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The Different Types of Running Shorts and How to Choose the Best for You

Running shorts appear to be a simple garment, but if you are searching for the best short for your run, be it a 5k or ultra marathon, then you need to find the right shorts to help optimise your performance.

Running shorts should provide you with freedom of movement and they come in a variety of styles to suit your individual running preferences. So, whether you like to go slowly on the road or hit the toughest trails, there are shorts specifically for you. You need to consider length, lining, material and compression when selecting your shorts – and we will take you through this step by step to ensure you find the ideal shorts for you.

What Length of Running Shorts Should You Choose?

Some runners prefer to wear short shorts while others opt for above the knee or longer shorts. There is a good reason for all! There are no rules when it comes to short lengths and all comes down to the individual runner and their preferences.

Let’s take a look at short length so that you can decide what length will work best for you.

Three-Inch Short Length Shorts


These shorts finish up the thigh and offer the best ventilation and range of movement for runners. This is why they are preferred by competitive runners. These kinds of shorts are perfect for long-distance and sprinting as they are made to be lightweight and non-restrictive.

Five-Ince Medium Length Shorts


These kinds of shorts offer balance between the robustness of longer shorts and the aggressiveness of short shorts. This is the most popular style among most runners as they are a versatile garment for all modern runners and ideal for track and trail training.

Seven-Inch Long Length Shorts


For runners that prefer shorter distances, longer shorts are preferred. These kinds of shorts are also great for changeable conditions and running off road as they protect legs from any dirt or debris. However, this material can retain heat and disrupt your comfort so make sure to check the material that is used in the shorts. This style also usually has more pockets which is great for trail runners.

While the above lengths give you a basic idea of the type of shorts you need, there are a number of other features you should look out for. There can be some confusion around these features and we will take you through them all to help you make a better informed decision.

What Kind of Lining Should You Choose?

If you are just getting into the running field, you may be shocked to know that many runners don’t wear underwear! An inner lining is designed to keep you secure and comfortable on the road or trail. The shorts you select should have lining that keeps you well ventilated and fresh over longer distances. So make sure to check the lining in your shorts to find your most comfortable choice. But there is one step up from this and that is compression shorts!

What Are Compression Shorts?


Compression shorts can be incorporated into regular running shorts and can act as a replacement to lining. These are also referred to as 2 in 1 shorts. Compression shorts add to better blood flow, general comfort and muscle activation. Compression shorts also greatly reduce chafing and rubbing – making for greater comfort while on the road and trail. Be sure not to wear underwear under compression shorts – and remember that you can add compression shorts to any of the shorts you choose to run in!

Care and Maintenance of Running Shorts

Caring for your running shorts properly is extremely important in order to preserve its quality and extend its lifespan. To keep them looking and feeling their best, follow these steps:

– After wearing, be sure to turn your shorts inside out before washing them so that any abrasive material from the machine does not damage the fabric or the stitching.

– Avoid using too much detergent as this can strip away any water-resistant coating or damage the fabric.

– Machine wash on a gentle cycle with cold water on a delicate/hand wash setting. Do not use bleach as this can further degrade any water-resistant treatments found in some shorts.

– Hang or lay flat to dry; avoid putting your running shorts in a hot dryer as this can cause shrinkage, fading, and wear down any weatherproof membranes found in some shorts faster than air drying.

Benefits of Wearing the Right Running Shorts


Whether you’re an avid runner or just getting started, running shorts offer plenty of advantages over traditional track pants or leggings. From increased airflow to added moisture-wicking capabilities, the right running shorts can help you get the most out of your run. Knowing what to look for in a pair of running shorts can help you make sure that you stay comfortable while out on the trails.

Running shorts typically feature breathable fabrics designed to keep runners cool and dry while they’re moving. The wicking properties in these fabrics draw sweat away from the body so that it evaporates more quickly, keeping runners dry and comfortable during their workout. Additionally, many of these fabrics provide sun protection, protecting runners from damaging UV rays while they’re outdoors. Some styles also include features such as drawstrings or pockets for convenience and storage needs, making them even more useful for athletes on the go.

Finally, having a pair (or two!) of supportive running shorts helps reduce chafing caused by our clothing slipping and bunching up during long runs or high-intensity activities such as mountain biking or rock climbing where a lot of movement occurs. The elasticity also allows for greater mobility once fitted properly and comfortably around the hips—which is key when searching for  good pair of running shorts!

Nike Running Shorts


Nike offers a vast selection of running shorts for all kinds of runners. The Nike Flex Stride Shorts are a great option for all kinds of runners. The shorts have an all-new woven fabric and enhanced breathability in high-sweat areas. Their soft brief liner provides secure support where you need it most. Convenient pockets stash items when you’re out on a run.