Normally, when I’m heading out for a dog walk, I’ll reach for the scruffiest joggers, jeans or leggings and throw on an old puffer jacket, but this spring I decided to see what sportier (and more practical) options there were for getting out and about in the sunshine.
Day-to-day, my focus is always on outfits for the office, so putting together dog walking outfits was an opportunity to mix some more casual, athleisure pieces into my wardrobe. From the Adanola hoodies and New Balance dad trainers the Eliza office has been loving, to utility jackets and hiking boots.
Dog walking outfits have a different set of priorities to technical sportswear for gym sessions or runs – comfort is still key, but there’s also layering and warmth to think about, not to mention the occasional muddy puddle. Style and waterproofs aren’t exactly two words that go together, so I wanted to see if the high street could prove me wrong with outfits that didn’t make me want to jump into a ditch and hide (Vicar of Dibley puddle, anyone?).
So, whether you’re on a weekend dog walk in the countryside or on a “Hot Girl Walk” around the park (adorable dog by your side desired, but obvs optional), here are some of the best pieces out there now that you’ll actually enjoy wearing, rather than just ticking all the practical boxes. I know I’d also re-purpose many of the pieces for festivals when summer rolls around too.
First up, is this utility co-ord from Lululemon. There are pockets galore for all your dog-walking essentials and cosy lined pockets for your hands. You could definitely go bag-free, but if you’d like to carry extras, you can’t go wrong with the infamous Uniqlo shoulder bag, which is roomy enough to fit in a whole jacket if you get too hot!
I wore this outfit with some khaki Dr Marten boots. Notoriously, the original black leather boots take a while to wear in, but these hiker-style boots are made from a really soft and durable leather, with an extra cosy fleece lining so I had no issues.
When I’m out walking in the countryside, I’ll always revert to wearing wellies no matter the season. The comfiest pair I’ve ever worn are these jersey lined boots from Le Chameau. I was lucky enough to visit their factory in Morocco earlier this year to see first-hand the craftsmanship and time that goes into making each pair, so although they’re an investment purchase, I can vouch that these boots will stand the test of time – and many Sunday dog walks.
I’ve also been loving these knitted leggings from Gym+Coffee for walks recently. They have the resilience and support of great gym leggings but feel cosier, sitting more among loungewear for getting out and about and working-from-home days.
I’d also recommend these classic black ribbed leggings from WAT The Brand, which have a supportive high-waist band and soft stretchy fabric perfect for walking in.
I then layered this half-zip jumper from Spanx underneath the lightweight Lululemon jacket. I had no idea the brand made such great loungewear pieces, as well as its famous shapewear, translating that fabric expertise into the whole collection.
For a city walking outfit, I switched wellies for trainers, pairing these soft Lululemon leggings with a lightweight hooded jacket and sports bra from M&S. The leggings have useful side pockets, perfect for a phone and genuinely did feel as ‘weightless’ as they describe, which was ideal for a long walk along the river.
Utility jackets are back in a big way for spring, so I was pleasantly surprised to spy this M&S waterproof jacket online, taking on the trend with all the features of a waterproof jacket. It’s made from waterproof, breathable fabric and has a lined hood, with multiple pockets on the front as well as two side pockets for keeping your hands warm.
Granted, it’s not quite as chic as Toteme’s utility jacket and the heavier cotton iterations on the high street, but it is definitely one of the chicest waterproofs I’ve come across.
Wearing a boilersuit is always a good idea for dog walks, especially when they’re as soft as this one from Seventy + Mochi, which is super easy to move in.
Whistles has a selection of activewear that draws on the brand’s eye for elevated fabrics and prints, and for me, it’s this retro co-ord from the new season collection that really stands out. I love the sporty details and lightweight fabric, with a hidden hood that’ll save the day if there are any sudden spring downpours.
When I think of walking boots, I think of Timberlands, so I was intrigued by its selection of trainers that are a sporty trainer/hiking boot hybrid. They were really supportive and felt high off the ground thanks to the thick tread, so they’d be perfect for when the ground’s dry and it’s too hot for boots.
I’d also recommend a Xouxou phone case for when you’d prefer to leave your handbag at home.
Another sports brand I love for prints and retro quirks is P.E Nation, where you’ll find gymwear in classic block colours interspersed with bolder leopard prints and tie-dye.
However, if you’re into loungewear with a minimal, stripped-back aesthetic that’s more relaxed than rave-ready, take a look at Gym+Coffee’s latest launch: GPC.