It’s surprising to think that a garment like a shirt can make a fair bit of difference when you’re out walking a trail, but wearing a Walking Shirt specifically designed for being outdoors, depending on the type, can give comfort though expertly woven fabrics, weather-specific protective treatments and moisture control amongst other factors. Practical constructions have been engineered for more freedom of movement and seemingly simple features such as mesh lined pockets and secure buttons that help for a better overall experience even if it’s something as simple as keeping small items in place.
Our Best 5 Walking Shirts for 2016 here at Walking.org have been selected from a varied range of designs by a number of the available outdoor brands so we could have the broadest options to test in order of establishing which we thought performed top overall. As with any of our Top 5 guides we have looked at overarching function, comfort, general wear and use in the intended climates and conditions each shirt provides to establish which we thought was best.
Our 5 favourite Walking Shirts for 2016
Craghoppers NosiLife Adventure Walking Shirt
The Craghoppers NosiLife shirt is an updated version of their premier short-sleeved top with a modern cut with a classic adventure shirt style. Polyamide is used for the fabric as it is fairly hard-wearing so there is plenty of use to be had from this Craghoppers shirt, plus this is both UV protection and NosiLife insect repellent treatment that lasts as well. To further help with warmer climates the collar is able to cool and has Solarshield for added protection against the sun, plus the back is vented so keep you cool. Both chest pockets are button down for securely storing any small essentials.
Columbia Silver Ridge Walking Shirt
This classic walking shirt is favoured by many adventurers due to its tried and tested design that is ideal for treks and trails in the sun. Columbia Omni-Shade fabric with Omni-Wick panelling keeps covered areas of the body protected to UPF 50 and this Columbia Silver Ridge Shirt is able to wick away moisture quite fast, plus vents placed in key areas work well at keeping the body cool as you walk. Protection against the suns’ rays extends to both the cuffs and collars, plus the hook and loops closure pockets are made with mesh pocket bags to keep them cool against the skin. As many of us prefer the option of having a long-sleeved shirt in case of temperature drops and wet weather the Silver Ridge has sleeve tab holders which securely hold them in a rolled-up position so you can have the best of both.
Berghaus Ortler Walking Shirt
If you prefer a multi-functional shirt with a more modern-casual styling yet give enough comfort and lasting wear for walking a trail, the Berghaus Ortler shirt is the answer. Made with Berghaus’ own Colourkind Eco Nylon fabric means it is not only comfortable and durable but has been created in a way that is environmentally friendly through sustainable methods. Similar to the previous of our best five walking shirts, the Berghaus Ortler has venting for constant cooling and the option to roll up the sleeves as well. UPF 50+ protection keeps harmful rays at bay and Polygiene Stay Fresh treatment is an anti-microbial formula that stops odour causing microbes from getting to the fabric.
Craghoppers Kiwi Walking Shirt
A previous contender for our Best 5 Walking Shirts, the Craghoppers Kiwi shirt delivers across the board due to its all year-round design for versatile wear. A Polyester/Cotton blend gives the Kiwi its durability while ensuring next to skin comfort that does last, plus has UPF 40+ protection which while not as high as the rest of our choices for 2016 is good enough for a wide range of places across the globe. This long-sleeved Craghoppers Kiwi can have the sleeves securely fastened, but there is also a short-sleeved version as well if you prefer. The three pocket options are handy as one is a zipped security pocket that is ideal for travel and identification documents.
Rab Onsight Walking Shirt
The Rab Onsight walking shirt may look like the average casual, everyday top, yet it has a design that makes it a technical shirt for walking and even in some circumstances climbing as well. A bias-cut shoulder yoke and side panels give greater movement for the arms which is ideal for more active trails and when high reach is needed. Poly/cotton fabric makes this Rab Onsight shirt quite light and able to wick moisture away fast, plus the seams have been twin-needle stitched for added durability. There is only one chest pocket, but has a reliable and easy to use Velcro closure and front closure with a durable slotted button design.
This years’ Best 5 Walking Shirts sees a selection to choose from that are similar in performance and function, though some have advantages in certain activities and climate conditions that others. As with our other Top 5 Walking gear articles we have given three out of our chosen five shirts specific awards to showcase how the best one performs overall, which one looks better and the one with the most value.
Best Performance – Craghoppers NosiLife Adventure Shirt
All of our 2016 Walking Shirts perform well enough to be worn on any trail in favourable weather conditions by being durable, light, breathable and for the most part have some level of UPF protection but the Craghoppers NosiLife Adventure shirt we felt had the advantage due to it being able to repel insects which is a very handy feature to have on any outdoor clothing.
Best Looks – Craghoppers NosiLife Adventure Shirt
We rarely give two awards to one product in our ‘Best’ Awards as part of our Top 5’s but we thought that this version of the Craghoppers NosiLife shirt had the better design as it has a familiar ‘adventure shirt’ design but with a modern technical garment cut that gave it the edge over the rest.
Best Value – Columbia Kiwi Walking Shirt
Overall we thought that the Columbia Kiwi walking shirt offered the most value of our 2016 Best 5 Walking Shirts as it is on average priced the lowest, yet ticks all the boxes that the rest of them do in terms of comfort, durability and protection against the elements.