Many runners love the security of a tight inner layer that clings to their legs and prevents chafing over long distances. And they also appreciate that the liner eliminates the need to change their underwear or wear a separate pair of running shorts. But not all layered running shorts womens strike the right balance between tight and baggy—some run too loosely and others ride up and shift during workouts. So we looked for options that are snug enough to reduce chafing but still comfortable, breathable and lightweight. We also favored those with zippered pockets on the side and in the waistband, which are especially useful for holding gels and keys.

Most layered running shorts feature two fabrics—a lightweight woven outerlayer and a soft spandex or polyester liner that is worn like underwear. While a good fit is essential to preventing ride-up, the liners we tested all were soft against skin and felt cool to the touch. Some also feature antimicrobial treatments to minimize odor. In addition, the liners were designed to wick sweat, dry quickly and resist chafing. The top-performing liners in our reviews were from Janji and On Running, while both the UA Raid Mid-Shorts and the Ibex AFO Middle Shorts struck the best balance between comfort and performance.

For a more conservative look, we recommend the Blooming Jelly Running Shorts from On, which have a 1.75-inch inseam and a high elastic waistband that stays put on the hips without digging or shifting. The soft nylon-spandex liner feels light and breathable against the skin and is made from recycled materials. It’s even treated with a steaming process to make it feel cooler against the skin.

Another great option is the Brooks Chaser 5″ 2-in-1 Short, which has the security of a fitted inner layer but a loose overlay for a flattering aesthetic. These tighter-fitting shorts have a Spandex liner that stays in place and an airy outer layer that’s ideal for warm-weather runs. The liner also has a pouch for a key or gel.

A drawcord on the waistband lets you adjust the fit and prevent the lining from riding up or down with every stride. They are available in a range of lengths, and the fabric is quick-drying and light against the skin. Plus, the inner compression layer increases blood flow to the muscles, which can help you recover faster.

A softer, more flexible fabric than most layered running shorts, the UA Raid Mid-Shorts are super comfortable and a great value. The outer layer is a lightweight, stretchy woven fabric that moves with you and has an anti-chafing seam treatment. The padded, soft liner sits low on the waist and is treated with antimicrobial properties. The shorts have a wide waistband and a variety of colorways, making them a good choice for any runner. This model is available in regular and plus sizes.

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