If you spend a lot of time in the outdoors, whether for fun or for work, you know how bad of a beating your jeans can take. Whether you’re a tradesman, farmer, dirt biker, or just love getting out into the great outdoors, you know how important it is to have comfortable, durable jeans that won’t wear down easily.
It’s especially important to make sure your jeans are durable if you’re moving around a lot or spend quite a bit of time crouching down. You don’t want your jeans ripping a new “crotch-hole” on you just because they weren’t strong enough. You’ll need to make sure your jeans are tough, but versatile.
Whether you work in construction, love hunting down a new trout hole, or simply just have a thing for bushwhacking on the weekends, you’ll need to make sure your legs are protected but comfortable in a set of durable jeans.
With thousands of styles and brands to chose from, it can be difficult knowing which jeans to buy. You definitely won’t be seeing the latest trendy styles from Old Navy on this list. We’ve hunted down and hand-selected the best of the best in work jeans so you don’t have to.
So sit back and enjoy the show as we present the top 7 best work jeans on the market today.
Dickies Men’s Relaxed-Fit Carpenter Jean
The first on the list comes from one of the oldest, most trusted jean manufacturers in the USA, Dickies. Dickies leads the way as the forerunner in men’s budget-friendly work jeans (though they can get expensive). They’ve consistently produced quality work jeans for almost 100 years (since 1922).
The Dickies Men’s Relaxed-Fit Carpenter Jean is their go-to, basic work jean. It’s a solid, standard pair of work jeans that get the job done.
The relaxed fit carpenter jeans are roomy through the seat and thigh (so you don’t have to hold your breath worrying about the skinny jean effect). At the bottom, the slightly tapered leg opening allows the jeans to easily fit over your work boots to keep your ankles clean from nasty dirt and debris.
Why Buy It: Dickies is reliable. Their Men’s Relaxed-Fit Carpenter Jean is a solid pair of regular work jeans that will get the job done. They’re made tough with triple-stitched seams to make sure they aren’t easily torn or worn down. This relaxed-fit pair of jeans also won’t cut off your circulation, giving you a bit of flex room to breath.
How Much it Costs: Starting at $20.50, they’re quite cheap, and if you’re on a tight budget and want something that works, then the Relaxed-Fit Carpenter Jean is your best bet. It’s durable, comfortable, and very affordable. Plus, Dickies has a great manufacturer’s guarantee: if you aren’t satisfied with their jeans, they’ll send you a new pair or refund you, so there’s no risk in buying them.
What We Think of it: Considering they’re only $20.50, they’re a decent pair of jeans. They aren’t anything fancy, but Dickies isn’t trying to be fancy with these jeans. They intended on making a standard, durable, budget-friendly pair of work jeans and that’s what they are. They’re roomy, and the triple stitching means they won’t easily break down over the years.
- Comfortable fit
- Slightly tapered leg openings
- Great Dickies guarantee
- Phone pocket issues – Pockets are a bit small – hard to fit phone or wallet inside
Wrangler Riggs Workwear Men’s FR Flame Resistant Carpenter Jean
Just like Dickies, Wrangler is one of the top work jean manufacturers in America. They’ve technically been in business longer than Dickies (since 1904), though they really took off in men’s workwear in the 1940s. The Wrangler Riggs Workwear Men’s FR Flame Resistant Carpenter Jean is one of their top, high-quality work jeans on the market.
The Jeans are comfortable, made with a relaxed fit so you can easily move around on the job or in the outdoors.
They’re great for long days since they have an “action gusset crotch” to give you an increased range of movement. Plus, the jeans fit nicely over your work boots to keep your ankles clean from muck and mud.
One unique feature of these jeans is their resistance to flames. They have an Arc Thermal Protective Value (ATPV) of 19.0 CAL/CM2. So if you work close to open flames, or you tend to lean on the wild side while in the outdoors, you can rest easy knowing these jeans are self-extinguishable to prevent and reduce burn injuries.
Plus, if you work in trades, they also have a right-side hammer loop and a bright orange safety ID for enhanced visibility.
Why Buy It: The jeans are durable, machine washable, and built to last. The main reason you should consider buying them is if you ever spend time near open flames – if you’re a welder, mechanic, or love crafting a mighty campfire, you can be assured you won’t singe off your leg hair with these bad boys on.
How Much it Costs: The jeans are a bit on the pricier side when it comes to our top 7 list. They start at $47.33, and they definitely earn their worth. The jeans are made extremely high-quality. Compared to other jeans, you’re essentially paying the extra $20 for the flame resistance. It’s worth it if you like to play near fire.
What We Think of it: With all things considered, we love this pair of jeans even though it’s a bit more expensive. Having melted my own shoe in a campfire before (and burning my jeans a bit), I know how useful these jeans are when it comes to being near open flames. Plus, they’re quite comfortable and constructed with triple-needle stitching.
- Triple-needle stitching
- Visibility – bright orange safety ID
- On the pricier side
Carhartt Men’s Rugged Flex Relaxed Straight Leg Jean
Right next to Dickies and Wrangler sits Carhartt. Though the 3 main work jean manufacturers like to duke it out, Carhartt doesn’t mind since they make very sturdy and comfortable jeans. They are probably the most popular brand in terms of work jeans in 2019, and will probably continue their success in 2020.
The Carhartt Men’s Rugged Flex Relaxed Straight Leg Jean is quite possibly the most comfortable work jean available.
They feature durable mens stretch technology (The secret is a little bit of spandex), which makes it very easy to move around on the job or in the woods. It also makes them breathable.
Why Buy It: Carhartt’s double stretch technology means you’ll be able to do what most guys can’t while still wearing jeans. There’s nothing worse than a stiff, tight, rough pair of jeans. Carhartt created this pair of work jeans to solve all of those issues. They’re extremely comfortable and you won’t have an issue with wear and tear either.
How Much it Costs: Carhartt is definitely in a higher price bracket than Dickies, but the Carhartt Men’s Rugged Flex Relaxed Straight Leg Jean offers incredible value for the price. Starting at $39.99, these jeans offer full functionality, durability, and most of all comfort for any kind of physical activity.
What We Think of it: These are some of the best men’s work jeans. They’re super comfortable; It’s definitely the biggest surprise when you try them on. They’re very stretchy, so when you’re on the job, crouching, bending, and getting into small spaces, they make it easy to get the job done without added pressure or stress (especially in the nether regions).
- Extremely comfortable
- Double stretch technology
- Reinforced belt loops
- Straight leg opening
- Machine washable
- A bit on the pricier side
Dickies Men’s Relaxed-Fit Double-Knee Workhorse Jean
These Dickies Men’s Relaxed-Fit Double-Knee Workhorse Jeans will save your knees. Let’s face it, if you’re a tradesman, you know just how much kneeling is required on the job, especially when you’re working in tight corners or small spaces. All the bending, crouching, and kneeling causes a ton of wear and tear on any pair of jeans. You’ll need to make sure your work jeans are extra protected where they’re being worn the most.
The Relaxed-Fit Double-Knee Workhorse Jeans by Dickies are the solution to scuffed up knees.
Their unique design offers double-reinforced durable cotton on the knees for extra durability. Plus, the jeans are a relaxed fit, so you’ll be comfortable on the job, even after a long day.
Why Buy It: If you’re always kneeling, bending, and crouching on the job site, then you’ll definitely want to consider picking these work jeans up by Dickies. They provide some of the toughest knee protection, which helps a lot if you’re working 8-12 hours a day on the job. Plus, their durability doesn’t take away from their comfort.
How Much it Costs: Starting at $25.99, they’re a bit more expensive than the Relaxed-Fit Carpenter Jean, but they provide the extra durability around the knees that makes it worth the extra $5. These budget-friendly jeans will hold up, offering a bit of added support and stability to the regular pair of Dickies work jeans to make them last even longer.
What We Think of it: They’re a solid, reliable pair of work jeans that without question will last longer than the standard Dickies work jeans. Double-reinforced knees is never a bad idea since most physical jobs require some level of contact between your knees and the ground. They’re a decent pair and an upgrade to Dickies’ Relaxed-Fit Carpenter Jean.
- Double-reinforced knee protection
- Sturdy, durable
- Pockets are a bit tight
Wrangler Authentics Men’s Regular Fit Comfort Flex Waist Jean
The Wrangler Authentics Men’s Regular Fit Comfort Flex Waist Jean is a perfect jean if you’re wanting a work jean and everyday jean all-in-one. The jeans are technically classified as everyday jeans (not work jeans). However, they can definitely hold their own on the job site.
They come in six different shades and a wide variety of sizes. They’re made from 80% cotton and 20% polyester which makes them sturdy and heavy duty on the job site.
Plus, they’re machine washable, which means the quality won’t drop if you want to get them looking new again.
The jeans include a ton of pockets: 2 back pockets, 2 tool pockets, 2 slash pockets, and a loop for your hammer on the left leg. All the pockets are reinforced as well, so they won’t break down or rip easily on the job site.
Why Buy It: If you work a lot around the house or spend a ton of time outdoors, you’ll love these slim fit jeans. Plus, if you don’t want to buy different jeans for work and for simply relaxing in, they’re the perfect jeans. These Wrangler’s are great because they’re durable enough for work, yet comfortable and stylish enough to relax at home or go out for dinner in.
How Much it Costs: Starting at $23.99, they’re one of the cheapest jeans on our list. It’s safe to say that they are probably the best value for a jean. Because you can double them up as a work jean but also use them casually at home or when you’re out, they’re a great deal.
What We Think of it: While the jeans aren’t technically considered a “work jean”, they still work well on the job site. They’re extremely durable, and the comfort-flex waistband makes them easy to wear for hours. The pockets are a nice added bonus, which is really handy when you’re trying to find your tools quickly.
- Comfort-flex waistband
- Stylish for home or casual wear
- Durable enough for work
- A variety of durable pockets
- Sizing is a bit off
Dickies Men’s Relaxed Fit Straight-Leg Duck Carpenter Jean
Dickies Men’s Relaxed Fit Straight-Leg Duck Carpenter Jean is a great mid-weight, sturdy yet comfortable jean that are great on the job site. They’re made from 100% cotton duck, which makes for a softer jean in comparison to the standard regular carpenter jean.
They are a bit more relaxed, offering more room around the thighs and ankles, so you won’t have to worry about the blood circulation to your legs getting cut off.
They are also very machine-washable, allowing you to get rid of nasty grit and dirt without sacrificing size or making your jeans fade.
Why Buy It: These jeans are comfortable, lightweight, durable, and come in a wide variety of colors, making them some of the best men’s work jeans available. They have the pocket space for tools (including a hammer loop on the left leg) and aren’t rough on the legs. They provide a durable everyday work jean that’s softer than the standard carpenter jean.
How Much it Costs: They’re easy on the budget, starting at $22.99. Considering how soft they are, without sacrificing durability, they’re a great bargain. They are made to last for years.
What We Think of it: You can definitely tell when you see Dickies Carpenter Duck Jean. They have a style that’s instantly recognizable and for good reason. They look good, feel good, and most importantly, work well for a durable pair of jeans. The only issue is that the sizing can be inconsistent, which is usually a factor with cheaper jeans.
- Comfortable – 100% cotton duck
- Multiple tool pockets
- Hammer Loop
- Lots of space in the jeans
- Sizing is a bit inconsistent
Carhartt Men’s Washed-Denim Bib Overalls
Carhartt Men’s Washed-Denim Bib Overalls are the farmer’s favorite. If you work outdoors for long hours, especially in the cold, you’ll love these jean overalls. They’re hearty overalls made from durable, washed cotton denim. They include a number of utility and tool pockets and a hammer loop. They also include a bib pocket on the chest.
These overalls are great if you work with caulking, plaster, dirt, or anything else that might get on your clothes.
They’re also very handy if you spend time working on your back or your chest. The bib provides an extra layer of protection, warmth, and of course a pocket to store some tools if needed.
Why Buy It: Carhartt Men’s Washed-Denim Bib Overalls are perfect for the farmer, or the tradesman who spends time working on his back or chest. They’re also perfect if you work in cold weather conditions and want another layer of added warmth.
How Much it Costs: Starting at $54.98, they’re on the pricier side in comparison to the other jeans on this list. However, you’re getting more than just a pair of jeans. The added fabric makes up for the price by adding more protection, more warmth, and another place to put your tools.
What We Think of it: If you’re a farmer, they’re the best option on our list. If you’re a tradesman who has to lay down for part of your job, they’re the best bet. And if you work in colder conditions, they’ll provide some added warmth that the others can’t provide. The sizing is a bit inconsistent, but these overalls are worth the money.
- Durable cotton
- Multiple pockets and hammer loop
- Bib pocket
- Extra warmth, protection
- Zip fly
- Sizing can be inconsistent
- More expensive than the other options
How to Choose the Best Work Jeans: Recommendations
With so many styles and brands of jeans to choose from, it can get easy to run around in circles trying to figure out what to buy.
At the end of the day, the type of jeans you need all depends on your preferences and what you’ll be doing in them. But here are a few basic tips to help you pick out the best work jeans:
- Fit: If your jeans don’t fit, you won’t be able to wear them. Making sure your size is available is the first step you need to take before picking a pair. Sizing can be tricky with jeans, so it’s best to read the details on the product page. If you want to be extra careful, check out reviews to see what people have to say about sizing.
- Durability: The second most important part of choosing a good pair of work jeans is durability. Will they last? If they’re a good pair of work jeans, they should be made to handle wear and tear. You don’t want to have to buy a new pair every month because they’re not durable enough.
- Comfort: After durability, you’ll want to make sure the jeans actually feel good. There’s nothing worse than wearing a stiff, uncomfortable pair of jeans all day long. If you’re going to be wearing them at work every day, you’ll at least want to make sure they feel good.
- Storage: You know how annoying it is to lose a tool on the job site. It can be a real pain if your work jeans can’t hold a few main tools. Check to make sure there are a few pockets. Most work jeans come with a hammer loop as well, so double-check that it’s included.