Three runners put loads of apparel through the paces to solve problems like shorts riding up, skirts that lead to chafing and more.
This Year’s Best Running Shorts
Looking like a runner doesn’t mean dressing how you think a runner should dress—it’s finding the right apparel for your body that allows you the most freedom and comfort to run. One of the biggest hang-ups in women’s apparel: running shorts! That’s why we spent hours on the roads and trails running in more than 100 products to bring you the 2018 Women’s Running Bra and Bottom Awards. We are giving you a starting point for finding your next favorite piece of running apparel so you can hit the road with confidence and style.
Under Armour SpeedPocket Shorts, $45
Best for: Small to medium frames
Perfect for long-distance runs on a hot summer day because of the lightweight fabric—these shorts have a four-way stretch waistband for a customizable fit. A front pocket in the waistband is water-resistant to hold fuel and small items for easy access while on the go—its foldover design and lining kept testers’ phones secure and dry.
Skirt Sports Jaguar Skirt with Baller Pockets, $74
Best for: Medium to larger frames, up to XXL
If skirts are your go-to, this one checks all the boxes. With three sizeable pockets and a modest length, this skirt is great for running, walking or other activities while adding a feminine touch. Plus, our testers experienced zero chafing when taking them on test runs: win-win!
Maloja RodaM., $89
Best for: Small frames without curves
Made for the woman who doesn’t like to run with built-in liners, these shorts are soft to the touch, lightweight, quick-drying and can be your go-to for longer or shorter distances. Our testers loved the short length, so if you prefer more modest apparel, these may not be your first pick.
Patagonia Nine Trail Shorts, $65
Best for: Medium builds with curvier hips
What’s bright, light and super freeing? These running shorts by Patagonia. Made with a recycled polyester/spandex blend that breathes freely and wicks moisture away, these shorts could be worn on the trail or road. Our testers also loved the built-in liner and drawstring waistband. Take these on a long or short run—you won’t need to worry about chafing or rubbing with the light material.
Sugoi Fusion 4” Short, $65
Best for: Smaller frames
“Comfortable,” “lightweight” and “easy to move in” were some of the words our testers used to describe these shorts. Some of our favorite features included the elasticity of the waistband and cut. The built-in liner has free-cut leg openings to help reduce underwear lines and improve breathability (you can also go sans undies if you’re so inclined). One of our testers commented, “I can’t remember running in a pair of shorts that felt so naturally comfortable!”
Gore R5 Women Light Shorts, $60
Best for: Small frames with slim hips
Feeling a little sluggish lately? Grab these shorts and you may feel light as a feather. Our tester raved, “The featherlight material and wide waistband make for a super-comfy, barely there feel and a flattering fit.” Mesh side panels in the shorts help with ventilation. Bonus points for the bright color options they come in!