I Tried Dozens of Running Shorts. These Are the Best on the Market

Men’s Journal goals to function solely the greatest services and products.  If you purchase one thing by way of one of our hyperlinks, we could earn a fee.

Aside from running footwear, no different piece of gear could make or break my running expertise like shorts. Not way back, I simply ran in what I had. I performed basketball and tennis, so I’d run in shorts made for these sports activities (assume heavy nylon and dishevelled inseams with no assist). Thin, breathable materials, zipper pockets, and liners had been unknown requirements. Now, I really take pleasure in running extra as a result of I have the acceptable running shorts.

Our favourite running shorts work along with your stride, mean you can carry necessities, and stay dry and breathable regardless of the exercise. Now, I fear much less about chafing or clanging keys and extra about having fun with the sights and sounds of roads and trails.

Related: We Tested Every Hoka Running Shoe—These Are the Best

Best Overall Running Shorts: Roark Bommer 2.0 Shorts 7”

Roark Bommer 2.0 Shorts 7”

I’ve written quite a few gear round-ups, and this was one of the hardest high spots I’ve ever had to decide on. In the finish, the Roark Bommer 2.0 boasts the greatest mixture of options, consolation, and flexibility, making them my favourite running shorts this yr.

Bommer has the greatest boxer-brief lined shorts on the market. The liner is supportive, delicate, and has a telephone pocket. The outer material has two magnetic shut facet pockets for versatile use and two small zippered pockets for keys and necessities. The shorts are well-ventilated in the rear, and the 7” inseam makes for a workhorse running quick that may simply be worn round city after your exercise. They additionally make a 3.5” possibility in the event you like them shorter for races or speedy workouts.

The liner is barely thicker than others, so it dries a bit slower. That mentioned, the shorts had been comfy even when I sweat, so this wasn’t a major subject.


  • Excellent versatility; true one-and-done shorts.
  • Soft and safe liner with built-in pockets/
  • Outer has two magnetic pockets and two zippered pockets.
  • Effective odor safety.
  • Comfortable drawstring.
  • Also obtainable in 3.5” inseam.


  • On the heavier facet.
  • Not as fast-drying as different manufacturers.
$90 at Roark

Best Upgrade Running Shorts: Goldwin Breathable Shorts (with C3Fit)

Goldwin Breathable Shorts (with C3Fit)

I examined these Goldwin shorts out one a path run in Washington with skilled ultrarunner Dylan Bowman, who’s sponsored by the model. Of course one of the greatest path runners in the world wears some of the greatest running gear. The Goldwin Breathable Shorts that includes the C3fit liner obtain a tremendous stability of efficiency and luxury, albeit at a high worth level.

The liner for lengthy runs is nice for lengthy runs as a result of it is rather compressive and clean on the pores and skin. That means minimal chafing or rub even over 10 mile-plus runs. The liner additionally has the most safe telephone pocket of all the shorts I examined, which is sweet in the event you wish to snap images or hearken to music on lengthy runs. The outer isn’t any slouch both, and the extraordinarily light-weight materials is the quickest drying on this record (plus, it includes a zippered pocket for keys). The Goldwin Breathable Shorts had been half dry simply popping out of the washer’s spin cycle!

Now, no different shorts on this record are as costly as this Goldwin pair, however if you’d like a flexible quick for training and racing, then the mixed breathability and compression of the shorts and liner make an admirable pair of running shorts.


  • Fastest drying shorts I examined.
  • Super-compressive liner holds every little thing comfortably in place.
  • Well-vented and flared outer layer is light-weight and unobtrusive.
  • Thigh pocket securely held telephone.


  • Expensive.
$119 at Goldwin

Best Value Running Shorts: Nike Flex Stride 2-in-1 5”

Nike Flex Stride 2-in-1 5”

Nathan Lemin

In the 5” inseam possibility, the Nike Flex Stride 2-in-1 is performance-oriented at a lower cost level than different lined shorts. The lengthy liner was safe and comfy, with glorious breathability.

While the supplies aren’t fairly as delicate to the contact as different choices, the moisture-wicking properties and luxury had been nice for a sub-$60 pair of shorts. The zippered pocket in the rear and facet pockets had been sufficient for on a regular basis performance. I wore these on a number of lengthy workouts and skilled zero chafing and no discomfort. That’s definitely a win, particularly when you think about that these are sometimes on sale, too!


  • More reasonably priced than comparable lined shorts.
  • Lightweight and comfy.
  • Enough pockets to be versatile.


  • Fit a bit tight for greater runners.
  • Materials don’t really feel as premium as rivals.
$40 at Nike
$55 at Dick's Sporting Goods

Related: We Tested a Dozen Saucony Running Shoes. These Are Our Favorites

More Running Shorts We Love

Most Comfortable: Ciele M DLYShort Long Brief

Men’s Journal Editorial Director Matt Allyn known as these “easily the most comfortable shorts [I’ve] tried.” That alone piqued my curiosity—and so they completely maintain up. 

Just a couple of minutes after logging a chill 5 mile run in the Ciele M DLYShorts with the lengthy temporary, the shorts are already dry. And with how comfy the liner is, I do not instantly really feel the want to vary into different shorts. 

They’re delicate to the contact whereas nonetheless successfully wicking moisture. The liner is comfortable however not too comfortable. And the 5” inseam (with a generously lower facet slit) doesn’t really feel restrictive to run in or too quick to put on round. Those options alone make them an amazing throughout pair, however additionally they boast two liner pockets large enough for a telephone and one zippered waist pocket for keys.

However, I have two hesitations. First, the shorts have fairly explicit care directions—chilly wash and lay flat to dry. This isn’t a dealbreaker, however provides a step on laundry day. Second, the seam development was a bit unusual. On the liner, they’re prominently stitched inside the thighs and round the groin. On straightforward efforts I didn’t discover an excessive amount of rub, however throughout a more durable effort, the seams may trigger some friction—although Matt fortunately wore these for final yr’s New York City Marathon. 

However, the drawbacks are minor and the general efficiency and luxury from the Ciele DLYShort is great.


  • Super delicate, lengthy liner.
  • Dual liner pockets, plus zippered rear waist pocket.
  • Wicks moisture properly.


  • More explicit care directions than different shorts on this record.
  • Liner seams could cause chafing on longer, more durable efforts.
$80 at Ciele

Best Brief-Lined Running Shorts: Tracksmith Session Shorts 5”

Brief-lined shorts had the hardest job of attempting to win me over, however the Tracksmith Session shorts had been most as much as the process. The premium really feel of Tracksmith supplies transformed me to a short believer. I love these shorts for metropolis runs and on a regular basis training as a result of they give the impression of being nice and breathe properly. The heathered mix on the Session is spectacular, as a result of whereas it has all the moisture-wicking chops of a tech-fiber, it appears to be like and feels far more like a natural-fiber quick. I want there was at the very least one facet pocket for a bit of added versatility, however the intention behind these shorts is utilitarian each day training. For these objectives, no different brief-lined running shorts do it higher.


  • Brief liner and outer materials are delicate and comfy.
  • Super light-weight and stayed cool in the warmth.
  • Brushed, heathered material appears to be like and feels extra premium than rivals.


  • Limited storage (only one zippered pocket).
  • Somewhat delicate, not ideally suited for path use.
$68 at Tracksmith

Best Unlined: Nathan Essential Unlined 7” Shorts

If you have by no means purchased a pair of running shorts and are scared off by the temporary or lengthy liner choices, try the Nathan Essential Unlined shorts. The 7” inseam is brief sufficient to remain out of your stride, however lengthy sufficient to offer ample protection. The deep, delicate pockets are nice for on a regular basis use, and the zippered pocket works high quality for keys (although they may bounce a bit).

The shorts function an easy design that doesn’t name attention to you when running. I discovered myself sporting these all the time in the summer time, running or in any other case, attributable to their moisture wicking and flexibility. They aren’t nice for quicker efforts, as the small facet slit plus lengthy inseam equals small leg holes, in order that they trip up in the event you’re sprinting. But for every little thing else the Nathan Essential Unlined is a tremendous worth.


  • Look nice as on a regular basis shorts.
  • Super deep and soft-touch facet pockets, plus zippered pocket on rear.
  • Effective drawstring.


  • Zippered pocket placement isn’t nice for gadgets like keys.
  • Ride up when running quick.
$60 at Nathan

Best for Trail Running: On Ultra Shorts

For most distances, the On Ultra Shorts remove the must run with a hydration pack or running belt, because of the high quantity of storage for gear, goo, snacks and hydration.

The On Ultra liner is actually delicate, and the seams are so minimal that I didn’t chafe. The shorts have six pockets, most of that are tucked into the thick, stretchy waistband—and contents don’t shift whereas running. The 4 entrance pockets are nice for quick-stash snacks and the rear zippered pocket is nice for keys. The rear pocket overlays a sleeve, which may home a delicate flask for hydration on your run. And the facet pocket suits a telephone with much less bounce than I anticipated.

Overall, the pockets are the true star of this quick. The outer was a bit stiffer than rivals, and I’d additionally may measurement up subsequent time, as I discovered them barely much less roomy in the seat than others, particularly when loaded down with gear.


  • Excellent pocket setup for lengthy path runs and ultramarathons.
  • Brief liner is delicate and light-weight.
  • Eliminates want for hydration pack or running belt.


  • The outer materials isn’t as delicate as others on this record.
  • Not the most roomy slot in the rear.
$120 at On Running

Best Long-Liner (Boxer Brief-Lined): Patagonia Multi-Trail Shorts 8”

Patagonia Multi-Trail Shorts are the excellent possibility for folk who don’t like the options of many running shorts—specifically, tremendous quick inseams and overly tech-y liners. The 8” inseam on these shorts makes them the longest on the record, however the extraordinarily comfy, light-weight liner and delicate outer material make these accessible for all runners.

While the liner is a bit unfastened, I enjoyed these on straightforward path runs or restoration days. The shorts didn’t really feel overly tech-y or quick, and so they clung properly to my body as I logged straightforward miles. Plus, the zippered facet pockets are helpful as normal on a regular basis pockets, or to maintain gear safe on your runs. I would’ve liked a liner pocket for my telephone, however the light-weight, looser match may not have supported it properly.


  • Comfortable.
  • Lightweight and breathable.
  • Good mix of pockets on outer.
  • Longer inseam makes them versatile on a regular basis shorts.


  • No pocket on liner.
  • Liner is a bit unfastened, some could desire comfortable match.
$47 at Patagonia

Also Great for Trail Running: Patagonia Strider Pro 5”

The Patagonia Strider Pro options helpful pockets for gear and snacks. While the outer materials is tremendous delicate and high high quality, the general lightness of this pair of shorts is best suited to mid-distance training. I discovered as soon as the miles piled up, the considerably loose-fitting liner rubbed at my internal thighs. Luckily, the materials is delicate sufficient that it didn’t irritate me an excessive amount of.

The fast entry pockets make grabbing snacks and goo straightforward, and the breathability of these shorts is second to none. Additionally, the 5” inseam lies at a pleasant center floor of pace and protection.


  • Materials are beautifully comfy and light-weight.
  • Very breathable temporary liner.
  • Clever pocket design for trail-necessities like goo and snacks.


  • Liner is barely unfastened, inflicting some rub
$85 at Patagonia

Best Everyday Shorts to Run in: Roark Serrano 2.0 Shorts 8”

These Roark Serrano 2.0 shorts are similar to the Nathan Essential above of their versatility. If you’ll be able to’t justify buying a pair of shorts simply for running, then the Serrano makes an amazing pair of on a regular basis shorts that you could additionally run in. These are actually my go-to journey shorts, as they pack down tremendous small, look nice round city, and I can nonetheless go on runs or hikes in them.

Roark’s materials is great. It’s delicate, breathable, and dries out quick. The 8” inseam works for many individuals and lots of makes use of, and the pockets are helpful each for running and round city. If I needed to convey one pair of shorts on a visit, it will very possible be these Roark Serrano 2.0 shorts.


  • Variety of colorways.
  • Still function helpful zippered running pockets.
  • Roark recycled polyesters are actually delicate to the contact and wick quick.


  • No slit on the facet leg, limiting vary of movement.
  • A contact lengthy.
$69 at Roark
$69 at Amazon

Best Half Tights: Tracksmith Reggie Half Tights (Unlined)

I don’t discover half tights that helpful for my model of running. But, after attempting out the Tracksmith Reggie, I need to say, I’m going to start working these into my training rotation.

I additionally examined Tracksmith’s speed-oriented half tights, the Allston, however I discovered the Reggie to be extra comfy, particularly as a result of it is unlined. The material on these is buttery delicate, and I’ve even started sporting these on chilly mornings below joggers. The small however essential inclusion of the zippered pocket on the rear waistband makes carrying keys attainable, however every little thing else about these half tights is tremendous minimal.

Half tights are fairly revealing, and outdoors of competitive runners, I assume that’s why they aren’t as widespread as common running shorts. However, if you’re attempting to set PRs, do loads of observe workouts, or like a slimmed down setup for consolation, the Tracksmith Reggie Half Tight is the most comfy I examined.


  • Incredibly delicate.
  • Stayed securely on my waist regardless of lack of drawstring.
  • Features small zippered pocket for keys.


  • Not versatile.
  • Revealing.
  • Thick materials does not dry as quick as different shorts on this record.
$78 at Tracksmith

Why You Should Trust Me

I’ve examined dozens of running shorts, half tights, and joggers—together with pairs from manufacturers like New Balance and Adidas that did not fairly make the record. I run loads, for enjoyment quite than competitors. That means I care extra about how I really feel when I’m running than how briskly I’m going. Sure, it’s enjoyable to enhance, and certainly running in well-designed shorts helps obtain higher efficiency. 

My running quick wants are consultant of a big group of runners. I’m not tremendous slim and I have massive legs, which implies that I’m susceptible to chafing. The greatest running shorts the Men’s Journal check staff have chosen for this record assist males run extra comfortably, successfully, and enjoyably.

I tried quite a few running shorts in an effort to discover the greatest performing pair to your on a regular basis training wants.

Nathan Lemin

What We Look for in the Best Running Shorts

To successfully check these shorts, I put all of them via varied procedures to get a way of every materials’s softness, sturdiness and drying pace. On my runs, I examined the zippers and pockets: I took notes on how straightforward pockets had been to open whereas transferring in addition to how safe or secure gadgets in the pockets felt throughout the bounce of running. I’ve additionally been checking for pilling in the liners. The fixed rubbing collectively of the materials could cause low-cost running shorts to put on down rapidly; the shorts on this record have held up properly. And to check drying pace and luxury when moist, I washed all the shorts collectively and hung them as much as dry, noting which liners and outers dried quickest.

I search for a number of key particulars to assist select the greatest running shorts. Personal desire is definitely a component of the determination, however whether or not you want lined or unlined shorts, longer inseams or shorter, there are some vital facets that may show you how to determine what you must store for. 

Unlined Running Shorts

Unlined shorts are usually inexpensive and extra versatile. All it is advisable do is pair them with a pair of first rate moisture-wicking underwear or compression shorts for a very good running expertise. I like my unlined shorts with a barely longer inseam (normally 7” or extra) as a result of then they will extra readily be worn as on a regular basis shorts. At least one zippered pocket; conventional facet pockets; and delicate, stretchy, and breathable materials are ideally suited options for unlined running shorts.

Brief-Lined Running Shorts

I’m not the greatest fan of brief-lined shorts as a result of my thicker thighs are inclined to rub in opposition to one another, inflicting chafing. That mentioned, well-constructed brief-lined running shorts with a high-quality liner nonetheless really feel nice. Brief-lined shorts are usually race-oriented, with quick inseams, light-weight materials, and luxury are all priorities right here.

Long Liner / Boxer Brief-Lined Running Shorts

My favourite kind of running shorts function boxer temporary liners or longer liners with mid-length inseams. These mainly function a compression quick liner hooked up to a running quick outer, which is nice as a result of the integrated liner and shorts makes for only one clothes merchandise to run in and launder afterwards. The liners typically function built-in pockets, that are nice for heavier gadgets like telephones as a result of they’re compressed to your thigh. These shorts additionally assist forestall my thighs from chafing and do an amazing job to maintain every little thing in place—even on lengthy efforts.

Half Tights

Half tights, typically known as compression shorts, are the liner of a long-lined quick, sans the outer material. These are designed for racing and pace, slicing out all pointless materials and weight so there may be much less probability for rubbing and wind-resistance. While they’re typically tremendous comfy, they depart little or no to the creativeness, so I not often put on these—save for the occasional observe exercise or further lengthy path run.

Related: We Tested Every Running Shoe Asics Offers. These Are the Best

Source link

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button