer very good protection against the sun.
5. Weather Suitability
Now that pickleball has taken off so astronomically, people are playing all over the country — and the world. No matter your location or its climate, it's very important to wear pickleball clothing that suits the conditions.
When choosing apparel to wear for pickleball, check what climate it’s designed for. In cold conditions, leggings, sweatpants, and long-sleeve shirts and vests all help to keep you from getting chilly.
As mentioned above, your pickleball performance is seriously affected by overheating. The same goes for the cold — it’s impossible to play your best when you can’t warm up, so make sure to dress accordingly.
Last, but certainly not least, find pickleball clothing that suits your style. Don’t be afraid to wear bright colors. Pickleball is a sport that embraces eccentricity, and colorful clothes are all part of the fun.
Express your pickleball personality by wearing clothes that are as fun as the game itself — they may even improve your performance! Brightly colored clothes reflect the sun more, helping you to keep a cool head during those crucial moments.
Here at Baddle Pickleball, we’ve built our brand with a simple philosophy — looking good and performing your best should not be mutually exclusive.
All our apparel is made specifically with pickleball in mind. However, this gear is not just for the courts, it’s also designed to look great off the court.
All of our pickleball clothing is rated between 30 and 40 UPF, meaning that you don’t have to worry about sun damage to your skin. We also use the newest innovations in moisture-wicking fabrics, including Coolmax® moisture management technology.
You can’t play your best without completely free movement, so we use 4-way stretch fabric designed specifically to move and stretch with you during pickleball play. Our shorts and skorts use built-in compression liners which provide extra support and comfort while still allowing sufficient airflow to keep you cool.
Baddle clothing is designed to easily transition from on-the-court to off-the-court use. To take an example, our classic athletic crew neck shirt is a great-looking t-shirt, but also a high- performance piece of sports technology. It uses flatlock seams to avoid chafing and has gusseted armpits for extra airflow. And like all of our pickleball clothing, it's easily machine washable.
The same goes for our women’s knit pickleball skort. It’s a fun and fashionable piece of apparel that also incorporates all the features that you need to perform your best on the courts. These include built-in compression shorts with pickleball holders and a pocket for your phone, as well as a full-circle skirt with box pleats for ease of movement, both on the court and during the post-game celebrations!
The Long and Skort of It
We hope this article has given you a good idea of what to keep in mind the next time you shop for pickleball clothing. Your performance on the court can be genuinely improved by your choice of apparel, so choose gear that not only helps you to move, but also keeps you comfortable while doing so.
Remember, form and function really can combine well, and clothes designed specifically for playing the game can look great off the court as well.
Do you have any favorite items of pickleball clothing that you swear by? Or any questions about what to wear for playing pickleball in your climate? Reach out to us on our socials; we’d love to hear from you!