men's running shorts

The Best Running Shorts for Men

One of the most important things when it comes to running is what kind of shorts you wear. No one wants shorts that chafe or shorts that can’t carry stuff. But, as with most things these days, there’s a multitude of options when it comes to running shorts. If you don’t have time to review hundreds of men’s track shorts options, you’re in luck. Read on below to find the best men’s gym shorts, as compiled from scanning numerous expert reviews.

Our top picks

How to choose running shorts

Blindly choosing a pair of shorts off the rack probably isn’t the best idea. Instead, think of the following when you’re trying to choose between a few pairs: 

Materials: Probably one of, if the not the most importance choices for choosing comfortable shorts to exercise in. You’ll want to avoid materials like cotton, which will absorb your sweat and make for a damp, uncomfortable run. Instead, look for synthetic materials like nylon or polyester, since these fabrics tend to wick away moisture – they’re also quite stretchy and comfortable. 

Pockets: If you don’t take anything on your runs, a pair of shorts without pockets might be fine. Still, that’s not really the case for most people – these days, most people look for running shorts with phone pockets. Make sure the pockets on your shorts are deep enough so that nothing important falls out during your runs – nothing would be worse than coming home only to find that your keys fell out at some point.  

Lined Shorts: Having shorts with liners helps with a few things – it makes them more opaque and it helps reduce chafing. Tip: If you find that your thighs chafe a lot on the run, you can try sprinkling some baby powder to make them rub less. 

Overall Best Men’s Running Shorts

Under Armour Mens Raid 10-inch Workout Gym Shorts

For shorts that are generally a good option for most, we suggest these 10 inch Under Armour workout shorts. They’re made out of 84% polyester and 14% elastane – as such, these shorts are breathable, wick away sweat well and dry quickly. Plus, the material is resistant to the growth of odor causing microbes in addition to having a UPF rating of 30. 

Additionally, these shorts have two deep pockets for carrying your phone, wallet, keys, or any other small items you may want to carry around during your running session. 

Overall, customers find that these shorts are very light weight and that they don’t shrink in the dryer. However, one thing to note is that individuals found that these shorts were longer than expected – you can mitigate that by checking the dimensions and measuring to your own leg beforehand.  

Pros
  • UPF rating of 30.
  • Antimicrobial.
  • Dries quickly.
Cons
  • May be too long for some individuals.

Best Lightest Men’s Running Shorts

ASICS Men’s Rival II Shorts

If you’re looking for shorts that won’t weigh you down on a run, these ASICS shorts might be worth considering – they weigh in at just 90.7 grams. 

Since they’re made of 100% polyester, these shorts will be sure to dry quickly and keep sweat away from your skin. Additionally, there’s a drawcord at the waist for adjusting the fit of these shorts as necessary.  

One thing to note, however, is that these shorts don’t come with pockets. If you’re someone that hates the feeling of stuff jumping around in your pockets when you run, that might be a plus. But if you need to have a number of items on you while you workout, you might need to look for a different set of shorts. 

Pros
  • Lightweight.
  • Adjustable drawcord.
Cons
  • No pockets.

Best Men’s 2 in 1 Running Shorts/Men’s Compression Shorts

Lululemon Athletica License to Train Lined Short (7”)

In general, there’s several benefits to wearing compression shorts such as reducing delayed onset muscle soreness and preventing chafing. These 7-inch shorts give your skin room to breathe while also tapering to your legs and fitting well. Plus, the mesh nylon/elastane/polyester blend of these shorts ensures that they’ll dry quickly and won’t leave you feeling bogged down. 

Additionally, you won’t need to worry about anything falling out of your pockets at the gym – these shorts come with zippered pockets so you can rest easy knowing your phone and wallet are going to be right where you left them. 

Overall, customers found that these two in one running shorts were quite durable – on the flip side, some found that these shorts run tight and that you may need to upsize. 

Pros
  • Zippered pockets.
  • Reduces delayed onset muscle soreness.
  • Quick drying. 
Cons
  • Sizing runs small.

Best Men’s Split Running Shorts

Nike Men’s Flex Stride 5 inch Running Shorts

Split running shorts are a great option for those who find that regular style running shorts are too constrictive around the thigh area – they allow your leg more room to move. Plus, the brief liner provides support in the areas that need it the most. 

As with many other running shorts, these ones are made from a blend of polyester, nylon and elastane for stretch, comfort, and ability to dry quickly. They also feature 3 pockets – two regular side pockets in addition to a zippered back pocket for anything especially important. 

If you’re into taking evening runs, these shorts would make a great addition to your workout gear – they feature a reflective swoosh and bars, making it easier to see you in low light conditions. 

Overall, customers find that these shorts are comfortable, light weight and not too long. However, some customers note that the lighter coloured options of these shorts can have visible water or sweat stains. Even so, such stains tend to try quickly. 

Pros
  • Lightweight.
  • Reflective in the dark.
  • Zippered pockets.
Cons
  • Lighter colours display water and sweat stains easily.

Best 5 Inch Running Shorts

Naviskin Men’s 5″ Quick Dry Running Shorts

Here’s another option for those who have issues with shorts being too tight around their thighs – split shorts such as these 5-inch men’s running shorts from Naviskin can help with such issues. As with many other running shorts, these ones are made from a polyester and spandex blend, meaning that they’re lightweight and wick away sweat well. 

If you prefer running in the evening outdoors, these shorts feature a reflective logo so that you’re more visible in low light conditions (still, if you plan to run in darker conditions, make sure you wear other gear that will make you more visible as well.)

Have lots of stuff to carry? Not to worry – these shorts come with side pockets as well as a zippered back pocket to keep your wallet and other valuables safe while you’re out running. 

Overall, these shorts dry quickly, and they are quite light weight. However, if you store too much in the side pockets, you can feel the pockets swinging as you run. 

Pros
  • Several pockets, including one zippered option.
  • Less constrictive than other short styles.
  • Reflective in the dark.
Cons
  • Pockets swing around if too much is placed in them.

Best Men’s 4 inch Shorts

Lululemon Athletica Surge Lined Short (4”)

Four-inch shorts are a nice in-between for short shorts and shorts that touch your knees. If you’re not a fan of super form fitting shorts, these relaxed fit Lululemon shorts might be the ones for you. 

As with several other gym shorts in this list, they’re made of a polyester and elastane blend that makes them both stretchy and quick to dry so you’re not weighed down. Additionally, these shorts feature flat locked seams to reduce any chafing you may experience while running.  

Something unique about these shorts is that they feature a waistband loop to tie your shirt around in case you get too hot on your runs.  

Overall, customers find that these shorts hold up quite well even when saturated with sweat. Additionally, shorter men or men with smaller inseams tend to find that these shorts fit especially well. On the flip side, some customers found that the liner rides up a little. 

Pros
  • Good for men with smaller inseams.
  • Flat locked seams for reduced chafing.
Cons
  • Available online only.
  • The liner rides up a little for some people.

Best Men’s 3-inch Shorts

Sherpa 3″ Split Short

If you hate the feeling of fabric on top of your sweaty legs, 3-inch shorts like this one will help minimize that feeling. Plus, it even has a sweat wicking liner to help even further minimize sweaty skin. 

What’s particularly nice is that the pockets of these shorts feature a bungee cord, for you to tie your keys to – no more worrying that you’re going to be locked outside of your house because your house keys fell out mid run. 

Overall, customers find that the material for these shorts feels thick while feeling lightweight at the same time. However, some customers also find that the waistband rides up some during runs. 

Pros
  • Minimal leg coverage.
  • Bungee cords in pockets to secure keys. 
Cons
  • Waistband may ride up.

Our methodology

For this post, we wanted to find running shorts appropriate for various different sizes and budgets. We spent several hours researching the best running shorts available – as such, only running shorts with at least a 4 star rating on Amazon, Google Reviews, and other trusted consumer sites were included in this guide.  

Questions and answers on men’s running shorts

What are the best brands to buy men’s jogging shorts from? 

That really depends on your personal preference – even men’s athletic shorts from the same brand can vary quite widely. That being said, the following is a list of some of the most popular brands people buy their running apparel from: Adidas, Brooks, Gymshark, Under Armour, Nike, ASICS, and Lululemon. 

Should I buy shorts with liners? 

Shorts liners can provide extra support, help to wick away sweat and prevent your shorts from being see-through. Additionally, shorts with compression liners can even help reduce the amount of soreness you feel the next day after a good run. Ultimately, like many things, it’s personal preference. 

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Updated date

May 13th, 2022

About the author

Pearl Tsui

Pearl Tsui is a writer that’s written anything from posts showcasing adorable animals to guides detailing what you can do to reduce your utility costs. When she’s not typing away at her laptop or avoiding the sun, she likes to explore the Edmonton River Valley as well as spoil her boyfriend’s cat with various catnip toys.
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