What to Wear Hiking in the Summer

By Published On: May 14th, 20210 Comments

Are you planning on doing any hiking this summer? Hiking is a fun pastime and something you can make as easy or difficult as you’d like! It’s a great way to get a good workout as well as get some fresh air. Plus, it’s a great mood booster if you’re feeling down or need a change of scenery! If you’re new to hiking, we suggest you check out our post all about hiking for beginners that includes some helpful tips for those just starting out!

When it comes to hiking in summer or in warmer climates and temperatures, though, you may be unsure of what to wear. After all, you don’t want to overheat, but you always want to wear something that’s durable and practical for spending long periods of time outdoors. If you’re currently planning a hike or two and are questioning your wardrobe choices, then continue reading to learn about what to wear hiking in the summer!

Best Materials for Hiking in the Summer

When it comes to choosing what you’re going to wear hiking in the summer, you want to first think about what kind of materials will work best. Breathability is an absolute must! Wearing a thick top or jeans is going to cause you to start sweating fast. Look for fabrics such as nylon, polyester, or even some cotton options that are comfortable and lightweight.

Another helpful thing to keep in mind is that darker colors draw in more heat. It’s a good idea to stick with lighter colors when you’re searching for what to wear hiking in the summer.


The first thing you’ll want to look for when selecting a top to wear for hiking in the summer is something with short sleeves. A lightweight T-shirt works well, especially if you’re doing more casual hiking and aren’t planning on being out for a long time.

If you’re going on a more strenuous hike, though, a performance shirt might be your best option. These are designed specifically for activity, and many of them have added features such as UPF fabric that protects you from the sun’s rays, moisture wicking fabrics, or durable seams that will hold up to you wearing a backpack as you hike. These added features may not sound like much, but they can make all the difference when you’re on the trails in the summer!

For women, you may want to also find a comfortable sports bra to wear underneath your top that will keep you comfortable through all of your activity!

If you burn rather easily in the sun or you are planning on spending the whole day outside, bring a lightweight, thin, long sleeve to protect your skin from the sun.


Again, lightweight is the way to go when choosing what to wear hiking in the summer! Pants might seem like an odd choice for hot weather, but some people may prefer them to protect against the sun’s rays. Hiking or climbing pants are always a good choice. Some pairs are even convertible, so you can change them into shorts partway through your hike if you start getting overheated.

However, if you’re more comfortable wearing less fabric in the summer and know that you’ll be hiking in hot temperatures, you may want to wear shorts right off the bat. Again, be sure you’re wearing a pair that is specifically designed for activity and will hold up to your movement.


When it comes to footwear, the most important thing is that you wear something durable. Hiking shoes that are lightweight are a great option for summer wearing. Be sure you grab some breathable and moisture-wicking socks that are designed for activity, to keep your feet comfortable wherever you wander.

Hiking sandals are another good choice for summer hiking but be sure you select something that isn’t too loose and won’t fall off your feet or cause you to trip and slip. Also, because of the straps, make sure you’ve worn them on shorter hikes before you commit to a longer more difficult hike, to make sure you don’t get blisters.

If you’re trying to choose between shoes and sandals for your summer outing, consider the terrain you’ll be hiking. Do you know if the trail is fairly smooth? Will there be any water crossings? Sandals are the way to go!

If you know the trail is going to be very long, full of rocks, weeds, or if you’re worried about snake bites (yes, you may want to keep that in mind), then go with a pair of shoes that cover your whole foot.


It might seem odd to think about layering when you’re thinking about what to wear hiking in the summer, but you never know when the weather can take a turn, especially if you’re planning to be out all day. Bring a rain jacket, wind breaker, or a hoodie in case you’re in need of any added protection from the elements in case any rain, wind, or cold temperatures suddenly come your way.


Hats and caps are a necessity for hiking in the summer sun. They not only provide shade for your eyes, but they also protect your head from the heat and sunburn. Pair this with some comfortable sunglasses and your face will be protected all day!

Another option you might consider wearing is a bandana around your neck. Dip it in water before tying it on to keep you cool as you hike out in the hot summer sun.

Be sure you also apply plenty of sunscreen before hitting the trail and throw a bottle of it in your backpack so that you can re-apply as needed. Don’t forget to bring along lots of water as well.

Ready for a warm-weather hike? Now you know what to wear hiking in the summer and can be prepared for your next adventure. Happy trails! 

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