Since the Shift Racing Torque Jeans have made it into my gear bag, they’re the first pair of pants I reach for when it’s time to ride.
We go through riding pants around here like lizards shed skin. Most of the pairs we test make it into rotation long enough for a few intros worth of riding before getting shuffled out for the next stylish pair. But the Shift Racing Torque Jeans have bucked this quick turnover trend, as I just can’t quite bring myself to retire them from my gear bag.
You’ve got to love when manufacturers start using the same stuff they use to make bullet-proof vests in motorcycle gear. It’s not to say that the Kevlar-reinforced Shift Racing Torque Jeans are going to give you a Superman-style sense of invincibility, but it’s reassuring knowing that your gear is going to hold up when you need it.
Though we don’t normally like to crash test products, I can vouch first-hand for the Torque Jeans durability. During a 40 mph get-off and the ensuing head-over-heel tumbles through a rock-strewn ditch, the jeans came away with no rips or tears. I took a healthy chunk out of the inside of my right knee in the exact spot where the leather reinforcement is placed, but the patch was unscathed and the pants showed no signs of distress. Best of all, the caked-on blood washed out easily and didn’t stain the dark blue denim.
The jeans fit as prescribed. A 36 waist is a 36 waist. But they do run a bit long, and most of the time I’m walking on the reinforced leather strip at the bottom of each pant leg. If I wear my boots, it’s not as noticeable, but when I wear my flat-soled Shift Fuel Street Shoes I’m stepping all over them.
The styling of the button-fly denim jeans features rugged deep blue denim with swathes of stretchy black panels in the crotch and backside with a few strategically-placed leather patches thrown in for good measure. The vertical stitching that runs the length of the pants and the worn-in look are spot-on with the latest fashion trends, and the pants look good enough to come straight off the bike and into your favorite restaurant or bar. They fit well in the waist and snug in the legs without being constricting. The stretchy rib panels mean that regardless of riding position you’ve got room to shift around without the pants bunching up on you. Initially the Torque Jeans are a little scratchy in the reinforced knees, but soften up after a couple of washes.
I know what you’re thinking, but this isn’t the bike that I wrecked on. My pants, on the other hand, are the Shift Racing Torque Jeans that came through with flying colors when I did go down.
Though the jeans aren’t excessively thick, they provide plenty of protection from cool morning wind. But the ‘Dark Stone’ blue does absorb heat and the solid stitching and Kevlar-reinforcements mean that they don’t breathe well when it’s hot. On a recent road trip where the temps hit triple digits, my legs got a little toasty in the Torque Jeans. But I think any pair of pants would have felt hot in the oppressive summer sun that day, and they are available in a more summer-friendly light-reflecting ‘Rinse’ blue.
For just under a C-note, Shift Racing’s Torque Jeans are a sweet deal. They are built to last, fit like a good pair of jeans should, and have hip styling. When the jeans came away from my crash unscathed, that sealed the deal for me. If only my knee would have been so lucky.
Buy it Now: Shift Racing Torque Jeans