Best athletic shorts for men

Bottoms

Synthetic fabrics like polyester and nylon have better moisture-wicking and quick-drying properties than cotton, though they may not feel as soft.

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Top men’s athletic shorts 

Athletic shorts are a versatile piece of apparel for running, working out at the gym, playing sports, lounging at home or even casual wear. However, choosing the perfect style and fit can be daunting, considering how many options are available. 

Luckily, we’ve researched so you can find the perfect pair of athletic shorts for any occasion. Many shorts now feature moisture-wicking technology and extra features such as zip pockets. We’ll cover various inseam lengths, from 3-10 inches, and highlight the main benefits each pair has to offer. 

How to choose the best athletic shorts for men? 

Depending on the intended activity, everyone is going to have slightly different requirements. 

Length

The inseam length of a pair of shorts can play a role in how well they perform during high-energy activities. Runners will usually gravitate towards shorter lengths, somewhere between 3-5 inches, while shorts designed for strength training, basketball or casual use tend to be 9-11 inches. A 7-inch inseam is a perfect middle option as an all-purpose option. 

Material 

Lightweight, breathable, stretchable and moisture-wicking materials are ideal for anyone involved in intense exercise, as they will keep you cool and unhindered, allowing for peak performance. More casual athletic short wearers can get by with slightly heavier fabrics. 

Style

Men’s athletic shorts are available in an array of colors and designs. Some people may wish to add an aesthetic element to their workout gear, while others may want a more neutral style. Whatever your preference, there are bound to be shorts that fit your personality. 

Interior lining

Not everyone needs a liner in their shorts, but they do offer some benefits. Interior linings can aid in moisture-wicking and sweat control, help prevent chafing and add extra support for specific athletic activities. 

Extra features

Even when running or working out, most of us still want the ability to carry our phone, wallet, keys, etc. Some shorts will feature standard side pockets, while others may even sport more secure zip pockets, so nothing falls out when you’re on the move. 

Aside from pockets, drawstring waistbands are great for achieving the perfect fit, and runners can benefit from reflective properties featured on many athletic shorts. 

Which athletic shorts are best for men? 

BALEAF 3-Inch Running Shorts

BALEAF 3-Inch Running Shorts

These quick-drying 3-inch shorts feature an elastic waistband and built-in briefs to give you a nonrestrictive full range of motion when out on a run. They even feature a small pocket to keep your essentials safe.

Sold by Amazon

Patagonia Strider Pro 5-inch Short

Patagonia Strider Pro 5-inch Short

Lightweight and airy, these running shorts’ design keeps you dry and cool mile after mile. They also feature four small waistband pockets, a zippered back pocket and odor-resistant material.

Sold by Backcountry

Under Armour SpeedPocket 5-inch Shorts

Under Armour SpeedPocket 5-inch Shorts

The SpeedPocket shorts provide durability with a light and breathable design. Reflective detailing, 4-way stretch construction and a water-resistant front pocket are just a few key features of these quality shorts.

Sold by Amazon

New Balance Men's Accelerate Running Short

New Balance Men’s Accelerate Running Short

These running shorts offer an athletic fit with an interior lining and are available with inseams ranging from 3-7 inches, plus multiple colors and patterns. The reflective logo adds extra visibility and the key pocket is excellent for storing small items.

Sold by Amazon 

Anthem Athletics Hyperflex 7" Cross-Training Workout Gym Shorts

Anthem Athletics Hyperflex 7″ Cross-Training Workout Gym Shorts

The Hyperflex shorts feature a deep full-sized phone pocket, so you can stay connected when at the gym, on the court or on a run. The stretch performance fabric provides excellent value at a budget-friendly price.

Sold by Amazon

Nike Men's Flex Stride 7-inch 2-in-1 Running Shorts

Nike Men’s Flex Stride 7-inch 2-in-1 Running Shorts

Using recycled woven fabric, this relaxed fit pair of shorts use a knit liner for superior comfort. Nike’s moisture-wicking technology is crucial for keeping you dry after long runs or heavy workouts.

Sold by Dick’s Sporting Goods

Rhone 7-inch Swift Running Short

Rhone 7-inch Swift Running Short

A top-quality running short, Rhone products utilize a liner to prevent chafing on long-distance runs. The perforated ventilation system is a unique aspect that increases airflow and improves breathability.

Sold by Amazon 

Souke Sports 8-inch Workout Running Shorts

Souke Sports 8-inch Workout Running Shorts

Made with a moisture-wicking breathable fabric that won’t cling to your skin, you can feel comfortable and confident during your exercise routine. This affordable option is perfect for running, training, hiking and most other endurance activities.

Sold by Amazon 

Russell Athletic 8-inch Cotton Shorts

Russell Athletic 8-inch Cotton Shorts

The soft cotton used in these shorts creates a retro look ideal for transitioning from a casual weekend barbeque to shooting hoops with friends. They also feature generous side pockets and an internal drawstring closure.

Sold by Amazon 

Champion 9-inch Jersey Short

Champion 9-inch Jersey Short

Another classic cotton pair, the comfort of these Champion shorts are hard to beat. Being a stylish crossover option means you can wear these around town or while breaking a sweat.

Sold by Amazon and Macy’s

Adidas Designed 2 Move 3-Stripes Shorts 

Adidas Designed 2 Move 3-Stripes Shorts 

With a smooth feel and airy fit, these shorts provide all-day comfort no matter the activity. Though the pockets may not be large enough to hold a phone, they can still fit other essentials like a wallet, snacks or keys.

Sold by Amazon

Champion Men's 9-inch Mesh Short

Champion Men’s 9-inch Mesh Short

Lightweight mesh fabric gives these shorts an excellent feel for both casual wear and exercise. Complete with side vents and an adjustable internal cord, you’ll appreciate the airflow and precise fit.

Sold by Amazon and Kohls

Under Armour Men's Training Stretch Shorts

Under Armour 9-inch Training Stretch Shorts

Constructed using soft HeatGear fabric means these stretch shorts will move with your body without adding extra weight. The anti-odor feature also means you won’t have to worry about undesirable scents.

Sold by Amazon

Amazon Essentials Tech Stretch 9-inch Training Short

Amazon Essentials Tech Stretch 9-inch Training Short

These Tech Stretch shorts are low-cost, loose-fitting and meant to provide lasting comfort alongside trusted performance.

Sold by Amazon

Under Armour Raid 10-inch Shorts

Under Armour Raid 10-inch Shorts

A 4-way stretch construction increases leg mobility, and the built-in UPF 30 sun protection will keep your thighs safe from damaging sunburns. The side mesh hand pocket offers plenty of storage.

Sold by Amazon

 

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Matthew Young is a writer for BestReviews. BestReviews is a product review company with a singular mission: to help simplify your purchasing decisions and save you time and money.

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