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STRETCH VS NON-STRETCH RIDING JEANS: THE ULTIMATE COMPARISON

Riders spend a lot of time on their bikes, so it makes sense to seek the best gear possible for those long hours on the road. If you're looking for a tough, comfy pair of jeans, but can't decide between stretch or non-stretch then you've come to the right place.Motorcyclists are some of the most fiercely independent people around, so everyone will have their own preferences when it comes to gear. Hopefully, we'll narrow things down so you can find that perfect pair of jeans to keep you armored out there.

WHY ARE ALL JEANS STRETCH NOW?

People wear stretch jeans typically for their comfort. Mobility is important while you're riding, and there's nothing worse than a tight or uncomfortable pair of pants while you're trying to concentrate on the road.Many riders also buy stretch jeans for their style. Stretch denim has been fashionable for some time now, and who doesn't love riding with clothes that look good both on and off your bike?

closeup of motorcycle jeans with key

THE PRIMARY MATERIAL USED IN STRETCH JEANS

Stretch jeans are simply jeans made using stretch denim fabric. The stretch factor of denim cotton is achieved by incorporating elastane, a stretchy fiber, into the denim fabric.To create jeans for motorcycling, a powerful composite fiber like Dyneema is woven into the material to give it some toughness. Dyneema, combined with a stretch denim material like elastane, achieves a dream combination of comfort and protection that would have been unheard of just 15 years ago.

STRETCH OR REGULAR JEANS: WHICH IS BETTER?

ProsCons
Stretch JeansComfortable with lots of give
Flexible: They conform to your body
Great if you prefer a skinny style
May lose shape over multiple washes, but riding jeans should rarely be washed anyways
The skinny style isn't for everyone
Non-StretchThey won't wear out and the shape will last longer
Mould over time for a more customised fit
Not as comfortable and more rigid than stretch jeans
The shape will take time to break in.

THE PROS AND CONS OF STRETCH JEANS

Feeling comfortable on your motorcycle is a must, which is why many riders love wearing stretch jeans. Stretch denim is flexible and gives the wearer natural freedom of movement.

A nice pair of stretch denim jeans can be worn on most occasions, which is perfect for saving trunk space and removing the hassle of having to change pants.

Most motorcycle pants will explicitly tell you not to wash them too often because it makes the pants lose their shape. Low-quality stretch jeans will suffer over multiple wears and washes, so make sure you only buy jeans made from quality materials.

THE PROS AND CONS OF NON-STRETCH JEANS

The classic jean style, or non-stretch, tends to hold its shape better in the long run. They don't wear out quickly and can handle multiple washes. Over time, the form-fitting design will mold over the wearer's body, but this requires a breaking-in period.Some people find non-stretch jeans rigid and uncomfortable. The lack of flexibility might be an issue if you want to continue wearing your gear off the bike as well. Non-stretch jeans are also limited when it comes to the different styles and fits that are available.

IS STRETCH DENIM GOOD?

Yes, stretch denim is good. Stretch jeans have become popular with riders for their combination of style, comfort, and protection. With the different stretch denim jeans available, riders have the freedom to choose their personal style without sacrificing safety or comfort.

Our riders love rocking their Unbreakable Slim Jeans both on and off the bike, which give just enough stretch to keep them comfy while still packing some insane strength.

For a more detailed look at motorcycle jeans in general, feel free to read our guide to buying motorcycle jeans.

motorcyclist driving down the road wearing motorcycle pants

FAQs

WHY DOES DENIM STRETCH?

Denim stretches because the first stretch jeans were made by weaving spandex into the cotton fibres of denim.

These days, most are made with about one to three percent elastane to get their stretch.

IS STRETCH DENIM LESS DURABLE?

Stretch denim can sometimes be less durable, but it depends on how they are made. Poorly made stretch jeans tend to have less durability than non-stretch, so it's important to grab denim made from premium quality materials.

Riding jeans need to be washed sparingly to get the most out of them.

Most jeans manufacturers will include a label with their specific washing needs, which should never be ignored.

WHICH JEANS FABRIC IS STRETCHABLE?

There is a specific jeans fabric that is more stretchable.

Stretch denim is a special, somewhat new fabric that's typically made with a combination of cotton, polyester, and a stretchy material like elastane or spandex.

The percentage of the stretchy material used determines how much stretch the jeans will have.

Motorcycle jeans are generally made from heavy denim so they're nice and strong, while everyday clothing usually involves a medium-weight denim fabric.

ARE STRETCH JEANS THE SAME AS SKINNY JEANS?

While many people think of stretch and skinny jeans as the same, there are a few key differences.

Both have a snug fit, but stretch jeans are a hybrid construction of pure denim with an elastic material. Some slim jeans might have a tapered leg design, while skinny jeans will always be straight at the legs. Skinny jeans are tighter and sculpt the shape of the wearer's legs. In terms of movement, slim-fit jeans feel less tight and will allow for more freedom.

The two styles can sometimes be combined to give the benefits of each in the same jeans.

For example, our Women's Unbreakable Skinny Jeans are popular with female riders for both their killer style and unbeatable comfort.

WHAT'S THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN STRETCH JEANS AND JEGGINGS?

The difference between stretch jeans and jeggings is that jeggings are simply essentially soft, stretchy leggings made to look like a pair of normal jeans.

They're typically made of spandex and light denim fabric, and most don't have zippers or buttons. Like most leggings, they're designed to be worn mainly by young women.Jeggings won't feel the same as wearing jeans.

They're super tight fitting, and although they might have faux buttons or pockets they're not a substitute for actual jeans.

The denim look is strictly aesthetic.

ARE STRETCH JEANS COMFORTABLE?

Yes, stretch jeans are comfortable.

The tight fit conforms to the wearer's body movements and provides great freedom of movement.

ARE STRETCH JEANS BETTER?

Both consumers and the leading denim brands have gravitated towards stretch jeans for good reason.

They're a winning mix of both style and comfort.

While some people might prefer to stick with the classic, the majority have stretch as their personal choice.

ARE SLIM-FIT JEANS STRETCHABLE?

Yes, slim-fit jeans are stretchable, depending on the brand.

If you find skinny jeans too tight or they're just not your style, slim-fit jeans are a good alternative.

Unlike body-contouring skinny jeans, slim-fit jeans have larger leg openings and will let you move more freely.

Thankfully you can find Slim Jeans for Motorcycling that are made to stretch. In fact, just about every fit of our denim motorcycle jeans comes with stretch, because we want our riders to have the freedom to ride in their own preferred style.

Unlike body-contouring skinny jeans, slim-fit jeans have larger leg openings and will let you move more freely.

WHAT MATERIAL IS USED IN STRETCH JEANS?

As stated above, the material in stretch jeans is a combination of cotton with stretchy materials like elastane or spandex.

The higher percentage of that stretchy material, the stretchier the jeans will be.

WILL 100% COTTON JEANS STRETCH?

100% cotton jeans will naturally stretch and feel looser over time with wear and tear like most pants, but they lack the stretchy fibres needed for a proper stretch fit.
Without elastane or spandex, they'll feel just like a normal pair of jeans.

IS POLYESTER STRETCHY IN JEANS?

Polyester is stretchy in jeans. While it can stretch when used in certain ways, manufacturers typically use polyester in jeans to give them more durability. Using a material like spandex or elastane is preferred to give the jeans their stretch.