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I hated shopping for jeans until I tried these comfy denim joggers

These denim joggers take the stress out of shopping for jeans.
Vivian Le / TODAY

If you’re anything like me, shopping for jeans is a nightmare. I often leave stores empty-handed, since I regularly struggle to find a pair that is comfortable, fit my thighs and waist and is budget-friendly.

After another day of dragging my feet from dressing room to dressing room, only to end up disappointed, I decided to try my luck with a quick search on Amazon. I was hesitant at first, remembering how some past clothing purchases I'd made from the retailer hadn't worked out. And denim from Amazon? This would be a first. When I stumbled upon a pair of distressed options made by Sidefeel, I thought I had finally found my perfect pair of jeans.

Well, I didn't. I had found something even better. A pair that helped me get the best of both worlds in style and comfort: denim joggers.

Sidefeel Pull-On Distressed Denim Joggers

Based on my previous jean shopping experiences, I was expecting to be let down by these pants. I had heard of the "denim jogger" style before and had even seen them in stores where I regularly shop for jeans, but I never picked them up. I wish I tried them sooner because these joggers blew my expectations out of the water.

Stiff jeans are out. Cozy denim joggers are in.

When looking for jeans — and generally any pants — comfort is a big, if not the most important, factor. I'm always looking for denim that looks presentable for any occasion, but is also comfortable enough for me to lounge in. While most jeans are constricting in multiple places, more specifically the thighs and waist, the more relaxed style of these Sidefeel joggers offers the perfect solution. (And for under $40, they're definitely a cheaper solution as well.)

I love how these joggers give me the look of denim but not the stiff fit of a regular pair of jeans. When I first got my hands on them, they didn't feel as soft as I had hoped, but they loosened up after just one wash. I think I have the polyester fabric to thank, which I prefer to the normally tight material of my skinny jeans.

I'm also a big fan of the elastic drawstring waist. While this closure isn't a typical feature on a pair of jeans, it allows for a bit more stretch and pull at the hips. I tend to gravitate more towards pants that have fun details near the waist, such as drawstrings or multiple buttons, since I feel they add a bit of flair to an otherwise simple outfit. It's also a nice touch when French tucking a blouse or nice tee.

Woman sitting down outside in the sun
Vivian Le / TODAY

After reading a few reviews, some shoppers mentioned how the pants felt loose in the waist area. While I didn't share that issue, I do wish I had sized down from a small to an extra small due to the pant length. As a petite, 5'0'' individual, it's hard to find denim that I don't have to cuff at the ankles (or else they drag on the floor), so I was a little frustrated that I had to do it with these joggers. However, I found that folding the bottoms above my ankles didn’t negatively alter the look of the pants, and admittedly, it actually enhanced the look.

You can dress them up and down

A big bonus with these joggers is how easy they are to dress up and down, from matching with a sweater vest or blazer for an event or a T-shirt and sneakers for running errands. I recently wore them on an all-day outing with friends that involved an afternoon museum visit followed by dinner at a bar and grill. I paired my joggers with a cropped leopard-print tank top and Birkenstock sandals to create the perfect casual look. When I get the opportunity to dress them up, I can see myself pairing them with an oversized blazer and a block heel.

I was worried that the distressed tears at the knee would appear too casual and limit where I could wear them. However, I think they look pretty stylish and actually quite modest. In fact, when my legs are fully extended, the holes don't show much skin at all. While other skinny jeans I own have more obvious rips, these details on the joggers are so subtle that I could probably get away with wearing them at the office on more casual days.

These pants will also make for an ideal transition piece from summer to fall. While the material is much more lightweight when compared to regular denim, it's also heavier than expected, which will make them great to wear on chillier days. This light wash will carry me through the rest of the season until autumn begs for a darker denim. With over 15 different shades to choose from, the only problem I imagine having is picking one to wear with my favorite chunky sweaters and Chelsea boots. (Though, I'm leaning towards Black-209 to add a bit of variety to my wardrobe.)

I was pleasantly surprised by both the quality and look of these bottoms — and compared to my current jeans collection, the comfort factor is next level. So, if you also struggle in the jean shopping department, I may have found a solution to put an end to your denim dilemma.