If you’re blessed with thick thighs and killer calves, finding men’s pants that fit can be a real struggle. I mean, it’s not exactly a bad problem to have, but it’s difficult all the same. Luckily, the new wave of athletic jeans means it’s no longer a two-person job to squeeze yourself into denim.
Designed for men with larger legs—whether you’ve been living in the weights room or hit the jackpot in the genetics department—the best athletic fit jeans offer a streamlined shape that’s roomier above the knee and gradually tapered towards the ankle. The result is a flattering fit that perfectly balances comfort and style.
To help you get straight to the options worthy of your money, I’ve done some digging and found the styles that can help transform your wardrobe. Keep reading for my list of the best athletic fit jeans for men.
A well-fitting pair of jeans will not only help your outfits look better but give you extra confidence and make you feel great. This guide aims to give a helping hand to any guys who have found it difficult to find the perfect fit.
Our Top Picks
Material: 99% Cotton, 1% Elastane | Sizes Available: 26-40” | Inseam: 30-36” | Fit: Slim | Rise: Mid
The aim of athletic fit jeans is to not just make your jean-wearing experience more comfortable, but help you show off all that extra work you’ve been doing at the gym. If you’ve got it, flaunt it. Right?
The Levi 531 is made using the label’s most advanced stretch technology, designed to deliver maximum flex and the very best comfort. With enough room in the thigh area and a slim ankle, they proudly accentuate your legs rather than hiding them under a heap of fabric that doesn’t need to be there.
Show them off at the weekend with sneakers and long-sleeved tees, or head to the office with a button-down shirt and Chelsea boots.
Material: 100% Cotton | Sizes Available: 28-38” | Inseam: 30″ | Fit: Loose Tapered | Rise: Mid
White jeans aren’t for everyone, but if you can pluck up the courage to try them out, the sartorial benefits are endless. An unbeatable option for the warmer months, they also offer an easy way to brighten up your winter wardrobe.
This pair from Wax London is designed with extra room through the thigh and tapers to a skinny leg. The subtle off-white (or ecru if you’re really in the know) gives a rebellious edge that’ll look great with leather jackets and work boots. For a faultless summer ensemble, you can pair them with a striped tee and espadrilles.
Material: 94% Cotton, 2% Elastane, 4% Other | Sizes Available: 28-40” | Inseam: 28-34” | Fit: Slim | Rise: Mid
Big legs shouldn’t be a burden. It makes no difference if you’re a man with a fuller figure or a fitness fanatic, finding jeans that fit (and look good) is fairly easy when you know where to look. That’s where I come in.
This classic blue pair from Everlane will improve any denim collection. They’re made from a four-way stretch organic denim that’s not just durable and soft but moves with you for unbeatable comfort. You can team them casually with a tee, hoodie, and high-tops, or turn up the smartness with a fine knit sweater and loafers.
Material: 98% Cotton, 2% Spandex | Sizes Available: 30-42” | Inseam: 29-34” | Fit: Relaxed | Rise: Mid
Finding the best athletic fit jeans can be a real pain in the backside (quite literally), so you could do without having to worry about spending a fortune too. Luckily, you don’t have to leave yourself skint to find the perfect pair.
Wrangler has been making jeans since 1947, so it should come as no shock that they’re also getting creative with their cuts. Offering a relaxed fit through the seat and thigh, they’re given an extra bit of stretch to ensure flexibility and all-day comfort. The dark wash gives them a slightly smarter feel that can be teamed with everything from flannel shirts to graphic tees and sweaters.
Material: 95% Cotton, 4% Polyester, 1% Elastane | Sizes Available: 28-40” | Inseam: 28-36” | Fit: Slim | Rise: Unknown
There aren’t many pants that work as hard as a pair of black jeans. Effortlessly stylish and endlessly adaptable, they can be worn with everything from biker jackets to blazers and turtleneck jumpers. And thanks to the athletic fit, guys with monster quads can now wear them too.
Abercrombie & Fitch has evolved more times than a Pokémon. But it now seems they’re settling with providing a range of stylish staples, including an impressive collection of black denim. Crafted from a stretch fabric with a relaxed-fit shape, the label’s athletic fit jeans are the perfect all-rounder that you can wear with pretty much anything.
Material: 65% Cotton, 33% Polyester, 2% Elastane | Sizes Available: 29-44” | Inseam: 29-36” | Fit: Tapered | Rise: Mid
When you’re bored of blue and black doesn’t quite suit the occasion, gray jeans are an excellent alternative that can bring a casual coolness to any ensemble. But where do you go to find a pair that accommodates your bulging thighs? Levi’s of course.
The 541 gives you a relaxed feel with a slightly tailored finish that’s guaranteed to impress. Comfy, stretchy, and super stylish, they’ll look just as good with hoodies and sneakers as they will with boots and flannel shirts.
Material: 94% Cotton, 4% Elastomuliester, 2% Elastane | Sizes Available: 28-42” | Inseam: 30-38” | Fit: Tapered | Rise: Mid
One of the things I love most about jeans is that they never let you down. Whether you’re dressing for lunch with friends or after-work drinks, there aren’t many occasions that they won’t help you dress for.
Lucky Brand is clearly in agreement and has loads of excellent options—including this tapered pair. The 411 is designed with built-in high-stretch technology that gives you all-day comfort. Boasting a slightly worn-in look, they’re the ideal partner for a pair of high-top Chucks and your favorite plain white tee.
Material: 100% Cotton | Sizes Available: 26-42” | Inseam: 28-34” | Fit: Slim | Rise: Mid
If you’ve already tried out some of the best athletic fit jeans and are now looking for something different, stop your search. Destroyed denim offers an awesome way to add a little edge to your everyday looks.
A slim fit with extra room in the thigh, American Eagle’s pair are presented in a light wash with ripped knees and subtle distressed detailing. They have just enough attitude for your inner rebel but are still smart enough to wear with casual shirts and chunky knitwear. I think they work best teamed with a graphic tee and statement sneakers.
Material: 95% Cotton, 4% Polyester, 1% Elastane | Sizes Available: 26-40” | Inseam: 28-36” | Fit: Skinny | Rise: Mid
Squats and skinny jeans are two words you thought you’d never see together. But I have good news: gone are the days of suffocating thick thighs in uncomfortable denim. Athletic jeans for men are your sartorial solution that’ll not only fit like a glove but look great too.
These skinny jeans from Abercrombie & Fitch are roomy enough to move freely but perfectly tapered to show off all your hard work. Built-in stretch provides that all-important comfort, while the dark wash gives you ultimate versatility. Wear them with hoodies, sweaters, tees, or polos. The opportunities are endless.
Material: 100% Cotton | Sizes Available: 29-44” | Inseam: 30-36” | Fit: Bootcut | Rise: Mid
If your favorite day of the week is leg day, chances are your killer quads are having trouble fitting into your jeans. But instead of calling it quits and settling for sweatpants, take a look at these athletic fit jeans from Levi’s.
Combining the classic boot-friendly leg with a slightly slimmer silhouette everywhere else, they’re the perfect happy medium for guys who want to show off their chunky footwear without having to settle for overly baggy jeans. There’s also a hint of stretch to accommodate your extra size.
Material: 99% Cotton, 1% Spandex | Sizes Available: 28-42” | Inseam: 30-38” | Fit: Straight | Rise: Mid
While jeans are a timeless staple, the popularity of certain fits can change from season to season. One minute we’re being told to wear super skinny styles, the next it’s all about dad jeans. However, there’s one silhouette that never falls out of favor: straight.
A classic shape that’ll never let you down, straight jeans are your go-to when you refuse to follow trends. The 410 is Lucky Brand’s version that is designed with athletic builds in mind. Balancing a straight fit with a tapered leg, they give you plenty of room to move while highlighting all the areas you want to show off. Try them with a hoodie and box-fresh sneakers for a stylish everyday look.
Material: 98% Cotton, 2% Elastane | Sizes Available: 28-42” | Inseam: 28-36” | Fit: Straight | Rise: Mid
Whatever your denim preference is, chances are you’ll be able to find a pair on Amazon. From black jeans to distressed designs and everything in between, there are plenty of options that’ll help you upgrade your collection.
My pick of the bunch is from Goodthreads. Crafted from cotton with a hint of stretch, they feature that much-needed roomier cut through the hip, with a thigh that tapers to a slim leg opening. The classic blue wash gives them timeless appeal that’ll pair well with pretty much your entire wardrobe.
What To Look For In The Best Athletic Fit Jeans
Athletic jeans for men come in a variety of styles. From faded to distressed, there are many options to choose from. When picking your favorite pair, you should consider where and when you want to wear them. Opt for plain designs for ultimate versatility or something a little different if you want to stand out.
The rise is where the top of your jeans sit. It refers to the measurement from the crotch to the waistband. In general, low-rise denim is more casual and worn below the belly button. They’re not ideal for guys with shorter legs. Medium or regular-rise pants are the fail-safe option. They suit most body shapes and are perfect for men who like to tuck in their shirts.
Choosing the color of your jeans should be determined by not only your personal taste but the rest of your outfit. Darker denim is generally considered smarter, while lighter washes give off a more casual feel. White jeans are better suited to the summer months.
Whether you wear them daily or save them for the weekend, jeans are one of the most important investments you’ll make. A versatile addition to any wardrobe, it’s likely you’ll wear them more than anything else you own. Which is why it pays to get the fit just right.
While there’s a lot to digest, my lowdown on the best athletic fit jeans should give you plenty of optimism about finding your next pair. The fun can now start by picking the winners that you want to add to your collection.
If you’re still struggling to make up your mind, opt for something timeless that can not only be worn casually but more formally too. Levi’s 531 jeans are a sensible and stylish choice that’ll be your go-to for many seasons to come.
Athletic fit is a type of jeans designed for anyone who has muscular or rounded thighs and calves. They provide a flattering shape that has extra room above the knee, while still maintaining a slim shape towards the ankle.
Regular fit jeans are the standard shape for most men that don’t want denim to be too tight or loose. The exact fit varies from brand to brand, but generally speaking, they are cut regularly around the back, with a bit of wiggle room in the crotch and legs. In comparison, athletic fit jeans are designed for guys with bigger legs. They’re relaxed at the top and get slightly tighter at the bottom.
Athletic fit jeans have a relaxed fit above the knee but then gradually get narrower towards the ankle. This makes them ideal for guys who have big thighs and calves but still want jeans that are comfortable and stylish.