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Hiking Outfit Ideas for Every Season

Styling Tips

Get in, we’re going hiking. When Mother Nature calls you, you’ll need an outfit that looks good on the trail while keeping you dry and comfortable.

Last updated: January 8, 2022
6 min read
Hiking Outfit Ideas for Every Season

Trekking through the wild may test your endurance, but it’s worth the effort to make it to the summit. When you get there, you’ll want to capture what it looks like from the top, so why not make sure your summit selfie features a hiking outfit that reflects your style? During your journey, you’ll need gear that performs, keeping you dry, comfortable and protected from the elements, and you don’t have to sacrifice style.

Whether you’re looking for bold and bright matching sets or basic, neutral pieces, there are a few things to note when shopping for hiking apparel:

  • Thermoregulation (in other words, maintaining the right body temperature): Look for synthetic fabrics that wick sweat away from your skin and keep your body at an even temperature. Avoid cotton, which absorbs sweat, as well as fabrics that aren’t breathable. Instead, opt for Nike Dri-FIT items, which disperse moisture for quick evaporation. That way, you won’t have to deal with damp layers after the first few miles.

  • Weather Protection: Prioritize sun protection by wearing darker colors or Ultraviolet Protection Factor (UPF) rated fabrics, and shield yourself from the rain with water-repellent outerwear. You’ll also want insulation in cold weather to keep yourself warm and comfortable. The Nike ACG collection can help you channel your inner explorer while durably withstanding the elements and keeping you cozy.

  • Range of Motion: You’ll want to wear something that moves with you as you navigate nature’s obstacle course. Choose loose-fitting garments or those with four-way stretch.

  • Durability: You’re bound to get scratched by a few tree branches on your hike, so avoid wearing delicate materials. Buy sturdy clothing that can withstand wear and tear.

  • Weight: You don’t want your clothing to slow you down as you climb to the peak, so wear lightweight layers that you can easily peel off and fit in a backpack.

  • Sustainability: Many Nike styles are made with recycled materials designed to reduce waste and carbon emissions. When you purchase sustainable apparel, you’re doing your part to protect the environment — which is critical if we want to keep enjoying the outdoors for years to come.
Hiking Outfit Ideas for Every Season

The Base Layer for Summer Hikes

When the summer heat is at its peak, you’ll be grateful for those shady areas along the trail — and for hiking clothes that keep you cool and dry. You can put together an ideal summer hiking outfit with the following:

  • The Sports Bra: A light- or medium-impact sports bra will support you as you hike, and you’ll find plenty of styles with matching bottoms for a complete look

  • The Tee: Choose a breathable tee or tank that has moisture-wicking properties and offers sun protection

  • The Shorts: Bike shorts that feature four-way stretch are an option, as are loose-fitting Nike Dri-FIT trail shorts, depending on your preference and style

  • The Socks: Opt for moisture-wicking and water-resistant socks to keep your feet cool and dry

  • The Hat: A wide-brim hat will shield your face from the sun and keep the rain out of your eyes while adding the finishing touch to your look
Hiking Outfit Ideas for Every Season

The Mid-Layer for Fall and Spring Hikes

Spring may bring new wildflowers along your route while autumn delights with the falling leaves, so get outside and enjoy the changing seasons. Just make sure you dress in layers to prepare for fluctuating temperatures. Here’s what you’ll need:

  • The Long-Sleeve Base Layer: A long-sleeve Nike Dri-FIT trail running top will keep you toasty while wicking away sweat. Some hikers prefer a half-zip top for layering, and there are also options with thumbholes for comfort and warmth.

  • The Pants or Leggings: A pair of moisture-wicking, stretchy leggings or loose-fitting, comfortable pants is essential for chilly days. Be aware that delicate fabrics may be more susceptible to wear and tear, so if you’re opting for leggings, make sure they’re thick and durable.

  • The Fleece or Hoodie: When temperatures begin to drop, you may need an extra layer on top of your activewear. But you’ll want to keep it lightweight and breathable. Nike Therma-FIT products are designed to trap heat without adding bulk, and Nike Tech Fleece products use a tri-layer fabric to create lightweight warmth. You’ll find a selection of pullovers, zip-ups and vests in colors you can coordinate with your base layer.

  • The Rain Jacket: If there’s rain in the forecast, you’ll need the right jacket to avoid getting soaked. Nike rain jackets are both water-resistant and breathable. Choose a jacket with a hood for greater protection from the elements.

  • The Hat and Gloves: Your ears and fingers lose heat more quickly than your core, so keep them warm with a pair of gloves and a beanie.
Hiking Outfit Ideas for Every Season

The Outer Layer for Winter Hikes

As long as there isn’t ice covering the trail, winter is a great time to enjoy a hike through a snow-dusted forest. And since hiking areas aren’t as crowded in the winter, you can get a little solitude as you reflect on the great outdoors. Just make sure to bring enough cold weather gear to keep yourself warm, especially in wet conditions.

  • The Insulated Jacket: Both down and synthetic insulation are lightweight, but down loses some of its insulating properties when wet. If you plan to hike even in the snow, choose a jacket with synthetic insulation and a hood. Many Nike insulated jackets are water-resistant as well. Some hikers prefer a jacket with a shorter hem for range of motion, but a longer coat may be necessary in especially frigid temperatures.
Hiking Outfit Ideas for Every Season

Don’t Forget Footwear

The right pair of shoes will allow you to push past fatigue, mile after mile, instead of petering out before you hit the peak. You’ll want a pair of trail shoes that are durably constructed to endure all-day wear. You’ll also want to make sure your shoes are water-resistant. Some trail running shoes have a Gore-Tex lining that doesn’t allow any moisture in. If there’s a chance of a downpour, you may also need a pair of hiking shoes with gaiter attachments to keep water from getting in around the collar. And if you’re hiking in the cold, consider buying a pair of winter running shoes or hiking boots. Most importantly, aim for the perfect initial fit and feel — don’t rely on a break-in period.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Much Does Hiking Gear Cost?

That depends on how many layers you need and what styles you choose. A good pair of trail running shoes will go for at least $70, while a hooded jacket typically costs at least $100. However, you can always keep an eye out for hiking gear in Nike’s sale section, which features discounts of up to 40%.

What Gear Do You Need for Hiking?

At the very least, you’ll need a moisture-wicking top and bottom, socks and a pair of trail running shoes or hiking boots. Depending on the weather, you may also need a hoodie or fleece, a water-resistant jacket or an insulated jacket.

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