The 21 Best Running Shorts for Cooler, Comfier Runs

As we ease into summer, you’re going to want to stock your closet full of running gear to stay motivated and active during the hottest days. The best running shorts for women are comfortable to wear and won’t distract you during your run. There are a lot of important pieces of running gear worth investing in if you’re spending a considerable amount of time training, running shoes and sports bras are up there, but one of the most important elements to staying comfortable and cool during warm weather runs is high-quality shorts. Running shorts come in a variety of styles, from minimalist split shorts to bike-short style spandex. It all comes down to personal preferences, but there are a few things to take into account. 

How to shop for running shorts:

  • Inseam length: A standard measurement that dictates the short’s length. Short inseams (like 3-inch and less) will provide the ultimate range of motion and breathability, while longer inseams will provide more coverage and modesty. If you’re not comfortable with super short shorts, 4-5 inch inseams are a sweet spot where you can reap the benefits of both.
  • Split Shorts vs Regular Shorts: The split in the side seam of shorts enhances the freedom of movement at the expense of coverage. Split length can vary, from full split to the waistband to a minimal ½-inch partial split.
  • Classic Shorts vs Compression Shorts: Loose-fitting, classic running shorts are great for moisture-wicking and breathability, but spandex style compression shorts help you achieve a secure fit and chafing prevention. However, some runners find compression shorts to fit too tightly and cause discomfort while running. If you’re prone to stomach problems while running, we recommend looser-fitting shorts.
  • Features: Your running style will dictate the types of features you look for in running shorts. Do you want to run hands-free and carry your phone in your shorts pockets? Or are you trail running with a hydration pack and want to prioritize minimalism and a barely-there feel? Do you frequently run at night and need the visibility of reflective detailing?

Whether you’re looking for lightweight shorts for your morning jogs, running shorts that don’t ride up, or lightweight shorts that will prevent chafing during your marathon training, read on to find some of the best running shorts available now. 

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