A good pair of running shorts are key for any runner, especially as you age. Not only will they keep you cooler and more comfortable, but they’ll also reduce your risk of fungal infections and clogged pores that lead to acne flare-ups. In fact, the less your clothes wick, the more bacteria they’ll trap under your skin, which increases your risk of yeast infections and can even cause your body temperature to spike. That’s why you should invest in high-quality women’s running shorts that wick sweat and regulate your body temperature to help you maintain the ideal temperature.

You’ll want to consider the fabric of your running shorts, as well as their fit. Skin-tight running shorts are usually thicker and offer a flattering, more supportive fit. Loose running shorts are often lighter and have a looser feel that allows your skin to breathe more effectively. Some run-inspired shorts also incorporate spandex in the fabric, which offers more stretch and a more flexible fit.

Another factor to consider is whether you want your shorts to have a built-in liner and a waistband that’ll stay put during exercise. Those features can help prevent chafing and provide extra coverage, but they can also add to the price tag.

For runners who want a pair of shorts that deliver the benefits of a built-in liner and chafing protection but aren’t willing to spend a fortune, check out this low-cost option from 2XU. These shorts feature a compression layer that’s thin enough to avoid chafing but offers full coverage and outperformed many of the other more expensive running shorts we tested.

Avid jogger Ali B. says these lightweight and breathable shorts are her favorite because they don’t ride up on her 5’3″ frame and have smooth seams that prevent pilling between the thighs. They also have a great-feeling waistband and come in a wide range of colors and patterns to suit any style.

Runners who prefer a snug but comfy fit should look for a pair that’s crafted from a lightweight nylon and elastane material with soft, stretchy fabrics that hug your curves without being restrictive. The built-in brief is made from a similar fabric to the outer short and has smooth seams, which helps to prevent chafing and pilling.

You’ll also want to think about what storage options you want for your running shorts. Some pairs don’t have pockets at all, while others have plenty of room to stash a water bottle or phone. For example, the Janji Roga shorts include an internal key pocket that’s easy to access and a zippered back pocket that can hold a passport for travel.

Finally, you’ll want to consider what length of shorts you want. Shorter running shorts are more versatile and can be worn for a variety of activities, including cross-training or strength training. On the other hand, if you want to minimize chafing and have more leg protection on long slogs or hill sprints, go for a slightly longer 5-inch inseam like the ones on this pair from Tracksmith.

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