Our Top Picks

A quality pair of work pants should withstand tough working conditions, present well, and allow for effortless movement throughout the day. But here’s the deal: All work pants are not created equally.

From materials used in their construction to the various features found throughout the pant, there is quite a bit you will need to consider when making your purchase.

In this guide, we not only review the most popular and best work pants for men but also share with you some key considerations you should be thinking about before you make your purchase.

Let’s begin.

6 Best Work Pants for Men Reviewed

1. Best Overall Work Pants for Men: Carhartt Double Flex Rigby Double Front Work Pant

Carhartt has been developing work-focused men’s clothing for decades and has made a name for functional and often stylish clothing. The Rugged Flex Rigby is our choice for the best work pants out there. Available in hickory and shadow, these pants feature a button-top closure and are made from 98% cotton with 2% spandex for just a tiny bit of stretch. The relaxed seat and thigh allow for easy movement, and the double front allows for the insertion of knee pads. Reviewers note that these are more of a straight fit than relaxed, so larger gents may want to steer toward a pant with a bit more space. Right in the middle of our range, you can get several pairs, so you don’t look like a ragged mess, even on the job site.

Pros

  • Move seamlessly from the job site to the bar afterward
  • Knee pad inserts
  • Cotton construction

Cons

  • Limited color options
  • Slim fit may not be best for all

What You Need To Know

Well-priced, a great brand and nearly 100% cotton makes these Carhartt Double Flex Work Pants the best option out there for discerning workmen.

2. Best Dress Work Pants: Carhartt Rugged Professional Series Pant

The best dress work pants are those that can exist simultaneously on the job site as well as in the meeting afterward. The Carhartt Rugged Professional series pants do just that. Crafted from a cotton, polyester, spandex blend, these pants aren’t necessarily for heavy-duty work. Still, they’re excellent for foremen or engineers who need to be present but do not necessarily work on location. Care is easy – pop them in with your other clothes and right into the drier afterward. Available in four colors, these pants won’t be out of place in a traditional office environment either, where business casual is the norm. Right in our average price range, these pants are cut and designed to impress.

Pros

  • More refined look than traditional work pants
  • Still rugged enough to be on the job site
  • Low cost

Cons

  • Normal cut may not work for some
  • Could use at least one more pocket for storage

What You Need To Know

If you’ve got to walk the line between the job site and the office, the Carhartt Rugged Professional Series Pant is the pair you want, especially for the cost.

3. Best Construction Work Pants: Wrangler RIGGS Ranger Work Pant

The best construction work pants will be durable, have few stress points, and not break the bank. The Wrangler RIGGS Ranger Work Pant check the boxes, and at the lower end of our price range, they’ll do it for less. Made from 100% Cotton Ripstop Fabric with a relaxed fit, these work pants are developed specifically for you to move and get the job done. They include lots of space for storage, including a hammer loop, leather tape measure clip, side, back, and front pockets, as well as roomy front pockets. In addition, the gusset crotch provides important durability and mobility. Wrangler is known for making some of the best denim pants out there – these cotton canvas pants are perfect for the man at work.

Pros

  • Available in a variety of colors
  • About average price range
  • Ripstop fabric

Cons

  • For true heavy work only – not stylish
  • May be bulky for smaller men

What You Need To Know

The best heavy-duty work pants will be unobtrusive and keep you protected while providing easy access to your tools. These are the pants that do all of those things and don’t cost more than they should.

4. Best Cheap (Affordable) Work Pants: Dickie’s Double Knee Work Pant

These may be the best affordable work pants on our list, but it doesn’t mean Dickies’ Double Knee Work Pants are any less functional. They do have fewer pockets but are available in a variety of colors with an easy machine-washable fabric. Deep front and back pockets allow for the wearer to get what they need. The distinctive tunnel belt loops also add a touch to that Dickie’s style.

Pros

  • Inexpensive
  • Stylish
  • Available in many colors

Cons

  • Logo label on the front left leg may not work for all
  • Not cotton

What You Need To Know

Watching your budget isn’t all bad, and you can likely get away with a pair or two of less expensive work pants. These are the ones that will get the job done and hold your budget down.

5. 5.11 Tactical Taclite Work Pants

Tactical wear doesn’t have to look like a policemen’s uniform, and the 5.11 Tactical Taclite Pro work pants definitely do not. One of the coolest features here is the Teflon finish on the pants, which resists stains, wear, and soil without compromising the breathability of the pants themselves. Taclite ripstop fabric is constructed from a polyester-cotton blend that makes the pants sturdy and flexible. The crotch is fully gusseted, making stretching and reaching easy. Available in a whole host of different colors, the pants are foam kneepad ready and right in the middle of our price range to boot.

Pros

  • Plethora of pockets
  • Fixed D-Ring on the hip
  • Teflon coated

Cons

  • Reviewers note that the cut is tight
  • Casual look

What You Need To Know

While some reviewers note that the cut is a bit tight, the plethora of pockets and neat Teflon coating mean that the pants are perfect for getting out there.

6. Filson Oil Finish Double Tin Pants

These aren’t so much pants as they are a protective covering for your legs. The Filson Oil Finish Double Tin Pants are button fly with a snap top, water repellent, and a roomy cut. These oil canvas pants are made from 15 oz. tin cloth that is perfect for hunting, fishing, field, or work. Available in hemmed and unhemmed lengths, these Filson pants are the toughest out there and have the price point to prove it at the very top of our range. They cannot be washed and must be brushed clean and reoiled to keep the fabric supple and waterproof. With two slash pockets, a coin pocket, and two rear utility pockets, these are perfect for welders or those who need as much protection as you can get.

Pros

  • The strongest pair of pants you can buy
  • Wide leg opening
  • Button fly with bottom hem options

Cons

  • Very difficult to care for
  • Expensive

What You Need To Know

Sometimes you need a pair of pants that will stand up to anything, including water, fire, sparks, and weather. The Filson Oil Finish Double Tin Pants are the investment you want to make, as long as you’re okay taking on their care.

4 Tips for Buying Work Pants

1. Do you want your work pants to have these features?

The features of your work pants are one of the most important considerations when you’re making a purchase. So take a moment to consider the following:

  1. Pockets: From size to closure, pockets on work pants vary significantly.  If you like to keep tools readily available, make sure the pocket sizes will work.  Additionally, some pockets may be sub-divided for better organization.
  2. Stretch Fabric: By incorporating only a few percentages of spandex, the pants can have a nice little bit of stretch.  This added flexibility makes walking and bending over much more comfortable.  
  3. Reinforced Knees: If your work requires you to be on your knees, then go with some pants that have reinforced fabric in this area.  It’ll help to increase the overall durability of the pants, so you don’t need to replace them as often.
  4. Gusset: Possibly one of the most important features in work pants for the active man, a gusset is a diamond-shaped piece of fabric sewn into the crotch of pants. It eliminates all seams coming together in one spot to improve comfort and movement. It also keeps your pants from pinching your junk as you crouch – if that’s not important, we don’t know what is.

2. How should your work pants fit?

Fit depends on what type of work you do and how comfortable you are. It’s a matter of preference. A standard fit, for example, generally fits straight on the hips, legs, and bottoms. It’s not loose or tight. A relaxed fit will be looser in these areas. A slim fit will be tighter with less fabric. It’s important to note that these terms are often not defined the same way across the board. Check your favorite pair of pants or designer to ensure you match the size chart provided.

3. What style and type of pants will perform and look best for your workplace?

  • Active Pants: This style allows you to move with ease.  You’ll find features like stretch waist and fabric provide for a better range of motion. Additionally, you can expect moisture-wicking fabrics and wrinkle resistance for easy wearing and care.
  • Cargo Pants:  Open flap pockets along the leg allow for additional storage space.  These pants will be commonly made of quick-drying cotton blends, including cotton canvas, that is ruggedly stitched.
  • Carpenter Pants: May lack some of the storage options of cargo pants but provide plenty of freedom for movement in the seat and legs. Carpenter pants commonly feature a hammer loop and large leg opening to fit over boots.
  • Professional Pants:  These will be ideal for engineers, project managers, etc., going between the office and the worksite.  Professional work pants feature a more tailored appearance.

4. Here are work pant fabrics most commonly used by companies

Keep the following in mind when considering the base fabric for work pants:

  • Cotton and Cotton Blends: Cotton is the most common fabric for work pants due to its durability, versatility, and breathability. There are several types/blends, but cotton duck and denim will be the most common.  Cotton duck is a durable woven canvas that will block wind and are best for rugged work environments.  Denim for workwear is slightly thicker and more comfortable.  Both cotton derivatives are easy to wash.
  • Synthetics: Work pants made from synthetic materials like nylon and polyester were not popular in the past, but technological advances have them rising in popularity. Artificial blends are durable and water-resistant.

Shawn Burns

Shawn Burns is the founder and senior editor of Tools of Men. He started this site with the goal of teaching men proper grooming habits and sensible style. Shawn's expertise includes in-depth product reviews and how-to articles. Shawn was recently featured in the Wall Street Journal for his expertise.

Published: August 16, 2021

Last Updated: October 12, 2021