The Best Athletic Shorts for Men to Buy in 2024, Tested by Editors

The Best Athletic Shorts for Men to Buy in 2024, Tested by Editors

Best Overall Athletic Shorts

Lululemon Pace Breaker Lined Short 5″

Pace Breaker Lined Short 5

Best Overall Athletic Shorts

Lululemon Pace Breaker Lined Short 5″

Pros
  • Made with four-way stretch to allow plenty of movement
  • The fabric is lightweight and dries quickly
  • Comes in multiple lengths to choose from
Cons
  • We found items tend to bounce a bit in the pockets

We’re set on the opinion every guy should own a pair of Pace Breakers. We’ve worn these athletic shorts for the last couple years (if not more) and they’ve held up no matter how many workouts and washes we’ve put them through. You have a choice of 5, 7 or 9-inch inseam in a variety of colors. Designed for endless comfort, this pair comes with fabric that wicks away moisture, dries quickly and stretches for you to move freely. We love that these shorts give your thighs and glutes ample breathing room as you’re running in the gym or outside.

Read More: Best Running Shorts

Length 5″, 7″, 9″
Material 86% Recycled polyester, 14% Elastane
Pockets Zippered and liner pockets

Most Versatile Athletic Shorts

Vuori Kore Short 5″

Kore Short 5

Most Versatile Athletic Shorts

Vuori Kore Short 5″

Pros
  • Fabric wicks aways sweat and keeps odor at bay
  • Versatile in terms of styling
  • Available in a wide variety of colors
  • Comes with boxer-brief liner for extra support
Cons
  • Not ideal if you prefer shorts with no liner

We love that the Kore Short is not limited to the gym. We found that it looked great in most casual settings, so you can wear them to grab coffee, lunch or groceries. Thanks to its moisture-wicking fabric, Vuori’s bestseller short held up during our sweaty workout sessions and dried super fast. There was also no sign of any kind of odor. Another bonus: this pair comes with built-in boxer-brief liner, which provides extra security to keep your nether regions comfortable and in place.

Length 5″
Material 48% Recycled Polyester, 42% Polyester, 10% Elastane
Pockets Two slash pockets, one back pocket

Best Bounce-Free Athletic Shorts

Under Armour UA Launch Elite 7” Shorts

UA Launch Elite 7'' Shorts

Best Bounce-Free Athletic Shorts

Under Armour UA Launch Elite 7” Shorts

Pros
  • Expandable waistband pocket stores phone to prevent bouncing
  • Internal mesh liner provides extra breathability
  • Comes with reflective details for nighttime runs
Cons
  • Tends to sell out quickly

We know how inconvenient it can be for your belongings to bounce around in your shorts as you’re doing your laps. Under Armour’s athletic shorts address that issue by offering an expandable water-resistant waistband, which stores your phone and keeps it dry. We wore this pair while sprinting on the treadmill and everything stayed in place. They also feel like a second skin and have a four-way stretch, so we didn’t feel restricted at any point of our workout. It’s also worth noting that these shorts have a moisture-wicking fabric and an internal mesh liner that will keep you cool and comfortable when the temperatures begin to heat up.

Length 7″
Material 88% Polyester, 12% Elastane
Pockets Waistband pocket, two hand pockets

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Best Affordable Athletic Shorts

Gymshark Arrival Shorts

Arrival Shorts

Best Affordable Athletic Shorts

Gymshark Arrival Shorts

Pros
  • Price tag falls under $30
  • Comes in a bunch of different colors
  • Super comfortable fit
Cons
  • Not made with any back pockets

If you’re trying to get the most mileage out of your athletic shorts, Gymshark offers a bunch of affordable options that you can wear everyday. Take the UK brand’s Arrival Shorts. Thanks to its soft elastic drawcord, we were able to adjust this pair to fit our waist comfortably as we ran with no distractions. In addition to the gym, we’ve also worn them for errands and trails, which is a testament to their breathability and mobility.

Despite there being no liner, we didn’t experience any chafing, and our nether regions remained safe and secure. If you prefer a shorter length for running, this option may not be ideal. However, they’re a happy medium if you do a bit of everything in the gym from lifting to cardio.

Length 7″
Material 100% Polyester
Pockets Two side pockets

Most Stylish Athletic Shorts

ASRV Tetra-Lite 7” Linerless Short

Tetra-Lite 7” Linerless Short

Most Stylish Athletic Shorts

ASRV Tetra-Lite 7” Linerless Short

Pros
  • Fabric stretches up to 6 times in every direction
  • Its water-resistant shell keeps you dry in light rain
  • Reflective details are useful for nighttime runs
Cons
  • Goes out of stock often

If you’re looking for a pair of athletic shorts that prioritizes style as much as it does function, we suggest checking out ASRV’s offering. They’re made with a technical blend of nylon and spandex, which stretches up to 6 times in every direction, so we found out that they can handle long distance runs. The material is also coated with a water-resistant shell, which has kept us dry during jogs in light rain.

Speaking of jogs, there’s reflective detailing on the front that provides extra visibility for nighttime runs. In terms of storage, you have two zippered pockets—one on the right side for small valuables that tend to bounce—and the other in the back to secure your phone. Although this pair doesn’t come with any liner, we didn’t feel our skin rubbing up against the fabric.

Length 7″
Material 76% Nylon, 24% Spandex with Polygiene Antibacterial Technology
Pockets Left-side open pocket, right-side zip pocket, back zip pocket,

Best Lightweight Athletic Shorts

Alo Yoga 5″ Adapt Running Short

5

Best Lightweight Athletic Shorts

Alo Yoga 5″ Adapt Running Short

Pros
  • Built-in boxer keeps your precious jewels comfortable
  • The fabric has a two-way stretch to move freely
  • Super airy and breathable
Cons
  • Only comes with one inseam

When it comes to running, you want your athletic shorts to feel light and airy. Enter Alo’s Adapt Short. It’s super breathable and made with two-way stretch fabric, which provides extra mobility. Our favorite part: this pair is designed with a built-in boxer brief to help keep your lower regions comfortable while you’re putting in miles. While running in this, we found that it did not bunch up, and felt comfortable even during our longest routes. Plus, there’s a hidden interior pocket to stash your keys and credit cards.

Length 5″
Material Polyester
Pockets Hidden pocket

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Best Athletic Shorts for Hiking

On Explorer Shorts

Explorer Shorts

Best Athletic Shorts for Hiking

On Explorer Shorts

Pros
  • Ample pockets for storage use
  • Fabric wicks away moisture and dries super fast
Cons
  • Not many color options available

It’s true On Running is known more for its footwear options, however the company has been slowly growing its presence in performance apparel. The Explorer Short offers a unique design on what a hiking short should be, with premium features like ample pocket space and a stretchy, fully water repellent material that will keep you dry during rainy commutes to the gym.

Length N/A
Material 100% Polyester
Pockets Two handwarmer pockets, two zippered pockets, two snap closure pockets

Best Water-Repellant Athletic Shorts

Rhone 7″ Pursuit Short

7

Best Water-Repellant Athletic Shorts

Rhone 7″ Pursuit Short

Pros
  • Can be purchased with or without a liner
  • You choose between three different inseams
Cons
  • This style goes out of stock pretty quickly

Rhone is another top player when it comes to performance shorts. The Pursuit Short is a durable water repellant short that can be paired with athleisure or casual outfits. We like the 7″ inseam in Asphalt, as the style provides more opportunity to wear with your everyday wardrobe, should you choose.

Length 5″, 7″, 9″
Material Nylon, Elastane
Pockets Two hand pockets, one zippered pocket

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Athletic Shorts We Also Liked and Tested

  • Reigning Champ Midweight Terry Sweatshort: When it comes to traditional sweatshorts, few make a pair better than Reigning Champ. The brand uses an ultra soft midweight terry cotton as its main material. But what truly elevates the sweatshort from traditional pairs are the small details like a ribbed waistband, a gusset, and flatlock seams.
  • Ten Thousand Interval Short: It’s hard to mention Ten Thousand and not think about their shorts. The Interval Short is by far one of the performance wear brand’s best selling models thanks to it’s moisture wicking fabric and no-pinch waistband. This pair is the chosen short for all types of athletes, from trail runners to CrossFit competitors. We love that the waistband doesn’t bunch up and the shorts have an anti-odor treatment to keep the funk away.
  • Tracksmith Falmouth Shorts: When you need to straddle the line a bit more between training and post-run relaxation, the Falmouth could be your new go-to. The slightly longer inseam and distinctive waistband are a stylistic nod to the shorts Roger Bannister wore when he broke the 4-minute mile in 1954. And if you’re curious about performance, the moisture-wicking water-repellent nylon blend will help you stay dry when those surprise storms interrupt your run.

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