BACKPACKING BASICS

Can You Wear Joggers Hiking? (Explained For Beginners)

Hiking in joggers
Written by Bradley Page

One of the greatest things about day-hiking is the low barrier to entry. You can normally get started with what you already have and still get some great hikes in. However, when you’re starting out, you might not be certain what would be the best choice of clothing and therefore wondering whether you can wear joggers for hiking.

If you’re considering wearing joggers for a day-hike then you can absolutely wear joggers. However, if you’re looking to do a multi-day hike then it would be better for you to look at proper hiking pants to ensure your comfort.

Can You Wear Joggers For A Multi-day Hike?

While the answer to these sorts of questions are always “you can, but…” we recommend against wearing joggers for multi-day hikes.

Wearing joggers for multi-day hikes is not a good idea as they will soak up and hold on to water easily. This is especially true if you’re wearing cotton joggers, which, while good for keeping you warm when they are dry, will suck the warmth out of you quickly once they get wet.

Durability Of Joggers

If you’re hiking somewhere that you might get them snagged on something, then they can tear, leaving you with holes in your pants. While joggers are pretty easy to sew back up when you stop for a break, you can avoid the situation by choosing more durable pants.

Waterproofing

As mentioned above joggers are great at soaking up water and holding onto it. While you may look to avoid it, it can be surprising just how often you can find yourself getting wet on a hike. Whether this is from crossing a stream, getting caught in the rain, or even just your sweat during your hike.

You can look into waterproofing your joggers, this will help to prevent them from soaking up water and can be well the effort if you are determined to wear joggers. However, in our opinion going for an option that doesn’t require you to do this can be beneficial.

Warmth

If you’re going to be hiking in warm weather, or are likely to be getting quite warm from a strenuous hike then joggers may not be a great choice for the hike. This is because, while joggers are dry, they help to keep you warm. While this can be helpful in colder weather, these may cause you to be uncomfortably warm in warmer weather.

Hiking club
Source: https://unsplash.com/photos/juHayWuaaoQ

Do Hiking Clubs Allow You To Wear Joggers?

While hiking groups try to be as inclusive as possible the vast majority of hiking groups will not allow someone who has come to go hiking in joggers.

This is not a hard and fast rule across all hiking clubs, especially if you’re joining one that is focused on beginners. However,

Can You Wear Joggers For Day Hike?

While it’s recommended that you don’t wear joggers for a multi-day hike, how about day hikes?

You can absolutely wear joggers for a day-hike. As day hikes tend to be shorter and over better-known routes, it is easier to be certain that you’re not going to get wet. Additionally, if you do end up getting wet, you won’t have to wear/carry your joggers for long.

This isn’t to say it wouldn’t be better for you to wear something more suited to hiking but if you’re just getting into hiking then it is better to be able to get started with what you have rather than holding off because you don’t have the best possible gear you could.

The obvious caveat to the above is that if you’re planning on hiking with a club then they may specifically not allow people to join if they’re wearing joggers. Always check with a club in advance on what their rules are to avoid getting disappointed.

But what about if you’ve already started hiking and want to get the best type of pants for hiking, what do you go for then? Introducing

Are Joggers Good For Anything On A Multi-day Hike?

As covered above, there are many reasons why you wouldn’t want to use joggers for multi-day hikes but this doesn’t mean that they are completely useless.

Joggers make a great choice for sleepwear while you’re out on a multi-day hike. Having a comfortable, and importantly, dry change of clothes to sleep in will allow your body to recover, especially if your clothes have got wet while you’ve been hiking.

Tent sleeping bag
Source: https://www.pexels.com/photo/woman-in-gray-jacket-lying-on-bed-5994748/

If your hiking clothes do end up getting wet you may be tempted to wear your joggers while hiking on the following days. Even if you don’t have any other clothes with you, it is better for you to get back into the wet clothes that you have already been wearing. This allows you to avoid the risk of getting your joggers wet, which on top of the above also allows you to keep them dry for you to wear while sleeping.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Bradley Page

With several decades of experience as a backpacker and outdoor adventurer, Bradley is an open encyclopedia when it comes to gear, clothes, and other items that matter on the trail. He tested hundreds of shoes, pants, jackets, and backpacks in his long career and is always up to date with the new appearances in the niche. His experience makes him one of the authority figures in backpacking and he can help anyone to get prepared for a great adventure!