While it’s nearly impossible to remember all the skating you see everyday across your screens, something that never gets by us is a good pair of pants. We’ve been guilty of freeze-framing clips just to screenshot a pair of perfectly baggy pants or a pair that falls just so over a pair of Vans, hoping to hunt the same pair down to add to our repertoire.
To help you all in your hunt for pant perfection, we decided to list some of our favorite finds from years of hunting. To make things even more spicy, we also hit up some of our favorite skaters known for their pant selections to see what their favorites are to round out the bunch. Check all the picks out below, or just ignore them and keep skating in the same cardboard-ass Dickies like everyone else.
JUSTIN HENRY‘S PICKS
Vans Authentic Chino Glide Pro: Classic chino skate pant. Straight to it, these pants can last the test of time and are still extremely comfy. They are lightweight, easy to wash, and solid, so not much more to say. In my opinion, the khaki ones are the winner. These pants sit at $70 bones, so jump on that.
QUASI Fatigue Pant: The first time I got these pants I wore them every day for a month straight. The tapered leg fit is always my favorite in a pant. These are a rare one too with the stretch moleskin material. Makes them so good for skate and kicking it but they’re so clean you can run these eating fancy at a steakhouse. Swipe the card for $92 and you’re set with these.
HENRY’S Rounded Jean: High-quality denim by Keith [Henry] over in Toronto. Could be biased because the name of the company is my last name. But then again it can be named anything and I’m still stunting in these. All the pants are made by hand and with quality fabric. The price for these is at $275 USD which is a little up there, but I swear when you put these jeans on it will make you walk a little stronger and taller.
RYAN LAY’S PICKS
I’ve had to wear a massive knee brace while skating for the past four or five years so pants last about as long as it takes the carbon fiber to rip through them–usually one slam to my side. For that reason, I almost never spend more than $15 on a pair of pants and I always purchase them second hand from a thrift shop. Here are a couple of gems I’ve found in recent years.
Club Room Cords: Cords are a little more durable, often come in a looser fit, and I love the range of shades in a simple color, as opposed to the more flat matte look of a chino. Most of the great pants I’ve stumbled across clearly look like something your dad wore to work 15 years ago.
Things to look out for: I’m not crazy about pleats on cords nor am I a fan of the stitched cuff. Note: go two sizes bigger.
Prana Breathe Climbing Pants: I found these at a second-hand outdoor gear shop in Bishop, CA and they are easily the lightest, loosest pant I’ve ever purchased. They’re similar to the Polar Surf Pant but cost me somewhere around $12. These are great for when I want to feel like I’m wearing shorts but can’t because of the knee brace (it’s a mental thing). They come with a drawstring cinch waist and no back pockets. Thinking now, I’d prefer if they had back pockets, but I can’t seem to find them anywhere online.
Levi’s Silvertabs: You definitely don’t need to size up for these. Haven’t found a pair secondhand in a year or two, but these are really durable and always wonderful to come across. Lots of clearance in the thigh and knee, but occasionally a little too tapered.
STEPHEN LAWYER’S PICKS
Gnarcotic Triple Camo Cargos: I love these, man. They’re just so bright and wild, I can’t explain it. They just make me happy. I know people be calling ’em clown pants and they have their opinions, but I really don’t care what a MF says because I really do enjoy them. I’ve gotten written up in Complex about them and other various things, like, they’re a classic I feel [laughs]. And I feel like I really brought that camo shit to life. I was really known for it so they’re really special to me.
Shout out Caleb from Gnarcotic for sending me a box in 2017 when he first started the brand. I was one of the first few people to ever see those pants in person.
Polar x Iggy 93 Denim: My number 2 favorite pants. They’re just literally one of the best baggy blue jeans you could ever wear for skateboarding. Fashion too. Incredibly comfortable, good quality, look amazing and stretch in all the right places. A must cop for anyone looking for good baggy skate jeans.
RAGE CLUB Cargos: You can’t go wrong with these. They got all types of sizes and colors and they just so happen to be my clothing sponsor. I’ve been skating RAGE CLUB pants for over three years now. They were the first pair of pink cargo camos I ever had! So they hold a special place in my heart. Anyone who’s seen my clips knows these pink camos. A clothing brand started by DJ Topgun one of my best homies. He’s from Cleveland but based in LA. We have some fire skaters on the team and it’s only up from here.
Much love to everyone reading this. Go outside, be different, be yourself, don’t be anything but you. Sk8mafia4life ’til the wheels fall off.
TREVOR THOMPSON‘S PICKS
Levis 560: I know everyone swears by Silvertabs or Levis 550, but the 560 is my pick when it comes to your basic ‘Steezy little Jeans.’ These fit like 550s but are more tapered (if you’re into that sort of thing). Be forewarned, these can fit so different depending on where/when they were made. If I can’t find them in a thrift store, I’ve had to buy 2 or 3 pairs before I found the right ones online. These are going to be the best bang for your buck. Always get these used.
Evan Kinori Elastic Pant: I’m embarrassed to admit this, but fuck it… I’ll say it. I skate in these expensive pants.
These are my favorite right now. They hit the ideal skate trouser trifecta: they’re comfortable, functional, and most importantly they are fashionable, hellloooo! These are wide, loose, and cropped so your heels don’t drag on the back of your pants. They have an elastic waist, good wingspan, and you can wear them to your friend’s art show if it’s ever safe to do that again.
These are not cheap, but as Gilbert said, you get what you pay for. I end up wearing these 6 days a week, so I feel like I’m getting my money’s worth. I like the ‘Pleated Pant’ he makes as well.
Also, If supporting skater owned independent small business is your thing you should know Evan is a real skater. Check out the link here for proof.
Honorable Mentions: Evisen Easy Pants, Theories Lounge Pant, Polo Corduroy ‘Andrew Pant’
GILBERT CROCKETT‘S PICKS
Vans Authentic Chino Glide Pro: What you have here is a solid go-to skate pant. The top block is pretty relaxed with a slightly tapered leg. The crotch has a gusset for extra movement and durability. I know you’ve all seen Justin Henry skate, he skates in this chino often, obviously making them look good.
Vans V96 Relaxed Rowan Zorilla Denim: The Rowan jean is a classic workwear 5 pocket silhouette with a relaxed fit with a slightly tapered leg. It’s a pretty ideal skate fit for most. It has double knee reinforcements so no blown-out knees. This is a heavier denim weighing in at 13.3 oz. so you might run these in the colder months.
Cee Blues Leigh Chino: This is a pant I designed and had made to sell at our vintage store Cee Blues in Richmond VA. It’s a pretty loose fit with a pretty wide leg opening of 9 5/8 inches on size 32. They are designed after denim chinos from the 1930s/1940s. They are made with selvedge denim in the US and will cost significantly more than the other 2 pants I’ve mentioned but hey, you get what you pay for.
Patagonia Baggies Long: It’s long overdue that we destigmatize skating in shorts, not only for legend-level skaters like Lucas Puig but for regular folks like you and me who will likely never flip in or out of a nosegrind. Summers are hot, and with global warming, they’re only going to get hotter, so showing off some skin will soon be a necessity.
These shorts are sick for a few reasons: 1. They’re actually a bathing suit, so you can run through hydrant hosings and be dry in no time. 2. As far as big brands go, Patagonia is legit in how it tries to be sustainable and in how it treats its employees, so that’s cool. 3. The shorts are not that pricey and are super durable. 4. You get to show off the leg tats that you paid so much for or the calf muscles you pushed so hard for.
Poetic Collective Painter’s Pants: These pants come from the Swedish skate-brand Poetic Collective, one of the leading crews pushing that peculiar genre of non-ollie maneuvers to new levels, and these pants are similarly progressive. Wide-legged straight through and cropped at the ankle to show off a sliver of sock, it’s got a unique silhouette. An elastic waist and belt loops make for a comfy and versatile fit, and it’s even got a side cell slot so your iPhone is always at the ready. I can’t promise you’ll be able to do that slappy front nose rewind thing when you wear these, but it worked for me.
Upcycled military surplus pants: Jackie Chan once asked, “War, What is it good for?” And I’m here to answer: all the pants it’s produced. Think about it, America has literally been at war your whole life, making new camos and cargos to spread its imperialism the world over, and other countries are doing similarly! It’s absolutely awful, but that means we’ve got lots of pants to pick from.
Search out a military surplus store near you or check out some marketplaces online for exotic options. You can usually find these so cheaply that you can afford to go wild with customization. Destitch the cargos for a lighter look, add some more if you got that weight on you. My favorite of these I own are some weird US Special Forces over-pants I had a friend sew some pockets into. Who knows what kind of bad shit was done in them before I got them, but now the only bad thing they’re involved in is my skating.
ALEXIS CASTRO’S PICKS
Polo Straight Fit Chino: For a fairly roomy, light to medium-weight pant (depending on your definition of “light”) check these out. They also come in a “stretch” model for added comfort.
At full retail price, these would definitely qualify as an unnecessarily expensive purchase, but with some basic online thrifting, you can find a great deal. If you search eBay, you can find them new with tags for $30-$60, well below 50% off.
Bonus: you can find them in corduroy too if you look hard and frequently enough, but try to go one size up for those. They’re not as forgiving after a big lunch or a couple of beers.
Red Kap Lightweight Crew Pant: This is a good budget option if you’re looking for some good ol’ American workwear. Red Kap is a lot less known than Carhartt and Dickies, so you won’t have to deal with the awkward moment when you and your homie show up to the spot rocking the same pair of pants.
These specific Red Kaps are made of a Ripstop-like material with a little bit of texture that gives them a unique look. The material is light but strong and will definitely survive some serious abuse. The overall fit is loose and relaxed, with a slight tapering below the knee (photo here makes them look skinnier than they really are), setting them apart from the mostly wide-legged workwear variants out there.
VINCENT NAVA‘S PICKS
Vyzer pants: Vyzer is the coolest clothes out there. @22k.jpg_ makes the perfect pants that make you want to get clips in cause they just look too crazy on camera. Vyzer pants give you superpowers!
LARRY LANZA’S PICKS
Polar Surf Pants: These pants are nothing more than glorified sweatpants. Although nobody on Polar is really that thicc, these are the perfect pants for the skater with some beefy thighs or the skater whose waist will bust through the helpless metal clasp that Dickies is offering. They’re also just as durable as any work pant, so you can slam all you want and they’ll hold up pretty well.
These pants are on the pricey side, and usually retail for $80 or so, but they’re sold at a lot of skate shops so you could support your local while getting a sick pair of pants. A win-win.
Sizing could be strange on these, but my best guess is that size 26-30 are small, 32-36 are medium, 38-42 are large. And don’t get the sizes labeled “Tall” if you’re under 5’8 – it’ll make it look like you have no ass.
Levi’s 550 Relaxed Fit: Finding a pair of straight-legged normal jeans – not carpenter jeans or weird boot cut jeans – is super tough if you’re short and stocky. Luckily these are affordable, durable, and comfy for the wide-thighed skater
You can usually find them on sale on Macy’s website for like $40. Or you can scour the racks at your local goodwill or thrift store and find a pair for like $5. Just don’t be a fool and get the dark blue ones like a middle-aged cop – stick to light-colored denim, always.
BREANA GEERING‘S PICKS
Vans Authentic Chino Glide Pro: look I’m not just saying this one because I ride for vans. They really do just fit tight enough to not be too baggy.. but baggy enough not to be too tight. Good looking skate pant right there. Make sure to get the pro though…
Levis 501 Women’s Stretch: Okay basically the only women pant I’ve ever been into. Nice, stretchy… and a perfect straight leg zinger
Vans AVE V96 Relaxed Carpenter: Ave these pants are great. They basically fit all the criteria I’ve said in the last two pants. Just give us more colors perhaps.
Original illustration: Jeff Wheeler
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