The minimal running kit required to hit the road is a pair of shoes, a good-fitting T-shirt and a pair of shorts. Beyond that, there are plenty of options: shorts with lots of pockets or none at all, shorts that tuck in to avoid riding up and those that don’t; men’s running shorts with brief liners or boxer-style liners; and a range of fabric and color choices to suit every style and taste. But one feature that almost all budget-friendly running shorts offer is pockets — ideally large enough to stash your keys, wallet and phone.
Some of the best men’s running shorts with pockets have two side drop-in pockets big enough for a phone, plus a central back zippered pocket for extra storage. And the best ones will have flat seams — which reduce friction and are less likely to get caught in chafing areas, especially on long runs.
When it comes to the type of pocket, some runners prefer zip pockets that close easily — but are easy to open and use on the run. Others prefer pockets that are more secure and will hold a phone with ease, regardless of the size. And some runners find that a waistband pocket is a great place to stash their things, since it’s more unlikely to ride up or bounce around.
Other features to consider are the shape of the shorts and whether they have a belt or drawstring. A belt or drawstring can help prevent the shorts from shifting and causing chafing, while some brands offer an elastic waistband that won’t pinch or feel tight on the hips. And some running shorts are made with flattering cuts to keep the fit streamlined and on-trend, even when you’re wearing them with a T-shirt and socks.
For the ultimate in comfort and performance, you might want to opt for a pair of padded men’s running shorts with a padded inner brief that will protect against impact and chafing. But remember that these are often more expensive, so you’ll need to weigh the pros and cons before investing.
A breathable, fast-drying outer shell combines with a quick-drying inner brief for these premium running shorts from Champion, which have a high-rise waistband to help prevent pinching and a back zippered pocket big enough for a phone. They’re also advertised as running small, so if you’re on the larger side of the sizing spectrum, consider going up a size.
Those who like to hit the trails or prefer a looser look might choose these men’s padded trail running shorts from Nike, which have a wide waistband that will stay in place over a thicker T-shirt and a pair of socks. The stretchy, four-way-stretch fabric will move with you as you hike or clamber over rocks and trees, while the dual drop-in pockets are big enough to hold your phone. A back pocket with a flap can be used for keys or cash, and the shorts are available in a variety of colors to match your gear.
Milena Estêvão is a YouTuber passionate about sharing her experiences (challenges, successes and motivations) in the fitness activities she is involved in.
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