Best Hiking Clothes for Avid Outdoorsmen

Here's what to wear hiking when you hit the trails anytime of year.

In need of some suggestions on outerwear for outside excursions? These are the hiking clothing musts to bring on your next outdoor adventure.

Upper-Body Layers

You never know what weather you're going to get, so it's best to dress in breathable layers. For cold weather, a longsleeve base layer with merino wool next to the skin will keep you warm while wicking away moisture. Voormi has excellent options for both men and women. You might also want to add a midweight hoodie before an outer layer shell you can shed as temps rise.

hiking clothes


For warm weather, start with a short-sleeve t-shirt or tank top that that breathes or even a longsleeve made with cooling fabric, like KUIU's new Gila Crew. Add more lightweight layers as weather requires.

Hiking Pants

Non-chafing, quick-drying bottoms are a must for backpacking adventures. Reviewers at GearJunkie loved the prAna Stretch Zion Pant as well as the Outdoor Research Equinox Convertible Pants that can turn into hiking shorts. Both boast UPF 50+ sun protection.

For the ladies, I'd recommend the leggings from Alexo, which feature a built-in holster to keep you confident and safe when hiking.

Hiking Socks

Hiking Clothes


A good hiking sock will strike the perfect balance between cushioned durability and lightweight breathability. For me, nothing beats a moisture-wicking merino-blend sock like the Light Hike Sock from Voormi or Smartwool's Performance Hike Light socks, available in both men's and women's styles.

Rain Jacket

The skies could unleash a shower or complete downpour unexpectedly, so stay prepared with an ultralight, packable rain jacket. Sitka's Dew Point Jacket is a great choice than weighs just 12.5 ounces and easily stuffs into your daypack. A waterproof piece like this will also be windproof, so you can break it out in blustery conditions too.

Hiking Shoes

No backcountry getup is complete with a pair of comfortable, abrasion-resistant hikers. For a shoe that can go from trail running to hillside trekking, the Danner Trail 2650 offers a wide selection with waterproof options featuring GORE-TEX liners. And if you'll be scaling some serious mountainsides with toothpick ankles like mine, their Mountain 600 hiking boots will keep your feet dry and protected while providing ankle support all day long. Both lightweight hiking shoes are available in men's and women's models. Make sure you break new boots in before any long outings to avoid blisters.


If you're heading off the beaten path where rocks and debris could slip into your shoes, slide on some water-resistant gaiters. KUIU's Scree Gaiters provide lightweight protection with a Cordura construction.

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