Running shorts are much more complicated than you might think. Choose the right ones, and you barely ever have to think of them at all. Choose the wrong ones, though, and you’ll be in a constant hell of chafed thighs and strained muscles and ligaments after you change your stride to compensate for your running shorts tangling your junk. As you can see, the running shorts game is high stakes.
But fear not, gentle friends, because I’ve picked out the 15 best running shorts and I’m here to break them down so you can make the choice that’s right for you. Want something short with no frills? We’ve got you covered. Need something a little longer because you don’t want that ass hanging out? You’ll find it here. Whatever your needs, you’ll find it below in one of these fifteen killer pairs of running shorts.
At only 3.5” these are some pretty short shorts, which means that you won’t have to worry about chafing from loose fabric. And the mesh side panels combined with Nike Dri-Fit work to keep everything dry down there no matter how much you sweat. It also has an internal key pocket, so you can store your small items without having to worry about them falling out.
Of course, not everyone wants a pair of tight-fitting short shorts. You just want something comfortable and baggy. It’s a trade-off for sure, but these 9” mesh shorts that hang to just above the knee will protect your modesty and give you a baggier fit, which is key if that’s what you’re used to because the last thing you need to be worried about when you’re working out is being self-conscious about what you’re wearing.
7” is still longer without being too long, especially if you don’t have long legs. It’s a good compromise length. These also have an inner pocket and are made with moisture wicking technology, which means that they’ll keep you dry and chafe-free.
Okay, so these are basically the same shorts only a little shorter. That might seem like a trivial difference, but it can make a world of difference when it comes to comfort. These shorts have all the same features, including a reflective logo which I forgot to mention earlier, and which is a killer feature for people who like to run at night.
At 9” this is another long short, but the breathable fabric and Tesla’s HyperDri II technology will make sure that won’t become 9” of heavy sweat. Deep side pockets mean you’ll be able to bring your phone with you and the UPF 50+ treated fabric means that you’ll be protected from ultraviolet radiation.
Okay, so the one main problem with the Tesla Men’s Active Shorts just discussed – and many running shorts in general – is that they don’t have a dedicated inner liner. That’s where compression shorts come in. They provide a killer base layer that does most of the protection work while the baggier shorts keep people from gawking at your junk. Team the two up, and you have a killer running short game. Or you could just strip down to the compression shorts and not worry what other people think. It’s your choice. One thing: Tesla recommends buying one size higher than you normally wear.
These fitted short shorts are designed to allow for a freer range of movement without being too short if that makes any sense. I mean there’s short and then there’s “my gear is hanging out” short. These give you that short shorts freedom while still hanging on to a little bit of modesty. They also have deep, zippered side pockets so your non-junk junk won’t fall out either.
Now these are some short shorts, the kind of shorts you want if you want to feel like you aren’t wearing anything at all but also don’t want to get arrested for exposing yourself. They’re basically just a cradle for your junk with a little fabric added to keep your ass from hanging out. This is what the ancient Greeks would wear if they went out running today. If it’s good enough for Leonidas, it’s good enough for you.
Another pair of compression shorts, these are ideal for wearing underneath your short shorts, but can also be worn as your main running shorts if you’re feeling bold enough. Compression shorts also promote better blood circulation and help your muscles recover faster, so… yeah, that’s always nice. And these ones in particular are made with anti-odor and anti-itch technology, which is maybe even nicer.
These are 9” long shorts, not 5” like it says in the description. They’re the perfect length for anyone who needs a little more coverage or who just has long legs. The Dri-Fit tech from Nike, along with a moisture wicking built-in liner and mesh side panels, all work together to ensure that you stay dry and comfortable.
Another long 9” pair of shorts, these also contain moisture wicking built-in underwear that extends to the top of the upper thigh. That underwear is the real performer here, while the outer short is for show/comfort. You can wear these running or you can wear them lounging, which is nice for people who want some versatility in their running shorts. Oh, and did I mention they’re also super affordable?
These shorter shorts are short without being too short. You know the drill by now. The tight fit provides excellent freedom of movement while still looking like shorts and not man-panties. Moisture wicking tech will keep you dry and deep zippered pockets will keep your phone safe.
These longer shorts don’t have an inner-lining, but they’re so light-weight that it might not even matter that much. That’s because unlike most polyester shorts these shorts are a hybrid of cotton and bamboo! Sure, it might mean a panda bear makes a run at your junk, but that’s a small price to pay for material that makes you feel like you’re barely wearing anything at all. Moisture wicking tech helps keep you dry and the UPF 50+ treatment keeps you safe from the sun.
One last pair of compression shorts, these are the highest rated on Amazon. These are anti-bacterial treated to keep you from developing some weird fungus on your junk and they’re also designed to dry quickly, which is important both for fungus-avoidance reasons and for your precious comfort.
These shorts are among the highest rated on Amazon, and with over 3,000 user reviews, one of the most popular. That’s a killer combination. And it’s no wonder why, because these shorts are basically what a picture of running shorts would look like if you looked it up in an encyclopedia. At only 2.25”, they’re very short, but they’re not so tight that they end up looking tiny. They’re… well, they’re running shorts.