As an adventure travel writer and frequent hiker, loose shorts and moisture-wicking shirts make up at least half my wardrobe. I tend to care about comfort above all else, so I’ll admit some of my hiking shorts and tanks are mostly loose and shapeless. But there’s no way I’d sacrifice functionality or comfort on the trails just for the sake of an Instagram photo. That’s why I’m thrilled hiking skirts are becoming more and more mainstream.
I know what you’re thinking: Who wants to wear a skirt when carrying a heavy pack or scrambling up a rock field? But hiking skirts from reputable companies take all the best features of shorts — like pockets, moisture-wicking and quick-drying fabrics, and lightweight construction — and combines them with the style of a skirt that can be worn almost anywhere.
My current favorite hiking skirts are from Title Nine, and if you know anything about Title IX the federal civil rights law, you’ll know what the brand stands for: Creating clothing and gear to encourage girls and women to participate in sports. Hiking skirts have been a mainstay in its catalog for decades, too.
Title Nine’s gear focuses on the features serious athletes need and designs its apparel with women in mind, understanding that being feminine or wearing a skirt can go hand-in-hand with being a fantastic athlete. So, I tested out three of its most popular hiking skirts to see if they could cut it on the rocky, high-elevation hiking trails of Lake Tahoe. Here’s how they measured up.