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Summer Gear

Women’s Trail Essentials

From head to toe, we have you covered with the best gear for any trail adventure.

 

Nothing beats the feeling of being on the trail. As the rocks crunch beneath your feet, fresh mountain air fills your lungs, and the sounds of nature serenade your journey, the last thing you want to be thinking about is your feet hurting or backpack chafing. Trust us, we’ve been there. We’ve compiled a list of trail essentials to allow you to focus on what matters. Whether you’re an extreme alpinist or casual hiker, here’s some of our favorite gear to support your adventure, whatever the trail.

Hoka One One Women’s Speedgoat 4

Hoka One One Speedgoat 4 Trail Running Shoe
The fourth iteration of Hoka’s Speedgoat trail running shoe has been updated and improved to offer an even roomier midfoot.  Photo courtesy of Hoka One One

Any trail shoe that gives confidence on rocks and slick roots is a winner in our book. That’s why the Speedgoat 4 is on this list. We loved the Speedgoat 3 for its comfort and ruggedness, and Hoka kicks it up a notch in both those departments in this fourth iteration with an updated, durable mesh upper, roomier forefoot, gusseted tongue, and a new midsole with lightweight foam for even more responsiveness. The Speedgoat 4 still boasts a Vibram sole with MegaGrip lugs that can be trusted to provide superior traction and stability on any terrain, and the cushioning and impact absorption we’ve come to love from Hoka. With a wider forefoot, the Speedgoat 4 won’t fit everyone’s foot—but if it fits yours, you’ll hit the jackpot with this shoe that combines the best of comfort and trail performance. [$145, hokaoneone.com]

The North Face Ultra Endurance XF

The North Face Ultra Endurance XF Women's Trail Running Shoe
The Ultra Endurance XF are ideal for ladies who prefer a stiffer trail shoe to pound miles of rugged terrain.Photo courtesy of The North Face

TNF touts the Ultra Endurance XF as specifically designed for max cushioning and lightweight protection, but we’d argue that these kicks are ideal for ladies who prefer a stiffer trail shoe to pound miles of rugged terrain. TNF’s XtraFoam midsole system doesn’t provide the same kind of plush cushioning you get from a Hoka shoe, but an OrthoLite Hybrid footbed, dynamic air mesh upper, gusseted tongue, and TPU midfoot overlays make for a comfortable and snug fit. Plus, dual-density 3-mm outsole lugs make the Ultra Endurance XF a no-nonsense trail shoe that will tackle—and endure—miles and miles of trail. Plus, it’s hard to beat TNF’s fashion-forward performance designs these days. [$140, thenorthface.com]

Mountain Hardwear Women’s Exposure/2 Gore-Tex Paclite Plus Jacket

Mountain Hardwear Women's Exposure/2 GTX Paclite Plus Jacket
This jacket features Gore-Tex’s newly engineered Paclite Plus material—just as dependable in the waterproofing department, but even lighter weight than previous Gore-Tex fabrics.Photo courtesy of Mountain Hardwear

If the only kind of precipitation that’s acceptable and tolerable in your book is snow, get yourself the Women’s Exposure/2 Gore-Tex Paclite Plus Jacket. With this completely waterproof and ultra-packable rain shell in your pack, you won’t have to worry about Mother Nature raining on your trail adventure. This jacket features Gore-Tex’s newly engineered Paclite Plus material—just as dependable in the waterproofing department, but even lighter weight than previous Gore-Tex fabrics. While a minimalist in the weight department, this jacket doesn’t skimp on nifty features and includes a brimmed hood with adjustable drawcord, zippered chest pocket, harness-compatible hand pockets with stretch-mesh interiors, and articulated shoulder seams to minimize stitching and maximize durability. A fully-loaded rain shell that packs down into its own pocket. [$300, mountainhardwear.com]

Swiftwick Pursuit Zero Ultralight

Swiftwick Pursuit Zero Ultralight Sock
The Pursuit Zero Ultrlight is designed to be paired with lightweight technical shoes and offer a barely-there, next-to-skin feel. Photo courtesy of Swiftwick

If you haven’t yet invested in Merino wool running or hiking socks, you’re missing out. If the idea that wool is bound to be thick and scratchy is holding you back, rest assured that the Pursuit Zero Ultralight is designed to be paired with lightweight technical shoes and offer a barely-there, next-to-skin feel. Merino wool also wicks moisture, meaning the Pursuit Zero Ultralight will keep your feet dry and prevent blisters from friction on even the most high-output adventures. This sock’s thin channeled upper also helps with breathability and a seamless toe box helps reduce friction in abrasion-prone points. [$17, swiftwick.com]

Arc’teryx Delaney Legging

Arc'teryx Delaney Women's Legging
 A legging that seamlessly transitions from the couch to the trails. Photo courtesy of Arc’teryx

We basically live in leggings year-round, so you could say we’ve become quite the connoisseur of tights. We’ve learned that some leggings are best suited to the couch, while others are so techy that they don’t make great loungewear. The Delaney Legging, however, can seamlessly transition from the couch to the trails thanks to a stretchy nylon blend fabric, casual style, higher waist, and two convenient cargo pockets. [$95, arcteryx.com]

Patagonia Women’s Nine Trails Shorts

Patagonia Women's Nine Trails Shorts
The Patagonia Nine Trail Shorts are airy and lightweight thanks to a recycled polyester/spandex blend fabric that comfortably moves with you. Photo courtesy of Patagonia

Patagonia does a lot of things well, but running shorts may be one of their best sells. The Nine Trail Shorts are airy and lightweight thanks to a recycled polyester/spandex blend fabric that comfortably moves with you, breathes, and wicks moisture. Other design elements to further enhance comfort and functionality include a lightweight, moisture-wicking crepe built-in liner with HeiQ Fresh durable odor control, side vent for improved range of motion, a secure zipper back pocket with elastic key loop, and secure-fit waistband. Just a few reasons we love Patagonia’s running shorts. [$69, Patagonia.com]

Eddie Bauer EverTherm Down Hooded Jacket

Eddie Bauer Women's EverTherm Down Hooded Jacket in Dark Smoke
A lightweight jacket that packs a punch. Photo courtesy of Eddie Bauer

Eddie Bauer’s EverTherm Down Hooded Jacket was made for brisk days on the trail. Featuring new sleek Thindown® fabric, this jacket is designed to keep you warm without cramping your style with the bulk of a traditional down jacket. The down is uniform throughout the jacket without quilting or panels to prevent any cold spots, and an insulated hood with elastic binding keeps the cold and wind at bay. In short: Rain or shine, this three-layer jacket offers full weather protection in a classic fit that’s perfect for layering. Whether you are running errands or up a steep mountain traverse, this jacket has you covered. [$299, Eddiebauer.com]

Smartwool Women’s Merino Sport 150 Tank

Smartwool Women's Merino Sport 150 Tank in Light Habanero Heather
Merino Sport 150 Tank in Light Habanero Heather. Photo courtesy of Smartwool

If there was one factor that makes or breaks a hiking shirt, it’s breathability. That’s why we love the Smartwool’s Merino Sport 150 Tank. The ultralight fabric offers moisture management, temperature regulation, and odor resistance. A mesh band in the back gives this tank additional breathability to keep you cool even during the sweatiest workout. Because of the contour of the shirt, women can expect a tighter fit and less chafing which is crucial when navigating technical terrain. [$60, Smartwool.com]

Columbia Women’s Anytime Casual Skort

Columbia Women's Anytime Casual Skort in the shade light grey
Cute and comfy, this Columbia skort does it all.Photo courtesy of Columbia

Women don’t have to sacrifice form for function anymore with the Anytime Casual skort for any adventure. The built-in two-way comfort stretch briefs provide maximum protection and active comfort when scrambling over boulders and up steep slopes. Don’t worry about playing too rough in this skort because Columbia’s signature UPF 50 fabric protects against dirt and stains, while also wicking moisture to keep you cool and dry throughout any adventure. [$40, Columbia.com]

Norrøna Bitihorn Pack 20L

Norrøna Bitihorn Pack 20L in the color jungle green
Norrøna Bitihorn Pack in Jungle Green.Photo courtesy of Norrøna

When packing your gear for a trek in the mountains, look no further than the Norrøna Bitihorn Pack. This lightweight day trip bag has a mesh-lined back and straps for breathable comfort on the sweatiest of adventures. Extras: The slide compression straps and hip belt add stability and support while preventing chafing, and multiple pockets help secure and organize all of your trail essentials. But our favorite part of this pack is its hydration compatibility and hose attachment piece on the strap for hands-free hydration. [$109, norrona.com]

FITS Light Hiker Socks

FITS Light Hiker Socks in the color stone
FITS Light Hiker sock in the Stone colorway.Photo courtesy of FITS

There is absolutely nothing worse than getting a few miles into the trail and feeling your socks rubbing your feet uncomfortably. The FITS Light Hiker Socks eliminate that issue with their contoured fit that snugly hug your feet. Our favorite feature is the extra cushioning in the heel, toe, and arch that keeps your feet in good shape even after pounding the trail on a full-day hike. The crew height rises just below the calf so these socks pair perfectly with any hiking boot or shoe. [$22, fitssocks.com]

Salewa Women’s Wildfire Approach Shoes

The Salewa Women's Wildfire Approach Shoes offer a climbing zone at the toe, compound rubber sole, large tread lugs, and a breathable footbed.
Holy tread! This shoe was built for extreme mountain terrain. Photo courtesy of Salewa

When looking for shoes that provide excellent stability and grip on any trail or technical mountain approaches, look no further than the Salewa Women’s Wildfire Approach Shoes. A climbing zone at the toe ensures good edging and performance while the compound rubber sole helps grip to rock in both wet and dry conditions. Plus, the large tread lugs provide improved traction to make navigating mud and softer trail easier. But perhaps the best part of these shoes is the breathable footbed that provides amazing cushioning to ensure you enjoy your time in the mountains every step of the way. [$130, salewa.com]

Bight Women’s Solstice Graphene Hoody

Sky blue women's longsleeve top
Bight Women’s Solstice Graphene Hoody in Sky Blue. Photo: Courtesy of Bright Gear

Serious mountain guide brand, Bight Gear, just upped the ante on this classic baselayer by adding graphene to the polyester and spandex blend. This new fabric combo feels like cotton, wicks like synthetic, and increases heat transfer to make for one of the most versatile active layers we’ve had the pleasure of sweating in. And that’s not all—the Solstice Graphene Hoody is super light, features an oversized hood for full coverage and an overlap below the chin to protect your neck from the sun, and the whole hoody itself features UPF 55+ sun protection. A relaxed fit with raglan sleeves, thumbholes, and a drop-tail hem seal the deal—the Solstice Graphene Hoody is the ultimate hiking layer. [$69, bightgear.com] 

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