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Finisterre Walker Hybrid Shorts review: wear them for hiking and swimming

Finisterre Walker Hybrid Shorts are hiking shorts that double up as boardies when you want cool off with a wild swim

Finisterre Walker Hybrid Shorts
(Image: © Finisterre)

Our Verdict

Brilliant hybrid hiking and wild-swimming shorts that facilitate refreshing dips during hot summer hikes.

For

  • Multifunctional
  • Quick drying
  • Comfortable
  • Made with recycled nylon
  • Good pockets

Against

  • Tightening system comes loose easily
  • Expensive

Finisterre Walker Hybrid Shorts: first impressions

Made with lightweight, quick-drying (and recycled) nylon, Finisterre Walker Hybrid Shorts are a fantastic addition to your summer walking wardrobe if you’re fond of wild swimming or prone to impromptu dips while out hiking. We’d rate them up there with the best hiking shorts, and you can swim on them too.

Specifications

• List price: $102 (US) / £75 (UK)
• Style: Boardie-length, hiking and swimming shorts
• Gender specificity: Men’s
• Size & Fit: XS–XXL / 28in–38in waist
• Materials: Recycled nylon (94%) & elastane (6%)
• Colors: Beeswax / Dark Teal / Navy / Sierra
• Compatibility: Warm-weather walking along waterways and coastal trails, when you want to take impromptu plunges; also great for travel

They are comfortable enough to wear with no undies, and are specifically made to be just at home in water as they are on land. (They do have a zip, so if you do choose to go commando all day, you need to remember this when doing them up…)

Aside from the zip, they are fastened with a button and can be tightened via an integrated belt and two pull-forward plastic buckles on the sides. There are two decently deep hand pockets in these shorts, and one zipped pocket on the right buttock for keeping important things a bit more secure.

Finisterre Walker Hybrid Shorts: in the field

Finisterre Walker Hybrid Shorts

Wear your Finisterre Walker Hybrid Shorts commando style so that ready to take a dip whenever the opportunity arises (Image credit: Finisterre)

How many times have you been hiking a hot and dusty trail and encountered a beach, river, stream or plunge pool, only to remember that you don’t have any swimming shorts with you? These stylish hybrid shorts from Cornish brand Finisterre mean that having to swim in your pants is a thing of the past.

The material is pleasant to walk in, with a non-abrasive, next-to-skin feel, and there is enough dynamic movement in the shorts (thanks to the elastane content) to allow ample freedom of movement, whether you’re climbing over a stile or clambering up a rock before jumping into a lake or lagoon to cool down. 

I tested these shorts out on multiple walks along the South West Coast Path, where you encounter secret beaches on a regular basis, and with the sun dancing on the waves it’s very hard to resist a quick dip. I also wore them during a recent escapade across the Yorkshire Dales during the most intense part of the UK’s heatwave, and they were a godsend when I came across a wonderful wild swimming spot on the River Swale.

You do, of course, either need to set off commando style in the knowledge that you’re likely to go for a swim, or perform a quick change behind a tree – there is no point in swimming in these shorts with standard underwear on beneath them, otherwise their benefits are lost. 

The material dries out really quickly, so you can resume walking without any discomfort at all (and, in fact, they’re fine to walk in while slightly damp, with no rubbing issues at all). 

On test, I did discover that there is some slippage in the side tightening buckles – this can be alleviated somewhat by adding a twist to the belt, but this shouldn’t really be necessary and is a negative point in an otherwise excellent garment.

Writer, editor and enthusiast of anything involving boots, bikes, boats, beers and bruises, Pat has spent 20 years pursuing adventure stories. En route he’s canoed Canada’s Yukon River, climbed Mont Blanc and Kilimanjaro, skied and mountain biked through the Norwegian Alps, run an ultra across the roof of Mauritius, and set short-lived records for trail-running Australia’s highest peaks and New Zealand’s Great Walks. He’s authored walking guides to Devon (opens in new tab) and Dorset (opens in new tab), and once wrote a whole book about Toilets (opens in new tab) for Lonely Planet. Follow Pat’s escapades here (opens in new tab).