classic running shorts

If you’re a newbie to running or a veteran looking for something that works for everyday training, a pair of classic running shorts may be just what the doctor ordered. The key to this style of running apparel is breathable fabrics that move with you as your body heats up, allowing you to sweat and dump moisture without feeling uncomfortable or restricted. You’ll also want to consider the fabric’s strength against snags and tears, along with any additional features such as built-in briefs or reflective details.

Most runners aren’t going to find a pair of shorts that perfectly fit their body type, but some brands offer different silhouettes and sizes to suit your needs. The waistband is a key fit factor, with narrower options giving you a slimmer look and wider ones providing more coverage to avoid digging into your core as you run. Many brands feature an adjustable drawstring at the waist to further dial in the fit and feel.

Pockets are a common addition to running shorts, and some styles even come with a zipped back pocket for your phone or keys. Some athletes like to use a gear belt or armband to carry their accessories, while others prefer the convenience of storage built directly into the shorts. Choosing the best option for you depends on your other running equipment, such as hydration packs and energy gels.

The best running shorts are a mix of stretchy, breathable fabrics that provide plenty of mobility while offering the durability needed to endure rough surfaces and abrasions. Some silhouettes are made of recycled materials and have added abrasion-resistant or waterproof treatments for extra protection against wet conditions. For outdoor and night runners, you’ll want to consider a pair that has reflective details for improved visibility.

For those who enjoy the challenge of a good trail run, you can’t go wrong with a pair of mountain running shorts that are designed to handle the rigors of tough terrain. This model, for example, was engineered by Black Diamond mountain athletes Hillary Gerardi and Joe Grant and offers a mix of hiking and running styles, including a half side split and taped hems to prevent chafing. It’s also made with a blend of recycled fabrics that is certified by Bluesign to be free of harmful chemicals, such as bisphenol A (BPA).

Another excellent option for trail runners and ultrarunners is this pair from On Running, which provides the best of both worlds. The lightweight exterior short has a slight amount of compression to give you a secure fit without being too tight, while the integrated liner is soft and comfortable against the skin. A wide leg opening helps the outer shell stay put when you’re moving quickly, while a long 8-inch inseam reduces that riding up some people with thicker thighs experience with shorter styles. It’s also made with recycled material from post-consumer plastic bottles and has a zipped pocket at the back of the waistband for easy access to your phone.

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