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One might think that jeans would’ve suffered neglect due to all the highfalutin’ Space Age materials on the market today. After all, they’re slow to dry and stretch out between washings. The knees blow out with minimal provocation. But these limitations have only strengthened my love for them. With synthetics handling the treacherous realms of frozen mountains, swollen rivers, and winding trails, my jeans can concentrate on their core business of feeling great and looking good. Whenever my buddies and I take off on a trip, the last thing we all do is stash a pair beneath the seat of the truck. After a week or so of drinking creek water, eating freeze-dried food, and wearing grimy layers of fleece, wool blends, and polypropylene, we start fantasizing about cold beer, greasy burgers, and dry denim. The denim always comes first. As soon as we drop our backpacks in the parking lot of the airstrip or trailhead, we’re stripping out of our trail-worn duds and climbing into our jeans. I think of my favorite pair as a faithful lover who stays back in civilization when I’m out in the woods. And after a joyful reunion, I take her out for a burger and a beer.
Jeans and Boots
1. Wrangler Premium Straight Fit ($20; wrangler.com)
2. Levi’s 514 Slim Straight ($70; levi.com)
3. Rockport Upper Cannon ($90; rockport.com)
4. Wolverine 1000 Mile ($325; wolverine1000mile.com)
5. Dockers Twill Iconic 5 Pocket Khakis ($55; dockers.com)
6. Børn Hemlock ($125; bornshoes.com)
7. Lee Slim Straight Leg ($42; lee.com)
8. Timberland Yéle Haiti Earthkeepers ($130; timberland.com)