Trail-Running Fashion Fads We Hate to Love

How did we ever survive on the trail without trucker hats and wayfarer sunglasses?

Trail running is not immune from fads. Different types of footwear and diets come and go. Lately, it’s fashion that’s caught our eye – on the trail, off the trail, accessories, you name it – and these are a few of the more questionable trends we’ve noticed.

But before you head straight to the comment section to defend your favored garb: we’ve done most of these, too. Enjoy, and add your own pet peeves at the bottom.

1. Trucker hats


Did we miss a memo declaring that you can’t be an outdoorsy person without a trucker hat?

Somewhere along the line, dirtbags decided they wanted to look like truck drivers. Later, trail runners decided they wanted to look like dirtbags. We support this sentiment, but wonder if the joke is on us now that Patagonia and The North Face have begun manufacturing – yes – technical trucker hats.

2. Wayfarers and other non-running sunglasses

If this is a genuine effort to save money, then we applaud it. But we suspect it’s a genuine effort to look like you’re avoiding a genuine effort.

3. Neck gaiters

Perhaps the ultimate in functional headwear, neck gaiters work as headbands, scarfs, or even corsets if you’re ambitious. They can hold ice or water to keep us cool or shield our cheeks from the arctic wind.

There is also no reason to wear them in a non-running setting. You’re just showing off.

4. Plaid


Listen, we’re not going out to the gastropub to drink craft beer after our run in solid colors like a bunch of peasants.

5. Beards

The author is clearly a hypocrite for calling beards questionable. Photo by Mike Wheeler

Just kidding. We love beards.


OK, that’s all we got. What would you add to the list?

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