Cute and functional.
While hiking in a forest may or may not be your idea of a good time, one thing is for certain: After such a sweaty summer, we’re excited to spend time outdoors this fall. Even if the trailhead isn’t calling your name, or you live nowhere close to L.A.’s celebrity hot spot, Runyon Canyon, at the very least, you’ll be running errands this autumn. And you’ll be doing that in casual clothing, right?
As much as we adore sweater weather and all things plaid, there’s more to fall fashion than just those two staples. “Somewhere between the rise of lug-sole boots and Patagonia normcore having a moment, the faux-outdoorsy style has graduated from a micro trend to its own category of fall staples,” observes stylist Natalie Cantell. “If you secretly love your Hokas (like I do), prepare to rejoice in this new season’s offering of quilted puffer jackets, caps, and loads more utilitarian style.”
This season, get inspired to lace up a pair of practical boots, unearth a cute, cozy cap, and try out a fun new jacket instead of that same old hooded sweatshirt. There is plenty of hiking-inspired attire to be found this fall, whether or not you’re actually venturing out into the wilderness or among wildlife. Ahead, check out 21 stylish hiking outfits that you’ll be excited to wear outdoors, no matter where the day takes you. Adventure — and yes, plenty of excuses to wear leggings — awaits!
Meet Our Expert
Natalie Cantell is a creative and editorial stylist.
A Classic Barbour Jacket
Her Royal Highness, the Duchess of Cambridge, might not be the first person to come to mind when searching for hiking outfit inspiration, but she’s got the look down pat. Kate Middleton is particularly fond of Barbour, the storied British lifestyle brand that traces its roots to 1894.
“Barbour jackets have long been the uniform of stylish Brits braving the rain, from Princess Di (being rained on) in Scotland to Alexa Chung (being rained on) at Glastonbury,” notes Cantell. Not only is the iconic wax fabric jacket ideal for taking on less-than-sunny days, but it also is essential in any classic wardrobe.
With a Retro Windbreaker
Hiking outfits are the perfect opportunity to lean into those normcore vibes that we all secretly (or not so secretly) love. Just pair a vintage-looking windbreaker with your favorite leggings, scrunchy socks, and sneakers like Kendall Jenner for a playful but still practical hiking outfit.
With Statement Accessories
If your workout wear tends to be more muted, inject some color into your attire with a few statement accessories. We love how Emily Ratajkowski livened up her hiking outfit with bright orange sneakers, a blue baseball cap, and, perhaps the most useful item, a fun printed water bottle.
In Your Favorite Sneakers and Sweats
While we won’t advocate for making a designer handbag — much less a Hermès Kelly — part of your hiking outfit, we do love this look for a more urban outing. Think of something like a quick stroll through Central Park on your way to The American Museum of Natural History; comfortable and cohesive.
“This high-low look is how everyone I know in New York dresses for all of December and January,” says Cantell, who adds that "We all invested in sweats to the point where we’ve collectively deemed them worthy of wearing out of the house — just further evidence that nearly anything is acceptable under a good, oversized wool coat.”
Wearing Lug-Sole Boots
Lug-soled boots may be one of the most practical footwear trends we’ve seen in years and is the perfect shoe for any hiking outfit. Although the style isn’t dominating trend stories quite as much as they were a few years ago, Cantell agrees that they’re a fall staple well worth the investment. Notably, Proenza Schouler, Chloé, and Isabel Marant are all offering great options for this season.
The added height protects you — and your boots — from mud puddles and other messes on the trail, while also gripping the terrain a lot better than flat-soled styles or sneakers. Plus, these chunky shoes are equally at home in an actual forest or hiking the urban jungle. The destination is up to you.
Your Favorite Fleece
Whether you’re partial to Patagonia or never leave home without your North Face, no hiking outfit is complete without your favorite fleece. For a more elevated option, “Keep an eye on Nanushka for chic fleece styles,” Cantell suggests, “And definitely don’t sleep on their menswear selection."
Pair your fleece with leggings and a crossbody or belt bag for an outdoor adventure. And if you insist on hiking in a pair of cozy Uggs, opt for a pair with a rubber sole or thicker tread so you don’t accidentally slip.
The first thing many people think of when picturing a hiking outfit is something plaid. For a more fashionable take on the pattern, “Don’t miss Kate Moss’s beyond understated plaid-printed leather shirt and jeans look from the Bottega runway in Milan this February,” Cantell suggests. Whether it’s a simple flannel shirt, or more rugged wool outerwear, wearing plaid feels almost as essential as carrying a water bottle. You could probably do without, but why would you want to?
With Neon Accents
The jacket is incredible on its own (and great if you’re worried about getting separated from your group!), but the matching neon green stitching and shoelaces are next-level.
A Colorful Raincoat
If there’s a chance of rain on the day of your outing, you’ll want to make a colorful raincoat part of your hiking outfit. Look for something waterproof and wind-resistant in a bright hue (this is not the time for camouflage), and wear it with a comfortable sweater, jeans, and socks. As the scouts say, “Be prepared.”
A Sturdy Shacket
The shacket may have been the best thing to happen to transitional outerwear since… the poncho? While shackets were ubiquitous a few seasons ago, they’re still incredibly practical, especially as a layering piece. If your hiking outfit needs to be versatile, try using a shacket as your outermost layer and wearing a super chunky knit underneath. You’ll have the warmth of a puffer coat without the added heft.
Related: 14 Ways to Wear Shackets for Fall
A Boiler Suit
A one-piece boiler suit — especially with plenty of pockets — makes for a super-easy hiking outfit. Wear a tank underneath (or turtleneck if temps are cooler), and pair it with chunky boots or sturdy sneakers. Bonus points for a belt bag that you actually fit through the loops.
With Combat Boots
If legitimate hiking boots aren’t something you have in your closet already, don’t worry; a trusty pair of combat boots can do the trick. You can create a hiking outfit with a woodsier vibe in other ways, like with a buffalo plaid jacket or an ax. (Just kidding about the ax.)
An Unironic Hunter Orange Fleece
If you have to throw together a hiking outfit at the last minute — like, you’re already en route — make the most of your surroundings, and see what the nearest rest stop souvenir shop has in store. Odds are you’ll find some bright orange gear made for hunters that will suit you in a pinch. Look for something oversized and loud, like the half-zip seen above on Hailey Bieber. For added effect, pick up a trucker hat in a contrasting color at checkout. Somehow, it works.
A Utility Shirt
A camp or utility shirt is the lighter-weight cousin of a shacket. It usually has short sleeves, two pockets on the chest, and buttons all the way to the collar. Similar to a boilersuit, it prioritizes practicality — the pockets — over panache. Wear it with your go-to jeans and boots for a hiking outfit that looks comfortable and confident. It’s really that easy.
With Cargo Pants
Cargo pants, while more utilitarian than outdoorsman, are certainly hiking outfit-approved. Honestly, the more pockets the better. Look for a pair in earth tones that will go with anything, or, find a style that matches your go-to coat. “I highly recommend the Outdoor Voices belted cargo pants if you’re considering actual outdoorsiness,” suggests Cantell, adding, “and Stella McCartney’s wide-leg vegetarian leather style if you’re not.” Keep the rest of the outfit simple so the cargo pants make a statement.
In a Lightweight Down Jacket
When in doubt, go the tried and true route. That can apply to choosing a hiking trail or putting together the perfect outfit for a day spent at different elevations. Patagonia’s super lightweight down jackets are incredibly warm and cozy but are also easy to stuff in a bag or backpack as temperatures warm up. While we love this bright blue color, stick a neutral or earth tone if you want to better blend in with your surroundings.
With a Practical Fanny Pack
While leather belt bags are great for wearing on the go, they can be a bit too tiny and delicate for carrying on an actual hike. Choose a sturdy fanny pack made from a water-resistant material like wax-coated canvas or nylon. "A quick walk around downtown N.Y.C. may inform you that the only style worth knowing is the re-nylon Prada belt bag, and the correct way to wear it is cross-body,” says Cantell. And pro tip: The more compartments, the better.
In an Unexpected Animal Print
If you aren’t worried about blending in, we recommend wearing a hiking outfit that will stand out. Have fun with an animal print that you won’t find in nature — like the bright yellow leopard seen above — while keeping the rest of your outfit simple with jeans, sneakers, and a long-sleeve shirt. It’s a cheeky way to show off your wild side.
With a Puffer Vest
The difference between an average hiking outfit and one that is actually useful comes down to one thing: layers. If a full-length jacket sounds like it will be too sweaty, opt for a more breathable vest in fleece or down material as your outermost layer. Start the day by wearing the vest over a windbreaker to keep the elements at bay and move the vest closer to your core as temperatures get lower.
With Boots and Leggings
A boots-and-leggings outfit seems pretty basic but is actually quite practical for hiking purposes. Tucking your pants into boots with a higher shaft helps to keep the elements — and bugs — off of your skin. This is particularly important when hiking in wooded areas known for having ticks. The more covered up you can be, the better.
Earth Tones Only
If you’re not ready to go full-on camouflage, try styling a hiking outfit that consists solely of earth tones. Dark greens and rich browns, even in something as simple as a hooded sweatshirt, are an easy way to blend in with Mother Nature without having to buy something new to wear on your trek
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