The 5 Best Running Shorts, Whether You Like Spandex or Not

2xu mens compression shorts

Like your running shoes, your running shorts can either make or break your run. We’ve all been there and had bad coverage or horrible chafing. Or worse- both at the same time. You shouldn’t notice the perfect pair of running shorts while wearing them. They shouldn’t ride up your thighs or cause discomfort. Running shorts should offer ventilation but also be durable. They should be lightweight and comfortable. Each pair of running shorts can vary greatly, with different fabrics, lengths and built-in features.

The best pair of shorts for you will change depending on whether you are a marathon runner or a sprinter. Skip the hassle of the stores and malls and shop quickly online from your computer, phone or tablet. Here’s a list of the best mens running shorts to keep you running at peak performance every time.

Best Mens Running Shorts

2XU Men’s Compression Shorts


These compression running shorts by 2XU are engineered with powerful PWX FLEX fabric. This is made specifically for wrapping and supporting the vital muscles of the upper leg- which reduces muscle oscillation. It also allows for the muscles to work more effortlessly, leading to less fatigue and damage. You’ll get consistent yet powerful pressure that supports and protects the glutes, abductors, quad and hamstring muscles. You can also get a faster warm up and improved oxygen circulation when wearing these shorts.

The 2XU Men’s Compression Shorts are simply some of the best shorts for running. They can be worn underneath other clothing, but also have enough coverage to be worn alone. They will keep your running gear in place and give you the right amount of support. Not only do these shorts benefit you during your run, but they also help post exercise as well. Improve and shorten your recovery with faster muscle repair. The 2XU Compression Shorts have so many awesome features that you will want more than one pair.

CW-X Stabilyx Ventilator Shorts

The second most popular running shorts are the CW-X Stabilyx Ventilator Shorts. They feature targeted joint support in the hips, knees and core for overall stability and balance. The patented CW-X Support Web technology mimics kinesiology taping techniques to create an exoskeletal support system. Compression along the Support Web will minimize lactic acid build-up and help you recover faster. Another notable feature is the key pocket and waistband which is double reinforced with a flat drawcord.

These shorts also have a flat seam construction, eliminating that god-awful chafe and increasing comfort and fit. The moisture wicking fabric will help you stay cool and dry while on your run. On top of that, you can stay safe from the sun with UPF 50+ protection. CW-X Stabilyx Ventilator Shorts are a must if you run in a hot climate, but ultimately are excellent for any weather. These are some of the most popular running shorts for men who run shorter distances.

MJ Soffe Men’s Running Short

These best selling Soffe men’s shorts may be quite short, but are made for some serious running. With only a 2.25 inch inseam, these are lightweight and comfortable. They are definitely some of the best running shorts for men.

You will also feel like you have more freedom- once you get over how much leg you’ll be showing. It is good to know that they are worn by US Military for running and exercising. At least you know you won’t be alone.

These bad boys also have a covered elastic waistband and a liner brief to maximize support. The MJ Soffe Men’s Running Shorts are great for hot weather and help you stay cool. The short length and breathable fabric keep you staying fresh without a lot of sweat build up.

These are some of the top rated shorts for running long distances, since there will be less restriction and less chafing. You may show off a little more than desired, but the Soffe running shorts definitely won’t disappoint.

Champion Men’s Performax Running Shorts

Another highly rated pair of shorts is Champion Men’s Performax Running Shorts. These are some of the best running shorts available. Their Vapor Technology with X-Temp evaporates sweat fast as body heat rises. The moisture wicking fabric is actually designed to adapt to your body temperature. Ventilation zones also add extra comfort and dryness to your run.

Champion Men’s Performax Running Shorts have a nice 7 inch inseam. These are long enough for good coverage but still allow for maximum movement with no restrictions. This pair of Champion’s running shorts are great for sprinters and shorter runs.

It’s also great that these shorts have a zip pocket at the center back. The pocket is a little small but still works fine for credit cards, cash or keys. Champion has outdone themselves again with these lightweight and durable running shorts.

Under Armour Launch Run 7” Shorts

Under Armour’s Launch running shorts with a 7 inch inseam are one of the best in its category. These shorts keep you dry and smelling fresh with their anti-odor technology. They are excellent for running since they’re ultra-lightweight and breathable. These running shorts also have an added mesh liner inside that helps sweat and moisture escape. Don’t worry about losing quality though, because these shorts are made with extremely durable fabric.

Under Armour’s Launch running shorts also feature mesh hand pockets and an internal waist key pocket. Considering most running shorts don’t have external hand pockets, this is a big turn on.

They have an elastic waistband with an internal drawcord to keep them from sagging, which is a big plus. Being a ‘fitted’ pair of shorts, they are close to the skin but without the squeeze. These Under Armour shorts get an A+ for all of their extra features and sleek, fitted design.


Picking the perfect running shorts is like finding the perfect girlfriend. You will feel comfortable with them, have only good things to say about them, and they will last a while. With so many different styles, features, and lengths, it can be difficult to weed the bad ones out.

Whether you’re going for a 5 mile run or a casual daily jog, these shorts will help you perform to your fullest potential. With lightweight, sweat-wicking fabrics and internal mesh linings, these running shorts keep your mind focused and the boys supported. It’s important to choose the right shorts for your needs, and hopefully this list will lead you in the right direction.

Product images sourced from

Kevin Turner

Kevin started running to ward off the post-30 chub he saw so many of his friends acquire. He's been running for 3 years now and has participated in 8 half-marathons and 3 marathons.

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