The 8 Best Running Shorts for Men to Buy in 2018

The right fit for your exercising needs

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Running shorts are a wardrobe essential for any guy who likes to run outdoors. Even if you’re not a runner, you may prefer the lightweight feel and comfort of running shorts for other activities. From tight compression shorts to baggy long ones and everything in between, there are plenty of options for men.

When selecting running shorts, comfort is key, since shorts that ride up, fall down, or chafe can make for an extremely unpleasant run. Look for shorts that are lightweight and made of high-quality, wicking fabrics so that you stay dry, even in extremely hot weather. Pockets for storing small essentials are also a nice bonus, especially if you tend to run long and need to carry some nutrition or cash. Check out our choices for the best men’s running shorts.

Our Top Picks

Best Overall: New Balance Accelerate 7-inch Men’s Running Shorts

New Balance Men's Accelerate 7" Inch Running and Workout Short
 Courtesy of Amazon

A favorite among runners, these New Balance Accelerate 7-inch Men’s Running Shorts get our top ranking for their versatility, quality, performance, affordability, and comfort. They feature New Balance’s Lightning Dry Fabric, which helps to wick away moisture and dry quickly, keeping you fresh and comfortable while running. The internal briefs provide a supportive fit, and the soft, lightweight fabric, and elastic waistband with drawstring add to the shorts’ overall comfort.

You can use the side pockets to stash your phone and other essentials, while the internal key pocket provides space to securely store your keys, cash, or other small valuables. While they’re great for running, these shorts also perform well for lifting, hiking, and other cross-training activities.

Best Overall Runner-Up: Nike Men’s 7-inch Challenger Shorts

Another solid choice for runners, these Nike shorts are well-made, comfortable and affordable. With breathable mesh side panels and Nike’s signature Dri-FIT fabric that wicks away sweat, they’ll keep you dry and cool, even in very hot and sweaty conditions. These running shorts feature a 7-inch inseam, providing the right amount of coverage and a built-in liner that offers additional sweat-wicking support, exactly where it’s needed most.

Runners also love the two side pockets and a small internal key pocket for stashing essentials. The shorts’ inner drawstring waistband allows for a comfortable, adjustable fit. They’re available in dozens of colors, so you can pick the ones that work best with your style and running wardrobe.

Best Compression Shorts: Under Armour Men's HeatGear Armour Compression Shorts

Do you hate it when your shorts ride up or start bunching while you’re running? These compression shorts are perfect for men who want longer compression shorts that stay put and help you avoid chafing. The light, breathable fabric stretches for excellent mobility, while the comfortable but tight fit lets you run without constantly tugging at your shorts.

Extremely versatile, these shorts can be worn alone or underneath a baggier pair of shorts or pants. They also feature UA’s signature moisture transport system that wicks away sweat to keep you cool and dry. An added bonus is UA’s anti-odor technology that prevents the growth of odor-causing microbes. These shorts are available in colors other than just basic black, such as red and gray, in case you’re looking to add some more style to your running wardrobe.

Best Budget: C9 Champion Men’s 2-in-1 Running Shorts

Men's 2-in-1 Running Shorts - C9 Champion®
 Courtesy of Target

Lightweight and functional, the C9 by Champion Men's 9-inch Running Shorts offer many of the features of higher-priced running shorts, with a much lower price tag. They have a longer inseam for plenty of coverage and an inner short that stays in place and wicks and dries fast, keeping you cool and comfortable.

A small​ zipped key pocket is well placed on the back of the shorts. They also have side pockets for storing larger items. These shorts feature an elastic drawstring waist and reflective details for running safely in low-light conditions.

Best for Distance Running: ASICS Men's Woven 7" Shorts

Distance runners need shorts that excel in the areas of comfort and wicking capability. Some storage for sports gels and other essentials is crucial, too. These ASICS shorts are the ideal length for distance running, as they’re not high-cut short shorts, but they’re also not flowing and billowy like basketball shorts.

The zippered pocket in the back is perfect to hold nutrition, keys, ID, and cash. Whether you’re training for a marathon or just like to run long, these shorts are sure to become your go-to pair when you’re planning to run double-digit mileage.

Best Trail Running Shorts: Brooks Cascadia 7-inch Men’s Running Shorts

These relaxed fit shorts from Brooks are ideal for your summer trail runs, mud runs, or other off-road adventures. The moisture-wicking technology ensures that you’ll stay cool and dry.

With an elastic waistband and four-way stretch fabric, you’ll have excellent mobility and comfort in these shorts. They also feature an inner-brief liner for additional coverage and support. The shorts’ storage capacity also sets them apart. With three different pockets of various sizes, there’s plenty of room to securely stash all your essentials.

Best Long Shorts: Nike Men’s Woven 9-inch Distance Dri-Fit Running Shorts

If you’re a larger guy or you just want a lot of coverage, these shorts from Nike are a great choice. The built-in briefs and an elastic waistband with drawstring give you secure support while the mesh side panel keeps you cool and chafe-free.

The Dri-FIT fabric also lets you stay dry and comfortable, even in hot conditions, and the side pockets and small key pocket provide ample storage to stash your essentials. Extremely versatile, these shorts are perfect for running, but also work great for cross-training days at the gym.

Best Reflective: Champion Men's 365 Reflective Training Shorts

If you frequently run in the early morning or evening, you should wear as much reflective clothing as possible. These Champion Men's 365 Reflective Training Shorts will help you be seen and stay safe when running in low-light conditions.

They also offer many of the features you’d be looking for in a pair of running shorts, including pockets, targeted ventilation, and excellent wicking capability. Available in several different colors, these shorts are also very reasonably priced, so you may decide you want to get more than one pair.

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