What to wear hiking in hot weather – complete guide

The summer months can be an exciting time to hit the trails. The warm weather brings its own challenges, however, including increased risk of dehydration and sunburn. As a result, it’s important to know what types of clothing will keep you safe and comfortable when hiking in hot weather!

What to wear hiking in hot weather

The first thing you want to wear is hiking shoes or boots. This is the one piece of clothing that will be on your feet for the entire hike, so it’s important to find a shoe that fits well and feels good. If you’re going on a short hike with light gear, then sneakers are fine, but if you’re going on a long hike with heavy gear or know that there’s going to be lots of climbing involved, then stick with hiking boots.

Next comes socks: You’ll want some kind of moisture-wicking sock in order to keep your feet cool and dry (don’t forget wool!). In hot weather conditions, cotton socks retain moisture like a sponge—no matter how much water they absorb they won’t let go when they get wet—and this can make them feel heavier than they really are because they don’t dry very quickly at all! The resulting sweat will make it more uncomfortable overall since dampness is even worse than just plain wetness when it comes right down to it (which goes back again).

The important items you want to wear

The first thing you want to wear is the right shoes. If you’re hiking through nature, you’ll need a pair of sturdy boots that provide support and protection. Ideally, your boots should be waterproof and have some traction on grip if you’re walking on slippery surfaces such as mud or rocks.

Next up is socks! Your feet can get pretty hot in those boots, so it’s important to make sure they stay cool with a pair of breathable socks that help keep sweat from building up inside them (and let’s face it: we all sweat).

Then comes pants or shorts—another way to keep yourself feeling fresh as the day goes on. The best options are lightweight material like cotton or polyester blends because they’ll keep you comfortable without weighing you down too much when moving around along trails during your hike!

Finally, consider wearing shirts made from fabric blends like polyester/cotton combinations which are light enough for warm weather activities but also durable enough not rip apart easily when caught on branches or bushes along narrow paths off-trail routes; these fabrics will allow air flow while keeping moisture away from skin areas covered by clothing layers underneath garments worn during long hikes outdoors where temperatures are high during summer months (but never dangerously hot–only uncomfortably warm).”

Hiking shoes/boots

Hiking shoes or boots are the footwear of choice for hiking in hot weather. They’re lighter and more flexible than boots, and they provide better support and protection than flip-flops or sandals. But which type of footwear should you choose?

Hiking Shoes: The Best Choice for Hot Weather Hikes

Hiking shoes are a great choice over boots because they’re more breathable, lightweight, comfortable and supportive than their heavier counterparts. They also have a wide range of styles that work well in warm weather conditions.

The shoe or boot you choose

The shoe or boot you choose can make all the difference when it comes to enjoying your hike.

If you’re going on a short hike, wearing tennis shoes may be fine. But when you’re hiking in hot weather, they’ll likely become uncomfortable after just a few miles. This is because their lack of support puts too much pressure on your feet and legs. If the right shoes aren’t selected beforehand, blisters and other foot injuries are likely to occur as well—especially if you have any existing medical conditions like diabetes or high blood pressure that affect circulation in the lower extremities.

Hiking socks

Hiking socks are an essential piece of gear for every hiker. They’re designed to keep your feet dry and comfortable, which is important because a bad pair of socks can lead to blisters and other problems.

Before you go shopping for hiking socks, it’s helpful to know what makes a good pair. We’ve identified the most important characteristics that make up a great pair of hiking socks:

  • Comfort: You want them to be soft and supportive without being too tight or binding on your feet. Hiking socks should also be breathable so sweat doesn’t build up inside them over time; this will keep you cool when you’re working hard out in the summer heat!
  • Lightweight construction: Hiking in warm weather can take its toll on your body if you’re weighed down by heavy clothing or equipment all day long (no one wants heat exhaustion).  To combat this problem, choose lightweight fabrics such as nylon blends that breathe well but still maintain their strength when subjected to frequent washings/wearings cycles over time.  If possible, look for wicking properties within these materials so they don’t soak up humidity like regular cotton would do under similar circumstances (which only adds more weight).

When it’s warm outside

When it’s warm outside, you should wear a light hiking sock that does not provide too much cushioning. In fact, if your socks have too much cushioning and you sweat in them, the moisture can cause blisters on your feet. To avoid this situation:

  • Choose a hiking sock with an appropriate amount of padding in it (not too thick and not too thin)
  • Make sure the sock wicks moisture away from your feet
  • Get a breathable material for the top part of your foot, like mesh or wool

Shorts or pants?

  • Shorts are best for hiking in cold weather, where you’re looking to stay warm and comfortable.
  • Pants offer more coverage than shorts, which makes them more appropriate for hiking in hot weather. The greater coverage also helps protect your legs from the sun’s harmful UV rays.
  • Pants provide more breathability than shorts, due to the larger surface area of fabric on which air can circulate freely and evaporate moisture from your skin’s surface. This is especially important if you’ll be hiking at high elevations or in places where there’s little wind flow (such as forests).
  • Pants are more comfortable than shorts when it comes to wearing long underwear underneath and other clothing layers—and they tend not to ride up when you’re on a hike either! You’ll be able to feel cooler overall because there won’t be as much friction between your clothing layers as there would with shorts; plus there won’t be any bunching around your waistline either. If you’re going hiking with friends or family members who’ve opted for short-shorts over regular pants/jeans then this is particularly helpful so that everyone stays happy throughout the day together 🙂

Your preference for shorts

  • Your preference for shorts, pants or capris is going to depend on how tall your boots are.
  • If you have short legs and long boots, you’re most likely going to want capris or leggings.
  • If you have long legs and short boots, you may be able to get away with shorts if they’re not too high. Low-rise can also work in this scenario. But keep an eye on your footwear because once it gets wet from sweat and rain water, anything that’s above the knee can start chafing against the top of the boot where it isn’t covered by material (which causes blisters). The same goes for those who wear cropped pants: They will definitely need taller socks or tights underneath so as not to chafe against their exposed skin when walking through tall grasses or bushes where bugs like mosquitoes might bite them while hiking.”

Short sleeve or long sleeve?

This is a matter of preference, and there are benefits to both. The short sleeve shirt is lighter and cooler, so it will help keep your body temperature regulated when hiking in hot weather. However, long sleeves can also be nice for sun protection and bug defense (and you can always roll up the top if you get too hot). Long sleeves will also help keep you warm at night or when moving slowly during cold weather.

A lightweight t-shirt or tank top

A lightweight t-shirt or tank top is usually fine for hiking in warm weather.  You may want to consider quick-drying materials like polyester and merino wool.  And consider a shirt with at least SPF 50 sun protection — including coverage for neck and shoulders.

Hot weather brings different challenges than cold weather when you head out on the trail.

A trip outdoors in the summertime can be one of the most rewarding experiences of your life. However, as temperatures rise, so do the risks that hikers face. Heat-related illnesses are a serious concern for travelers who venture into hot climates or spend extended periods of time exposed to high temperatures. If you’re planning on hiking in hot weather this summer, here are some tips for staying safe and comfortable:

  • Drink more water than you think you need. It goes without saying that drinking plenty of water before, during and after your hike is important—especially when it’s hot outside. But how much water should you drink? A good rule of thumb is to consume one liter per hour while hiking—more if you’re sweating heavily or working hard at elevation (which causes an increase in sweat). If possible, carry a hydration pack with extra bottles so that there is always enough on hand if needed without having to stop along the way.
  • Wear protective clothing when hiking in direct sunlight for long periods of time (i.e., wear sunscreen!).


If you’re heading out on a summer hike, we’ve got all the information you need to make sure that you stay cool and comfortable. From shoes to shorts and everything in between, we’ve covered all the bases so that no matter what type of hot weather clothing you choose, it’ll be perfect for your next adventure!

Matthew Koch

Hi, I'm Matthew, a passionate blogger and traveler. I'm also a hard-core hiker. Hiking with friends and visiting new places is what I live for. Currently, I'm working at Gear Odds as CEO & Columnist. I would like to provide my best outdoor experience possible.

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