The best running shorts can go anywhere from hiking trails to jogging on the treadmill. Like your go-to pair of stylish summer shorts, you want to look and feel great for athletic adventures too. If you’re still running in your high school basketball shorts, this article is for you.
Investing in a solid pair of running shorts can really elevate your whole experience. The technical fabrics will keep you cool, wick sweat, prevent chafing, and more. You’ll be surprised at how much the best running shorts can do – they are designed to fix the running-specific problems that have lowkey bothered you for years. Tired of wondering how many times your keys will fall out from your pocket while running?
Keep reading to find the best running shorts for men that will truly up your game. You’re welcome.
Our Top Picks
If a 5-inch running short is your cup of tea, these Flex Stride running shorts from
Made with sustainable materials, the best running shorts have everything you need; enhanced breathability, soft brief liner, convenient zip pockets, and lightweight, stretchy fabric. These shorts are the ideal length with a relaxed fit for a comfortable feel, while the thoughtful brief liner provides secure support where you need it most.
There are numerous fun colors available for these running shorts (we love the neon yellow and highlighter pink) but stick with black or gray if you want to keep things classic.
Material: Recycled polyester, spandex | Sizes available: XS-4XL | Inseam: 5” | Best for: Running | Waistband: Drawcord | Length: Short | Pockets: Yes
For those on the lookout for something a bit more modest and less revealing, Lululemon’s 7-inch Pace Breaker Lined Short is the best pick. Lululemon’s technical fabrics are to die for and these best running shorts will instantly elevate the look and feel of your runs.
Swift fabric features four-way stretch and sweat-wicking properties that were brilliantly designed for running and training. You’ll love the OOM™ (Out of Mind) liner made from quick-drying mesh fabric and the convenient zippered storage for any essentials. It even has a no-bounce phone pocket with a cord exit if you’re sticking to wired earphones.
Material: Recycled polyester, elastane | Sizes available: XS-XXL | Inseam: 7” | Best for: Running & Training | Waistband: Drawcord | Length: Mid | Pockets: Yes
Many men swear by compression shorts for heavy exercise and running because they’re known for reducing muscle fatigue and soreness. Whether you’re already a religious wearer or you want to give compression gear a try, these Runhit Compression Shorts are an amazing, high-quality option.
This three-pack purchase has over 10k positive reviews on Amazon, probably because it supports your glutes, quads, and hamstrings while increasing blood flow and improving bone alignment. The added spandex also makes them extremely stretchy and sweat-wicking. They’ll be tight, but you’ll be surprised at how cooling it feels.
If you’re afraid to look like you are wearing ballet leggings, try layering a short-short on top or wear a longer, oversized t-shirt to make it less revealing.
Material: 88% polyester, 12% spandex | Sizes available: XS-4XL | Inseam: 6.5”-7.5” | Best for: Running, Yoga, Training| Waistband: Elastic | Length: Long | Pockets: No
If you like to carry multiple belongings on your runs, Fabletics’ The One Short is the perfect option. The design of these best running shorts may seem minimal at a first glance, but if you look closely, they feature several pockets that will let you completely ditch your fanny pack.
The One Short includes the usual side pockets (yes, they are zipped) to store your important items. And on the inner liner, there is also a dedicated pocket slot for your smartphone. – because is it really a run without your phone?
Our favorite part of these shorts is that it also features a unique loop on the waistband where you can carry a sports towel – a thoughtful feature that sweaty dudes will no doubt appreciate.
Material: 79% nylon, 21% spandex | Sizes available: XS-XXL | Inseam: 7” | Best for: Running & Training | Waistband: Drawcord on elastic waist | Length: Mid | Pockets: Yes
If you are looking for the perfect pair of lightweight running shorts that will give you full freedom of movement, go for the Own The Run Split Shorts by Adidas. The split running shorts will allow you to take full strides and even do splits in them (get it?).
Cut in woven fabric made with recycled materials, these split shorts are lightweight and breezy while the AEROREADY water-absorbent material wicks moisture so you stay dry. The built-in inner briefs feel supportive and airy, giving you the best of both worlds.
The split side hems also have an optically elongating effect, making your legs appear longer, which is a plus for some.
Material: Recycled polyester | Sizes available: M-2XL | Inseam: 4” | Best for: Running | Waistband: Drawcord on elastic waist | Length: Short | Pockets: Yes
2XU’s Aero 2-in-1 Mesh Shorts are exceptional for long-distance running enthusiasts. They feature an endless list of elements that make these the best running shorts for those who strive for comfort.
As a specialist running and triathlon brand, 2XU is notorious for thoughtful designs. The built-in PWX compression shorts provide the perfect lining to support muscles while preventing injury, and the perforated mesh fabric improves ventilation with a featherlight feel.
Get the health benefits of compression shorts and freedom of movement of split shorts with these 2-in-1 best running shorts.
Material: Polyester, nylon, LYCRA | Sizes available: S-XL | Inseam: 5” | Best for: Running | Waistband: Drawcord on elastic waist | Length: Short | Pockets: Yes
We get it, liners might not be an everyday type of thing. Sometimes you just want to be free in a pair of loose, lightweight running shorts. Outdoor Voices’ Linerless High Stride Shorts are your best pick for a comfortable, unlined pair of shorts.
The best running shorts are made with a super lightweight, sweat-wicking material that’s breathable and stretchy for increased mobility. They’re built to be layered over tights but can also be enjoyed solo for maximum comfort and simplicity.
We love that these shorts are stylish enough to be seen in public so why not take advantage of it? Take these out for a walk and grab a casual bite afterward at your local brunch spot.
Material: Recycled polyester | Sizes available: XS-XL | Inseam: 2.09”-3.19” | Best for: Running | Waistband: Internal drawstrings on elastic waistband | Length: Short | Pockets: Yes
The best pair of ultralight and ultra-breathable running shorts are On’s Race Shorts. If you’re looking for a pair of shorts with all possible distractions cut out, these are for you.
On is most known for its unbelievably light and comfortable running sneakers, and its running shorts collection doesn’t fail to impress either.
These Race Shorts feature splits down the sides for freedom of movement and perforated material for accelerated ventilation. Rely on these shorts for hot and humid days to give you the best cooling mobility.
Material: Polyester, elastane | Sizes available: S-XXL | Inseam: 7” | Best for: Running & Training | Waistband: Internal drawstrings on elastic waistband | Length: Short | Pockets: Yes
For the best ultimately sleek look try out District Vision’s TomTom Speed Tight Running Shorts. These aren’t as compressing as compression shorts but more like your favorite pair of biking shorts, giving you a slim silhouette.
District Vision’s signature tech-shell fabric is Italian-milled and 100% recycled. These stretchy, featherlike best running shorts also feature sweat-wicking and odor-controlling properties – which is a bonus for you and anyone else in your near vicinity.
Look for the unexpected but incredibly useful patch pockets like the secure rear zip pocket, side phone pocket, and an interior key pocket.
Material: 79% polyester, 21% elastane | Sizes available: S-XL | Inseam: 9” | Best for: Running | Waistband: Drawstring waist | Length: Long | Pockets: Yes
If you’re a runner who pushes through the cold, Satisfy’s Layered CoffeeThermal and Justice Shorts are here to rescue you. These best running shorts feature a double-layered design with an insulating liner and lightweight, sweatproof nylon shorts.
These shorts promise to keep you warm with the inventive coffee charcoal lining that provides natural thermal insulation. We also love the sweat-proof phone pocket that will keep you and your screen dry. And yes, the pocket does fit up to an iPhone 13 Pro Max.
Bonus points – reflective 3M prints on the shorts catch car headlights to keep you visible from all sides when you’re out and about in the dark.
Material: Nylon, elastane | Sizes available: 1-4 | Inseam: 7”-9.5” | Best for: Running | Waistband: Drawstring waist | Length: Short | Pockets: Yes
The shorts with the best
The poly woven fabric gives you a fit that’s athletic, effortless, and super comfortable. These shorts do feature hand pockets but no zippers, so be prepared to carry a small bag with you if you carry a bunch of things on your run.
Think of these New Balance as the best running shorts or at least an upgraded version of your favorite high school gym shorts. They’re guaranteed to become your go-to pair for all exercise sessions and chores.
Material: 55% recycled polyester, 45% polyester | Sizes available: XS-2XL | Inseam: 5” | Best for: Running & Training | Waistband: Elasticated waistband | Length: Short | Pockets: Yes
Champion’s 9″ Mesh Shorts are the best option for plus-size or tall guys with long legs. They’re cut a little longer than your usual pair of best running shorts and also feature a baggier fit, making them an ideal choice for larger men.
The classic Champion C logo is reminiscent of your favorite old pair of basketball shorts. Plus, you get a snug but flexible fit with the pull-on closure mixed with the polyester mesh and tricot lining.
As a trendless piece, the best running shorts are highly versatile and will pair well with most of your t-shirts. They’re a comfortable pick for sports of all types.
Material: 100% polyester | Sizes available: XS-4XL | Inseam: 9” | Best for: Running & Training | Waistband: Elasticated waistband | Length: Long | Pockets: Yes
What to look for in best men’s running shorts
Overall, we suggest you go for something lightweight, moisture-wicking, and soft to the touch. Next up, decide if you want more special features like stretch, insulation, and breathability. If you want something stretchy, look for things like spandex and elastane. For the most breathable options, go for nylon or polyester-based materials.
The fit for the best running shorts can be broken down into two main categories; compression or regular fit shorts. If you have issues with muscle aches, check out compression shorts to increase oxygen and blood flow, which helps the muscles to warm up more quickly. Most men who aren’t fans of tightness stick to regular fit shorts for breathable air circulation and different length options.
If you need to run with the essentials like your phone and keys, look for pockets that preferably have zippers, so your things don’t fall out. Many products feature handy separate phone pockets on the liners nowadays.
Running liners provide support and sweat-wicking properties to keep things cool, comfortable, and dry while you’re running. Liners are usually made with extremely soft fabrics to prevent chafing and allow you to skip the underwear if you prefer.
If the shorts come with layered compression tights or soft liners underneath, guys usually don’t wear anything under running shorts. However, if you prefer to have a bit more support, we suggest wearing snug underwear or longer tights/ leggings if you are running in colder weather.
The easiest way to fold running shorts is to fold them in half twice. Start by laying it flat right side up and fold them vertically. Then, fold it again horizontally so that the waistband and the bottom hem of the leg openings line up.
With the exception of compression shorts, the best men’s running shorts should fit not too tight but not too loose either. If they are too tight, you might find them to be uncomfortable while running and if they are too loose, you may end up pantsing yourself. A pro tip is to find shorts with a drawcord string on the waistband so you can adjust the fit accordingly.