10 Best Running Shorts with Pockets Rated
In a Hurry? The test winner after 18 hrs of research
Allows for full range of motion
- 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
- Criteria Used for Evaluation
- Other Factors to Consider
- Frequently Asked Questions
10 Best Models
1. Under Armour Speed Pocket
Allows for full range of motion
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
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.
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
Lots of color options
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
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.
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
Some reflective features
Nike Dry fabric
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
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.
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
Internal key pocket
Pockets do not close so bulky things can pop out
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.
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
Fabrick is bluesign approved
2 large side pockets
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
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.
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
Lots of color options
Quick Dry fabric
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
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.
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
Durability and comfort
Good wick factor
Two nice sized side pockets
A secure rear pocket
Elasticated & draw-string waistband
Minimal risk of chafe/irritation
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
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.
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
Various color selection
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
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.
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
Come in several color options
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
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.
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
Quick dry fabric
Zippered back pocket
Stylish and colorful
Quite an affordable price range
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
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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
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!
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.