One of the most famous sayings among serious outdoor adventurers is that there is no such thing as bad weather, just bad clothes. So choosing what to wear when heading out on a hike is one of the most important things you can do.
Whether you are out for a casual stroll in the woods or taking on serious elevation on rugged mountain trails, the right clothes can make all the difference. And while practical gear is paramount, it is totally possible to put together hiking outfits that are comfortable, practical, and look good, all at the same time.
So whether you are looking for some light hiking sandals for men or packing for a multi-day through-hike across unforgiving terrain, here are a few bits of advice for choosing the best hiking outfits.
Denim and cotton
These are big hiking no-nos, to be avoided at all costs. Denim is rigid and inflexible, and a nightmare when wet. Similarly, cotton retains a lot of water, so will mean you sweat a lot when it’s hot, and will give you chills if it is cold and wet.
A lightweight water- and windproof jacket is one of the best pieces of kit a hiker can have. Find one that folds up small, pack it in your rucksack, and you’ll be prepared in case of emergencies!
Layering is the most important clothing trick for your outdoor adventures. Weather and temperature can fluctuate so much during the day that being able to regulate your clothing makes a huge difference.
Start with a light underlayer in a fabric that wicks sweat away from your skin, add midlayers (a vest or a fleece jacket is a great way to keep warm without overheating), and top everything off with something waterproof on top. Add or remove layers as the day demands!
Despite what the big brands might say, heavy-duty hiking shoes are not necessary for the majority of hikers, but having something sturdy and durable on your feet is. Solid, comfortable trainers are fine for most conditions, although if the going is really muddy or rocky then some proper hiking boots might be required.
Staying safe from the sun is the finishing touch for your hiking outfit. A hat or cap with a brim is important, and it is also worth investigating UPF-rated clothes, as harmful UV rays can penetrate lightweight fabrics.