Whether you’re planning on conquering Britain’s tallest peaks or just going for a relaxed ramble in your nearest woodland, walking trousers can make all the difference on hike. Comfortable, durable walking trousers are a must in any rambler’s wardrobe – they’re designed to be lightweight, stretchy and breathable however many miles you cover. I’ve rounded up ten of my favourite tried-and-tested styles for women who love to walk, including comfy leggings, traditional trousers and smart chino styles that you can wear from peak to pub, and with price points to suit all budgets.
Walking trousers are worn next to the skin and aren’t waterproof, but it’s easy to pop waterproof trousers over the top if rain threatens. Some walking trousers are water repellent, which is enough to withstand light rain, and if they do get wet, lightweight walking trousers are usually quick to dry. Planning sunny summer walks or travelling abroad? Look for trousers that use a breathable fabric, to keep you cool. We rate trousers with reinforced knees and ankles, plenty of pockets and a slightly stretchy fabric, for added comfort and ease of movement. Custom patches are a great idea if you need to repair any damage (or just want to jazz your new walking trousers up).
You’ll find both traditional, straight-cut walking trousers and slim, stretchy walking leggings (also called tights) on sale – I personally love tights, as they don’t flap around and they’re also easier to layer under waterproofs. Try trousers on in person if you can – they should have enough stretch to let you squat, and feel comfortable around the waist as you move your legs.
Ten of the best hiking trousers and trekking tights for women
1, Fjallraven Keb Curved trousers
‘Rugged’ is probably the best word to describe the Keb trousers from Fjallraven – these work-ready pants are designed to last you years, with reinforced knee and rear panels, ventilation zips and plentiful pockets. The Kebs are also a good choice for making sure you get a good fit – the ‘Curved’ model is wider at the hips, while there’s a more straight-cut version for athletic types, and both iterations come in Regular and Short leg lengths. A hardy, hiking-ready pant you can also work, garden and play in, and I like that they come in bright colourways as well as more neutral hues.
£215 | Fjallraven
2, Decathlon Mountain Trekking Heavy-Duty Trousers
My best on a budget at a hair under £30, these walking trousers are simple, lightweight and stretchy enough to tackle tougher hikes. The high waist and adjustable belt make it easy to get a snug fit, and the lightweight fabric is cool to wear and quick-drying if you encounter rain. Four pockets are handy for stashing essentials, and one fits a smart phone. At this pocket-friendly price point, these versatile trousers would make a great spare pair to pack for a summer trekking holiday.
£29.99 | Decathlon
3, Patagonia Altvia Alpine Pants
These handsome trousers were designed with both hiking and climbing in mind, so they’re well-suited to anyone who likes to add a bit of scrambling or bouldering to their walking adventures. The Altvias are perfectly tailored to move with you, sport roomy pockets and have adjustable cuffs, so they sit nicely over hiking boots or low-cut walking shoes alike. I found the material was a bit of a wonder, breathing well in hot weather but trapping in body heat in cold autumn conditions, so the Altvias would work well for hikes in most seasons. The Altvias come in Short and Regular lengths and have a nice slimmer cut that doesn’t flap about and is easy to layer under waterproofs.
£130 | Patagonia
4, Sherpa Kalpana Hike Tight
These slim, sleek leggings are the ultimate in versatility, and despite their simple looks, they pack a technical punch. The Kalpana tights are lightweight and moisture wicking, and stay comfortable even when you’re hiking in them for days on end thanks to a thick, stretchy high waistband and flatlock seams. Handy zipped side pockets are perfect for holding essentials such as your phone. Pack this quiver-of-one walking tight and you’re set for your travels – the Kalpana works well as a yoga pant and running tight as well as on the trail. These are tights that do good, too – for every product sold, Sherpa donate money to provide education and resources for children in Nepal.
£29.98 | Alpinetrek
5, Fjallraven Abisko Tights
If you’re shopping for slim hiking tights rather than wider waking trousers, my pick of the pack is Fjallraven’s Abisko. I’ve been able to test out these popular leggings on many a hiking and camping adventure and reckon they are well worth their high price tag – these brilliant technical tights are extremely comfortable and stretchy, tough enough to sit and kneel down in and look good as new however many times you chuck them in the wash. They also feature large pockets that will hold a map and a phone safely even if you’re scrambling about. The slim cut means the Abiskos fit nicely under waterproofs, too. Worth the splurge.
£155 | Fjallraven
6, Revolution Race RVRC GP Trousers
One trouser to rule them all? Revolution Race are proud of how versatile their RVRC trousers are, reckoning they work for ‘hiking, fishing, dog training, climbing and sailing’. These hardwearing but comfortable trousers are ideal for outdoorsy types, and make a great quiver-of-one choice if you want to invest in just one pair of trousers to take on all your adventures. Stretchy panels make moving about comfortable, and the knees are fitted with pockets for knee pads, which is handy when you’re camping, gardening or working outdoors. I found these tough trousers to be reliably tear-proof on test, so they should last you for years.
£85 | Revolution Race
7, Acai Skinny Outdoor Trousers
Do you find yourself living in leggings? Acai’s super-skinny trousers will be your new favourites for heading outdoors – they’re slim-cut but stretchy, have a comfortable high waist and are breathable enough to stop you overheating on hot summer hikes. The fabric is even splash- and shower-proof, so you can wear them in light rain. I love the smart, flattering looks of the Skinny, ideal if you don’t like traditional, straight-cut walking trousers and want something you can wear with jumpers and boots down the pub as well as up the peaks.
£79 | Acai
8, Craghoppers Kiwi Pro II Trousers
Keep it simple with the Kiwis – these fuss-free walking trousers are super-comfy, smart enough to wear in the city and nicely priced at £55. I like that there are regular and longer leg lengths as well as no less than nine neutral colourways to pick from, and I also rated the roomy pockets and comfortable elasticated waistband. The Kiwi Pros are water-repellent and designed to look good straight after washing, making them a good choice for walking holidays.
£60 | Craghoppers
9, The North Face Exploration Convertible Trousers
Why pack both trousers and shorts for a walking expedition when you could just take the Exploration? This zip-off pant from The North Face is easy to convert from trousers to knee-length shorts on the go, and looks very smart and streamlined, in three neutral shades that you could easily dress up, so it’s ideal if you’re packing light on holiday and want one do-it-all bottom to wear daily. Short, regular and long lengths are available, so there’s a pair to suit hikers of all heights, although some reviewers recommend ordering a size above your usual.
£56 | The North Face
10, Rab Torque Mountain Pant
A quiver-of-one trouser to wear for all your outdoor adventures, Rab’s Torque is ready for challenging terrain and relaxed country walks alike. Lightweight and breathable enough to wick away sweat when you move fast, they’re still warm and durable enough for cooler weather, and are wind- and water-resistant. Perfect from summer through to autumn, or for packing for your travels.
£100 | Rab
Can’t see your perfect hiking trousers? Find ten more hiking pants for women reviewed by TrailPlace