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10 Best Running Shorts with Pockets Rated

last updated Mar 30, 2019
Running shorts are made to work with you so that you can run without discomfort. They come in materials that absorb and dry fast and usually have an under short to help keep your legs from chaffing while adding some compression.

The best running shorts with pockets add a little extra and give you the option to store items securely that you want to take along with you. Zipper and stash pockets are a nice addition to any running short and usually are made to keep items secure and you comfortable. Pockets can eliminate the need for armbands and packs for those looking to lighten the running load.

Scroll through and see what we came up with based off our extensive research. We have some FAQs and criteria information as well to help guide you in finding the best option for your running needs.

In a Hurry? The test winner after 15 hrs of research

icon
Under Armour Women’s Fly
97/100 our score
Comfort
98
Value
97
Durability
95
Fit
98
Style
97
Under Armour Women’s Fly
Why is it better?

More Durable

Comfortable

Breathable

Allows for a full range of motion

In a Hurry? Editors choice:
Under Armour Women’s Fly
Test Winner: Under Armour Women’s Fly
Amazon Link
Researched Sources
4
Researched Sources
Reviews Considered
1400
Reviews Considered
Hours Researching
15
Hours Researching
Products Evaluated
25
Products Evaluated
Last Updated:
By Brian Price:

With spring just around the corner, now is the perfect time to stock up on a couple of pairs of new running shorts. Why not buy some that can carry your stuff? Today we rewrote the section explaining the criteria we used to choose each pair of shorts on our list. We hope this helps you better know what to look for and make a better buying decision.

Sorting Options
Comfort Value Durability Fit 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.
97
Comfort
98 %
Value
97 %
Durability
95 %
Fit
98 %
Style
97 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (21.09.19)
Amazon Link
$19.99
#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 %
Fit
96 %
Style
97 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (21.09.19)
Amazon Link
$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 %
Fit
97 %
Style
92 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (21.09.19)
Amazon Link
$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 %
Fit
96 %
Style
93 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (21.09.19)
Amazon Link
$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 %
Fit
95 %
Style
97 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (21.09.19)
Amazon Link
$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 %
Fit
89 %
Style
94 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (21.09.19)
Amazon Link
$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 %
Fit
91 %
Style
90 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (21.09.19)
Road Runner Sports Link
$47.99
See Deal
Amazon Link
$48.02
Holabird Sports Link
$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 %
Fit
87 %
Style
89 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (21.09.19)
#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 %
Fit
85 %
Style
87 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (21.09.19)
#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 %
Fit
82 %
Style
86 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (21.09.19)
Road Runner Sports Link
$49.99
See Deal
Amazon Link
$50.00

10 Best Models

1. Under Armour Women’s Fly

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
97
Under Armour Women’s Fly
Amazon Link
Comfort
98
Value
97
Durability
95
Fit
98
Style
97
best offer for today
Amazon Link
$19.99
Pros:

More Durable

Comfortable

Breathable

Allows for a full range of motion

Cons:

More see-through than some liked

With plenty of pocket space and light woven material, Under Armour Women’s Fly running shorts are a lightweight durable addition to your running gear. These shorts offer pocket space to carry everything you need on your run plus some and they are designed to keep you extra cool dry.

Read more

Comfort

Under Armour Fly running shorts are 100% woven Polyester. The woven design makes these running shorts more durable and adds soft comfort to the fabric. It also wicks sweat and keeps you dry on even the sweatiest of runs.

They have built-in mesh panels that breathe extremely well and allow heat to escape. These are also offering a wide elastic waistband so it doesn't cut into the skin. And just to make them that more comfortable, they have built-in briefs to give extra comfort and support.

Pocket Space

These running shorts were engineered to allow you to carry the things you need with convenience. The two front hand pockets work well for small items like change. The small back zipper pocket is conveniently located to keep your MP3 player or other important items secure.

Although the front pockets don’t zip, they have enough space to hold small items that won't jostle around. They are secure enough to run with and all the important stuff can be put in the back.

Value

With Under Armour Fly, you will feel the comfort and enjoy the durability. You get a great pair of running shorts with pockets at an even better price. UnderArmour made a name for themselves with great shoes that were budget-friendly and they are proving to keep it up with the rest of the brand as well.

We are confident that you will enjoy using the Women’s Fly. They are made to last and won’t break the bank. That in itself is a great deal and we value that.

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
Amazon Link
Comfort
98
Value
91
Durability
95
Fit
96
Style
97
best offer for today
Amazon Link
$59.36
Pros:

Breathable

Zippered pockets

Under short

Lots of color options

Moisture-wicking

Cons:

Minimal reflective features

New Balance Transform running shorts are made for both men and women. They are available in a variety of colors but best of all, they are comfortable, have great pocket space and breathe very well.

Read more

Comfort

Transform running shorts are polyester and have great wicking properties that keep you dry and chafe-free. A lot of consumers raved about the versatility of being able to run and wear them daily due to how comfortable the make and materials are.

Furthermore, the under-shorts have a stretch to them that moves with the body and doesn't restrict while that moisture-wicking we mentioned works to keep the sweat from being a burden.

Pocket Space

Two zipper pockets secure items you may want to take on your runs. They are well designed and built to help you carry your phone, cards, money, or whatever small items you may like to use when running.

The fact that they zip-adds that security and relieves you of worry from things bouncing out. The shorts are secure and sit well on the hips so you won’t have to worry about them sliding down either.

Value

Price depends on style and color. However, they are well made, durable and no matter what you choose, they aren’t over the top expensive. New Balance Transform running shorts are made with the NB standard and you can feel secure you are purchasing some of the best running shorts with pockets you can find.

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
Amazon Link
Comfort
96
Value
93
Durability
95
Fit
97
Style
92
best offer for today
Amazon Link
$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
Amazon Link
Comfort
97
Value
90
Durability
95
Fit
96
Style
93
best offer for today
Amazon Link
$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
Amazon Link
Comfort
96
Value
84
Durability
98
Fit
95
Style
97
best offer for today
Amazon Link
$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
Amazon Link
Comfort
95
Value
98
Durability
91
Fit
89
Style
94
best offer for today
Amazon Link
$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
Amazon Link
Comfort
95
Value
87
Durability
90
Fit
91
Style
90
best offer for today
more shops
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
Amazon Link
Comfort
89
Value
90
Durability
87
Fit
87
Style
89
best offer for today
more shops
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
Amazon Link
Comfort
86
Value
87
Durability
88
Fit
85
Style
87
best offer for today
more shops
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
Amazon Link
Comfort
85
Value
86
Durability
84
Fit
82
Style
86
best offer for today
more shops
Amazon Link
$50.00
Road Runner Sports Link
$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

If you don't feel good wearing something your performance and happiness suffers.

This is almost always the first thing we look at when choosing and evaluating products for one of our buying guides. When it comes to pocketed running shorts this is the case as well. A lack of comfort in your running and workout apparel can be a serious hindrance to your performance, as well as your happiness. And if you don't feel good and happy when you're exercising, it's human nature that you won't stick with your fitness routine forever. When it comes to this factor, the materials and design are the biggest things to look at. When it comes to athletic apparel you almost always want something made out of synthetic fibers because of their breathable and moisture wicking nature. The cut, or design, is also highly important. You need something that takes performance into account while also finding a product that works with the natural shape of your body. Running shorts usually run higher on the leg than other shorts because this design means there's less material rubbing against your skin which means there's also less of a chance for chafing and rubbing to develop.

Durability

Make sure you buy a pair that can go for as long as you do.

In order to get the most out of the shorts you choose, and to avoid the frustration and extra time of having to constantly replace them, make sure that you get a pair that has been proven to be reliable and long-lasting. One thing to look for is a material blend that has some nylon in it. Most running shorts are all or mostly polyester because this is an extremely breathable and moisture wicking. However, nylon is also breathable and moisture wicking and it's also tougher than polyester so if you can find a pair that you like with some nylon in the blend that would be a great choice.

Also, be sure to take good care of your shorts with a consistent washing program. Although it may be tempting to wear the shorts for several workouts in a row before washing them this can lead to premature wear and the need to replace them sooner than later. This is because when you workout you sweat and your sweat contains salt. When it dries that salt becomes abrasive and so the next time you go to workout there's a sort of super fine grit in your shorts that rubs against the fabric and wears it down. Even just wearing your shorts into the shower after your workout and rinsing them out a few times with fresh water can make a big difference in how long your shorts last.

Fit

Having the right fit enhances your comfort and performance and even helps you look good!

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

If you like the way you look when you run you're more likely to run more often and for longer distances.

While this definitely shouldn't be the major factor that you base your buying decision on, there's absolutely nothing wrong with taking it into account. In fact, several studies have shown that people who like how they looked in their running outfits run more often and for longer distances than those who didn't like how they looked. So while you may think and feel that you're being a bit vain if you take this into account, in this case, that little bit of vanity can actually help you to stay on track with your training and fitness routine.

Since this is obviously a subjective factor, it was somewhat difficult to quantify when we chose and rated each product. While we're no fashion mavens, at RunnerClick we like to think that we have a pretty keen eye for what looks good (although our kids may disagree!) so first off we chose what looked good to us, while also taking into account over 1400 reviews from people who had shared their thoughts on the product. This helped us to add more diversity to our opinions and bring you a more well-rounded picture of the product and how people from all different walks of life felt about how they looked when they wore them.

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. The products on this list range from very affordable to high priced, all depending 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. We also considered over 1400 reviews from people who had purchased the shorts to see what they thought. This was pretty eye-opening. When someone takes money out of their own pockets to buy something and then tells you they'd buy it again that says a lot. It also speaks volumes when one bad experience with a product causes them to say they'd never buy something from that company ever again. We took all of this into account to bring you the most well-rounded picture of each product on this list.

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
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#2
Durability
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#3
Fit
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#4
Style
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#5
Value
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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 average is around $25-30. 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 a 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,
  4. The Ultramarathon Running Store, Ultra Running Shorts With Pockets, Website