Walking trousers Buyer’s Guide

Enjoy walking in the great outdoors more with our expert guide to selecting the right walking trousers for you.

Choosing a great pair of walking trousers

Finding a good pair of trousers for your walks and hikes will make all the difference to helping you feel comfortable and relaxed as you stride out.

Here are our top tips when looking to buy walking trousers: 


Which style of waist suits you?

Some trousers have an elasticated waist, others have belt loops and some have both. Check the design too, as some offer a low-profile cut that sits neatly under a rucksack.  Also look out for soft linings.  These can be very comfortable but may get a bit sweaty when the going gets hot.


How will you use your pockets?

Having plenty of pockets can be useful, but their sizes and locations will dictate how you can use them. A larger pocket can be ideal for storing a map but make sure you can access it while wearing a rucksack. It’s worth checking for pockets with zips as these are good for extra security.


Check for a good fit

Choose trousers with fabrics that stretch, to give as much comfort and freedom of movement as possible. The amount and direction of stretch will vary, so it’s worth trying them on. Check the cut to see what suits you best so that they don’t rub or irritate on long walks.  Drawcords at the hems are useful to adjust to your footwear and to help prevent dirt and debris getting in.

A group of Ramblers crossing a river using stepping stones

Consider the conditions

Consider the weather conditions of where you’ll be walking. In hotter weather you need breathable, lightweight fabric that draws moisture away from your skin. If conditions are likely to be wet and windy, a water-resistant and windproof trouser is best. If you plan to walk in wintry terrain, a built-in gaiter will help keep the snow and water out.  For the British weather, even in summertime, it’s best to choose a fast-drying fabric in case of rain showers.  But for warmer days, lighter colours that reflect the sunlight, vents on the legs and mesh-lined pockets will help to keep you cool.


Check for durability

Check the seams, as double-stitched seams hold up better than single stitched. Also pay attention to the zips, as poor-quality zips can easily break.  If you’re going to be scrambling you may want to consider reinforced panels on the knees, seat and ankles for extra protection.