Hiking Skirts

Hiking skirts?

Or maybe you call them walking skirts?

Regardless of what you call them, I've been fascinated by this idea for women hikers ever since I saw a woman hiking the Pacific Crest Trail in a skirt that reached to her knees.

Her heavily muscled, rather dusty legs screamed "competent hiker!!!"

And I began to wonder whether hiking in a skirt was a good idea.

Back in the "olden days", women always wore skirts. Take a peek at my Pinterest page for some vintage photos of hiking women in skirts!

And men wear kilts!

But let's get down to the nitty gritty of trail skirts:

  • Is a hiking skirt practical?

  • Are they comfortable?
  • Can bare legs be realistic when you're hiking off trail through brush and mud?
  • Is a hiking skirt modest enough to cover all of your assets when hiking up hill?

I hope you'll share your own experiences if you definitely DO or DO NOT like to hike in a skirt for any of these reasons. I'd like to learn from your experiences.

Based on what you post, maybe I'll even trade in my beloved hiking pants!

Would the view of Mt. Rainier seem better in a hiking skirt?
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Why Wear Hiking Skirts?

Let's start with reasons why a woman would want to have bare legs on a trail (we will assume summer season hiking).

This forum kicks around the question from multiple angles: freedom of movement, ease of answering Nature's call, ventilation ... have a look for yourself.

If you're curious about the features to be looking for, take a look at this review.

And here's where I'd go to do some comparison shopping in my quest for the perfect one.

One last suggestion: Check out Athena Garments.

What I like about these skirts is the evident thought and creativity embedded in them.

And I'm sure that if you have a particular pattern in mind, you can get a "custom" skirt to enjoy on your next hiking adventure!

Hiking Skirts Updates

UPDATE: You know how excited you feel when you find something that's just right, that exactly fulfills your expectations?

That's what I just experienced when I stumbled upon this hiking skirt.

Sierra Designs is a company that has been around for a long time, and recently has put lots of time and attention into details that are important to a female hiker.

It really shows in this dri canvas skirt for warm weather hiking:

  • modest length with a moderate slit in the back;
  • color choices that make sense for trail wear;
  • roomy waist that lies flat to avoid binding under your pack's waist belt;
  • clever zip pocket for stashing lip balm or trail candy;
  • fabric that moves with you and sheds water;
  • wicking interior fabric to draw moisture and heat from your hard working muscles;
  • built in map pocket so you don't have to take off your pack to check your coordinates;
  • belt loops if you'd like to wear a belt, or attach a carabiner to your skirt.

UPDATE: Here's another skirt worthy of your attention, because it features:

  • neutral color to hide dirt and blend in with surroundings,
  • a slight flare for ease of movement (I bought one size up to give myself extra room),
  • moisture wicking fabric so my sweat doesn't stay on my body,
  • a bit stretchy so it moves with me,
  • reasonably deep pockets for lip balm and hair ties,
  • belt loops for attaching trail stuff,
  • can be worn into town after a hike if you select a hide-the-dirt color,

Take a look:

Royal Robbins Women's Terra Hiker Skirt

Chime In!

Not having worn a skirt (yet) on a hiking trail, I can't chime in on the relative merits of the pros and cons.

That's why I'm inviting you to do so!

Send in your comments and opinions about the wisdom or down side of wearing a skirt on the trail - it's really easy to do.

And thanks in advance for being willing to share with your trail sisters.

NOTE: If you make or market skirts for hiking women, please contact me directly. I'd love to talk with you.

Hiking In A Skirt: Pros and Cons

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What Other Visitors Have Said About Hiking Skirts

Click below to see contributions from other female hikers to this page...

Women have the best options, vs men 
Being a working man, I've always worn strong pants to work and play in. While hiking in Costa Rica, found the cotton bluejeans a no no, they do not …

Never going back to shorts 
I've been hiking with a skirt now for 4 years. I will never go back to pants and shorts. The ease of going to the bathroom in the bush, the ventilation …

Sharon, the hiking nut!! 
Most shorts I have hiked in do not ventilate well. Because most women's hiking gear seems to be light colored, it looks as if you have wet your pants. …

I would be hesitant to wear a skirt on the trail Not rated yet
Although I think I have the legs to carry it off, I am a women of a certain size, i.e. a size 16, not a size 2, so frankly my thighs would rub together …

I prefer a hiking skirt for ease of movement and comfort! Not rated yet
I've worn a hiking skirt on almost all my hikes! Here in CA the weather is warm, even up high above 10,000. My skirt needs to be quite flared to allow …

I hiked the entire Appalachian trail in a skirt! Not rated yet
I've been hiking and running in skirts for 15 years, including our AT thruhike, our Tahoe Rim Trail hike, our Long Trail thruhike, and our Camino de Santiago …

I am totally down with hiking in a skirt. Not rated yet
The first time I wore a skirt hiking was quite by accident. I set off in a bikini top and a sarong to get a better view from the cliff above. Wearing …

Yes to skirts!! Not rated yet
Once I started wearing a skirt I have never gone back. Love them.

I love walking in a skirt  Not rated yet
Hi. I've worn skirts to hike in warm, wet and winter weather. I made my own waterproof overskirt and use either a cotton or wool base skirt depending on …

It's the call of nature that does it for me! Not rated yet
I've always loved to walk and hike in a skirt. The primary reason is that it's very easy to, excuse me, pee standing up. No need to find a private place …

Why I always wear a hiking skirt Not rated yet
I've been hiking only in long skirts since I was a teenager. The biggest reason is coolness combined with protection against Lyme Disease -- a whole …

Enjoy hiking in skirts and sport dresses Not rated yet
I have a skirt and several sports dresses I like to wear in the summer or warmer spring and fall days. I prefer dresses more because they allow even more …

Skirt Hiker Here! Not rated yet
I love wearing skirts instead of pants or shorts because they are more comfortable and it's easy to throw on a pair of thermal tights underneath if it …

Why I often wear a hiking skirt Not rated yet
I'm writing because my canvas hiking skirt died today; it was more than 40 years old, but I mourn it just the same. It was made of washed canvas, a sort …

Hiking skirts are the best! Not rated yet
I started wearing hiking skirts a couple of years ago as an alternative to shorts. I liked the idea of something a little more feminine but at the same …

I'm a skirt hiker Not rated yet
I'm a skirt hiker, and I frequently hike the Kendal Katwalk part of the PCT. I may even be your skirt hiker, but my legs are not particularly heavily …

A skirt is way more comfortable than shorts for hiking. Not rated yet
I pretty much always hike in skirt nowdays, at least in warmer weather. The thing is this. Historically skirts were considered very feminine and not …

Why wear anything else? Not rated yet
A hiking skirt is WAY more comfortable than pants or shorts. No chafing, no binding, and easier to get on/off if you come across a swimming hole. I've …

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