Let’s face it: finding the right pair of shorts for endless days, long nights, and drawn-out hours at the gym can be a chore. First, they need to be comfortable enough to keep us adamant about our daily workout, while also maintaining durability over the course of our regimen. Next, they need to boast some of the industry’s most versatile technologies, like sweat-wicking liners, quick-dry fabrics, and four-way stretch. And finally, the final prerequisite: they need to look great.
As much as we hate to admit it, nobody is going to be caught dead in the gym without a great-looking pair of shorts. But don’t worry, we’re not so vain to think that performance doesn’t matter. Below, we’ve scoured a handful of the finest shorts that embody both performance-oriented characteristics and handsome aesthetics, creating a quintessential list of gym-ready variants that’ll look just as great outside of the gym, as in.
REI Co-op Active Pursuits
REI Co-op is all about outdoor adventure, but every so often, you’ll find a piece of well-rounded athletic gear that you can wear to the gym, or on the trail. These polyester/spandex peripherals are crafted from recycled materials and feature sweat-wicking properties to keep you comfortable during long gym sessions, while UPF 50 sun protection and a drawstring waist make it equally as viable for outdoor/beach use. REI’s Active Pursuits shorts are quick-drying, comfortable, and breathable, giving them a leg up on less-focused peripherals that aren’t catered toward everyday use.
Ten Thousand Foundation
Ten Thousand’s Foundation short is a well-rounded example that boasts a handful of mid-range attributes, including a comfortable, supportive liner, smooth finish, and no-chafe construction. This sweat-wicking peripheral boasts the same quick-dry tech as others in this genre but elaborates upon it via the implementation of fine Italian fabric, four-way stretch, and Silver Ion anti-odor treatment, which is a lifesaver for guys who are looking to use the Foundation for more than one gym session. And since they’re crafted with a versatile nylon/spandex blend, you’ll never have to worry about hitting the weights, or the trail, in a set of confining legwear.
Adidas Sport Supernova Climacool
Adidas’ Sport Supernova Climacool shorts are in-line with the rest of the brand’s trusted athletic items, calling upon a great-looking silhouette, unparalleled ventilation, and a lightweight composition that’s been catered toward warm-weather running/exercise. These progressive offerings boast a close-to-body fit, making them feel as if they’re semi-tailored to your specific waist and leg size, while sweat-guard pockets, a drawcord-elastic waist, and the brand’s Climacool tech have been implemented to keep you going, even in the hottest temperatures.
Outdoor Voices Rec
Outdoor Voices’ Rec short is one of the more stylish choices on our list, boasting a subtle silhouette that’s equally as viable outside of the gym. But don’t let their classy look fool you, they’re still light enough to feel ultra-comfortable while doing cardio, lifting weights, or stretching, thanks to a dependable nylon/spandex fabric blend. A built-in liner and StretchTrack technology help to provide support and reinforcement where you need it most, while a set of unassuming pockets work just as well for storing your wallet and keys as they do for holding your iPhone during a hardcore workout.
Topo Designs Global
Topo Designs has an expansive catalog of well-designed menswear, and with such a great selection of items, it makes sense that an athleisure-approved short design would fit right into the mix. These well-rounded shorts call upon a relaxed two-way stretch, elastic waist, and drawstring closure, and rear snap pocket to provide them with an aura of tasteful style. Inside, you’ll find a set of mesh-lined side-seam pockets, as well as quick-drying properties to give their DWR-treated nylon fabric a helping hand with water resistance. Whether you’re looking to traverse your favorite backcountry crossing or head down to the gym for some-needed one-on-one time with the benchpress, Topo’s Global short is sure to be your favorite versatile companion.
Lululemon Athletica Surge
Lululemon’s transcendental athletic wear has made more than enough waves within the yoga and health community, and with the Athletica Surge short, it’s easy to see why. This well-built pair boasts an Out of Mind liner and built-in pouch for additional support, while a proprietary phone pocket provides the perfect space to stow your favorite mobile device. A four-way stretch construction, lightweight silhouette, and sweat-wicking properties complement the Surge’s reflective detailing and multi-purpose waistband loop, providing athletic individuals with the quintessential pair for everyday use.
Tasc Legacy III
Tasc’s Legacy III short was built to take on the world’s most athletic endeavors. A MOSOluxe Stretch French Terry fabric and flat elastic waistband have been implemented to provide wearers with the ultimate in adaptability, while a dressy silhouette helps the shorts to transition from the gym to the streets with ease. To achieve this, a high-end organic cotton/bamboo viscose/lycra composition provides the shorts with a semi-fitted feel, utilizing a set of versatile side-pockets and a lounge-ready build to ensure that your workout begins, and ends, in blissful comfort.
Tracksmith’s Session short was crafted to take on any cardio-oriented workout, but thanks to their inherent quality and comfortable fit, it works just as well for the gym. This lightweight short boasts everything you’d expect from the premium brand, including a durable Polygiene anti-odor/antimicrobial liner, a UV-protective, moisture-wicking silhouette, and a four-way stretch nylon blend to keep you performing at your utmost, regardless of fatigue or perspiration. And don’t worry; if you’re not a fan of the “short” nature of runner’s variants, a seven-inch length is the perfect middle ground for the avid gymgoer who isn’t looking to give everyone a show.
Rhone’s Mako short is relatively plain, simple, and uncomplex. Fortunately, that works in its favor, providing gym connoisseurs with a pair of great-looking leg peripherals that can transition from the gym to the beach, and back again, without breaking character. These polyester/elastane shorts bring a versatile moisture-wicking fabric to the table for athletic individuals, while a four-way stretch fabric, multiple side, and back pockets, and gusseted seams provide the ultimate adaptable silhouette for those late nights on the squat rack.
Saxx Kinetic Sport
They might not be the first to dabble in built-in support, but Saxx surely does it best. The company’s Kinetic Sport short is a prime example of its commitment to men’s athletic wear, sporting a semi-compression fit, adjustable drawstring closure, built-in Three-D ergonomics for enhanced fit and comfort, and a breathable, chafe-free mesh liner for unparalleled protection when it comes to your sensitive areas. The result? A perfectly-tailored pair of shorts that are lightweight, adjustable, and versatile enough to take on any athletic endeavor without a second thought.
Mack Weldon Stratus Active
Mack Weldon’s Stratus Active short pulls heavy inspiration from the brand’s other offerings, resulting in a tasteful example that’s right at home in any area of the gym. These great-looking variants call upon the company’s 37.5 technology to provide wearers with increased airflow, quick-drying capabilities, and the inherent freshness that comes as a result. These polyester/spandex offerings are about as simple as they come, but rest assured; with a name like Mack Weldon at the helm, you’ll be hardpressed to find a more dependable pair of gym-ready shorts.
Reigning Champ Training
Reigning Champ is hard to beat when it comes to tried and true athletic wear, and the brand’s Training shorts are a testament to its lifelong commitment toward unbeatable gear. To create one of the industry’s finest athletic shorts, the brand turned to a 100% polyester construction, nine-inch inseam, a handful of pockets (including one that’s hidden for easy, out of the way storage), and a middle-weight silhouette that feels as durable as it looks.
The 25 Best Gym Bags For Men
No gymgoer is completely prepared to set a personal record without the right gear. Now that you’ve found the perfect pair of shorts for your health-focused lifestyle, you’ll need a great-looking bag to carry all of your other accessories, so head over to our guide on the best gym bags for men to find your capable companion.
HiConsumption is reader-supported. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more