What to Wear When You Hit the Trails

Part of the beauty of trail running is its simplicity: You don’t need a closet full of special gear.

Have some shorts? A T-shirt? You’re good to go.

That said, wearing goods specifically designed for trail running will make you more comfortable on everything from mellow dirt paths to gnarly mountain scrambles. You can run trails in your road running clothes. Heck, you can run trails in your boxer shorts or in no clothes at all (check local nudity ordinances).

But when it comes to looking good on the trail, the bottom line is that there are no fashion rules in trail running; you can run in whatever you want. Take these three specimens, spotted recently on a trail near you:

Illustration: Charlie Layton

Feel free to express your individuality—but remember, the goal is to be as comfortable as possible, and it doesn’t hurt to choose apparel that prepares you for whatever the trail throws your way.

Adapted with permission of VeloPress from ‘Trailhead: The Dirt on All Things Trail Running’ by Lisa Jhung with illustrations by Charlie Layton. For more, visit velopress.com/trail.