From the aesthetic benefits to the mental perks, there is no doubt that running is one of the best forms of exercise. But things can go south very quickly if you don’t have the best running shorts.
With the wrong pair of shorts, you’ll have to deal with wedgies, riding up, and chafing — everything you wouldn’t want to experience while trying to enjoy a good run.
Best Running Shorts Comparison Table
Fortunately, the market has a variety of options for both men and women. From long baggy shorts to the compression type, there is no doubt you’ll find a pair for your needs.
Finding the best running shorts can however be challenging. With so many options to consider, narrowing down to one can seem impossible.
That’s where we come in. Stay with us as we share all the information you need to purchase the right pair of running shorts.
Select the Best Running Shorts for Your Needs
When it comes to running shorts, everyone has different tastes and preferences. Some prefer long and baggy shorts, and others would rather wear short and tight ones.
However, no matter what your preferences are, there are certain things you need to consider to ensure you choose the best running shorts for you.
Let’s find out what these considerations are:
Style is everything
On your quest to find the best running shorts, the first thing you need to consider is the style. Style is essential because it determines the fit, leg seam, and length of the shorts.
So what are your options?
Running shorts come in three primary styles.
These type of shorts are tight-fitting, warm, and in most cases provide muscle support. They also stretch to allow more flexibility, and they’re the best for preventing chaffing. There are compression shorts for both men and women, but they mainly differ in length.
Women’s shorts are shorter compared to men’s compression shorts and can be worn on their own. Men’s compression shorts, on the other hand, are longer and are most often worn under a pair of loose shorts.
Split shorts are other option. These shorts are loose-fitting, and the leg seams have an upside down v cutout at the bottom. The shape of these shorts is created by how the front panel overlaps the back.
Split shorts are the best performance shorts because they offer the greatest range of motion.
These are the most popular type of running shorts. Like the split shorts, they also have v cutouts on the outer leg seams that enable the user to have an excellent range of movement.
V-notch shorts are also loose-fitting and are available for both men and women.
Consider gender-specific features
While shopping for the best running shorts, you’ll also notice that there are men’s, women’s, and unisex running shorts.
It’s vital to know the difference between these three types of shorts to choose the right pair.
Men’s shorts are designed specifically for the male body — they have longer inseams and a built-in liner to offer support for the groin area and prevent chaffing and discomfort.
Women’s shorts are cut to fit the hips, waist, and thighs more accurately with little room in the groin region. They also have shorter inseams.
The unisex running shorts combine the cut in women’s and men’s shorts without the specific-support features. For this reason, they’re not the most comfortable and may not be the best for long runs.
Fabrics and why they matter
The other decision you’ll have to make when trying to find the best running shorts is the fabric you need your shorts to have.
You have two choices: natural and synthetic fibers.
Most synthetic fiber running shorts are made of polyester, nylon, or polyester and spandex blend. Polyester blends are the best because they provide stretch, excellent fit, and most importantly moisture management which prevents discomfort and chaffing.
On the other hand, natural fibers include fabrics like cotton which offer good movement and stretch. But these aren’t the best fabrics because they don’t hold moisture well which can cause chaffing. In addition to this, when natural fibers are frequently used primarily in high heat, they tend to break down faster.
Therefore, if you’re looking for a high-quality, long-lasting pair of running shorts, synthetic fabric is the way to go.
I know what you’re thinking, “I can choose any of my favorite colors for my running shorts.”
While you have the freedom to choose any color you want, it’s vital to think of your safety first, especially if you intend to run during the night.
To ensure motorists and other people can see you as you run, you need to go for running shorts with reflective strips or bright colors with excellent visibility.
It’s also important to consider other features you may need your shorts to have. For instance, if you run for many hours, it may be a good idea to consider getting shorts with pockets where you can carry a snack or your phone in case you need it.
Overall Price Range of Running Shorts
Running shorts come in a variety of prices. The cost mainly varies depending on the features, brand, and retailer.
How We Reviewed
To identify the best running shorts, we considered the price, features, and style of each. What’s more, we read customer reviews to find out how each of the shorts performed.
Top 8 Running Shorts You Won’t Regret Buying
If you’ve been trying to find the best running shorts without any luck, we have eight of the best for you. We have shorts for different budgets, men and women, and various styles for different tastes and preferences.
Let’s get straight to business:
RIBOOM Women Workout Fitness Running Shorts
- QUICK DRY TECHNOLOGY: The running shorts for women are made of lightweight quick dry fabric, breathable fabric wicks away sweat to keep you cool and comfortable, focus on your workout
- DOUBLE LAYER SHORTS: The spandex shorts underneath moves with you for more support and coverage. athletic shorts with liner provide freedom of movement, let you move freely and comfortably as you run, jump, twist and bend, does not rid up
- 4 WAY STRENCH: Allowing for more mobility in any direction. Our 4 way stretch fabric is engineered to maintain its structural integrity during the physical activities, comfortable to wear without restraint
- WIDE ELASTIC WAISTBAND: The workout shorts for women with adjustable drawcords and wide elastic waistband that provides non-binding fit, which makes it easy to fit your body well
- 4 INCH INSEAM: The lightweight shorts allow you to focus on your workout, shorts are perfect for running, gym, jogging, walking, hiking, exercise, training, yoga, tennis, volleyball or for casual wear at home
If you’re a distance runner, you need running shorts that excel in the area of comfort and breathability. It’s also crucial to have some storage space for a snack, cash, or keys. The Athlarel Workout Yoga Shorts fit this description perfectly.
One of the things we love about these shorts is that they have a light and breathable fabric. With this type of material, you can run for many hours without worrying about discomfort from heat buildup.
Furthermore, the shorts feature a waistband with a back pocket which can be used to store keys, a snack, or cash. The shorts also have a mesh liner that not only protects your privacy but also gives the shorts a snug fit.
You’ll also love that the shorts come in a variety of colors and are quite affordable.
Amazon buyers believe these are the best running shorts for women. They rated them 4.4 out of 5 stars.
2. Riboom Workout
- Moisture-wicking, breathable and stretchy fabric provides moderate compression
- High-rise, wide waistband creates no muffin top and provides maximum coverage while bending and stretching
- Our women's compression biker shorts feature 2 big side pockets, deep enough for 4" to 5.5" mobile phones
- Longer inseams provide ample coverage as you move from pose to pose and prevent thighs from rubbing. Gusseted crotch and chafe-free, ergonomic seams ensure a full range of motion and a comfortable wearing experience
- Perfect for yoga, biking, volleyball, exercise, fitness, weightlifting, running, workout, or everyday casual use
An airy blend of polyester and spandex plus opening hems is what you need for days when it seems too hot to run. The Riboom Workout Shorts offer you these features and so much more.
One of the things that make these shorts one of the best running shorts is that they feature a fast drying moisture wicking fabric which makes them perfect for long runs. Also, the shorts feature opening hems that allow you to make free and long strides without any restrictions.
You’ll also never have to worry about the waistband getting loose because the shorts also have a drawstring to ensure everything stays put as you run.
We’re also crazy about the unique color combinations that these shorts come in. There is no doubt you’ll stand out on the trail while wearing these shorts.
Amazon customers can’t stop raving about these running shorts. They rated them 4.5 out of 5 stars.
3. Baleaf Workout Shorts
- Drawstring design, ensures the comfortable fit
- Soft and stretchy brief inner liner, for support when exercising
- Reflective strips at leg side, improve safety
- Lightweight and breathable fabric delivers superior comfort
- Back zipper pocket and inside waistband pocket could hold small items
If you prefer a tight fit, the Baleaf Workout Shorts are the best running shorts for you.
Our favorite feature on these running shorts is the high waistband. The waistband not only prevents muffin tops but also provides maximum coverage as you run. We also love that the shorts are a blend of polyester and spandex material.
This material offers a great stretch and excellent breathability that you’ll enjoy as you run long distances.
The shorts also have side pockets that are big enough to accommodate your phone, keys, or a snack.
Amazon buyers rated them 4.3 out of 5 stars.
4. CRZ YOGA Workout Shorts
The CRZ YOGA Workout Shorts are the best running shorts if you prefer running early in the morning or at night.
These shorts feature reflective strips on the sides that are essential for improving safety. But that’s not the only thing that makes them stand out:
They also have a drawstring design to ensure a comfortable fit without cutting your circulation. In addition to this, they have built-in briefs that provide maximum support while you run.
And that’s not all:
The shorts also have an inside and back zipper pocket you can use to store small items like keys and cash. You’ll also enjoy the lightweight fabric that makes running on a hot day a breeze.
To get these running shorts, you’ll have to part with $20 to $25.
Amazon buyers are very pleased with the CRZ shorts. They rated them 4.4 out of 5 stars.
5. 1994Fashion Men’s Running Shorts
- Lightweight, Quick-Dry woven fabric helps keep you dry and comfy
- Built-in mesh briefs provide a supportive, breathable fit
- Two side pockets and rear Zip pocket for convenience
- Inner drawcord ensures a comfortable fit and keeps shorts from sliding down
- Its 5" inseam hits at the mid-thigh for ideal coverage, helping you move freely on any type of run.
The 1994Fashion Men’s Running Shorts is a solid choice for male runners. These shorts aren’t only well-made but also very comfortable and affordable.
They feature 100 percent polyester material that wicks moisture away keeping you cool and dry even in hot weather conditions. What’s more, the shorts have a built-in mesh liner that offers additional sweat absorption, breathability, and support where it’s needed most.
The shorts also feature an elastic waistband and inner drawcord to ensure your shorts stay in place while you’re running.
Amazon customers have no complaints about these running shorts. They believe these shorts deserve a rating of 5.0 out of 5 stars.
6. Baleaf Men’s Woven Running Shorts
- HeatGear fabric is ultra-soft & smooth for extreme comfort with very little weight
- 4-way stretch construction moves better in every direction
- Material wicks sweat & dries really fast
- Under Armour mission is to make all athletes better through passion, design and the relentless pursuit of innovation
- Where we started? It all started with an idea to build a superior T-shirt
The Baleaf Men’s Woven Running Shorts are the best running shorts for summer trails or any other off-road adventures you have in mind. Their quick-dry fabric ensures you stay dry and cool throughout your training session.
These shorts also feature an inner drawcord that ensures the shorts don’t slide down while you’re running. Furthermore, they feature a built-in mesh liner that offers additional support and breathability.
Another feature that sets these shorts apart is the storage. They feature side pockets and a rear zip pocket that makes it easy to carry your phone and other small items with ease.
You’re also guaranteed improved safety thanks to the reflective logo that’s on the shorts — what else could you ask for?
Amazon shoppers are crazy about these shorts; they rated them 4.5 out of 5 stars.
7. Under Armour Raid Shorts
- Check the size chart in the third picture to select the appropriate size
- Streamlined made of soft,lightweight fabric,tight Fitting,like a second skin
- Constructed with moisture wicking four-way stretch fabric that moves with your body while eliminating sweat
- Flatlock seams and comfort-fit waistband for maximum ventilation and comfort; Moisture Wicking/ Quick time Dry/ TWO-WAY Air Circulation
- Suitable for all seasons (golf,yoga, cyclying, basketball, tennis ,baseball, workout,biker,squat, weight training,athletic,gym,swimming,jogging,soccer.It's can be used as running shorts,bathing suit shorts,biker shorts,basketball shorts,athletic shorts,underwear,yoga shorts,gym shorts,swim shorts)
One of the downsides of running is that you expose yourself to harmful UV rays. Even if you wear sunscreen, it’s always a good idea to go for additional protection because there’s nothing like too much protection.
With the Under Armour Raid Shorts, there’s a guarantee of additional protection from harmful UV rays. These shorts feature UPF 30 protection that safeguards your skin against the sun’s harmful rays.
The shorts are also very comfortable. Their 100-percent polyester material provides excellent stretch, allowing you to have unrestricted natural movements. The fabric also wicks moisture away to ensure you stay dry even on the hottest day.
What’s more, these shorts have anti-odor technology that prevents odor microorganisms from growing. That feature can come in pretty handy.
Amazon customers love these shorts as much as we do. They gave them a rating of 4.4 out of 5 stars.
8. Neleus Performance Compression Shorts
Last on our list of the best running shorts are the Neleus Performance Compression Shorts.
These are support shorts designed to go under a loose pair of running shorts. But what makes them one of the best running shorts?
For starters, they offer good elasticity and compression that’s needed when running. What’s more, they have a quick-dry polyester and spandex material that keeps you dry and cool as long as you have them on.
They also have a good length that provides coverage where you need it.
These shorts have a rating of 4.2 out of 5 stars.
Did We Find the Best Running Shorts for You?
The running shorts on this list are the best you’ll find on the market. Based on what users have to say about these shorts, we’re confident you’ll also enjoy wearing them on your daily run.
Our favorite is the Under Armour Raid Shorts. These shorts have so much to offer from UV protection to odor prevention, and they also deliver on comfort.
Which one do you plan to purchase and why? Please share your thoughts in the comments section below!