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11 Best Running Shorts in 2022
Last Updated: October 12, 2022
Red thighs, itching, sweats dripping off your legs, how does it feel when you finish your run speaking cursing your running apparel? When shopping for classic running shorts, there are a slew of lengths, styles, and designs that you'll see on the racks, and Immersing through them all can be puzzling if you're unsure of what you need. Well, we have tested a bunch of best-rated running shorts from best-selling retailers in the athletic-wear industry, so you don't have to!
Prior to go deep, you should need to know what to look for when buying a running short.
Quick Drying & Moisture Wicking Fabric
Running shorts that don't absorb sweat is a nightmare, especially during training or long runs. The material should not be nylon or cotton. Only a high-quality mesh or sweat wicking fabric can wick away moisture, allow heat to escape, and keep you cool, dry, and comfortable.
If you run in low-light, hilly, or adventurous areas, you need reflective detailing and bright colors to add more safety to your run.
Some runners prefer going without undies, so the inner material should get the work done. The inner lining is as crucial as the outer one, especially in men's running shorts. However, the whole thing should add extra ounces to the garment.
Our Top Picks
- Best Running Shorts for Women: Nike Women's Dri-fit Tempo Track 3.5 Short
- Best Running Shorts for Men: Pinkbomb Men's 2 in 1 Running Shorts
- Best Running Shorts to Prevent Chafing: New Balance 2 in 1 Impact Running Shorts
- Best Compression Shorts for Running: Under Armour HeatGear Compression Shorts
- Best Running Shorts for Thick Thighs: Nike Men's Challenger Dri-FIT 7'' Running Shorts
- Best Running Shorts with Phone Pocket: Under Armour Qualifier Speedpocket Shorts
- Best Trail Running Shorts: Arc'teryx Aptin Trail Running Short
- Best Cheap Running Shorts: Under Armour Women's Fly By 2.0 Running Shorts
- Best Coolest Running Shorts: BALEAF 7" Running Shorts
- Best Running Shorts for Marathon: Adidas Marathon 20 2 in 1 Short
- Best High Waisted Running Shorts: Puedizux Women's High Waisted Shorts
Best Running Shorts for Women
Nike Women's Dri-fit Tempo Track 3.5 Short
- ✔️ Wicks moisture
- ✔️ Comfy fit
- ✔️ Drawstring waist
- ❌ Unzipped pocket
|For women seeking style and performance in a running short.|
Men's and women's shorts aren't interchangeable. Women are longer waisted than men, have heavier hips and different thigh shapes & leg lengths than men, while their shorts have a bit of support to prevent chafing of genitals on the fabric. Moreover, women need a 2 in 1 pair of shorts that perform like a bomb and look chic. We picked Nike Dri-fit tempo short to get women the best of both worlds.
Look at this beautiful man! Just look at this! The fit it offers is streamlined and supports a great range of motion. We were impressed with the moisture-wicking ability, and there's a small key pocket also. We only wished the zipper back pocket could be a little secure to keep running gear safe, because our tester almost dropped her keys out of her packet.
Best Running Shorts for Men
Pinkbomb Men's 2 in 1 Running Shorts
- ✔️ Super breathable
- ✔️ Feels comfortable
- ✔️ Lightweight fabric
- ❌ Irritable mesh
|These are best for training and perfect for men who sweat a lot.|
Men usually prefer shorter running shorts made of moisture-wicking fabric that isn't too heavy. According to most performance-driven men, a brief liner works as a cherry on top for males, giving them a more locked-in feel.
So, we chose Pinkbomb running shorts as the best men's running short because it ticks all the boxes of what a man wants in a running short. It comes in various lengths, wicks moistures nicely, and the material looks pretty lightweight. It also has two mesh side panels that kind of sucks, honestly. However, we enjoyed a brief inner liner that feels super comfortable.
Best Running Shorts to Prevent Chafing
New Balance 2 in 1 Impact Running Shorts
- ✔️ Wick away moisture
- ✔️ Zippered pockets
- ❌ A bit baggy
|Anyone seeking cool, dry, and high-performance chafe-free shorts.|
With the sun in its full swing, runners not only get red tints just on their faces with the sunglasses on, but on so many different parts of the body. The worst of which is thigh chafing. Various running shorts prevent chafing, and New Balance impact running short tops our list of the best pair of running shorts to prevent scratching.
These split shorts have infused NB dry and NB fresh technology that wicks moisture and helps to prevent chafing. They also amazed us by staying cool during hot summer runs also. They fall in short-length shorts and are a bit roomier, so if you're not a fan of baggy pants, we won't suggest you.
Best Compression Shorts for Running
Under Armour HeatGear Compression Shorts
- ✔️ Super breathable
- ✔️ Comfy feel
- ✔️ Well-fitting shorts
- ❌ A bit expensive
|Anyone seeking a well-fitting, excellent compression running short, and the price isn't an issue. It is great for runs and workouts at the gym.|
Health experts say that wearing compression shorts reduces muscle soreness and fatigue during and after workouts, running exercise, resulting in better, faster, and longer runs without feeling way too tired. Our find for the best Spandex shorts is the Under Armour HeatGear Armour shorts.
Unlike most of the compression we tried out, these didn't feel cheap. They provided excellent compression in all the right places. These gym shorts material felt comfortable, relaxed, and breathable, exceptionally long summer runs. Unlike other Under Armour shorts, this one impressed us by being lightweight, which is a plus also.
Best Running Shorts for Thick Thighs
Nike Men's Challenger Dri-FIT 7" Running Shorts
- ✔️ 100% polyester fabric
- ✔️ Drawcord & elastic waistband
- ✔️ 5" Wiggle room
- ✔️ Four-way stretch
- ❌ Dull look
- ❌ Bit tighter behind
|If you have a big butt, Nike Dri-Fit isn't super ideal, but they are excellent for thick-thigh people for trail or road running in summers. Moreover. They are pretty affordable also, which is a plus for budget runners.|
Nike is everyone's favorite when it comes to sportswear. But when it comes to running shorts made for thick thighs, we chose their Nike Dri-Fit for an excellent reason. These shorts offer a comfortable 4-way stretch wiggle room regardless of what size a runner's legs are.
These inseam shorts have a 5-inch inseam, which doesn't restrict your freedom of movement while on the field, and offers ample coverage. There are mesh panels at both sides so you would have enough room for fresh air to pass through very breathable, we must say! The best thing we liked was the drawcord and elastic waistband that give a custom fit. Only its look isn't so cool to impress every kind of runner.
Best Running Shorts with Phone Pocket
Under Armour Qualifier Speedpocket Shorts
- ✔️ Well constructed
- ✔️ Large pockets
- ✔️ Breathable
- ❌ Runs small
|Runners who love carrying around large phones when in action.|
Runners running with the phone often hate their pockets being too small to carry larger smartphones. For this, we will suggest checking Under Armour SpeedPocket shorts out. These athletic running shorts are most runners' on-the-go shorts because of the comfy, more oversized pockets they come with.
But that's not the only thing we liked about them when tested. They are pretty cool when moisture-wicking and keeping poor odors off. The best thing about the pocket is that it isn't big enough, but it stretches to the size of your smartphone no matter what size it is to give it a secure bounce-free fit—highly recommended.
Best Trail Running Shorts
Arc'teryx Aptin Trail Running Short
- ✔️ Not heavy
- ✔️ Stays cool
- ✔️ Roomier pockets
- ❌ Boring design
- ❌ Bit expensive
|Anyone looking for a minimalist running short that offering stretch fabric, hell lightweight & breathable.|
On trails, especially during hot days of summers, you need a pair of shorts that feels lightweight, stay cool, and offer large pockets to carry, flask, or a mobile phone. Arc'teryx Aptin Trail Running Short is a perfect pal for trail running in summers.
We call them perfect because the feather-light sensation feels like they are made of mesh, and surprisingly, they're not see-through). They have micro holes in the fabric (super stretchable), which keeps the short cool and breathable. The side pockets are pretty deep that can hold up a 500 ml flask, some gels, small essentials, and a mobile phone.
Best Cheap Running Shorts
Under Armour Women's Fly By 2.0 Running Shorts
- ✔️ Pretty affordable
- ✔️ Stay cool
- ✔️ Dry quickly
- ❌ Sizing issues
|Best suitable for anyone who wants good value for money.|
Want good value for money? We would suggest investing in Under Armour women's Fly Running Shorts. They are well-fitting shorts and surpassed our expectations in performance. We can straight up compare these shorts to Brooks's high-performance shorts that are five times their price. Even though they have a built-in lining, they feel very lightweight and cool.
While they aren't super-duper breathable, and you may find some issues with size, things sound ok when you look at the price tag. Only we would suggest talking to the customer service first to help yourself find the right size.
Best Coolest Running Shorts
BALEAF 7" Running Shorts
- ✔️ Lightweight construction
- ✔️ Keeps cool
- ✔️ Very comfortable
- ❌ Small pockets
- ❌ Bit expensive
|It is best for indoor runs, cardio, training, road running but not ideal for trail runs.|
Running on hot days is like running in hell. Who doesn't like the feeling of well-ventilated comfort, whether it is a top or a shirt? Ghosh, this product surprised us with its fantastic technology that we can't pass without admiring. Baleaf incorporated the Ceramicool tech in the material, which offers excellent temperature regulation, reducing the skin's temperature up to 1°C.
It also has a lightweight yet breathable lining that prevents chafing (that rolls up sometimes) and adds more comfort.
Moreover, a small zippered pocket (no rear zipper pocket) can hold keys, small essentials, and cards. It's a little expensive but has excellent durability, which would save you money in the long run.
Best Running Shorts for Marathon
Adidas Marathon 20 2 in 1 Short
- ✔️ 360° reflectivity
- ✔️ Super stretchable
- ✔️ Stays cool
- ❌ Small pockets
- ❌ Less versatile
|Anyone looking for excellent and breathable performance running shorts for summers. But if you want big side pockets, this isn't for you because you can only hold your keys in there.|
Race day is a big day, and that isn't the day to find what rubs you, what's too hot for you, or what's not comfortable. So, it would be best to make sure you were perfectly ready for weather, conditions, and things beforehand.
Well, situations may not be the same for everyone, but a few things are super important to check for a marathon short. One stretchable fabric, a 2 in 1 short to fight to chafe, keeps you comfortable, and the material should be breathable.
One short that packs all of them is Adidas Marathon 20 2-in-1 short. It comes with a built-in liner that is highly recommended for many people who chafe. Second, the material is noticeably very breathable and lightweight. Also, the fabric is very stretchy, which makes them feel very comfortable. The outer is 360° reflective, which is a plus if you're into it. They are most suitable for warmer weather, especially if you sweat a lot.
Best High Waisted Running Shorts
- ✔️ Feels comfy
- ✔️ Lightweight construction
- ✔️ Fits nice
- ❌ No color options
- ❌ Bit expensive
|For anyone who is a sucker at having hand pockets in pants. Most of our testers liked the compression fit throughout the leg, so if you want a comfy fit, we'd recommend this one.|
High-waisted pants make women's legs look longer, tummies look leaner, and butts in shape. In comparison, high-waisted running pants/shorts are way comfier than original ones because they don't ride down when you run. If you are all about high-waisted running shorts, we recommend checking out Puedizux high waisted shorts for women.
Its key features is Puedizux fabric that feels smooth and supportive while it sits securely high on your waist, so the flat waistband won't ride down on you as you run. We appreciate the material, and it feels very comfortable and lightweight.
If you're someone who likes carrying around a bunch of stuff while running, you will be glad to check the room they offer in hand pockets (large stash pockets on sides and a rear pocket). Also, if you're after cool-looking shorts, this Puedizux high waisted short is the second most recommended shorts after Adidas Marathon 20 and New Balance Printed Accelerate shorts.
How We Choose the Best Men's Running Shorts
So there you have it, running shorts for every type of runner and personal preferences. With the high rise in the athleisure trend, running shorts are more like a wardrobe essential for most people. People love staying in a lightweight and comfy garment that keeps them cool and makes chores a breeze. Either you are a runner or normal walking fellow, this article covers a good bunch of running shorts from the top and popular retailers that most people raved. They are highly recommended for summers, and for winter, we would recommend wearing warm tights underneath.
We first dug deep into the internet to check out highly recommended shorts with different needs. Then we ordered a bunch of them. Some of the running nerds in our team have already been through, some were pretty new to us, and some didn't sound like worth the hype. We hit the road trials and treadmills, crossed miles, checked them in different weathers, and broke sweat wicking. So, here are the products that are worth your money and consideration.
The right fit for your exercise needs
John Honerkamp is an acclaimed New York City run coach, RRA certified USATF professional pace and professional racing athlete. Incorrect long-sleeve shorts quickly break your overall experience, and it has become imperative to purchase good quality shorts. Men should wear short sleeve pants with breathable fabric that keeps them cool and dry. Occasionally runners use running shorts to pack important stuff or have pockets. Most useful run shorts for men to be able to run the fastest possible distance. For extra details on the Short Sleeves.
Compression shorts increase oxygen for the body and increase blood flow. Together, it helps muscle function better, enhancing performance compared with ordinary running shorts.
Brief liners wick away moisture and help keep the skin cool, comfortable, and dry. It prevents infection and chafing and provides support and compression to runners.
Running shorts for men especially come with brief liners that work the same as wear underwear or jockstrap. When running, wearing garment underpants can lead to chafing; liners are a great alternative.
You can spice things up with cool-looking shoes, a lovely sporty bracelet, and wearing a button-down with a casual yet basic tee. You can also add a nice pair of sunglasses to complement your style.
Yes, Nike tempo running shorts come with a Nike Dri-Fit liner.
Short length between 4-5" (12-13 inches) are perfect if running on the road or on trails when temperatures are hot. Sometimes women run much longer with their shorter shorts.
Nike Women's Dri-fit Tempo is our most comfortable option. Their lighter and better ventilated construction allows for strong support and excellent protection. Constructed of sweatwicking, rapid-drying cotton, this fabric offers comfort and cooling comfort in every way it goes.