From 5Ks to Marathons: The Ultimate Guide to Choosing the Perfect Running Shorts

Man with running shorts

As a seasoned runner, I know the importance of having the proper gear to help me achieve my goals. We already covered the best running pants on the market. Now we will introduce you ti the best running shorts. Whether it’s a quick 5K or a grueling marathon, having the right pair of running shorts can make all the difference. 

But with so many options on the market, how do you know which ones to choose? In this ultimate guide, I’ll share my tips for selecting the perfect running shorts, including factors to consider, types of shorts available, and the top brands to look out for.

Introduction to Running Shorts

Running shorts are a staple piece of clothing for runners of all levels. They offer breathability and comfort while allowing for a full range of motion. But not all of them are created equal. Depending on your needs and preferences, you may want to consider various factors before making a purchase.

Why It’s Important to Choose the Right Running Shorts

Choosing the right shorts can make or break your running experience. A poor-fitting pair of shorts can cause chafing, irritation, and discomfort, leading to a less enjoyable run. On the other hand, a properly fitting pair of shorts can enhance your performance by providing support, comfort, and freedom of movement.

Choosing a good pair of running shorts can significantly improve your comfort and performance. You’ll be able to enjoy your runs even more once you’ve chosen a pair of shorts that fit well and are constructed of a breathable fabric.

Factors to Consider When Choosing Running Shorts

When choosing running shorts, there are several factors to consider, including length, fabric, style, and fit. Their length should depend on your personal preference and the weather conditions you’ll be running in. For warmer weather, shorter shorts may be more comfortable, while longer shorts may be preferred in cooler temperatures.

The fabric should be lightweight, breathable, and moisture-wicking to keep you cool and dry during your run. Look for materials such as nylon, polyester, or spandex blends. The style of your shorts can also vary, with options such as compression shorts, split shorts, and 2-in-1 shorts available.

Finally, the fit of your running shorts is crucial. You want them to be snug enough to stay in place while running, but not so tight that they restrict your movement or cause discomfort. Try on several different sizes and styles to discover the best fit for your body type.

Types: Compression Shorts, Split Shorts, and More

There are several types of running shorts available on the market, each with its own unique features and benefits. Compression shorts provide support to your muscles, increasing blood flow and reducing muscle fatigue. 

Split shorts offer a full range of motion, making them perfect for sprinters or runners who prefer a shorter inseam. 2-in-1 shorts, on the other hand, combine the support of compression shorts with the coverage of regular shorts, providing the best of both worlds.

Top Brands

When it comes to running shorts, the brand can make a big difference in terms of quality, durability, and performance. Some of the top brands include Nike, Adidas, Under Armour, and Asics. Each brand offers a variety of styles, fabrics, and sizes to choose from, ensuring that you can find the perfect pair to suit your needs.

Best Running Shorts for Men

Source: Patagonia

Patagonia’s Strider Pro Running Shorts are an excellent all-around choice. They’re constructed of lightweight, sweat-wicking fabric. They also include a built-in liner for further support and comfort. 

Source: Nike

Another excellent option for males is the Nike Flex Stride Running Shorts. They’re comprised of a breathable, elastic fabric that moves with your body. They also have pockets and come in 5-inch and 7-inch inseams.

Source: Under Armour

The Under Armour Launch SW Running Shorts are an excellent choice for guys looking for a comfortable and reasonably priced pair of shorts. They’re composed of breathable fabric and have a built-in lining that helps to improve the general structure of these shorts.

Best Running Shorts for Women

Source: Nike

The Nike Dri-FIT Tempo Shorts are made up of a lightweight fabric that keeps you dry and comfortably cool. They offer a loose fit and a few helpful pockets for keys, phones, and other items.

Source: Lululemon

The Wunder Train Shorts by Lululemon are constructed of a soft, flexible fabric that moves with you. They offer a high-rise waist for support and a comfortable fit. There is also a phone pocket tucked in the waistline.

Source: Asics

The Asics Gel-Nami Shorts make use of a special fabric that keeps you cool and dry. They have a snug fit and a built-in liner to keep your modesty safe. These shorts come with a few useful pockets.

How to Properly Care for Your Running Shorts

To ensure that your running shorts last as long as possible, it’s important to care for them properly. Always follow the label’s care directions, which might call for washing in cold water, not using fabric softeners, and air drying. Towels or clothing with zippers or Velcro should not be washed with your shorts since they may harm the fabric or cause pilling.

Where to Buy Running Shorts

They can be purchased at a variety of retailers, both in-store and online. Some popular options include sporting goods stores, specialty running stores, and online retailers such as Amazon or Zappos. Be sure to try on multiple sizes and styles to find the perfect pair for your body type and needs.


Choosing the perfect pair can be a daunting task, but with the right information and guidance, it can be easy and even enjoyable. Consider the factors discussed in this ultimate guide, such as length, fabric, style, and fit, and explore the top brands and types of shorts available on the market. 

With the right pair of running shorts, you can enhance your performance, stay comfortable and cool, and achieve your goals. So lace up those sneakers, hit the pavement, and enjoy your next run in style and comfort!

Thinking of buying a treadmill? Here’s my favorite, I always recommend it when asked.

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