The best running shorts are comfortable and light to keep you cool when you’re exercising. These lightweight garments are designed to move with your body and feature technical fabrics that wick sweat and offer a breezy fit. They’re available in a range of lengths and have features like adjustable drawcords to help you dial in the perfect fit. Some also have internal liners and waistband pockets to add a layer of protection, comfort, and functionality to your workout attire.

The size and fit of your shorts will influence how they feel when you run. Shorts that are too tight can cause discomfort and rub against the inner thighs, and shorts with a looser fit can get in the way of your movement. Some garments also have a pocket at the waist for key storage, which is convenient when you’re out for a quick run and don’t want to carry a water bottle.

Waistband width affects how well your shorts stay in place without digging into your waist. Wider waistbands provide a flattering silhouette and support the waist while providing a smooth band that doesn’t dig into your skin during workouts. They’re ideal for runners who wear a backpack, and they’re typically found on heavier-weight shorts such as twill or corduroy options. Thinner waistbands, on the other hand, are often seen on lightweight shorts and provide a minimalist design. They may have a small, zippered pocket for key storage or an internal envelope pocket for a gel or ID.

Running shorts come in a variety of styles and sizes to suit the needs of athletes and runners of all levels. They can be divided into categories based on how they’re constructed, such as track shorts with integrated boyshorts that offer a fitted look. These shorts are primarily worn by athletes who compete in track and field events.

Other styles of running shorts include v-notch and split shorts that feature slits up the legs to offer greater freedom of motion. V-notch shorts have the outside leg stitched almost to the top of the thigh, while split shorts have panels that are not sewn together in the front but are instead open up at the sides to increase mobility and alleviate chafing issues. These are commonly used by runners who want to feel fast and light during training and races.

A number of running shorts have built-in liners or attached briefs that can be worn with or without your regular underwear. These liners provide extra support and prevent chafing, but they can be removed if desired. Some liners are made with seamless or flatlock seams to eliminate the risk of chaffing and irritation. Some athletes prefer a compression liner, which is especially beneficial when they have sensitive thigh skin.

Many running shorts have adjustable drawstrings to help you find the right fit. They can be sized in men’s and women’s, with the latter offering the option of choosing a hemline that’s higher or lower. Runners looking for extra support can opt for the Saxx BallPark Pouch found in the Hightail short, which keeps sensitive parts from jostling and rubbing while running.

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