Shoes and hardware are the most important pieces of equipment for skateboarding. However, the importance of jeans and chino pants are often forgotten for they attribute a huge influence to skateboarding as well. Some skaters prefer tighter jeans to have a full visible field of the deck, while others prefer pants that are wider for maximum flexibility. Everyone has personal preferences but durable jeans and comfortable chino pants have been the staples of skateboarding fashion for over two decades.
Thus, before there were skateboarding clothing brands, Levis jeans were the undeniable choice for skaters. Their styles were relevant to skateboarding culture and the jeans proved to be extremely durable and would remain intact despite the wear and tear from skating. Realizing this, it was a no-brainer for Levi’s to branch into the skateboarding scene and build a line of jeans specifically adapted for skateboarding. Thus, they took classical styles like the 513 or 511 and reinforced/redesigned them for skateboarding with a special focus on durability and comfort. Apart from redesigning their clothing line, Levis has also decided to thank the skateboarding culture and give something back through charitable work. Their marketing strategies differ from many other brands and can be described as extremely innovative and especially developing. Their focus lies on progressing skateboarding by building skateparks in countries and cities that lack the skateboarding culture or community infrastructure to build skateparks; both of which are the heart of a skate community. As a result, Levis supported the building of skateparks in India and Bolivia – both countries far from skateboard meccas. To see if their new products were as effective as their marketing, our Weartested crew tried the recent Levis skateboarding collection and checked how the jeans and chinos were improved for skateboarding.
How are the pants adapted to skateboarding?
Levis heavily incorporated two fabrics into their skateboarding collection. The first one of which is called Cordura, which successfully mimics the feeling of a classic jean fabric but has better abrasion resistance characteristics. The second one is called Lycra. This fabric offers more flexibility while retaining its strength and also has better breathability.
Compared to regular Levis pants, the skateboard collection jeans have extra stitches to reinforce the most stressed area, which is usually between the legs. To make the jeans even more durable, they double layered the back pockets and as a result, there is no back pocket inside. This feature increases the durability because as soon as one layer of the back pocket has a hole, there is another layer that can sustain additional wear and tear. As a little hidden gem, Levis also included a stash pocket in every pair of pants.
A critical point to address however, are the metal buttons that support the seams of the front pockets. These buttons are usually responsible for bruises when skaters fall on their sides, but since they’re also characteristic of jeans, it will be hard to find a pair of jeans without them.
All in all, Levis improved their jeans and chinos with some beneficial features to make them better for skateboarding. Their focus lies on durability and flexibility and both points are definitely noticeable and effective.