Clayshooting isn't as formal as driven shooting. You can forget the tie, the tweeds and the plus fours.

Most serious clay shooters tend to wear the same garments each time they go out, so that everything feels familiar.

There’s no official etiquette or dress code but wearing non-restrictive clothing that allows you to move is key. You should also make sure you dress for the weather – whether it’s chilly, wet and cold or hot and sunny. Layers work well, so you can adapt to the temperature.

The Clay Pigeon Shooting Association says:

“For a Have-a-Go day or an introductory lesson, just wear casual clothes that will be comfortable for an hour or two outdoors. In summer, for instance, many shooters wear trainers, jeans and a T-shirt.

“Depending on the weather, you might want to add a fleece or jumper, boots and a waterproof coat.”

What to wear

man with ear protection in clayshooting field

Ear protection is crucial

Ear protection

This is absolutely essential to safeguard your hearing  You will almost certainly be handed some foam ear plugs as you arrive at the clay ground and maybe ear defenders which you may well find more comfortable.  If you’re going to be shooting clays regularly then you might want to invest in bespoke ear plugs or buy your own ear defenders.

shooting glasses

Deben shooting glasses

Eye protection

You’ll need some eye protectors to act as a barrier between your eyes and fragments of broken clays. Again, these will probably be provided by the clay ground but if you’re going to be shooting regularly you will want your own.


If the sun is strong a soft hat is useful and baseball caps are quite acceptable at the clayshooting ground. Just make sure your hat won’t blow away on a windy day, slip off your head or over your eyes. A cap will also protect your head from any falling bits of clay.

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You can wear a T-shirt, a polo shirt or a long or short sleeved shirt. Nothing too baggy though which might catch when you’re mounting the gun. Your top needs to be fitted without being too tight.

Clayshooting vest by Musto

Clayshooting vest by Musto

Shooting vests

You might well want to wear a shooting vest (a gilet-type garment) with a padded patch. Again the shooting ground will probably be able to lend you one in the meantime (ring and check when booking).

Shooting vests are padded on the shoulder where the gun sits which helps to minimise recoil. They are important for getting your gunfit and mount correctly and will also store gun cartridges, so you can reload quickly and easily.

They comfortable to wear, let you move freely and provide an extra layer when needed.

what to wear game shooting

What to wear shooting

We advise you on what to wear shooting, whether at the clay ground or in the field

If you decide you want to buy a shooting vest, there are plenty on the market at all sorts of prices and cut to fit male or female forms.

clayshooting jacket

Jacket by Laksen


You might not need one in the summer but in winter a jacket is essential to keep you warm and dry. Make sure it has plenty of room around the arms so that you can swing through with the gun.

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Trousers, shorts and skirts

Clayshooting doesn’t require tweeds so on your legs it’s acceptable to wear jeans. You could also wear chinos. In summer shorts would be fine and girls can wear skirts. Again wear something loose rather than tight, so you can move easily.


In winter you’re almost certain to encounter some mud and wet as you walk around the different targets so wear wellies with socks or sturdy walking boots. In dryer months boots or trainers will do the job. In any season breathable footwear featuring Goretex is a good choice. However, avoid wearing flipflops, ballet pumps, high heels or sandals. You are handling a gun after all so you need to be able to stand steadily on uneven ground. In addition, the grass won’t be manicured and you’ll be walking along gravel paths.

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The barrels of your shotgun are likely to get very hot – some people shoot 500 cartridges on a shoot day. To protect your hands, wear gloves.