Best Track Shorts Reviewed

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Looking for just the right shorts for your next race or just looking to perform your best? Either way, quality track shorts can help you shave time off your personal best. This list includes selections for every budget and personal style; take a peek and find the shorts that fit your personality and pocketbook.

You can run in anything from your ancient gym suit to Rocky’s old-school sweats, but if you want full range of motion and race-level performance, consider purchasing specifically-designed track shorts.

Nike Aeroswift Race Short
  • Nike Aeroswift Race Short
  • 5 out of 5
  • Two-Way Stretch Dri-FIT Fabric
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The North Face BTN Short
  • The North Face BTN Short
  • 4.8 out of 5
  • Stitch-Free on Critical Seams
  • Price: See Here
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MJ Soffe Running Short
  • MJ Soffe Running Short
  • 4.5 out of 5
  • Covered Elastic Waistband
  • Price: See Here
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Many runners who have resisted these thigh-exposing threads find they love the freedom and weightlessness they provide. So don’t be shy; show off those shapely, toned legs in the best track shorts the market has to offer!

Most of these are available in men’s and women’s styles or have equivalent designs for both genders.

1. Nike Aeroswift Race Short

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Aeroswift Race shorts are not for the modest. The 2” inseam is among the shortest we reviewed in this piece for men. Loaded with technical features to take your mind off your shorts and keep it focused where it belongs, on your running, these shorts enable a liberation that is rare and perhaps worth opening the piggy bank to purchase.
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Comfort
Nike has loaded the Aeroswifts with one comfort feature after another. The liner is not only mesh, but is zoned to increase airflow; Dri-FIT wicks moisture and dries quickly; hem is bonded to move smoothly as you run. The fabric is designed to resist clinging to the skin and even the waistband is mesh for breathability and airflow to that often neglected area where moisture gathers in a race or workout.

Special Features
In most cases, the comfort features of the Aeroswifts do double duty as efficiency attributes. The 2” inseam with side notches enable maximum leg extension, unimpeded by clingy material; the perforated waistband – a remarkably innovative though seemingly simple feature – keeps moisture from gathering in your midsection and the Dri-FIT technology keeps you cool and dry. As a bonus, the liner is even made from recycled materials for those of you who want to save the planet while running.

Value
These are not for the runner counting pennies, but most of us feel that you do get value for your money with the Nike Aeroswifts.
Pros
  • Effective Dri-FIT technology
  • Stretch fabric with side vents for complete range of motion
  • Bonded anti-chafe hem
Cons
  • Pricey
  • Run small

2. The North Face Better than Naked Split Short

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The North Face corporate image takes a gigantic leap forward as they catapult themselves from climbing and camping to the peak of competitive running. These shorts so entirely hit the mark for technical attributes, quality and super light construction sought after in race shorts that many reviewers really do feel just short of naked; and they like it!
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Comfort
Better Than Naked shorts make you feel as if you have been running in lead waders all your life. They most certainly have earned their appropriate name. Their nearly weightless construction and anti-chafe material make these perfect for races or runs of any length in warm conditions. Even that typical feeling of excess material between the legs that increases with the miles is nearly absent in these barely-there shorts.

Special Features
FlashDry, breathable liner, generous leg openings with the traditional leg split are only a few of the many assets of these running shorts. Though the elite racers have people to hold their phones, keys, tissues and rabbit’s foot during a race, even the best among the amateurs need some “stuff” when running. The Northface has incorporated their outdoor design knowledge that features as many storage areas as possible into these shorts by having five pockets available. Sure, they’re not huge, but that’s quite impressive in shorts with a 3” inseam.

Value
Though costing real money, these shorts excel in both technical and practical advantages; this substantial investment yields substantial value.
Pros
  • FlashDry, breathable liner
  • Elastic and drawstring waistband
  • Crazy lightweight
  • 5 pockets
Cons
  • Reflective logo tends to wear/wash off
  • Lining can be snug – might have to size up
  • These really are for warm/hot conditions – might feel a bit chilly on cooler days

3. Lululemon Run Speed Short

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These cheeky four-way stretch shorts combine form and function into a tiny 2.5 inch package. If you want full extension, comfortable stretch and fashion, look to these Lululemon Run Speed shorts. Easy access zipped back pocket has a wide opening so you don’t have to fumble for your Kleenex during a race.
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Comfort
Sweat-wicking/quick dry fabric means you carry only your own weight when you run in these Speed Shorts; less bulk means less chafing for better performance and improved next-to-nothing comfort.

Special Features
Wide-high cut leg openings and high fashion patterns appeal to style conscious runners who enjoy modern, lightweight shorts for serious runners. Additionally, Lululemon has been a fashion leader in sports attire and these shorts come in a variety of colors and styles so you don’t have to choose between cutting-edge design and attractiveness.

Value
A little on the expensive side, you pay for design as well as technical features.
Pros
  • 16 color offerings
  • Superior comfort
  • Wide, low-cut, stretch/drawstring waistband
  • 2.5 inch
Cons
  • Run small in thighs

4. Brooks Sherpa 2-in-1 Short

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As Sherpas do the heavy-lifting in mountaineering expeditions, these race shorts do twice the work of ordinary shorts; they feature a foundation mesh-compression boxer-brief under 5” running shorts and have three useful pockets.
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Comfort
The compression, mesh boxer-brief provides stability and support while the lightweight over-short and stretch/drawstring waist deliver an impressive 1-2 comfort punch. The elastic waistband with drawstring keep everything in place while you coolly cross the finish line.

Special Features
Sweat-wicking and breathable short shorts with an elastic waistband and drawstring belt; these shorts are ready to race.

Value
These are more expensive, technical shorts that offer good return on investment.
Pros
  • Mesh boxer-brief provides support and cooling air circulation
  • Moisture-wicking
  • Multiple pockets including a sweat-resistant phone pocket
  • Leg cuts for full motion
Cons
  • The “phone” pocket is small, maybe only large enough for a quite small cell.

5. UnderArmor Performance Split Short

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Short, fitted race shorts with technical features, these support full leg mobility and are long-lasting. With the added anti-odor feature, these can easily appeal to runners who are tired of their “clean” shorts returning from the laundry exhaling memories of the last race or workout.
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Comfort
Four-way stretch, very light and fitted without squashing, these 2” inseam shorts perform well even in very hot conditions.

Special Features
Moisture-wicking and quick to dry, the mesh liner promotes cooling and air circulation while the anti-odor feature ensures these shorts last mile-after-mile. Four-way stretch supports complete range of motion unencumbered by soggy shorts as the moisture-wicking does its job.

Value
These are mid-priced shorts that offer very good return on investment.
Pros
  • Anti-odor treatment
  • Four-way stretch
  • Moisture wicking
  • Mesh panel for improved air flow
  • Quick drying
Cons
  • Run small
  • Need a little more attention in the cleaning department to get full value of the anti-odor feature.

6. Nike Dri-FIT Tempo Running Short

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Nike, an elder statesman in the running game, designed these 3” shorts keep you dry and enable superior leg extension on those hot running days. There are many excellent examples of the running gear art in the Nike stable, but for race-design, minimalist shorts, the Dri-FIT Tempo are an excellent choice.
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Comfort
Moisture-wicking, light-as-air material and low rise waistband allow mid-body freedom of motion supported by curved hem for leg extension and mesh panels for breathability

Special Features
Effective sweat-wicking, these breathable short shorts leave your legs free to fly.

Value
These are mid-priced shorts that offer good return on investment.
Pros
  • Dri-FIT 100% polyester body with dri-FIT 100% recycled polyester non-chafe briefs
  • Mesh panel for improved air flow
  • Multiple pockets
Cons
  • Run small

7. Saucony Endorphin Spilt Short

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Nothing impedes your stride with these short and simple Endorphin Split Shorts; these race shorts wick away sweat as your legs eat up the miles.
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Comfort
The 2.5” inseam styled with extra-large leg splits to support superior freedom of motion

Special Features
Sweat-wicking, breathable short shorts with an elastic waistband and drawstring belt provide comfort and security.

Value
These are mid-priced shorts that offer very good return on investment.
Pros
  • Breathable
  • Non-chafe briefs
  • Reflective details at leg openings
  • Waterproof back zip pocket
Cons
  • Subject to fading
  • Limited color offering

8. ASICS Everyday Short

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Four-way stretch is the key to these hard-wearing shorts. Technical and attractive, these ASICS shorts keep you dry no matter how many miles you log.
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Comfort
Four-way stretch and sweat-wicking, these shorts begin and end the race cloud light.

Special Features
Sweat-wicking with an elastic waistband and drawstring belt, these shorts stay in place as you burn up the track.

Value
These are mid-priced shorts that offer very good return on investment.
Pros
  • Sweat-wicking
  • Secure
  • Reflective details
  • Side zip pocket
Cons
  • Single pocket is a little ungenerous in this price point
  • Some reviewers find they make a small whispering noise as you run

9. BOA V-Notch Running Short

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These shorts put the fun back into running! Comfortable, fashion-forward and colorful, you’ll stand out in the crowd when you race in these. If you don’t enjoy turning heads at the finish line, these are not for you.
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Comfort
Though loud, these micro-pro polyester shorts are cool and comfortable.

Special Features
The fantastical design elements of these shorts don’t slow them down. These offer fun and function featuring technical details such as a quick-drying exterior, a polyester crepe brief that supports without constraining and split leg attribute for unrestrained motion.

Value
These are low/mid-priced shorts that offer good return on investment.
Pros
  • Fun colors and patterns
  • Quick-drying shell
  • Comfortable, built-in brief
Cons
  • Run small
  • Not for the low-profile runner

10. MJ Soffe Men's Running Short

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These nylon basics get the job done without the bells and whistles of technical track shorts. No special treatment needed to keep these fresh and ready for the next run. Particularly attractive to the no-frills runner, these budget bottoms keep you in the race and out of the poorhouse.
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Comfort
The Soffe nylon material is comfortable and non-chafing.

Special Features
These are basic 2.25” shorts, unburdened by high-tech features, though they do include an interior key pocket. Many reviewers find that they are entirely comfortable even without the application of modern science.

Value
The MJ Sofee Men’s Running Short is an excellent budget alternative for runners who cannot or will not pay designer prices.
Pros
  • 100% Smooth, nylon tricot supports leg extension and decreases chances of leg chafing
  • Machine Washable
  • 2.25 Inseam means no extra material to hinder strides.
  • Excellent for runners on a budget
Cons
  • These are not technical shorts; do not feature anti-odor, anti-chafing, anti-anything enrichments
  • May pill or run

 

Experienced runners know that the secret is not in technology or price but in match. The best, most advanced shorts including all aspects of technology available today are useless to you if they are not comfortable to you. Experimentation and appreciation of your unique attributes are the best way to find shorts that suite you.

This list, focusing on shorter shorts such as competitive runners wear, provides descriptions and technical details to assist you in your selections; the right choice is the choice that matches your habits, gait, conditions and needs without placing an undue burden on the budget.

A word on maintenance: most shorts, even those with anti-odor features, retain odors if not maintained as the instructions indicate. Adherence to maintenance instructions supports the technical features of your shorts and prolongs their effectiveness.