Black man with flat top leaps in the air wearing black running shorts and yellow tank top

How to find running shorts that actually make you want to go running.

Tired of wearing uncomfortable shorts? We answer some of your most common (and embarrassing) questions to help you find the right shorts for your workout.

Warmer weather inspires a more structured workout routine (see: bikini season) and the sudden desire to get outside (see: summer vacation). In other words, whether or not you're an avid outdoor runner, you might find yourself sprinting down the street in the dead heat of July this week. Feeling like a warrior out on the trail or pavement in the middle of the summer will help you get through whatever else summer throws your way (see: broken sprinkler pipe).

Shirtless man runs down street in summer heat

There's just one problem: running shorts. Sure, they're comfortable enough once you try them on. But like all sportswear apparel, you need to find the right fit for your body and workout. Choose the wrong pair, and they can be unbearable. That's why we're answering all your most common questions here, so you don't end up purchasing a pair of shorts you'll regret.

Woman wearing running shorts in gym during workout session

Can I wear running shorts for workout sessions?

The short answer is "yes." We get it — no one wants to look like the new guy at the gym. There's probably a big difference between the best workout shorts for men and the best high-rise shorts for women, and the stained sweatpants cutoffs you've been wearing for bi-weekly pilates sessions in front of the TV this past year. While most high-quality athletic shorts can withstand the heavy mileage of running, they are also comfortable and light enough to be worn during almost every other exercise activity. Many people find running shorts more comfortable than traditional activewear because they don't have the tight, constricting waistband.


Why do running shorts have a lining on the inside?

To be honest, we're not sure why shorts have a lining on the inside. Shorts with built-in liners can be uncomfortable, bunch up, and generally make things more complicated than they need to be. Linerless running shorts are gradually becoming more popular because they provide the same support without all the extra fabric. And let's be honest, who wants to feel like they're wearing diapers?

When it comes to liner vs. linerless, linerless is the way to go. Skip the liner altogether and opt for a pair of linerless shorts. They'll hug your body in all the right places and won't ride up or chafe, no matter how long your run is. Trust us, once you go linerless, you'll never go back.

Black woman wearing oversize pink t-shirt and compression shorts in front of sunset

What are compression shorts?

Compression shorts provide support for your muscles and help reduce fatigue. Many women wear high-waisted athletic shorts for yoga and other activities because they offer the same benefits as compression leggings but keep you cool during higher-intensity workouts.

Group of people stand together wearing short running shorts

Why are most runners in short shorts?

The shorter the running shorts, the less fabric there is to rub against your skin and cause chafing. No one wants to deal with chafing, so most runners opt for shorter shorts. Plus, they're more flattering (and let's be honest, we all want to look good while sweating it out).

Black man wears running shorts while swimming in ocean with daughter

Can people wear athletic shorts for swimming?

Yes! Many people wear activewear shorts for swimming because they provide the same level of compression and support as traditional swimwear. However, it's essential to ensure that your running shorts have quick-drying fabric so you don't end up ruining the front seat of your friend's new Mercedes.

Woman wearing blue running shorts crosses finish line of marathon

Do I need to wear running shorts for a marathon?

No, you don't necessarily need to wear running shorts for a marathon. Some runners prefer to wear compression leggings or pants because they provide more coverage and support. However, if you prefer to wear athletic shorts, plenty of options are specifically designed for long-distance running.

Black man wearing white running shorts

What are the best running or athletic shorts?

The best running and athletic shorts are the ones that you actually want to go wear. It comes down to finding the right combination of style, fit, and comfort. If you're looking for extra coverage, there are running shorts with built-in briefs or liners. If you prefer a lighter-weight short, there are options made with mesh panels to help keep you cool.

To find the right fit for you, check out Neue Supply Co. premium running and athletic shorts for men and women, high-rise compression shorts for women, and linerless athletic shorts for men.

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