Style Guide: Speed Hike

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It really wasn’t all that long ago when the concepts of going on a challenging speed hike and looking good were entirely mutually exclusive. But those days are long gone. Today, the prevalence of great-looking and highly technical functional athletic wear makes it easy to flex your style even when hitting the trail — all without sacrificing any comfort or performance.

Speed hikes can be especially daunting to gear up for. You need to outfit yourself for the trail, meaning you should be prepared for whatever Mother Nature might throw at you. But you’re also aiming for speed, so lightweight apparel and gear are a must. Finally, you need gear that enhances your performance rather than hinders it, so high-performing materials that wick sweat, regulate your temperature, and comfortably move with you need to be on your radar. Thankfully for you, we’ve done the work for you and have come up with a slew of gear that will allow you to blow through your next speed hike… while turning a few heads at the same time.

lululemon Surge Short Linerless

These shorts are all about setting you free. Made from lululemon’s Swift fabric, the Surge Short Linerless are lightweight, quick-drying, and have just the right amount of stretch for a relaxed-fit running short. Despite their low weight and freeing feel, the shorts also manage to sneak in a couple of ingenious storage solutions. On the back, below the waistband, you’ll find a secure phone pocket, while a waistband loop on the side will hold any extra layers you’ve shed during your run.

Purchase: $68

lululemon Surge Warm Long Sleeve

Running outside can sometimes get chilly, especially if you run in the early mornings or, obviously, in the winter. So for this cold weather running shirt, lululemon turned to one of their most luxe fabrics, Rulu, and its outstanding heat-retaining properties. Not only will this shirt keep you warm when the mercury is falling, but it will also do so while remaining lightweight, breathable, and wicking away your sweat.

Purchase: $98

lululemon Surge Tight Nulux

When it comes to running tights, the last thing you want is to feel like you’re wearing constricting pants on your run. And with lululemon’s Nulux fabric, you’ll never have to worry about that. These tights have an almost ethereal quality to them that makes them supremely comfortable while they provide you with light compression, and they’ve also been and ergonomically designed to enhance your movement. Plus, there’s the added bonus of strategically-placed mesh ventilation panels to keep your legs breathing properly.

Purchase: $118

lululemon Surge Warm Full Zip

On really cold days, you can double up with a second dose of lululemon Surge Warm gear. Like the Long Sleeve above, the Surge Warm Full Zip is made from soft, thin, and warm Rulu fabric to provide high-end heat retention without sacrificing weight and breathability. You’re also getting a hood and thumbholes for added coverage, two convenient zippered pockets for easy access to your gear, and highly visible reflective details to keep you safe in low-light conditions.

Purchase: $118

Black Diamond Distance 4 Hydration Vest

The number one thing you need to bring with you on a hike is water, and this sleek hydration vest makes it extremely easy to do so. Lightweight and stretchy, this is a hydration vest that’s designed to keep up with you on your run without weighing you down. Its dual soft flasks will keep you properly hydrated on the trail, and for extra-long hikes, the additional bladder sleeve allows you to carry even more water.

Purchase: $150

The North Face Flight Vectiv Trail Running Sneakers

Don’t be fooled by the fashion-forward looks of these trail runners: these are some serious performers. Designed with input from The North Face Team Athletes, this lightweight and responsive shoe was made to speed you through long-distance runs. A 3D carbon fiber plate underfoot combines with the rocker midsole to convert energy into momentum to propel you forward, the abrasion-resistant upper mixes Kevlar with polyamide to provide stability, and the Surface CTRL outsole keeps you surefooted on the trail.

Purchase: $199

Smith Optics Ruckus Performance Sunglasses

Eye protection is incredibly important any time you’re out in the sun, and few brands know how to keep a pair of sunglasses comfortably on your face during a run like Smith. These wraparounds provide en vogue ‘90s throwback styling while boasting Carbonic lenses for impact resistance and clear optics, along with nose pads and temples that feature non-slip grip to keep everything where it should be as you bound across the trail.

Purchase: $219

Garmin fēnix 6 Pro Solar Edition Smartwatch

These days, it’s expected that you have some kind of technological assistance with you out on the trail, and this high-end wearable from Garmin is about as good as it gets in that respect. It combines GPS with two additional global navigation satellite systems in GLONASS and Galileo, meaning it’s nearly impossible to get lost while wearing this on your wrist. It also keeps track of key vitals, performance metrics, and has features designed specifically for trail runs — as well as about a million other outdoor sports.

Purchase: $800+