best running shorts

Whether you’re a long-distance runner or prefer to hit the pavement for short jaunts, the best running shorts make all the difference. You want them to hug your body with stretch, but also feel soft on the skin, with a flattering fit and a design that won’t ride up or cause chafing as you move. They should be lightweight, quick-drying and, most importantly, comfortable — the kind of thing that you can forget about as you focus on hitting your stride.

If your shorts don’t meet those criteria, you might find yourself distracted by how uncomfortable they are. Chafing, slipping, riding up and chaffing can quickly turn your run from a fun jaunt into a painful chore. So, we went out and tested a bunch of different running shorts to see which ones stand up best against all the obstacles that runners encounter on their way to completing a workout.

The best running shorts will have the right fit and feel, and they’ll be able to hold up over time without getting stretched out of shape. The waistband is also key. Some have a soft elastic band, while others are more form-fitting and have a drawstring that can be adjusted for your ideal comfort level. If you don’t want to deal with the hassle of a waistband, some of the best running shorts feature a zippered pocket in the back for storage.

There are also a number of other features that can set the best running shorts apart from the rest. For example, some feature a coffee charcoal liner that’s both breathable and sweat-proof. This adds an extra layer of insulation while running and helps keep your phone and keys from jangling around in the pockets. Others are designed to be comfortable on the go with a wicking fabric that’s soft against your skin and an innovative gusset design that improves airflow while you run.

For a more streamlined look that eliminates the need for a belt, check out the breezy Fly-by shorts from Under Armour. They’re made from a light, quick-drying material and have built-in briefs that cling to the thigh. And, with 39 color options to choose from, you’re sure to find the perfect pair to suit your running style.

The Sherpa shorts from Brooks are another good option for a no-fuss look that stays in place while you’re moving. The fit hits just above the mid-thigh and has a high, supportive split hem that’s great for showing off your legs. They also have a zippered rear pocket and a drop-in waistband pocket for secure storage. They come in a men’s 7″ 2-in-1 length as well if you’d like a little more coverage.

The newest version of the New Balance Accelerate 5-Inch Shorts is engineered for speed and comfort with a new fabric that’s both breathable and dries fast. They’re also designed with a molded inner brief that’s both supportive and contoured for a natural-looking, snug fit. They have a low waistband with an internal drawcord for a customized fit, plus a back zip pocket that holds your phone.

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