It is not an overstatement to say hiking is the best meditation for summer. However, in order to reconnect with nature, you need to know what to wear when hiking in summer. Once you let the intense heat come into contact with your bare skin, your hiking will turn into a disaster.
Below are precisely what you have to prepare for a good hiking trip in the mid of July.
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What to wear for women
Never underestimate the importance of comfortable hiking shoes. I’m pretty sure that we’ve all suffered from many blisters and bruises in order to find the perfect match of shoes and socks.
If you are a newbie in hiking, you should find hiking shoes that minimize the chance you get blisters.
How to choose suitable shoes for women?
There are two factors to consider: your feet and the topography of the hiking trail.
Our feet shape differently. Some women have wide and long feet; others feature short and narrow ones. Understanding your shape will allow you to pick the most reliable pair of hiking shoes.
I would recommend Merrell Moab 2 Vent Mid Hiking Boots and Vasque Talus Trek UltraDry Hiking Shoes for women with wide feet. These two products are constructed from water-resistant and comfortable materials, guarantees no blisters.
As for rocky trails, hiking boots with ankle support are much better.
Pants vs. shorts
The opinion of whether you should choose pants or shorts for summer hiking remains divisive. Some people prefer wearing shorts; others argue that pants are a better choice.
As for me, both pants and shorts can be used interchangeably depending on the location and weather.
If you hike in a place that is well-known for ticks, long hiking pants can save you from the ugly tick bites and Lyme disease. Monarch convertible and North Face are two trusted manufacturers for hiking pants.
They offer the most breathable and versatile options in the market.
Remember to choose tops made of durable and breathable materials. I would not suggest you buy cotton tops because they absorb water and make you feel uncomfortable.
Don’t compromise function to look more fabulous. Gym tops are also a good choice too. Under Armour and NIKE are my top recommendations.
Hiking accessories are as essential as your shoes or pants. Without a proper hat or sunglasses, you may not survive the intense heat of summer.
I always remember to carry my sunglasses with me to protect my eyes from sunlight and UV rays. A hat or cap will protect your head from direct heat and potential sunstroke.
Pay attention to your rucksack as well. If you plan for a short trial, a small rucksack for water and light snacks are enough. As for long ones, think carefully about what you want to bring then choose a suitable backpack.
What to wear for men
Hiking shorts/ pants
My advice goes the same with women. If you enter a place where ticks are abundant, don’t try to be cool. Long pants will save you tons of trouble from tick bites. One friend of mine who used to wear shorts all the time has gotten Lyme disease after a short hike in Allgäu.
For those who live in places without ticks, shorts are hands-down the best option. These moisture-wicking items will make your whole hiking trip much easier. Choose shorts that come with pockets because you can store your phone or small items inside.
Besides a sweat-wicking top, I also recommend long sleeves to wear on days of intense sunlight. Especially for those who intend to hike in the south or east coast, a light, breathable shirt with at least UPF 30 will be your best companion.
For short trails, running shoes are comfortable enough to protect your feet. However, once you decide to go on strenuous hikes as Grand Canyon or Bright Angel, you need to find a pair with utmost comfort and support.
Those who have knee or foot problems need to be extra careful because you don’t want to place more pressure on your weak points. Choosing mid-height boots with ankle support is a wise choice.
Salomon X Ultra 3 Mid Gore-Tex, for example, will be perfect for under 8 miles. You should also look for extra-support and lightweight shoes when you go on a longer trail.
A pair of good socks save you from blisters and discomfort too. You can find a lot of products that blister-free such as Balega No Show socks or Nike Pro Training ones. These two are durable, breathable and totally comfy.
I also recommend compression pants or shorts for long summer hikes as well. I use compression pants from time to time to either prevent my legs from rubbing into each other or repel unwanted ticks or mosquitos.
Don’t worry too much about the heat because most compression pants or shorts can wick moisture.
A pair of durable sunglasses is a must. If you want to protect your eyes from the intense heat, pick one with polarized lenses. They are not only helpful but also lightweight so that you can carry them around.
Consider buying a pair with scratches-resistance as well. That way, you don’t have to worry if you drop your sunglasses once in a while.
Other than that, the best companion for a summer hike is a hat. You can find lots of sun hat with UPF from 30 to 50!
The bottom line
Understanding what to wear hiking in summer is an essential step when you plan for your future trip. Don’t let sunstroke, tick bites and blisters get in the way and ruin your enjoyment for the trip. I hope you have found everything you need in this article.
Don’t hesitate to share it with your friends!