What The Fashion… Take A Hike

Riley Hartwell / FEATURES EDITOR
Riley Hartwell / FEATURES EDITOR

Hiking and fashion are two words that don’t always make sense in my mind. It’s like this: if I want to look good then I’m definitely not dressed right to go hiking, and if I’m going hiking I’m definitely not as stylish as I could be.

In my mind hiking seems to be an activity that is synonymous with clunky boots, high socks, funny shorts, and who really knows what sort of top pulls this outfit all together? So this poses a question: can you ever look fashion-forward and cute while still wearing the right hiking attire?

Let the adventure begin.

So after some research on my un-materialistic, I’m-so-not-vain-at-all topic I found some interesting prospects in the world of hiking and mountaineering.

First of all, to actually go out and buy legit hiking garb is quite expensive. To look like you’re a seasoned pro in the world of mountain walking and forest strolling is really not worth the damage that will be done to your bank account. Actual hiking pants range anywhere from $40 to $100, which sounds a little ridiculous to a fair-weather hiker like myself. I mean, come on people, I’m living off a Jibsheet paycheck. I’m not made of money!

And it doesn’t stop at pants: hiking boots are expensive as well, and those are something you can’t even wear casually to the mall. To school, maybe, but in general they are the kind of shoes that can really only be worn when doing some sort of hiking or camping activity.

Boots really are necessary, though, even if you’re only hiking once a month. I tried wearing running shoes while hiking Tiger Mountain in Issaquah and let’s just say I fell three times by the time the trip was over and wobbled downhill as if I had a little too much to drink.

On top of the pants and boots there are these tri climate jackets, under armor t-shirts, and even special socks that prevent cramping! We haven’t even gotten to the accessories. Apparently you should bring a backpack on the trail, because as I’ve learned, if you want to be spontaneous and try a random trail, you’re going to need a lot more than just a bottle of water!

You never know if that beautiful little trail you chose close to your house is a half-hour climb or a two-hour climb, so it’s best to bring a backpack loaded with sustenance and plenty of water. And in the colder hiking seasons layering is very necessary, and those layers need to be stored somewhere. You really don’t want to end up holding a bunch of clothes while you’re sweating and panting up a mountain. Not cute and not smart.

When choosing the right backpack I would go with a slimmer, more compact style that doesn’t have too many bells and whistles, because honestly, do we really need them? I think not.

Moving on to sunglasses, I don’t believe in those hiker-, athletic-styled ones that have the different color lenses. Neon orange and blue lenses will never be found on my face no matter how well they protect my eyes from the sun.

All in all, I guess hiking really isn’t about fashion but about the great outdoors and spending some time with good old Mother Nature.

Eh, who am I kidding? It’s always about fashion, so you’ll find me on the trail with my stunna shades, cute workout shorts, fashionable tank top and whatever shoes go well with the ensemble no matter how many ankles I have to break!