Bouldering is a style of rock climbing. Whereas some forms of rock climbing require ropes, harnesses, and other equipment, climbers only rely on climbing shoes and chalk when bouldering. The activity typically takes place on lower elevation surfaces, which sets bouldering apart from free soloing, a type of standard rock climbing that also eschews the use of ropes and harnesses.
While bouldering does not necessarily require the use of special rock climbing equipment, some people who perform this activity use rock climbing shoes to help grip and also use accessories such as climbing chalk to help keep the hands dry. Safety accessories such as bouldering mats are available for those who are concerned about falling.