By Shelby Hicks
Hiking is a great pastime, involving sunshine, fresh air, and physical activity. All work together to help improve your mental and physical wellbeing. It can be a challenge at times, though, figuring out what the best attire is to wear, especially if you are a woman.
There are many brands that claim to be the best, only waiting for you to use them and be sorely disappointed. What makes the best hiking attire for women? You will want to have hiking attire that protects you from the elements, is reliable enough to wear multiple times, and is made of material that will move with your body instead of making you feel trapped and unable to move.
Below are some suggestions for the best hiking attire for women, keeping you comfortable and ready to go from head to toe.
Undergarments are one of the least thought about pieces of hiking attire that women must wear when on the trails. They are part of our everyday routine, but they can easily be forgotten when planning a trip. Having undergarments that are meant to be worn while hiking will enhance your experience of the outdoors and will help you be able to go farther distances.
Material that will wick away the sweat will keep you comfortable. Keep this in mind as you search for underwear for your hiking trips. 100% cotton is breathable, or you can go with some fancy undergarments such as ExOfficio’s Give-N-Go briefs sold at places like REI. Quick-drying underwear, odor-resistant, and so comfortable you may forget you are wearing them; the Give-N-Go briefs will not disappoint.
When looking into bras, the type you wear for workouts is the best way to go. A bra that is most used during high-intensity workouts will serve you well on a hike, whether that hike is strenuous or not. Any high-intensity bra will do, but the Nike Swoosh bra is a well-made and well-known option.
“Dry-wicking” is the keyword for you when searching for hiking attire well suited for an adventure on foot. Many companies now have an option or two for moisture-wicking tops. They often are form-fitted, soft materials that can be worn for extended periods of time without rubbing you raw.
Patagonia has a great reputation for these types of tops, and they offer long sleeve and short sleeve options. You may also choose to hike in a tank top, but you will want to ensure that you wear a proper amount of sunscreen and reapply it often. A pro for Patagonia products is that they are made with an SPF coating to help protect your skin from the sun’s rays, a plus when considering the best hiking attire for you.
Shorts or pants? Which is better for hiking attire? This is a common question among hikers. Shorts often feel cooler, but pants can better protect you from the elements. What if you were able to find a pair of pants that were also cool? Pants like the North Face Aphrodite 2.0 pants have quick dry technology, a drawstring, and they resist wear and tear on the trail.
The quick-dry technology will help keep you comfortable when you sweat, and it will help keep you dry when you interact with the elements. You can pull up the drawstrings when you are wanting to pass through water on your hike, or if you want the pants to fit differently.
If you want to use some of what you already own, you can certainly wear your normal workout clothes. The only downside to this is that your workout clothes may not be as durable as bottoms created specifically for women for hiking outdoors. The best part of these pants made for women’s hiking attire? They always have pockets! Who does not love pockets?
Many people enjoy wearing sandals such as Chaco’s for their outdoor adventures. These are durable shoes that will keep you cool and can dry off quickly if you happen to cross through some puddles or creeks on your trip.
However, they do not offer much protection to the top and side of your feet. For this reason, it would be wise to consider a good pair of hiking boots such as those offered by Colombia. Hiking boots are a key part of overall hiking attire and will protect you from all the elements as well as being comfortable for long hikes. They also typically go up the ankle to give extra support and protection. Hiking boots also tend to have a deeper ridge in the sole, creating a good grip to help you get up some tough hills.
If you are planning to go on a shorter hike that is not as strenuous, you may opt for a lighter shoe like a trail running shoe. These can help you keep up on the trail, keep you protected, and lessen the load of a heavy shoe.
Anyone wanting to enjoy the outdoors knows that there is always a possibility of rain. Having a quality rain jacket on hand will keep you dry and ready to conquer the trail. Many rain jackets created by Columbia or North Face are long, helping protect the most surface area possible.
They also typically will have air pockets or vents to help keep you from overheating as you like. Having a rain jacket that is comfortable and dry will help you enjoy the trail no matter what the weather. You know the saying; there is no such thing as bad weather, just bad clothes!
Having effective hiking attire that protects you and keeps you comfortable in all elements is essential to an enjoyable hiking experience. Women specifically may have a tough time finding clothing made for their needs, but many brands create products just for you. Keep in mind what you are looking for in outdoor wear, including comfort, durability, and breathability.
You will find these things if you keep your eyes open. Also, do not be afraid to ask when you get to the store! The best person to help you find what you need for your best hiking attire is an employee.