Rodeo chaps are very common in the rodeo activity. Chaps are stemmed from the Mexican word chaparajos. Rodeo chaps are leg coverings made of sturdy leather to protect the rider’s legs from brushings against the fences while on the ride.


Rodeo chaps are part of the bull riding gear that has become part of the rodeo. They serve to protect the rider’s legs during the ride as well as accentuate the rider’s presentation while bucking on the bull and horses.

Rodeo dude are designed to protect or shield the ride as they are made from large pieces of tough leather. They are spread across the rider’s legs and animal’s chest from the stock saddle horn with better designs in the modern days for style, comfort and decoration besides protection.


Rodeo chaps should be worn over thick leg pieces like denim jeans with a hip level fitting. Most rodeo dude are long to fit over the rider’s boots. There are different types of competition chaps like bat wings, shogun and chinks to fit firmly and comfortably over the rider’s thighs to the calf without inhibiting movement during the ride. The shotgun competition chaps are more flare at the ankle for riders wearing boots.

Different types

There are many different types of competition chaps as the sport takes on a more prominent role. More manufacturers come out with different forms and styles to bring on some distinction and fashion on the bull riders. Competition chaps have become quite commercialized with more individuals keen to participate in the sport.

A special type of competition chaps is the chainsaw chaps that are made from kevlar which give a stronger protection to the rider’s legs whereas motorcycle competition chaps are designed like the shotgun rodeo dude with side zippers for easier adornment. Batwing competition chaps are smooth side out; meaning roughed out and smoothed out.

Materials used

Rodeo chaps can be made from various types of materials but the most popular type is cowhide. This type of leather is usually well tanned, dyed and split to ensure a supple leather garment to facilitate easy movement for the rider.

The rough side of the leather is known as suede today. In rodeo, it is called “roughout”; it also has a smooth side. Hence, most competition chaps are “smooth out” and “roughout”. These are important aspects of rodeo chaps to those who are fashion conscious while putting on a good show for the bull ride. Some rodeo chaps are made of vinyl and ultrasuede which do not hold up well.

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