What to wear when hiking?

What to wear when hiking?

You like to spend time outdoors and especially hiking. Follow our advice to find the right outfit, summer or winter!

You like to spend time outdoors and especially hiking. But until now you haven't really taken the time to equip yourself for your outings in the great outdoors and you're wondering what to wear when hiking. Follow our advice to find the right outfit, summer or winter!


Equipping yourself for mountain walking in warm weather requires relatively little equipment. However, you’ll need to make sure you have the right equipment and especially the right shoes! And of course, if you are planning to climb to higher altitudes, you’ll need warm clothes to complete your equipment.

What to wear when hiking?

Which shoes to wear for summer hiking?

Your hiking shoes should be suitable for the terrain you plan to hike on and the weather. And, of course, they should be comfortable.

You're going on a short hike, with no technical difficulties, and the weather is fine. You can opt for low, very light, mesh shoes. They will let your feet breathe well and wick away perspiration efficiently.

If you're going to be walking several kilometres over altitude for a few days, you'll need trekking shoes. With a high upper and waterproofing treatment, these shoes protect your feet from the rocks on the trail and the rain, while providing excellent support.

You're going out in uncertain weather for a few hours. You should opt for waterproof shoes with good cushioning to set off on the right foot!

For a walk in the forest or along the coast in summer, make the most of it by getting your toes out with sandals or ventilated shoes.

Find your perfect pair of shoes with our articles:

What to wear when hiking?

Choosing hiking trousers, leggings, a skirt or shorts

Your hiking outfit must include a bottom: trousers, leggings, shorts or skirt (yes, we even have hiking dresses). Unless you're a naturist, but you have to admit that when you're hiking, this can quickly become a complicated idea...

Trousers or leggings, skirt or shorts, your choice is made according to what is most comfortable for you and of course the weather and the altitude at which you plan to hike.

And if you can’t decide between trousers and shorts then take a pair of modular trousers!

What to wear when hiking?

Add a t-shirt or tank top

T-shirt, shirt or tank top, it’s up to you. Whether it's 100% cotton, Merino wool or synthetic, you're bound to find the perfect top to take you on a walk.

Cotton is soft, Merino wool can be worn for several days at a time, and synthetics dry quickly.

What to wear when hiking?

For warmth: a softshell jacket, a fleece or padded jacket

Even if you're going in the sunny summer months, you’ll need a second layer. Unless you are planning a very short hike in the lowlands. This will keep you warm at higher altitudes, if the wind picks up or at the end of the day when the sun is less present.

Softshell jacket, fleece or compact padded jacket, it’s up to you to choose depending on the ambient temperatures!

What to wear when hiking?

Poncho or waterproof jacket, if the weather is uncertain, equip yourself

A waterproof jacket is always advisable if the weather is uncertain. You can opt for a poncho (also known as a rain cape) that can be slipped over your backpack. Perfect if you want a lot of coverage.

If you have a waterproof jacket, keeping it at the bottom of your backpack is a good idea. If you're going on a multi-day trek in changing conditions, make sure you have a rain cover for your bag too (some have a built-in cover, so check before you go). And wrap your belongings in plastic bags or covers to make sure everything is dry.

What to wear when hiking?

Hat, headband or cap, our advice: protect your head!

In the summer, we often go bareheaded on a walk, but when the sun is shining, a head covering is necessary to avoid heat stroke! Cap, hat or even a multi-purpose headband, you are spoilt for choice. And if you're going up to higher altitudes, you'll be glad to have a little hat in your pocket for the evening.

How to dress for a forest hike?

Hiking in the forest is not very different from hiking in the mountains, except that you will be in the shade and cooler more often. Ideally, you should wear clothing that covers your body: long-sleeved shirts, trousers or leggings, which will protect you from brambles and ticks.

If the day is particularly hot, a t-shirt will suffice, especially if it is long-sleeved!


What to wear when hiking?

In winter, things get serious! You will need to cover up sufficiently to keep warm, but not too much, otherwise you are sure to break out in a sweat, and with it, the cold at the slightest slowdown in the your hiking pace. You will therefore have to opt for the 3 layer technique and choose your different layers of clothing according to the weather conditions.

Breathable thermal base layer, a warm fleece and a waterproof jacket will keep you warm during and after your activity! This is one of the many possibilities of the 3 layer technique. One thing is for sure, if you're planning to work out, make sure you take on breathable textiles or remove a layer of clothing during your activity.

The essential jacket for your adventures in the cold? The parka! Find out how to choose your hiking parka!

What to wear when hiking?

Also opt for warm, non-slip shoes for men or women, depending on your gender.

And of course cover your extremities, hats and gloves will be precious allies. If your hands are always cold, you can opt for a pair of glove liners and mittens to protect them as much as possible. And if the conditions are very snowy, there are also waterproof over-gloves or over-mittens.

Finally, remember to buy footwear that is suitable for cold weather and snow, which will keep your feet warm but also prevent you from slipping in the snow and ice!
Find out here how to choose your shoes for winter hiking!

And if the snow and ice are very present, there is only one solution: snowshoes or snow crampons. We tell you all about it right here:


What to wear when hiking?

Your thing is hiking at a steady pace to cover as much ground as possible. And for that you need the right gear!
Fast hiking shoes: walking at a fast pace can’t be done with classic trekking or hiking shoes. That's why we've developed a dedicated range that protects your feet from obstacles while being light!

Poles: on the descent, you fly over the trail, the poles let you find a stable support, on the climb they help you find the right pace to advance efficiently.

Ultra-technical and lightweight clothing: freedom of movement and moisture wicking are the key words for our fast hiking textile products.

An ultra-light backpack: on a fast hike, you just take the necessities and your backpack is essential to not weigh you down.

By taking the right products on your hike, you make the right choices to have a fabulous time in the mountains, without worrying about your equipment!

You should now have all the information you need to equip yourself properly before going hiking! If you are missing something, think about borrowing it from other hikers or renting it. It's always better for your wallet and your playground. If you have any questions, the teams at your Decathlon store will be happy to help you.

What to wear when hiking?


Hiking enthusiast

Discover all our choice guides:


How to choose your hiking or trekking boots?

Your hiking or trekking boots should be chosen according to 5 criteria. Here is our guide!

how to choose a hiking jumper, fleece or padded jacket


Choosing a warm second layer for hiking depends on 3 criteria: intensity of the exercise, outside temperature and the windproofing and water-repellency of the layer.