What outfit to choose for summer hiking?

How do you choose your summer hiking outfit?

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Hiking is one of France's favourite summer activities, allowing you to explore trails all over the country and beyond, discovering breathtaking scenery. When it comes to choosing what trekking clothing to wear on your outings, there are a few precautions to take because hiking in summer can be deceptive. If your route takes you to higher altitudes, simple t-shirts and shorts won't be enough, even in bright sunshine. Here's our advice on what hiking clothing to choose for your summer walks.

What outfit to choose for summer hiking?

How to dress for a summer hike: top

When you go hiking in summer, it's tempting to wear just a tank top for fear of getting too hot from the effort and the summer temperatures.

However, in the majority of cases, your hike will take you along trails at altitude, or in the shade of trees.

In this case, you'll notice a real drop in temperature, so you'll need suitable hiking clothing to fully enjoy your activity.

The 3 layer rule

Generally speaking, when we talk about hiking, one rule often comes to mind: the three-layer rule. This essential rule helps you to choose the perfect hiking outfit for activity in optimum conditions.

The first layer, or base layer, is the one closest to the body. This layer should have good absorbency properties to wick away sweat, which is often the case when hiking. Opting for such a material lets moisture spread over the fabric and evaporate quickly, protecting you from any cold sensations. You'll find below the materials you should choose for your first layer, so that it provides you with undeniable comfort during your trek.

The second layer, also known as the intermediate layer, is what you wear over your base layer. The main role of this second layer will be to insulate you effectively from the cold, while offering you pleasant breathability when you climb to higher altitudes. Note that the breathability of your second layer is essential, as it lets the perspiration absorbed by the first layer to be properly wicked away.

The third layer is the outer layer. This is the trekking garment that will protect you from bad weather (wind, rain, etc.), while also encouraging the evacuation of moisture. Note that when you choose your hiking clothing, you will find indications such as "waterproof" or "water-resistant". It's important to distinguish between these two criteria, since water resistance will protect you from light, temporary rain, while waterproof trekking clothing will keep you dry for several hours, no matter how heavy the downpour. For a summer hike, water resistance should be enough.

The aim of the three layer rule is to keep you comfortable throughout your adventure, even in summer. Indeed, as soon as your route takes you to the highest points, a drop in temperature is to be expected; That's why it's a good idea to opt for several layers of clothing.

What outfit to choose for summer hiking?
What outfit to choose for summer hiking?

What materials should I choose for my top?

Choosing the right material for your hiking clothing lets you benefit from all the properties it has to offer so you can enjoy your activity in optimum conditions.

This summer's must-haves include the following.

- Merino wool: contrary to what you might think, Merino wool is particularly light and comfortable to wear. Thin and stretchy, it's extremely breathable and wicks away sweat perfectly, making it the ideal material for your first layer.

- Nylon: also recommended for base layers, is a fabric that offers strength and finesse. It also has excellent absorbent properties to quickly evaporate any perspiration from your hiking trip.

- Polyester: with some similarities to nylon, also wicks away moisture quickly and dries quickly.

What outfit to choose for summer hiking?

Please note: we strongly advise you to avoid cotton for your trekking clothing. As it accumulates moisture, it is likely to feel very unpleasant from the outset.

At the same time, when you're choosing your summer hiking clothing, it's a good idea to find out about the different treatments available. Among the main ones are anti-odour treatments which reduce the risk of perspiration odours after a long day's walking.

There are also anti-UV treatments to protect you from strong sun at altitude. Finally, for those embarking on more tropical routes, you can opt for an anti-insect treatment to repel insects, which are particularly numerous in humid areas and near bodies of water.

What outfit to choose for summer hiking?

What kind of trekking clothing to wear on top?

Summer calls for short-sleeved t-shirts and tank tops, so you can enjoy the slightest draught to escape the heat, but summer hiking can be an exception to the rule. There are several options when it comes to choosing your tops.

If you're opting for a short hike at low altitude, under the gentle rays of the sun, you can opt for lighter clothing, such as a tank top or short-sleeved t-shirt. However, it’s still important to protect the areas of your skin that are not covered with sun cream.

If, however, you are going up to altitude for a trek lasting several hours, you should opt for long sleeves in a lightweight fabric that will provide the ideal temperature while protecting you from UV rays.

Choosing your hiking outfit: bottoms

- Shorts: preferred by many, shorts give you all the comfort you need for an enjoyable activity. They give you real freedom of movement, especially if they're made from stretch fabric. However, shorts are best worn on particularly hot days. Otherwise, your hiking routes designed to show you the most beautiful sights, risk taking you to areas where temperatures are lower even in summer.

- Hiking trousers: one of the essentials for summer hiking, these trousers will protect you from potential summer winds and showers, as well as the low temperatures encountered at higher altitudes. Specially designed for trekking, these trousers offer real comfort, thanks to a lightweight, durable fabric that won't restrict your movements.
- The alternatives: to cater for everyone's preferences, we also have alternatives to shorts and trousers, offering interesting compromises. These include trousers with detachable legs that adapt perfectly to changing summer climates.

When it comes to the material of your bottoms, we recommend that you opt for lightweight, quick-drying fabrics, discounting jeans in particular in favour of stretch.

What outfit to choose for summer hiking?

Trekking clothing: what about footwear?

To complete your hiking outfit, it's important not to forget your footwear. Just as essential to your comfort, they need to be chosen with care.

For your summer treks, we advise you to consider several criteria presented here.

What outfit to choose for summer hiking?


Hiking can be a physical activity, and summer walking can make you feel hotter, sometimes causing you to sweat more.

To make sure that your footwear stays dry and comfortable to wear after several hours of trekking, it’s essential that it’s breathable.

What outfit to choose for summer hiking?


As with any activity, especially hiking, your feet are the ones that will carry you through the most beautiful routes. As your direct link with the trail, they must be protected in all circumstances. That's why we strongly recommend that you opt for the most comfortable footwear.

You'll find models with shock-absorbing soles that provide real foot support. When it comes to general comfort, it's up to individual preferences.

What outfit to choose for summer hiking?


Hiking trails can be winding, with rocks and branches getting in the way so it's important to wear footwear that gives you perfect support. So, whatever the state of the trail, having shoes that support your feet properly will protect you from potential injury and promote your comfort.

When choosing your hiking clothing, it's a good idea to find out in advance about the weather conditions in the region you are exploring, even in summer. This means you can choose the right trekking clothing that will give you all the comfort you need for an unforgettable outing.

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