Friday, August 14, 2009

Field & Stream Magazine: Mantyhose for Hunters

Field & Stream Blog pageField & Stream published an article yesterday on their online edition on use of men's pantyhose by hunters. It's called, "Mantyhose: Would You Wear Them? While the article is not entirely favorable, it's not altogether negative in tone either. The guys who hunt, fish, camp can tend to be a hard sell on this, because of concern over whether it's going to cause them to be perceived as less masculine because they wear pantyhose, even if made for men...

If you read blogs on various hunting/outdoorsman websites, you'll note that the guys involved in the discussion tend to fall into two major groups. Those that will take advantage of whatever works to get the job done, whatever that may be--in this case, wearing pantyhose as a base layer to help keep warm; and those who would never don a pair of nylons in a million years, even if it might mean death or serious injury from hypothermia.

Obviously, I would side with the first group, but that would go without saying wouldn't it? I would suggest that the guys in the first group are probably the more 'manly' of the two. Does that seem contradictory? I don't think so. The reason is that guys who are willing to wear pantyhose under their Carharrts to keep warm--even if there were no such thing as men's pantyhose--are probably more confident in their manhood. They don't feel a need to 'prove' their manhood, or worry about someone mistaking them for a girly-man because of what he's wearing to keep warm. Contrary to some of the comments you might read out there, none of the hunters wearing pantyhose for warmth are going to be doing any 'prancing about' in the woods.

Oftentimes guys that act the most radically macho are actually not very confident in themselves. They feel a need to constantly prove that they're a real man. Even a single lapse of wearing the wrong style of shirt, satiny underwear, or (Heaven forbid) pantyhose, might cause the whole facade to come tumbling down and cause them to be revealed as an imposter. Mind you, I'm talking about what's going on in some guys minds, not reality. The reality is that if you're a guy who's behaved in an authentically masculine manner all along, something like that will not cause everyone to think you're not who you seem to be. But that's the fear in some guys' minds.

One thing we're trying to accomplish at ACTIVSKIN is to continually push back the misconceptions that once surrounded the phenomenon of men wearing pantyhose, so that the guys who genuinely want to wear them for practical, non-sexual reasons can do so without people suspecting the worst of them. When we first started out on this journey, the de facto assumption when one learned that a guy was wearing panthyhose was that he was a closet cross dresser, etc. That's no longer the case, in large part because of the work we have consistently done with the media and our website. Today, it is much more likely that a person will first assume that a guy wearing hose is doing so because of some medical reason, or for athletic benefits. That's obviously much closer to the truth than the former assumptions, although there are still some who may assume the worst. We see that reflected in some of the hunting/fishing/outdoors blog comments I referred to above.

The encouraging part is that there are as likely to be as many commenters who acknowledge that they've worn pantyhose and, by darn, they work for them. As more guys develop the confidence in themselves to own up to it, and let the chips fall where they may, the rest of those hunters will finally lose their old stereotypes and misconceptions. As it said in the article, if the truth be told, there's probably a whole lot more nylon legwear out there under those overalls than anybody's willing to admit.

You can read the full text of the press release here


  1. Steve, may I have your email? I am working on an essay to you, expressing my ideas and input with male hosiery. My name is Michael and would like to send this to you. You may contact me at

  2. A hunter wearing shorts and pantyhose? I don't think that even female hunters are dressed like that but I would be feel so tickled to find a hunter dressed like that. :)

  3. Michael, my email can be found by clicking on the "click here to contact me..." link on the righthand side. I will also send you something at the email you posted. FWIW, the reason I don't post my email in the comments section is because I think it makes it more visible to the 'spambots' that scour webpages for email address to send their spam to. On occasion it's unavoidable on a certain site, so then I just spell out the 'at' and 'dot' parts of the address, so actual humans can still read it.


  4. Hello Jennifer. From your comment, I hope this doesn't mean that other people are thinking that we're advocating wearing ACTIVSKIN hose into the brush with shorts. One or two of the commenters at F&S mentioned how they would be shredded almost immediately.

    Keep in mind, everyone, that since we're talking about cold weather wear, it's worn as a base layer beneath long pants, overalls, etc. to give added protection from cold. Wearing them with shorts in the cold would be little or no help at all--and would in fact result in them being shredded right off the bat.

  5. Steve N, thanks for clearing up misperception. I admit that my mind went silly dilly when I read the article at first. I didn't even think about the sharp brushes part. My apologies.

  6. I wear my activeskin pantyhose all the time in winter for additional warmth. In the 50s/60s (see John Hamm in his sheer thick-n-thin socks on MAD MEN) men often wore sheer nylon socks regularly. All types of men--Including the southerners I grew up w/ in GA w/ out a second thought. Its not a big leap to wear pantyhose as a functional item and I for one am very hopeful nylon and sheer socks will come back into vogue-.

  7. aman avcı vurma beni külotlu çorap var hastaneye gidersek madara olacağız :)

  8. Can someone translate this last post for me please?

  9. Hahahahaha last post is turkish


    mercy hunter don't shoot me I have pantyhose there we go to the hospital will be disgrace

  10. Hi Steve,
    As a hunter,yes I do wear nylons/pantyhose for hunting.And I do carry some tights as well.
    Since I'm in the mountains,the weather can change at any time.
    The tights are much more comfortable to wear than thermals.At least with the full foot,you can't lose the socks.
    The shorts idea might be a bit off though.
    Have seen South African hunters in shorts.
    Guess it's where you live.
    Hunting in shorts ? Nope.
    You have a good week.

  11. Thanks for the input, Richard. By not letting preconceptions limit your actions, you've allowed yourself to discover a good way to help keep warm in the outdoors.

    One thing though. I don't know where everyone is getting the idea that what's being recommended is going out through the brush while wearing pantyhose with shorts. While this might be an option for keeping ticks off you in warm weather, if you're in very dense brush you're obviously going to shred those hose. What's being advocated is use of it as a base layer, just as you say you do when you're out in the mountains.

    Maybe you're picking up on a couple of the online comments posted at Field & Stream that seemed to miss this point, and echoed here by Jennifer.

  12. Hello again Steve,
    Of some of those comments,I think they have a problem with their masculinity.
    I've read some comments.They do sound scared to try wearing nylons.
    I'd have a few things to say: Don't knock if you haven't tried it;Wearing nylons does NOT change your sex (masculinity);Open your mind for flexability;and if your legs gets cold,remember the past few lines back.
    And,yes, the brush can be hard on skin too.So can the manzanita,blow-downs,berry bushes,etc.
    There are areas of poison ivy/poison oak.
    Out for a day hike ? IF it's shorts weather,then pantyhose can be worn by the whole family.
    I did do some searching for books at the local library in the early-to-mid 80s.
    I have the photocopies somewhere.To try to find those copies,is almost impossible now.We've had
    my G/F's niece and nephew here.
    In one fashion/costume book,it said,and I'm quoting as best as memory serves me:
    "In the Middle Ages,tights were worn by men and boys only.The ladies (women) and girls wore stockings".
    Who said women and girls only wear tights ?
    So, I hope this is proof enough.
    Tights,nylons (pantyhose)in my opinion, are unisex,no matter who wears them.
    When I do bullet casting,then it's long pants,even though I'm wear nylons.A safety factor when working with molten metal.
    But when handloading ammo,yes, pantyhose and shorts !
    Was at the range this past Sunday.Pants and nylons.Shooting my 45-70s in the old way that
    blackpowder is used.Try 405gr....Then step up to a 500gr,with 70gr of BP !!Shot my original 1884 Springfield Trapdoor rifle.
    45 Colts,too.
    I better quit.I can talk about loads all day long.
    Then lastly,I've literally driven thousands of miles while wearing nylons.
    The last almost 25 years being a specialty mechanic,I've worn support pantyhose to work nearly everyday.And yes, they do work !
    Several at work knew.Got a ribbing sometimes.But most were not phased by me wearing.
    The nylons were not ActiveSkin.They were "Leggs Everyday".
    Maybe one day I'll be able to afford several pairs of ActiveSkin.
    They would be my special occaision nylons.
    You all have a good week.

  13. Hi Steve,

    As a male pantyhose wearer I think that you are doing a great job. I am on my feet for long hours each day and enjoy wearing pantyhose under my jeans for warmth in cooler months as I find long underwear most uncomfortable but actually started wearing them for protection from tick bites as I live in a rural setting where the tick season has been longer each year. This method seems to work very well and my wife who normally doesn't wear hosiery has done the same. The funny thing is that now we both enjoy wearing hosiery. There is a stigmatism with the term "Pantyhose" that men have to get over, they are just a layer of thinner material. I always have my wife purchase my hosiery but now that she has long accepted the benefits of wearing pantyhose I am looking forward to placing MY first activskin order.



/* Google Analytics Code Snippet */