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Sierra Trading Post Tip: Hiking shorts offer the most freedom of movement and comfort when you're hiking, but they don't offer much protection from the elements, so they really are best for fair weather hiking. Look for hiking shorts made of a sturdy fabric that can withstand bumps, tearing, and staining. Also look for shorts with several pockets to help carry other hiking gear.
Shorts should be loose enough that you can move comfortably without constriction. If they are too tight they may chafe areas or restrict blood flow while you're hiking. For the most versatility, choose hiking pants that convert into hiking shorts, so you'll be covered for all-season hiking.