When the weather improves in the UK, we all like to get outside and make the most of the glorious weather. With the rise in the cost of living too, many of us are finding alternatives for date nights. Whether it’s with your partner, friends or family, getting outdoors when the weather is nice is an inexpensive way to catch up.
Walking dates are gaining in popularity, whether it’s a local walk around the park with a friend and a coffee or a trip to the countryside with your partner for a day-long hike. It’s an inexpensive way to catch up with someone, get some fresh air and exercise and we guarantee you won’t think time is dragging (unless the company isn’t great)!
However, you want to make sure you feel confident but comfortable anytime you go for a walk or hike. Depending on the time of year, you might be able to wear anything from shorts and a T-shirt to full waterproof gear, including jacket and trousers. We’ve tried to keep this blog post with year-round items so you get a general idea of walking clothing staples but have included a shorter list at the end for seasonal items.
A waterproof jacket
Even if you think the weather is going to be beautiful, there is always a chance that it will rain at some point in the UK (despite the gorgeous weather we’ve had lately). That means you will need a waterproof jacket. However, that could mean taking anything from a jacket in a packet to a fleece-lined coat. We always recommend checking the weather before you leave the house (although even that isn’t always accurate). If you’re travelling by car, you could leave a waterproof jacket in your car boot for just-in-case emergencies.
A jacket in a packet - This should be your go-to on warmer days. They basically do what they say on the tin: they fold up into a small bag, which takes up minimal room in a backpack! You can go for a neutral shade, such as grey or navy or go bold in red, bright blue or purple.
An overhead smock - Sometimes, light rain can hang in the air all day but that doesn’t mean you have to hide indoors. An overhead waterproof smock is a great option for fine droplets and is an easy jacket to layer underneath if you need extra warmth! With three large pockets on the front and an oversized hood, you can’t go wrong with this option!
A ¾ length raincoat - If you’re expecting a heavier forecast, you might want a longer length coat for a walking date. The mid-thigh length is flattering on all figures and is long enough without feeling too restrictive for your legs. It’s lightweight enough for warmer days but again, you can always layer a fleece underneath if the temperature drops.
A bomber jacket - The ultimate cool girl item has to be the bomber jacket. The oversized look is very on-trend but still waterproof and super practical! Our Ripon style comes in twelve colours so you can go for your favourite bright colour or opt for a neutral to go with your entire wardrobe. We live in ours when the heavens open!
A hiking jacket - Because of their design, they’re one of the most practical jackets a woman can own! We always recommend owning a fully waterproof jacket if you live in the countryside because it’s an easy item to have by the door when you need to head out in a hurry! Because of its fleece lining, our Azerley jacket is designed for colder days but we all know how chilly it can get in the British summer time!
A walking jacket - Men love practical clothing items and a walking jacket just sums that up! We’ve revamped our bestseller with newer colours but with all its original features: stormproof cuffs, soft lining, lots of pockets, a foldaway hood and so much more! With five colours to choose from, we hope one of them takes your fancy!
A bomber jacket - If the weather is cool but not too heavy, a bomber jacket is a great option for a walking date. It’s one of our most practical jackets too, with plenty of pockets and a fold-in hood. With six neutral shades to choose from, you know this jacket will go with everything else you own!
A pack and go jacket - You might not need a jacket but how often do you leave the house without one when you really need one? Our pack and go style is perfect for unexpected weather that you’re prepared for! Stick it in your backpack for hikes or leave it in your car for city centre walks.
A hiking jacket - For longer walks in the cold, you will need something thicker. Our Egton hiking jacket and Bainton waterproof jacket are two of our most popular waterproof styles. You know they’ll be super practical for the great outdoors so you don’t have to worry about getting cold or wet in either style!
Sturdy walking boots
Again, it doesn’t matter what time of year that you go on a walking date, you will always need sturdy, practical, comfortable footwear. Whether you opt for trainers or boots is up to you but they must have a good tread and be comfortable enough to wear for hours at a time. Of course, we’re talking about countryside walks here so it will depend on your location as to whether you can get away with a softer shoe.
Women are often put off by walking boots as they’re not the most stylish type of footwear around. However, if you go for walks often or just generally spend a lot of time outdoors, walking boots are a must. They offer that extra support around the ankle, heel and ball of the foot that regular shoes just don’t. You know they’ve been designed, tried and tested for what they’re made for!
Considering the price of regular footwear, walking shoes are great value for money. They often seem pricey but if you look after them, they will last years. Our ladies' options are the gorgeous grey Kilnwick pair or the beautiful chocolate brown Atwick pair, both of which compliment tonnes of outfits. Don’t forget to waterproof and leather-proof them regularly to keep them looking fresh.
Leather walking boots are an essential for any country gentleman! With a darker chocolate brown pair, they are much easier to clean and waterproof than other colours and materials. They can take a few wears to break in properly so make sure to wear them around the house a handful of times before your walking date. New shoes always equals blisters so be prepared for that!
Our leather walking boots are designed to protect your feet and ankles as well as made to last. We understand that they are considered an investment purchase for many so a mid-range price point and boot protection are a must. We want you to have them for as long as possible!
You can’t go on an outdoor excursion without a bag to carry your extra gear in. A rucksack is the easiest bag to take with you. It spreads the weight on your back and shoulders and leaves you hand-free in the case of uneven terrain. If you’ll be out for the day and carrying lunch/dinner around, our 20l rucksack is the better option for you. Your date and you could take one between the pair of you or share the load with one each. Try to only take the essentials because whilst these rucksacks can take a lot of weight, your back won’t be able to after a couple of hours!
For shorter walks where you still need a few essentials, our pack and go style is ideal for lighter loads. It’s perfect for storing a couple of drinks, snacks and a pack and go jacket! Its 25l storage is much bigger than you might think so you could even store a blanket in for a picnic halfway through your walking date!
To make an outfit, consider the below items for spring and summer walking dates. You need to stay cool but don’t forget about sun protection for your skin, eyes and head! Even on cloudy days, UV rays can still get to your skin so always pop some suncream on every few hours. Here are a couple of items that you can consider for warmer days.
- A cotton T-shirt or vest - You’ll need something that wicks the sweat so stick to cotton T-shirts and sportswear.
- Loose-fitting shorts - You might want to cover your legs if in woodlands or if you’re prone to heat rash or bites. For most of us, shorts are a great option for warmer weather.
- A baseball cap - You need to keep your head from getting too hot!
- Sunglasses - Protect your eyes from the sunlight and look super cool at the same time? What’s not to love?
Autumn and winter walking date outfits require a bit more preparation as often you have to pack extra layers, just in case the temperature dips even further. It’s never a bad thing to be too prepared! Here are a handful of pieces that we always grab before a cold weather walk.
- A base layer top - Thermals are the ideal base layer top but you could opt for a cotton T-shirt instead.
- A fleece mid layer - Fleeces are great for layering as they tend to be thin but still full of warmth. You can always pop it in your rucksack if it gets too warm.
- Thermal leggings (if it gets particularly cold) - People who get cold often swear by thermal leggings so if it’s freezing outside, you might want to consider wearing a pair under your trousers!
- Stretchy trousers - You need to be able to move freely so walking trousers are the best option. However, any trousers that are fitted and stretchy are just as good. Try not to wear any denim jeans or skinny jeans though as they’re not always very comfortable.
- A woolly hat, a scarf and gloves - Haven’t you heard that heat escapes from your head and hands? Cover them up and add a scarf if it’s freezing too. Bonus points if they all match!
Walking dates are inexpensive when you’ve got your outfit sorted. Take your own snacks or meals, don’t forget your refillable water bottle and spend the day in the great outdoors. Take your partner, friend, parents, family, friends or just yourself and soak up some vitamin D!