As running distances and times continue to increase, the need for comfortable and lightweight clothing becomes more important. Lightweight running shorts are the ideal piece of apparel for logging miles without overheating or feeling constricted. These shorts are designed with an internal liner to keep your skin well ventilated and dry, which will help to prevent chafing during long runs. They can also be used with a pair of underwear, such as merino wool briefs or Saxx underwear, which is a good option for people who are concerned about chafing caused by the seams in traditional running shorts.
Lightweight running shorts come in a variety of sizes and styles, so it’s important to consider your needs when choosing a pair. The first thing to look for is the inseam, which regulates how much fabric extends above your thigh. Some shorts have a higher inseam, while others are more conservative with a shorter cut. The material is another consideration, as the fabric should be light and quick to dry. Most lightweight running shorts are made of a polyester blend with some spandex for stretch. Some have a water-resistant coating, which is useful for those who run in rain or in wet conditions. A ripstop nylon weave is another durable material that can be found in more expensive running shorts.
Lastly, the number and location of pockets is a important factor when selecting lightweight running shorts. You’ll want to choose a pair that has enough pockets for your daily needs, which will typically include a phone, keys, and a energy gel. Pockets should be securely stitched to prevent them from bouncing around or falling out of your shorts while you run, and they should be located in a spot where you won’t feel the fabric digging into your hip or waist.
For a simple pair of lightweight running shorts, try the Nike Men’s Air Max Flow Short. The lightweight, stretchy fabric is comfortable and fits well, while the waistband has an internal drawstring for adjustment. There are two side pockets for storage and a rear snap-closure pocket for a phone or other small items. The shorts have a 4-inch inseam and a high, split hem that gives you room to move.
Women can find a similar lightweight running short with the Nike Fly-By 2.0 Shorts. The mid-rise design sits comfortably on the waist and features a mesh panel for ventilation. A pocket is included for keys or a phone, and the shorts are available in multiple colors. Some testers said they felt the leg openings were slightly narrow, so women with thicker thighs may want to size up.
If you’re looking for a more eye-catching pair of lightweight running shorts, the Boa’s 1″ Elite Split Shorts might be right for you. These shorts have a cult following among runners and are designed for speed, with an aggressively high split hem that provides plenty of room to move. They have a single internal key pocket, and no other pockets, so you’ll need to bring a waist belt or hydration vest for additional storage if needed.
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