4 Tips for Wearing Hiking Boots with Shorts

Hiking boots with shorts is a versatile and practical combination. Many new outdoor enthusiasts wonder if this is a stylish and practical look, and we’re here to break this down and give you tips you need.

Wearing hiking boots with shorts is a popular trend for those who want to stay cool and comfortable during a hike, but still want to enjoy the benefits of sturdy boots. However, finding the right balance between fashion and function can be a challenge.

hiking boots with shorts
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1. Choosing the Right Shorts

When it comes to wearing hiking boots with shorts, the type of shorts you choose is crucial. The right shorts can make all the difference in terms of comfort, protection, and style. There are several factors to consider when choosing the right shorts for hiking, including material, length, fit, and pockets.

Shorts Material

Opt for a pair of shorts that are durable and made from quick-drying material, such as nylon or polyester. These materials are ideal for outdoor activities as they can handle the wear and tear of rough terrain, and also keep you comfortable and dry.

Avoid cotton shorts, as they tend to absorb moisture and can become heavy when wet, making them uncomfortable and unsuitable for hiking. Quick-drying materials also have the added advantage of being lightweight, which can be important when carrying a heavy pack during a hike.


The length of your shorts is also important when wearing hiking boots with shorts. Shorts that hit just above the knee or mid-thigh are a great option, as they provide adequate coverage and are easy to move in. Longer shorts can be comfortable and provide more protection, but can also become restrictive when hiking, making it difficult to move freely.

On the other hand, shorts that are too short can expose too much skin and make you vulnerable to insect bites, scrapes, and sunburns. Additionally, shorter shorts may also be less appropriate in certain cultural or social settings, so it’s important to consider the environment you’ll be hiking in.


A comfortable and well-fitting pair of shorts is essential for a successful hike. Look for shorts that fit snugly around the waist and hips, without being too tight. Shorts that are too loose or baggy can be uncomfortable and get caught on bushes or rocks when hiking.

This makes it important to choose a pair that fits well and allows for a full range of motion. An adjustable waistband can be a helpful feature, allowing you to fine-tune the fit for maximum comfort.


Pockets can be a useful feature when hiking, allowing you to store small items such as your phone, keys, or snacks. Look for shorts that have pockets that are secure and accessible, so you can easily reach what you need when you need it.

Some shorts also have zippered pockets, which can be a good option if you’re worried about losing your belongings on the trail. When choosing shorts with pockets, consider how many pockets you need and what size they need to be to accommodate your belongings.

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2. Choosing the Right Socks

Socks play a crucial role when wearing hiking boots with shorts. They provide cushioning and help to prevent blisters and rubbing.

Merino Wool is Best

Make sure to choose socks that are made from a moisture-wicking material, such as merino wool, to keep your feet dry and comfortable. Merino wool is an excellent choice as it is naturally breathable and helps regulate temperature, making it ideal for hot and humid conditions.

Other materials such as polyester or synthetic blends can also be effective in wicking away moisture, but make sure to choose a sock that fits well and has enough cushioning to provide added comfort and protection.

Thickness Can Vary

It’s also important to choose socks that are the right thickness and length for your boots, as ill-fitting socks can cause rubbing and blisters, while socks that are too long can bunch up and cause discomfort. We recommend choosing crew socks over ankle socks for the best fit.

When choosing socks, make sure to consider the weather conditions you’ll be hiking in and opt for heavier socks if you’re hiking in cold weather or lighter socks if you’re hiking in hot weather.

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3. Picking the Right Fit for Hiking Boots with Shorts

When choosing hiking boots, it’s important to consider the type of hike you’ll be doing and the conditions you’ll be facing. The right hiking boots can make a huge difference in terms of comfort, support, and protection.

Ankle Support is Key

Look for boots that provide enough ankle support, as this will help prevent injuries, and boots that have a sturdy sole that provides adequate traction. Consider the type of terrain you’ll be hiking on, and choose boots that are appropriate for that terrain.

For example, if you’re hiking on a rocky trail, choose boots with a tough and durable sole that can handle rough terrain.

Try Different Fits

When choosing hiking boots, it’s important to make sure they fit well and are comfortable. Make sure to try on boots at the end of the day, when your feet are at their largest, and wear the socks you plan to wear for your hike.

Make sure there’s enough room in the toe box for your toes to move and make sure the boots fit snugly around your feet, without being too tight. Additionally, consider the weight of the boots and choose lighter boots if you’re going on a longer hike, as heavier boots can become fatiguing and uncomfortable over time.

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4. Accessories Matter

Accessories can enhance your hiking outfit and make your hike more comfortable and enjoyable.

  • Hat or Visors protect your face and head from the sun, and a pair of sunglasses to protect your eyes from the sun’s glare.
  • Hydration packs are a must-have when hiking, as staying hydrated is essential for a successful hike.
  • A bandana or neck gaiter is a useful accessory, as it can be used to protect your neck from the sun or to wipe away sweat.
  • A small daypack can also be useful for carrying essentials such as snacks, a map, and a first-aid kit.

Hiking Boots with Shorts: Final Thoughts

Wearing hiking boots with shorts can be a great way to stay comfortable and protected while exploring the outdoors. Some of our favorite brands are Redwing and Danner. Check out our Redwing vs Danner comparison for more details on what sets these two brands apart.

By choosing the right shorts, socks, boots, and accessories, you can create a stylish and functional outfit that will take you from the trail to the city with ease.

Whether you’re a seasoned hiker or just starting out, following these tips will help you achieve the perfect look when wearing hiking boots with shorts.