Best running shorts to buy this summer, according to experts

These running shorts from Nike, Rabbit, Hill City, Girlfriend Collective and more are both functional and stylish.
Best running shorts for women and men from New Balance, Under Armour, Rabbit and more
If you’ve been looking to upgrade your running gear, here are the best running shorts, chosen by fitness experts and amateurs.Getty Images
By Christine Clark

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As the weather gets warmer, some runners are finally finding their stride (while minding safe social distancing, of course) — the sun is out, winter, is gone, and it’s time to be outside. For those who already run sweaty (pun intended), though, summer heat can be a major deterrent. While we can’t do anything about the temperature outside, there is something you can about how your clothes react to it. If you’ve been looking to upgrade your running gear, here are the best running shorts, chosen by fitness experts and amateurs — these options can be great for transitioning your workout into warmer weather, no matter how much or how little you train.

1. Rabbit Daisy Dukes 2.0 Men’s Running Shorts

Jason Falcon, an ultramarathoner and owner of Falcon Fitness & Nutrition in Virginia Beach, loves Rabbit’s line of running shorts. “They’re lightweight, comfy and actually look great. It’s hard to find that trio in running shorts.” This pair has a 3-inch inseam and a center rear zip pocket large enough to hold most phones.

2. Rabbit Fully Re-loaded Men’s Running Shorts

If you prefer your shorts a little longer, this Rabbit pair has the same features as the daisy dukes but with a bit more coverage.'

3. New Balance Women's Impact Run Shorts

Jordan Zimmerman, a marathoner based in Louisville, Kentucky, likes this pair for its “high, comfy waistband,” zippered pocket and light coverage.

4. New Balance Men's Impact Run Shorts

It also comes in a men’s version, featuring the same zipped pocket for your phone, keys or whatever else you need to bring.

5. Under Armour Women's Speedpocket 2-in-1 Shorts

Zimmerman also loves this short. “Compression on the inside and flowery on the outside so that you don’t feel like you’re showing off your assets,” she said. The back pocket easily holds a smartphone, too!”

6. NIKE Women's Elevate Running Shorts

“You know what chafes a lot?” queries Zimmerman. “Undies. Lots of marathoners don’t wear them.” If that sounds unappealing, she suggests a short with built-in briefs, like this pair from Nike.

7. Superfit Pocket Shorts

“Everyone loves shorts with pockets,” says Leigh Power, a longtime runner based in Vancouver, Canada. She is a fan of these, which are longer than most running shorts and are also size-inclusive (up to 5XL).

8. Hotty Hot Short II 2.5"

Power also recommends these shorts by Lululemon for their durability — and fun colors.

9. Universal Standard Knockout Bike Shorts

Another great size-inclusive (up to size 40) option: These bike shorts from Universal Standard. Chelsea Francis, a photographer and outdoor workout enthusiast based in Austin, Texas, loves them for their comfort and pockets. “I should really just get rid of all my other workout clothes and buy another pair of these,” she said in jest.

10. Spacedye Biker Short

Another Francis favorite are these shorts from Beyond Yoga, which go up to size 3X. “They are incredibly comfortable and soft while retaining good structure,” she explains.

11. Girlfriend Collective High-Rise Bike Short

Erika Owen, a powerlifter and runner based in Brooklyn, New York, recommends these bike shorts from Girlfriend Collective, which go up to a 6X. “They’re technically bike shorts, but great for running too,” she says. “They’re technically spandex-like and form-fitting, but so comfortable.”

Other highly-rated running shorts to consider

1. Hill City X-Purpose Shorts with Lining

Hill City’s approach to running shorts gets you abrasion-resistant nylon that stretches four ways, repels water and resists wrinkles. The liner is anti-odor and quick-drying and includes a handy smartphone pocket.

2. SAXX Kinetic Sport Shorts

We’ve covered SAXX before in our guide to the best men’s underwear — and their running shorts are just as notable. These running shorts are odor-resistant and sport the same proprietary Ballpark Pouch as their underwear — a hammock-like compartment at the groin — to keep everything comfortable and breathable.

3. Ten Thousand Session Shorts

The highly-rated Session Short from Ten Thousand is very customizable. You can choose the best color, size, inseam length and liner option for you. The Sessions are made of a 4-way stretching polyester and spandex blend and are moisture-wicking and quick-drying.

4. Mack Weldon Stratus Shorts

Mack Weldon — another favorite in our guide to men’s underwear — offers up an anti-odor silver-equipped pair of shorts that stretch four ways and are made with a polyester and spandex blend, as well as zip pocket and inside liner.

5. Rhone Versatility Short

Rhone’s Versatility Short is designed to be breathable, quick-drying and sports UPF 50+ in its fabric, a great summer feature. For these shorts, Rhone lets you choose between different lengths and whether you want them lined or not.

6. Janji W's 3" AFO Middle Short in Flora Laguna

Janji’s running shorts are focused on running — they’re quick-drying, moisture-wicking, stretch four ways and are made with recycled polyester. A liner on the inside boasts a key-loop cord — and you’ve got some really great designs to choose from.

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