Northeast Ohio Hiking Club Message Board › What to Wear While Hiking

What to Wear While Hiking

Liz B
lizboltuc
Group Organizer
Cleveland, OH
Post #: 69
One of the most common questions asked when someone is new to hiking is what to wear?

I believe that footwear is of the utmost importance. Nothing ruins a hike quicker than blisters and other foot ailments. I personally wear Asolo hiking boots but also like Merrells. You do not have to pick one of those brands but there are a few things to keep in mind while picking out footwear. When the trails are dry and you are not carrying a heavy pack you can usually get away with a good pair of running or walking shoes. Many of members exclusively hike in running shoes. However, as you will quickly learn, the trails in Northeast Ohio are seldom dry. When you are facing muddy trails and not carrying a heavy pack, lightweight waterproof trail runners are your best bet. If you are backpacking, or just feel like lugging a fairly heavy backpack with you, I would recommend going the route of waterproof hiking boots. Hiking boots give your ankles extra protection while hiking on uneven terrain. The higher profile of the hiking boots will also make stream crossings that much more pleasant.

As far as the rest of your clothing goes, comfort is most important. Some members will hike in specifically designed hiking pants, some will wear exercise pants and some will even hike in jeans. It is important to make sure that whatever you choose that you are able to move freely in them. Tight pants with little give make climbing over fallen trees and boulders that much more difficult. You will see a wide variety of shirts while hiking as well. T-shirts are the most common in warmer weather but keep in mind cotton is rotten. Cotton is not known for breathability or wicking moisture away from your body. The most comfortable t-shirts are made of synthetic materials and are breathable and wick sweat away from your body. You can find inexpensive “wicking” shirts at places like Target.

Please remember, it is all about personal preference and if you enjoy hiking in sweat pants and sweat pants that is ok too. What works for you may be totally different than what works for me. I would recommend getting good shoes and then worrying about the other things.

Hiking is supposed to be fun and stress free, keep hiking and as you do you will find what works best for you.

If you would like to add your two cents on the topic please feel free to chime in.
Mary
user 10238683
Cleveland, OH
Post #: 5
… and never wear 100% cotton socks (here again cotton is rotten) they retain moisture and cause blistering. Wool or blended material sport socks are best.
Liz B
lizboltuc
Group Organizer
Cleveland, OH
Post #: 72
Thanks Mary for mentioning the socks, I can't believe I forgot to! I 100% agree with Mary. Although a bit pricey I like the Smart Wool hiking socks but have heard great things about similar brands. Look out for clearance sales and load up when you find them at a good price.
Dave
user 9377973
Cleveland, OH
Post #: 38
Thanks Liz and Mary regarding the advise on socks. I have been getting blisters and I had no idea. Just order some blends from Amazon to try this weekend. They are not cheap so I guess won't be burning these like I did my cotton socks at HH.
Liz B
lizboltuc
Group Organizer
Cleveland, OH
Post #: 74
Hi Dave, you will have to let us know how you like it. It is amazing how much of a difference a pair of socks have. In the past I have done a week long backpacking trip that averaged 10-12 miles a day and even have done the breast cancer 3-Day walk that averaged 20 miles a day. I wore Smart Wool for the backpacking trip and synthetic running socks for the 3-Day and no blisters for either event. My friends that chose to go cotten did not fair as well.
Mary
user 10238683
Cleveland, OH
Post #: 6
Hi Liz,
I needed a new pair of low cut socks, and I used your Smartwool suggestion ... I bought the PhD running Ultra Light Cushion Micro "Blister-free Fit" they weren't kidding, not even a light burn. I hiked the 5 mile Ledges today and could have gone another 5 smile
Mary
Liz B
lizboltuc
Group Organizer
Cleveland, OH
Post #: 75
Glad to hear they worked out for you Mary. Happy feet make a happy hiker. :)
Mark L
Markfromcleveland
Gates Mills, OH
Post #: 4
Anyone have any recommendations for hiking boots for the type of hikes this club typically does (non-backpack)? I have been looking around for gaiters (I didn't even know the name of those until yesterday talking to a woman at Gander Mountain). I have been using what are basically non-waterproof work boots and would like to get something waterproof for stream crossings.
Penelope W.
user 182830504
Avon Lake, OH
Post #: 1
As a beginner, I am very grateful for this posting. Right now I'm going to make do with what I have and plan to gradually add on items.
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