Welcome to EN’s Product Review series! Who doesn’t love shopping, especially when the object of your search is new gear for yourself or your horse? As an enthusiast of all products equine, I LOVE trying out new gear. Please join me as I narrate my personal journey of trying out all of the products featured. While I will make no recommendations, I hope you have fun reading about my many adventures of trying new products, and that hearing about my personal experiences helps you on your own quest for new gear. Go Shopping.
There’s no doubt about it — I’m absolutely and completely a jeans girl. Through and through. In fact, I wear jeans pretty much every day at this point. To the office. Out shopping. For dining out. Running errands. And more recently … to the barn.
Any excuse that I can get, I pull on riding jeans or denim riding breeches. And I can guess what you might be thinking right now: Is it possible to find a pair of riding jeans that are truly comfortable when spending time in the saddle?
I’ll be the first to tell you that it is possible, because comfortable riding jeans DO exist. There are a few characteristics that I look for in a good pair of riding jeans. First (and foremost), they much be comfortable, which means nothing overly constricting from a fit or fabric perspective.
Comfortable also means that I don’t want to wear riding jeans that are the ultra low rise type. I don’t aspire to feel like my jeans are sliding down, just like I certainly don’t want to keep feeling like I have to pull them back up.
Ideally, the comfort will also extend into spending time in the saddle as well. As much as I adore jeans, they can be a wee bit awkward to wear when riding when you consider the construction. Bulky stitching in the inseam area at the top of the legs can be a source of discomfort and is something to watch out for.
So I was pretty interested to have the opportunity to try out a pair of Smooth Stride Riding Jeans. I first heard about Smooth Stride from one of my favorite “horsey” media sources, the Horses in the Morning Radio Show with Glenn “the Geek.”
When I attended the American Equestrian Trade Association (or AETA) trade show this past August, I had the opportunity to visit the Smooth Stride booth, which was a terrific opportunity to learn a bit more about Smooth Stride riding jeans.
What makes Smooth Stride riding jeans both comfortable and functional in the saddle? Start off with a stretch denim that is made in the USA and then crafted into riding jeans without an inseam. Yup, no inseam to cause discomfort in the saddle!
The riding jeans are also designed with riding in mind. The front of the jeans feature a medium rise, while the back sports a medium high rise, which helps to eliminate any unflattering gapping that can be caused when mounted.
Smooth Stride riding jeans come in three different styles, including the Real Horseback riding jeans, the Extended Knee Patch jeans, and the Full Seat jeans. I opted to try the Extended Knee Patch version, which also features a synthetic suede fabric to provide extra grip.
Figuring out my Smooth Stride size was also pretty interesting. Instead of traditional number sizes, Smooth Stride sizes are named by horse breeds, which for me, adds a little bit more fun and flair to sizing. I honestly couldn’t wait to find out what “breed” of horse I was!
When I pulled on my pair of Smooth Stride riding jeans for the first time, I paused to appreciate how comfortable they felt. The denim fabric felt like it had a slight stretch to it, which was much appreciated from my perspective.
I felt good about the fit and cut of the jeans. I know that I’m a girl with curves, and the medium rise in the front combined with the medium high rise in the back felt like they did their job. Along with a fit that was flattering to the eye, I also felt like I had adequate coverage.
Another feature that is not obvious to the eye is the waistline. For the inside of the waistline is actually lined with a soft, black colored fabric that reminds me of the Extended Knee Patch. This extra lining helps elevate the comfort of the jeans a little more.
Before setting out to ride, I always pull on my trusty pair of tall boots, and I’ve found that the bootcut style of the Smooth Stride riding jeans folds up and tucks nicely underneath my boots. I like that I can simply fold them and zip up without much extra bulk.
I also do want to point out the large pocket that is built into the front of the right leg because it is one of the features that is an absolutely “can’t do without” for me. Before I head out to ride, I simply tuck my large smartphone (made even larger by its Otterbox) into the pocket. It fits perfectly!
The biggest difference for me was felt every time I hopped up into the saddle for a ride. I have definitely noticed the lack of inseam, because it makes the fit feel nice and comfortable when I’m mounted and riding. And there is no inseam trapped between me and the saddle causing discomfort during my ride.
I’m also really happy with the fit of the waist while I’m spending time in the saddle as well. Even when I choose not to wear a belt, I like the way that the medium high rise in the back stays in place without slipping or sliding down. They also do not awkwardly gap, which is a definite plus.
I’ll also say that I’ve found that the synthetic suede extended knee patch gives me a nice amount of grip while I’m riding. I love love LOVE the way that I can easily reach down and pull my phone out of the handy pocket on the front of my leg at any time while riding.
Smooth Stride Riding Jeans are available on their website in all three styles. The Real Horseback riding jeans retail for $115, the Extended Knee Patch jeans retail for $125, and the Full Seat jeans retail for $155. You can check out all three styles at the Smooth Stride website.
Go Riding Jeans that Fit AND Flatter. Go Smooth Stride. Go Eventing.