We're hitting the trails Orders placed now will ship on Monday, July 29

We're hitting the trails

Orders placed now will ship on Monday, July 29

Gear Up Right: Your Guide to Hiking and Trail Running Apparel

Gear Up Right: Your Guide to Hiking and Trail Running Apparel

Nicole Barnes |

When it comes to hiking and trail running, the right apparel can make a significant difference in comfort, performance, and safety. Here's what you should look for to ensure you’re well-prepared for the trails.

  1. Material Criteria 

Moisture-Wicking and Breathability: Look for fabrics that wick moisture away from your skin and dry quickly. Materials like recycled polyester, nylon, and merino wool excel in this area. Polyester and nylon are synthetic fibers known for their durability and ability to pull sweat away from the body, but overproduction isn’t ideal for the earth, so you should opt for brands that commit to using recycled polyester. Merino wool not only wicks moisture but also has excellent temperature-regulating properties, making it suitable for both hot and cold weather​. Since Merino wool is a natural fiber, it’s also biodegradable unlike most synthetics. 

  1. Design Features

Flatlock seams are essential for preventing chafing, which is especially important for long-distance running and hiking. Seams should be strategically placed to avoid high-friction areas, ensuring a more comfortable experience. 

Proper ventilation is key for temperature regulation. Look for clothing with mesh panels or zippers that can be opened to increase airflow when needed. Storage is another important consideration. Running shorts and pants with zippered pockets can securely hold essentials like keys, a phone, or energy gels. For longer hikes, having accessible pockets on your jacket or backpack straps can be very convenient.

The ability to layer clothing is crucial for adapting to changing weather conditions. Base layers made of moisture-wicking materials should fit snugly but comfortably, while mid-layers, such as fleece or insulated jackets, provide warmth. Outer layers should be windproof and waterproof to protect against the elements.

  1. Protective Elements

Clothing with built-in UV protection can help protect your skin from harmful rays, especially important at high altitudes where the sun’s rays are stronger. Brands like Janji and Ciele offer clothing with UPF + 30 or more sun protection. UPF stands for ultraviolet protection factor which means these clothing can block skin-damaging UV rays. A UPF rating of 30 means that the fabric only allows 1/30th of the sun’s rays to penetrate, meaning you’re protected from 97% of harmful sun radiation. 

  1. Safety Details

Safety should never be overlooked. Apparel with reflective elements enhances visibility during low-light conditions, which is vital for early morning or late evening activities. Many brands incorporate reflective logos, strips, and accents into their designs.

  1. Sustainability

With growing awareness of environmental impact, many brands are focusing on sustainable practices. Look for apparel made from recycled materials, sustainable natural fibers and those from companies with transparent supply chains and ethical labor practices. When you choose more durable gear, you reduce the amount you need to buy over time too. 

Investing in the right apparel is essential for anyone serious about hiking and trail running. Prioritize moisture-wicking, breathable materials, and designs that enhance comfort, protection, and are built to last. Don’t forget to consider sustainability and durability when making your choices. By doing so, you’ll ensure that every adventure on the trail is comfortable, safe and promotes planet-saving practices.

Check out some of the best trail running gear and apparel that we have to offer: