There are really only a few things that anyone needs go to on a run; pain tolerance, sneakers, a pair of shorts, and a good shirt. That’s pretty much it. Sure, you can add on other things like a solid pair of running headphones, water bottles, and rollers for after-run stretches. But when it comes down to it, it’s just you, your clothes, and the road. This is why we take running shorts (as well as shirts, and running shoes) seriously.
If you’re only going to have a few things on, you may as well make sure they’re what you really want. When it comes to running shorts, you have a lot of different styles to chose from. The first consideration you’re going to want to make is length. Generally speaking – if you’re the kind of runner who’s ‘short runs’ clock in around 5-6 miles, then you’re likely going to want a shorter short. The less fabric you have to deal with on those long runs the better. More of a treadmill warrior? You don’t need super short shorts, but they should at least be above the knee.
Another thing you’ll want to consider is whether or not you want a liner. Liners are great for those who experience chafing – or more generally want to keep things more contained while out on the trail. The downside here, predictably, is the fact that liners have more fabric. Some would rather run with their own compression shorts under their running shorts. Whatever your preference, we’re positive you’ll find a few solid picks among our list of the best men’s running shorts.
Nike Distance Running Shorts
Measuring in on the slightly longer side of things, these 7” shorts from the Pacific Northwestern sports apparel giant are simple, affordable, and well made. The polyester fabric is lightweight and easy to slip on thanks to an elastic waist and the pockets on both sides are made with a breathable mesh fabric, allowing for storage without compromise.
Under Armour Speedpocket 7″
Another simple pair of polyester running shorts. They feature a mesh panel along the back of the shorts for increased breathability, along with a larger waistband for a comfortable fit.
Ten Thousand Distance Short
Featuring just a 5 inch inseam, these running shorts are tailor-made for serious distances. Depending on your preference, the flyweight fabric shorts can come with a boxer-brief liner to beat off chafing and fight odor. Ten Thousand also thought to include a t-shirt loop as well as a laser cut ventilation system to keep you cool.
Tracksmith Session Short
If you are on the hunt for a classic pair of running shorts, then you should consider this pick from Tracksmith. These running shorts from the New England brand have a short 5-inch inseam, a hidden back pocket for a key or a credit card, and a Polygine liner. The special fabric used for this liner both fights odor and keeps you chafe-free. Oh, and did we mention how sharp these look?
Myles Momentum Short
Made from a mix of nylon, polyester, and spandex these four-way stretch shorts are a great pick for everything from long runs to camping trips. Thanks to the use of a headphone port and backwards-set mesh pockets, these are ideal for those who can’t run without some tunes.
Outdoor Voices 7″ Runners High Shorts
A super light pair of runners made completely from recycled water bottles. Thanks to the inclusion of spandex the shorts have a four-way stretch component that makes them ideal for heading out into the road with, or even into the gym. A couple extra features on the shorts include a headphone exit, drawstrings, eight pockets, and a liner.
Rhone Phase 8″ Lined Short
Made with a combination of water-resistant fabrics and mesh ventilation panels, these shorts are ideal for long distance runs or short sprints on the track. Along with the hidden zippered pocket along the back, the shorts boast a GoldFusion compression liner that fights chafing while also resisting odor and bacteria.
Vuori Trail Short
If you’re looking for a pair of shorts you’d be just as happy jogging in as you’d be heading into town with – these are for you. Made with a lightweight and flexible fabric, they’re more than capable of meeting the challenges of your daily jog.
Lululemon Surge Short
Made with a special Swift Ultra Fabric, these shorts are sweat-wicking, quick drying, and engineered to move seamlessly with your every step. Featuring a shorter 7-inch inseam, shirt loop, liner, and reflective detailing – they offer just about everything you could ask from a pair of running shorts.
Iffley Road Pembroke Gravel Black Shorts
More than anything else, Iffley Road specializes in making athletic wear that is both capable – and borderline formal. Just take their shorts for example. In addition to being cut from a high quality Italian fabric, the shorts have a flat-front design that give them a distinctly clean look.
RYU 2N1 Short
Made with a high quality four-way stretch TecLayr fabric, the shorts are engineered to move along with your every stride. Along with the interior liner, this pair boasts a smartphone pocket, as well as a shirt-loop and headphone exit.
Olivers Breakaway Short
This pair from the Los Angeles-based activewear brand Olivers has everything you’d expect from a top quality pair of running shorts. The nylon and spandex fabric boasts a 4 way stretch, and is both water repellent and quick drying. These features paired with the short, 5-inch inseam and back zippered pocket make it more than ideal for long runs through the woods.
2XU X-Vent 7″ Short
A solid pair of shorts made from a polyester fabric and featuring a lightweight compression liner to keep runners supported and comfortable even on the longest runs. The exterior of the shorts feature mesh side panels that help maximizes airflow and keep you cool.
Salomon Exo Twinskin Short
Engineered for seriously long runs, these shorts provide a degree of stability without compromising on weight. Clocking in at just 141 grams the feel as if they’re barely there – allowing runners to focus on their pace instead of their threads.
Isaora Welded Running Short
Made from a four-way stretch fabric and featuring welded seams, these shorts from isaora look as great as they feel. Thanks to a series of laser-cut panels along the side, they help runners keep cool on serious workouts. To top it all off, the bulk-free waistband on the shorts makes it that much easier for runners to stay comfortable.
Best Running Gear For Men
Ok. So you have a pair of shorts for going on your daily run. What else do you need? Take a peak at the best running gear for men and find out.