10 Best CrossFit Shorts Tested & Fully Reviewed
A typical CrossFit routine might include performing a set of exercises “AMRAP” or “As Many Reps as Possible”. In order to perform at your best, you need enthusiasm, focus, and a workout outfit that won’t distract you from your fitness goals. The best shorts for CrossFit must have a streamlined fit, allow optimum mobility, wick sweat effectively and resist riding up during your most challenging moves.
- Mizuno MRB Practice
- Epic MMA Gear WOD
- Under Armour HeatGear
- 11 Tactical Recon Vandal
- CW-X Stabilyx Ventilator
- UN92 Kettlebell Fit
- Percent Play Harder Compression
- Reebok Speedwick
- Sanabul Essential Training Shorts
- Criteria Used for Evaluation
- Other Factors to Consider
- Frequently Asked Questions
Best CrossFit Shorts
1. Mizuno MRB Practice
Drylite technology vents sweat
Bold color highlights
Colors may fade over time
A classically fitted spandex and polyester blend short, these Mizuno practice shorts promise great value. The sleek, understated design won’t be too loud in the gym but features fun, eye-popping color accents at the waistband. The drylite technology fabric helps sweat to evaporate quickly.Read more
These fitted spandex shorts will hug your hips without riding up through a variety of workout moves. The classic fit falls below the belly button, so athletes concerned about higher coverage may want to consider a different fit type.
These sleek black shorts have an understated design that is ramped up with bold color accents. Bright lettering on the waistband and the left thigh advertise the Mizuno logo. Perfect for CrossFitters who don’t want to stand out too much, but could use a cheeky hint of color.
The comfortable spandex will hold its stretch through many washes. Take care that the bright Mizuno lettering may fade over time, although the shorts’ fit will be maintained.
The Mizuno drylite technology is designed to promote rapid evaporation of sweat, to keep you cool and dry as you suffer through those last reps of your CrossFit workout.
The spandex design has a streamlined fit and doesn’t include any pockets. The wide, flat waistband helps to keep the shorts in place and won’t create muffin-top.
This is a star option for affordable quality, from a trusted brand known for its high-quality running gear.
2. Epic MMA Gear WOD
Range of colors and patterns
Won’t ride up
The stretchy, moisture-wicking nylon/spandex composite of these shorts is sure to keep you covered and dry during your CrossFit regimen. These shorts prioritize comfort, and most importantly, won’t ride up during your dynamic moves. A great value option for any CrossFitter.Read more
These WOD shorts are designed with CrossFit in mind, with a tight, flattering fit. The nylon/spandex composite fabric will stretch with you to allow a full range of functional movement even during the most dynamic routines. The soft, flat waistband is very comfortable and won’t restrict your movement.
Epic MMA has provided a huge range of color and pattern options for these shorts, and it should be hard not to find an option that fits your personal style preferences. These include more toned-down colors, such as army green, as well as eye-catching prints that will get you hyped to spend more time at the gym.
The durable fabric shouldn’t lose its tight spandex fit over time. Don’t let the lack of name brand scare you away from these shorts; trust that they are well-made and designed to last.
The fabric of these shorts has great moisture-wicking properties.
The flatlock stitching of these shorts ensures a streamlined fit and flat seams. The wide, flat waistband is a great addition that significantly improves comfort.
These shorts are an excellent value option, impressive for their quality, functionality and comfortable fit compare to their low price tag. These shorts would be a great option for a beginner CrossFitter, or even an experienced athlete looking to spice up their workout wardrobe with fun colors and prints without compromising on garment quality.
3. Under Armour HeatGear
great heat venting
Variety of colors and patterns
Under Armour has designed a polyester/elastane composite short with a compression fit intended to help muscle power. The ultralight HeatGear fabric features Under Armour’s proprietary moisture transport system and anti-odor technology, sure to keep you cool and dry as you’re busting out reps in your workout. The wide, flat waistband is a comfortable finishing touch to the design.Read more
The compression fit of these shorts, combined with a shorter inseam, makes the HeatGear shorty a great choice for the confident CrossFitter willing to let some skin show. The snug fit won’t ride up, so you won’t have to worry about wardrobe malfunctions. These shorts may run small.
Under Armour has gone with bright, bold patterns and prints for these shorts. You can have some fun picking out a pattern in your favorite color that will let you express yourself through your workout outfit.
The Under Armour name comes with a connotation of quality, and these shorts promise to be durable. As always with compression garments, following the washing and care instructions will be important for maintaining the shorts’ function.
The HeatGear fabric of these shorts is super-light but doesn’t skimp on venting power. The moisture transport system is built to wick sweat quickly and keep you dry and cool as you sweat through those most difficult last sets.
The wide, flat waistband of these shorts is constructed with comfort in mind. As the HeatGear shorty has a compression fit, it doesn’t include any pockets, as objects placed inside might be uncomfortable or distracting.
These shorts are a great technical piece of clothing, with a superior fabric to vent heat, that come at a very attractive price. These are a great value choice both for the serious CrossFitter and the CrossFit newbie.
4. 11 Tactical Recon Vandal
Two zippered pockets
No bold colors
These shorts will withstand the toughest of workouts: engineered by a company that also makes tactical gear for the military, they’re designed to hold up to the most rugged use. Made from 100% lightweight polyester, their 4-way stretch allows for full freedom of movement. They also feature great moisture wicking technology and a bonus of zippered pockets on each side.Read more
These shorts are designed to give you enhanced freedom of movement, and won’t hinder your mobility during any CrossFit moves. The fit is relaxed, a great choice if spandex is not your personal preference, but still streamlined for safety and comfort in the gym. Ties at the front to close the shorts allow for a secure fit and some flexibility in waist sizing.
The sleek, modern design comes in classic colors dubbed “Nautical” and “Scorched Earth”, among others. These higher coverage shorts fall just above the knee, and won’t reveal too much during a risky move.
Made by a company that also manufactures tactical military gear, these shorts will no doubt hold up to the barrage of many workouts over time. The shorts include extra heavy seams that make them stronger and reduce the chance of any tearing during your workout.
The proprietary moisture wicking technology from company 5.11 is sure to keep you cool and dry. The fitted but not skin-tight style of these shorts will also promote air circulation to aid your sweat in evaporating.
Offset pockets on each side of the shorts are a great option to hold your small essentials that during your workout. Both pockets are zippered to ensure that you’ll stay in possession of your valuables even when bending over.
A pricier option for the CrossFit enthusiast that’s sure to stand the test of time. This is an investment into a workout wardrobe staple that will handle tough workouts time after time.
5. CW-X Stabilyx Ventilator
Mesh ventilation panels
Compression fit for stability
Women’s specific design
Few color options
A performance short that won’t fail to keep you cool. These CW-X shorts are engineered with special mesh ventilation panels that will shed heat, as well as a Coolmax crotch liner. The compression fit offers better support for IT band and hip flexors, while the hi-rise fit includes an abdominal support panel.Read more
The polyester spandex blend of these shorts includes 4-way stretch, although the compression fit keeps a snug grip on the athlete’s body. In particular, those prone to injury should take a look at this option: the compression technology emphasizes support for the IT band and hip flexors, promoting stability to enhance functional movement. Unlike many comparable shorts, the Stabilyx shorts have a hi-rise fit, again providing additional stability in the torso region with an abdominal support panel. The drawstring closure at the waist means you can customize your fit, too, and the long inseam gives all-around coverage.
These black shorts, with contrasting mesh panels on the quadriceps, look polished and professional. There may not be any bold colors in the design, but you’ll still be turning heads.
CW-X is one of the best names on the market for compression wear, and they won’t compromise on quality here. These shorts are designed to last. Take care to pay attention to the washing instructions to maintain the compression fit of your shorts. They’ll last the best if you don’t put them through the tumble dryer.
The mesh ventilation panels located in the quadriceps region are an innovative way to vent heat in these shorts. CW-X claims that by reducing heat buildup with these shorts, you can also reduce heat-related fatigue in your muscles.
The women’s specific design and Coolmax gusseted crotch liner are bonuses to a pair of shorts already packed with technical features.
A pricier pair of shorts that is packed with technical features for the more serious athlete. If you like a sleek style and the stability of a compression fit, you may not need to look further.
6. UN92 Kettlebell Fit
Wide, comfortable waistband
Fun kettlebell print
Small zippered pocket
A women’s short with a relaxed fit, the UN92 promises breathable, 4-way stretch fabric that screams comfort. The wide, flat waistband has a drawstring for a flexible fit. As a bonus, the small zippered pocket at the back of the waistband can hold essentials such as card and keys.Read more
These fitted shorts aren’t skin-tight, offering a more free feeling for those who aren’t fond of compression or tight garments. The inseam, at 3”, offers greater coverage than many spandex options for athletes looking for a more modest experience in the gym. The flat, wide waistband is soft and provides a comfortable fit. The adjustable stretch drawcord allows for a personalized fit, too.
The neutral colors of these shorts are accented by fun design perks, with small decorative kettlebells peppered over the fabric. These shorts are not as form-fitting as many other options and are great for those looking for a relaxed fit.
The relaxed fit means that these shorts won’t lose their stretch over time. They’ll fit just as well and maintain comfort over prolonged use.
The breathable, water-wicking material will keep you dry during your workout.
These shorts offer a handy extra pocket. At the right back waistband, you’ll find a small zippered card and key pocket to hold your necessary small items at the gym. The pocket is invisible and won’t be disruptive.
A mid-priced short that is an excellent option for a dedicated CrossFitter looking for an alternative to compression and spandex shorts. The fun kettlebell print is unique, too.
7. Percent Play Harder Compression
Comes with reusable ice packs and ice pockets
The polypropylene and spandex blend fabric is not only antimicrobial-treated but also offers great moisture wicking properties. The compression fit keeps circulation flowing, while the material promises great 360-degree stretch. These shorts include an innovative cold therapy feature, with reusable ice sheets that slide into corresponding pockets on each leg.Read more
These shorts feature a special design of zoned, gradient compression that is designed for optimum circulation and recovery. The tight fit and great stretch ensures that the shorts will move with you for optimum mobility.
The sleek design of these black shorts with white and red lettering will surely get you noticed in the gym. The long rise makes for great coverage and the compression fit highlights muscles.
110 Percent is a brand trusted for quality, and its Play Harder compression shorts are no exception to this expectation. Expect to be using your shorts for your workouts in the long haul.
110 Percent promises superior moisture wicking qualities with the engineering of its blended fabric. That’s important in a compression short, where your sweat should pass quickly from your skin out through the material.
These shorts offer a unique, innovative feature that is geared towards those who value recovery above all. The shorts come with their own reusable ice sheets. Stick them in the freezer, pull them out right after your workout, and slide them into designated pockets on each leg of the shorts. Then enjoy the benefits of easy post-workout icing on your recovery process.
These shorts are in investment for the recovery-minded athlete. Pay a little more upfront, and you may end up reaping the benefits by avoiding injury down the road.
8. Reebok Speedwick
The proprietary Reebok Speedwick technology offers great breathability, while the fabric also boasts antimicrobial properties. These slim cut shorts fit well and include a comfort-oriented elastic waistband. The long inseam ensures superior coverage.Read more
Comfort is king with the Speedwick shorts. The poly/cotton blend is soft on the skin, and stretches to accommodate movement. These shorts are a good bet for those looking to avoid spandex; they’re unusual in the CrossFit area for their looser fit and stretchy, elasticated waistband. Slim fitting, but they’re flexible to fit many different body types.
A minimalist style makes for a clean design from Reebok, perfect for CrossFitters who don’t like loud designs.
The serious comfort from this shorts choice should hold up well through washes and wears. The design of the Speedwick line hasn’t changed over several years, indicating that Reebok must be getting something right here.
True to their name, the shorts feature Reebok’s Speedwick technology that is engineered to get rid of sweat - fast. The relaxed fit aids with air circulation.
The elasticated, contrast-facing waistband is a great bonus when it comes to comfort. You may not want to take these off when you’re done with the workout.
One of the cheapest shorts in Reebok’s arsenal, these shorts are an excellent choice for the casual CrossFitter who is not willing to compromise on comfort.
9. Sanabul Essential Training Shorts
Reinforced stitching and seam protection
Doesn't have any pockets
These shorts are comfortable, and flexible so no matter what kind of training you are doing, you won't be slowed down. They have Antimicrobial treatment to prevent any bacterial growth. These shorts are affordable, and come in different colors and sizes.Read more
These shorts fit like an athletic pair of shorts, but not as baggy as most shorts. The waistband has a Velcro closure that keeps the shorts tightly in place, so you don’t have to worry about them falling off or tying them all the time. These shorts let you move around any which way you need to.
Sanabul Essentials are all black except for the waistband, which comes in eight different color options. These shorts offer some color in the waistband to personalize your shorts, while the rest of the shorts are all black so they can match anything. Customers have said they particularly love the length of the shorts because they do not cover their knees, so they are not restricted in their movements during their workout.
These shorts are made with 4-way stretch fabric with materials that are made to last. They have reinforced flat lock stitching and seam protection, so you can stretch as far as you can without them ripping or tearing.
Sanabul Essential shorts are made out of 100% Polyester which makes them lightweight, and breathable.
These shorts come with Antimicrobial treatment to help reduce bacterial, and fungal growth. They also have a Velcro waistband to adjust the size, so they fit better. There is not a lot of shorts that have Velcro waistband. These shorts are comfortable and flexible which allows you to train, and practice for any, and all sports in these shorts.
These shorts are very affordable. Get everything you need out of a pair of shorts at a great price.
Criteria Used for Evaluation
CrossFit is infamous for being dynamic and intense, which is why we placed priority on selecting shorts that won’t restrict your freedom of movement. A great pair of shorts for CrossFit should emphasize mobility, while still being fitted enough that extra material won’t interfere with equipment. Some of the choices are tighter spandex or compression wear, while others have a more relaxed fit. All of the options provide adequate coverage and are comfortable, ensuring that you won’t have wardrobe malfunctions interfering with your workout focus.
While functionality is key, you can’t work hard if you don’t feel good. We thought about selecting shorts that come in a variety of styles, including both bold and classic prints and colors. We also favored styles that look sleek and professional. You should be able to find an option that suits your personal style from the range on the list.
A pair of shorts is no good if it’s your favorite one day and falling apart the next. Your go-to workout clothes should be reliable. We chose CrossFit shorts with quality construction, often from brands particularly known for the durability and quality of their products.
There’s no doubt that CrossFit workouts are tough, even for the experienced gym rat. You may be sweating hard just a few minutes in. When you’re working hard, you shouldn’t have to suffer through the sensation of your own pooling sweat if you’ve got the right workout outfit. A good pair of CrossFit shorts should be very breathable, able to wick sweat away from your skin and keep you cool and dry throughout your challenging workout.
Sometimes, that little extra something makes an item of clothing stand out from the crowd. We highlighted CrossFit shorts with handy and practical extra features, from hidden pockets to adjustable waistbands.
Other Factors to Consider
The CrossFit workout may not be the only thing that hurts if you’re breaking the bank to buy your workout clothes. Price and functionality shouldn’t have to be a compromise, though, and we’ve looked for the options that will provide you with the best value for your spending.
After an intense workout, do you look like you’ve just been through a downpour, or simply stepped through a light mist? Everyone has different responses to exercise in terms of sweat, and you should plan your workout outfit accordingly. If you’re on the damp side, take note of the options for CrossFit shorts that emphasize breathability. An option without compression fit might be a good choice too, to promote air circulation.
Are you into bold colors? Tight clothes or roomier? Showing a lot of skin, or more modest? Within the selection of shorts that are appropriate for CrossFit, there is a lot of room for personal preference to help you make your final choice. Think about what design of shorts will make you feel most comfortable and confident while working out in a group setting.
What are your fitness goals? If you’re a beginner CrossFitter and are testing the waters, you may want to lean towards the most budget-friendly options. Your workout wardrobe will be less of an investment, and if you may change your mind in the short term you don’t have to worry about durability. If you’re in the gym more often than not, you will likely be putting yourself through the most dynamic moves as your skill improves. You’ll need a pair of shorts that will hold up consistently to a high level of performance, which may be pricier.
If your laundry pile usually grows to a monstrous heap before you attempt to tackle it, think about selecting a pair of shorts that has antimicrobial fabric. You should still wash them after a few workouts, but you can be less concerned about bacteria growing in the meantime and potentially giving you an infection.
Frequently Asked Questions
CrossFit shorts should be long enough to provide adequate coverage while performing a variety of dynamic movements including jumping, lunging and twisting. At the same time, the shorts should not be too baggy, as any risk of the material interfering with weights or equipment is dangerous. Also, note that CrossFit workouts are intense, and often involve copious amounts of sweat. The best shorts for CrossFit are highly breathable and can wick sweat efficiently to keep you cool and dry during a tough workout.
Anecdotal evidence shows that compression garments can aid in recovery, and help to promote blood flow during a workout. Some scientific studies have shown performance benefits in circulation and recovery. These garments can also help with stability, helping to create optimal movement patterns. This is a key reason to use compression wear during CrossFit workouts, where functional movement is the focus of the exercise.
Antimicrobials include several different classes, all designed to kill microorganisms. Fabric can be treated with these special antimicrobial chemicals that will help to stop bacterial microbes from growing on the material. These treated materials can be found in the sports industry as well as in the healthcare industry. If you own shorts made with antimicrobial fabric, you may not have to take as much care to wash them frequently, as the fabric itself will resist the growth of bacteria.
- When Does Compression Wear Actually Work?, Men's Health Magazine, Jan 13, 2018 ,
- Antimicrobial Textiles in the Specialty Fabrics Industry, Fabric Manufacturer Blog, Dec 30, 2014 ,
- What is CrossFit?, Fitness Website, Jan 13, 2016 ,
- Compression Gear’s Impact on Performance and Recovery, Running Website, Feb 25, 2017 ,