Choosing the best running shorts starts with determining whether you want a pair that has a liner or not. Some shorts have a thin, comfortable biker-style compression layer inside the outer shell; this is very popular with influencers and is great for those who want to keep their legs cool and protected from debris. The layer is usually just long enough to cover your crotch, and it can help you avoid painful friction from shorts or other underwear that might rub together over longer runs or during high intensity workouts.
You can also choose a pair of running shorts that don’t include a liner and use moisture-wicking fabric to reduce the friction that can cause chafing over longer distances. This allows you to wear the underwear you prefer, which can be a good option for women who may need more support down there than cut-off shorts can provide. However, this can increase the chances of unintended exposure, so many women opt to wear a lightweight underwear with running shorts without liners.
If you’re looking for the most support, there are options with built-in underwear, called skorts. These are skirts with integrated boyshorts, and they can be worn by both women and men. They can be very stylish, but they also allow you to run for long distances and feel confident on the trails.
Many of the best running shorts for men and women are designed with flat seams, which can prevent chafing by lowering the amount of skin to material contact over time. This is very important for those who have sensitive skin or are prone to chafing on long runs.
There are also options for those who are interested in adding some extra muscle support to their running gear, including compression shorts that have a tighter fit and are made from fabrics like spandex that are more durable than cotton. Some brands also offer Twinskin construction, which combines a fitted stretch inner short with a loose overshort, and this can lead to less friction between the thighs.
Choosing the right type of running shorts is a personal choice, and there are options to suit any style or activity level. Some people prefer the look and feel of traditional running shorts, which have a loose outer layer that covers the knees and are sometimes designed with slits or openings at the hem for flexibility. Others prefer the more modest running shorts that are often seen on trail runners and offer some protection from brush or other obstacles. Many of these options have pockets for carrying snacks or phones and feature an easy-to-locate paracord loop pull to secure a zipper or button, and some even offer a reflective design to improve visibility on the trails. The BOA Men’s 3.75 Inch V-Notch Running Shorts, for example, have a pocket that’s perfect for stashing keys. They also have a compression short layer and a soft, comfortable waistband that many runners appreciate.
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