Archery Clothing 101

Archery Clothing 101

If you want to be an archer, you’ll need to have the right bow and arrow, but you’ll also need to ensure that you’re dressed correctly.

Why is archery clothing so important?

Being dressed so that you can properly hold and use your bow and arrow is important, mainly for your safety. If you’re wearing loose clothing or jewelry, these can become tangled in your bow or inhibit your accuracy when shooting arrows.

The last thing you want is to put your safety in danger, or that of the people around you.

While bows and arrows might not seem like weapons, they can inflict harm, which is why it’s essential to be cautious when using them.

Part of being cautious means wearing the right clothing to participate in the sport.

So, get dressed for success! Here are some important clothing tips for when you head for the archery range.

Avoid Shirt Pockets

Shooting With Bow In A Suit

Your shirt pocket might come in handy when you’re out shooting targets, but it can get in the way of you drawing your bow.

Basically, you don’t want anything to snag on the bow’s string.

Instead of using a shirt pocket to store your arrows, which can also prove dangerous because you can stab yourself, invest in an arrow quiver to keep your arrows within reach and safe.

Never Wear Open Shoes

Even if it’s a hot day outside, you should never go to an archery range with open shoes.

This carries the risk of you stepping onto an arrow that’s been discarded into the grass and puncturing your skin.

Always make sure your feet are completely covered by your shoes and that you’re wearing comfortable footwear because you might be standing for a long time.

In addition, if you accidentally shoot an arrow towards the ground, you want to be sure that your feet won’t get wounded.

Focus On Comfort

Woman Aiming With Recurve Bow

You want to wear comfortable clothing that doesn’t restrict your movements when using a bow and arrow.

So, don’t wear a jacket that feels a bit too tight when you raise your arms as this can make lifting and drawing a bow much more difficult and tiring.

Likewise, don’t wear clothing that gets in your way.

Note that “comfortable” doesn’t mean “loose.” You should actually avoid loose clothing whenever you go to target practice.

Even though it’s comfortable to wear these clothing items, they can get in the way of your bow and string, causing problems for you.

Make sure your clothing is fitted and comfortable without hanging off your body.

Bring A Hair Tie

If you have long hair that can blow into your face, you want to tie it back before you draw your bow.

You don’t want your hair to get tangled in the bow’s string as that can be painful!

In addition, if you’re shooting arrows outdoors, you don’t want your hair to fly into your face when the wind picks up as this can throw you off from making an accurate shot.

Remember Your Archery Accessories

Leather Arm Guard

You might need to wear some important accessories during the activities.

These include an armed guard that protects your arm from being struck by the arrow (it hurts, so protect yourself!) and wearing a quiver.

A quiver is a pouch that stores your arrows. Some people like to wear a quiver on their backs while others prefer to choose a hip quiver that attaches to their belt.

There are also people who choose to buy a quiver that attaches onto their bow so that they don’t have to wear them.

Ultimately, the choice of quiver type is yours but make provision for your quiver if you’re going to wear it, such as by having a belt on which it can attach and detach easily.

Another item you might want to wear is a finger tab. This is made of soft material and it’s worn to protect your fingers when you draw the arrow.

It’s especially good for beginners who might feel that their fingers get sore after a day at the archery range

Finally, a chest guard might be something good to bring with you to archery.

This straps onto your chest, covering your clothing, and it’s a clever way to ensure that your clothing won’t get in the way of your shooting.

If you’re right-handed, you’ll need a right-handed chest guard. Weirdly, this will be worn over your left shoulder to protect the left chest.

While that might seem strange, it actually makes sense if you consider that when you pull the string back on the bow with your right hand, it won’t ever make contact with your right chest.

So, your chest guard has to protect the left chest instead of the right one. Now you know!

What To Wear To An Archery Tournament

Women On Archery Tournament

If you’re participating in an archery tournament, you will probably have to follow a few more rules.

Although these rules will differ depending on where the tournament is taking place and who’s running it, here’s a rundown of some common, general rules of which you should be aware.

Stay Protected Against The Sun

It’s easy to focus so much on the clothing and accessories you should wear to ensure shooting success that you completely neglect your basic wellbeing and safety.

Since you’re going to be outside a lot and you don’t want to burn, make sure you wear sunglasses and a hat, as well as SPF to protect your skin.

A popular hat that archers like to wear is the bucket hat. These are great to shield your eyes from the sun’s glare without blocking your bowstring from sight.

Avoid The Common No-No Items

As Archery 360 reports, many archery organizations out there will have rules forbidding you to wear items such as jeans, flip-flops, and other open-toed shoes, short shorts, and shirts without sleeves.

The best thing you can do is read up on the rules pertaining to the event you’re attending so that you don’t break any of them.

Pro tip: Always practice your arrow shooting in the outfit you’re planning to wear to the event so that you don’t experience some nasty surprises on competition day, such as realizing that your shirt or shoes are uncomfortable. This can seriously hamper your success and should be avoided.

Be Careful With Camo Designs

Archer Wearing Camo Clothing

If you’re competing at a serious level, then you might also be limited when it comes to the types of bows and accessories you can wear.

As World Archery states, people who participate in competitions cannot wear “camouflage clothes and equipment.”

It’s therefore essential that you check what the rules are pertaining to your equipment, not just clothing before you prepare for the competition.

Imagine if you’d just purchased a beautiful bow with a camo design on it only to find out that you’re not allowed to use it on competition day.

You will be sad not to get to use it, especially if you’ve set it up and practiced on it.

Related Questions

What arrows are allowed at archery competitions?

You’ll need at least six arrows for outdoor tournaments and three for indoor ones.

You should use large diameter arrows for indoor shooting, and smaller-diameter ones for outdoor competition because bigger arrows must cut score lines and smaller ones must sail through the wind, as Archery 360 reports.

What is the best quiver type for field competitions?

Back quivers are great because they stay out of your way when you’re taking part in 3D and field tournaments.

However, you might feel more comfortable with using a different quiver type so always experiment with them before you attend the event.

How can you prevent getting tired from standing a lot during competitions?

Bring your own chair. This is essential to help you maintain your energy on long competition days, especially since it’s worth bearing in mind that seating options won’t be organized by tournaments.


Whatever sport you play requires you to dress a certain way, and archery is no different.

Even if you’re not competing in the sport on a professional level and sticking to it as a hobby, you still need to follow important clothing rules to ensure your safety and improve your success when shooting arrows.

The rules when it comes to clothing are more specific and limiting when it comes to archery competitions.

It’s good to stay informed so you don’t stand in the way of your own success. Good luck!

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