The Best Work Trousers? Our Buying Guide

The Best Work Trousers? Our Buying Guide

Having the correct safety wear at work is a must for any kind of tradesperson, and trousers are no exception. 

At Hirst Footwear, we have a great variety of different work trousers to choose from, no matter what kind of industry you work in.

What are work trousers?

Work trousers are one of the most important types of safety workwear. They are designed to provide comfort and protection whilst carrying out daily tasks, whether that's indoors or outside, especially in harsh, dark or even hazardous conditions. 

Work trousers come in various different sizes, styles, colours and fabrics to provide you with the best solution to your working environment.  

Why are work trousers important for safety?

PPE, including the likes of work trousers, is designed to protect you from injury, keeping you safe while you’re working. 

PPE trousers are important for a number of different reasons, but safety is always the number one reason. Different types of work trousers are available and each one offers different levels of protection depending on your needs. 

What are the different types of work trousers?

Work trousers are split into different categories based on their materials and the job they do in specific environments. Listed below are the different types of work trousers. 

  • Standard work trousers - Standard trousers are durable and suited to a wide number of jobs. They are a great multi-purpose option and are most commonly available in straight leg designs.

  • Work shorts - These are just like work trousers, except they are more commonly used in warmer conditions. It’s always important to remember the risks when wearing work shorts, and you should consider if they comply with workplace regulations.

  • Hi-Vis trousers - Hi-Vis trousers are well-suited if you work in high-risk environments and need to be seen at all times. They are also designed to protect against wind and rain.

  • Padded trousers - Padded or reinforced trousers feature dedicated pouches for knee pads. This helps to provide protection and comfort when kneeling, which makes them popular with the likes of plumbers, builders, electricians and gardeners. 

  • What are the best materials for work trousers?

    Most work trousers are made from hard-wearing cotton-polyester mixes. This is because the material offers protection against injury for sharp objects, whilst also providing breathability and comfort. 

    Other types of trousers, like Hi-Vis, are classed as PPE and are usually made from cotton or polyester with reflective detailing for visibility. 

    What to consider when buying work trousers

    When you’re buying work trousers, there are a few important considerations you will need to bear in mind in order to get the right pair for your needs. 

    Your work and its requirements 

    Try not to take a general approach when you’re buying work trousers. Instead, think about the specifics of your job, the environments you work in and the type of work you do. 

    For example, if you are a domestic plumber, you may need to think about getting a pair of work trousers with spaces for knee pads to help prevent you from causing damage to your knees. 

    The fit of the trousers

    Although your trousers need to fit, by this, we don’t mean the waist size. Consider what style of trousers would be best for you and whether they need to be slimline or loose. This really comes down to personal preference but you should consider how much movement you need from your trousers. 


    You need to consider what you actually do at work. Do you need a tool belt? Or extra pockets? These small differences will make the difference between good and great work trousers that are functional and keep you safe. 

    Popular work trouser brands

    Some of the most popular workwear brands include:

    Our top work trouser picks

    The Apache Industrial Workwear Holster Pocket Low Rise Shorts Grey/Black APKHT are a low rise pair of shorts that are reinforced to support you, whilst also allowing you to have full freedom of movement. 

    The lightweight 255g ripstop poly cotton keeps your thighs safe, while the triple stitched leg seam ensures these shorts last as long as you need them to. They also come with utility pockets on both legs, tool webbing on the right holster and tuck-away holster pockets.

    The Dewalt Workwear Harrison Regular Fit Stretch Black/Grey Work Trousers DWC148-001 are a stretchy pair of work trousers that come in a slim fit design with cordura reinforced knee pads and lower hems for extra durability. 

    These trousers also come with nail and tool pockets, knee pad pockets, articulated stitch pockets and cordura fabric. Check out our full guide on DeWalt workwear!

    The Helly Hansen Sheffield Work Pants are a great pair of work trousers, designed for strength, comfort and durability. The Sheffield work pants are a hard wearing pair of trousers that are great value for money. They come with internal knee pad pockets, as well as craftsman pockets which allow you to access your equipment with ease. 

    These trousers are available in three different colours and they conform to EN ISO 15797 standards. They also have a fold at the bottom which gives the option to extend the leg length by 5cm. 

    We have our own dedicated guide to Helly Hansan workwear too!

    The Dewalt Thurlston Trousers Black come in a slim, modern cut that includes 3% spandex to give four way stretch. These technical work trousers are perfect for the everyday tradesperson, especially thanks to the lightweight holsters, padded phone pockets and cargo storage pockets. 

    These trousers also feature cordura knee pad pockets, which are long lasting and offer great durability. They are also machine washable, making them ideal for a range of different workers.

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