A good pair of work pants is worth its weight in gold!
It doesn’t matter if you’re a full-time tradesman or a weekend DIY-er—you’re going to need a sturdy pair of pants capable of keeping up with the beating they’ll take when you work on plumbing, carpentry, mechanics, or gardening.
Jeans and chinos aren’t built for rigor, so it’s always best to have a pair or two of purpose-built pants that won’t rip, tear, fade, or stain on your first use.
Below, we’ve compiled a list of the best work pants for men on the market, with all the style and fabric options you could ask for.
Take a closer look at each pair of pants, and I guarantee you’ll find one that suits you to perfection.
But first, we’ve got an important question to answer:
What Should I Look For in a Pair of Work Pants?
When shopping for work pants, here are the factors you need to consider:
Fabric – Most work pants are made of either cotton duck or denim. Both fabrics have their uses as well as their drawbacks.
- Denim gets more comfortable the more you wear/wash it, but it will also lose durability and start to fade/rip more easily. However, flannel and fleece-lined denim is very warm—great for winter pants. Typically, they’re thicker and sturdier than regular jeans.
- Cotton duck is stiffer and less comfortable than denim, but it will be easy enough to wear once it’s been broken in properly. On the plus side, it’s excellent at repelling wind, won’t rip or tear like jeans will, is smooth to the touch, and can handle high heat (great for welders) where jeans cant.
Note: There are some specialized nylon-blend fabrics treated with fire-retardant chemicals used specifically for situations where you would be exposed to flame.
Typically, work pants will be of a higher weight than regular pants. Most lighter jeans and pants feature fabrics lighter than 12 oz., while work pants will feature 14 oz. and above fabrics. You may be able to find some work pants specifically with a lighter fabric weight, but for the most part, you’ll be looking at higher-weight fabrics.
Fit – With work pants, you can expect three standard fits:
- Slim fit, which features a slimmer leg that fits tight but not so tight it restricts your movement. Slim-fit pants are designed to fit over work boots.
- Classic fit, which is the sort of the “average Joe” fit that is neither too loose nor too tight.
- Relaxed fit, which is much looser and has more room in the thigh and seat. Typically, they’re used for anyone who needs to move a lot, and who doesn’t want to be restricted.
All work pants feature the lower leg opening that accommodates heavy-duty work boots.
Features – The features you get in your work pants are entirely up to you and your needs.
- Carpenters may want a hammer loop where they can hang their hammer even if they’re not wearing a tool belt.
- Wider belt loops, fortified belt loops, and extra belt loops may be a good addition for anyone who wears a tool belt.
- Durable Water Repellent (DWR) coating ensures the fabric is water-resistant, making it suitable for use in rainy and wet conditions.
- High-vis reflective tape is great for anyone working outdoors and in low-light conditions.
- Heavy-duty zippers are more durable and can withstand the sort of dirt, grime, sawdust, metal shavings, and other debris common to job sites.
- Wind-blocking technology keeps pants warm even in windy condition.
- Flannel and fleece lining make work pants suitable for winter conditions.
- Rivets, bartacks, and seam reinforcements (like triple-stitching and taped seams) can all increase the durability of work pants.
Each pair on our list below has its own features that will make them suitable for different workplaces and job sites.
Cost – Cost is always a big one to consider when looking for work pants. You’re buying them knowing they’re going to break/fall apart on you, so it’s hard to pay a high price for something that won’t last more than a few months—or a year or two, at most.
Ideally, you want to buy work pants that you can trust to last as long as possible, but which aren’t so expensive that you’ll cringe when you (inevitably) have to buy them again down the road.
It’s worth testing out a few different options to find the work pants that strike the right balance between durability and affordably—long-lasting but cheap enough that you’re happy to buy again when the time comes.
Take time to peruse the list of work pants for men below, and consider buying yourself two or three different pairs to test them out and compare which A) lasts longest, B) suits your needs best, C) feels most comfortable on the job site, and D) is worth the investment.
With no further ado, let’s dive into the list…
The 19 Best Work Pants for Men
Old Navy may not be the first brand that springs to mind when you think of workwear, but wait until you try these bad boys on for size! Not only are they ultra-comfortable, but they’re made of a sturdy 100% heavy-duty cotton that’s more than capable of keeping up with any job on any work site.
They’re available in both standard and tall sizes, ranging from a 26 waist all the way up to a 54 waist, and 28 to 34-inch inseam. Their fit is true-to-size and their straight leg makes them loose enough to allow easy movement without being too baggy that they get in your way as you work.
And, of course, expect to pay Old Navy prices (read: affordable!) and get a pair of pants that will last you for at least 6-12 months of daily use.
- Sturdy fabric
- Comfortable fit
- Great price tag
- Simple but practical design
- Not the most stylish option
- Fabric: 100% heavy-duty cotton canvas
- Fit: Straight
- Notable Features: Available in the widest range of sizes and inseams
If you’re serious about hard-wearing, long-lasting work gear, these Ridge Pants by 5.11 is an absolute winner. Yes, you’ll pay slightly above average price, but you’ll find they’re suitable for welding, carpentry, plumbing, and pretty much any other work you might do.
The pants come with some very nifty SERE features—including hidden pockets of various sizes and an IWB flex cuff—but it’s the back yoke utility pockets and side cargo pockets (complete with zippers and inside dividers) that will be truly handy on the job site. There’s also a dedicated pocket for your work knife, and all of the pockets are reinforced to ensure maximum durability no matter how often you reach for something stored within.
Best of all, the pants are finished with a DWR coating that will shrug off rain and snow like a boss, keeping you dry and warm in even wet and cold weather.
- Ultra-tough construction
- Amazing pocket distribution and organization
- DWR coating
- Articulated knees allow for maximum freedom of movement
- May be stiff at first; requires break-in period
- Fabric: 67% polyester/ 33% cotton mechanical stretch Flex-Tac® canvas, 6.4-oz., Teflon™ finish
- Fit: Straight
- Notable Features: Side cargo pockets feature both a zipper and interior dividers
The combination of cotton and spandex used to build these pants make them something truly special. The waxed cotton is tough enough that it can more than handle your daily activity, but it’s a light weight (10 ounce) material that won’t constrict or restrict. The inclusion of Spandex also ensures greater freedom of movement and more flexibility as you climb, kneel, bend, and move.
Everything has been reinforced—from the stealth cell phone pocket to the front and back pockets to the thigh and knee—to ensure maximum durability, and the inside wrap-around seam will protect the pants’ weakest spot without rubbing or chafing against your leg. The lower hem features a snap system that lets you easily close it around your work shoes or boots, and lets you adjust the fit to block out cold and keep debris from flying up the pant leg.
Really, the only downside is that you’ll spend a pretty penny on these pants—they’re far from the cheapest on our list. But for quality, you won’t find many better work pants around!
- Reinforced pockets, seams, and knees
- Adjustable bottom hem makes it easy to fit around your specific work footwear
- Tough and durable waxed canvas
- Just the right amount of stretch
- Fabric: 98% Cotton, 2% Spandex
- Fit: Straight
- Notable Features: Excellent versatility and flexibility thanks to addition of Spandex
If you’re working in cold, snowy conditions, you’re going to need a pair of pants built specifically to keep you dry and warm. That’s what these offer—a double tin cloth fabric pants finished with a coating of oil that will shrug off rain, snow, and sleet with ease. They’re built specifically for foresters and loggers in the year-long rains of the Pacific Northwest, so you can trust that they’ll stop even the worst rain or snow from ruining your day.
The double-stitching ensures maximum durability, but just to be safe, Filson uses bar-tack reinforcing to guarantee you’ll never pop a seam. The fit is roomy enough that you’ll be comfortable no matter how many ladders you have to scale or how far under a house you have to crawl. The wide leg opening is compatible with all job site-required boots and shoes.
Just be warned: the US-made pairs are of far better quality than the Sri Lankan-made pairs, so the latest-model pants may not hold up as well.
- Sturdy, reliable, and comfortable
- Oil-finish shrugs off water with ease
- Roomy fit; great for active, fast-paced work environments
- Surprisingly stylish for work pants
- Manufacturing moved (at least partly) to Sri Lanka, leading to a drop in quality
- Fabric: 14-oz. 100% cotton oil finish Tin Cloth
- Fit: Roomy
- Notable Features: Oil finish maximizes waterproofing of sturdy, durable tin cloth
For guys who tend to sweat a lot during the hot work days, these pants are for you. They’re engineered with a specific blend of cotton and synthetic fabrics (including Lycra) that is both breathable and moisture-wicking. The pants will literally pull sweat away from your body and dry quickly, allowing in enough air flow your legs will cool off with even the slightest breeze.
The straight fit is a bit roomier than average, making it comfortable for more active work sites, and the addition of a gusseted crotch and dart seams behind the knees ensure you can always move easily. The feel and cut are classic, the look is simple but stylish, and the fabric is guaranteed to last for a long time. What more could you ask for?
- Moisture-wicking, breathable fabric
- Eco-friendly pigment fades to give it a customized/unique look over time
- Comfortable and flexible
- Worn-in feel right out of the bag
- Sizing can be a bit odd/tricky—run both small and large alternatively
- Fabric: 73% cotton, 25% Sorbtek, 2% lycra
- Fit: Straight
- Notable Features: Moisture-wicking fabric pulls sweat away from your legs to keep you cool even on hot days.
Whether you’re working in the blistering heat or the freezing cold, these pants are a great option to consider. They’re definitely lighter-weight than you might expect—just 9.6 ounces—so they’re not going to be as durable as thicker, heavier fabrics. But the combination of polyester, hemp, and organic cotton canvas gives them some truly impressive cooling and heating capabilities that will stop you from overheating in the summer and prevent chill in the winter.
The gusseted crotch and wide pant legs allow for easy movement, and you’ll love the deep drop-in front and back pockets, which offer space enough to carry even larger tools. The contoured waistband hugs your hips for the best possible fit, but it’s also got seven reinforced belt loops that allow you to easily sling on a work belt. The double-fabric knees ensure your pants will hold up at their most vulnerable point, and the pant legs are sized right to allow you to wear a pair of knee pads beneath.
- Lightweight synthetic blend fabric
- Great cooling and heating properties
- Deep drop-in pockets make carrying tools all day easy
- Contoured waistband keeps plumber’s crack away
- Crotch gusset may be too large, causes rubbing against your upper leg
- Fabric: 55% industrial hemp/27% recycled polyester/18% organic cotton canvas
- Fit: Straight
- Notable Features: Double-fabric/reinforced knees accommodate knee pads beneath your work pants
Dickies is a brand most people are familiar with, though they tend to prioritize slacks and khakis over work wear. But give these Temp-iQ 365 pants a try, and you might just be surprised how great they are. Not only is their price reasonable, but the combination of cotton, spandex, and polyester allows them to trap in just the right amount of body heat that you’ll stay cool in summer and warm in winter. On top of that, they’re rated UPF 50+ and naturally odor-resistant.
In addition to large cargo leg pockets, you get a zipper security pocket on the left leg that gives you an easy place to stash important items (phone, keys, ID, etc.). The gusseted crotch allows for free movement, and the knees have been reinforced with Cordura nylon to prevent wear and tear. Best of all, for anyone working out on the highway or in low-light environments, the reflective details on the back of the legs will make you highly visible to everyone around.
- Warming and cooling—great for temperature regulation all year around
- Plenty of storage space PLUS zippered security pocket
- Odor-resistant and protective against solar radiation
- Reinforced knees
- Very lightweight—just 5.6-ounce fabric
- Fabric: 64% BCI Cotton/34% Repreve® Polyester/2% Spandex
- Fit: Regular
- Notable Features: Unique fabric blend naturally regulates body temperature
For anyone who spends a lot of time on their knees—carpet-layers, carpenters, electricians, plumbers, and welders—these are a pair of pants you’ll want to take a much closer look at. Both knees have been reinforced to increase durability, but the reinforcement travels up to your thigh and down to your shin so your knees/knee pads are always protected no matter how much you move around.
The pants are made with a blend of Cordura nylon and more elastic synthetic fibers that give it just the right amount of stretch, but it also claims to be 1,000% more durable than the cotton duck fabric typically used for work pants. The 14-ounce weave is heavy enough that you’ll feel safe even when working around power tools or flying sparks, and you’ll love how the PFC-free water repellent finish just shrugs off rain, snow, and stains. It’s also fast-drying and meets NFPA1975 no melt/no drip thermal property, so you can use it on any high-heat job site.
- Knee reinforcement maximizes durability
- Excellent elasticity, quick-drying fabric
- Treated with water-repellent finish
- Backed by a lifetime warranty
- Front belt loops may be too small to accommodate standard work belt
- Fit may be too baggy/roomy for some
- Fabric: CORDURA® STRETCH NYCO FABRIC
- Fit: Roomy
- Notable Features: Option to request custom inseam length/hemming to order
Yes, you read that right: L.L. Bean is now offering work pants! They’re pretty decent quality, as expected from the brand, though the fabric is on the lighter side thanks to the combination of Lycra, nylon, and spandex blended into the cotton canvas. They’ve got enough stretch that you’ll be able to move easily around the job site, and the gusseted crotch and articulated knees maximize freedom of movement. The fit is on the roomy side, too.
You’ve got plenty of storage space thanks to the seven built-in pockets, and the fabric is quick-drying so you’ll stay cool even if you’re a heavy sweater. They wear more like your favorite pair of chinos or jeans than work pants, and they’re definitely not up to the rigors of 5-days-a-week hardcore on-the-job tasks. Better to keep them for those occasional DIY projects or fix-it jobs around the house.
- Comfortable and stylish
- Fast-drying fabric
- Good elasticity and roomy fit
- Ample storage space
- Far from the most durable work pants on our list—better-suited to occasional DIYers
- Fabric: 57% cotton, 41% nylon, 2% Lycra® spandex.
- Fit: Fit:
- Notable Features: Streamlined look; sits lower on your waist and is cut straight through the hip and thigh
These pants keep it classic—and classy—giving you a suitable pair of work pants that will keep up with any trade or profession. The pants come with pull-out tool pockets that will let you carry around all your basic tools of the trade, all but eliminating the need for you to wear a tool pouch or utility belt. The gripper tape waistband keeps them securely in place even when loaded down, and you can choose to wear them with or without a work belt trusting they’ll fit just right.
The fabric is durable and naturally abrasion-resistant, double-brushed on the inside to ensure they’re comfortable and reinforced at the knee with double-layered Oxford fabric that can handle the wear and tear of crawling around on your knees. They even come with top-loading knee pad pockets so you can insert/remove your knee pads in seconds.
- Built-in pull-out tool pockets
- Knee pad pockets make it easy to keep your knees protected
- Extra reinforcement prevent knee wear/tear
- Gripper-tape waistband provides a comfortable fit
- Very well priced
- Knee pad pocket may not work for everyone—extra-tall and extra-short users will find the fit is off/uncomfortable
- Fabric: 60% Cotton, 40% Polyester
- Fit: Classic
- Notable Features: Abrasion-resistant fabric keeps the pants from ripping even when you’re rough with them
Looking for more advanced, high-resistance work pants? Give these badass technical work pants by TRUEWERK a try. The single-layered fabric is light enough you can move easily and stay cool on hot days, but the fabric is double-woven to ensure better durability and natural water-resistance. It’s also moisture-wicking, quick-drying, and surprisingly soft against your skin.
The outer “shell” is stain-resistant, too, and will shrug off scratches and hot metal like a boss. Thanks to the seven pockets, you’ve got plenty of storage space for all your most necessary tools, but you’ll be protected against sharp blades and saws because all the pockets are reinforced with an inner lining.
- Sturdy and comfortable
- Water-repellent and stain-resistant
- Technical fabric is moisture-wicking and quick-drying
- Good fit, easy movement
- Front pockets may be too small for guys with larger hands/larger tools
- Fabric: Truewerks proprietary T2 WerkFabric
- Fit: Secure
- Notable Features: Inner pocket lining protects you against blades, saws, nails, and screws
J.C. Penney gets into the work pants game with the Berne Flex 180, using a tough cotton canvas fabric that is surprisingly resistant to abrasion, tears, and rips—thus, perfect for guys who work hard and can’t be bothered worrying about their clothes.
They’re designed specifically for construction, so they’re not flame-resistant, but the cotton canvas will be more than capable of keeping up with plumbing, carpentry, roofing, or electrical work. The regular fit and straight leg are spacious and accommodate your work boots but won’t be so roomy or baggy they’ll get in your way. Considering their price (among the lowest on this list), they’re a decent option.
- Designed specifically for construction
- Sturdy cotton canvas
- Regular fit and straight leg make them comfortable
- Not the most technical/advanced or versatile work pants
- Fabric: 100% Cotton canvas
- Fit: Regular
- Notable Features: Deep pockets can accommodate lots of tools/screws/nails
Iron and Resin takes work pants to a whole new level! The Union Work Pants are designed with a few nifty “extras” that will come in handy on the job site: reinforced knee panels and ankle cuffs to maximize durability, deep front and back pockets, a well-located utility pocket within easy reach of your right hand, a D-ring key clip, and rivets to reinforce the pants in all the usual “stress points”.
They’re definitely on the heavier side, using 18-ounce fabric that will hold up to any abuse or work, and they’re double-layered in all the right places so you can work fully confident that they’ll last for years.
- Extra-sturdy, extra-thick fabric
- Reinforced seams and stress points
- Double-layered fabric on the knees and cuffs
- Packed with useful features
- Heavy, may be too hot in the summer
- Fabric: 100% cotton duck canvas
- Fit: Slim-to-Straight
- Notable Features: Ultra-heavy fabric makes them a true “workhorse”
For those days you want to be truly comfortable on the job site, these Dickies cargo work pants are a great option. The fit is very relaxed and the straight leg gives you plenty of freedom to move around, but they’ll still be safe enough to use for work without dragging or sagging. They’re also sturdy enough to hold up to your daily workload and come with enough pockets to store your most utilized tools.
The pants are made from pure polyester, but they’re wrinkle- and fade-resistant so they’ll always look their best, even after months of daily use. They’re also surprisingly comfortable and excellent at keeping you from overheating on those hot summer days. Best of all, they’re one of the most affordable options on this list.
- Very well-priced
- Comfortable fit, good freedom of movement
- Wrinkle- and fade-resistant
- Ample storage space
- Sizing is off, fit tends toward the large/baggy
- Fabric: 100% Polyester
- Fit: Relaxed
- Notable Features: Hook and eye waist closure plus heavy-duty brass zipper
Wrangler knows a thing or two about making tough-wearing, long-lasting jeans, so it’s no surprise that they’re using their expertise to build equally sturdy work pants. These bad boys are made from pure cotton ripstop, which is insanely resistant to wear and tear while also being lightweight and breathable enough to keep you comfortable on the job.
The pants are reinforced at the knees, but feature integrated knee ventilation to keep you cool even if you’re wearing knee pads and stop dirt, debris, and dust blowing up your pant legs. The combination of side slant pockets, deep back pockets, and side cargo pockets make it easy to carry all your EDC items and tools around the work site even without a tool belt. Comfort, durability, and reliability—what’s not to love?
- Very sturdy, tear-resistant ripstop fabric
- Comfortable enough to wear all day long, breathable in hot weather
- Roomy pockets
- Excellent ventilation
- Material is stiff, break-in period is longer than average
- Fabric: 100% Cotton Ripstop
- Fit: Relaxed
- Notable Features: Ripstop fabric can handle a lot of daily stressors without fraying, tearing, or ripping
It’s impossible to put together a list of workwear without Carhartt; the brand is ubiquitous and well-known in the industry, thanks to its hard-wearing, purpose-built, ultra-comfortable offerings. These pants are exactly what you’d expect from Carhartt: tough enough to handle the rigors of a job site, designed with all the storage space you’d need in a day of carpentry or welding, and built specifically to accommodate work belts and tool belts.
The addition of Spandex into the cotton canvas allows for good freedom of movement and flexibility, so you can kneel, bend, crouch, sit, lean, or climb with ease. The storage space provided includes a secure phone pocket on your right leg so you can answer a call in seconds when necessary, but your phone stays shielded from damage or the elements while you work.
- Sturdy, purpose-built work pants
- Carhartt quality and comfort
- Excellent flexibility and versatility
- Long-lasting, well-priced
- Sizing may be on the small side
- Fabric: 98% cotton / 2% spandex canvas
- Fit: Relaxed
- Notable Features: Secure phone pocket makes it easy to keep your smartphone close at hand while protecting it against damage
For those guys who spend their days in the cabin of a bulldozer or backhoe, these CAT pants are an absolute dream. The combination of cotton, polyester, and spandex makes them sturdy but still flexible enough you can climb in and out of your rig with ease. The pants are lightweight enough you won’t overheat over a long day spent sitting down, but they’re tough enough to handle any work site where you’re operating.
You’ve got lots of pockets—front slash pockets, an action zip pocket, and bellowed side cargo pocket—for all the items you need to carry while operating your machinery, and the stretch panels in the backs of the knees and gusseted crotch ensure you’re comfortable when sitting for hours at a time.
- Flexible, highly mobile fabric
- Sturdy without being too heavy or stiff
- Good storage space in the front and legs
- Not true to size—may need to return for a larger/smaller size
- Fabric: 60% Cotton, 38% Polyester, 2% Spandex Stretch Twill
- Fit: Classic
- Notable Features: Designed with features specific to heavy machinery operators (no back pockets, gusseted crotch, stretch panels at the backs of the knees)
If you’re the kind of guy who prefers to wear jeans on a work site (and your boss/foreman doesn’t mind), these RYDR jeans by KUHL will make your work day exponentially more comfortable. They’re made using a special denim that blends synthetic and cotton fabrics to give you more stretch, more breathability, and more comfort all day long. The addition of an articulated knee also allows for greater freedom of movement as you work.
They may not be the sturdiest pants on our list—the lighter-weight denim fabric ensures that—but they’re definitely some of the comfiest, most stylish offerings around.
- Stylish and comfortable
- Good freedom of movement
- Lightweight jean fabric
- May not be allowed on work sites that have specific fabric/pant requirements
- Fabric: 92% Cotton, 7% Elasterell, 1% Lycra
- Fit: Relaxed
- Notable Features: Includes “stealth pocket” so you can keep your phone close at hand all day long
Keep it simple and clean with these Red Kap work pants! They’re designed to let you move through the work site with ease, free of the weight of over-loaded cargo pockets or ultra-heavy work belts. You do have two (small) hip pockets for important items, along with the standard two front pockets, and you can always wear a harness or pouch if you need to carry tools. But these lightweight, flexible pants are all about maximizing comfort and mobility.
The pants are made using primarily polyester, ensuring they’re breathable, versatile, and durable, but with just enough cotton to give them a “memory stretch” feature that will allow you to move easily as you climb, crawl, bend, and crouch. They’re also the best-priced pants on our list, so you can stock up on work wear on the cheap.
- Very affordable
- Lightweight and highly mobile
- Breathable fabric, good ventilation
- Minimalist design
- You may find yourself wanting more than the four small provided pockets
- Fabric: 80% Polyester, 20% Cotton
- Fit: Relaxed
- Notable Features: Memory stretch allows the pants to flex with/adapt to your unique physiology