What To Wear for Clay Shooting: 6 Things You’ll Need

BW Clay Shooting's Brent Woodard clay shooting in the Staffordshire countryside.

If it’s your first time clay shooting, you’re probably unsure where to start with what to wear. Below you’ll find all the essentials… And you’ll be glad you know you can ditch the tweed.

The sport of clay pigeon shooting is considered less formal than game hunting, which means you can prioritise safety and comfort over etiquette.

As a rule, I recommend clothes that allow movement without restriction but suggest avoiding anything too baggy to mitigate the risk of your firearm slipping out of position. Layering up is always a good idea because the British weather is unpredictable all year round, and you’ll need some sensible footwear that supports your ankles so uneven terrains won’t hold you back.

What is Clay Shooting?

Clay shooting is far more than just aiming and firing – it’s an exhilarating experience that brings together skill, precision and a love for the outdoors. Inspired by traditional bird hunting, clay shooting has evolved into a safe and enjoyable sport and hobby for people of all ages and abilities.

Instead of live birds, shooters take aim at clay targets launched into the air from traps. These targets come in various shapes and sizes, mimicking the flight patterns of birds in the wild.

Safety is of the highest importance in clay shooting, with strict rules and precautions in place to ensure a secure environment for all participants. With proper guidance and adherence to safety protocols, clay shooting offers a rewarding and fulfilling experience, fostering camaraderie and shared passion among enthusiasts.

Here are my top tips for your clay pigeon shooting kit:

Ear Protection

For a day on the clays, this is likely to be your most important piece of kit. At close range, the decibels of a shotgun being fired multiple times will quickly damage your hearing. While foam earplugs will dampen the noise, something more robust is recommended.

You have a variety of options to suit your budget, including headphone-like over-ear defenders or in-ear plugs. If shooting could become a regular hobby, you could invest even further by purchasing moulded/bespoke earplugs or a pair of top-of-the-range electronic over-ear defenders.

The most important thing is ensuring you choose something that is both comfortable and non-restrictive. Feel free to get in touch to discuss what’s best for you and your budget.


As with ear defenders, there’s a huge array of eyewear options for both the novice and pro shooter. First, you may opt for the basic single-lens glasses to protect your eyes from falling clay debris. As you progress, you might consider investing in a tinted multi-lens kit which provides a range of options depending on your lighting and background.

Cap or Hat

When clay pigeon shooting, prioritising your safety is paramount. That’s why I recommend always wearing a cap or hat throughout your day to protect you from glare and any falling clay debris. A hat will also keep any hair out of your face and eye-line while shooting.

An adjustable baseball cap or flat cap is perfect, although you should make sure the brim isn’t long enough to obstruct your view.

Shooting Vests

In addition to your comfortable clothing, you’ll likely want to wear a shooting vest for additional protection from your gun’s recoil and for an easily accessible place to store your cartridges.

Some vests will also have a line on the breast specifically for FITASC shooting (to mark where the gun must sit to aid the referee). If you’re unsure which type of vest you’ll need, feel free to get in touch.

Cartridge Pouches

If you don’t like wearing shooting vests, a cartridge pouch is the ideal alternative. Available in both leather and canvas, a cartridge pouch often sits on your belt and is a simple way to carry your ammunition.

Shooting Bag

A shooting bag is essential for carrying all of your additional shooting paraphernalia, including excess cartridges, spare chokes, glasses, drinks and anything else you might need throughout your day.

Looking for Clay Shooting Lessons Near You?

Reach out to BW Clay Shooting’s expert and pro-CPSA coach Brent Woodard to schedule your first lesson.