Green running shorts are great for bringing visibility to your outfit when you’re out on the trail in low-light conditions. You’ll also find plenty of other features built into these lightweight workout pants, including pockets for your gel and key. Some models even have a sweat-guard pocket for your phone so it doesn’t slip out of your hands while you’re trying to keep up with your pace.

If you prefer to run with a hydration pack, storage in your waistband may be less important than in other styles of athletic clothing, but if you like to carry all of your nutrition and layers in your hands, then optimizing the waistband space is worth considering. We’ve found that the Ultimate Direction Velum Short is the best pair of running shorts for maximizing your cargo capacity, with plenty of room for your layers and hydration, plus a wide waistband to anchor the fabric against your body without riding up.

When selecting a new pair of running shorts, you should consider factors such as the length of the inseam, what kind of fabric is used, whether there’s an inner lining, and how much storage you want. The inseam should be long enough to cover your groin when you’re walking but not so long that they start to tug at your legs as you run. The type of fabric should be breathable and quick-drying to help you stay comfortable and prevent your legs from overheating.

Most shorts have a kind of built-in underwear called a liner that’s either a brief or a spandex-type compression tight, depending on the brand. Having this extra layer helps prevent leg-rubbing and chafing while you’re running, so look for pairs that include one. You can also find compression shorts separately that provide this same function if you need more support.

You can find a variety of styles and prices in the category of green running shorts, but the most affordable model we reviewed is the Kiprun Light + men’s shorts from discount European activewear powerhouse Decathlon. They’re simple but well executed, and just as good as many pairs we tested that cost 3 or 4 times as much. They have a 4-inch inseam, a brief-style liner, and a secure back zip pocket for your keys. However, they don’t have anywhere to put your smartphone, and questions around Decathlon’s ethical and transparency track record might make you pause. They’re made in China.

If you’re a trail-running devotee, then the Patagonia Nine Trails Shorts might be your perfect fit. They’re incredibly lightweight, stretchy, and have a water-resistant finish to protect against splashes while you’re climbing steep trails in the summer heat. And they’re crafted from recycled polyester and spandex to be as environmentally friendly as possible.

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