What to Wear While Hiking

It’s that time of year again – the weather in Florida is approaching its absolute best for being outdoors. Mosquitoes are disappearing, the air is drier, and the next few months promise to be much better outdoors. Here in north Florida, we still get some chilly days, so a t-shirt and shorts won’t always do. Below are some recommendations. (Please note that these are affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases, and this helps to support this site.)


Any good outfit will incorporate layers. Too chilly? Leave everything on. Too warm? Take off the warmest layer. Too humid? Just remove the protective layer. Socks – keep them on. Always.

Always Wear These:

Socks: Preferably wool. Wool, derived from the fleece of sheep, is renowned for its natural insulating properties. Unlike synthetic materials, wool fibers trap and retain heat efficiently, keeping your feet comfortably warm in cold weather. One of the standout features of wool is its ability to wick moisture away from the skin. Wool fibers can absorb up to 30% of their weight in moisture without feeling damp, making them ideal for keeping your feet dry and comfortable.

Budget OptionQuality Option

Buttons & Pleats Wool Socks for Men & Women Merino Thermal Warm Cozy Winter Boot Sock

Merrell Men’s and Women’s Thermal Hiking Crew Socks-4 Pair Pack-Unisex Arch Support Band and Wool Blend
Base Layer: Generally, a base layer in Florida doesn’t involve thermal protection. However, it can invariably be a good place to start if you prefer something light-weight and breathable – considering it’s against your skin, you’ll want something that isn’t rough or irritating.
Budget OptionQuality Option

Thermajohn Long Johns Thermal Underwear for Men Fleece Lined Base Layer Set for Cold Weather

LAPASA Men’s 100% Merino Wool Base Layer Set Lightweight Midweight Thermal Underwear Activewear Long John Top Bottom M31/M126

Sometimes Wear These:

Something Warm: Again, not always that necessary in Florida. However, you’ll want something that doesn’t trap moisture and something with at least a little additional protection from cold. This is a good place to introduce UV-protective layers to avoid sun damage.

Budget OptionQuality Option

BALEAF Men’s Sun Protection Shirts UV SPF UPF 50+ Long Sleeve Rash Guard Fishing Running Quick Dry Lightweight

ATG by Wrangler Men’s Long Sleeve Mixed Material Shirt

Something protective: Not saying that pants fall into the ‘sometimes wear’ category, but the level of protection needed may vary. Factors to consider include the vegetation you’ll potentially be walking through. Florida has a lot of flora with sharp edges or thorns, so you’ll want something that can resist tearing or puncturing. Also – consider that ticks are a concern in some areas, like at Betz-Tiger Preserve. While you’ll still need to do a tick-check after hiking, pants go a long way to reducing the risk. Shorts really shouldn’t be an option.

Budget OptionQuality Option

Arunlluta Hiking Pants for Men, Hiking Travel Pants Water-Resistant Mens Work Pants Stretch Quick Dry Lightweight

Columbia Men’s Rapid Rivers Pant

What about shoes?

Shoes are one of those vital, big-ticket items when preparing to hike comfortably. Enough has been written about finding good shoes, so I won’t include it here – probably in a future post. There are simply too many factors to consider, and personal preference and comfort vary so wildly that it’s hard to give good, solid advice.

Did I leave anything out? Let me know below!