I’ve never even considered buying padded jeans before. Mostly because I’d never seen a pair that didn’t look like padded jeans. They typically look as though the person wearing them has donned bulky knee pads or a diaper under their pants, and I’d be lying if I didn’t admit to wanting a bit more fashion in my functional attire.
Bathroom habits aside, the beauty of the Dainese Trento Slim Jeans is that they offer added protection for the rider but also appear to simply be fashionable, slim fit denim pants. After all, there are indeed times when you want to remain protected but don’t want to appear to be donning full body armour.
Available in black-rinsed or dark denim, Dainese Trento Slim Jeans retail for $249.95 with Pro-Armor inserts. The Pro-Shape hip armour sold separately is $29.95.
Wearing them numerous times over the course of a week on a variety of motorcycles, I never felt awkward or uncomfortable because of the pants, and not a single person commented on them being part of my riding gear.
They’re constructed from stretchy denim, and they hold their shape and don’t feel bulky. Thankfully I never tested the level of abrasion that they would withstand, but the localized aramid fibre reinforcement is used in protective body armour and has a very high melting point of more than 500 C. The removable Pro-Armor knee inserts were also there to absorb impact, just in case. Unlike other brands, the pads didn’t stray or shift from where they should be. Additional Pro-Shape hip armour can be purchased separately to slide into the existing internal pockets for added protection.
Pro-Armor and Pro-Shape are fancy trademarked names that refer to the polymer pads designed to disperse impact and protect from abrasion. They’re lightweight and flexible, but also breathable which was much appreciated on hot days. The jeans can be worn with the pads to casual social engagements or even to the office, depending on how chill your boss is.
Other simple but important considerations include a reflective tab on the cuff and construction that doesn’t contain rivets. Rivets! I hadn’t even considered these age-old denim fasteners previously, but now shudder when I think what they could do to my skin if they come between me and the road during a slide.
There’s an added level of confidence in wearing these over typical jeans. I didn’t ride any differently, but they did bring some extra piece of mind and never felt uncomfortable. I didn’t wear them when I wasn’t riding, but if you take out the easily removable pads, there’s no reason why you can’t.