The other day I had an individual write in and this is what he had to say;
"Hi Luke. I really enjoy your youtube vids. I would like to ask your opinion on hiking pants. I am just getting into hiking, so I don't plan on spending a bundle on most of the gear (just yet), but I certainly want the right boots/pants. The boots I can handle, but I am clueless on what kind of pants will not chafe me raw. Any insight would be appreciated."
My answer to him is this;
"Hey there XXXXX,
How are you brother? Thanks for the kind words.
As for hiking pants, well there are a lot of different types and lots of different fabrics. It goes without saying that Cotton is a bad choice. "Cotton Kills" & "Cotton: Fabric of Death." Plus, hike ten miles in jeans and you'll never walk the same....ever again!!!
For the average pant I would say go with something nylon. Lightweight, fast drying and fairly cheap. You may come across a nylon blend and that is fine too. Normally it's a blend with spandex. Can't go wrong there. That will cover you during the 3 seasons.
When it comes to the 4th season, nylon is still a good choice but layering becomes important. You can look for a softshell pant or even a heavy material such as the G1000 from Fjallraven. In other words, you need the right tool for the job.
When it comes to boots, there are a lot of options. Some lighter than others, some with waterproof liners, some more breathable. I typically say that there isn't a one pair fits all solution when it comes to shoes and boots. On dry days I want something lightweight and breathable. If it's going to be a wet one, I want something with a gore-tex (etc) liner. If it's going to be really cold, I want something insulated. If it's cold and wet, insulated and waterproof. See what I mean?
I hope this helps my friend.