The 7 Best Running Shorts for Women to Buy in 2018

The right fitting gear for all of your needs

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Running shorts are a must-have for any runner who logs miles outdoors in the warmer weather. The best ones for women are comfortable, 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 extra feature, and it doesn’t hurt if the shorts are cute and come in fun, vibrant colors to spruce up your running wardrobe.

When buying running shorts its best to consider what type of cut you like best—do you want something short and fitted, a longer pair for more coverage, or maybe you want compression shorts. No matter your preference, check out our picks for the best women’s running shorts, and you'll be sure to find the perfect pair for you.

Our Top Picks

Best Overall: Nike Women's Dry Tempo 3-Inch Running Short

These classic women’s running shorts from Nike earn our top ranking for their performance, quality, affordability, and comfort. With breathable mesh side panels and Nike’s signature Dri-FIT fabric that wicks away sweat, these shorts will keep you dry and cool. They feature a 3-inch inseam, curved hem and a fully-lined mesh brief that provide comfort, coverage, and excellent range of motion.

These lightweight running shorts are sure to become one of your favorite, go-to shorts for warm weather running. Available in dozens of colors and patterns, they’re so budget-friendly that you may want to stock up so you don’t have to do a load of laundry just to wear them again.

Best Budget: Adidas M10 Woven 3-Inch Shorts

You can’t go wrong with these budget-friendly shorts from Adidas. With a 3-inch inseam, they’re not too short and sit comfortably on the waist. They’re lightweight and feature a mesh inner lining for enhanced comfort. Made from Adidas Climalite fabric, they pull moisture away from your skin so it can evaporate quickly. The small pocket in the waistband is perfect for storing a key, gel, or some cash. These shorts will quickly become a staple in your summer running clothes rotation and, with more than 30 colors to choose from, you may want to pick more than one pair.

Best Compression: Under Armour Women's HeatGear Authentic Long Shorts

Are you sick of your shorts riding up or bunching while you’re running? These compression shorts are perfect for women who want longer shorts that stay put and don’t chafe. The lightweight, four-way stretch fabric gives you superb mobility and range of motion, while Under Armour’s compression fit ensures that your shorts won’t ride up or fall down, so you don’t have to worry about any mid-run wardrobe malfunctions.

Extremely versatile, these shorts are the perfect length to be worn alone or underneath a baggier pair of shorts. They also feature UA’s signature moisture transport system that wicks away sweat to keep you cool and dry. Another nice feature is the wide, comfortable, yoga-inspired waistband that has a hidden pocket to stash small essentials such as cash and sports gels.

Best Trail Running: Brooks Cascadia 5-inch Shorts

Brooks Cascadia 5" Shorts
Courtesy of Zappos

These relaxed fit shorts from Brooks are ideal for your summer trail runs. With a 5-inch inseam, they’re not too short and not too long, providing just the right amount of coverage. The fabric’s moisture-wicking technology ensures that you’ll stay cool and dry, while its four-way stretch allows for full range of motion and excellent mobility.

Runners love the wide, flat elastic waistband that provides a comfortable, slimming fit and makes sure that your shorts stay put. These shorts also feature an inner-brief liner for additional coverage and support. The zippered pocket is perfect for a small phone, sports gels, cash, or other essentials.

Best for Distance Running: Oiselle Women's Toolbelt Roga Shorts

All distance runners love shorts that can hold their stuff, such as their phones, keys, sports gels, and some emergency cash. Just from the name alone, the Oiselle Women's Toolbelt Roga Shorts sound like they can get the job done, and they certainly do not disappoint. The elasticized stretch mesh pockets on the back waistband are perfect for carrying a phone and nutrition, while the rear zipped patch pocket is ideal for secure storage of your id, credit cards, and cash. The premium liner has an additional pocket for keys or other small items.

These shorts also excel in the areas of comfort and performance, which are crucial when running long distances. The four-way stretch fabric allows you to move freely and the 4-inch inseam gives you just the right coverage. With the adjustable drawcord inside the flat knit waistband, you can get the perfect fit. Take your pick from a variety of colors, from basic black to vibrant shades such as midnight blue or blaze orange.

Best Long: Skirt Sports Go Longer Running Shorts

If you prefer a bit more coverage than what’s offered by most women’s running shorts, you’ll love these Go Longer Running Shorts from Skirt Sports. With a mid-rise waist and a longer 6-inch inseam, these shorts are designed with women in mind and flatter all different body types and sizes. The built-in briefs give you full cheek coverage, so you don’t have to worry about a peek-a-boo when you bend over. They also help prevent the shorts from bunching or riding up.

You’ll stay dry and chafe-free thanks to the lightweight, UV 50+, quick-dry, moisture-wicking, polyester, and spandex blend fabric. We also love the wide, four-way stretch waistband and adjustable, continuous drawstring (won’t come out in the wash!), which make for a custom, comfortable fit. Another useful feature is the hidden pocket to stash your keys, credit card, sports gels or other small items. These shorts come in a few different colors and prints, so you can pick the ones that best fit your style.

Best Reflective: Under Armour Women's Fly-By Shorts

Under Armour Fly By Shorts
Courtesy of Zappos

Another fantastic option from Under Armour, these Women’s Fly-By Shorts are made to keep runners cool, dry, and comfortable, even during hot and sweaty long runs. They feature UA’s signature Moisture Transport System that pulls sweat away from your body and breathable mesh side panels that vent excess heat. The wide elastic waistband gives you a relaxed, comfortable fit and looks great underneath shirts and tank tops.

With reflective detailing, these shorts are a perfect choice for running in lowlight conditions. They’re also very reasonably priced, so you really get a lot of bang for your buck.

Want more running gear options? Read reviews for the best running skirts.

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