What to wear to a football match

What to wear to a football match

Amon Fearon - August 11, 2022

When deciding what to wear at a football match, seasonality, environment and purpose of the game all come into play. Whether you’re supporting from the side lines or at the centre of action, feeling and achieving your best will always be helped by the proper football clothing.


What to wear to watch the football game

There’s no rule about the clothes you choose to wear in the stands. But there are certain styling options that will enhance your experience. Football is a team sport and part of the thrill comes from impassioned crowds cheering on their club. Repping the official kit of the team you’re supporting is a display of unity that can empower athletes to perform their best under pressure on the pitch.

During games in your team’s stadium, opt for a home kit. Similarly, when they are playing on another ground, consider showing up in the away kit. However, when the away kit looks similar to the opposition team’s home kit, go for the third kit.

Frequent clothing choices you see at matches can vary based on weather conditions and the stadium. Games are played outside so fans are exposed to the elements to some extent.

On most occasions men, women and kids wear casual clothing such as:


Football stadium roofs aren't always reliable for keeping fans dry, especially those in the front rows as slanting rain can get in. In warm, wet conditions you might opt for a water-resistant Garcia hoodie or lightweight jacket whereas cold weather might call for an overcoat, woolly beanie, and team scarf. Because you're among an active crowd, lightweight, breathable and high-stretch clothes are generally preferred for comfort and ease of movement.


What to wear when playing football

Newcastle football match

Every player should wear sportswear that's engineered to perform, whether it's a five-a-side or competitive match. The basic kit you’ll need to play football on a pitch includes:

  • Football shirt
  • Football shorts
  • Football socks
  • Football boots

You may also want some extra layers, including:

  • Base layers
  • Shin pads (required competitively)
  • Waterproof jacket


Before you throw on any cheap cotton shirt, here’s what you need to know about each bit of kit to ensure premium performance:


Buying tips


When buying a football shirt, make sure you check out the fabrics first. Most premium and top-quality football shirts will be made from lightweight, breathable materials. This means you can play better for longer. Plus, good football shirts will always have a lot of stretch to them that offers exceptional ease of movement.


The perfect football shorts will be a mid-length. Avoid too short or too long shorts as these will either be too baggy or too tight. Your ideal pair of football shorts will offer you a flat waistband, drawstring cords and be made from high-stretch, performance fabrics – much like football shirts.


A pair of trainer socks just won’t cut it when it comes to football. Instead, buy some specially designed football socks. Not only will these complete the overall look of your kit, but they also serve a purpose too. Football socks are longer than your average ankle sock. They are made to be pulled over shin pads.


Arguably one of the most important parts of your kit - the boots. You’ll need a couple of pairs of football boots for all weathers and surfaces. For example, football boots with cleats are best for muddy, wet pitches whereas AstroTurf boots are made for artificial pitches. When buying football boots, always do your research and consider going into a reputable retailer for in-person fittings and advice.

Base layers

You may find base layers will help you play in winter. Not only do they keep you warm but if you opt for compression layers, you may also notice some benefits for your muscles. While not an essential bit of kit, base layers are definitely worth the money.

Shin pads

When it comes to protecting yourself from injury, shin pads are an absolute must. If you’re playing in a tournament, games will likely require you to wear them by ruling. While not everywhere will ask you, it’s always good to get into the habit of wearing shin pads as they are worn professionally.

Waterproof jacket

Another non-essential piece of football kit but one that you’ll always be grateful for. A football waterproof jacket will keep you dry and warm in windy wet weather, especially a halfway decent one. They are perfect for winter training and travel. But try to avoid cheap waterproof jackets as these aren’t specifically designed to endure the demands of sports. Your football waterproof jacket should be made for performance with breathable, lightweight materials that stop you from overheating.


What to wear when playing football in the rain

Unfortunately, not every football game can be in the perfect conditions. Players are no stranger to wet weather and rain in the UK. But greatness demands the mental fortitude to persevere through challenging conditions. And having the right kit will help you get there while playing at your best.

If playing football in the rain, make sure you’ve got that all-important waterproof football jacket. This keeps your torso warm and dry throughout the whole game leaving you to focus on the skills. To prevent chafing, wear a pair of compression leggings or shorts underneath your regular kit. You may also want to consider using some Vaseline on your heels where your shoes would normally rub.

Finally, when playing casually or training, some players find wearing a cap useful for keeping the rain out of their face. Of course, if you’re playing a competitive match, this won't be allowed. But certainly, in your training sessions a hat can allow you to keep your eye on the ball.


What to wear when playing football in winter

When winter rolls around, consider a few additions in your football kit to keep warm. Some popular accessories with players include:

  • Gloves
  • Beanies and or woolly hats
  • Joggers
  • Hoodies
  • Winter jackets


Make sure you’re buying top-tier football or sports clothing to play. A bulky hoodie isn’t going to do you any favours. Instead, look at technical fabrics that offer streamlined performance and base layers for lightweight warmth.

When playing football in the winter, layering is key. As you get into the game, you’re going to start to warm up. Starting with a few thinner base layers is far better than one thick jumper or sweater. As you start to sweat and heat up, you can remove one layer at a time to maintain comfort.

Make sure to slowly layer back up as you cool down. If possible, change out of your kit as soon as the game is finished to avoid putting damp, cold clothes back on. If that’s not possible, just make sure you’ve got some dry layers to put on before you can shower off and put your football shirt in the wash.