to top 10 table

10 Best Running Shorts with Pockets Rated

last updated Jan 17, 2019
The wrong attire will hinder your performance and cut your workout times short. If this is something that you've encountered then you will find that the models on our list provide secure storage for the items you need. Whether it’s your key, wallet, phone or snacks for the run, they make your run easier and hands-free—allowing you to place your attention solely on your workout. We have taken the time to research and find the best ones, so you can just scroll and find your own personal top picks!

In a Hurry? The test winner after 18 hrs of research

icon
Under Armour Speed Pocket
96/100 our score
Comfort
97
Value
95
Durability
93
Size
98
Style
97
Under Armour Speed Pocket
Why is it better?

Water-resistant pocket

Comfortable

Breathable

Allows for full range of motion

In a Hurry? Editors choice:
Under Armour Speed Pocket
Test Winner: Under Armour Speed Pocket
Researched Sources
16
Researched Sources
Reviews Considered
1375
Reviews Considered
Hours Researching
18
Hours Researching
Products Evaluated
15
Products Evaluated
Last Updated:
By Marko Ivanoski:

Although winter is coming, it’s still important to be up to date on the best ones out there—and just cause it’s getting cooler doesn’t mean you won’t need a new pair of shorts come spring. So, we have added 6 new shorts—the New Balance Accelerate, Under Armour Speed Pocket, Nike Challenger, New Balance Transform, Baleaf Woven, and the Patagonia Strider. We include options for both men and women, scroll below to find your perfect pair!

Sorting Options
Comfort Value Durability Size Style By Default
Rank
PictureProduct
Name
Rating
Shops
1
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
96
Comfort
97%
Value
95%
Durability
93%
Size
98%
Style
97%
Price Comparison Last Updated (23.01.19)
$26.99
2
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
95.4
Comfort
98%
Value
91%
Durability
95%
Size
96%
Style
97%
Price Comparison Last Updated (23.01.19)
$59.36
3
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
94.6
Comfort
96%
Value
93%
Durability
95%
Size
97%
Style
92%
Price Comparison Last Updated (23.01.19)
$36.99
4
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
94.2
Comfort
97%
Value
90%
Durability
95%
Size
96%
Style
93%
Price Comparison Last Updated (23.01.19)
$18.00
5
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
94
Comfort
96%
Value
84%
Durability
98%
Size
95%
Style
97%
Price Comparison Last Updated (23.01.19)
$148.95
6
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
93.4
Comfort
95%
Value
98%
Durability
91%
Size
89%
Style
94%
Price Comparison Last Updated (23.01.19)
$17.99
7
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
90.6
Comfort
95%
Value
87%
Durability
90%
Size
91%
Style
90%
Price Comparison Last Updated (23.01.19)
$35.93
See Deal
$47.99
See Deal
$48.02
$49.95
See Deal
8
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
88.4
Comfort
89%
Value
90%
Durability
87%
Size
87%
Style
89%
Price Comparison Last Updated (23.01.19)
$23.93
See Deal
$29.06
See Deal
$34.99
$34.99
See Deal
9
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
86.6
Comfort
86%
Value
87%
Durability
88%
Size
85%
Style
87%
Price Comparison Last Updated (23.01.19)
$26.83
See Deal
$31.17
See Deal
$45.99
See Deal
$54.00
10
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
84.6
Comfort
85%
Value
86%
Durability
84%
Size
82%
Style
86%
Price Comparison Last Updated (23.01.19)
$49.99
See Deal
$50.00
In Depth Review Top 10
  • Under Armour Speed Pocket
  • New Balance Transform
  • Nike Challenger
  • New Balance Accelerate
  • Patagonia Strider
  • Baleaf Woven
  • Brooks Sherpa
  • Under Armour Launch
  • Brooks Chaser
  • ASICS Woven
Table of contents
  • Criteria Used for Evaluation
  • Other Factors to Consider
  • Frequently Asked Questions
  • Sources

10 Best Models

1. Under Armour Speed Pocket

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
96
Under Armour Speed Pocket
Comfort
97
Value
95
Durability
93
Size
98
Style
97
best offer for today
$26.99
Pros:

Water-resistant pocket

Comfortable

Breathable

Allows for full range of motion

Cons:

Doesn't hold a ton of stuff

If you're looking for a pair of shorts you can wear on your daily runs then the Under armour speed pocket is a great option. These shorts will keep you cool and dry and ensure you stay comfortable during all of your runs--without having to leave your phone or valuables behind.

Read more

Comfort
These shorts are super comfortable and perfect for you speedsters. They hold your belongings without hindering your full range of motion. They are made of 100% Polyester and their durable, stretchy fabric moves in every direction for you. They also feature anti-odor technology to ensure your shorts stay nice and fresh.

Pocket Space
These are unique because they feature a center-front waistband--kind of like a kangaroo pocket--that securely stores your belongings. This pocket is both water resistant and won't bounce all over the place.

Cost and Value
These shorts range from average to pricey--depending on the color option you get.

2. New Balance Transform

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
95.4
New Balance Transform
Comfort
98
Value
91
Durability
95
Size
96
Style
97
best offer for today
$59.36
Pros:

Breathable

Zippered pockets

Under short

Lots of color options

Moisture-wicking

Cons:

Minimal reflective features

These shorts are available in different styles for both men and women. They look great and come in lots of color options to choose from. They are really comfortable and breathable--and an overall great pair.

Read more

Comfort
These shorts from New Balance are made of Polyester, making them pretty stretchable and really comfortable. They are great for everyday wear, lounging, and definitely great for running. They have an under short and moisture wicking technology.

Pocket Space
These shorts two zippered hand pockets that will securely carry your belongings.

Cost and Value
Averagely priced, but they get more expensive depending on the color or design you choose.

3. Nike Challenger

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
94.6
Nike Challenger
Comfort
96
Value
93
Durability
95
Size
97
Style
92
best offer for today
$36.99
Pros:

Breathable

Great Price

Lightweight

Internal pocket

Some reflective features

Nike Dry fabric

Cons:

Size runs small according to some users

The challenger shorts are really popular--they don't only look great but also come with side pockets that securely hold your stuff!

Read more

Comfort
These shorts are super comfortable and their Nike Dry fabric will keep you cool and dry during all of your runs. They also have mesh panels for maximum breathability and a 5-inch inseam that does not restrict your full range of motion. They also have some reflective features as well.

Pocket Space
They have two side pockets and an internal small pocket, perfect for your key storage

Cost and Value

While these aren't for the upcoming cold weather, they are a great pair of shorts that come at a great price.

4. New Balance Accelerate

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
94.2
New Balance Accelerate
Comfort
97
Value
90
Durability
95
Size
96
Style
93
best offer for today
$18.00
Pros:

Breathable

Internal key pocket

Quick drying

Internal briefs

Versatile

Cons:

Pockets do not close so bulky things can pop out

These are a really popular pair of shorts thanks to their flexibility, breathability, and versatility. Not only are they comfortable, but they also look great and come at a pretty decent price.

Read more

Comfort

These shorts are made of 100% polyester and their Lightning Dry Fabric dries quickly and effectively wicks away moisture. They come with internal briefs, are really breathable, and versatile enough for most activities.

Pocket size

These shorts come with an internal key storage pocket and two side pockets to securely stash all of your valuables.

Cost and Value

Averagely priced and well-worth their cost.

5. Patagonia Strider

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
94
Patagonia Strider
Comfort
96
Value
84
Durability
98
Size
95
Style
97
best offer for today
$148.95
Pros:

Durable

Breathable

Fabrick is bluesign approved

2 large side pockets

Machine washable

Lightweight

Cons:

Expensive

Patagonia is well-known for their high-quality gear, so its no surprise one of their shorts made this list. These are super breathable, flexible, and comfortable--and a perfect option for outdoor enthusiasts looking for shorts with secure pockets to hold their stuff.

Read more

Comfort
The Patagonia Strider shorts are made of 100% Polyester and come with a drawstring for a secure and comfortable fit. They are durable enough to be machine washable and really lightweight and breathable. They are really breathable thanks to their Air Flow mesh panels and Fabric is also treated with DWR--making them really water resistant.

Pocket Space
Two large side pockets that securely holds your belongings.

Cost and Value
Really pricey but an excellent investment if you find yourself outdoors and need a durable pair of shorts that can take on the outdoor elements.

6. Baleaf Woven

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
93.4
Baleaf Woven
Comfort
95
Value
98
Durability
91
Size
89
Style
94
best offer for today
$17.99
Pros:

Affordable

Lots of color options

Breathable

Mesh liner

Quick Dry fabric

Cons:

Size runs small

These lightweight shorts have 2 side pockets and an inner storage pocket. It comes in lots of color options to choose from--so you look great and get a good workout in at the same time.

Read more

Comfort
The shorts are made with Polyester and Spandex--making them really lightweight. They are made with quick-dry fabrics and the inner liner is made of mesh, making them comfortable and breathable. They have reflective features and a drawstring to adjust their fit.

Pocket Space
The shorts have 2 side pockets to hold your phone, wallet, and slightly larger stuff. They also have a small zippered pocket on the back--perfect for your key.

Cost and Value
These are super affordable and come in lots of colors to pick from.

7. Brooks Sherpa

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
90.6
Brooks Sherpa
Comfort
95
Value
87
Durability
90
Size
91
Style
90
best offer for today
more shops
$48.02
$35.93
See Deal
$47.99
See Deal
$49.95
See Deal
Pros:

Durability and comfort

Good wick factor

Two nice sized side pockets

A secure rear pocket

Elasticated & draw-string waistband

Minimal risk of chafe/irritation

Cons:

Some runners want more than 3 pockets

Brooks Mens Sherpa hit the mark for built-in pocket space, a central pocket built into the rear of the shorts with a secure zip system and two good multi-purpose side pockets with ample carry space.

Read more

Comfort

Take comfort from durable soft combined high performing fabrics in the form of an inner brief with a Spandex liner for flexibility at 14% and durable soft polyester at 86%, the overall shorts construction is polyester at 90% and stretch spandex at 10%, if this is not comfortable then nothing is.

Style

The style of the shorts is cut so they blend over the contours of your body, you get FIT but you get a flow of ventilation to work against overheating, the moisture wick-ability is high performing so more comfort combined with the minimal risk of chafe/irritation.

Cost and Value

The price demonstrates an investment into a pair of long-lasting durable high performing shorts, well worth buying. Two purposes designed side pockets with good carry capacity and a back central pocket with a secure zip system to ensure that whatever goes into this pocket cannot fall out.

8. Under Armour Launch

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
88.4
Under Armour Launch
Comfort
89
Value
90
Durability
87
Size
87
Style
89
best offer for today
more shops
$34.99
$23.93
See Deal
$29.06
See Deal
$34.99
See Deal
Pros:

Breathable fabric

Lightweight

Various color selection

Perfect sizing

Cons:

Some runners may not like the internal mesh

The brand Under Armour is known for creating strong, innovative active wear that can be used for different workouts such as running, hiking, and weightlifting. They have found a way to create models that are breathable yet durable.

Read more

Comfort

These Launch Run Woven 7 were created with ultra-lightweight fabric to give you the comfort you need while you work out. The fabric is also breathable and durable, making it perfect for intense workout sessions.

Pocket Space

These shorts feature deep pockets, so you can store all the things you need in your pocket while you work out.

Cost and Value

These shorts are on the higher price point. However, they are well worth the money because of their breathability and ventilation, and the durability of the fabric.

9. Brooks Chaser

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
86.6
Brooks Chaser
Comfort
86
Value
87
Durability
88
Size
85
Style
87
best offer for today
more shops
$54.00
$26.83
See Deal
$31.17
See Deal
$45.99
See Deal
Pros:

Comfortable

Versatile

Breathable

Prevents chafing

Lightweight

Durable

Come in several color options

Semi-fitted

Wide waistband

Cons:

A bit pricey

Sizing runs a little large

These are some of the most comfortable for women out there. They keep you cool and dry, prevent chafing, and will help you log in mile after mile without falling apart on you. They come in several colors and design options and are sure to appeal to all style shapes as well as provide you with the features you are looking for.

Read more

Comfort

These shorts are made of Mesh, Polyester, and Spandex and are lightweight and comfortable. They are semi-fitted and have a wide, knit-powered waistband. They also have side petal slits to ensure flexibility and a full range of motion during each of your runs. They are highly durable and remain comfortable wash after wash.

Pocket Space

These shorts come with two pockets, one of which is sweat and moisture-resistant--making it perfect for your phone or any other electronics.

Cost and Value

These are a little on the pricier side, but they are well worth the cost when you look at their overall durability and the features they provide.

10. ASICS Woven

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
84.6
ASICS Woven
Comfort
85
Value
86
Durability
84
Size
82
Style
86
best offer for today
more shops
$50.00
$49.99
See Deal
Pros:

Quick dry fabric

Zippered back pocket

Stylish and colorful

Quite an affordable price range

Cons:

Can run small

These ASICS running shorts are comfortable while giving you the performance you need in a pair of running shorts. As a runner, you want comfort while running for extended periods of time, which is what great fabric can do for you. These running shorts were created with a breathable fabric that allows you to have a more enjoyable run.

Read more

Comfort

These shorts were created with lightweight, breathable fabric with enhanced moisture control. Thanks to this feature, your long runs will be cool, dry and more comfortable.

Pocket Space

In the back area, there are pockets that allow you to store your items while you run.

Cost and Value

These shorts are in the medium to high end of the price scale, but they are very much worth it.

Criteria Used for Evaluation

Comfort

Imagine: it is mid-July and you are in the middle of marathon training for your first marathon of the season in a few months. With a full-time job, three kids and a spouse you have more obligations and duties packed into your schedule than you care to count. So, you’re up before the sun to squeeze in as much as you can before the rest of your house wakes up, but it’s already HOT. You’re now a half a mile in and sweating, feeling thirsty, and thinking about the massive amount of things you have on your to-do list for the day. At this point, the last thing you want to worry about is unwanted chafing from wearing the wrong pair of shorts. It’s important to get a comfortable pair of shorts that are roomy enough for flexibility and agility during your workouts, tight enough that they aren’t too loose, moisture-wicking, breathable, and that won’t cause any chafing when you start to sweat. The pockets need to be big enough to securely hold your stuff but shouldn’t add any uncomfortable bulkiness to their overall fit. Shorts with a built-in underwear liner should not be too tight or uncomfortably dig into your skin and should move effortlessly with the natural gait of your walk or run stride.

Value

When it comes to value, we know you want to be sure the cash you are shelling out for your workout attire and gear is well spent. They range from very cheap to overly priced–it all depends on the style, brand, and features they provide. Pocketed shorts are a great way to go typically cost the same as those without pockets and provide you with the added convenience of being able to store your valuables while working out. When we gauged the value currently available, we looked at performance, versatility, and storage capacity, and overall performance. When looking at these factors we looked at how efficiently they allow you to perform, the variety of activities you can use them in, how durable (how long they will last you), and how well they withstand extreme conditions–specifically heat, moisture, and exposure to sweat. We looked at all of these factors and compared each pair of shorts to determine their overall value and whether or not they are worth the cost.

Durability

Even though you might not be able to purchase the most expensive pair of shorts on the market, if you are going to invest any money at all, you should be able to expect a pair of shorts that are of decent quality. One of the main criteria we base our list of pocketed shorts off of is their quality: in sum, how well they are made, overall. First of all, they need to be able to withstand multiple sweat sessions and subsequently, multiple washes, overtime without losing their shape, fit, or elasticity. They should also be breathable and adequately wick moisture – even if you are wearing them week after week in mid-summer during the hottest parts of the day. The pockets themselves should be made to last, with decent hemming and thick enough so that they do not rip or tear easily. Ultimately, a good pair should be a high-enough quality product that they perform exactly as YOU need them to perform, and continue to do so for multiple training seasons in a row.

Size

The fit is an important factor to consider when looking for a functional pair of shorts because they can quite literally make or break your workout. If your favorite pair doesn’t fit you properly then you cannot expect them to provide you with all the benefits they claim to be able to give you–nor should they. When looking for the right fit you must first and foremost look for the right size. To find the right size make sure to look at measurements listed for hip width, thigh width, and length–otherwise, you will end up with a pair of shorts that fit either too tightly or too loosely. Also, consider how the pockets affect their overall fit–sewn-in pockets tend to leave a bulky feeling, especially if the pockets are located on the outsides of the thighs. Furthermore, while the short’s outer layer of material might be wide enough your legs, the addition of a pocket on the inner lining of the outside material might end up feeling constricting. If you tun into this problem, sizing up may not always be the best solution either because this may lead to a pair of shorts that is too loose around your waist. The best models take into consideration the fact that more room is necessary in order to add the pockets–so they adjust their sizes accordingly. If the shorts you are considering happen to have an elastic waistband make sure they are adjustable, fit comfortably, and properly keep your shorts in place. They should also have the length you find most comfortable and that will work for the activity you will be partaking in –for example, a woman who needs a decent pair will not fair well with a pair of loose fitting shorts with a 9-inch inseam. Know yourself and your needs before making your purchase.

Style

While we never recommend you base your decision on style, we do understand that it is an important factor to consider for many runners–and why shouldn’t we look and feel great while we workout?! Before considering style, make sure the shorts fit your needs and provide you with the pocket functionality you are looking for–then look to see if you love the style and if they come in different colors to choose from.

Expert Interviews & Opinions

Most Important Criteria (According to our experts opinion)
Sort criterias acording to:
Experts Opinion Editors Opinion Users Opinion By Default
Click on a to rate the most important criteria:
1
Comfort
Rate This Criteria as Most Important
2
Durability
Rate This Criteria as Most Important
3
Size
Rate This Criteria as Most Important
4
Style
Rate This Criteria as Most Important
5
Value
Rate This Criteria as Most Important
Don't Waste Time Adjusting Your Shorts

If you find yourself frequently having to adjust your running shorts, there's a problem. Either the apparel you are wearing is not the right size for your body or the waistband has deteriorated due to time and use. In either case, the best course of action for you is to get a replacement pair of running shorts.

Be Careful When Washing Your Pocketed Shorts

This may seem fairly obvious, but it's worth mentioning regardless. Always check all of your pockets before putting your running shorts into your clothes basket or washing machine. Failing to do so could lead to irreversible damage being caused to your sensitive electronics or headphones!

Other Factors to Consider

Accessories

Even if you consider yourself a “minimalist” when it comes to workout gear and you’re happy as long as you have your socks, shoes, and are decently covered, we are sure you can still appreciate the usefulness that pockets bring. While some athletes don’t mind finding alternative options for storing their keys, phone, and other items, most want an easy way to carry their essentials–and running shorts with pockets allow you to do just that. We strongly recommend you consider shorts with pockets if you hate wearing an armband or belt and are tired of finding a place for your phone or keys during your runs. Before going on to make a purchase, however, make sure to consider what you plan to store or carry in your pockets–if you plan to store small items then a pocketed short may be perfect you, and keep in mind there are options with just a key pocket if that is all you are looking for. If you plan on wearing your shorts on intense runs, biking, or hiking sessions, then you may also want to consider options with zippered pockets for more secure storage. Many athletes also find that while shorts with bigger pockets may seem more convenient, they often end up sacrificing the right fit. This is because bigger pockets can become too baggy and floppy and thus interfere with the efficiency of your stride. If this the case for you, we highly recommend you opt for shorts with smaller, more compact pockets. However, if “bigger is always better” in your book, then go for shorts that feature deeper pockets and conveniently tuck away all your electronics and necessities!

Use

When you consider the activity you will be wearing your shorts in you are looking for their overall functionality. Shorts that are great for a short run may not be the best pick for longer runs, hiking, trail runs, or other workouts. Consider what you will be wearing your shorts for before making your purchase–and remember that there are plenty of versatile options if you are looking to do various activities in your shorts. Typically shorter shorts with compact pockets are the best option for those of you who want to log in some serious miles while those of you who are looking to carry more and run shorter distances may fair well with shorts that have larger pockets.

Breathability

When purchasing a new pair of workout shorts (or any type of workout attire), don’t forget to ask yourself what kind of material you prefer, as well as what best suits your lifestyle. For instance, cotton shorts may be a cheaper, comfortable, and lightweight option for everyday activities but they won’t last through intense workout session or years of washing and drying cycles. When looking at comfort also consider whether or not the shorts have a built-in interior liner as well as how you feel about this specific feature–some runners love the convenience and form-fitting properties of the liner while others find it restricting and annoying. The same goes for adjustable drawstrings and elastic waistbands–both of these features are a matter of personal preference and should definitely be considered when looking at the short’s overall comfort.
If you live in a warm climate or plan to wear your shorts on hot days, then you definitely need to consider the overall breathability of the shorts. Make sure your pocketed shorts are well-ventilated, come equipped with cooling control technology, and that doesn’t have any unnecessary additional fabric that will weigh you down.

Weather Resistance

Environment refers to the time of day you plan on running as well as where you will be. If you are up before the sun or out after it gets dark, then you should consider a pair with reflective features so you are more visible to those around you. On the other hand, if you’d rather run out in the sun, then you should consider a lightweight, breathable pair of shorts that can withstand sweat, resist odor, and take multiple washes.

Frequently Asked Questions

q: How much do running shorts with pockets typically cost?
a:

In our list of pocketed shorts prices vary since we tried to make sure to fit all budgets. However, the averages$100. Be sure to remember that price does not represent quality and that just because something cost more does not mean it is a better option for you.

q: How do I know what size will fit me?
a:

For the most part, the sizing guides that come with options on our list are accurate, although some do run a little small and others a little big. Be sure to check the measurements as well as consider the size you well in other athletic shorts or pants. As usual, we recommend you try them on before you make your purchase make sure they the option to be returned or exchanged in the case they don’t fit right–no size is the same and it all depends on your body type and personal preferences in the end.

q: Are the shorts on this list moisture-wicking?
a:

While many of the shorts on this list are moisture-wicking some are not and others have different levels of moisture-wicking capabilities. Those specific to running will almost always provide some sort of moisture-wicking technology and are also typically breathable, lightweight, and comfortable. For the most part, if you’re looking for a pair of shorts with quick-drying capabilities, make sure to avoid those made of cotton and that have a mesh exterior. Instead, stick to shorts made of a blend of polyester, nylon, and spandex.

q: Will these shorts cause chafing
a:

Again, it depends. Chafing occurs when there is excessive moisture, the shorts aren’t the right fit, and/ or when they are made of a material that is prone to cause chafing. To avoid chafing, stay away from shorts that are fitted because they may rub the skin when you move and are made from heavier material. Instead, go for shorts made out of polyester and/or nylon blends that are breathable and allow moisture to evaporate. Another way to avoid chafing is to not wear underwear with a pair of shorts that already comes with a built-in liner.

q: How long will a good pair of shorts last?
a:

This depends on how often you use them–if you are consistently using them for multiple sweaty sessions then you will be putting a decent amount of wear and tear on them at much faster pace. However, the shorts on this list were picked because they hold up for multiple training cycles and can be washed just as many times. Take good care of your shorts, and always be sure to follow each model’s washing, drying, and general care directions. This will help ensure that you will be able to wear them for at least five to ten years, depending on how often you wear them and how intense your workouts are.

q: Which is better, cotton shorts or synthetic fabric shorts?
a:

There was a time when the only options available were made out of cotton–with some exceptions for fabrics such as silk or wool. Cotton is comfortable, lightweight, durable, flexible, and can be dyed in lots of different colors. However, when cotton gets wet it can weigh you down which in turn slows you down. Cotton also dries out slowly, isn’t breathable, isn’t capable of efficiently wicking away moisture, and is not bacteria or odor resistant. While cotton allows shorts to be flexible, it certainly does not allow them to be as flexible as shorts made of other material, such as spandex. Wet cotton also friction and can lead to chafing, irritation, rashes, and–in extreme cases–blisters or infection.

Cotton blends (cotton blended with a combination of synthetic material) can be comfortable, durable, and more breathable. They are also much more moisture-wicking and help improve your performance. This blend is typically found in socks, shorts, shirts, and even jackets–but it also means a higher price tag since the manufacturing process costs more and because they offer higher quality and performance-enhancing features.

100% synthetic materials can also be a great option because the right blend of fabrics can produce a highly durable, lightweight, flexible, breathable, and moisture-wicking pair of shorts. This is because synthetic materials do not, as a rule, absorb and hold moisture.

In the end, the answer to your question boils down to your personal preference and specific needs. Some people embrace modern clothing tech while others simply prefer to stick to natural materials–either way, there is a list of pros and cons to both options. I personally prefer shorts made of a blend of cotton and synthetic materials because they provide everything I need, but don’t go off that–make sure to consider your needs above all else.

Sources

  1. Marathon Training, How to Choose a Pair of Running Shorts, Marathon Training Article,
  2. The Clymb , HOW TO BUY RUNNING SHORTS,
  3. The Runners' Guide, A Guide To Choosing A Pair Of Running Shorts,