9 *Actually* Stylish Must-Haves for Hiking Newbies, Tried and Tested by a Hiking Newbie
Hiking can be so much fun when you're *properly* prepared. The first hike I went on was a disaster because I was wearing beat-up sneakers instead of hiking shoes, using a water pack that tasted like plastic instead of finding an easy way to carry my stainless steel water bottle, and had basically nothing with me because I didn't have pockets. Especially when you're new to hiking, having the proper gear is essential.
It doesn't hurt if said gear is also stylish and actually fun to wear. Because whenever I'm struggling my way up and down a mountain, I'm comforted by knowing that I at least look good while doing it. If you too want cute, functional items to help you through your hike, shop my favorites below.
Hiking shoes are typically not-so-cute, to put it nicely. So I swooned when I saw this sleek and simple pair from Arc’teryx. They look great and feel amazing on and provide the perfect support needed for a long hike. It comes up just high enough to provide ankle support without being so high that it feels like a boot. They’re available in three colors: green (pictured above), navy, and black. If you head over for the green pair and are a little spooked by what looks like a different shade of green, rest assured that IRL, they look like the pair we’ve pictured here. They come in both full and half sizes between 5 and 10.
I’ve gone hiking with the water pouch backpacks that you drink from with a long attached flexible straw and I have to say, I’m not a fan. Unless you’re doing some serious activity in which handsfree drinking is a must, I much prefer keeping a hand-held water bottle around. And this Waistpack from Caraa allows me to do that without having to carry it. Plus, it has ample storage for anything else you might want to stash. It comes in five great colors: olympic (pictured above), navy, olive, fuchsia, and black.
If you’re headed out for a full day of activities, you may experience some temperature fluctuations. This color-blocked pair of pants from Outdoor Voices is like three pairs of bottoms in one. Wear them as pictured when you need full coverage, zip off the bottom layer to wear them as capris, or zip off the middle layer for shorts. They’re made from a durable, element-resistant, stretchy fabric and feature a removable nylon webbing belt. Currently, they’re available in the pictured combo of kelp, khaki, and bone; and a green-blue-white combo. Sizes run from XXS to XL.
This blanket shirt is great on its own for days you want to feel cozy, but is also a great shaket if you want something that’s thick—but not too heavy—to layer over your clothes on a chilly hike. It’s available in four colors: sunset blush (pictured), kiwi, glow (pale yellow), and blue glass. It’s available in two sizes: XS/S and M/L
If you’re looking for a sleek hiking boot, this one from Altra is perfect. They’re lightweight but have a grippy bottom to provide traction. They’re available in three colors: ice flow blue (pictured), khaki, and black. They come in both full and half sizes between 5.5 and 12.
This belt bag is nice and slim, but also able to fit an (included) water bottle. It features a secure, zippered pocket and reflective fabric for added visibility and safety. It’s available in five colors: black (pictured), mineral blue silver, plum/black palms, fired brick/black, and blue haze/black.
Protect yourself from the elements with this super lightweight bucket hat that can fold up and be stowed away with ease when you don’t want to wear it. The fabric has a four-way stretch, is sweat-wicking, and is quick-drying. This black hat is reversible, with a black and gray camo on the inside. It also comes in five other reversible colors and patterns.
This is the perfect jacket to get you through a cool, misty morning hike. It’s got a hood and is made from sweat-wicking fabric with a reflective print to light up your route. It’s available in four colors: pink (pictured), pale purple, and gray. It comes in sizes XS through 2XL.
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