What to Wear to Your First CrossFit Class
Written by Libby Landry

So you’re signed up for your first CrossFit class. If you’re anything like me, you need to know (read: stress about) what to wear. It’s the first thing I wonder about for any first-time event. Eight years ago when I started CrossFit, there wasn’t all this gear! Times have definitely changed. More shoe options than a department store, knee sleeves, weight belts, Lululemon, Nike, booty shorts (gasp!), and bags on bags on bags. 

Pretty sure I wore bulky running shoes, some ill-fitting leggings, and a ratty t-shirt to my first CrossFit class. And of course, I got called into the middle of my Fundamentals class to demonstrate an air squat. Not to worry, I got you, though. 

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. 


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. 


Also a must (wink wink). But for real, wear bottoms you’ll be comfortable moving around in. This is different for everyone. I’m strictly a leggings kinda girl, but you’ll see the entire spectrum on the ladies from booty 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. 


Ladies, this one is more important for us because of *ahem* you know whats. The value of a well-fitting sports bra cannot be overstated. You don’t want to have to worry about the ta-ta’s during the session. 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 lacrosse jersey. Whatever floats your boat! 


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. 


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.


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. Trust me. 


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. Not a lie, I chipped a tooth doing a burpee from a charm on a necklace I didn’t take off. It’s still chipped 8 years later. 


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, and a little sweat are far more noticeable than the latest and greatest gear (that you don’t even need). Have fun! 

Also Check Out…

5 Misconceptions About CrossFit

The Best Pair of CrossFit Shoes Depends on Your Goals

How CrossFit Builds Athletes Regardless of Age or Ability


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July 29, 2023 5:11 pm

This is the best ‘new to CrossFit’ article I have ever seen – nicely done!

January 30, 2020 10:43 am

Loving the attitude of this informative post!

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