The trend of “stretchy jeans” for men in climbing seems to be gaining traction ever since Outdoor Research introduced the Goldrush jeans a couple years ago. After testing out the Goldrush’s I was definitely sold on the concept of wearing jeans that have a blend of cotton and synthetic fibers — for comfort and for the stretch factor while climbing. After becoming sold on the Goldrush’s, I also got my hands on a pair of DU/ER’s Performance Denim, Relaxed Fit, After Dark to contrast and compare.
DU/ER’s use polyester and lycra, blended with cotton, which results in a comfortable fit, and plenty of stretch for stemming while climbing. The Relaxed Fit pair I tried out definitely feels thin, and thus would probably be better for sport/gym/bouldering than burly trad climbing in chimneys and such. Places like Indian Creek would likely eat these stylish jeans up in no time.
Thus, I have to say these jeans are best suited for the urban environment, from a climbing gym to bar type situation. They are comfy though, and this pair is certainly not for the skinny jeans/hipster crowd. In DU/ER’s words, the Performance Denim in After Dark “feels spacious in the thigh and calves while still tapering slighting at the ankle for a clean and contemporary look.” In climber speak, and after wearing these for a couple months, this means you’re going to be comfortable, but the jeans taper enough that you can see your climbing shoes when pasting onto tiny footholds.
Overall, I liked these jeans a lot. They live up to the hype of “performance jeans” while still keeping a stylish look, and comfortable fit. Another solid option for the fellas when seeking out for lack of a better word, “stretchy jeans”.
About us: The Climbing Zine was started in 2010 by Al Smith III and Luke Mehall. It continues to the day with the mission of representing the true essence of climbing. Our crown jewel is our printed version, but we also do the interweb thing, and Kindle.