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Walking Trouser Guide

A Guide to Buying Walking Trousers

If you are spending any length of time out walking, be it rambling in along the footpaths of the woods and fields of the Chilterns or the bracing hills of the Highlands, you need to wear something suitable on your legs.


The fabric your trousers are made of plays a key role in dictating how well they perform when you are using them. There are three main types of fabrics used, the pros and cons of which are described below.


As tempting as it is to just wear an old pair of jeans, these will just not cut the mustard. Cotton is very effective at absorbing moisture, which makes it just about the worst thing to wear if you are out walking with the objective of staying dry.

Poly Cotton

Most entry level walking trousers are made from a mixture of cotton and polyester. The polyester in the trousers allow them to dry quickly, helping to keep the wearer comfortable, whilst the cotton component makes the trousers more robust and harder wearing.


Lightweight and quick drying, synthetic trousers are the best option if you are going to spend long days on the hill. This type of trouser is particularly handy if you are going to be walking through wet grass or in poor weather. Different fabric weights are available, meaning you should be able to find the perfect trousers to suit the weather conditions.


If you are walking in the winter, some manufacturers make trousers with an additional lining to them. This is usually in the form of a thin fleece, and helps to increase the level of insulation offered by the trousers.

walking trousers with fleece lining


If you are out walking in the hills, it is often the case that you will be carrying a few extra bits of kit, be it a map and compass or a bar of Kendal mint cake. If you are wearing your trousers whilst you are out travelling, you might be carrying round your passport, camera and tickets. It is handy to be able to store these bits and pieces easily, so most walking trousers come with multiple pockets.

walking trousers with pockets


If you are going travelling and are looking to carry as little as possible, yet still want a choice of wearing either trousers or shorts, it is worthwhile looking for some trousers which will zip off. This means that you have the option of wearing the full trouser, or removing the lower leg sections to wear them as shorts.

zip-offs walking trousers to shorts


It is important to get a pair of trousers which fit you well, particularly if you are spending a great deal of time in them walking, climbing or travelling. Things to look out for are trousers which are available in different leg lengths, and ones which have articulated knees, thus allowing you to get the trouser that fit best.

Explore our selection of walking trousers for women and for men including excellent brands such as Craghopper, Fjallraven, Salomon and The North Face.


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