The 17 Best Work Pants for Men in 2023, Tested by Gear Editors

The 17 Best Work Pants for Men in 2023, Tested by Gear Editors

Best Overall Work Pants

Truewerk Men’s T2 WerkPant Technical Workwear

Men's T2 WerkPant Technical Workwear

Best Overall Work Pants

Truewerk Men’s T2 WerkPant Technical Workwear

Pros
  • DWR water-repellant treatment
  • Streamlined pockets with lots of storage space
  • High level of stretch
  • Comfortable athleisure feel
  • Breathable fabric is great for warm weather
  • Impressive level of strength
Cons
  • Foot opening works with boots but could be bigger

Truewerk has quickly climbed the ranks as a work pant guys can turn to thanks to it’s stretchy technical fabric blends and breathable designs. The T2’s WerkFabric is highly breathable and made with features like tear-resistance, water-resistance, and 4-way stretch. They feature a fully gusseted crotch and reinforced knees, plus 7 pockets too. Many dudes count on these pants in the summer due to the fact they can keep them much cooler than traditional work pants while still offering quality protection.

In terms of what work pant we loved the most when testing, we found the T2 to be our favorite due to these features above and the fact the pants resemble athleisure apparel in many ways. Aside from wearing for general manual labor tasks—like painting and landscaping—we also took these into the outdoors and were impressed with how they performed for small trail hikes. Even from a style perspective these pants are well designed enough to pair well with a rugged weekend outfit.

Read more: Best Athleisure Brands

Material T2 WerkFabic stretch blend
Colors Available 5
Sizes Offered 30-44 inches

Best Winter Work Pants

Carhartt Rugged Flex Flannel-Lined Utility Work Pant

Rugged Flex Flannel-Lined Utility Work Pant

Best Winter Work Pants

Carhartt Rugged Flex Flannel-Lined Utility Work Pant

Credit: Courtesy of Retailer
Pros
  • Warm flannel on inner of pant
  • Good level of stretch
  • Ample pocket space with a hidden cell pocket included
Cons
  • Suitable only for cold temperatures

This coming winter, don’t let the cold weather get the best of you with these flannel-lined pants from Carhartt. They also offer plenty of storage with several accessible pockets—including a dedicated cell phone pocket on the leg.

Materials Cotton/Spandex
Colors Available 3
Sizes Offered 30-50 inches

Best Cargo Work Pants

Caterpillar Trademark Pant

Trademark Pant

Best Cargo Work Pants

Caterpillar Trademark Pant

Credit: Courtesy of Retailer
Pros
  • Strong 8.8-ounce canvas material
  • Deep pockets
  • Added gusset and knee protection
  • Dedicated cell phone pocket with closure
  • High level of storage
  • Long lifespan
Cons
  • Pants can get hot when working for long periods of time

Whether you’re building bridges or putting together your kid’s playground, these tried-and-true Trademark Pants from Caterpillar are a builder’s best friend. They’re basically the strongest pants on this entire list, thanks to an 8.8-ounce C2X cotton-polyester canvas that’s tear and water-resistant. When testing these pants, we found the diamond gusset and knee-reinforcement added comfort and durability when moving on the ground for jobs like bathroom remodeling. We loved how the Trademark Pant utilizes its pocket space too. We’re talking holster pockets, deep cargo pockets, a rear tool pocket, and a cell phone pocket with a secure closure.

If you’re looking for a strong pair of work pants with ample pocket space and tons of comfort, then the Trademark Pant is going to be a no brainer buy for sure.

Read more: Best Work Shoes

Material Cotton/Polyester
Colors Available 11
Sizes Offered 28-54 inches

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Best Dress Work Pants

Dickies Original 874 Work Pant

Original 874 Work Pant

Best Dress Work Pants

Dickies Original 874 Work Pant

Pros
  • Under $30
  • Tons of colors available
  • Wrinkle-resistant
  • Classic work pant design
  • Suitable for job sites and for the office
Cons
  • Twill fabric not as flexible as some might prefer.

Who said work pants can’t be stylish? These options from Dickies are office-friendly enough for meetings and presentations—while still providing durable protection with a heavyweight twill for when you head back to the job site. When wearing these pants, we loved how sturdy and wrinkle-resistant they were. When testing, we also enjoyed how the 874 allows enough space to wear our boots with, as well as the fact the waist closure was secure and kept shirts tucked in without ever sagging down onto the hips either.

Read more: Best Polos for Men

Material Polyester/Cotton
Colors Available 17
Sizes Offered 28-58 inches

Best Value Work Pant

Amazon Essentials Men’s Carpenter Jean with Tool Pockets

Men's Carpenter Jean with Tool Pockets

Best Value Work Pant

Amazon Essentials Men’s Carpenter Jean with Tool Pockets

Pros
  • Durable cotton canvas build
  • Tons of colors available
  • Comfortable fit
  • Reinforced heel to help limit wear and tear
Cons
  • No special features
  • Lifespan not as long as other pants on this list

The Amazon Essentials work pants are barebones, but they get the job. Over 2,000 five-star reviews are attributed to these bad boys, with reviews pointing out the pants are “as tough as a duffel bag” and have smart features like reinforced heels (a surprising rarity for most work pants). The fact you can buy these pants in several different colors and they cost less than $30 makes them a solid work pant buy. They will hold up admirably, but in the even you notice they’re wearing down faster than expected, you can simply go re-up on a fresh pair and have them at your door in 1-2 days.

Read more: Best Workout Clothes on Amazon

Material 100% cotton
Colors Available 7
Sizes Offered 28-42 inches

Best Lightweight Work Pants

5.11 Tactical Men’s Taclite Pro Lightweight Performance Pants

Men's Taclite Pro Lightweight Performance Pants

Best Lightweight Work Pants

5.11 Tactical Men’s Taclite Pro Lightweight Performance Pants

Pros
  • Great breathability, especially in warm weather
  • Secure waistband that keeps shirts tucked
  • Teflon coated to help repell dust and moisture
  • Ample pocket space
  • Cool rugged design
Cons
  • Some might not prefer the baggy fit

Triple-stitched and coated with Teflon, the Taclite Pro is a work pant made to handle dirt, mud, grease, you name it, while staying lightweight and cool. The pant is made with a cotton/poly stretch ripstop fabric that’s water-resistant and super breathable, making is a solid work pant for warm weather. The Taclite Pro also has lots of deep pocket space for optimized storage. While this pant shines bright in multiple areas, we found the Tactlite Pro’s combination of its fabric with a spacious cut allows elite breathability and movement—making this a pant you can quite literally run and jump in if needed.

Read more: Best T-Shirts for Men

Material Polyester/Cotton
Colors Available 12
Sizes Offered 28-44 inches

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Carhartt Men’s Rugged Flex 5-Pocket Tapered Work Pant

Men's Rugged Flex 5-Pocket Tapered Work Pant

Carhartt Men’s Rugged Flex 5-Pocket Tapered Work Pant

Pros
  • Has more stretch than one would expect
  • Stylish tapered look
  • Good for construction
  • Hidden cell phone pocket
Cons
  • Pants lean to fit tighter. Might want to consider sizing up in waist.

Some guys don’t like the baggy relaxed fit, we get it. We found Carhartt’s widely popular Rugged Flex pant in a tapered cut gave us the most amount of room while also keeping a slimming look. The canvas on the pant has just the right amount of toughness, and Carhartt also makes sure to work in a good amount of stretch so you can bend and get low in them. Here’s a rare instance where a work pant can also double as a casual pant, if you ever need to go straight from the job site to dinner with the family.

Read more: Best Work Boots for Men

Material Cotton/Spandex
Colors Available 3
Sizes Offered 28-42 inches

Best Work Jeans

Levi’s Men’s 517 Boot Cut Jean

Men's 517 Boot Cut Jean

Best Work Jeans

Levi’s Men’s 517 Boot Cut Jean

Pros
  • Trusted durability and comfort
  • Wears in gracefully
  • Tapered boot cut design
  • Timeless style
Cons
  • Not ideal for professional work environments that consist of all-day manual labor
  • No diamond gusset on the crotch

Every guy needs a good pair of work jeans, and the 517 Boot Cut passes all the tests with flying colors. Aside from being stylish enough to wear casually, the 517 is cut to wear your best pair of work boots with. You get trusted Levi’s durability and high level of comfort that’s only going to get better the more you break them in. Couple these notes with the fact you’ve got a tapered cut that allows room but doesn’t look too baggy, and you’ve got the best go-to work jean for one dang good price point.

We’ve been using these as our go-to work pants for all types of home projects, from cutting down tree limbs in the yard to painting walls and redoing bathrooms inside the home.

Read more: Best Boots for Men

Material 100% cotton
Colors Available 11
Sizes Offered 29-44 inches

Best Cut

Wrangler Riggs Workwear Ranger Pant

On Sale

Riggs Workwear Ranger Pant

Best Cut

Wrangler Riggs Workwear Ranger Pant

Now 21% Off

Credit: Courtesy of Retailer
Pros
  • Added knee protection
  • Several colors available
  • Action gusset and deep pockets
  • Roomy fit makes it comfortable to move around in
Cons
  • Waist band has some friction to it and needs a second to break in

Not only are these Wrangler work pants a great deal at around $35, but they’re also constructed with 100% cotton rip-resistant fabric to help prevent holes and punctures. A lot of guys rave about the Ranger Pant’s cut, allowing just the right amount of space to move around in the pant without making it look like they’re wearing a tent. The pants accommodate boots too, so you won’t have any trouble slipping on your stompers. Other design notes that make this pant elite are the action gusseted crotch and the triple-needle stitching reinforcement in high-wear areas like the knees.

Material 100% cotton
Colors Available 6
Sizes Offered 30-60 inches

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Best Carpenter Jeans

Wrangler Riggs Workwear Mens Ripstop Carpenter Jeans

On Sale

Mens Ripstop Carpenter Jeans

Best Carpenter Jeans

Wrangler Riggs Workwear Mens Ripstop Carpenter Jeans

Now 22% Off

Pros
  • Long lifespan
  • Not too baggy like other carpenter pants can be
  • Tons of pocket space
  • Pants fit over boots with ease
Cons
  • Doesn’t have knee reinforcement. See the Wrangler Ranger Pant if you want knee protection.

A long-time favorite of carpenters and handymen, the Wrangler Ripstop Carpenter Jeans have a perfect relaxed fit and a durable 100% cotton durashield denim build. The jeans aren’t totally bootcut, but they accomdate work boots most definitely. Small features like an action gusset crotch helps provide comfort when squatting and moving, and deep front pockets help maximize storage and keep small items from tumbling out.

Material 100% cotton
Colors Available 8
Sizes Offered 30-60 inches

Most Comfortable Work Pants

Dickies Tough Max Duck Carpenter Pant

Tough Max Duck Carpenter Pant

Most Comfortable Work Pants

Dickies Tough Max Duck Carpenter Pant

Credit: Courtesy of Retailer
Pros
  • Impressive level of stretch
  • Can be worn through all seasons
  • Abrasion-resistant fabric
  • Long lifespan
Cons
  • Pant length is longer than expected

With enough pockets to hold everything you need for a day’s work, these Dickies pants can get you through any work day. They’re also constructed from a flex-friendly fabric, so you can move around with ease.

Material Cotton/Polyester/Elastane
Colors Available 11
Sizes Offered 30-44 inches

Most Flexible Work Pants

Wolverine Steelhead Stretch Pant

Best Seller

Steelhead Stretch Pant

Most Flexible Work Pants

Wolverine Steelhead Stretch Pant

Now 25% Off

Pros
  • Excellent level of stretch
  • Wide leg opening for boots
  • Lots of pocket space (8 total pockets)
Cons
  • Some of the darker colors can fade quickly

If your job site requires constant movement and ups and downs, these pants from Wolverine are perfect for you. Featuring a durable, yet flexible material, you can expect a great range of motion for all sorts of work time duties.

Read more: Best Work Shirts

Material Cotton/Spandex
Colors Available 3
Sizes Offered 30-44 inches

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Best Ripstop Work Pants

CQR Flex Ripstop Tactical Pants

On Sale

Flex Ripstop Tactical Pants

Best Ripstop Work Pants

CQR Flex Ripstop Tactical Pants

Now 40% Off

Credit: Courtesy of Retailer
Pros
  • Water-resistant
  • Tons of colors and patterns available
  • Ample stretch

Geared to withstand the elements, these work pants come highly-rated from Amazon for their durable, ripstop fabric that naturally repels liquid and dirt, so you never have to worry when things get messy.

Material Cotton/Polyester/Elastane
Colors Available 28
Sizes Offered 28-46

Best Eco-Friendly Work Pants

Patagonia Iron Forge Hemp Canvas Cargo Pants

Iron Forge Hemp Canvas Cargo Pants

Best Eco-Friendly Work Pants

Patagonia Iron Forge Hemp Canvas Cargo Pants

Pros
  • Deep pockets
  • Made from 12.9-ounce hemp canvas
  • High abrasion-resistance
Cons
  • Pants can get hot when worn for long periods of time

Featuring solid and durable rip-resistant fabric, this option from Patagonia is a sturdier version of a traditional cargo pant. A relaxed fit that needs no breaking-in throughout provides greater freedom of movement for a more comfortable all-day wear.

Materials 12.9-oz 55% industrial hemp/27% recycled polyester/18% organic cotton
Colors Available 2
Sizes Offered 28-44 inches

best-looking work pant

Taylor Stitch The Chore Pant

The Chore Pant

best-looking work pant

Taylor Stitch The Chore Pant

Pros
  • Rugged style that gets better with age
  • Fits well over boots
  • Double-knee reinforcement
Cons
  • Not ideal for use in work professions that involve all-day manual labor

These low-profile but sturdy workwear bottoms can take more than a few beatings in an easy, versatile style that doesn’t make you look like a hunky plumber, but more like a suave gentleman who knows how to dress with utility and functions in mind.

Materials 12-oz. 54% hemp, 30% recycled polyester, 14% organic cotton, 2% spandex
Colors Available 4
Sizes Offered 28-38 inches

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Best All Canvas Work Pant

American Giant Roughneck Pant Straight

Roughneck Pant Straight

Best All Canvas Work Pant

American Giant Roughneck Pant Straight

Pros
  • Made in USA
  • High level of comfort
  • Long lifespan

These canvas work pants put style first, and safety a close second. So you won’t likely want to break a sweat in them. But, as a pair of utility pants, the Roughneck is made with stretch for movement and comfort for daily wear in mind, giving you seriously on-point workwear style whatever you pair it with.

Material Cotton/Spandex
Colors Available 9
Sizes Offered 30-38

Most versatile work pants

Proof Rover Pant

Rover Pant

Most versatile work pants

Proof Rover Pant

Pros
  • Metal hardware
  • Gusseted crotch
  • Canvas has more stretch than other canvas pants we’ve tested
  • Stylish enough to wear outside of work
Cons
  • Takes a second to break in

It doesn’t look like your run-of-the-mill work pants because it’s not meant to be. Updated with breathable, stretch canvas and a more relaxed fit that doesn’t feel baggy, the new Rover is versatile enough to be worn like everyday jeans or chinos while being rugged enough for all your home projects. The gusseted crotch adds more mobility to make them work as travel pants.

Material 73% cotton, 25% Repreve TruTemp365® (recycled polyester), 2% lycra
Colors Available 6
Sizes Offered 28-38 inches

Why Trust Us

commerce breaker

At Men’s Health, our testing editors and writers always make sure to actually test and use the products ourselves before considering whether to include them. Therefore, rest assured that our product recommendations derive from first-hand experience, and you can read more about our testing process here.

In addition, we have a whole fashion closet in our NYC office dedicated to calling in, trying out, and selecting the best and newest menswear products. We put them on stylish, fit guys to hear their opinions and see how the items look on them before making our final decision. And as style editors, we constantly go into the fashion closet to test out the products.

Lastly, you can trust our opinions on shopping recommendations, whether it’s the products, styling tips, or trends. Not only do we have our own in-house experts, like our Fashion Director Ted Stafford and our Deputy Editor of Commerce, Christian Gollayan, but we also have a panel of style experts—including stylists, fashion influencers, designers, etc.—whom we regularly seek advice.

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Who Makes the Best Work Pants for Men?

commerce breaker

The best work pants for men are function first, no matter if you are wearing them for an actual labor-intensive job or for a style choice.

The top pair we recommend is the Truwerk Utility Pant T2, thanks to its high level of stretch, breathability, and ability to still protect your legs on a job site.

If you’re looking for a work pant that’s tougher with more pocket space, then we recommend the Catapillar Trademark Pant.

And if you’re looking for a work pant that’s more business appropriate, then we recommend the Dickies 874. The pant is suitable for all types of office wear, yet strong enough to wear when visiting a construction site.

Tips for Buying Work Pants

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Just like any garment, work pants can be broken down into a few different categories. Here are some tips to consider so you don’t end up buying the wrong pair of work pants.

  • Purpose: No matter what you do for a career, we recommend every guy own a pair of work pants in their wardrobe. Owning a pair of work pants will give you an easy go-to for anytime you need to do a quick home project or help a friend with a manual labor task—like moving, landscaping, and more. These general task work pants should be sturdy and comfortable, but also built for versatility (no need to specialized with carpenter pant or heavy cargo pant). On the flip side, if you’re buying work pants for a profession, then you want to specialize and find an option that’s going to cater to your job. Carpenter pants are specifically made with deep pockets and utility loops to hold tools, and have reinforcement in the knees and have action gussets crotches for constant squatting and bending down. If you’re in construction, a work pant that prioritizes breathability and a slimmer fit (baggy is not good when constantly moving around power tools) is the way to go.
  • Knee Protection: Most work pants have good knee protection, but some have elite protection due to knee reinforcements. It’s good to have knee protection in a work pant, but really it’s not the most important factor to consider just because some work tasks won’t have you bending down and getting on your knees as frequently. If you’re doing construction or carpentry work, then it would make sense to go for a pant with reinforced knee protection. If you’re doing jobs where you’re mostly on your feet, like landscaping, then you don’t have to specialize in knee protection. It’s worth noting that pants with reinforced knee protection are likely to be heavier and more sturdy, while those that opt out of knee protection allow for the opportunity to be more breathable and stretchy.
  • Gusset: A gusset is a diamond patch on the crotch of the pant that eliminates the four points of stitching that would come together if you sewed a pair of pants up like normal. A gusset allows for more movement and lowers the chances of ripping your pants—it also allows for more cooling when brands use breathable pieces of fabric. A gusset ultimately provides comfort and confidence knowing you won’t have multiple seam lines coming together and squeezing down on your private parts every time you get low or bend over. You don’t necessarily need a gusset on your work pants, but if you’re buying work pants for a profession then we absolutely recommend you buy a pair with a gusset due to the long hours of work and various tasks you’ll likely be doing.

Headshot of Maverick Li

Maverick Li

Former Style and Commerce Editor

Maverick Li is a former Style & Commerce Editor of Men’s Health, where he covered clothing, footwear, watches, and grooming. He was previously the Assistant Commerce Editor at Esquire.
 

Lettermark

Mike Richard has traveled the world since 2008. He’s kayaked in Antarctica, tracked endangered African wild dogs in South Africa, and survived a near-miss great white shark attack in Mexico. His travel advice has appeared on the websites for Forbes, Travel + Leisure, CNET, and National Geographic. He loves the great outdoors and good bourbon, and (usually) calls Tulsa, Oklahoma home. Mike also enjoys speaking in the third person. 

Headshot of John Thompson

Gear and Commerce Editor

John Thompson is the Gear and Commerce Editor at Men’s Health, where he covers fashion, grooming, gear, and technology. He was previously the Style & Gear Editor at BroBible.com, and a commerce writer for TheManual.com. His interests include attending concerts, spending time outside, and following his favorite baseball team, the Kansas City Royals. 

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