For the fashionably-minded among us, it’s easy to forget that denim was originally invented for labor. The best work jeans for men are specifically designed to be comfortable and durable but can also transition into trendy territory. Some of the best denim brands on the planet, like Lee, Carhartt, and Levi’s, exist in that streetwear and workwear crossover sweet spot.
But if we’re talking about the best work jeans, what matters most is how they hold up on the job site. They need to be roomy enough for a wide range of movements but not so baggy that they slip off your hips or catch on stray nails or equipment. The pockets should be deep enough for all your tools, and the leg opening should fit your boots, whether they tuck in or lay over top in a comfortable fashion.
With all that in mind, it’s easy to get overwhelmed when searching for work jeans for men. Luckily, you’ve got me to sift through all the excess offerings to find the top-performing work denim your hard-earned money can buy.
Levi’s 501 Original Fit Jeans came out as the best work jeans for men pick because they’re thick, durable, and come with roomy pockets for plenty of tool capacity. If you need even more space for gear, and denim with reinforced panels for bending and squatting, look no further than Wrangler Riggs Utility Work Jean. Both pairs have a nice, roomy fit without feeling too baggy on the body.
Who better to make the best work jeans for men than Levi’s, the original blue jean brand from 1873? While each decade brought a slight change in the 501, the overall straight fit has stayed the same. And honestly, thank goodness. Here’s a high-quality, exceptionally durable pair of denim designed for rough work that also happens to be stylish.
Speaking of fashion, I love the 501s because they’re versatile. Dress them up after work or rock them with a plain white tee on a Saturday. But back to work. These jeans are made tough with thick denim and seams reinforced by ultra-strong rivets. Unlike most jeans, they have a button fly instead of a zipper, which doesn’t dig into the stomach when sitting. A comfy waistband is truly a must.
As for fit, expect a relaxed and straight feel from hip to thigh and a slightly tapered leg opening. If you need to fit extra large boots underneath, just give the hem a roll. With over 32 washes and a whopping 118 sizing options, including Big and Tall, it’s hard to find any fault with these work jeans for men.
Material: 100% Cotton | Sizes: 28-66W, 28-38L | Colors: 33 | Pockets: 5
Not everyone needs a pair of jeans for a construction site. Restaurant workers or other customer-facing dudes might require more elevated denim with a clean look. And I love the uniform stonewash of the
The denim is softened and finished with a no-frills wash that molds to your body with time. You can even choose from two different build types, slim and regular. A truly unique pair with characters as varied as you are.
And they’re conscientious, too. Made from 100% Italian denim “from yarn to final detail,” they boast a fully cotton twill lining specifically chosen for its strength and quality. Even the slasher superficial dyeing process has a mind for the environment. It requires less dyestuff, energy, and water. Transparent sourcing and recycled metal buttons mean each detail is purposeful.
They might be pricey, but they’re really not bad for a staple. An investment jean that is likely to last for years.
Material: 100% Organic Cotton | Sizes: 28-38W, 30-36L | Colors: 2 | Pockets: 4
Here’s another great-fitting work jean that holds up on job sites and casual dates alike. Pre-laundered for effort timelessness, it’s got that lived-in feel, from looks to how it hangs on the body.
The thighs are roomy, giving you some mobility, but the overall cut is slim, so you don’t have excess material to worry about. Five large pockets guarantee to hold everything you need.
Wax is another solid company dedicated to sustainability. This is a brand to watch out for, as they only use mills and suppliers that help them minimize their ecological footprint. A little pricey, but a pair you’ll likely have for ages.
Material: 100% Cotton | Sizes: 28-38 | Colors: 2 | Pockets: 5
Undoubtedly, the best work jeans for men need to be strong. Since 1922, Dickies consistently hits the mark, but none are quite as tough as their regular fit 5-pocket jeans. Forged in pure cotton denim twill, which refers to triple stitch construction, means they’re super durable. ‘Stiff’ might not seem like a good thing when it comes to clothes, but it’s definitely a plus if you want your work jeans to hold up.
The brass rivets that hold these things together are mighty strong, but it’s the pockets that really hammer it all home. They’re extra deep for tools, and the coin pocket is large enough to hold a small pocket knife. Seven keystone belt loops prevent bunching and are durable enough to hold a work belt.
Here’s a seriously strong pair of work pants with a classic fit that goes over boots nicely. And at an under $40 mark, consider them a steal.
Material: 100% Cotton | Sizes: 28-44W, 29-36L | Colors: 3 | Pockets: 5
Need the best work jeans for men to tuck nicely into a pair of cowboy boots? Consider this your go-to farm denim. A nice, straight fit through the seat and thigh and slight tailoring at the leg opening makes for a perfect shape for hustling around. Lee is another brand that’s been making some of the best men’s jeans since the late 1880s.
If you’re wondering what are the best work jeans for men, look no further than thick and durable denim. This pair is particularly heavyweight, which means they shouldn’t rip, no matter how much climbing or squatting your job requires.
Chances are, you’re uninterested in a pair of white jeans at work, for obvious reasons. But if you need a jean that gives dozens of washes to choose from, this is it.
Material: 100% Cotton | Sizes: 28-42W, 29-36L | Colors: 48 | Pockets: 5
When you think of the best work jeans for men as an investment, paying more doesn’t seem too crazy. But when a super solid pair of jeans comes in at a dirt cheap price point, then you’ve got the gods on your side. Wrangler knows how to make affordable denim, and the comfort flex jean is no exception.
Unlike many of the jeans on this list, their cotton is imbued with elastane, and that’s what lends them so much mobility. Importantly, they’re roomy, but not baggy, and come with a comfortable flex waist that expands as needed. So if you fluctuate, they’ll still fit. And you can squat and climb at your leisure.
But what really makes this jean a winner for me is versatility. It’s just as easy to picture them with a cool t-shirt and sneakers as it is with a hard hat and work boots. And with a whopping nine colors to choose from (including a classic black option), you can easily complete your wardrobe.
Material: 98% Cotton, 2% Spandex | Sizes: 29-60W, 30-36L | Colors: 9 | Pockets: 5
One look at the Riggs and you know it’s going to handle all your needs. Specially built with electricians and construction workers in mind, they come with reinforced front panels for kneeling, a gusseted crotch, and seven different spots to store tools.
Capacity is the greatest feature here. Note the hammer loop and convenient clip for a tape measure. It’s great that the pockets are lined in leather to keep tools from tearing the cotton durashield denim, but the fabric is so durable I wonder if it’s even necessary. It’s made of fibers that move during wear and washing to reduce abrasion and protect color.
If you need a jean with tons of mobility, storage, and durable reinforcement, look no further than the Riggs.
Material: 100% Cotton | Sizes: 30-36L, 29-60W | Colors: 1 | Pockets: 6
Spending a lot of time climbing in and out of a truck? A relaxed fit, meaning a roomier seat and thigh, is perfect for that. Carhartt’s five-pocket denim has major dad jean energy, but it also happens to be my favorite look. From the cool little logo on the back pocket to the attractive fit that sits just below the waist, it’s a trendy-looking jean that works as hard as you do.
These jeans are built strong. Sewn-on-seam belt loops are tough as nails and the denim is deliciously thick and durable. Because it’s a relaxed fit, it’s going to sit a little farther away from the body than a regular fitting pair. But this room is perfect for the trucker or rancher. The straight leg fits great over boots.
Material: 100% Cotton | Sizes: 28-54W, 28-36L | Colors: 5 | Pockets: 5
I really like this carpenter jean. Besides the hammer loop and extra side pocket, they’re pretty inconspicuous and can transition off the job site pretty well, unlike the Riggs Utility Jean. They sit just below the natural waist and boast a nice, loose fit through the seat and thigh, giving you plenty of room to move.
While many work jeans are thick, these are pretty lightweight, and come with the added benefit of quick-dry. This is great if you work outside in the elements. The poly blend resists abrasions, wrinkles, and stretching. Wear them to work and throw them on the floor (though I recommend treating your jeans better than that) and they’ll still be good as new.
Material: 100% Cotton | Sizes: 28-42W, 29-36L | Colors: 9 | Pockets: 6
Ah, another trendy jean that fits all your work needs. The heritage line by Levi’s provides a Jean that’s just as solid as the 501s, but this one comes with plenty of stretch. You can thank polyester and elastane for that. These materials help them hold their shape so they never get baggy while also providing mobility.
The fit is classic, so expect a regular fit through the seat and thigh. Affordable, straightforward, and made for movement. Sounds like a done deal.
Material: 88% Cotton, 11% Polyester, 1% Elastane | Sizes: 28-52W, 29-36L | Colors: 14 | Pockets: 5
Ariat is a solid workwear company that understands what good work jeans need. Their ToughMax denim is designed with Duraflex technology that is twice as strong and abrasion-resistant as your regular run-of-the-mill cotton jeans.
Expect extra deep front pockets to hold your phone, tools, and keys, plus an integrated knife pocket.
Material: 100% Cotton | Sizes: 28-50W, 30-38L | Colors: 9 | Pockets: 5
What To Look For In The Best Work Jeans For Men
The best work jeans for men should make you better at your job. This might mean extra pockets that are large and deep to carry tools, nails, and perhaps a pocket knife, without ripping the denim. Words like ‘5-pocket’ indicate plenty of space for holding all your gear.
Most of the time, the best work jeans for men are made from 100% cotton. This material is highly durable, strong, and made of natural fiber for comfort and breathability. Twill indicates even stronger construction than regular cotton jeans. Adding in fibers like polyester and elastane indicate some stretch, which can be helpful if you squat a lot and bend at the knees.
Little else matters more than fit when it comes to the best work jeans for men. Classic means a tapered or straight leg that can easily be tucked into boots. Relaxed fits are looser and allow for a greater range of movement. They also fit better over boots or big shoes. Skinny jeans are a no-no for work denim, as they restrict leg movement and are more susceptible to ripping. Ripped jeans, while trendy, present greater hazards on the job site thanks to loose fibers.
Most importantly, the best work jeans for men should be thick and durable, like Levi’s 501s. For decades, working men have chosen the easy, relaxed fit that hugs the body in just the right way to promote movement. Pocket capacity is also a must, so look out for a 5-pocket jean, at minimum.
Work jeans shouldn’t be too tight so you can move, but they should skim the lines of the body. Excess material makes movement difficult and is more likely to catch on equipment.