What to wear hiking mostly depends on whether you’re hiking somewhere cold, or somewhere hot. But hiking outfits don’t have to be limited to blah colors and baggy cargo pants.
Who said you can’t be stylish and explore nature at the same time? If you’re wondering what to wear hiking, read on. We share our best tips for what to wear, from head to toe.
What to Wear on a Cold Weather Hike
It’s easier to feel confident when you feel comfortable. So, when putting together your cold-weather hiking outfit, follow this rule of thumb: prepare for the cold first, and accessorize after.
Jackets and tops
Staying comfy on a cold weather hike is all about layers! Thermal undershirts and long sleeves are your friend.
Depending on the weather, you’ll also want to bring along a puffy jacket (or vest, if it’s not too cold) or a thermal zip-up. Sweaters aren’t great for hikes; you want to be able to unzip and let in that icy breeze once you start to sweat!
If you expect rain, opt for a puffy jacket that won’t get damp, or pack a light windbreaker in your backpack to throw on when you need it.
Cozy warm leggings and boots
For your legs, stick with warm hiking pants or thick leggings. REI has some great fitted hiking pants that have roomy pockets for your phone, windbreaker, and other accessories. And both Nike and Outdoor Voices sell trendy yet thermal joggers and leggings.
Keep your toes warm with a good pair of waterproof hiking boots. You can wear these rain or shine (there are creeks, mud, and other wet things to encounter on hikes, even in the summertime).
Get yourself some solid socks, too. Flimsy, patterned socks can take a hike from painful to gross—especially if your boots aren’t truly waterproof. You want thick, well-made socks that insulate your feet and provide support for tired soles while you’re trekking.
Cold weather hiking accessories
Time to accessorize. Your ears can get nippy on a cold hike, especially if there’s a bit of a breeze or you’re at higher altitudes. Let a cute beanie come to your rescue. Scarfs can double up as ear protection, too.
Don’t forget your sunglasses! Unless you can count on it staying gloomy, you want to be prepared for a spot of sun to appear. Bright sunlight can be real annoying, especially when it’s reflecting off patches of snow.
What to Wear on a Warm Weather Hike
Warm weather hikes are easier to dress for than cold ones. Your main concerns here are finding ways to sweat as little as possible, and avoid getting sunburned or dehydrated.
Light and airy tops
A lightweight, light-colored top is ideal for warm hikes. We recommend one with short sleeves to protect your shoulders from sunburn. For extra comfort, choose a technical shirt, but any shirt loose enough to let in a breeze should work.
For flexibility with layers, wear a chic sports bra underneath. You can take your shirt off for to enjoy a quick cool-down, work on your tan, or just snap a quick selfie.
Depending on where you’re hiking, you’ve got lots of options for what to wear for pants. Shorts can be good if you don’t plan on hiking anywhere with scratchy brush or bugs. We love shorts for seaside hikes; makes it easier to take a dip or stroll along the coast!
But if you’re unsure of the terrain, or just want to protect your legs, performance-knit leggings are awesome. Don’t opt for thermals; instead, you want pants that allow you to sweat comfortably. Many yoga companies, like Onzie or Teeki, make their pants water-friendly, if you want a bit more flexibility.
That great pair of hiking boots you invested in for cold weather hikes? You can wear them when hiking somewhere warm, too. Or, you can swap them out for sneakers if you feel like busting out into a run.
Warm weather hiking accessories
Bring the whole look together with your summer hiking accessories. These include a baseball hat and sunglasses to protect from the sun, and a fashionable watch for staying on time. Summer hikes are more jewelry-friendly, too, if you want to wear some cute bracelets or earrings.
Speaking of which, you can always bring along a jewelry travel case like The Wanderer if you need to take anything off. Don’t forget to pack bug spray and suntan lotion in your backpack, and a pair of sandals and a swimsuit so you can hop in whenever you reach a pool, lake, or ocean!
Wherever you choose to roam, you can do it comfortably and with style. Follow our Pinterest boards for more ideas on What to Wear Hiking!
Roam often, stay stylish.