Why Do Gyms Not Allow Jeans? (Solved!)

Out of all the gym clothing-related questions, it appears that a lot of people want to know why gyms do not allow jeans.

In the main, this appears to be a question posed by people simply walking past their gym and deciding on the spur of the moment to have a quick workout.

Then again, I realise that there may be those of you who possibly don’t have “normal” gym attire, and have perhaps been asked to leave a gym because you’re wearing jeans.

There are various reasons why gyms don’t allow jeans and also why you shouldn’t be wearing them anyway.

So, I’ll explain these in more detail now.

Why Do Gyms Not Allow Jeans?

The main reason why gyms do not allow jeans is due to potential damage to equipment and injury to yourself. Jeans typically have buttons, metal rivets, metal zippers, belt loops, and you may even wear a belt. These items accelerate wear and tear of equipment, which increases the costs of repair, as well as making the equipment harder to sanitize. Plus, there is an increased risk of getting tangled up in equipment.

1. Increased Risk of Damage to Equipment

The vast majority of gyms will ban patrons from wearing jeans.

In the main this is due to the damage that jeans can cause to the equipment.

If you think about it, jeans generally have larger metal buttons, rivets, and zippers.

Something as seemingly innocuous as lying down on a bench whilst wearing jeans can easily rip the padding.

Then again, if everyone in the gym wore jeans, it would increase wear and tear of equipment such as benches.

Just imagine 100 people a day sitting or lying on a bench with the metal rivets and buttons from their jeans digging into the bench padding.

Any damage caused must be repaired, which of course increases costs.

Additionally, ripped padding on a bench may not be replaced immediately, which means that it’s harder to sanitize that bench during cleaning.

Plus, no-one really wants to go to the gym if the equipment is torn and battered.

Something else to consider is that jeans also have belt loops which can easily get caught on equipment.

This in itself causes a risk of injury to yourself, which is something that both you and the gym would like to avoid.

Now, this may seem a little pedantic, or as though your gym is simply splitting hairs, but the rules are there to protect you and the gym itself.

You may feel that the possibility of some of these things happening is minimal.

However, as I’ve mentioned, if literally hundreds, or even thousands, of gym-goers workout in jeans every single day, the equipment is going to get damaged.

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2. Jeans Are a Terrible Choice of Clothing For Working Out

Forget the gym rules for a moment, as jeans are actually a terrible choice of clothing for working out.

In fact on a personal level, I fail to see why someone would ever want to workout in jeans.


Firstly, denim will simply absorb sweat.

So, if you are enjoying a particularly sweaty workout your jeans will just get heavier-and-heavier as your session continues.

Now, initially this may seem like a good thing, i.e. heavier means more effort required.

However, it’s actually doing nothing more than restricting your workout.

Most usual gym attire is made from sweat-wicking fabrics.

So, these fabrics actually pull moisture away from the body, through the fabric, thus allowing it to evaporate.

In effect, your body is able to stay fairly dry and cool (within reason, depending on the type of workout), which in turn can make your workout more effective.

Additionally, jeans will typically be too baggy or too tight.

Firstly, if your jeans are too baggy there’s the risk of getting tangled up in a machine or tripping over.

Furthermore, if you’re working out with a personal trainer it can be harder to determine good form, as the trainer may not be able to see certain parts of your body.

When it comes to jeans being too tight, this can restrict blood flow, make it more difficult to perform certain exercises, and it will restrict your movement.

All-in-all, wearing jeans to the gym is a bad move.

3. What Else Should You Not Wear to the Gym?

What you should and should not wear to the gym will vary from gym-to-gym.

With that being said, there are a few “no-nos” when it comes to clothing.

Firstly, in terms of footwear, you shouldn’t wear flip-flops, sandals, or workout in bare feet.

This is mainly a safety issue to protect you from injury.

Okay, I’ll admit that even if you drop a dumbbell on your foot even while wearing proper gym training shoes there is still the chance of injury.

However, the danger is heightened when your feet are more exposed.

Additionally, there is the simple fact that many people just don’t like looking at feet.

You’ll also find that many gyms won’t allow you to wear boots, especially heavy work boots.

These, once more, can be restrictive and they’ll typically hamper athletic movement.

Most gyms will not allow a bare torso, and some have even banned crop tops.

This is generally due to sweat being left on machines and equipment, plus, once again, many other gym-goers may not want to see excessive bare skin.

There are also rules about jewellery, although this makes sense, as chains and necklaces can get caught on equipment, thus leading to potential injury or damage.

You may even find that your gym has a ban on lotions, perfumes, and aftershaves.

This is because the smell can become more intense as you start to sweat, which can be annoying for other members.

Realistically, all that any gym wants is for you to wear suitable workout clothing, which won’t offend others, damage equipment, or potentially cause you discomfort or injury.

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Final Thoughts

So, I hope you understand that the main reason that gyms don’t allow you to wear jeans is due to potential damage to equipment.

Jeans typically have a multitude of rivets, zips, and buttons, all of which can catch or rip equipment.

Additionally, if you do catch your jeans on something there is the chance of causing yourself an injury.

Furthermore, from a personal perspective, jeans make it very hard to workout in, whether they’re baggy or tight.

Plus, once more, overly baggy or extremely tight jeans will probably be very restrictive, which could lead to poor movement patterns and potentially injury.

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