Whenever you’re practicing a sport, it’s important that you are wearing the appropriate clothing, and that you have the right gear. It is true that it is sometimes still possible to partake in a certain activity even if you aren’t wearing the traditional standard clothes for it, but wearing the right attire can seriously improve your performance, as well as being a lot more comfortable!
The truth is, there is a reason behind each appropriate clothing for each different activity, not only comfort and performance but safety. Sometimes, wearing the wrong clothing items can get in the way, and could even put you or others at risk!
With that being said, what should you wear when doing archery? You’re not running around or moving a lot, you’re just aiming your bow and shooting arrows. So is there a specific type of clothing or attire you should be wearing? Does it matter that much?
It does, indeed, matter! In fact, wearing the wrong type of clothing during archery practice can end up being quite dangerous, as certain types of clothing or accessories could get caught in the bowstring as you take aim, and it could then cause you significant harm when you let go and fire the arrow.
So basically, the wrong clothing in archery can lead to discomfort (as it will get in the way), a disadvantage in performance, and can also be a hazard risk that might cause you harm or even a serious injury.
With that being said, let’s take a look at what to wear, and what not to wear when practicing archery:
What To Wear For Archery
For archery, it’s important to wear comfortable and practical clothing. Your clothes should be well-fitting or body-hugging so that there isn’t any loose or flowy material that might possibly get in the way or get caught by the bowstring.
Your shoes also need to be comfortable, so you can stand steady when taking aim.
Basically, clothing that does not get in the way, or that at the very least can be tucked in to avoid any risks.
- What Not To Wear For Archery
There are a few items of clothing and accessories that are a big no when it comes to archery, and that you should avoid or tuck away so that they’re not a hazard.
- Open-toed shoes, flip-flops, heels, or similar footwear:
Your shoes are more important than you might think during archery, and it’s super important that they are safe, comfortable, and stable. You need to be able to stand your ground, so you are stable and steady when taking aim. Plus, archery is usually performed outdoors, so the shoes need to match the environment and protect your feet!
- Jewelry, watches, rings, and other accessories:
You might have noticed some people wearing a ring or a necklace while practicing their archery, and sometimes it’s fine to do so. However, as a general rule, and especially if you’re just starting out, you should remove all jewelry items and other accessories so that there’s no risk of them getting caught in the bowstring. This includes necklaces and rings, as well as earrings or any other piercings you might have on your face. You draw the bowstring close to your face, and it could easily get caught on something when being released, which would be very painful and could cause you a lot of harm. Better to be safe than sorry, so remove everything!
- Loose or flowy clothing:
This is one of the most important things to avoid in archery. Loose or flowy clothing will get in the way and be a massive disadvantage that will almost be guaranteed to interfere with your performance, worsening your archery skills. These types of clothing also pose a risk, because flowy or loose material can get caught in the bow or in the bowstring as you take aim, and would then pull on you causing some serious harm. So no big sleeves, no flowy dresses or skirts or baggy shirts!
- Loose hair:
If you have long hair, it absolutely needs to be tied up so that it’s out of the way. Otherwise, a slight breeze can move your hair towards the bowstring as you draw it, and if your hair gets caught you can end up with some serious damage! And even if you have short hair, it’s good to still take measures so that it’s completely out of the way!
Can you shoot a bow with a hat on?
You can indeed shoot a bow with a hat on, as it’s perfectly safe for shooting, and as long as it is comfortable and fits you well, it won’t get in the way or cause a disadvantage in the slightest.
In fact, wearing a hat is sometimes highly recommended for archers! A hat can be the perfect way to keep your hair tucked in and out of the way, for safety reasons, and it can therefore be a part of your standard archery outfit.
Wearing a hat can also shield your eyes from the sunlight or from other distracting factors within your surroundings, allowing you to better focus your eyesight on the target, which could prove to be a good advantage!
However, make sure the hat is comfortable to wear, and that it does not interfere with your bowstring when you draw it to your face!
Why did archers wear hoods?
Medieval archers, which have gone on to define the traditional appearance of an archer, would often be wearing a hood, but why?
The reason is simple: a hood was a common headpiece in those times, that many people wore during their day-to-day life. And as archers would often wear common clothes (so long as these clothes were comfortable and appropriate for archery), the look would most commonly also include a hood!
However, wearing a hood could also be an advantage, as it would have kept their hair tucked away, out of the way, and would reduce any interfering sunlight or other factors within the environment! Similar to archers wearing hats nowadays.