There’s no reason you should have to change your clothes after you finish a hike and move on to the après portion of your adventure. Luckily, technical clothing has come a long way, as designers are taking cues from the fashion world to create pieces that look as good as they perform. We found five stylish pairs of hiking shorts that will transition seamlessly from the trail to the bar (or office, if that’s your thing).
Howler Brothers Horizon Hybrid ($69)
Boardshorts, hiking shorts, casual kick-around shorts. The Horizon Hybrid is all of the above. The ripstop nylon takes abuse and dries fast. We dig the zippered mesh back pocket and the extra “pliers pocket” on the side. Take your pick of colors, from the golf-course-friendly Mist Green to sensible-dad Stone.
Backcountry Trail Stretch ($55)
The super-stretchy, incredibly lightweight nylon/spandex blend makes these shorts a solid choice for hot hikes or balmy jaunts around town. The design is simple, with a sleek profile and two zippered side pockets, so your iPhone won’t fall out while you’re scrambling to the summit.
Icebreaker Persist ($130)
Icebreaker’s Cool-Lite fabric blends nylon with merino wool and Lycra for shorts that stretch, breathe like a set of lungs, and feel great next to the skin. The Persist has a longer inseam than some other options on this list, but the slim profile will keep you from looking like a thru-hiker when you head straight from the trailhead to the bar.
Proof Nomad ($68)
You might not think that these chino-inspired shorts have the technical chops necessary to handle a legit hike, but Proof used a Bluesign-approved four-way-stretch fabric that repels rainstorms and your morning coffee. A hidden zippered stash pocket will keep your goods safe whether you’re jumping onto a trolley in San Francisco or boulder hopping in the Sierra Nevada.
Marmot West Ridge ($65)
The West Ridge has a solid western vibe, thanks to the elaborate stitching around the seams, but it brings that old-school aesthetic into the modern era by adding a small amount of elastane stretch twill to the organic cotton fabric. Couple that stretch with a gusseted inseam and articulated knees, and you’ve got a pair of shorts built for climbing and belaying all day. The West Ridge also boasts a UPF 50 rating and plenty of reinforced pockets.