10 Best Trail Running Shorts Tested & Rated


2018. For those of us who love trail running, it is essential to have proper gear and clothing.

While particular items are more important than others, one item to really think about is high-quality trail-running shorts which should provide movement and protection out on the trails.

We are all different and these will include our preference for shorts which we use for trail running, some of us focus on a durable pair of shorts, or comfort, wick factor, pocket space for carrying,  aerodynamics combined with natural ventilation air flow and of course we all have our individual sense for styles. This gives brand makers a real challenge, they strive to produce shorts with an element of something for all trail runners.

Many of our choices in this article are flexible and moisture-wicking. Other choices are more simple but well-suited to make your running experience more comfortable.

Take a look at our top ten picks and find the pair best suited to your needs.

Last Updated: March 24, 2018
By Richard Haberkost:

When a product is tried and tested we will keep it on our the list of good options and new additions must prove that they are wanted by trail runners. We know this is what you want. Enjoy our current selection and keep checking here because we are busy reviewing, checking and looking to expand and add to your choices here. This current list offers top-performing shorts which we know work for runners. Read our criterion for review section to see how we identify the best for you. If you are left with any questions, enjoy our FAQs section.

Brooks Sherpa 7”
  • Brooks Sherpa 7”
  • 5 out of 5
    Our rating
  • Mesh | Polyester | Spandex
  • Price: See Here
La Sportiva Rush
  • La Sportiva Rush
  • 4.8 out of 5
    Our rating
  • Chafe-free Comfort
  • Price: See Here
TCA Elite Tech
  • TCA Elite Tech
  • 4.5 out of 5
    Our rating
  • Quick-dry Favric
  • Price: See Here

10 Best Trail Running Shorts


1. Brooks Sherpa 7”

These have a drawstring closure, semi-fitted cut and good moisture wicking capability. These will keep you cool and comfortable. They have hand pockets at the side and a zip center pocket at the back.
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The layering of the fabric is excellent at wicking sweat, and they have an inner mesh boxer brief to keep you comfortable and help prevent chafing. They are extremely lightweight and breathable, and they have a good fit with a good feel. If you want something comfy and soft when you’re hitting the trails, these are a good option.

With Brooks, you can always expect very good quality, and these are no different. They’re an excellent pair of shorts with great technology. There are no durability issues here, so you can keep hitting the trails for a while.

These are pricey, but they’re definitely worth the investment.
  • Very comfortable and soft
  • Great moisture wicking
  • Inner mesh boxer for no chafing
  • Pockets for carrying stuff
  • Semi-fitted cut for comfort

2. La Sportiva Rush

The La Sportiva Rush shorts feature an inner brief that keeps you supported and comfortable. These lightweight shorts are made of a comfortable material. These shorts feature five pockets, one of which has a zipper.
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The Rush shorts are designed for long-term comfort for long-distance runners. These versatile shorts fit really well, and can be used in all conditions and in all weather.

These are made with durability in mind, so they should last you for a great amount of time. They have reflective details, keeping you safe in low light conditions. They are also anti-odor and anti-microbial. Overall, the Rush shorts are great quality and an excellent addition to your running arsenal.

Again, these are a little pricey, but they are sure to last you a long time.


A highly engineered trail running short, ideal for long and ultra-long distance races. it gives a balance between weight and protection.

This short is one of the best for trail runners since it’s specifically designed for that, it has a best grip for marathon.
  • Very comfortable
  • No chafing
  • Excellent durability
  • Reflective details for dark conditions
  • The inner briefs provide good support
  • Five pockets
  • Quite pricey
  • Less well-tested than some others on this list

3. Smartwool PHD 5”

These have a stretch-woven outer short with a supportive inner brief, which gives just the right amount of compromise between structure and freedom. These have two pockets, one of which is zippered. These shorts also provide temperature regulation.
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These keep you from getting too hot and they dry very quickly in both wet and sweaty conditions. They are designed for comfort, so they feel good against the skin, and the stretch really allows you lots of freedom on the trails. The outer synthetic layer is somewhat windproof, which is handy in breezy conditions.

These feature fantastic technology and will endure rugged situations. They have reflective features for when you’re running in dark conditions.

They’re a little expensive, but if you want top-quality running gear from a good brand, then it’s worth the price.

It is so comfortable having a merino blend interior hence makes exercise more enjoyable and fun. Best for temperature regulation definitely doesn’t disappoint.
  • Really comfortable
  • Good mix between structure and freedom
  • Two pockets
  • They dry very quickly
  • Feel good against the skin
  • Somewhat expensive
  • Not as well-known as some other entries in this category

4. Nike Challenger Dry 7

These shorts from Nike are built with Dri-Fit technology to keep you dry and comfortable, as well as side panels with mesh for ventilation and an inside liner for sweat-wicking. If you’re looking for a slightly cheaper option from a good brand, these are a decent choice. They come in many different color designs.
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These lightweight shorts have plenty of ventilation and other breathability features to keep you cool. If you’re a heavy sweater, these are a good choice. The inside liner has a simple design but is comfortable. They fit well, with a relaxed hang and they’re pretty thin. They don’t have the same level of moisture wicking as some other shorts on this list, but they should keep you cool, given their structure.

The material is a little too thin for some, but these are otherwise, a great quality pair of shorts that will last you for a long time.

These aren’t the cheapest on the market, but they’re a lot cheaper than some others on this list. If you’re seeking to save a few bucks, these are a good choice.


Nike Dry Running Short deliver lightweight coverage and sweat-wicking support that lasts to keep you dry and comfortable, as well as side panels with mesh for ventilation.

This short is stylish and cheaper, also fit for almost every outdoor activity and comes from one of the most noticeable brands in the world (Nike)
  • Decent price point
  • Good Dri-Fit technology
  • Comfortable inside liner
  • Thin fit
  • Lightweight design will keep you cool
  • Not the best moisture wicking though it’s still decent
  • The material is a little too thin for some people.

5. Under Armour Armourvent

The Under Armour Armourvent shorts are built specifically for the trails with a water-resistant design, vented technology and a fit which is built for stretch and comfort. They have one secure side pocket.
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They’re pretty lightweight given how durable the are. They have a good fit and allow for full range of movement. The elastic waistband contributes to the good fit and overall comfort.

As always with Under Armour, you get good quality and good durability. These should last you a while.

These aren’t the most expensive on this list, but they’re still not a bargain option.


This short delivers true breathability in a light, stretchy, durable, fast-drying fabric; it keeps your body cool Mesh panels are engineered for superior ventilation where you need it Anti-odor.

The Under Armour Armourvent is unique on its own way and suitable for stretchy exercises with its anti odor and ventilated feature.it provides a perfect short for you.
  • Water resistant
  • Built specifically for the trails
  • Elasticated waistband
  • Nice and comfortable
  • Built for stretch and comfort.
  • If you want something that is versatile, these might not be the best option – they’re built for the trails.

6. TCA Elite Tech

These are a good bargain option, albeit from a lesser-known name. The stretchy fabric allows for good movement and mobility. These also have two zipper pockets. The elastic waistband gives a good fit as well as flexibility and the sweat wicking is pretty decent.
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These shorts have a snug fit and hit just above the knee. The elastic does not chafe against the skin and the material feels good. They’re pretty lightweight overall. However, it's worth noting that these don’t have the inner support of some others on this list. Also, the fit can occasionally run a little small.

These are good quality, especially for the price. They don’t have the high-tech touches of some others on this list, but they still do the simple things pretty well.

This is where these shine – if you want something for a low price but good quality, these might be the ones for you!


These shorts are built from a light but strong fabric,offering flexibility when moving ,the strong part of the fabric ensures that it is long lasting.the zippers it has are a good deal for phones or any other objects you are willing to store when running.

Even though they may not be common, they are still perfect for their purpose. get motivates with this short that drives you to perform best.
  • Good amount of stretch
  • Two zipper pockets
  • Elastic waistband
  • Decent moisture wicking
  • Great price point
  • Snug fit
  • The sizes can occasionally be a little off.
  • These aren’t from a well-known name.

7. Asics Woven 7”

These are a basic short option, but still very suitable for the trails. They have a zippered storage pocket at the back, a drawcord elastic waist and a lightweight and breathable design. If you want something somewhat versatile and not exclusively for the trails, this is a good buy.
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The Woven shorts by Asics breathable and have moisture wicking technology. They’re not the best on this list when it comes to wicking moisture, but they still do pretty well. Some reviewers stated that the shorts can bunch up in the groin area. However, the majority found that the fit and comfort level was very good.

The durability isn’t as good as others on this list, but it is still a good quality pair of shorts, especially considering the low price. It's worth noting that some reviewers had problems with sizing.

These are a good low-cost option!


This shorts has the best fabric that taps away moisture to remain dry through out your training making you comfortable and flexible to keep on the trail.it also has a nice elastic band at the waist that makes it easy to fit,has pockets that can also act as storage for phones while running,how cool is that.

They are comfortable and can be used in various activities that athletes are in to, everyone wants to be comfortable in what you have on, and well this specific ones are the real deal.
  • A good basic option
  • One zippered storage pocket
  • They moisture wick quite well.
  • Stay cool in hot conditions
  • Lightweight and breathable
  • Not the best durability
  • The sizes can sometimes be off.
  • Can bunch up in the groin

8. Salomon Trail Runner

Salomon make some great gear for trail conditions and these are no exception. The Trail Runner shorts have UV protection to keep you shielded from the sun, along with good drying technology. These have a relaxed, lightweight fit.
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The fit with these shorts is quite snug, but luckily, the fabric feels good against the skin. Their technology keeps you dry even in the sweatiest of conditions, and their active fit will keep you mobile and flexible on all runs.

Reviewers had no durability issues with these. However, some had a problem regarding sizing.

These are pretty pricey, which you can expect with Salomon. They’re good quality, which makes them worth the investment.
  • Built for trails
  • Offer UV protection
  • Great at fighting sweat
  • They have a fit designed for mobility.
  • Relaxed fit
  • Quite expensive
  • The sizes can sometimes be a little off.

9. La Sportiva Rapid

The Rapid shorts have a drawstring closure along with UPF protection. They’re built for comfort and performance and come from La Sportiva, who is a trusted name in trail running. They promise chafe-free comfort for the entirety of a long run.
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These lightweight shorts are comfortable, and feature a supportive inner liner. They have a smooth feel against the skin and offer high performance in all conditions. There seem to be no problems with the fit. The drawstring closure allows for a comfortable, customized fit.

These have great quality, as you’d expect with La Sportiva, and there seem to be no durability issues.

These are the priciest on the list. If you’re budget-conscious, these really might not be for you, but the price does reflect the quality and comfort.
  • Good protection against the sun
  • Great chafe-free technology
  • Come from a trusted name in trail running
  • Very lightweight
  • These are very expensive.
  • They’re not as well-tested as others on this list.

10. Salomon Exo S-Lab Twinskin

Created with lightweight technology, these shorts have 3D stretch and a tight inner lining. It also has three gel pockets. The shorts also offer compression and support, so if you are looking for something with compression, these are a very good option.
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If you are looking for support and recovery, the compression is very good. Even though they are fitted, they don't make you too hot. They cause no chafing, and the fabric feels good against the skin. These shorts work great for long runs. If you’re not accustomed to this type of fit, they might feel a little tight at first.

On occasion, reviewers have had slight sizing issues. Some reviewers found they fit too loose. Otherwise, they are a good quality pair of shorts.

These are pricey, but they are worth it!


Run easier, longer and recover better. These shorts give you the support you need in all the vital areas to improve your performance.

This short enables one to run easily and for longer due to its improved technology that assists in muscle stimulation.
  • Great compression for support and recovery
  • Very good stretch
  • 3 gel pockets
  • No chafing
  • Built for long runs
  • These are expensive.
  • Can be baggy or ill-fitted on occasion
  • Some might not like the tightness.

There we have them – the best trail running shorts!  ones that will not dissapoint you.These will help you to pound the trails while staying comfy, flexible and on top of your game.

The Criteria We Used for Our Evaluation of the Best Running Shorts

Worry no more because we have critically analyzed the factors that you need to consider when making a purchase for shorts.Any buying guide we put up we not only provide solutions to shoes or layers but we also want to provide the best shorts, We want you to be as comfortable as possible, hence we bring together all gears to make you the best runner out there. 


Comfortability is one thing we can never ignore while dealing with any running gear, Can one wear it and use it for vigorous running for a long distance and still feel okay?

When purchasing a short one should consider the kind of trails and distances to be covered in them. Having a short that feels uncomfortable may adversely affect ones’ performance, therefore, technical fabrics are the answer for your running and walking apparel needs. We need you to be doing your thing out there and not having to stop and adjusting or doing any other thing. The more comfortable you are in your gear the better the result.


Size consideration is vital element to put in mind hence shorts that fit well on your waist and thighs are to be selected. One should avoid shorts that do not fit well that means loose on the waist and go for the correct waist size and height that suits you. We do not want you running and leaving your shorts behind now do we?


All the shorts above have a different wear and tear period depending on how you handle it. One can easily select a suitable one depending on the kind of activities (running period/distance/number of times you run/gym etc.), however, the material you pick always matter a lot. You need a material that can serve you long, in this case, we advise one to go for quality however expensive, we say “cheap is expensive”


The type of material you have will determine if the shorts will be well ventilated, you do not want to sweat all over and have a bad odor after a run, you need to be comfortable enough to be able to walk with your shorts even after a run. Lightweight fabric for breathability and enhanced moisture management. Your longer runs will feel shorter and faster thanks to the enhanced performance.


We have to put this down as a factor, we want you to consider how flexible you will be with the shorts on, sometimes this is ignored when making a purchase, you want to be able to stretch and do various activities in this shorts and not feel like they are holding too tight or too loose, we need perfect, flexibility is key to doing any activity and in this case running. Have you tried to dance in a tight jeans trouser? If yes you know the feeling, it hinders you from dancing your butt out. You might go home sad saying you didn’t exploit your potential, the same applies to a running gear, and have no excuses.



Other Important Factors To Consider When Selecting The Best Trail Running Shorts


This should come as no surprise since it is crucial to go for a material that will enable good breathability as well as durability.  we wouldn’t advise you to go after cotton they are known to have poor vaporization quality, this means when dump you stay dump, something no one appreciates.Try other fabrics that are good for wicking out wetness.

Built-in underwear

This is also a consideration, inbuilt underwears are the best, they help hold your junk together when running and also helps prevent unnecessary rubbings that can cause chaffing.
It’s for the same reason as some women wear 2 sports bras.




We have some of the commonly asked questions with runners who go to buy shorts, and we figured we would outline some for you to help answer some that you might already form after going through our guide.

Q: What Are the Best Running Shorts?

A: Lets face it here we do not want stylish or fashionable shorts, because just one mistake of focusing on style can cause you an injury, like chaffing which we all know, cannot be assumed.go for comfort and make sure the seams are in ,material should also matter try a soft material of your pick, put in mind it is all about how you feel about it.


Q: After how long should I get another pair of shorts?

A: This depends on how durable your pair is, we normally do not advice to own only one pair, we would like you to get more than one to stop overusing one, but if you have only one consider getting a great material and also mind how you wash your shorts.


Q: Why do running shorts have built-in underwears?

A: Running shorts have a built-in liner and the rule of thumb is that you don’t wear underwear with them because the extra layer of fabric can cause uncomfortable chafing. … Fabric: Running shorts (and their liners) are typically made from either synthetic or natural fibers.


Q: When are running shorts considered too short?

A: This question is normally asked how short is short?so shorts come in quite a number of height variety and is upon you to decide which one suits you most, depending on your height as well.The very short should be around 1 inch  and this goes up to around 7 inches, past this point it is no longer considered a short ,we would advise you to go for the perfect height according to your height but majorly between 4 inch and 5 inch is a good height short ,this also helps prevent chaffing among other injuries.


Q: what should I do to prevent chafing?

A: When we talk of an irritating thigh or body parts it comes without say that our running clothes are responsible for that.  when the shorts seam can rub against the skin this can magnify the problem to a worse condition that brings chaffing of the skin. in this case, if you have running shorts and you consider them to be the reason for your chaffing kindly consider getting another pair that will be a bit longer to prevent the friction caused by your current one.also, try looking for compression shorts that are much longer and put them on before putting your shorts on.the fabric you pick is also very important too, cotton is often considered as a wrong choice since when it gets wet it stays wet, look for one that has a good ventilation

Below are some sources we used while conducting our research:

When getting you information we dig deep we go beyond to make sure you get it all right, that is why we are the best at what we do. We gather clinical sources, health and fitness, informational and from manufacturers,


  1. Outside, Gear Guy, Information source,
  2. Admin, Bandelettes, Jan 01, 1970
  3. Liam Boylan-Pett, The definitive guides to short shorts, Jan 01, 1970
  4. Perry Dau, Marathon Trainning, Fitness source,
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