Oxford Original Approved AA Super Stretch Jeans review | Fitted look, maximum mobility, AA safety rating

Oxford Original Approved AA Super Stretch jeans tried and tested
Oxford Original Approved AA Super Stretch jeans tried and tested
7

Imagine my delight when I heard the skin-tight skinny jeans from my emo phase (it wasn’t a phase) had become fashionable again. In those days I was particularly fond of jeans that were more elastic than denim, to eliminate bagginess, while leaving enough room to actually move your legs.

The fabric in these Oxford Original Approved AA Super Stretch Jeans features a similar level of flexibility, to get the look you want without the associated mobility issues, and also retain an AA abrasion rating.

Tested by Adam Binnie for five months and 1,500 miles

Pros

  • Super flexible fabric to aid freedom of movement
  • Very comfortable on and off the bike
  • Middling AA abrasion rating is a good compromise

Cons

  • Not particularly weatherproof
  • Comfort
    5.0
  • Practicality
    3.0
  • Looks
    4.0
  • Quality
    5.0
  • Protection
    3.0
  • Value
    4.0
  • Overall
    4.0
Construction Armourlite
Type Denim riding jeans
CE rating garment AA
Armour CE-Level 1 hip and Level 2 knee
  • Level one hip and two knee armour
  • Stretch fabric
  • Single layer construction

Let’s be clear – the fit is slim rather than sprayed-on, but generally speaking when it comes to riding jeans you have to pick two features from the skinny/protective/comfortable list. So I was intrigued to see how these stacked up.

Are they comfortable?

The name Super Stretch in this instance is not an exaggeration – these are some of the comfiest jeans I own, and that’s including pairs not designed for riding. If you took the armour out, you could genuinely wear these on non-riding days like normal trousers.

Partly that’s down to their single layer construction, which not only removes bulky material from around your legs but also makes them cooler and more breathable. And the denim itself is incredibly flexible, giving me a freedom of movement that initially felt a bit unusual on the bike.

If you’re looking for riding jeans that work just as well on a commute as the office, then these are absolutely ideal. I’ve spent hours sat in meetings or behind a screen with no issues whatsoever – no restricted movement, no overheating, and the knee armour is equally bendy so it doesn’t get in the way.

Oxford Original Approved AA Super Stretch Jeans safety rating

On the flip side that does mean they offer less of a barrier from the cold when you’re riding. I’ve got pairs of multi-layer jeans that are nearly as warm as waterproof textile trousers, but these by their very nature let a lot more wind (and rain if you get caught) through.

That said, I have been wearing these since August 2023, including some chillier bike nights in October and November, and you can definitely boost their cold-weather performance with a decent set of base layers.

Fit-wise they’re pretty much on the money, if a bit generous on the sizing. I’ve got a pair of 34s and that’s a smaller waist than I’d usually wear, and they’re far from tight. Worth trying on a couple of sizes, I’d say.

Are they practical?

As mentioned, these jeans are comfy enough to wear all day so that’s already a huge tick in this box, because you won’t need to bring a spare pair of trousers to change into.

They’re a standard five-pocket design and all of those pockets are quite large. They’re also easy to access even when sat down because the material is so stretchy.

Oxford Original Approved AA Super Stretch Jeans riding

That in turn also makes getting them on and off very simple, although I do have to be careful not to get my foot caught in the knee armour pocket when putting them on. That problem is far from unique to these jeans though.

The hip armour is the only thing I’d hesitate about in this context – it’s very large (easily bigger than my hand) and sticks out an inch or so. I quite like the extra protection but if you want a stealthier look then you might want to replace these with a slimmer pad.

How do the Oxford Original Approved AA Super Stretch Jeans look? 

That aside though, these look just like normal jeans. They don’t have any accordion panels (because they’re stretchy enough already) which is often a giveaway that you’re wearing bike jeans.

Sometimes kneepads have ridges or grooves that become very visible when you bend your leg and the denim is pulled tight across them, but the Oxford pads are smooth, making the armour virtually unnoticeable too.

The only difference really is a horizontal line of stitching just above each knee that wouldn’t be present in an ordinary pair of jeans. Otherwise they’re extremely stealthy.

Because the fabric is so flexible you can get these slim cut jeans under or over a pair of tall sports bike boots. You do end up with a bit of a “shrink-wrapped” look if you stretch them over particularly bulky footwear, however.

What about quality?

Oxford Original Approved AA Super Stretch Jeans pockets

Despite the flex in the fabric these jeans feel really sturdy – the belt loops have multiple fixture points, the pocket corners are reinforced with metal studs, and the YKK zip feels like you could swing off it.

I also really like the map-effect material on the pocket linings, which is a nice addition given you only see it when you’ve taken the jeans off. The inside lining also feels soft and quite luxurious without a base layer on – not always the case.

What protection do the Oxford Original Approved AA Super Stretch Jeans offer? 

These jeans use a mix of cotton and Armourlite (a polyamide fibre used for parachute cord) just like Oxford’s AAA-rated jeans – but with a greater emphasis on flexibility and a lower AA abrasion rating.

This honestly feels like a very fair trade, these jeans are significantly stretchier and more comfortable than my pairs of AAA denim and I find it easier to move around on and off the bike as a result.

The Level 2 knee protectors are just as flexible and wrap a decent way around the inside of the leg, making it more comfortable to grip onto the tank, particularly on a long ride. The hip protectors are level one and as mentioned earlier you might find it more comfortable to upgrade these to Oxford’s own Dynamic Level 2 set.

Oxford Original Approved AA Super Stretch Jeans armour

Neither the hip nor knee armour is adjustable – not unusual in the case of the former but a little disappointing for the latter. I’d like to be able to raise them up half an inch to ensure they stay in the right place when I’m walking around. As it is I’ve made do with a set of braces to keep everything in the right place when sat down or stood up.

Thankfully I’ve not crashed in these but overall they inspire confidence – I do have to remind myself that they are motorbike jeans from time to time though, because the fabric does feel quite thin and stretchy compared to my normal gear.

Are they good value? 

At £129.99 these jeans are priced quite keenly – not at the cheap end of the scale but not as expensive as Oxford’s own AAA denim. You get a lot for your money, given the level two knee protectors, single layer construction, and inherent comfort.

This puts them up against the ever-popular (and often discounted) RST Tech Pro jeans, as well as Bull-it’s Covert Evo. You’ll have to stretch the budget a bit to get into a pair of Ben Clarke’s favourite Roadskin Taranis Elite jeans, but these are also AAA-rated, bear in mind.

Verdict 

There’s a huge and bewildering amount of choice now when it comes to motorcycle jeans, which on the one hand is a good thing, but it does mean a lot of shopping around to find the right pair for you.

These Oxford Original Approved AA Super Stretch Jeans will suit riders who want a slim, stealthy look that is comfortable to wear all day on or off the bike. They’re great value for money too – especially considering the fact they double up as ordinary jeans once you remove the armour.

Oxford (and others) have plenty of higher-abrasion rated denim options if that’s a priority for you, but as a Goldilocks offering between flexibility and protection, these Super Stretch jeans are a great innovation.

- Just so you know, whilst we may receive a commission or other compensation from the links on this page, we never allow this to influence product selections - read why you should trust us.