Can I wear running shorts for hiking

If you’re like me, you probably have a lot of questions about fashion and outdoor gear. For instance, can I wear running shorts for hiking? The answer is, it depends! Here’s a look at the pros and cons of wearing running shorts for hiking.


Whether or not you can wear running shorts for hiking really depends on a few factors, including the climate you’ll be hiking in, the type of terrain you’ll be covering, and your personal preference. In general, though, running shorts are designed for hot weather and relatively flat surfaces, so they might not be the best choice for more challenging hikes.

If you’re hiking in warm weather and covering relatively level terrain, running shorts could work well for you. But if you’re planning to hike in cooler weather or over more difficult terrain, you might want to consider wearing pants or longer shorts. And of course, if you’re not comfortable wearing running shorts on a hike, there’s no shame in opting for a different type of clothing!

The Pros of Wearing Running Shorts for Hiking

While you might not think to pack your running shorts for a hike, there are actually a few reasons why they could be the best choice for your next adventure. Running shorts are typically made from lightweight, quick-drying material that will keep you comfortable when you’re sweating. They also have built-in sun protection and often have pockets for carrying essentials, like your phone or energy gel. And because they’re designed for running, they won’t ride up or chafe when you’re on the trail.

The Cons of Wearing Running Shorts for Hiking

Though you might be able to get away with wearing running shorts for hiking in some situations, there are a few reasons why you might want to think twice before donning your favorite pair of gym shorts the next time you hit the trails.

First and foremost, running shorts are designed for, well, running. This means that they’re usually made from lighter fabrics that can wick away sweat and keep you cool when you’re working up a sweat. However, those same light fabrics offer very little protection from the elements when you’re hiking. If you’re caught in a rainstorm or brush up against some thorny bushes, you’ll be wishing you had chosen a sturdier pair of shorts.

Additionally, running shorts often have shorter inseams than hiking shorts. This can be uncomfortable when hiking, as the shorter length can ride up and cause chafing (trust us, you don’t want that). And finally, most running shorts havebuilt-in underwear — which might be fine for a short run around the block, but can be quite uncomfortable on a longer hike.

The Bottom Line: To Shorts or Not to Shorts

So, can you wear running shorts for hiking? Our advice is that if you feel more comfortable in running shorts, then go for it! There really are no rules when it comes to hiking attire (within reason, of course). However, there are a few things to keep in mind.

First, running shorts are often made with lighter fabric that might not provide as much protection from the elements as traditional hiking shorts. If you’re planning on doing any off-trail hiking or bushwhacking, you might want to consider a pair of beefier shorts.

Second, running shorts tend to be shorter than traditional hiking shorts. This might not be an issue for some people, but if you’re worried about getting sunburned or scratched up, you might want to choose a longer pair of shorts.

Finally, keep in mind that running shorts don’t have pockets like most hiking shorts do. This means you’ll have to find another place to stash your keys, phone, and snacks. A fanny pack or small daypack should do the trick!

How to Choose the Right Running Shorts for Hiking

When you’re on the trail, you want to be comfortable. But you also want your clothing to protect you from the elements and help you regulate your temperature. That’s why choosing the right running shorts for hiking is so important.

Here are a few things to consider when choosing the right shorts for your hike:
-The material: You want shorts that are made of a breathable material like polyester or nylon. Avoid cotton, which will hold sweat and moisture next to your skin and cause chafing.
-The fit: Choose shorts that fit snugly but are not too tight. They should have a comfortable waistband that won’t dug into your skin. And make sure they’re not so short that they show too much skin — you want to avoid sunburn and scrapes.
-The features: Some hiking shorts have pockets, which can be useful for carrying snacks or a map. Others have a zip-off design, which lets you convert them into capris or even long pants if the weather changes.

If you’re not sure what kind of running shorts to buy for your hike, ask a salesperson at your local outdoor store. They can help you find the perfect pair for your adventure!

What to Look for When Buying Running Shorts for Hiking

Planning a day hike or Backpacking trip? Chances are you’re going to want to bring a pair of running shorts. They’re comfortable, lightweight, and will dry quickly if you get caught in the rain or stream. But not all running shorts are created equal. Here’s what to look for when buying a pair of running shorts for hiking:

length: You want your shorts to be long enough that they’ll provide coverage and prevent chafing, but not so long that they’ll get caught on branches or hinder your mobility. Look for a pair that falls somewhere between your knee and mid-thigh.

fabric: The fabric of your shorts should be light and breathable, with quick-dry properties. Nylon and polyester are good choices. Avoid cotton, as it tends to hold onto moisture.

waistband: The waistband should be comfortable and secure, but not so tight that it digs into your skin or hinders your breathing. A wide waistband with an adjustable drawstring is ideal.

pockets: If you want to be able to carry snacks or other small items on your hike, look for a pair of shorts with pockets. Zippered pockets are best, as they will prevent items from falling out.

Tips for Wearing Running Shorts for Hiking

Hiking is a great way to get exercise and enjoy the outdoors, but what do you wear? Running shorts might seem like a good option, but there are a few things to keep in mind before hitting the trail.

First, consider the fabric of your shorts. A light, breathable fabric is key for both comfort and keeping cool on a hike. You’ll also want to make sure your shorts have some stretch to them so you can move freely.

Second, think about the length of your shorts. Running shorts are typically shorter than traditional hiking shorts, so they might not provide as much protection from branches and other obstacles on the trail. If you choose to wear running shorts, consider wearing a pair of liner socks underneath for added protection.

Finally, consider the pocket situation. Running shorts typically have small pockets that might not be large enough to hold everything you need on a hike (snacks, sunscreen, etc.). If you do wear running shorts on a hike, be sure to bring along a small backpack or waist pack to carry your essentials.

In the end, it’s up to you whether you want to wear running shorts on a hike. Just be sure to take into account the fabric, length, and pocket situation before hitting the trails!


After taking all of this information into consideration, it can be concluded that running shorts are not the best choice for hiking. They are not made of the right material, they do not provide enough storage, and they are not comfortable for long periods of time. However, if you are going on a short hike and you already have running shorts, they will probably be fine. Just make sure to bring along a backpack with some extra supplies.


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