Getting ready for hiking season?
If you’re planning on hitting the trails this year, or even just getting more walking into your schedule, a good pair of hiking leggings can quickly become your best friend. Leggings are one of the most important items for hikers, as they provide protection and warmth for your legs, but a quality pair of women’s hiking leggings aren’t always easy to find.
As a hiking lover myself, I’ve spent more than a few hours tramping through the bush in leggings and can understand if you’re not quite sure what to be looking for. In this guide, I’ll break down what to look for in a great pair of trekking leggings; different materials and features, and which types are best suited for who.
What to look for in a pair of women’s hiking leggings
Not all trekking leggings are made the same, the best will be form fitting (providing warmth and comfort) without being restrictive. It should feel like a second skin, ideally, like you’re not wearing pants at all.
Many won’t have any seams at all in the crotch area. This is called a Gusseted crotch and prevents against uncomfortable rubbing or chafing, very important when out on a long trek!
The best hiking leggings will follow the lines of your body, have a high waist (for tummy control and torso warmth) and have maximum stretch.
Your average running or yoga leggings may be okay for short, half day hikes. However, if you’re looking to do some serious trekking, you’ll want a much more durable and comfortable pair, made up of specific materials!
Most leggings meant for indoor activities (such as yoga, pilates or the gym) are made up of predominantly polyester and spandex. This is a good blend to start, however, try and seek out pairs with a bit of nylon or elastane for extra comfort.
Also remember, the best will be quick-dry, moisture wicking material, to keep you dry, warm and sweat free!
Also avoid cotton at all costs (more on that later)!
Okay, so obviously you’re going to want flexible leggings – no matter what activity you’re partaking in. However, it’s especially important when hiking as you’ll be moving much longer than the average yoga class or gym workout.
The majority of hiking leggings will be labeled with stretch material, but you’ll want to look for the four-way stretch material. This means the pair has elasticity in all four directions (up, down and side to side), ensuring it’ll never feel too restrictive.
Additionally, if a pair has nylon in the make up, that’s also a good sign of stretchability!
We love these leggings by IUGA!
No matter where you’re hiking in the world, there’s a good chance you’ll be rained on while doing so. Not to mention, many of the best trekking destinations in the world are known for rainy weather – Iceland, New Zealand, the Pacific Northwest, etc. Thus, you’ll want waterproof attire, specifically water resistant leggings if possible.
Can’t you just wear rain pants over regular leggings? Sure, but waterproof leggings are much more comfortable, not to mention more practical than wearing multiple layers that you’ll have to take on and off and carry around. Of course, if it will be cold AND rainy an extra pair of pants would be a good idea, but it doesn’t hurt to have your base layer waterproof as well.
Not to mention, it can also rain in warmer climates, especially tropical areas, where you won’t want to be wearing multiple layers!
Breathability & Durability
Excess sweat that isn’t regulated will lower your body temperature, which is exactly the opposite of what you want to happen while trekking. Not to mention, in hot weather it can give you a nasty rash.
So, go for quick-dry material and a breathable design to protect against this and keep you comfy on all your treks!
Durability is very important as well, as you’ll want attire that lasts more than a single hike! Make sure to read reviews carefully in this area.
Top Women’s Hiking Leggings in the UK
IUGA Yoga/Running/Hiking Leggings
Looking for versatile, high quality trekking leggings? Then look no further than these IUGA leggings, perfect for avid hikers who may also have a few other hobbies such as yoga, pilates or running.
These leggings have high-waisted tummy control, for torso warmth and comfort while hiking. The Gusset crotch and comfortable seams reduce rubbing and chafing while the hidden waistband pocket provides a place to store your keys, phone and other essentials!
Available in full length or cropped, capri length.
- Moisture wicking, quick-dry
- 4 way stretch
- Guesset Crotch
- Hidden pocket
- Tummy control
Qutool High Waist Leggings
These Qutool high-waisted leggings are the perfect pair for any female hiker looking for a cute and practical pair. The moisture wicking and four-way stretch material paired with the high waist will keep you warm and comfortable on any length of hike!
Don’t be deterred by the low price, these leggings are exceptionally high quality. Not to mention cute, the ombre dual-color pallet will ensure you stand out on any trail!
Ewedoos Sports Leggings with Pockets
These Ewedoos Sports Leggings are a great addition to any hiking wardrobe! The Gusset crotch and elastic stomach ensure maximum comfort. They provide compression without being too tight, while shaping to your curves!
The dual pockets on both legs provide maximum storage, while ensuring even weight distribution!
- 25% elastane material
- 2 pockets
- Gusset crotch
- Elastic stomach
- 11 colour choices
Gimdumasa Workout LeggingsNo products found.
Need a comfortable, versatile and more importantly, NON-see through pair of trekking leggings? Then look no further than the Gimdumasa workout leggings! Complete with high waisted, tummy control compression to keep blood circulating and your core in place for maximum comfort and to prevent muscle fatigue.
Additionally, this may be the most storage-friendly pair of leggings on the market, with two outside pockets and a hidden, internal pocket for a total of 3 possibilities for storing all your essentials!
No products found.
Vimbloom Workout Leggings VI263
These Vimbloom workout leggings are perfect for any adventurer. The soft material and Gusset crotch provide amazing comfort while the breathable material insures ventilation. The high waisted and non-see through look provides conturing on each side, while the 3 pockets provide plenty of essential storage space!
These high-functioning and high fashion leggings are perfect for any hiker who wants to enjoy the outdoors in style!
- Breathable fabric
- Gusset crotch
- Tummy control
- 3 pockets
- 4 colour choices
Queenieke Workout Leggings
The Queenieke high waisted workout leggings are some of the most comfortable and flexible on the market. Made out of 75% nylon, you’ll be able to stretch as far as necessary when climbing over fallen trees or leaping across creeks on the trails.
The tummy controlling waist has a nice hidden pocket, perfect for stashing your credit card or keys! They come in 18 colour choices, so you’re sure to find one (or more) that suits your style!
- Nylon, spandex, polyester blend
- Long inseam
- Tummy control
- Hidden pocket
- 18 colour choices
Occffy Workout Leggings DS166
The Occffy DS166 workout leggings are the perfect combination of breathable, versatile and wear-resistant. So you can be rest assured no see-through mishaps will occur on your hikes!
The super soft material provides great compression for those long days on the trail, complete with 3 pockets for storing essentials. No matter what kind of hikes you prefer (short trails, single or multi- day hikes), you’ll love these flattering leggings!
Cambivo High Waisted Hiking Leggings
Looking for a hiking wardrobe staple? Then look no further than the Cambivo high waisted hiking leggings. The waist band is flattering, has a no-slip grip and a hidden pocket, making it functional and stylish!
The non-see through material is proven as squat proof (VERY important for all female hikers) and stretches to accommodate anything the trails through at you! Not to mention the quick dry material and additional 2 outer pockets make this one of the most versatile legging choices out there!
- Stretch & elastane material
- Quick dry
- 4 way stretch
- Tummy control
- 3 pockets
Washing & Care of Hiking Leggings
It’s best to wash your trekking leggings immediately after use, especially after a long weekend of hiking.
If particularly sweaty, it’s best to hang them to dry first. Lay them somewhere flat so bacteria can’t build up in the sweat.
Make sure to wash in cold water, and don’t use bleach or fabric softeners as those can break down the durability of the material. Use only high quality detergents meant for activewear material
It’s best to hang dry after wash as well, as high-heat dryers can do damage.
Pockets or no pockets?
Pockets hidden into activewear have become increasingly popular, with good reason! On long treks you’ll likely want a phone, credit card or keys with you!
But, is it necessary when searching for a pair of leggings? We’d say yes, as it’s extremely useful to have somewhere to store essentials and not have to always bring a pack.
How many pockets should you look for? Depends on what you bring with you during treks. If you’re someone who brings a phone, credit card, keys, and possibly more on hikes, you’ll probably want a multi-pocketed, combination (hidden and external pockets) legging. However, if you don’t really bring anything, you’ll probably be fine with a single, hidden pocket.
In short, pockets are extremely useful and common in trekking leggings these days and it’s up to you how many you think is necessary.
Is cotton really that bad?
Yes! It really is that bad.
Notice how in the “materials” section above we don’t list cotton as a component you should look for? In fact, we specifically say “avoid at all costs”, and for good reason!
Cotton may be comfortable in other clothing items, however when it comes to outdoor exercise, it’s just about the worst material to wear. Cotton traps moisture, (such as sweat or rain while hiking) and thus, will keep you cold, wet and uncomfortable – the exact opposite of how you should feel on a trek.
So, just avoid it, and avoid cotton underwear while hiking too, if you can.
Our Top Picks
The IUGA hiking leggings are our pick for most versatile pair. The Gusset crotch and smooth seams give it a streamlined look and comfortable fit for any hiker! The material is everything you could hope for – quick-dry with a four way stretch and tummy control. The hidden waistband pocket completes this versatile pair. However, it’s major selling point is that it’s available in both full length and a cropped capri style, giving you plenty of choice and making it perfect for hikers who also enjoy other activities such as yoga or dance.
The most stretchable leggings on the market may just be the Queenieke workout leggings, they’re certainly our pick! Made up of 75% nylon (you know that material we said is ideal for hiking!), there are few trekking leggings out there that stretch as far as these! Perfect for climbing rocks or hopping over fallen trees – choose from 18 different colours!
Our pick for best overall hiking leggings are the Cambivo High Waisted hiking leggings. This pair have all the best features of a good pair of trekking leggings, combine into one, amazing pair! These have the staple, high-waisted tummy control, complete with a no-slip grip and hidden pocket! The non-see through, four-way stretch, quick-dry material is extremely stretchable, yet squat proof – all very important to any female hiker! Two outer pockets (in addition to the hidden, waistband one) ensure maximum storage! Whether you’re a newbie hiker, or an experienced one, you can’t go wrong with this pair!
Last update on 2023-11-16 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API