No matter what sport you play, you should always stay protected from the sun. Picking the right pickleball clothing can help. 

Did you know that there are over four million pickleball players? While tennis still outranks the up-and-coming sport with over 21 million players, it is quickly becoming apparent that racquet sports are making a splash in the exercise and athletics industry.

With many similarities, tennis and pickleball can go hand-in-hand when searching for the best pickleball clothing. Since both sports involve outdoor play, you want clothing that can keep up with fast movements, sweaty skin, and harmful sun rays. Protecting your skin with proper clothing can help reduce your risk of skin cancer.

If you have an interest in this new booming sport, read our complete guide on pickleball clothing to help get started!

Pickleball Clothing

If you have started to play pickleball, you have likely come to realize that it is a fun, fast-paced sport. While you can play it indoors or outdoors, nothing quite beats the exhilaration of playing in a weekend tournament under the summer sun.

At the same time, high temperatures and harmful UV rays can quickly put a damper on your pickleball play. The proper clothing and sun protection can make it or break it when it comes time to play pickleball.

For starters, you need lightweight, breathable materials. A solid hat or visor can also help keep the sun out of your eyes, especially if you pair it with a nice pair of polarized sunglasses.

1. Moisture Wicking Clothing

Dry-fit clothes and other brands advertising moisture-wicking properties get a lot of hype in the athletic industry. Ultimately, you want lightweight materials that can wick away the sweat and help keep you cool and dry. So, what type of clothing materials should you look for?

  • Nylon
  • Spandex

Cotton clothes are usually not recommended for activities that involve a lot of sweating. Once you start sweating, cotton acts like a sponge and absorbs it. You will be stuck with damp and heavy materials that can become more of a hindrance as you play.

Nylon can help wick sweat away and is found in many different sports bras, tank tops, leggings, and more.

You can't go wrong with picking out mostly nylon sportswear, and it can even work great in both cold and warm weather. It is silkier than polyester and just as durable, lightweight, and breathable.

Basically, it's the workhorse for athletics and exercise.

2. Footwear Matters

Your feet are going to take the brunt of most of your energy. You need to run, jump, and turn without worrying about breaking your ankles or sliding across the court. The best footwear for pickleball will have adequate traction. Consider purchasing court shoes made for tennis or other outdoor court sports.

Sometimes they have a slightly wider forefoot and specific grip designed for on-the-court play. Try the clothing on before you purchase a new pair. The shoe should fit comfortably with enough room in the toe that you won't end up with a black and blue toenail at the end of the match.

3. Sun Rays

Sun radiation poses a problem for any sport that takes place outdoors and can put your health at risk. Your clothing is the first barrier to protect against harmful UV rays. You might balk at the idea of wearing a long sleeve shirt, but you have already read about the lightweight and breathable materials found in nylon clothing.

However, what should you look for when choosing fabrics that will also protect your skin? There are a few terms that you might come across: UPF, UVA, and UVB.

UPF stands for ultraviolet protective fabric and indicates the amount of UV rays that cross the fabric and onto your skin. As you might have guessed, UVA and UVB are the two common UV rays that can cause skin and cellular damage.

You might think you are fine with a layer of sunscreen, but quality UPF fabrics block both types of UV rays. Sunblock is based on UVB rays and may not adequately protect your skin, especially if you are outdoors for long periods.

Unfortunately, not all athletic clothing includes adequate UPF levels. You should look for clothing with at least a UPF 50, which means that it will block approximately 98% of harmful UVA and UVB rays, and tolerates multiple washing without losing the benefit of sun protection.

Additionally, you can wear these clothes for more than just pickleball - they work great with all your outdoor activities!

4. Extra Accessories

You may think that you are in the safe zone if it is cloudy outside. However, approximately 80% of harmful UV rays can still penetrate your clothing with cloudy weather. Additionally, you are at a higher risk of harmful exposure between 10 A.M. and 4 P.M.

Along with UPF-clothing, you can take additional steps to reduce your risk of skin cancer and exposure to UV rays. First, wear a hat and apply sunscreen to any exposed skin.

Wear sunglasses that offer between 99 to 100% of UV ray protection. Lastly, when you are sitting out between matches, try and find a patch of shade.

Stay Safe and Have Fun

Outdoor sports are a great way to get your exercise in and hang out with friends and loved ones. If you have picked up pickleball, you have likely quickly realized just how enjoyable it is - even to the point of losing track of time outside!

Don't let harmful sun radiation get in between your pickleball playing and health. Purchase quality pickleball clothing with a high UPF-factor to ensure you stay safe outdoors.

Check out our website and extensive clothing line of quality shirts and pants that offer maximum sun protection. 

January 13, 2023 — Gabriella Lowell