The Best Hiking Shorts, According to Customer Reviews

When the weather warms up, swap your leggings and pants for hiking shorts to wear on all your outdoor excursions.

best hiking shorts fb
Photo: Rosanna U/Getty

Hiking is an amazing way to not only sneak in some exercise, but to also get outdoors, de-stress, and be at one with nature. While you might think that investing in a pair of sturdy boots or trekking sandals is all you need to prepare for the trail, you should also consider which apparel is going to be most comfortable and supportive as you scramble over rocks, slide across fallen trees, and traipse through streams.

Leggings or loose hiking pants tend to be a popular choice when it comes to bottoms for winter — and even on cool spring or fall days, they can protect you from the sun exposure, scratchy brush, and bug bites. However, once summer and the heat waves hit, you'll want to trade those for a pair of the best hiking shorts. To ensure they don't ride up or move around, look for options with a wide waistband or drawstring cord or belt to create a snug fit. Think about length and decide what kind of inseam best suits your needs, and also consider tech features, such as breathability, quick-drying capabilities, and fabrics with built-in UPF to protect from the sun.

Whether you're attempting a multi-day trek or just checking out a local spot on your All Trails app, making sure you're outfitted appropriately will help give you the confidence boost you need to tackle the trail. Shop the best hiking shorts below.

Willit Workout Shorts

best hiking shorts willit

Amazon's number one best-seller for "women's hiking shorts," these babies from Willit are made of a nylon-spandex blend to be lightweight and moisture-wicking, which will keep you cool and dry on the trail. A comfortable, wide waistband with drawstring closure offers a personalized, snug fit, while side pockets secure your keys and cash. Available in 13 colors and at such an affordable price tag, you may want to stock up on a few of these to coordinate with all your tops. (

One reviewer wrote: "These shorts are amazing! They are SO soft, sweat-wicking, stretchy, comfy, and functional for hiking and daily wear. I wore these on a nine mile hike in the mountains and I was extremely comfortable with no chafing and no riding up. It was hot so I was sweating and there were no visible sweat marks. These are great quality shorts at an awesome price! They are on par with Lululemon quality!"

But It: Willit Workout Shorts, from $17,

Prana Olivia Short

best hiking shorts prana

Abrasion-resistance is one of the performance design qualities you can find in this pair from Prana. The durable fabric can withstand sliding across fallen trees and rocks, snags from branches, or a fall (if one should happen), and won't get any rips or tears. The classic look, stretchy material, and relaxed fit make these a solid pick for a single hike or multi-day trek, and you can choose from a five- or seven-inch inseam. This short also features built-in UPF 50, making it a great short for summer or hikes without much tree coverage — just don't forget to apply sunscreen to your legs. (

"These shorts are perfect for not just hiking but everyday wear around town," reported a shopper. "They're lightweight and more stretchy than jean shorts. The back pockets fit my iPhone perfectly, although the front pockets are a little small. If you want to go swimming in them you're able to because they dry super fast. I normally would have gotten the longer length but decided to go with the 5-inch length, and they're still long enough to feel comfortable in."

Buy It: Prana Olivia Short, from $59,

Eddie Bauer Guide Pro Shorts

best hiking shorts eddie bauer

Have big plans for summer hikes? Made for everyday use, Eddie Bauer's Guide Pro shorts are also designed especially for super hot days and paths with lots of sun exposure. Along with UPF protection, they boast performance stretch and also repel water. A slightly wider fit through the hip and thigh offers more room for movement and won't cling to your legs — which you'll be thankful for when you start to break a sweat on the trail. (

"Perfect for hiking the trails in North Carolina. They fit great, had great movement for hiking, and dried quickly when we got rained on. I would have ordered more for the trip but they couldn't be delivered in time. I will order again if we go on another long hiking vacation," shared a customer.

Buy It: Eddie Bauer Guide Pro Shorts, from $39,

Title Nine Clamber Shorts

best hiking shorts title nine

If you're looking for a more stylish hiking bottom, Title Nine's Clamber is for you. The rugged short has a sleek silhouette that still allows freedom to move, while an elastic waistband with a double snap offers a secure, comfortable fit. It has two front pockets and two zippered pockets at the back to safely stash your essentials. The more refined look will match your fitted tee or tank or even work nicely with a half zip fleece. (

One fan shared her love of these shorts and some sizing suggestions: "I bought these shorts in early spring and lived in them through early fall. Wish I would have snagged more than 2 colors. The fabric has a nice amount of flex and give, perfect for my hiking, kayaking, and camping adventures. Rugged enough finish to stand up to all the rocks this geologist threw at them or stuffed in my pockets. Nice enough to run errands about town and not feel like I was in my beater clothes. I'm small in the booty department and these shorts fit snug at my top weight. Might go up a size if you've proudly got junk in your trunk."

Buy It: Title Nine Clamber Shorts, $65,

Athleta Trekkie North Short

best hiking shorts athleta

This loose-fitting pair of Athleta shorts is ideal if you loathe bottoms that are tight or restricting. The high waist and wide band (with a hidden drawstring) is flattering, comfortable, and offers support as you scramble up a trail. Four pockets allow you to store all your hiking essentials, such as protein bars, car keys, and lip balm. The breathable fabric promotes airflow throughout and keeps you from getting super sweaty even on hot, humid days. Slip them on with a pair of sturdy hiking boots or hiking sandals and you're ready to go. (

"I love these shorts so much!" raved a shopper. "They're so comfortable they have a looser fit around the thighs, which is so flattering for your legs. They're rip-resistant and protect against scraping when I climb rocks. In my opinion, they're worth the high price. I never wear shorts when hiking due to the rock scrambling and bug bites, but I did wear these when walking around a park. I also just wear them as regular shorts since they're so flattering."

Buy It: Athleta Trekkie North Short, $59,

The North Face Paramount Short

best hiking shorts north face

For those who want a comfortable, flattering pair with a hint of style, look no further than these shorts from legendary outdoor brand The North Face. An adjustable waist belt keeps these bottoms from shifting, and a flat pocket along the back and a deep one at the front hold a surprising amount of stuff. The brand's Flash Dry fabric boasts super fast dry times after stream crossings or swims, and built-in UPF 50 shields you from UV rays — just don't forget to apply sunscreen. (

Reviewers love them so much, they've purchased multiple pairs: "These shorts are the best shorts in my collection!! They are comfortable, the material is soft and stretchy, and fit just right!! I couldn't be happier with the money spent, I even bought additional colors!!"

Buy It: The North Face Paramount Short, from $33,

Columbia Sandy River II Printed Shorts

best hiking shorts columbia

If you prefer a stiffer running short for hiking, check out this option from Columbia that comes in a variety of fun prints and eye-catching colors. Made from nylon, the bottom has a stretchy, comfortable feel, as well as a full elastic waistband with a hidden drawstring, which keeps the short in place while hiking or hanging by a lake. After your denim shorts, this will be your second favorite short this spring and summer. (

"I have several pairs of these shorts for hiking, swimming, and everyday use. I am a soccer coach and typically spend a lot of time on the field. Most coaching shorts for women don't have pockets so I love these shorts because they do. They are also great for working out with my players and professional enough for games days or office workdays. I would highly recommend these shorts even if you just wanted something for grocery shopping or lounging around the house!" said a customer.

Buy It: Columbia Sandy River II Printed Shorts, from $30,

Arc'teryx Sabria Short

best hiking shorts arcteryx

These Arc'teryx shorts have a streamlined, low-profile design that's simple and rugged. The waistband sits flat against your skin, so it won't create bulk under a hip belt or pack or cause any irritation or chafing. The lightweight, durable fabric also has stretch for flexibility and movement. Store your phone in the thigh pocket for easy access when you reach a picture-worthy part of your trek. (

One fan wrote: "These might be the most comfortable shorts I have ever worn, maternity clothing included... Thin and stretchy with a higher waist, which is perfect for me. I have used them for climbing and hiking and they are great!"

Buy It: Arc'teryx Sabria Short, $99,

Kari Traa Ane Shorts

best hiking shorts kari traa

Having a pair of packable shorts can be essential on a weekend camping or backpacking trip. Roll up these babies from Kari Traa to allow more room in your pack for all your gear. An adjustable belt offers a secure fit, while the quick-drying, moisture-wicking fabric makes them ideal for high-intensity exercise, hiking, waterfall chasing, and more. (

Buy It: Kari Traa Ane Shorts, $50,

Libin Hiking Shorts

best hiking shorts libin

If you prefer pants but don't want to sweat to death on a summer hike, this below-the-knee short from Libin is a happy medium. Lightweight and breathable, these shorts won't weigh you down, and the quick-drying, water-resistant fabric is a plus if you get caught in an expected shower or encounter a stream on your hike that needs to be crossed. Designed with UPF protection, it will protect you from UV rays, and has a thigh pocket that will fit your phone. (Psst, in case you want some longer options, check out the best hiking pants here.)

"These shorts are amazing. We recently took a couple of waterfall hikes and they were only wet-looking once completely submersed and tested to the limit of their waterproofness. They are cool and comfortable with many useful pockets," noted a shopper.

Buy It: Libin Hiking Shorts, from $31,

Was this page helpful?
Related Articles