running shorts

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Although it is right that an avid runner could run in any kind of short in which he or she feels comfortable and relaxed, there are some kinds of shorts that are for running.

Also, keep in mind that choosing which types of running shorts are most suitable for you is mainly a matter of personal preference and needs. These personal preferences may be based on the way the running shorts feel, look, and perform.

Running Shorts

As a result, having some basic knowledge and information on the various kinds of running shorts is crucial before you buy a pair. It is because you will know the benefits and drawbacks of different types of shorts.

Whether you are planning to wear them for sports, competing, training or lunchtime decompression, a running short is comfy and made to be practical. Also, the right fit will help prevent bouncing, chafing and other various distractions that may stop you from thoroughly enjoying the sport.

If you are wondering where to buy running shorts, you can get them at Amazon Store for a really good bargain price.

Running And The Mechanics Behind It

Between the extreme popularity of a variety of movements such as Chi Running and minimalism, a majority of folks are trying to fix and enhance their running form hoping to eliminate injuries and run faster. It is why there are many schools of running style, and they have their converts and fans who believe it is a miracle cure.

However, according to experts, there is lack of research and evidence to definitively claim that any of these popular methods can cause or prevent injuries. But, you can be sure about one thing: if you attempt to one or more radical changes to your running form all of a sudden, without providing the body an opportunity to adjust, it is likely you will end up injuring yourself.

So, how can you decide if your running form requires fixing? Well, if you are running injury-free and comfortably, you have no reason to change your style. In that case, just stick to what you are doing. Keep in mind that your running mechanics are determined mainly by the flexibility and strength of specific muscles in your body and also by the shape and form of your body.

Experts specializing in different disciplines from biomechanists and coaches to podiatrists and physical therapists agree that there is not one perfect running form in every situation for every runner. Everyone is different in a variety of ways, from joint tightness to limb lengths as well as relative muscular strengths.

Group Of Runners In Shorts

It is worth noting that the beauty of your body is that it is not a machine, which needs faultless parts in the right alignment so that it can work in a single prescribed way.

Your central nervous system employs muscles as required out of a variety of possible patterns to determine the most suitable and efficient movement path for the body. It creates your unique and personal stride signature.

The unique signature stride may land on your heel; your cadence could be faster or slower compared to the ideal or perfect 180 steps a minute. Also, one arm may swing out a bit farther compared to the other arm to make up for irregularity or anomaly in another part of the body. However, as long as you are running well, that is all fine. Most comfortable running shorts allow easy movement of body parts, allowing you to go faster.

Running, like most other sports is a unique skill and improvement and success will depend primarily on active development and proper conditioning. However, you should also remember that it is also about developing your individual and unique running style, rather than basing the training regime on techniques and methods that happen to work well for others.

It is why having a comprehensive understanding of the mechanics of running could help you appreciate and understand your running form and figure out where you can make improvements. Also, it will help you make more sense of things you hear and read with regards to training programs, running styles, conditioning exercises, running shorts and footwear, etc.

Simultaneous Steps Are Key

Due to their sedentary lifestyles, a majority of people never get wholly upright and balanced over their feet and hips when standing. As a result, most people tend to maintain a type of sitting posture even while running.

So, if you want to improve your form, your overriding goal should be to get taller, more connected and more balanced while moving your stride so that it can powerfully and efficiently push us along. To do this, you should:

  • Find your new balance over the feet
  • Rotate your hips to a neutral position
  • Stretch your hip flexors
  • Activate and strengthen your glutes

Keep in mind that you can take all the above steps simultaneously until you have restored your mobility and made an upright and balanced running posture.

Rewire Your System

Once you have started to improve your running mechanics, you will still have to trust your body to determine your optimal movement patterns. Several years of compromised or poor mobility and posture can create neuromuscular pathways that you would repeat until something shakes up your system and forces you to re-wire.

Runner Tying Running Shoes

One way to re-wire is to get injured and start over from scratch. However, there are less drastic measures. You could introduce various new movement challenges and patterns into your workout regimen. You can also include drills that force you out of the standard range of motion; steep hills, spring up short as well as incorporate barefoot striders.

What Are Running Shorts?

A running short is a specialized type of short that is worn by runners. A pair of running shorts is made to enhance comfort and facilitate free movementduring running and other exercises. The materials of running short are hard-wearing and lightweight.

Many brands of running shorts often feature an inner lining that can act as underwear. It is why wearing underwear is not usually necessary as running shorts with compression liner cancel the need for it. Keep in mind that polyester is one of the most common fabrics used in running shorts.

Most comfortable running shorts allow easier movement for the runner and do not cause itching when wet. A majority of running shorts usually have seams cut up near the side of both legs to allow for freer and comfier movement. Most manufacturers tend to define their running shorts based on the length of the uncut leg. For instance, a 3/4 seam implies a quarter of the total length.

Shorts with half split seams are the shortest. On the other hand, a square leg short has no split. Keep in mind that longer shorts are usually not great for running. It is because your stride might pull up your short’s fabric, leading to discomfort and inconvenience. However, many runners like longer shorts as they can cover a more significant part of their legs.

Long-running shorts have a variety of useful features such as:

  • Compression
  • Four-way stretch
  • Seamless front
  • Wide waistband
  • Ultra-light
  • Odor prevention

On the other hand, many runners prefer athletic hot pants as their running shorts. Similar to a half split seam short, most hot pants will not hinder your leg movement, offering you more flexibility, convenience, and comfort. Similarly, Lycra running shorts are another alternative to traditional, polyester-based running shorts.

In a majority of cases, these shorts will reach your mid-thigh, depending on your height. Lycra shorts are also skin-tight; therefore, they allow you more flexibility and unencumbered movement.

You should wear running shorts in mild to warm weather or in situations where air flow and comfort are more vital than the protection of your legs. There are various types of shorts available on the market, ranging from athletic shorts to knee-length shorts that you can wear to the beach.

Different Running Shorts

Low rise running shorts are well-ventilated and allow you to move with more freedom due to their side splits. They also have inner compression which offers more stability. They are available for both women and men.

Under armor running shorts, on the other hand, have the second-skin feel, strategic mesh, reflective details as well as multiple pockets. These shorts are highly-breathable, have shaped hems and elastic waist.

How Do They Help With Running?

A variety of running apparel such as running shorts with compression liner and split shorts are becoming extremely popular among athletes and runners of all levels. You can derive some fantastic benefits by putting on a pair of excellent running shorts as they can help with running.

Less Muscle Fatigue

Buying running shorts, and putting them on during runs and workouts, can help enhance your athletic performance as they reduce muscle fatigue.

According to UPMC Health Beat, wearing running shorts, such as compression shorts, can help lower muscle fatigue and soreness both after and during workouts. It results in faster, better and longer runs and you will not feel tired. It is a perfect reason to buy a pair!

Enhanced Perceived Exertion

If you are training for endurance races or extreme sports, it is always beneficial to achieve lower perceived exertion (it leads to a smooth workout). If you do this, your training sessions will be more bearable, and you will also improve your athletic performance.

Better Muscle Oxygenation

Our muscles require more oxygen to work correctly during running sessions and workouts. Compression garments and running shorts are made to raise the quantity of oxygen that your muscles receive. Several research studies have shown this.

Compression and split shorts are mainly designed to enhance blood flow and facilitate oxygenation of your muscle tissue. It can improve athletic performance, especially during brief bouts of exercise.

More Comfort

Most comfortable running shorts are built to absorb moisture and allow air to flow through the fabric easily. Although many running shorts do apply a little pressure to the thigh and butt area, most athletes and runners find these garments very comfy with less wind resistance.

Compression and V-Notch shorts tend to cause much less friction and chafing than more conventional athletic shorts. Also, these shorts will not ride up while you are running, doing sit-ups, squatting, or stretching.

Better Recovery

You will know that recovering from strenuous and rigorous exercise could be a long process; also, muscle soreness can occur if you are just starting intense training sessions.

Man In Shorts Streching Before Running

The good news is that compression and split shorts can help muscle recovery, especially after a strenuous workout session. Compression shorts have more advantages when it comes to improving recovery after an exercise bout, according to Human Kinetics.

Types Of Running Shorts

There are three main types of running shorts on the market. These are compression shorts, v-notch shorts, and split shorts. The specific style often determines length, fit and leg seam.

Compression Shorts

Compression shorts are tight-fitting and quite snug to the body. They are very similar to cycling chamois, except the padding. Due to their snug fit, compression shorts are warmer and offer more muscle support. They are also the strongest when it comes to preventing chafing and friction. Their superior stretch allows for remarkable flexibility and they are considered the most comfortable running shorts by many athletes.

Keep in mind that the length of a compression short can vary between women’s and men’s styles (women’s short are often shorter with 1-inch inseams up to mid-thigh length).

In contrast, men’s fashions usually fall between knee-length and mid-thigh and are typically worn under looser shorts. Leg seams can vary considerably, but as the flexibility and convenience of these shorts come from their tight and stretchy fit, leg seams on most compression shorts are often a fashion choice.

V-Notch Shorts

V-notch shorts are the leading style of running shorts and are named after the V-shaped cutout (upside down) found on the exterior leg seams. The V-shaped cutout allows you to have more range of movement and flexibility than if the short seams were stitched together all the way down.

These shorts have an eased and loose fit, rather than the snug fit linked to compression shorts. However, like most compression shorts, v-notch shorts for women tend to be a bit shorter.

Split Shorts

Although v-notch shorts and split shorts are usually confused by most people, there is a subtle difference.

While a divided short also has a loose fit and its leg seams tend to have a v cutout (upside down) at the bottom, instead of being a separate part of the short’s leg seam, this shape has a front panel that overlaps the back. It is why the leg seam could be very short like the waistband.

Keep in mind that this split leg-style is undoubtedly a more performance-oriented style because it provides you the highest range of motion. Also, its inseams are often shorter and start at around 1 inch for both men and women.

Materials And How They Impact Running Performance

Running shorts, such as compression shorts, (and their liners) have natural or synthetic fibers.

Natural Fibers

Running shorts made of natural fibers, such as cotton, usually, offer excellent movement and stretch. However, the downside is that they do not hold up to moisture quite well, and this could lead to chafing. Moreover, regular use of natural fiber shorts in high-heat conditions can also cause these shorts to break down much faster compared to those made of synthetic fibers.

One way to overcome this is by infusing these running shorts with compression liner that can absorb moisture much better and provide comfort as well.

Hemp Running Shorts

Synthetic Fibers

On the other hand, most synthetic fiber-based shorts are of polyester, a nylon blend or a polyester-spandex blend. The benefits of the polyester blend are that it provides excellent stretch, fit, and more importantly superior moisture-management that helps prevent discomfort and chafing.

Running shorts made of synthetic fibers tend to offer more durability and endure frequent use better than natural fiber shorts.

Difference Between Men’s, Woman’s And Unisex Running Shorts

Running shorts come in women’s, men’s and unisex styles. These running shorts have specific gender-specific features you should keep in mind when buying a pair.

Men’s Running Shorts

Not that running shorts for men are cut and designed uniquely for the male body. It means that the inseam is usually a bit longer, while the built-in liner offers more support, especially in the groin (it is why jockstraps are not needed) to prevent chafing and discomfort.

Women’s Running Shorts

On the other hand, the cut of a women’s short precisely fits the female hips, waist, and thighs, offering the most comfortable and best fit. These shorts have shorter inseam designed for shorter legs and less room in the groin.

Unisex Running Shorts

If you combine the cuts of women’s and men’s running shorts, you will get a unisex short. As these shorts lack the women’s and men’s specific-support features, they usually do not provide as much chafing-prevention and comfort for long runs.

Do You Need To Wear Underwear While Wearing Running Shorts?

A majority of running shorts with compression liner offer excellent support. As a result, you do not have to wear underwear while wearing running shorts since the added fabric layer may lead to uncomfortable chafing.

Also, note that these liners offer moisture-management that can wick sweat away. It can help keep things dry, cool and comfortable while preventing infections and chafing. Furthermore, these liners are useful as they are built to offer sufficient compression and support for men. Therefore, you do not need jockstraps as well.


Whether you are running marathons or making sprints, you will need to wear an excellent pair of running shorts that moves gracefully with every stride. If you want to know which brands are the best, check out the following list of some of the best running shorts brands!

Under Armor

Under Armor started its operations with a straightforward plan to manufacture a superior and unique T-shirt. A T-shirt that offered unmatched compression, while keeping perspiration off the skin instead of absorbing it was the aim.

Black Under Armour Logo

The company was founded in 1996 by Kevin Plank, a former football player from University of Maryland. Under Armor is considered the originator and pioneer of performance apparel, which helps keep athletes and runners dry, fresh, and lightduring practice, game, or a workout.

Under Armor uses complex technology when designing its diverse product offerings for women, men, and youth. The company’s mission and goal are to make all types of athletes better through design, passion, and the relentless pursuit of technology and innovation.


Adidas is one of the leading and most reputable brands when it comes to sports apparel. The company makes a slew of products for both men and women. These include jackets, pants, sweatshirts, polos, jerseys, tank tops, underwear, shorts, and tights.

Black Adidas Logo

Adidas employs over 60,000 people in more than 160 countries and manufactures over 850 million products each year with revenues of more than 19 billion Euros.


Nike Inc. is an American multinational company engaged in the production, design, and marketing of apparel, footwear, accessories, and equipment. The company is the leading supplier of athletic clothing and shoes in the world.

Black Nike Logo

Nike was founded in 1964 by Phil Knight and Bill Bowerman. The company has revenues more than $34 billion. Nike produces a variety of sports apparel and footwear such as tracksuits, baseball caps, running shoes and shorts, sweatpants, crop tops, and leggings.

Read our buying guide to find out where to buy running shorts for your needs.

How To Clean Running Shorts?

Follow these steps to keep your running shorts neat and clean, while avoiding damage.

  • Make sure you turn your running shorts inside-out as it will help safeguard colors. Also, note that most of the dirty stuff will accumulate inside your running shorts, not outside
  • Before you wash your shorts, soak them in a mixture of half a cup of white vinegar and cold water for about 30 minutes. It will not only help eliminate unpleasant odors but also break down gunk that may have accumulated during and after the workout
  • Then use a small quantity of detergent to wash your running shorts. The amount should be a bit less than the recommended amount for your load size
  • Make sure you wash your shorts in cold water. It is because hot water may break down textiles and also cause shrinkage
  • In case of strong odors, add a little more white vinegar to the wash’s rinse cycle
  • Then air dry your shorts, or you can use a low heat setting on the dryer


We have discussed running and its mechanics and how you can improve your form. We have talked about what running shorts are and how they are different from regular shorts. We have highlighted how running shorts can help in running by improving comfort and enhancing blood oxygenation.

Men's Running Shorts

We have looked at different types of running shorts such as compression and split shorts. We have discussed various types of materials used to produce running shorts and how they affect performance. We have also highlighted the differences between men’s, women’s and unisex running shorts.

We have provided step-by-step instructions on how you can clean your running shorts and discussed some leading makers of running shorts. Our buying guide will explain the different features that you should consider when buying running shorts along with some recommendations.