Can You Wear Hiking Trousers for Skiing?
A man and a woman standing on a legde, wearing hiking trousers.

By looking at the title of this text, one might say: oh, so this is one of them cross-dressing topics, eh? Here’s the answer: yes, to an extent (if we choose to use the broadest meaning of cross-dressing). Now let’s put the bad humor aside and talk about just why we’ve chosen the can-you-wear-hiking-trousers-for-skiing question as our main theme for today!

Okay, so we’ve picked out this question since many folks choose to ask Google about it! Needless to say, they deserve a thorough, in-depth answer! In the article you’re about to read, we’ll show you if it’s possible to ski in hiking trousers (alongside other useful info)!

It’s highly possible to ski in hiking trousers. However, there’s a catch. If you were to find a quality pair of waterproof hiking trousers that’ll guarantee you a safe and comfy skiing trip then we’d say: yes, it’s completely fine to utilize hiking trousers on your skiing adventure. In any other case, our suggestion’s to stick with regular ski pants! 

Now, that can’t be the whole of it, right? Right. Keep on reading to find out what’s in store for today!

Ski trousers 101 (FAQ)

Before we dive deeper into what’s our main subject, we’ll take a quick look at some FAQs surrounding ski trousers! That’s because it’s always best to provide something of an introduction before the main dish arrives! So, shall we begin?

What are ski trousers called?

Okay, so you’ll find a couple of different terms for practically the same item: ski trousers, ski pants, snow pants, or, as some call ’em, salopettes. Whatever’s the way you choose to name ’em – it doesn’t matter. What matters is that they’re a sine qua non of skiing equipment throughout the world (such as kickers skins, for instance)!

Can you wear normal pants for skiing?

Uh-uh; not possible! Here’s an explanation: if you were to wear your everyday pants (such as jeans or sweat pants, or cotton leggings), they’d cause they’ll soak up the sweat you’ve built up during your skiing adventure (or even – a snowboarding-in-spring adventure) and make your legs feel a lot colder. Therefore, they’d turn your skiing trip into a highly-unpleasant experience!

Should ski pants be tight or loose?

Good question! As a beginner skier, you’ll wanna know that you’ll do yourself a favor by picking out a pair of ski pants that allow you maximum easiness and flexibility; therefore, tight ski pants definitely aren’t exactly something you’d call a recommendation!

Can ski pants be too long?

Of course, they can. The question’s, however, should you wear ’em? Let’s consider the option!

Choosing ski pants that are just too long isn’t the best idea out there; it’s far from it, to be honest. Anyway, here’s why: the bottoms of your too-long-to-ski pants will most probably catch on your skis, bindings, and boots. Needless to say, you certainly don’t want that to happen!

Do ski pants run small?

Here’s the thing: it’s correct that most ski pants you’ll stumble upon run true to size, as they say. However, skiing experts recommend you go for one size up if you’re wider around the waist (what a euphemism, right?), or one size down if you’re thinner around the waist!

If you’re wondering do Full Tilt skiing boots also run small, click here to view the answer.

Can you ski without snow pants?

In other words: are there some alternatives to snow pants? Well, although it’s not that recommended to wear anything other than regular ski pants, there are certain alternatives you can try out! For instance, many folks say that wind pants are probably the greatest alternative to ski pants all thanks to the high-wind resistance they offer to users.

Who knows? Maybe we’ll find other ski-pants alternatives by the end of this article! First, let’s see what you’re not supposed to wear on the ski path!

What should you not wear skiing?

In this last introductory segment, we’ll see what’s the inappropriate way to dress for skiing! Here’s a list of “blacklisted” skiing apparel:

  • Headbands/earmuffs. Opt for ski helmets instead! They’re a safer and comfier option!
  • Scarfs. Opt for a neck gaiter instead! The scarf you’d wear might catch on a lift or a tree, and that’s not the best imaginable scenario, right?
  • Sunglasses. Opt for ski goggles instead! Scan the skiing equipment store to find a pair that fits your trusty helmet!
  • Wool mittens. Opt for ski gloves instead! Wool mittens will get dampened and heavy (read: get extremely unpleasant) from the snow!
  • Jeans. Opt for ski pants instead! We’ve already said why.

Additionally, if someone’s curious about whether you can ski with an arm cast… Yeah, just feel free to follow the link! That’s about it on the intro to the can-you-wear-hiking-trousers-for-skiing topic! Without further ado, let’s dive into the main section of this article!

A skier wearing ski pants while enjoying the sport.

Can you wear hiking trousers for skiing?

So, we’ve already mentioned above that there are ski-pants alternatives one can utilize (even though it’s absolutely recommended you wear ski pants only). Let’s see if hiking trousers fit the wanted description!

Oh, and if you’re wondering if it’s normal for skis to rust, find your answer here.

What are hiking trousers?

Here’s the simplest answer out there: hiking trousers are all-around pants meant to be worn on various outdoor adventures (most notably: hiking and camping). Usually, they’re made to fit your legs very comfortably and they’re equipped with some quick-drying fabric innovations that are able to wick sweat off your skin and keep you high and dry (in the best possible sense). Also, they’re meant to keep your legs cool while at the same time protecting them from various obstacles you might encounter on the hiking trail (but, most usually, off the hiking trail): twigs, thorns, and other less-obvious hiking hazards!

Are hiking trousers waterproof?

A bit of a tough question here. You’ll wanna know that not all hiking trousers bear the waterproof label. Usually, your average pair of hiking pants will provide something you’d call moderate protection against the rain. However, there’s a good chance your legs will still end up wet.

Of course, you’re able to find fully waterproof hiking pants on the market, but here’s a little downside: they’re known to offer little to no breathability (unless, of course, you’re going for the most expensive models). Needless to say, this makes them a pain to wear in hot or warmer weather.

An average hiker will most likely opt for regular, less-expensive hiking trousers. They’re known as the best option for hiking enthusiasts worldwide! They’re not waterproof, but offer good water resistance in all but the wettest weather conditions.

So, should you wear hiking trousers for skiing?

Our final answer’s: it’s possible, but you’ll have to find a quality pair of waterproof hiking trousers that will guarantee you a safe and comfy skiing experience, regardless of the weather conditions. They’ll need to offer you some coziness and comfortability while keeping your legs & feet safe from moisture, whether we’re talking snow, rain, sweat, or whatever. And that’s that!

Now that we’ve answered the main question, it’s time to try some less-obvious, off-road routes and see where that’ll take us!

Can you hike in ski pants?

First of all, let’s give a simple response: yes, you absolutely can hike in ski pants (but that’s not the whole answer). However, there are some factors to consider. Since they’re more insulated than your regular hiking trousers, they’ll do quite well on some snow-grounded, winter hikes. That being said, one can imagine they’re not so appealing to folks hiking during some warmer periods of the year. Still, they’re durable and waterproof, and they’ll provide you with good protection from various off-trail hazards (the ones we’ve already mentioned above).

Now, this might seem a bit confusing. Let’s see all the pros and cons of utilizing ski pants during a hike!

The pros of hiking in ski pants

Here we’ll list all the pros of hiking in ski pants. In other words, ski pants are:

  • Durable. They’re made to last!
  • Well-insulated. They’ll keep your legs warm during colder hikes!
  • Waterproof. They’ll keep your legs and feet dry!

The cons of hiking in ski pants

Let’s see if the cons will outdo the pros. Okay, so ski pants are also:

  • Bulky. Tripping over or catching things with your pants shouldn’t come as a surprise if you’re hiking ski pants.
  • Heavy. The material these pants are made of’s a bit weighty!
  • Not so flexible. They’re not very appealing if you need to climb or squat.
  • Too warm (if worn during any seasons besides winter). They’ll feel too darn hot unless you’re on a winter hike!

As you can see, ski pants aren’t really your average hiker’s favorite. If you’re not hiking during wintertime, it’s best you completely avoid wearing them! Hiking trousers need to offer: high breathability, flexibility, and lightweightedness. Unfortunately, ski pants don’t quite match the set forward criteria.

Final thoughts on the subject

So, that’s about it on the subject of skiing while you wear hiking trousers (or hiking with ski pants). Hopefully, this article encouraged you to try out something new (even though it mightn’t work out). All in all: we hope that you’ve had some fun reading it (at the very least). That’s it!

For more tips on skiing and everything that’s related to the sport, pay this section of our blog a visit!

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