Hike in Style: A Guide to Conquering the Trails in Comfort and Confidence

There’s nothing quite like taking that first step down a new trail and anticipating what adventures may be ahead. Whether it’s a challenging climb, a breathtaking view, or an unexpected encounter with wildlife, hiking offers many opportunities to find peace in nature and within yourself.

But nothing will take that peace away faster than having the wrong hiking outfit. After all, being one with nature requires a certain level of preparation so that you can quickly adapt to the changing elements. Hot and cold, wind and rain—sometimes all four within a couple hours! But while that may seem impossible to prep for, it’s not that hard. You just need the right gear for the job and a bit of guidance from someone like, well, us!

Here’s the best part: you don’t have to choose between style and functionality for a successful hike. We’re here to help you not only be prepared and comfortable but also look your best when you hit your next trail with our range of stylish hiking clothes designed to get the job done.
How to Build Your Hiking Wardrobe: The Essentials

The Right Hiking Shoes

Let’s start with the most crucial part of your hiking gear: the shoes. While extreme temperatures can be uncomfortable, nothing ruins a hike faster than blisters, twisted ankles, or inadequate traction. That’s why investing in the right footwear is paramount for a successful hike.
There are lots of different kinds of shoes, boots, and sandals to choose from. But you’ll only need to choose from a few basic options for the average hiker.
Mid-Cut Synthetic/Leather Boots
A hiking staple, synthetic leather boots have been around for quite a while and are a very popular choice for hikers heading into colder temps. They typically have waterproof uppers, shock-absorbing midsoles, and rugged outsoles that handle all sorts of rough weather and terrain.
These are a great choice if you anticipate any snow along your route or want a bit more warmth in general.

Hiking Shoes

The classic hiking shoe is the go-to for many beginner hikers because they’re versatile. They’re a cross between synthetic boots and “trail runners,” with some of the best features of each.
Hiking shoes are great because they’re typically lightweight, quick-drying, and offer excellent ankle support and flexibility. (No turned ankles and no stiffness!) They’re also made to handle rough terrain with sturdy outsoles and midsoles and synthetic uppers that often provide a nice waterproof layer.
If you’re in doubt, hiking shoes are always a dependable choice.

Trail Running Shoes

Last but not least, trail runners are great for easy to moderate warm-weather hikes. These lightweight shoes offer great comfort, support, and breathability. Plus, they don’t take long to break in. The only downside is that they’re not made for super-tough hikes or cold weather.
Also, keep in mind that these aren’t just tennis shoes. While not as rugged as boots or hiking shoes, trail runners still have supportive midsoles, outsoles made to grip the terrain, and protective uppers.
No matter what shoes you decide on, break them in before your hike to avoid blisters and double-check that they stay comfortable over long periods.
The Essentials Hiking Layers

The next thing on our list of hiking essentials is layers.
As mentioned earlier, the weather can change drastically during a hike, even if it starts as a beautiful day. Mountaintops are notoriously colder the higher you climb and can be prone to sudden rainstorms. Similarly, canyons are often warm and toasty during the day but get noticeably chilly once the sun goes down.
So, how do you stay happy (and safe) the whole time? With layers of comfortable hiking clothes!

The Base Layer

Start your hiking outfit with a breathable, quick-drying base layer. Synthetic materials are always a good choice. But if you’re hiking in colder conditions, you may opt for something thicker like merino wool to provide extra warmth. Regardless, you want something that will help regulate your body temperature and keep you from feeling sticky.
You can choose from many different sleeve lengths, depending on what you find comfortable and what you expect the average temperatures to be.
For hot and sunny days, we prefer a lightweight, stretchy tank top with plenty of ventilation. But if you prefer something a little more snug or expect a bit of temperature flexibility, a short-sleeve athletic top is always a great choice. We like this one for its four-way stretch, ventilation panels, and no-friction design.
Finally, colder hikes are usually best with a long-sleeve base layer. Our choice is this seamless long-sleeve top, made of moisture-wicking, lightweight material, with a buttery-soft feel and non-restrictive neck and armholes for easy movement.

The Mid Layer

Once your base layer is down, it’s time to talk about your mid-layer. In many cases, this may end up being your top layer for the majority of your hike, depending on whether wind and rain make an appearance.
If you’re heading on a colder hike, consider something fleece-lined or insulated for extra warmth. This can be as simple as a cozy athletic hoodie or pullover. Just be sure it offers some breathability, or you’ll counteract the work your base layer is doing.
For warmer weather, we recommend lightweight sun-protective hiking clothing, like this zip-up hoodie. It stays breathable and light when the sun is beating down while providing you with UPF 50+ sun protection. It even has thumbholes to protect the backs of your hands.
Whatever mid-layer you choose for your hiking outfit, pick something that’s not bulky so you can easily store it in your backpack.

The Outer Layer

The final piece of your stylish hiking ensemble is the outer layer. This should be waterproof, windproof, and easily packable. You never know when unexpected weather will storm in, so having an extra jacket or poncho in your backpack is always a good idea. We recommend a packable rain jacket for hiking (easily found on Amazon) in warm weather because they do a great job without taking up much weight or space. But for cold hikes, bundle up in something heavy-duty like a ski coat.
The Perfect Hiking Bottoms

Next, let’s talk about hiking bottoms. You have lots of options when it comes to what you slip into, from fashion-forward skirts to functional cargo pants. Here are a few of our favorite options.

Hiking Skirts

At the top of the hiking fashion scale is the hiking skirt. These soft and stretchy skirts add a touch of elegance to any hiking outfit without sacrificing function. Take our TrailTrek Hiking Skirt, for example. The fabric is soft and breathable while offering UVA and UVB sun protection. It also includes no-chafe undershorts (yes, please!), an adjustable waist, and plenty of built-in pockets for your essentials.

Cargo Hiking Pants

The most popular choice, cargo pants are a versatile and comfortable option for any trail. Not only are they water-resistant and breathable, but they also include lots of pockets and fully protect your legs from underbrush and weather. They also come in a variety of cuts, including straight leg, tapered, and classic.

Hiking Shorts

For a fair-weather hike, a trusty pair of shorts may be all you need! However, not all shorts are created equal, so be sure the pair you choose is up for the job. You want breathability and moisture-wicking, a bit of stretch, and pockets. Many women opt for a streamlined pair of cargo shorts, but you can also wear your favorite stretchy bermudas or comfy cotton lounge shorts as long as the hike isn’t too intense.
Whatever bottoms you choose, remember to protect your skin by applying sunscreen to any exposed leg every two hours!

The Stylish Accessories

The final piece to your perfect hiking outfit is the accessories. These are a great way to show off your hiking style while adding extra functionality.


Protecting your face from the sun with a brimmed hat is important. This can be your favorite baseball cap from home, a colorful bucket hat, or a timeless hiking fedora. In most cases, you can pick whatever suits your style—but don’t forget to consider wind in case you need something with a chin strap.


UV protection is also essential for your eyes, making sunglasses one of the most important pieces of hiking gear. Bring along your favorite sunglasses to protect your eyes from harmful rays and improve your visibility on the trail.

And now you know exactly what to wear hiking! Be sure to shop at Stelle to find plenty of stylish hiking clothes that keep you comfortable without sacrificing functionality. We’re always here to help you enjoy your favorite activities with confidence!