When it comes to getting exercise that not only improves your cardio health but also boosts your mental well-being, hiking outdoors is right up there on the list of recommended activities. If you’re interested in exploring the benefits of hiking this fall, make sure you’re prepared by dressing in layers, wearing comfortable shoes, and wearing a backpack to store your essentials. You’ll want to look stylish too, of course. For a functional wardrobe for your next outing, read on for suggestions from our fall hiking and fashion guide.
Wearing the wrong socks, or no socks at all can ruin your hike. You don’t want to end up halfway through your journey only to realize you’re getting a blister or that your feet have gotten wet. After all, you’ll have to walk the whole way back in pain and discomfort. The best option is to wear socks made of wool or a blend of wool and synthetics that wick moisture away from your feet while allowing them to breathe. You’ll also want them to provide a good amount of stretch so they conform to your feet, but not too much stretch that they become loose and slide down. Now that you know what to look for, just be sure to try them out with the boots or shoes you intend to wear. Go ahead and walk around in them a bit to make sure they’ll get the job done comfortably and in style.
You don’t want to head out for a hike without your essentials, like a water bottle, bug spray, sunscreen a first aid kit, and your phone. You may even want to bring along an extra sweater or a packable jacket. It doesn’t have to be heavy in order to be sturdy, either. Just make sure it is waterproof, tough enough for a few brushes against branches, and has room for what you need without weighing you down.
While you don’t necessarily need hiking boots for a short hike, this footwear does serve a purpose. They’re warm inside, sturdy on the outside, and offer a good amount of traction in case there are slippery leaves or muddy puddles to conquer. But if you’re going on a casual hike that doesn’t involve rugged terrain, athletic shoes work fine. Again, keep those socks in mind. You’ll want to give them a test run with your shoes before venturing out.
Dressing in layers is key during fall, and a flannel shirt is one layer you don’t want to be without. They’re not only warm, but they’re also stretchy and durable, meaning you don’t have to worry about being too cautious or careful in them. Be sure to wear a T-shirt underneath so you can take off the flannel if you get too warm and either tie it around your waist or put it in your backpack. Likewise, you can layer something over the flannel for extra warmth. For example, wearing vests over flannel shirts provides a bit of warmth over your core while still allowing you to move your arms around freely, which is ideal if you’re using hiking poles and getting an arm workout.
For those fall days that are colder than others, you’ll want to have some accessories handy to keep you warm. Start with your head, as this is where most of your body heat disappears from. A lightweight beanie is great because it won’t weigh you down, but it will keep you warm without making you overheat. Additionally, you’ll want mittens or gloves for your hands. Keep in mind that mittens will keep your fingers warmer than gloves will, but gloves will allow more freedom of movement.
When choosing what types of pants to wear on a hike, try on a pair of comfortable jeans. They keep you warm by blocking out the wind, and they’re durable. Plus, women’s jeans look good with everything. That being said, you can opt for other pants such as cargo pants or yoga pants, but those won’t keep you as warm or as protected as jeans.
Before you take on the great outdoors, gear up with some functional and fashionable wardrobe pieces and accessories. You’ll take on autumn and that mountain in style!