Hiking boots and shorts are a great combination, especially if you’re hiking in warmer weather. The question is, how can you wear hiking boots and shorts together? What kind of features should you be looking for? We’ll answer those questions and more, and we’ll recommend to you our top picks for both hiking boots and shorts.
The bottom line upfront: We’d recommend the Timberland Men's White Ledge Mid Waterproof Hiking Boot. They’re great if you need wide-fit boots, and they offer a lot of support.
In terms of shorts, we’d recommend the Bimini Bay Outfitters Boca Grande II, as they’re durable and stain-resistant.
We’ll be looking at:
- How to wear hiking boots and shorts together
- What to look for in hiking boots and shorts
- Our top recommendations, including their key features, pros, and cons
- Some frequently asked questions
- Which ones we like the best, and why
Table of Contents
- The Best Hiking Boots and Shorts for Men Compared
- The Best Hiking Boots and Shorts for Women Compared
- How to Wear Hiking Boots with Shorts
- What to Look for in Hiking Boots and Shorts
- Top 3 Hiking Boots for Men
- 1. Timberland Men’s White Ledge Mid Waterproof Hiking Boot – Best Wide Fit Hiking Boots
- 2. Salomon Men’s Authentic Leather & GORE-TEX Backpacking Boots – Best for Narrow Feet
- 3. KEEN Men’s Targhee III Mid Height Waterproof Hiking Boots – Best Waterproof Boots for Men
- Top 3 Hiking Boots for Women
- Top 3 Hiking Shorts for Men
- Top 3 Hiking Shorts for Women
- Frequently Asked Questions
- Our Final Thoughts
Let’s start by looking at how our top picks for hiking boots and shorts compare to each other!
The Best Hiking Boots and Shorts for Men Compared
The Best Hiking Boots and Shorts for Women Compared
How to Wear Hiking Boots with Shorts
Hiking boots and shorts can look great together, but there are a few things to bear in mind:
Getting a good pair of socks for your hiking boots is important. Make sure that your socks go slightly above your boots to stop the material of your boots from cutting into your legs.
We like the Men's 3-Pack Blister Resisting Hiking Socks, as they’re tough enough to keep your feet safe from blisters or sore patches.
Length of Shorts
The longer your shorts, the less ventilation you’ll have, which may be an issue if you’re hiking in warmer climates. Go for shorts that are just above knee length if you want to stay cool.
However, you might prefer the feel of over-the-knee shorts, and they have the advantage of covering your skin, which can help with sun protection. Look for breathable materials that are easy to clean if you do get sweaty on the trail.
Water-resistance is another thing to think about. It’s worth looking for both boots and shorts that are water-resistant, as you may come across streams or other bodies of water as you go. Quick-drying boots and shorts are excellent here, so look for those if you plan to hike near the water.
What to Look for in Hiking Boots and Shorts
Before we go into our recommendations, here’s a quick overview of what to look for in hiking boots and shorts:
There are a few things to look for here:
- Sizing: Sizing can be tricky with any kind of footwear. Look for boots that fit you snugly. Loose boots can cause you to trip, slip, or just be uncomfortable altogether. Some boots offer half-sizes, which is great.
- Durability: Hiking boots should protect your feet on all kinds of terrain. Look for boots with a good tread to stop you from slipping, as well as tough leather or synthetic uppers.
- Water Resistance: Water resistance is a key factor if you’re hiking near water. Water-resistant boots will keep your feet dry temporarily, but may not be able to withstand heavy exposure to water, for example crossing a deep stream. Waterproof boots will offer you even more protection, so they make great boots for harsh weather conditions.
- Comfort: If you’re walking for hours, the last thing you want is uncomfortable feet. Look for boots with decent padding to keep you comfortable on the trail. If you have flat feet, you may want to look for boots with boosted arch support, too.
Here’s what you should look for in a good pair of hiking shorts:
- Sizing: Again, sizing can be tricky, especially when you’re ordering online! Look for shorts that fit snugly without cutting into your skin. Avoid shorts that are too loose around the legs, as these can get caught on rocky terrain.
- UPF Protection: Some shorts have UPF protection. This means that they can resist the harmful impact of sunlight, increasing their durability and protecting your skin.
- Water Resistance: Water-resistant shorts will stop you from getting soaked if you need to wade through water. You can also look for shorts with quick-drying fabric, so you won’t have to feel damp for the rest of the trail.
- Ease of Care: Look for machine-washable shorts to make your life a little easier. You can also get shorts that are stain-resistant to keep them looking new even after exposure to the elements.
Top 3 Hiking Boots for Men
Now, let’s take a look at our top 3 hiking boots for men. We’ll look at the key information, sizing, colors, and materials, and the pros and cons of each one.
1. Timberland Men’s White Ledge Mid Waterproof Hiking Boot – Best Wide Fit Hiking Boots
- Sizes: Regular and Wide fit
- Materials: Leather, rubber
The Timberland Men's White Ledge Mid Waterproof Hiking Boot is an ideal pair of hiking boots if you have wide feet. If applicable, make sure you select the ‘wide fit’ sizing option
These boots are excellent for hiking, with good grip and ankle support. They have tough leather uppers to keep your feet dry, and they’re pretty warm for colder weather too. They may wear out a little quicker than some of the others on this list.
- Good grip and ankle support
- Will keep feet warm and dry
- May wear out quicker than some others on this list
2. Salomon Men’s Authentic Leather & GORE-TEX Backpacking Boots – Best for Narrow Feet
- Materials: Leather, synthetic
The Salomon Men's Authentic Leather & GORE-TEX Backpack Boots are great if you have narrow feet. They’re easy to adjust, with a decent range of sizes, although they do lack half-sizes.
These are great boots for hiking. They have good arch support, they’re durable, and they have good shock absorption. They’re pretty weather-resistant too, so should hold up in different weather conditions.
- Good for narrow feet
- Great arch support
- Durable, with good shock absorption
- No half-sizes available
3. KEEN Men’s Targhee III Mid Height Waterproof Hiking Boots – Best Waterproof Boots for Men
- Materials: Leather/synthetic
The KEEN Men's Targhee III Height Waterproof Hiking Boots are great if you want to keep your feet dry! They have a good amount of space in the toe area.
They’re great for hiking, with a waterproof, breathable membrane to keep your feet dry and comfortable even if you get warm on the trail. The outer layer is water repellant, and it has an external support shank, designed to give you extra stability on uneven ground.
- Will keep your feet dry and comfortable
- Outer layer is water repellant
- Great for uneven ground
- Good amount of space in the toe area
- Limited size range available
Top 3 Hiking Boots for Women
Now we’ll take a look at our top hiking boots for women!
1. Foxelli Women’s Hiking Boots – Most Comfortable
- Materials: Leather, suede
The are comfortable boots. They have a wide range of sizes available with half-sizes too, which means you should be able to get a close fit.
They’re durable, tough boots, with removable soft foam innersoles for extra comfort. The waterproofing could be better, you might find yourself dealing with wet feet if you have to cross a stream on your hike. They’re breathable, with a waterproof membrane to keep your feet comfortable even if you start to sweat.
- Durable and tough
- Extra comfortable thanks to soft foam innersoles
- Breathable, waterproof membrane to keep your feet cool and comfortable
- The waterproofing could be improved
2. Columbia Newton Ridge Hiking Women’s Waterproof Boots – Best Waterproof Boots for Women
- Materials: Rubber, leather
The Columbia Newton Ridge Hiking Women's Waterproof Boots are great waterproof boots for women. They have a lace-up closure, so you can fit them close to your feet. The nice thing about this book is that they come in half sizes, which makes it easier to get the perfect fit.
These are durable with a thick rubber sole and leather uppers. They should keep your feet dry even in pretty wet conditions. The sole has multi-terrain traction to stop you from slipping over, too. The downside is they’re a little stiff and will require some breaking in before you use them.
- Good size range available, including half sizes
- Good traction
- A little stiff to wear and will require breaking in before use
3. NORTIV 8 Women’s Waterpoof Hiking Boots – Best Value
- Materials: Rubber, suede, and leather
The NORTIV 8 Women's Waterproof Hiking Boots are great value if you’re just getting into hiking. They have a wide size range, including a few half sizes, and they’re easy to adjust to your feet.
They’re great for hiking, with advanced traction soles, which are slip-resistant, even on uneven ground. They’re breathable, helping to keep your feet cool in warmer weather, and they’re water-resistant too. The downside is they are a little heavy to wear, so may take some getting used to.
- Easy to adjust to your feet
- Good traction on the soles
- A little heavy to wear
Top 3 Hiking Shorts for Men
If you’re looking for hiking shorts to go with your boots, here are our top recommendations for men, including their key features, pros, and cons.
1. Bimini Bay Outfitters Boca Grande II – Most Durable
- Materials: Nylon
The Bimini Bay Outfitters Boca Grande II are durable shorts. They have ‘blood guard’ technology, a chemical bonded into fibers of the fabric to help prevent stains. They’re machine washable, so you can put them through their paces and they’ll still look great.
They have 9 pockets and an elastic closure. They’re comfortable and easy to wear, and they look great with hiking boots. One thing to bear in mind is that they’re pretty close-fitting in the leg and waist, so may not be the ones for you if you prefer looser shorts.
- Easy to keep clean
- Wide range of sizes and colors
- Plenty of pockets
- Fairly snug fitting, so may not be good if you prefer a loose fit
2. Wrangler Authentics Men’s Performance Comfort Flex Cargo Short – Most Comfortable
- Materials: Nylon, spandex
The Wrangler Authentics Men's Performnace Comfort Flex Cargo Shorts are really soft and comfortable. They’re machine-washable and quick-drying, which is helpful if you’re hiking near water.
They have 2 cargo zip pockets, 2 back pockets, and 2 slash pockets for all your essential items. However, they are long, so if you have shorter legs, you may need to get a smaller size or have them tailored to suit you.
- Machine washable
- Soft and comfortable
- Lots of pockets for item storage
- Leg length is long, so may not suit shorter men
3.YAXHWIV Mens Tactical Shorts – Best for Water Resistance
- Materials: Polyester and Nylon
The YAXHWIV Mens Tactical Shorts are great if you plan on hiking near water. They’re quick-drying, which means they won’t feel uncomfortable even when wet. They’re made from dirt-repellent, and water-repellent fabric, and they’re designed to resist creases.
They come in a good range of sizes, including extra-large sizes, and a few color choices. There are multiple pockets with velcro closures, so you should be able to keep all your essentials safe. The downside is that they run small, so you may want to size up to avoid having to return them.
- Dirt and water-repellent
- Quick-drying fabric
- Wide range of sizes
- Good amount of pockets
- Sizing runs small
Top 3 Hiking Shorts for Women
Now, let’s look at our top 3 hiking shorts for women!
1. SANTINY Women’s Hiking Cargo Shorts – Good All-Rounder
- Materials: Polyester, spandex
The SANTINY Women's Hiking Cargo Shorts are comfortable, practical, and they look great. The quick-dry fabric is water-resistant, and they’re machine washable. The fabric has built-in UPF 50+ to protect against the sun on hot days.
They have an elastic waistband with an adjustable drawstring for a comfortable fit, and they have 2 zipper side pockets and 2 zipper cargo pockets, deep enough to store your wallet, keys, and cellphone. These shorts run large, so you may want to order a smaller size than you usually would.
- Quick-drying fabric
- Easy to wash
- UPF 50+ protection
- Good amount of pockets
- Shorts run large, so may need to get a smaller size than usual
2. Columbia Women’s Anytime Outdoor Long Short – Most Versatile
- Materials: Nylon and elastane
The Columbia Women's Anytime Outdoor Long Shorts are a great pair for all kinds of use, not just hiking. They’re soft, comfortable, and they’re machine washable, so they’re pretty easy to care for. They’re made from fabric with a UPF rating of 50, which will protect you from the sun. The fabric has water and stain repellent built into the fabric too.
They come in a wide range of sizes, including plus sizes, and a few colors to choose from. They also have good pockets, which is always a plus! They look good with hiking boots. You can also wear them for any kind of outdoor exercise, or even just to run errands.
They sit pretty low down on your body, so they won’t be the ones for you if you prefer high-waisted shorts.
- Water and stain resistant
- UPF rating of 50
- Good range of sizes
- May sit low down on your body. May not suit you if you like high-waisted shorts
3. Willit Women’s Yoga Lounge Hiking Shorts – Best for Warmer Weather
- Materials: Nylon and spandex
The Willit Women's Yoga Lounge Hiking Shorts are perfect for light hikes in warmer weather. They’re comfortable, lightweight, and easy to wear, with a comfortable adjustable waistband, and fabric to wick away moisture from your skin. They’re machine-washable, with flatlock stitching to reduce rubbing and chafing.
These shorts have 2 large side pockets, big enough for a cellphone, a wallet, or a set of keys. They’re short, length-wise, which is something to bear in mind. That makes them excellent for hiking in hot weather, but if you’re planning on hiking through underbrush or long grass, you may want to wear something else, to protect your legs.
- Cool and comfortable to wear
- Flatlock stitching to reduce rubbing and chafing
- Lightweight to wear
- 2 large side pockets
- Very short, may not be suitable for more challenging trail conditions
Frequently Asked Questions
Before you go, here are some frequently asked questions you might want the answers for:
How can I stay safe when hiking in shorts?
There are a few things to do to stay safe when you’re hiking in shorts.
You’ll also have to think about insects. A good insect repellent could prevent you from a lot of pain and irritation later on! We like the Repel Insect Repellent as it has a useful pump spray for easy application.
You should also think about the trail you’ll be visiting. If you’ll be hiking through underbrush or long grass, it’s probably better to go for hiking pants instead.
Can I wear hiking boots for fishing?
You can, especially if they are quick-drying hiking boots. However, you might prefer fishing shoes, as they tend to be easier to wear when fishing.
What else do I need to go hiking?
You will need:
- A good backpack
- A water bottle to keep you hydrated
- Small hiking snacks, to keep your energy levels up
- A phone, or a paper map
- Sunscreen and insect repellant if you’re going to be out all day, so you can top up as you go
How can I stay safe while I’m hiking?
There are a few safety tips to keep in mind:
- Keep a map or a phone with you, and stick to the trails to prevent you from getting lost
- Hike with others. That way, if you do get injured or lost, you can support each other
- Think about the elements, and wear the correct clothing for the weather
- Research the trail before you go, and make sure to pick one with the correct difficulty for your level of experience. Websites like Alltrails can be really helpful here.
You can find more hiking safety tips on the California State Park website.
Our Final Thoughts
We hope this has helped you to find the best hiking boots and shorts!
Any of the shorts and boots on this list should work pretty well in combination with each other.
We hope you enjoyed this article.
Leave us a comment with your thoughts: do you have any tips for hiking in warmer weather? Or any product recommendations for other hiking enthusiasts?
Let us know!