Running is one of the most low-tech and relatively inexpensive endurance sports out there. The only requirement is a pair of running shoes and some running shorts. Running shorts can be very long or short, baggy or fitted, have a liner or no liner and come in a variety of colors, patterns and designs. Many runners choose to wear underwear with their running shorts for extra support and comfort while others find the added fabric causes chafing, especially if it is cotton that absorbs sweat and takes a long time to dry. Some runners have trouble finding running shorts that fit well and don’t cinch too tight around the waist causing irritation.

Whether you’re a seasoned runner or just getting into the sport, there are some basic qualities that all good running shorts share. They should be lightweight, quick-drying, with an ideal inseam for your preferred distance and terrain, breathable, durable and most importantly comfortable. In the end, however, comfort is subjective and you’ll have to find a pair of running shorts that feel right for you.

A great pair of running shorts will feature a technical outer fabric that is quick-drying and has a good amount of stretch for freedom of movement. It will also be made from a material that resists abrasion. Some of the best fabrics include blends of polyester and elastane, spandex, nylon and abrasion resistant materials like Tencil, CoolMax or Powermesh. Moisture-wicking fabrics and antimicrobial technologies (like Polygiene) to manage odor are common, too.

These running shorts are a good example of this trend. They feature a cotton/elastane/polyester blend that is lightweight, quick-drying and has a good stretch. They also have a moisture-wicking mesh liner with bigger-than-average perforations to keep you cool, dry and comfortable. The shorts have a zippered pocket in the front, a back pocket and two small pockets in the rear center. They have a 4-inch inseam and are available in several colors. Runners with thicker thighs should consider sizing up as the leg openings are a bit narrow.

These running shorts are a little pricier than some of the other options but they offer more functionality than just a lightweight, quick-drying, cotton/elastane/polyester blended fabric. They will fully replace the need for a hydration pack for most trail running distances because they have a padded, internal drop-down bladder with a 3-inch inseam. They will still need to be paired with a water bottle or bladder for longer distances. The shorts have a wide covered elastic waistband, front and rear pockets that can hold a full-sized phone and a hydration bladder, and a large side split for ventilation. They are a good choice for warm weather runs.

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