Last updated: August 12, 2021

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Welcome to our big breeches test 2021. Here we present all the breeches we have tested in detail. We have compiled detailed background information and added a summary of customer reviews on the internet.

We would like to make your purchase decision easier and help you find the best breeches for you. You will also find answers to frequently asked questions in our guide. Furthermore, you will also find some important information on this page that you should be aware of when buying breeches.




Summary

  • Breeches offer the rider the best support in any saddle. This is important if you are already a bit advanced and let your horse gallop.
  • Additional advantages are the dirt resistance of the breeches and the flexible wearing comfort. In addition, the tight-fitting fabric prevents creases and pressure points.
  • We distinguish between three types of breeches, which can also be differentiated by their trim.

The Best Breeches: Our Picks

Guide: Questions you should ask yourself before buying jodhpurs

When are jodhpurs the right choice?

The biggest advantage of riding breeches is that you have a good hold in the saddle, they fit very tightly and therefore there are no chafing folds or pressure points. Wearing breeches is therefore recommended right from your first riding lesson and from then on whenever you sit on the horse.

They help the rider to sit more calmly and deeper in the saddle and thus to follow the horse's movement better. Breeches are also very practical when grooming the horse or working in the stable, as they are dirt-resistant and breathable.

Which trousers are suitable for which occasion?

In any case, take a look at the types in the "Decision" block below. All three types of trousers have specific uses and are not suitable for all types of riding. Thanks to their elastic material and skin-tight cut,breeches are ideal for show jumping and competition riding.

Breeches, on the other hand, are more optimal for hunting riding as a garment, as they are cut wider at the thighs and ensure a comfortable feel with a secure fit in the saddle.

Did you know that breeches come from India? They were created after the style of Indian churidar trousers. These trousers were particularly loose fitting around the hips and tight around the calves. Trousers of this style are still worn at weddings in Jodhpur and surrounding areas.

Jodhpurs, which are also represented in the fashion world as trouser styles, have a similar cut to breeches and are more commonly worn for recreational riding and other sporting activities, such as polo or lacrosse.

How should a pair of trousers fit? Tight or wide on the body?

One of the most important criteria when buying breeches is to pay attention to how wide the breeches need to be. Comfort must be a priority. Because trousers that are too tight are not only uncomfortable to wear in the long run, but also have a negative effect on posture and body tension.

We strongly advise you to try on the trousers in the shop beforehand and make sure that they fit comfortably. It must always be considered that the trousers have to be worn occasionally over a longer period of time.

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Jodhpur trousers are suitable if you do not want to wear boots.

What are the different trimmings?

Another feature that distinguishes breeches is the seat, i.e. the part of the trousers that is in contact with the saddle. This differs in size and material.

You can choose between full and partial seat. Both are available either with leather or with anti-slip grip material. The partial seat is leather that is attached to the knee areas and thus prevents the knees from slipping on the saddle flap. Full seat provides a better hold in the saddle than partial seat, but is also correspondingly more expensive. In recent years, grip breeches have become a permanent feature on the market.

Here, silicone grip replaces the leather trim. The grip gives you even more support and the breeches are more comfortable overall. However, the price is also significantly higher.

Seat of the breeches Description (advantages and disadvantages)
No seat The breeches have no seat on the knees or seat. This allows for optimal freedom of movement. However, the support is not so good and beginners in particular slip back and forth a lot in the saddle.
Knee patches Only the knees have patches. Although the rider holds a little more than when there is no facing, the lack of facing on the buttocks can lead to an unsteady seat. Knee patches are therefore also not suitable for beginners.
Three-quarter seat The seat of the breeches only goes from the buttocks to about halfway down the lower leg. This makes it easier for the rider to stay in the saddle. If boots or chaps are worn, the legs are also positioned more consistently on the horse. However, if only ankle boots are worn, it can lead to an unsteady leg because part of the lower leg has no trim.
Full seat In full seat breeches, the seat goes from the buttocks to the ankle. This means that the rider does not slip either in the saddle or during thigh aids. It is also not necessary to wear boots or chaps. Depending on the material, however, the rider is somewhat too "fixed" in the saddle, so that his freedom of movement may be restricted.

Breeches without seat - is that even possible?

Some riders swear by breeches without a seat because you can move absolutely freely and unrestrictedly in the saddle and thus react particularly flexibly. Most riders, however, appreciate good breeches and do not want to miss them.

For advanced riders, however, it should not be a problem to ride spontaneously with trimless breeches. Beginners, on the other hand, usually have enough to do with staying in the saddle and balancing the horse's momentum. For them, it is therefore highly recommended to wear breeches with good trim, as this improves the hold in the saddle and reduces the risk of slipping.

In this way, breeches can even reduce the risk of accidents and also give the rider more security.

Full, three-quarter or knee patches? What are the differences?

Basically, there are three different seat lengths: Full seat, three-quarter seat and knee seat. Each fill has its own advantages. Which fill is the right one for you depends on your individual preferences. If you prefer to move freely in the saddle, then a little bustle is probably better. For optimal support, more fill is preferable.

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Breeches provide a good hold in the saddle and prevent the rider from slipping. (Photo: Laila Klinsmann / pexels.com)

In full seat breeches, the seat is found on the entire surface that lies against the horse: from the buttocks to the ankles. This means that these breeches offer very good support on the saddle and also on the horse's belly.

This means that it is not absolutely necessary to wear boots or chaps over the jodhpurs, as the full seat means that the leg rests comfortably against the horse and cannot slip off.

Three-quarter seat breeches are often mistakenly called full seat breeches. However, in this version the seat does not go to the ankles, but only to the middle of the lower leg. The breeches thus offer just as much support in the saddle and at the knees as full seat breeches.

It is only at the leg that the rider notices that it is more difficult to hold it steady and give correct aids without the trim. For riders who always wear boots or chaps, however, this model is optimal.

For good support in the saddle, breeches with full or three-quarter seat are most suitable. Knee breeches cannot prevent slipping in the saddle and are therefore unsuitable for beginners and insecure riders.

Knee breeches - as the name suggests - only have a piece of trim on the knee. This allows the knees to rest well against the saddle.

However, the missing seat on the buttocks is very noticeable when riding, because the breeches slip in the saddle. This is why knee breeches, like breeches without seat, are not ideal for beginners.

What materials are classic breeches made of?

Trimmings on breeches are either made of leather, imitation leather or fabric. The differences between these materials are mainly in terms of gliding properties, breathability and price. Leather breeches offer very good support and are usually also breathable.

Since leather is very robust, it can last a very long time if well cared for. In addition, the material convinces with its good adaptability to the body, so that the trousers usually fit like a second skin.

However, leather is the most expensive and high-maintenance material for riding breeches. If you want the non-slip properties of leather and thus the optimum hold in the saddle, but are looking for a less expensive pair of breeches, you can also opt for imitation leather.

This is also much easier to care for and can be put in the washing machine without any problems.

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Breeches with leather trim require particularly intensive care, then they can last a very long time. (Photo: JamesDeMers / pixabay.com)

However, the material is hardly breathable and not as robust as leather. Fabric trimmings are characterised above all by their great wearing comfort and breathability. As a result, you usually don't sweat as much - but that also depends on the type of fabric.

Synthetic materials are very elastic and thus adapt perfectly to the rider's movements. The disadvantage of fabric trim is that the trousers slip in the saddle and thus do not offer good support.

Grip trim: What are the advantages and disadvantages?

In addition to leather, synthetic and pure fabric trimmings, another type of trimming has become popular for riding breeches: the grip trimming. This is usually made of silicone and polyurethane and is applied to the fabric of the breeches.

Unlike the conventional trim for breeches, the grip trim is not continuous, but is distributed in different patterns on the breeches fabric. Therefore, it is considered particularly chic and is especially appreciated for its beautiful design. In addition, the grip trim offers a particularly good hold.

Some riders even feel as if they are "sticking" in the saddle. This can bring many advantages, such as a particularly calm and secure seat. However, flexibility and mobility in the saddle is also important when jumping, cross-country or with skittish horses.

Grip breeches offer very good support. However, each rider should test individually whether he or she can ride well with this grip and has sufficient control.

Various tests have shown that the grip wears off much faster than, for example, breeches with synthetic leather trim. This is mainly due to the larger contact surface of the grip, which causes it to wear out more quickly.

If the jodhpurs are used intensively, a grip trim is not the best solution because it does not last as long. In addition, breeches trim is not suitable for riding without a saddle.

How much do breeches cost?

Breeches come in all price categories. Both low-priced, poor-quality breeches and expensive top-of-the-range products made of high-quality materials are offered on the market in a wide range of products.

However, we are of the opinion that the prices are, on the whole, very well justifiable in relation to the quality and workmanship.

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Breeches come in different price ranges, from cheap and poor quality to expensive and top of the range. (Photo: Cedroc / pixabay.com)

Prices range from 50 to 300 euros. In most cases, the price depends on the workmanship and the material of the trousers. Trousers made of fine fabrics and with "grip" are usually more expensive than trousers with a high proportion of elastane.

Cheaper entry-level models are available from 30 euros upwards. These are particularly suitable for first attempts at riding or if they are only worn occasionally. Such models often have only partial trimming. On average, you can get a high quality and comfortable pair of breeches for 100 Euros or more, which can last for many years.

At this price, you should opt for breeches with full seat and look for a soft leather seat. If you ride often and value extra support and a good fit, then breeches with grip are the right choice. These are priced at 100 euros and more.

The material and the number of pockets are important features that influence the price.

Decision: What types of breeches are there and which one is right for you?

Basically, breeches are available in three different cuts:

  • Breeches
  • Breeches
  • Jodhpurs

All of these cut forms of breeches are designed for different riding styles and are therefore trimmed differently according to their intended use. Every sport places different demands on the athlete, which also applies to the clothing.

Accordingly, there are special garments to be optimally protected and equipped when performing the sport. This is also the case with trousers in equestrian sports. However, it must be remembered that not every pair of breeches can be used for every type of ride and are available on the market in a wide variety of cuts.

In order to know how you should dress for the practice of the sport so that you are not impaired when performing a certain type of riding, we present you with a clear overview of the individual cut forms.

This way, whether you are an inexperienced beginner or an "experienced horse whisperer", you will have an exact picture of which cut shapes to look for in order to avoid complications in your choice and ultimately buy the right clothing.

What are breeches and for what occasion are they worn?

Especially for competition, dressage or show jumping, it is hard to imagine riding without these trousers. Due to a very tight cut, a flexible range of movement is possible and a stable seat in the saddle is guaranteed.

Like leggings, breeches fit close to the leg and are made of very elastic fabrics. They are designed for show jumping and dressage, but also for classical competition riding, because the high durability and elasticity of the trousers' fabric favours the rider's movements and stability.

On the other hand, the breeches are also a fashionable eye-catcher if, for example, photos are taken by the press at horse shows.

Advantages
  • Optimal for competition and show jumping
  • Highly comfortable with good protection
  • Full range of movement guaranteed
Disadvantages
  • Can only be worn seasonally due to the fabric
  • Usually expensive to purchase
  • Very accurate selection required

As knee-high riding boots are worn over the trousers, there are Velcro fasteners at the end of the legs for easy putting on and taking off, which can be individually adjusted according to the leg circumference.

However, great attention must be paid to the quality and workmanship of the trousers. Comfort is therefore of secondary importance, as the trousers occasionally have to be worn for a longer period of time.

What are the characteristics of breeches and what are they used for?

Breeches are mainly used for hunting, such as fox hunting and pack hunting with hounds, due to their wide cut at the waist. The main focus of these breeches is on comfort.

In addition, the trousers were already considered a garment of the military at that time. Their development goes back to the 16th century and previously served as undergarments for men and women.

The breeches developed from the knee breeches, which at that time were mainly worn as a garment of the uniform of mountain hunters.

Advantages
  • Perfect trousers for hunting riding
  • Very comfortable and functional
  • Can be worn all year round
Disadvantages
  • Not suitable for show jumping or competition riding
  • Little flexibility of movement
  • Precise selection required

Wide cut at the thighs, the breeches run close to the leg from the knees upwards. Mainly used for hunting, these breeches are designed for high comfort and functionality.

However, they are less suitable for competition and show jumping, as only a limited range of movement is possible.

What are the characteristics of a Jodhpur and what are they worn for?

Jodhpurs are very similar in cut to breeches and are mainly worn for leisure riding, such as cross-country or gaited horse riding. A very wide cut at the hips and thighs ensures a very high level of comfort.

Originating in the 20th century from Indian breeches, the trousers were then adopted by the British stationed in Jodhpur as the ideal trousers for polo.

Due to a very high level of comfort, the trousers are predominantly worn for leisure and are even represented by their cut in the fashion industry.

Advantages
  • Very good trousers for leisure riding or sports
  • Very comfortable and gentle on the body
  • Can be worn all year round
Disadvantages
  • Not suitable for show jumping or competition riding
  • May be uncomfortable to wear in summer
  • Assuming high quality

Like the breeches, these trousers have a very wide cut at the thighs and are very narrow from the knees to the ankles. Unlike the breeches, the jodhpurs are cut wider at the ankles and have a bar at the feet so that they can be slipped over the shafts of the boots and prevent them from riding up.

In addition, the trousers are reinforced on the inside so that a comfortable fit in the saddle is guaranteed. It is hard to imagine leisure riding without these trousers.

Buying criteria: Use these factors to compare and evaluate breeches

In the following, we would like to show you which factors you can use to compare and evaluate breeches. This will make it easier for you to decide whether a particular product is suitable for you or not. In summary, these are:

  • Material
  • Decision according to the type of riding
  • Workmanship / Quality
  • Design
  • Type of trimming
  • Ease of care

In the following paragraphs you can read about the individual purchase criteria and how you can classify them.

Material

As mentioned above, breeches are made from a wide variety of materials. The durability, quality and price of the breeches depend on the material. The more expensive the trousers are, the higher the quality and durability of the material used.

You need to be aware of whether the trousers are only needed for a short time or for a longer period. Cheap and inexpensive trousers are made of an extremely high proportion of cotton with a small proportion of elastane. In this case, the longevity is only short-lived, as the durability of the fabric wears off after a certain time. This means that the workmanship and quality also deteriorate.

In addition to a certain proportion of cotton and elastane, inexpensive, expensive trousers also consist of an optimal proportion of polyamide.

This makes the trousers more durable, so that the durability and elasticity of the trousers are still given after two seasons. The quality and workmanship usually only decrease after a long time.

The more you invest, the better the durability and quality of the trousers. We advise you to dig a little deeper into your pocket and invest more for the clothing.

Deciding according to the type of riding

Depending on the type of riding you do, a particular pair of trousers will be suitable for your hobby. As already mentioned in the "Decision" section, there are three different cuts of trousers that are suitable for different types of riding due to their individual comfort.

So you need to know roughly whether you need trousers for competition and show jumping, or for cross-country riding, for example. For cross-country, dressage and show jumping, we recommend breeches. These fit close to the body and thus promote optimal movement, a firm seat in the saddle, but also stability in the posture.

If you are looking for a pair of breeches for hunting, for example for hunting foxes or stalking with your horse, we recommend you buy a breeches. These sit comfortably on the leg and promote a stable seat in the saddle thanks to the trim on the buttocks and crotch.

We recommend jodhpurs if you are a recreational rider and plan to ride cross-country. Similar in cut to the breeches, the trousers are very comfortable to wear. But the trousers are also recommended for playing polo and lacrosse.

Riding style Breeches
Competition, dressage or show jumping Breeches
Hunting Breeches
Leisure and cross-country riding Jodhpurs

Workmanship / Quality

Another important criterion you should consider when buying a pair of breeches is the workmanship and quality of the breeches. The trousers must fit comfortably and be optimally made to ensure long-term comfort and a pleasant feeling when worn.

Remember that the higher the quality of the product, the longer it will last in most cases. High-quality products are usually more expensive to buy because they are very well made and have special materials. In contrast to cheaper products, these make the fabric more durable and increase the longevity of the product many times over.

In addition, the material of the trim also determines how well the hold on the saddle can be guaranteed and has a certain effect on the longevity of the product.

Did you know that women started wearing breeches in the 1920s? The women's seat gradually went out of fashion and with the blending of traditional adult dress norms, more and more women were wearing trousers. One of the first and most famous wearers of breeches was Coco Chanel.

Inexpensive breeches tend to be poorer in workmanship and thus show clear flaws in quality.

The products are more uncomfortable to wear, as the seams are often poorly finished and the fabric lacks durability. We recommend that you only use the low-priced version for seasonal purposes.

Design

Whether plain, mixed or printed, the range of designs for breeches is now wide. Nevertheless, the plain, simple and therefore elegant looking models are preferred. These trousers are indispensable for performances in front of the public and for professionals.

Coordinate the colour of the breeches with that of the horse to achieve an even more beautiful overall look.

Embroidery, rhinestones and sequins provide small highlights. Here, too, the workmanship is very important, otherwise the patterns will look anything but beautiful after the first few washes.

Therefore, only high-quality brands are recommended if you want embellished breeches. Small pockets and back pockets are also very practical. This gives you room for treats or even a handkerchief.

Type of trim

The seat of the breeches also plays an important role in stability and mobility on the saddle. A distinction is made between full seat and knee patches, which are either made of rubber ("grip") or leather.

Here it is up to you to decide where your preference lies. Leather trimmings are poorly suited for dressage and show jumping. Due to a weak hold, not enough stability can be built up by the rider to survive a jump, for example. Leather bridles are therefore more suitable for cross-country and leisure riding.

Rubber trimmings are ideal for trousers that are mainly worn for competitions, dressage or show jumping. Due to the rough surface of the rubber, the rider literally "sticks" to the saddle and can pass jumps and obstacles without hesitation. A better stability can be built up than with leather trimmings.

Ease of care

Riders know this: after wearing the trousers several times, they have to be washed and cared for because of strong smells and dirt deposits, so that the rider can still benefit from the trousers after years.

However, you have to bear in mind that the trousers have to be cared for differently due to their trimmings.

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Breeches need to be washed and cared for regularly. (Photo: Matthias Zomer / pexels.com)

Riding trousers with genuine leather applications should be creamed with a moisturising lotion after each wash before drying. This can guarantee that the trousers will remain durable for years and that the genuine leather trim will not become porous and break.

However, if you are reluctant to rub lotion into your breeches after every wash, you may be better off choosing breeches with gel, fabric or synthetic leather trim.

Facts worth knowing about riding breeches

How should riding breeches be washed?

Normally, breeches should be washed inside out in the washing machine with normal household detergents at 30 degrees Celsius. However, fabric softener should never be used to wash the breeches, as otherwise the elastic fabrics and trimmings can quickly lose their quality and become damaged.

Breeches must not shrink when washed, but also the legs must not twist, otherwise the cut and fit will change.

How can you recognise high quality breeches?

Firstly, they can be recognised by their excellent workmanship. This is noticeable by a pleasant wearing comfort without disturbing seams, a perfect cut and a first-class material that has been processed. High-quality trousers are usually found in the high price segment and are expensive to buy.

However, these products are associated with a long durability, so that these trousers can be used for several years with good care and can also be sewn back together again in case of doubt.

What does "seat" mean in relation to breeches and how important is it?

The seat is a kind of "seat protector" which is attached to the breeches. A distinction is made between a full seat (from the seat to the shins) and a partial seat (only at the knee level).

The seat is used to provide more stability and support in the saddle when jumping or when riding at higher speeds. It also protects the buttocks and sensitive joints from shocks. When buying a pair of breeches, it is important to know which trim you want, as these come in different materials and sizes.

On the other hand, it is also a matter of experience with which trimmings you get along better when riding. However, it has to be said that leather trimmings are usually expensive to buy and also require more care than the usual trimmings made of fabric or rubber.

Should I go for expensive brands or can the breeches also be cheap and inexpensive?

In general, we recommend that you look at the more expensive models. For one thing, these products last a long time, feature superior workmanship and have durable, long-lasting material.

However, it is still up to you to decide how much you want to spend on a pair of breeches. If you want to buy a pair of breeches for a short period of time, we can also advise you to buy an inexpensive version, but experience has shown that the quality is inferior.

Image source: pixabay.de / skeeze

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