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Shooting Trousers: A Useful Buying Guide

Posted by Bethan Bithell on Feb 01, 2023

Wearing the right gear (especially a shooting jacket and a pair of shooting trousers) when out and about in the field is vital for your comfort and safety! Buying the perfect shooting and stalking clothing is also a way to keep the gamekeeper and shoot manager happy too!

At Cherry Tree Country Clothing we understand that it can be time consuming, confusing and sometimes difficult to find that perfect pair of shooting trousers, because there are so many different fabrics, colours and brands to choose from.

hunting and shooting welliesPerhaps you like to wear a pair of wax over-trousers, or perhaps you prefer tweed breeks. Whatever your preference is, you will then need to consider whether they are fully waterproofed and breathable? So, making the right choice is really important!

This buying guide has been designed to help you choose the right shooting trousers so you are safe in the knowledge that they will help keep you comfortable and dry, wherever and whenever you are out and about at a shoot.

There are many different styles and types of shooting trousers available which are suitable for a range of different weather conditions and environments. Listed below are a collection of different styles of shooting trousers along with examples of their main features and benefits

Essential Features In a Pair of Shooting Trousers

1. Waterproof and breathable fabrics

Many of the quality brands now offer trousers that are designed to be fully waterproof and breathable. Although they can be worn as over-trousers, many of our shooting trousers are lined and can therefore be worn as normal trousers too, whilst still offering the same protection.

Whether you decide on a pair of over-trousers or lined trousers, we recommended that you choose a waterproof and breathable fabric, as you can never be sure what conditions you may faced. If you are deer stalking, you may find yourself laying low next to a tree stump in damp conditions or you may perhaps be out pheasant shooting and come into contact with an excitable retriever who is splashing ‘whoever knows what’ all over you! The great benefits of waterproofed fabrics is that they will not only keep you dry but they can also be wiped down very easily. If necessary they can be washed and re-proofed (using Nikwax Wash and Re-proofing solutions).

If tweed trousers or breeks are your choice of shooting trousers, then it is also recommended that they are Teflon coated. This coating will provide extra protection against stains, grime or dirt. The Hoggs of Fife Kinloch tweed breeks is a great example of tweed breeks that are fully lined and Teflon coated. For more information about the benefits of Teflon please view our ‘What is Teflon and why has my clothing been coated in Teflon?‘ information guide.

Similarly, the Percussion Rambouillet trousers have been designed using a soft peach fabric which incorporates a waterproof and breathable membrane, resulting in a comfortable pair of shooting trousers that will keep you dry all day long. Plus they are simply perfect for any type of shoot.(where tweed is not essential that is!)

2. Elasticated waist

Many of the top brands have designed shooting trousers with a part elasticated waist. The elasticated waist gives extra freedom of movement as you twist and turn quickly, and will also grip your shirt or thermals securely, helping to prevent them from becoming un-tucked. Interestingly, the Sherwood Forest Kingswood shooting trousers have a part elasticated waist, a secure stud closure system but also belt loops!

3.High back

Shooting and hunting trousers with a ‘high back’ provide extra warmth and protection over the kidney area. High back shooting trousers are particularly good for high seat work. The Hoggs of Fife Kincarig waterproof trousers have a part-elasticated waist with a micro fleece lined high back for extra warmth.

4. Adjustable ankle straps

Many of the waterproof and breathable shooting trousers have been designed with an ‘adjustable ankle area’ and an ankle reinforced insideshooting trousers leg for durability. The benefits of having adjustable ankle straps is that they help tighten the trouser leg around your boots. This prevents insects or gravel from riding up your trouser leg when laying in wait for your prey. Also, if you prefer to wear your trousers up at the knees when wearing wellington boots, the adjustable velcro strap will hold them in place. 

5. Knee length zips

Knee length zips, with waterproof gussets, make it easier to put on and pull off your waterproof over-trousers. This means that no matter how wet or muddy you get, you can peel off your trousers whenever needed, without having to pull off your shooting boots too!. The Hoggs of Fife Green King II trousers are a fully waterproof and breathable over-trouser with knee length zips and reinforced thigh and knee area – giving extra protection on these key wear areas! Designed with a full elasticated waist, the Green King trousers are great for beating and ‘picking-up’ as well!

Hoggs of Fife Culloden Trousers

6. Articulated and re-inforced knee areas

An articulated knee is where the trousers have been designed with added material in the knee area. Articulated knees on shooting trousers provide more flexibility, whilst preventing your trousers from riding up when bending or perhaps climbing styles. As an example, the Hoggs of Fife Culloden trousers have been designed with an articulated knee, to allow mobility without the added material flapping around. The knee and ankle areas on the Culloden trousers are also reinforced for durability and are waterproofed. In addition, the Culloden trousers are made from a polyester double cross ripstop fabric and are designed with reinforced sections on those hard-wearing areas. These areas include the knee area and the inside of the cuff panel, providing extra durability and wear. Plus, to make up a set, there is also a matching jacket!

7. Pockets

Whilst out deer stalking or wildfowl hunting, you will need to carry a range of tools and equipment, including a mobile phone/walkie talkie, a knife, shotgun cartridges, and so on. Well, rather than having to carry a bag or a backpack, why not use trouser pockets to help carry essential items and keep them close to hand. Many of our shooting trousers have been designed with a range of different sizes and style of pockets. The Sherwood Forest Gadwall trousers are equipped with both front and rear pockets, (the back pockets are designed with a flap and stud to prevent loosing key items) and side bellowed pockets for quick access to a knife or CB radio.

8. Formal or informal

The style and type of shooting trousers you choose may well depend on whether the shoot is a formal or an informal event. Traditionally, formal events require all shooters to dress in full tweeds including tweed breeks. Whereas less formal events usually offer you the option to wear what you decide to wear – tweed or non-tweed – your preference!

9. Durability

To what degree your shooting trousers will be durable, largely depends upon the shooting or hunting conditions you will find yourself operating in. If, for example, you are shooting or hunting on rough terrain such as heather or rough grounds, then you may wish to consider investing in a pair of wax over-trousers or leggings. Another choice you could make is the Sherwood Forest Kingswood trousers which have been designed using extra tough fabric on key wear areas, such as the thigh, knee, leg and seat area. For extra protection though, why not wear a pair of cotton canvas gaiters over your shooting boots. For example, Snolock gaiters are made from 100% duck cotton and are thorn-proof and fully waterproof.

At Cherry Tree Country Clothing, we also stock a range of non-waterproof shooting trousers that are simply perfect for warmer, dryer days. You could, for example, consider the Hoggs of Fife Monarch II moleskin trousers. By the way, these trousers really are smart enough for attending that ‘after-shoot event’ too!

Please click here to view our full collection of Shooting Trousers

Please note, this article has been updated on the 1st February 2023 (originally posted on the 20th August 2015).