Going for walks is not new, but it’s about time the often-mundane activity got a glow-up. Enter Hot Girl Walks, which rose to popularity in 2021 on TikTok and are now a common daily task on the to-do list for folks with access to the outdoors — and a chic athleisure outfit to match.
“The Hot Girl Walk is a four-mile outdoor walk where you can only think about three things: things you’re grateful for, your goals and how you want to achieve them and how hot you are,” says Mia Lind, the TikTok content creator and creator of the Hot Girl Walk.
Soon after Lind’s original post, the trend that essentially involves a walk while looking and feeling cute completely blew up, with the hashtag #hotgirlwalk earning more than 616 million views on TikTok.
While four miles can seem like a lot — excessive, or even weight-loss-driven — Ceara Kirkpatrick, a Tik Tok content creator and photographer who hosted a Hot Girl Walk challenge this summer through her Girls Who Walk Facebook group, recommends anywhere from 45 minutes to an hour, since it gets you closer to that 10,000 daily step goal “all while being very attainable. It’s also the perfect amount of time to listen to a podcast episode or a few chapters of an audiobook.”
The best part about hot girl walks? There’s virtually no barrier to entry. “The mission of the Hot Girl Walk is to continue to unite and empower women through physical and mental wellness, [that’s] accessible to all,” says Lind. “Getting dressed up and feeling your best is also very much a part of the Hot Girl Walk culture, because when you feel great, you stand a little taller.”
If you’re looking to get into the trend while reaping all of walking’s glorious benefits, from enhanced mental health to increased cardiorespiratory strength, here’s exactly what the pros recommend, from fashion to tech.
In conjunction with her existing Hot Girl Walk merch, Lind is about to launch her first line of Hot Girl Walk T-shirts, which she says pairs perfectly with Alo Yoga leggings. This popular pair from Alo’s Airlift line is quick-drying and feels weightless against your skin so you can maintain a quick stride. It has a thick high waistband that pairs perfectly with a crop top as well. Grab one of the three neutral core colors, or opt for an eye-catching pair from the limited series in colors like Sugarplum Pink or Midnight Green.
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“I say the most important thing about the Hot Girl Walk is being comfortable, so [that means] wearing shoes that are slightly worn, and not brand-new that can usually give you blisters,” says Lind. She says the “best shoes for your feet are Hoka Gaviotas,” which feature a plush collar for optimal ankle support and J-frame design to help correct over-pronation. While these podiatrist-approved shoes are technically designed for running, they’ll give you that much more pep in your step on your Hot Girl Walk thanks to their cushioned midsole and breathable mesh upper providing plenty of ventilation.
We once put Lululemon’s Chargefeel shoes to the test, and Kirkpatrick confirms they really are some of the most blessed sneakers you can sneak into your routine. “My current favorites are my Lululemon Chargefeel Sneakers,” she says. Drawing from millions of foot scans from women along with hours of wear-testing, the brand came up with a shoe that’s ideal for long Hot Girl Walks, with its wide toe box to support any potential toe swelling, bouncy yet supportive fit and next-level traction to promote stability.
Walking a lot can also lead to some unfortunate thigh chafing if you're in a particularly sweaty part of the country. This anti-chafe stick from one of our favorite brands Megababe is a serious miracle worker. Deal with boob sweat? They've got some powder for that too.
If you happen to struggle with foot pain during long walks, take a page out of Lind’s book and invest in some custom orthotics. The full-length version comes in 24 sizes, all designed to help prevent plantar fasciitis while alleviating lower back, heel, foot and knee pain. They offer additional 3D arch support for a better gait, and they reduce impact and shock at the joints so you can Hot Girl Walk to your heart’s content. Not sure what size to get? Simply pop in your information on the brand’s questionnaire and they’ll email you with a suggestion.
“I also wear sunscreen on every walk, sunny or not,” says Lind. “I love the Supergoop sunscreen for that.” As the brand’s bestselling option, the Glowscreen glows your skin right up with the addition of alpha hydroxy acids while protecting it with a solid foundation of 40 SPF. It leaves a subtle pearlescent finish that radiates against the sun and also acts as a great primer for makeup.
“For headphones, I like wearing my older generation AirPods, the ones without noise cancellation features, so I can hear my surroundings,” says Kirkpatrick. They last up to three hours on a single charge, and come with fun perks for your Hot Girl Walk like a free four-month subscription to Apple Music. If you have the newer AirPods Pro, Kirkpatrick says to always ensure you can still hear your surroundings by turning on Transparency Mode.
“A good fanny pack is a must,” says Kirkpatrick. “For me, I love a Lululemon belt bag to keep my phone in.” This practical model is water-repellent (in case it rains or you spill your water), and comes with interior and exterior pockets to neatly organize your essentials, from your AirPods charging case to your phone and keys. The strap is adjustable so you’ll always find your perfect fit.
The unfortunate reality is that anything can happen on a walk — especially if you’re alone. Kirkpatrick never goes on a Hot Girl Walk without her Birdie, a keychain or pocket device that emits flashing strobe lights and a blaring alarm of 130 decibels when activated in an emergency. It stays activated for up to 40 minutes and you can easily turn it off by placing the cap back on.
“I am a big advocate for safety,” says Lind, “so I always stay strapped with pepper spray. The ones from BlingSting are super cute so it won't ruin your outfit.”
Skip the messy bun and level up your updo with this Hot Girl Walk favorite that’s both practical and safe. “I usually wear my hair clipped up in a claw clip,” says Lind. “A ponytail is easy to grab, and a claw clip keeps your hair tight to your head so you can stay safe. I love all of my clips from EmiJay.” This “effing big” version made of biodegradable acetate is perfect for sweeping up even the longest and thickest of hair so it stays out of the way during your walk, and it comes in several cool colors to jazz up your outfit.
Sure, you can absolutely use your Hot Girl Walk to phone a friend, but even better is using the opportunity to make a dent in your favorite content. “Walking while listening to a self-help book or even a riveting fiction book always makes it better,” says Kirkpatrick. “Audible is my go-to.” The platform is rife with original content, bestselling books, meditations and podcasts, and for a limited time, you get three months free when you sign up.
Getting into the right headspace is crucial for the perfect Hot Girl Walk, says Kirkpatrick. “I like to ask myself what I want to get out of each walk right before I start. Am I looking to de-stress? Am I trying to be more present? Is this my exercise for the day? By asking myself these questions, I can set an intention and even cater what I'm listening to in my headphones to match what I'm hoping to get out of my walk.” To get into that headspace, she recommends the Headspace app, which we already love at CNN Underscored, for a productive meditation session while you walk.
Lind says “the best time to Hot Girl Walk is in the morning before work or school,” which are peak caffeinating and hydration hours. We named the Yeti Rambler the best water bottle of the year because of its ability to keep water ice-cold and hot beverages hot, spout that makes on-the-go sipping a breeze and durable dishwasher-safe construction.
If the weather outside is frightful, there’s no need to skip your Hot Girl Walk. Sneak in a few steps with this super-popular folding treadmill that fits neatly under a desk or within a small space, and features an LED smart screen to display your walking stats. It also has Bluetooth capabilities and a phone holder to make your Hot Girl Walks fly by.
If you’ve committed to make daily walks a part of your routine but are just not feeling it, Kirkpatrick recommends a popular hack for motivating yourself to step on the tread: “Find a TV show that you’re only allowed to watch at the gym on the treadmill. Then, when you're left on a cliffhanger, you'll feel motivated to get back on the treadmill the next day to find out what happens.”