Wondering what to wear for summer hiking? Hiking shorts! Summer hiking in smothering pants is now a thing of the past with shorts fit for every preference and every waist. No more settling for 'outdorky' cargo shorts. There are women's stretch hiking shorts with knee-length inseams, mid-rise hiking shorts, and yes, there are even high-waist, not-so-short hike shorts for women. We've got the hiking shorts women want, brought together in our guide to the best hiking shorts.
Get yourself geared up in the right shorts before tackling that next warm-weather trek. Planning is easy with Title Nine, since every pair of our outdoor shorts is packed with features, including: abrasion-resistant, moisture-wicking, quick-drying fabrics that both look great around town and still stretch with our every move.
What should women look for in hiking shorts?
Any ordinary pair of shorts won't give you the performance, comfort, and durability you need to tackle the trails with no fuss. So before you gear up for your next hike, here's what to look for to get the best pair of hiking shorts:
- Durable fabric: Exploring the outdoors can come with all kinds of surprises, like summit storms, sketchy detours, or accidental slips. That's why our clothing better keep up, starting with durable, high-performance fabrics. Look for materials like nylon, spandex, or recycled polyester for shorts with a lightweight and breathable feel, comfortable four-way stretch, and quick-dry, abrasion-resistant powers.
- Comfortable length: Who wears short shorts? Uhh, not us. Especially not out on the trail. When it comes to our shorts, size definitely matters. So choose a length that you're going to be comfy with the whole way out and back. From a 3" inseam to bermuda shorts (10" inseam), Title Nine has a ton of inseam length options that protect our lower half from scuffs and scratches.
- Pocket power: Every woman on the trail needs her go-to hiking essentials. And our hiking shorts better have room for 'em all: snacks, keys, phone, cash, and more. Good thing Title Nine's hike bottoms all have tons of pockets, plus room to move and breathe for making the most of the outdoors. We're talking side pockets, hidden zipper pockets, hand pockets, back pockets, and front pockets. Suffice it to say, there's no shortage of storage.
- Just-right fit: We can't keep pulling up slippy shorts on our hike. To get a better fit and find shorts that don't budge, look for your usual size and try on your gear before taking it out to the trail. Wanna dial in your fit a bit more? Look for pull-on hike bottoms with an adjustable drawstring or elastic waistband, or shorts with belt loops for a stretchy belt to go with. Aim for a snug fit on the waist, not too tight and not too loose — just comfortable on the waist for distraction-free trekking and walking.
- Sun protection: If you're wearing hiking shorts, our guess is it's a hot day out. Look for hiking shorts (and t-shirts!) with built in UPF 50 to keep your lower half extra covered from the sun's harsh rays. Title Nine's collection of hiking clothing all feature built in UPF 50 coverage for less time reapplying, and more time soaking up your outdoor adventures.
So, how do you choose the best hiking short?
Every outdoor pursuit isn't complete without a few must-haves and nice-to-haves. And when the trails call, there are a few things our clothing has gotta have for us to make the most of our all-day adventure.
First thing's first: comfort is an absolute must. There's nothing worse than shorts that rub, chafe, or itch while we're trekkin' along, so choose hike bottoms that fit your usual size, stay put on your waist, and are made with comfortable materials that still keep up, stretch right, and tough it out: think nylon, spandex, and recycled polyester.
Where's your outdoor adventure taking place? Before deciding on the best pair for your hike, think about the climate, terrain, and difficulty level. For warm-weather hikes through tropical climates, bring along a pair of moisture-wicking, quick-drying, and lightweight shorts or joggers. Walking through a desert trail? Lightweight shorts with built-in UPF are a must. How about a snow-covered trail at the summit? Yeah... probably have to go with pants on that one.
Once you've dialed in all the must-haves, choose the hiking shorts that suit your style. Keep it casual with a solid color, or have fun with a printed pair. Choose high-rise or mid-rise; a longer inseam like Bermuda shorts for more coverage, or a shorter inseam for a little more sun on your legs. Whichever style you choose, just make sure you've got bottoms that don't skimp on comfort, performance, and durability.
What's the best way to wash hiking shorts?
Performance fabrics like nylon, spandex, and recycled poly need extra attention in the wash. Always follow the care instructions on your clothing to keep the materials and elastic waist in good shape. Wash on a delicate or activewear cycle with similar fabrics, and use a gentle detergent. Or better yet, wash by hand. If you wanna say bye-bye to your hike and athletic shorts fast, give 'em a run through the dryer. But for real — always air dry your hiking shorts and tops to keep them fitting, feeling, and performing their best.
When the trails call, us women are ready to gear up and get out there with the clothing that keeps us moving. Title Nine's collection of hiking shorts have all the features we need to show the trails who's in charge, like water-repellant, quick-dry, lightweight performance fabrics that stay put on our waist without chafing or scuffing, and keep our buns safe from sunburn. With comfort, durability, and performance features packed into every pair, Title Nine has all the hiking shorts to power women's movement outdoors (and everywhere else).
What are the best materials for women's hiking shorts?
High performance fabrics like nylon, spandex, and polyester provide the stretch, comfort, and protection women need to hike without worry.
What is the ideal length for women's hiking shorts?
There's no right or wrong inseam length when it comes to women's hike shorts. Go with the coverage and length you're most comfortable with. At Title Nine, we have tons of options to choose from that suit your style and activity level.
How many pockets should women's hiking shorts have?
Honestly? As many as ya want. We're happy to say that baggy women's cargo shorts aren't the lone option anymore, with many of Title Nine's hiking-ready shorts boasting tons of hand pockets: 5, 6, even up to 7 pockets total.
How can I make sure my hiking shorts fit well?
Shop for hiking shorts in your usual bottoms size to get your best fit. Take 'em for a test drive around the house or the block to make sure they keep up and stay up before you hit the trails.
Can women wear hiking shorts for activities other than hiking?
You bet. Title Nine's hiking shorts are comfortable, versatile, and casual enough to go from the trailhead to walking through town, or from national parks to theme parks. Basically, women can wear our hike shorts anywhere and everywhere.
Are there any safety considerations when wearing hiking shorts?
Your legs are obviously more exposed to the elements in shorts. While many of Title Nine's hike shorts feature abrasion-resistant materials, your legs aren't exactly safe from scratches or cuts. So make sure your other hiking gear is up to the task: solid hiking boots, above-the-ankle socks, and a first aid kit ready in your backpack.
Can women wear hiking shorts on long hikes?
If it's an all-day scorcher, absolutely. We recommend packing a back-up pair of pants or a jacket just in case the weather takes a turn.
Are there any tips for preventing chafing when wearing hiking shorts?
Chafing sucks, and cheap fabrics and poor construction are to blame. The best way to prevent chafing is to pick lightweight and high-performance hiking shorts made with breathable and durable materials.
What are some alternatives to hiking shorts for women?
We love switching up our outdoor outfits with skorts and joggers that have all the trail-ready features and performance fabrics as our hiking shorts: tons of pockets, room to breathe and move, and scuff and scratch resistant materials.