The best running shorts for men

Sure, running shorts might not be the most exciting product, but if you think about how many hours you spend wearing them for your running training, it’s clear how important they are.

And most importantly, they can also affect performance. Here, we’ll walk you through how and share our pick of the best men’s running shorts.

What kind of shorts are best for running?

As with many things, the answer to this question will likely be different from person to person, depending on your preferences and plans.

For example, your ideal short length will depend on the time of year, while your preference for a liner may depend on whether or not you have tried and trusted clothing. running underwear you rely on.

What is consistent about all of the best running shorts for men, however, is that they use high performance material. By this we mean a thin and light technical fabric, which wicks away moisture well (unlike cotton) and allows great freedom of movement.

Some shorts will also feature ventilation holes, ideal for keeping you cool, and an anti-odor treatment, which will help keep the pong at bay.

How to choose running shorts

Men’s running shorts come in all shapes and sizes, including lengths as short as three inches and as long as nine (measurements are based on inseam). A longer fit provides extra protection from the elements, including sun, wind and cool temperatures. However, they will also be heavier, especially when wet, and are more likely to cause friction.

Shorter cuts don’t offer as much barrier against the elements, but are cooler, lighter and can result in more freedom of movement.

Your choice of length is likely to be influenced by the conditions you run in, what you find comfortable, and what style you prefer (not everyone is a fan of cropped shorts).

You will also need to decide whether or not you want shorts with an inner liner. The majority of running shorts for men come with shorts, sometimes in the form of briefs, but sometimes longer. compression lining, which can help reduce friction.

Depending on the compressive nature of the liner, the interior may provide benefits such as better blood circulation and reduces muscle inflammation. However, the benefits of particular garments are difficult to qualify, and many liners are not really compressive, but just snug.

Then we come to the pockets… Again, it’s a personal choice. If you carry your phone in an armband, your needs will be different from someone who wants to carry it in a pocket. We like to see at least one zipped pocket for a key, gels or other essentials.

If there’s a pocket for your phone, it should be secure and not bounce around while you’re on the move, which is why most pockets are located on the waistband. Some men’s running shorts also feature elasticated pockets on the liner, which are good for keeping things from bouncing around, but can get quite sweaty.

And then there’s the issue of comfort, which is probably the most important consideration of all. If your running shorts irritate you or limit your movement, it will impact your enjoyment and performance, so try before you buy.

The best running shorts for men

Montane Dragon Twin Skin Shorts

Ideal for the trail

As the name suggests, Montane’s Dragon Twin Skin Shorts feature both a regenerated nylon interior and a loose, lightweight exterior. The suit provides a really comfortable experience and our only small criticism is that the waist seam can be a bit awkward if you’re not wearing underwear.

The fit is loose, but the stretchy waistband and internal drawstring keep the shorts in place. A zipped pocket on the back offers enough space for a key, card and energy gel, while reflective details improve visibility. In short, we loved running in the Montanes.

Verdict: Only a few small details prevent top marks here.

Goal: 84%

Zone3 2-in-1 Phantom Short Circuit

Ideal for recovery

Similar to the Soar running shorts tested, this option from Zone3 is at the more expensive end of the market. The Phantom 2-in-1 shorts look great, with subtle branding and detailing, but it’s the internal compression shorts that generate the main talking point here.

This extra liner provides extra warmth when the air is cold, while its compressive nature is said to help increase blood flow, reduce lactic acid buildup and improve performance and recovery.

It’s hard to say for sure if it was achieved here without controlled scientific testing, but they were certainly supportive. In fact, it’s worth noting that the interior is extremely compressive, with this tester’s legs bulging at the bottom.

Despite this, they remained comfortable for running, although the waistband tended to slowly pull down due to the claw-like grip of the interior. While the latter adds welcome warmth in the winter, you may find it a little warm in the summer.

That aside, the moisture wicking is impressive and they dry quickly too. Storage is taken care of with a hidden bungee-style pocket on the inner shorts, which could hold a key, gels or phone (although it might get a little sweaty!).

Verdict: If the compression interior works for you, these are great shorts.

Goal: 82%

Soar 17cm short

Ideal for year-round use

Soar says the 17cm shorts are designed as an alternative to the brand’s 4.0 three-season shorts, losing the long inner liner to allow for a smooth, chafe-free ride. With this you will lose a certain amount of heat, but we never thought that was a deciding factor during our winter runs.

The cut ensures a decent level of coverage, sitting a few inches above the knee, but unless you’re particularly rugged you might want to complement them with running tights in sub-zero temperatures.

When the mercury starts to rise, the lack of lining, lightweight fabric and ventilation holes help prevent overheating, while the material also happens to dry out quickly. A rear zipped pocket is large enough to hold keys, gels or even a phone at a glance, while reflective detailing improves visibility. Comfort is also top-notch, with the soft, brief liner providing decent support and causing no chafing.

Yes, they cost £85 and that’s a lot of money for a pair of running shorts. But if you’re happy to spend that much, you’ll get premium, comfortable, and versatile gear that you can use for much of the year.

Verdict: Expensive, but reliable and comfortable shorts for year-round use.

Goal: 88%

On hybrid running shorts

Ideal for versatility

Yes, £80 for shorts makes us cringe too. But what you get here are two pairs of shorts, a tighter inner pair and a loose outer pair that clip together. The cost-per-wear ratio is acceptable as we wore both together, the inners for swimming or the outer tights. A seamless design, flexible waistband and Italian fabric add to the stylish ensemble.

Verdict: An exceptional price but a duo of top-of-the-range and skilfully made shorts.

Goal: 83%

Also think…

Dhb Aeron Run 5″ Base Layer

These men’s running shorts are part of dhb’s Aeron Run collection, which features lightweight, high-wicking, striped running clothing. It’s made from polyester and spandex, with lightweight outer shorts and an inner mesh lining.

The latter is designed to reduce the risk of chafing while providing decent breathability and moisture wicking properties.

A zipped back pocket provides storage space, which the brand claims can accommodate a smartphone (depending on its size), while there are also reflective details to help you be seen.

Under Armor Speed ​​Stride 7 Inch Shorts

Like the dhb shorts above, the Speed ​​Stride 7 inch shorts from Under Armor offer a cheaper alternative to some of the other options on this list.

The brand claims they’re made from a super-lightweight woven fabric with HeatGear technology, which is designed to help wick moisture away from your skin.

Inside you will find mesh briefs to allow you to do without underwear, while a drawstring on the elasticated waist is included to guarantee an optimal fit.

The Under Armor logo is supposed to be reflective to help with visibility, but there are no zippered pockets. Instead, your only storage option is the two open hand pockets.

Ronhill Tech Revive 5 Inch Running Shorts

Designed to take on long runs in comfort, the Tech Revive Shorts are made from recycled yarns and are said to have a relaxed fit.

There is an inner brief for support and the material is meant to be stretchy to help provide a wide range of movement.

Ronhill says the brand’s Vaporlite technology used here provides good moisture management with the aim of keeping you cool and dry.

In terms of functionality, there’s a reflective trim to improve visibility and a rear zipped pocket for smaller items like keys.

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