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What to Wear to Your First CrossFit Class

By: Coach Mitchell

So you're signed up for your first CrossFit class. If you're anything like most people, you might be wondering what to wear. It's the first thing everybody usually worries about for any first-time event. When CrossFit first started there wasn't anywhere near the amount of accessories and equipment available. Times have definitely changed. More shoe options than a department store, knee sleeves, weight belts, hand grips, Nike, and bags on bags on bags.

I wore thin running shoes (Underarmor), regular athletic shorts, and a ratty t-shirt to my first CrossFit class. While I do now have many more accessories (weight lifting shoes, multiple training shoes, a belt, wrist wraps) than when I first started, they definitely are NOT necessary!

Let's talk about what's necessary and what's not for your first experience inside a CrossFit affiliate, taking into consideration the movements and the likely non-temperature controlled environment.

SNEAKERS

Are a must. Wear athletic shoes of some kind. You don't need to go out and buy the latest MetCons to fit in at your first class (you can if you want to, though!). The OG CrossFit shoes were Chuck Taylor's because "flat" tennis shoes are a little more comfortable for the movements you'll be doing. CrossFitters LOVE their sneakers, but don't overthink this one.

BOTTOMS

Also a must for obvious reasons lol. But for real, wear bottoms you'll be comfortable moving around in. This is different for everyone. I'm strictly a shorts kind of guy (no sweatpants for me), but you'll see the entire spectrum on the ladies from compression shorts to running shorts to full tights. Guys, just a loose-fitting pair of shorts or sweatpants works totally fine. Compression shorts (underneath) highly encouraged.

TOPS

From what I hear in the classes during certain workouts... the value of a well-fitting sports bra seems to be unmatched. That's about my best take on that haha. Beyond that, dress for the climate you live in. Tanks or t-shirts if it's hot; long sleeves if it's cold. If you are living in one of those colder climates, layers are recommended. Once you start moving, you'll want to shed. Again, comfort is key here. Guys...t-shirt, tank top, your favorite high school sports shirt. Whatever floats your boat!

HATS

Not recommended, simply because you're going to be lifting your arms overhead and they just tend to get in the way. With that being said, backwards hats are usually fine. Beanies in the winter would be totally appropriate.

SOCKS

Yes, please. Tall socks are not necessary on your first day, but since you'll be doing rope climbs in NO TIME, you could always invest in some for future use or as a fashion statement.

HEADBAND

Not a bad option, especially if you tend to face-sweat a lot. Or you have a lot of hair. Along those lines, long-haired folks should plan to tie that up somehow. Especially when the jump ropes come out!

JEWELRY

Generally speaking, I'd remove all jewelry. Not worth the risk of something slipping off and/or getting damaged. The rubber wedding bands are a popular item amongst the CrossFit crowd.

EVERYTHING ELSE

Don't worry about it. You don't need knee sleeves, wrist wraps, a weight belt, lifting shoes, a jump rope, gymnastics grips, personal supply of fancy chalk, athletic tape, your own barbell clips, you get the idea. All of the extra stuff can wait.

The take home message is this: wear something you feel comfortable and confident in. This isn't fashion week, no one is judging you for your outfit, we promise. Smiles, high fives/fist bumps, and a little sweat are far more noticeable than the latest and greatest gear (that you don't even need). Have fun!