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10 Best Trail Running Shorts Reviewed

last updated Sep 04, 2019
The best trail running shorts enhance the trail running experience, keeping you cooler in warmer climates. Ours are offering some of the best technology in running gear combined with features that make running the trails more fun.

Like a good pair of trail shoes, the best trail running shorts are going to work with the active body. From wicking properties to weather and dirt resistant options, you are going to be pleasantly surprised what a beefed up trail running short can offer you.

We know the more information you have the better so we added an in-depth Criteria and FAQs section to help you along with your search. It is all there to make sure you have the best options currently available to choose from and to answer any questions you may have on what makes the best trail running shorts the best.

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

icon
La Sportiva Rush
97/100 our score
Comfort
96
Breathability
97
Flexibility
97
Durability
97
Use
98
La Sportiva Rush
Why is it better?
  • Very comfortable
  • No chafing
  • Excellent durability
  • Reflective details for dark conditions
  • The inner briefs provide good support
  • Five pockets
In a Hurry? Editors choice:
La Sportiva Rush
Test Winner: La Sportiva Rush
Amazon Link
Researched Sources
24
Researched Sources
Reviews Considered
10k
Reviews Considered
Hours Researching
15
Hours Researching
Products Evaluated
10
Products Evaluated
Last Updated:
By Francesca Peterson:

In this update, we added the Baleaf Quick Dry and the Altra Trail 2.0 trail running shorts. Both are well made and well-known brands in the running world and known for their high tech materials and function. With built-in running belts, compression and mesh underwear supports, these are made for comfort and the ability to keep you dry and anti-chafing material and the stitching will keep you less irritated. Scroll through and check out our FAQs and criteria as well, it’s all there to help you find the best fit for your runs faster.

Sorting Options
Comfort Breathability Flexibility Durability Use 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
96 %
Breathability
97 %
Flexibility
97 %
Durability
97 %
Use
98 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (16.10.19)
#2
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
95
Comfort
96 %
Breathability
96 %
Flexibility
95 %
Durability
93 %
Use
95 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (16.10.19)
Amazon Link
$56.00
#3
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
93.6
Comfort
95 %
Breathability
94 %
Flexibility
94 %
Durability
93 %
Use
92 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (16.10.19)
#4
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
91.6
Comfort
93 %
Breathability
93 %
Flexibility
92 %
Durability
90 %
Use
90 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (16.10.19)
#5
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
91.6
Comfort
92 %
Breathability
90 %
Flexibility
90 %
Durability
91 %
Use
95 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (16.10.19)
Amazon Link
$44.95
#6
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
89.6
Comfort
88 %
Breathability
90 %
Flexibility
90 %
Durability
90 %
Use
90 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (16.10.19)
Amazon Link
$18.99
#7
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
84.4
Comfort
85 %
Breathability
85 %
Flexibility
86 %
Durability
83 %
Use
83 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (16.10.19)
Amazon Link
$129.90
#8
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
81
Comfort
82 %
Breathability
82 %
Flexibility
81 %
Durability
80 %
Use
80 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (16.10.19)
#9
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
80
Comfort
80 %
Breathability
80 %
Flexibility
80 %
Durability
80 %
Use
80 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (16.10.19)
Amazon Link
$50.00
#10
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
77.8
Comfort
78 %
Breathability
78 %
Flexibility
77 %
Durability
79 %
Use
77 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (16.10.19)

10 Best Trail Running Shorts

1. La Sportiva Rush

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
97
La Sportiva Rush
Amazon Link
Comfort
96
Breathability
97
Flexibility
97
Durability
97
Use
98
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Amazon Link
$79.00
Pros:
  • Very comfortable
  • No chafing
  • Excellent durability
  • Reflective details for dark conditions
  • The inner briefs provide good support
  • Five pockets
Cons:
  • Quite pricey
  • Less well-tested than some others on this list

The La Sportiva Rush shorts feature an inner brief that keeps you supported and comfortable. These lightweight shorts are made of comfortable material. These shorts feature five pockets, one of which has a zipper.

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Comfort/Fit
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.

Quality/Durability
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.

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

Conclusion

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 the best grip for a marathon.

2. Brooks Sherpa 7”

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
95
Brooks Sherpa 7”
Amazon Link
Comfort
96
Breathability
96
Flexibility
95
Durability
93
Use
95
best offer for today
Amazon Link
$56.00
Pros:
  • Very comfortable and soft
  • Great moisture wicking
  • Inner mesh boxer for no chafing
  • Pockets for carrying stuff
  • Semi-fitted cut for comfort
Cons:

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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Comfort/Fit
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.

Quality/Durability
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.

Cost
These are pricey, but they’re definitely worth the investment.

3. Under Armour Armourvent

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
93.6
Under Armour Armourvent
Amazon Link
Comfort
95
Breathability
94
Flexibility
94
Durability
93
Use
92
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Amazon Link
$22.57
Pros:
  • Water resistant
  • Built specifically for the trails
  • Elasticated waistband
  • Nice and comfortable
  • Built for stretch and comfort.
Cons:
  • If you want something that is versatile, these might not be the best option – they’re built for the trails.

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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Comfort/Fit
They’re pretty lightweight given how durable they are. They have a good fit and allow for a full range of movement. The elastic waistband contributes to the good fit and overall comfort.

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

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

Conclusion

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 in its own way and suitable for stretchy exercises with its anti-odor and ventilated feature.it provides a perfect short for you.

4. Smartwool PHD 5”

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
91.6
Comfort
93
Breathability
93
Flexibility
92
Durability
90
Use
90
best offer for today
Pros:
  • Really comfortable
  • Good mix between structure and freedom
  • Two pockets
  • They dry very quickly
  • Feel good against the skin
Cons:
  • Somewhat expensive
  • Not as well-known as some other entries in this category

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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Comfort/Fit
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.

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

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

Conclusion.
It is so comfortable having a merino blend interior hence makes exercise more enjoyable and fun. Best for temperature regulation definitely doesn’t disappoint.

5. Altra Trail 2.0

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
91.6
Altra Trail 2.0
Altra Trail 2.0
Altra Trail 2.0
Amazon Link
Comfort
92
Breathability
90
Flexibility
90
Durability
91
Use
95
best offer for today
Amazon Link
$44.95
Pros:

Compression

Lots of Pockets

Dry fast

Anti-chaffing

Cons:

Run a bit smaller

Altra Trail 2.0 trail running shorts have everything you need built right in. From a running belt waist to anti-chafing material and stitching, you won't have to worry about anything but the trail. These are comfortable, don’t bunch and made to carry personal items for those longer runs.

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Comfort

Super light and stitched to aid against chafing, Atrtra Trail 2.0 is made for comfort and speed. The waistband is extra stretchy and made to hold up while holding your items without the irritation. The material is extra light and quick-drying as well, proving Altra Trail 2.0 has everything you need in comfort.

Features

This is where the Trail 2.0 shines and why it is a favorite trail short among consumers. The built-in running belt we mentioned is soft and made with anti-chafe merrow stitching. IT is lined with one center zippered pockets and 3 mesh pockets, all in the back and 2 mesh pockets on the front.

The inner lining seam runs 6” and the outer runs 5”. They are made with a polyester/spandex blend that gives them great flexibility without riding up or bunching. The inner lining is also a compression design that aids in blood circulation, feeding the muscles and helping you go longer.

Value

These run about mid-range in price but offer more than most on the list when it comes to Trail design. Altra is a leader in activewear and understands that not everyone can pay the price for high quality. They make designs that are affordable and functional and it is why you’ll find them hanging out on Runnerclick’s 10 best lineups often.

6. Baleaf Quick Dry

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
89.6
Baleaf Men's 7
Baleaf Men's 7
Baleaf Men's 7
Baleaf Men's 7
Baleaf Men's 7
Amazon Link
Comfort
88
Breathability
90
Flexibility
90
Durability
90
Use
90
best offer for today
Amazon Link
$18.99
Pros:

Deeper pockets

Mesh liner is secure

Affordable

Dry fast

Cons:

Color can bleed

Some sizing issues

Baleaf Quick Dry trail running shorts are supportive, breath well and like they say, dry super fast. These were made to support and move with you without irritation so you can get the most out of your trail run. Baleaf makes great gear and it shows in there 7” quick-dry trail running shorts.

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Comfort

Built-in mesh underwear keeps you supported and arid while running. Side mesh panels also ad to the breathability making these a super dry option to your trail running gear. They wick sweat as well and dry rapidly.

The spandex material within the polyester blend makes these more flexible as well. The Baleaf quick dry is designed to move with the body and not bunch up. They stay secure and you can carry all your necessities without feeling weighed down.

Features

Engineered with three pockets, two extra-deep hand pockets and a middle center zipper pocket, Baleaf Quick Dry trail running shorts have ample amount of space to bring a snack, entertainment and any keys or cards you may need to hold onto.

Strategically built into the design are reflective elements that give you more security in lower light situations. You also have the option to pick from many different color designs or chose more than one for your moods.

The built-in mesh pockets and underwear liners are also a great feature that we mentioned. This aids the quick-dry fabric in relieving you from sweat and chaffing. The material has a stretch to it and is pleasant on the skin, moving with you not against you.

Value

Priced a little higher than most, Baeleaf offers stellar durable trail design. These are running shorts you can take to the trail or the gym. They give you protection, support, comfort on top of their durability and you won't have to go without snacks, they have plenty of room for all the extras.

7. Salomon Exo S-Lab Twinskin

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
84.4
Salomon Exo S-Lab Twinskin
Amazon Link
Comfort
85
Breathability
85
Flexibility
86
Durability
83
Use
83
best offer for today
Amazon Link
$129.90
Pros:
  • Great compression for support and recovery
  • Very good stretch
  • 3 gel pockets
  • No chafing
  • Built for long runs
Cons:
  • These are expensive.
  • Can be baggy or ill-fitted on occasion
  • Some might not like the tightness.

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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Comfort/Fit
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.

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

Cost
These are pricey, but they are worth it!

Conclusion

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.

8. La Sportiva Rapid

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
81
La Sportiva Rapid
Amazon Link
Comfort
82
Breathability
82
Flexibility
81
Durability
80
Use
80
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$90.30
Pros:
  • Good protection against the sun
  • Great chafe-free technology
  • Come from a trusted name in trail running
  • Very lightweight
Cons:
  • These are very expensive.
  • They’re not as well-tested as others on this list.

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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Comfort/Fit
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.

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

Cost
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.

9. Asics Woven 7”

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
80
Asics Woven 7”
Amazon Link
Comfort
80
Breathability
80
Flexibility
80
Durability
80
Use
80
best offer for today
Amazon Link
$50.00
Pros:
  • A good basic option
  • One zippered storage pocket
  • They moisture wick quite well.
  • Stay cool in hot conditions
  • Lightweight and breathable
Cons:
  • Not the best durability
  • The sizes can sometimes be off.
  • Can bunch up in the groin

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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Comfort/Fit
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.

Quality/Durability
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.

Cost
These are a good low-cost option!

Conclusion

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.

10. Salomon Trail Runner

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
77.8
Salomon Trail Runner
Amazon Link
Comfort
78
Breathability
78
Flexibility
77
Durability
79
Use
77
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$54.95
Pros:
  • Built for trails
  • Offer UV protection
  • Great at fighting sweat
  • They have a fit designed for mobility.
  • Relaxed fit
Cons:
  • Quite expensive
  • The sizes can sometimes be a little off.

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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Comfort/Fit
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.

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

Cost
These are pretty pricey, which you can expect with Salomon. They’re good quality, which makes them worth the investment.

Criteria Used for Evaluation

Comfort

...uncomfortable running wear can lead to bigger problems...

Comfort is often taken at a surface level and considered less important than it actually is. Comfort is more than how enjoyable the shorts are to wear. Discomfort is often a sign of an underlying problem in the design such as a low-quality fabric or a misplaced seam.

It is essential to choose only shorts that are comfortable for this list since the irritation or friction caused by uncomfortable running wear can lead to bigger problems like chaffing.

Fit

Sizing is always a difficult thing to manage for any article of clothing since standards between brands are as varied as the bodies that wear them. We think it’s important to assess whether a particular brand or style of shorts has a history of mis-sizing or wearing poorly. Accurate sizing is additionally important because we know so many of our readers shop for their gear online. Shorts that make it to the list are generally easier to size.

Breathability

Sweat prevention as an aspect of breathability can stop the formation of blisters as well as curb chaffing.

Breathability is an important trait in any article of athletic clothing. Not just for the elimination of odor either, though it does help.

Sweat prevention as an aspect of breathability can stop the formation of blisters as well as curb chaffing. Proper ventilation can also prevent skin infections.

Keeping yourself cool is also essential for trail running since the danger of overheating and dehydration is increased by quite a bit by the lack of nearby emergency services, facts we like to be conscientious of when making selections for this list.

Flexibility

Flexibility is also essential for trail running shorts since your more likely to face inclines, declines, and other obstacles...

Flexibility is a concern we also take into account. Ideally, any pair of shorts you buy should be flexible enough to move with you. This is comparable in comfort in terms of import since a pair of shorts that grabs and pulls at you will likely cause chaffing and worse problems down the road.

Flexibility is also essential for trail running shorts since your more likely to face inclines, declines, and other obstacles and will need your full range of motion to deal with them.

Durability

...trail running can be the most grueling challenge you put your running wear through.

No piece of clothing is immune to wear and tear but there are those with varying levels of resistance. Trail shorts need to be chosen for the high durability since trail running can be the most grueling challenge you put your running wear through.

Durability isn’t just somethings ability to endure its environment and use. Washing can put a lot of strain on a piece of clothing and trail clothing needs to be washed especially often since it has the potential to get extremely dirty. We had to make sure that shorts on this list wash well too.

Use

....be sure that you find a pair that is easy to use!

Running shorts are an important part of your workout and running gear and are not something that can be forgotten or overlooked. When it comes to finding the right trail running shorts, be sure that you find a pair that is easy to use! They need to fit nice, be comfortable, make you feel good, and improve your runs. That is what we wanted to provide for you with every product we included on this list.

Other Factors to Consider

Materials

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.

Advanced Features

This is also a consideration, inbuilt underwear are the best, they help hold your junk together when running and also helps prevent unnecessary rubbings that can cause chaffing.

Frequently Asked Questions

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

a:

The two factors to consider when deciding when to buy new shorts are how often you run and how often you wash your shorts. If you run often or you wash to shorts fairly often then you are probably looking to replace them every one to two years. If you do so less frequently, then you can probably push up to five years.

q: Why do running shorts have built-in underwear?

a:

The built-in underwear, or liner, is put into place so you won’t have to wear underwear with your running shorts. The two separate pieces of cloth of the underwear and the shorts can cause serious chaffing. The line will provide support without moving against the shorts, keeping you comfortable and irritation free.

q: How do I figure out the length of running short I should choose?

a:

In general lengthier 7-inch shorts are to provide advanced protection, which we recommend for trail runners, and the 4 to 5-inch shorts are to provide more air flow. All in all, we recommend deciding on your short length based on your height, taller people favoring lengthier shorts for a better fit.

q: What can I do to prevent chaffing?

a:

Favoring shorts that have a liner to limit the amount of fabric induced irritation is a good place to start. You should also try and favor shorts that have been designed to be seamless. Seamless shorts lack raised edges and points and are overall less likely to cause any irritation.

Sources

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