A good reliable pair of jeans can serve you well for a long period of time. When your best-piece of clothing wears out a replacement might be difficult, especially when you were using it for concealed carry, because jean styles change so much. There are a lot of jeans brands out there. Our recommendation is to go with brands that you know and already use. Stay with tried and true if possible. If you are looking to try something new here is a short guide for selecting jeans:

Before you get started on your jeans quest be sure you know what kind of weapon you will carry and what your method of carry is. Accessibility is an important factor when choosing a holster. If you are going to carry a large weapon with a long barrel/extended magazine it might be prudent to purchase a pair of high-rise jeans instead of low-rise. If you intend to do ankle carry it is recommended choosing boot-cut jeans, whereby you have more room at the ankles, over straight-leg jeans.

Are you going to use a large Crossbreed Supertuck Deluxe holster mounted near your backside or will you instead choose a smaller Blackhawk Inside-the-pants holster w/clip designed for deep-concealment on your front side? A holster that fits closely to the body minimizes the chance of printing through clothing.

If you are going to carry an Inside the Waistband (IWB) holster instead of an Outside the Waistband (OWB) holster it would be wise to avoid buying tight, skinny jeans. Try to go with practical first before fashion. Purchase something that is comfortable and functional.chuck-norris-action-jeans-2

I’m not going to list the different kinds of fiber mixtures used in constructing jeans, brands to avoid or purchase, or prices to pay. When it comes to jeans, stay with a minimal design that allows good movement, and few or no showy details. Look for good stitching and simple construction that makes the jeans wearable.

It is recommended that you bring your holster with you when trying out jeans. Can you squat down comfortably? Can you raise your leg straight out as if to give a front kick? Good. If you can’t sit comfortably in a chair all day during a plane flight or in a restaurant for a meal then think again, and size it right.

Waist and Rise


Waistbands should have enough room to insert a holster and pistol. Because your stomach expands or shrinks throughout the day adequate room allows your holster to fit comfortably even if you overeat. It’s important to get yourself measured and to not have a struggle when sliding jeans on. If you cannot button the jeans easily it is time to go up to the next size.  If you cannot easily slide your finger in-between your waist and the jeans itself with your holster inserted then it is time to go up a size or two.

Jeans should fit perfectly around your waist with no need for a belt to hold them up. Belts do help to keep the gun in place and prevents your jeans from sagging. If you are between sizes where the larger size is too large and the smaller size is too small then go for the larger size and wear a belt. Another option is to try a store with a larger selection of jeans.


The rise is the distance from the middle of the crotch seam (right between your legs) to the top of the waistband. It usually ranges from 7 inches to 12 inches. Jeans rise is important because it determines where your pants sit on your body, which in turn creates your perceived waistline. The rise length affects the fit around your crotch and importantly the rise determines how your holster will fit inside your jeans. You do not want a billowy fit at the crotch or sagging, however do look for a comfortable fit.

Some jeans come with a gusset. A gusset is a diamond shaped piece of denim sewn into the crotch area of some brand of jeans. The gusset eliminates 4 seams coming together in one spot and creates freedom of movement and a more comfortable wearing experience. The actor Chuck Norris used to market a karate jean brand with a gusset whereby the jean users had greater mobility.



Different men have different preferences when they buy certain leg lengths. It’s up to you what you prefer. Leg sizes go by your inner leg, from your crotch to your ankle and then they are determined by small (S), regular (R) and long (L).


Ensure your pockets are wide enough and deep enough to carry your wallet or EDC without bulging or too loose where you might possibly lose something when being active (running from danger, to danger, kneeling et al.) Are you able to access your pockets to reach your cell phone or pocket knife?


Ensure they are well stitched because it’s likely you’ll have your holster hoops affixed to your belt; the added weight can wear the fabric of your pants down over time. Some jeans use a mixture of materials other than denim that might not hold up over time.


Skinny Jeans

Skinny jeans are best for those who are tall and have slim builds. Stretchy denim or other material is best for skinny jeans if you intend to use an IWB holster.

Slim leg 

Slim legs jeans styles are often mistaken for skinny jeans but are not as form fitting around the calf and thighs. For guys like me with big thighs the slim leg is a better choice than the skinny jeans.

Straight leg

Straight leg jeans are perfect for nearly all body shapes and will be a preferable style for many. Straight legs do do not have any tapering to the jean itself allowing for a solid shape throughout the jeans.  They are looser at the knee.

Wide Leg and Boot Cut

Boot cut jeans taper at the ankle and can be paired easily with boots. Boot cut is excellent for ankle-holster concealed carry.

Wide leg jeans do not have a real shape to them, although they do widen at the thigh. They have plenty of room and comfort for the day.

Helikon-Tex makes what they call Urban Tactical Pants Denim for about $80.00

  • 80% Cotton/19% Polyester/1% Spandex
  • Imported
  • Unique US and EU patented design – A well-known, Helikon-Tex best seller
  • Thanks to its 2-way elastic fabric, you get a comfortable, slim look with an increased range of motion without unnecessary stress on its seams. Its stretchable waist gives you up to 2 additional inches for improved comfort
  • Its lightweight and breathable materials provide an increased comfort during prolonged use in a magnitude of different climates
  • The casual, low profile design combined with the jeans look gives the versatility and capabilities to fulfill the needs of professional users while in an urban setting
  • It has a perfect, patented pocket arrangement for carrying all your essential equipment in an organized discrete fashion without losing your tactical advantage.

Condor makes a jean they market as the Condor Cipher Tactical Jean for about $50.00

Engineered for the urban operator in mind, the Condor Cipher pants blends modern aesthetic with technical performance. Constructed with lightweight quick-drying stretch fabric to ensure 24/7 comfort, micro mesh pocket liner to boost breathability, and a gusseted crotch for enhanced maneuverability. The Condor Cipher  balances performance and comfort for the challenges ahead.

  • Elastic waist band for IWB holster
  • Two gadget pockets for phone or mag
  • Two back pockets
  • Zipper pocket on the right
  • Articulated knee construction
  • Imported
*Slim Fit*
ColorBlack, Charcoal
NotificationsMaterials: 97% Nylon/ 3% Spandex

5.11 markets a jean they call the Defender Tactical Jeans for around $70.00

  • 5.11® brings you the comfort and styling of your favorite everyday pant with tactical functionality and stretch built right in. The Defender-Flex pant has been developed for 5.11 end users who are looking for low-vis tactical without sacrificing performance at the firing range or comfort for everyday wear. Crafted with a Cavalry Twill cotton/polyester blend, with just enough elastane for stretch, these pants are made to keep their shape with style. The five-pocket styling and soft fade finish look sharp, and the back mag pockets mean you’ll always be ready.



  • Comfortable, slim, and tactical pant
  • Five pocket styling plus two rear hip pockets
  • Soft fade finish and enzyme washed fabric
  • Fitted waistbandSPECIFICATIONS
  • Button top fly with locking YKK® zipper
  • 8.8 oz. stretch Cavalry twill (66% cotton / 31% poly / 3% elastane)
  • Dual back patch pockets
  • GSA/TAA compliant

Buying jeans shouldn’t be difficult. Know what size and leg length you are and you’re good to go. One of the main points in this guide is that you should always get measured, as this allows you to know exactly what size and leg length you are, not only for jeans, but for all types of pants.

*The views and opinions expressed on this web site are solely those of the original authors and contributors. These views and opinions do not necessarily represent those of Spotter Up Magazine, the administrative staff, and/or any/all contributors to this site.

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About The Author

Mike credits his early military training as the one thing that kept him disciplined through the many years. He currently provides his expertise as an adviser for the DoD. Michael Kurcina subscribes to the Spotter Up way of life. “I will either find a way or I will make one”.

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