Hiking is a fantastic hobby: you can explore the world, see outstanding landscapes, and receive plenty of wonderful emotions. Besides, it is an extremely healthy hobby: hiking usually takes hours when you walk, which means that you are moving instead of lying in your bed. You get healthier and fitter while enjoying magnificent views and becoming happier.
Compared to other hobbies and sports, hiking does not require much preparation. Well, of course, this depends on your hiking location; however, for beginners who start with simple paths, there is no need to purchase expensive items or complete any special physical training.
Although hiking can be a rather simple activity, still, some peculiar things are quite important. For instance, you should always have a bottle of water that will help you stay hydrated and feel good. Besides, wearing appropriate clothes that suit the current weather is essential. Believe us, you do not want to catch a cold or, vice versa, have a heat stroke after your hike.
In our review, we will focus on the best hiking shorts for women. Wearing shorts is especially comfy if you go hiking on a sunny and hot day when you know for sure that the chance of rain is slow and it will be hot until the very evening.
Hot weather hiking requires as few clothes as possible, so shorts are a smart choice. Below, you can check the best hiking shorts for women currently available on the market. All of them have great quality and features that will help you hike with comfort and ease.
Best Hiking Shorts for Women: Top 15
We have selected the 15 best options for you: they have different shapes, colors, materials, and other essential features. We hope you will manage to find something that suits your preference and body for a comfortable walk. Most of these good-quality hiking shorts are available in online and offline stores, and you can buy them easily and quickly.
One of the most comfortable and cute shorts created by one of the best sportswear brands in the world — this is how we can briefly describe these amazing The North Face Aphrodite shorts.
They are so short and light that you will barely feel them on your body. When it is so hot that you make an effort to move around, these shorts are a fantastic option. They seem to be loose and wide but materials (mostly nylon and a bit of elastane) make them a bit stretchy, too. They take all the sweat and water, keeping you dry and making you feel fine in any weather conditions.
The North Face products are available in a great number of stores, including their own shop. You can check out all the prices and colors of these shorts on the official brand’s store, Amazon marketplace, REI store, Zappos site, and many other places. The average price is 40 US dollars; the shorts are available in pink, green, black, and other colors.
Lands End produces sportswear for those who prefer bright colors and comfort. These colorful shorts will be a stylish accessory for your hiking trip when it is hot.
While we include this item in our “best hiking shorts for women” rating, actually, many women purchase this model for surfing. This means that if you have any ponds or rivers on your way where it is safe to swim, you can dive right away: these shorts have panties inside that will dry quickly after you get out of the water.
Available in all possible sizes, Lands End shorts are not too short; this is why many purchasers prefer them in comparison to some other models. We recommend you check this great option: rather affordable hiking shorts that you can also use for swimming. Buy them in the brand’s shop for just 30 dollars or find them on the Amazon site.
3. Vuori Shorts for Hikers
This model will perfectly fit those who prefer wearing breathable fabric clothes due to the feeling it gives or to various allergies. Producing hiking shorts using cotton is rather unusual, so if you are looking for such items, pay attention to this one.
Among other features are great durability (because of the fabric), a convenient wide waistband that you can regulate in any way you like, nice pastel colors (like soft pink, lilac, or beige), functional pockets on the front and on the back, and a small zippered pocket for the most important things you carry.
Columbia is another world-famous sportswear brand that produces fantastic sports clothes: durable literally for years and extremely comfortable. Shorts for women are not an exception: Columbia has a couple of great models that have conquered the hearts of stylish sportswomen.
These comfy shorts have a couple of deep pockets and nice stretch. The Omni-Shield and Omni-Shade technologies developed by Columbia were used to create this model. The first one is responsible for high repellency, and the second one helps with protection from the sun.
The shorts are available in dark colors that do not draw much attention: black, dark nocturnal tusk, and city gray. There are two kinds of lengths for this model; besides, it is available in regular sizes and in plus sizes, too.
Although most purchasers have marked these shorts as an amazing product, honest reviews give us a little hint: some women with wide thighs have ordered not their size but a bigger one — and they have never regretted it.
These shorts are sold in numerous stores, including the official Columbia store, Amazon shop, Zappos, and DSG. On average, the model costs 45 dollars; sometimes, Columbia offers discounts on them. If you are looking for plus-size options, check them out here.
5. Title Nine Big B Women’s Hiking Shorts
These are great casual hiking shorts that you can use both for a long-distance walk and in everyday life. They look stylish and are available in numerous colors to satisfy all fashionistas. Made of cotton, spandex, and nylon, they have a perfect combination of materials that make them extremely comfortable regardless of a lady’s shape.
Lightweight hiking shorts from Title Nine also have multiple pockets for your convenience. They have two inseam lengths: four or seven inches. Consider choosing the option with a bigger inseam if you not only walk but also bike or look for running shorts. If something changes in your shape, you can always wear it, thanks to belt loops added to this model.
On the Title Nine official website, you can check out all available colors and sizes. Right now, these shorts will cost you around 65 dollars.
6. REI Bermude Sahara Shorts
The REI shop not only sells other brands’ clothes but also has its own items. And they are so good! For example, these Sahara shorts are a perfect choice for those who prefer mid-rise and mid-length models that are slightly upper than the knees. The brand has produced these shorts both in regular and plus sizes so all women can find their best option.
Among the features, Sahara shorts have four deep pockets on the back and on the front, loops for a hip belt if needed, and sun protection. They are mostly made of nylon with a bit of spandex (4%). Ladies prefer Sahara shorts because of their convenience: they fit for hiking, walking on a sunny day, having a bike trip, skateboarding, and any other activity you can imagine.
The easiest way to find these shorts is to visit the REI Co-op official webpage. There, you can select a size and one of three nice colors (black, shaded olive, or red clay).
7. Patagonia Running Shorts
Patagonia is another brand that is famous all over the world for its fantastic-quality sportswear, outdoor gear, and accessories. It offers a wide range of different running, cycling, and hiking shorts for women and men, too. Whether you plan to climb steep trails or have a simple walk in the park, Patagonia will have something stylish to offer.
For one, these Patagonia Strider shorts are amazing if you are looking for a short and soft model that will not constrain your movements. You can buy them in five beautiful colors and six different sizes. Made of recycled polyester, these shorts can dry fast and are super lightweight.
If you look at the picture and think about where to put all the stuff you wish to carry on your run, do not worry: the shorts have two pockets on both sides and one huge back pocket for all the essentials like your keys and smartphone.
Another thing you might think about is these shorts’ length. If you prefer something longer, consider checking Patagonia Quandary shorts or Patagonia Baggies. These two are convenient as well but have a bit more fabric to cover your legs. All of them are available on Patagonia’s site.
We call these shorts from Columbia hiking pants because of the longer inseam of 18 inches. These hiking shorts almost cover your knees and allow you not to get cold if the summer warmth suddenly has changed to chilly and windy weather.
Shorts can be adjusted on your knees and have loops to put your belt on. A couple of pockets will ensure that all your belongings are safe. A gusseted crotch ensures comfort while you hike or run. Like many items produced by Columbia, these shorts are made with Omni-Shield and Omni-Shade tech developments mentioned above.
Columbia sells these shorts in nine different sizes and offers them in five neutral colors: black, gray, dark gray, beige, and stone green. The shorts cost 50 dollars and can be found on Columbia’s page, on Zappos, on Amazon, and in other stores.
9. Lululemon Shorts
Lululemon Wunder Train shorts are skintight, stretchy, and created especially for all kinds of sports. High-waisted shorts like these are often preferred for cycling and yoga because they are not loose and allow you to forget that you are wearing anything.
Fast-drying, sweat-wicking, and smart Everlux fabric ensures that you will not get wet and uncomfortable during your hike or jog. It may seem that the shorts leave no chances to store your things like a cell phone or keys; however, designers have thought this through and added a couple of convenient pockets.
Besides their convenience for certain activities, these cycling, running, and walking shorts are extremely stylish, available in eight different colors that include not only usual shades like black or gray but also bright options like blue, purple, and shady pink.
You have three inseam lengths to choose from: four, six, or eight inches. This gives more opportunities to everybody: whether you prefer long shorts or long models that keep your legs cool, Lululemon has both to offer. All sizes and colors are represented on Lululemon’s site; a pair of Wunder Train shorts costs no less than 64 dollars, and the price depends on the shorts’ features you select.
Nice hiking shorts from Eddie Bauer look neutral yet stylish on your legs and add up to your great look for a summer hike or walk. This Pro Flex model offers an elastic waistband for your convenience: you should not adjust anything — shorts will take your shape and comply. The elastic waistband is accompanied by a button and zip to make these shorts even better.
Pro Flex shorts have one zippered pocket and a couple of bigger pockets for all the things you need to carry during your summer activities. This model is water-resistant and offers sun protection that helps you to avoid harmful sun rays on a hot day.
The shorts are available in neutral but pleasant colors like gray, indigo, and olive green; girls of every shape and height will find their perfect sizes thanks to a huge variety of lengths and widths. Check them all out at the official Eddie Bauer store or on Amazon. They will cost you about 65 dollars.
11. prAna Walking Shorts
Rephrasing the famous song’s lyrics, these shorts are made for walking! prAna makes sustainable clothing for yoga, hiking, and other outdoor adventures. These Hanne shorts are offered in four colors (two are camo sage and neutral black, the other two are light-blue shoreline and camel earthbound) and have convenient front and back pockets with button closures to carry your essentials and keep them secure.
They are made of ReZion fabric created by prAna which is a nylon blend stretchy material. Purchasers note the softness and convenience these shorts bring during a long hike or a camping adventure in summer.
Depending on your aims, you can select a 5-inch or 7-inch inseam. If you are looking for a comfy and versatile pair of shorts, check out this and other prAna models.
If you are looking for short hiking and walking shorts that have pockets so big that they can fit whatever you need including extra-large smartphones, keys, chapsticks, snacks, and other smaller items, consider checking these Mountain Hardwear Dynama shorts that can be used for various activities.
Some people have a rock climbing experience in these shorts and say that they are a bit loose and a bit stretchy at the same time. Odor-resistant fabric is extremely durable and offers sun protection, too. There are two inseam options — long and regular — and sizes from XS to XL available. The shorts are made in six colors, including light-blue and green caspian that reminds of a sea, beige dunes, and blueish dark zinc.
13. Coalatree Hiking Shorts
This model produced by Coalatree has one of the highest ratings among all hiking shorts for women, and there are reasons for high esteem.
Firstly, they look simple yet stylish, have no excess details, and come in plain and neutral colors. Secondly, the materials used (spandex together with nylon) allow you to have a nice feeling when you wear them: not too loose and not tight at all. They absorb water and sweat and let you feel cool during a hot and sunny day.
Some people feel a lack of pockets; still, there are some small compartments where you can put your belongings. Overall, it is a great addition to your hiking wardrobe as well as other eco-minded goods made by the Coalatree brand. Buy these awesome shorts on Coalatree’s website for 69 dollars and take them on your best hiking trip.
14. REI Sahara Amphib Shorts
Another version of REI Sahara shorts, this model dries fast, has vast pockets for valuable items, and comes in unusual great colors and shades. A cute small integrated belt adds to the model’s style.
A blend of nylon and polyester lets you feel comfortable while doing any physical activity you can imagine, including running, hiking, and cycling. Four inches inseam might seem a bit short for some people; however, if you prefer short shorts and bright outstanding colors, this is your best choice.
15. prAna Kahab Shorts
We have already told you about the advantages of clothing produced by prAna; here is another decent model of shorts you can buy for hiking, running, and other outdoor activities. This pair will definitely improve your leisure time because of the nice feeling it gives while you wear it.
These hiking shorts mostly consist of breathable organic cotton and are a bit stretchy because they have 2% of elastance as well. They have a great length optimal for most buyers because they are not too short yet not too long. Deep functional pockets on the back (with an envelope closure) let you carry several essentials during your trip. A wide waistband makes this model even comfier and allows it to join the list of the best hiking shorts.
These lightweight hiking shorts have great longevity (thanks to the durable nylon that accompanies cotton here). You can select from four colors and five sizes on the prAna site or in various sportswear shops like REI Co-op. A pair costs 59 dollars.
As you can see, there are numerous hiking shorts that a woman can choose from. Most of the shorts mentioned above will suit you and provide you with comfort in multiple activities and situations, from walking in a park to climbing rocks or exploring the woods.
Before buying a pair or two, remember that a good-quality pair of trail shorts is essential for your comfort and well-being. Hiking gear, including hiking shorts, must be durable and flawless.
How to Select the Best Hiking Shorts
Well, you see how many options the market currently offers. All of them have different features, pricing, and ways of usage (some are great for cycling, others look more casual, and so on). So, there are certain criteria that you should define for yourself not to be mistaken about the choice.
1. Best Material for Hiking
First, you should determine what material you prefer for your hiking shorts. If you like breathable materials, then cotton is probably your top choice; however, this fabric does not dry fast if this feature matters for you.
If you plan to do other sports besides hiking (like cycling or yoga), having spandex or elastane among the components of your hiking shorts would be best. Also, if you need to stay dry and plan to move actively, we suggest you look for sweat-wicking materials that are used by many sportswear manufacturers.
Some brands have their own technologies developed for wearers’ comfort. If you know for sure that your favorite manufacturer has such developments and you already wear something from the brand, maybe you should pay more attention to its products and check their online stores where you can find the info about each and every clothing material.
2. Shorts Color
This is an important characteristic because in summer when it is hot (if the weather is good in your region), having shorts and tank tops of the colors you prefer is essential. You do not want to buy a dozen shorts, right? So, consider finding a couple of products in the colors you love — not to get bored during summer.
3. Overall Look
Whatever people say, style matters. Think thoroughly about your summer plans. Will you hike a lot in the woods and mountains where no one will see you? Then, maybe you should think more of your shorts’ features added for convenience (extra durable material, zippered pockets, and other useful items).
On the contrary, if you know for sure that you buy shorts for walks on weekend and for casual wearing on weekdays (why not?), consider purchasing something that will look appropriate and more or less match your other clothes. Anyway, your best hiking shorts should make you happy anytime you look in the mirror.
Again, this point is about your lifestyle and summer plans. Casual shorts that you plan to wear in the city and hike in them sometimes do not require many features. However, when you go hiking and walk for miles, the best option would be to have hiking shorts with plenty of pockets, a waistband that can be adjusted if needed, and an optimal length not to get cold in the evening (maybe you should look for the best hiking pants instead of shorts), loops for your belt, and other additional features.
5. Comfort hike
The last and probably the most important feature that you should consider when buying your best hiking shorts. Regardless of your shorts’ color, material, number of pockets, length, and other parameters, the ultimate thing is how you feel while wearing them.
Your best hiking shorts will be those that make you feel as comfy as possible. Imagine that you go for a hike for the whole day and wear something uncomfortable. Do you think that a hike like this will bring you any joy? If you constantly think about the inconvenience of your clothing, it will be no good. So, we always suggest you try your best hiking shorts before you purchase them.
Only after you ensure that you feel great in this or that garment, is it the perfect moment to buy it.
Why Spending Money on Hiking Shorts
Some ladies may consider that hiking shorts are way too expensive, and they cannot afford them. Potential purchasers try to get cheaper products to save money.
This tactic can work for regular goods like tops, pants, and other clothes you wear in your daily life. However, for hiking, we would recommend you to select durable and good-quality products, and these often have a higher price than others that lack quality.
So, when we hear questions about the best budget hiking shorts, we always suggest finding funds for decent models that will serve for years rather than buying a cheap pair and throwing it away year by year.
Normally, hiking shorts cost no less than 25-30 dollars; so, you should be ready for such prices on web pages of online stores (or price tags when shopping offline). The best hiking shorts cannot be cheap because of all the materials and features used to make them perfect for long trips and hikes.
Hiking Shorts Takeaway
Now that you know all the essentials about the best hiking shorts and walking shorts for women, have enough information to select your perfect model, and have received some precious recommendations, the only thing we have to say is that it is essential to purchase a pair that will be 100% comfy and comply with your demands and taste.
Having a pair of shorts that suits you ensures the best impressions from your leisure, and these impressions will later affect your state in a positive way and improve your well-being!
Frequently Asked Questions — FAQ
We believe that our review and the best hiking and walking shorts are quite informative; still, you may have additional questions. Get more details from the answers below.
What shorts should women wear for hiking?
There are so many hiking shorts on the market that women can buy that we cannot tell for sure. The reason is everyone’s individual tastes and preferences. Some women love short garments with no pockets that are tight and stretchy; others prefer longer models with numerous pockets or cargo shorts.
We cannot define the best hiking shorts for everyone because women are so different. So, you can answer this question by yourself and determine the best option for you.
Is it better to hike in shorts or leggings?
This depends on various factors, and the most important one is the weather in the hiking area. If the region is famous for its hot and humid weather that remains the same during mornings and evenings, we recommend using shorts not to get a heat stroke.
However, if you know that during the day it is extremely hot but at night it gets way too cold for shorts, consider either buying a pair of leggings or taking both garments with you and changing on your way.
Another factor that matters is that leggings are normally made of stretchy and tight materials. If you know for sure that this kind of fabric is not comfy for you, maybe you should pay attention to longer shorts that will cover your knees or even a pair of warm good-quality hiking pants.
Can I hike in cargo shorts?
Well, yes, nothing can stop you from hiking in cargo shorts if you feel comfortable hiking this way. The cargo model presumes that you have plenty of pockets where you can put all your essentials and even more. Pockets will be everywhere: on the back, front, sides, and upper and lower positions of your shorts. If this is fine for you, why not go hiking in such shorts? Also, normally, they are rather long, so you will not get cold.
What materials make the best women’s hiking shorts?
The most popular materials manufacturers use to make hiking shorts are nylon (including recycled nylon for eco-friendly clients), elastane, spandex, cotton, and also all these materials in various combinations. They allow us to produce convenient garments that are either breathable or water-resistant.
Why the noise about pockets in your hiking shorts?
Because when you hike, it is great not to have any big bags or backpacks! The best option is to have a small waist bag that you will not feel on your body and a couple of pockets with convenient closure (or even without it) to put some items that require quick access (for one, your smartphone).
What length is best for your hiking shorts?
You should choose your shorts’ length in accordance with two things: the weather in your hiking area and your own preferences. Some of our readers cannot imagine long shorts on themselves; others would like to buy knee-covering models. When defining the length of your shorts, always think of these two factors.
What does gusseted construction mean?
When we speak about shorts, this means that you have an additional piece of cloth attached to the crotch. This piece makes shorts more flexible and convenient for the wearer. However, not necessarily such models will be the best for you. Always remember to try shorts on and check them for convenience before you buy them.