10 Best Under Armour Running Shorts Tested & Reviewed
Many manufacturers of running shoes have branched out into other forms of apparel designed for runners. Under Armour is one such manufacturer, with many different styles of running shorts that are excellent for both male and females seeking something both fashionable and functional.
Although just about every product made by Under Armour, including their running shorts, are high-quality and worth the price of admission, some of their products offer greater benefits and better construction than others. With so many different products available from this brand, finding the best ones can be a difficult and time-consuming process. To address this issue, this buying guide covers the ten best running shorts from the Under Armour brand.
- HeatGear Compression
- Different Designs Available
- Micro Running
- Allows Good Mobility
10 Best Under Armour Shorts
Men’s HeatGear Compression Shorts
As previously mentioned, the Under Armour HeatGear resembles a pair of tight-fitting briefs more than they do a pair of running shorts. Due to their compression-oriented design, these shorts leave absolutely nothing to the imagination. Only the brave should consider wearing these shorts in public.
Despite having such a tight fit that airflow would seem impossible, the truth is that breathability has been baked right into the fabric of these compression running shorts. In addition to featuring fabrics that easily wick away moisture and control internal temperatures, anti-microbial design elements prevent the attraction of any odors from sweating.
The secret to these shorts’ success as such a viable piece of running apparel is their combination of high-quality materials. A mixture of nylon, elastane, and polyester were used in their design, resulting in a supreme level of comfort, a lighter weight, and an unparalleled level of durability.
When considering just how powerful these running shorts are, it can seem like a steal for them to be sold at such a low price. This is mostly due to the lighter and thinner construction of the Under Armour HeatGear, although the fact that it looks like a second pair of underwear may also have something to do with the discount.
- Second-to-none construction quality
- Fantastic breathability
- Anti-microbial and moisture resistant
- Embarrassing visual appearance
Women’s Fly-By Running Shorts
One thing that may turn off a few prospective customers is the high-waisted and slightly puffy look of these running shorts. Although it results in a more comfortable and ventilated feeling, this somewhat bizarre shape may put off lovers of more clingy apparel. However, the wide variety of fun and flashy print designs more than makes up for this somewhat awkward design.
Three factors are at play to ensure these are some of the most breathable Under Armour garments money can buy. One is the wider leg holes that provide perfect channels for air to flow in and out of these Fly-By running shorts. The second is the addition of highly breathable side channels made of mesh, providing additional ventilation options. The third is UA’s time-tested Moisture Transport System baked right into the material.
Despite all of the excellent features that have been implemented in these women’s running shorts, one aspect of their construction that remains disappointing is the fact that they are made exclusively from polyester. This unfortunate and unavoidable fact means that these stylish and breathable pants will ultimately feel cheap and flimsy compared to more premium fabrics.
The good news is that Under Armour offers an extremely wide range of available sizes for women to choose from, accommodating individuals of all body shapes. The bad news is that the cost for a single pair of Fly-By shorts can drastically increase as the sizes increase.
- Fun printed designs
- Fantastic breathability
- Wide range of available sizes
- Slightly awkward shape
- Larger sizes are significantly more expensive
Men's Micro Running Shorts
With a single-color design for every version of these shorts, some of the more fashion oriented runners may not be very impressed by this UA product. Even less impressive is the standard length and the lack of highlights on the side. However, the addition of multiple colorways helps to make this a viable clothing option for minimalistic runners who aren’t trying to make a statement.
Yes, this pair of running shorts does come with the Under Armour Moisture Transport System, which means that any sweat or other moisture that might gather inside the Micro shorts will be filtered and wicked efficiently. However, airflow will not be as easily managed due to the lack of the mesh side vents. Instead, the pockets are made from the mesh material, offering some of the benefits without the stylistic elements.
With no real information available regarding the specifics of the Under Armour Micro running shorts’ manufacturing, it is unclear what materials were used to construct it. However, a visual approximation, combined with feedback left by verified customers, would conclude that it is made from polyester.
The benefit to these running shorts featuring a more stripped-down and low profile design is that they come at a much lower price than the flashier alternatives. This difference in price to the competition is meager but it does come as a terrific benefit for runners on a budget who still want to experience quality from their running gear.
- Low-profile design
- Provides terrific mobility and moisture management
- Lack of visual flair
- Polyester construction
Men’s HeatGear Flyweight 7” Shorts
Unlike many other offerings on this list, the Under Armour Men’s Flyweight running shorts only come in three different colorways. Two of these are predominantly black with small color highlights while the last one is a bright neon yellow/green with black highlights. Although limited in scope, these few options cover most of the bases for running apparel aesthetics.
As is custom for this brand, a Moisture Transport System has been implemented in the design of these running shorts. This is helpful for wicking away moisture and accumulated sweat, but it isn’t the only aspect of these shorts that provides breathability. Additional design elements that improve this aspect of the Flyweight are the mesh ventilation pockets and the partial elastane construction.
In a move that is unconventional for this manufacturer, the Under Armour Men’s Flyweight running shorts is made from a fabric that combined polyester and elastane. The clever use of an additional fabric provides significant improvements in the shorts’ comfort and weight without causing its durability to degrade or its price to drastically increase.
For the most part, these running shorts are appropriately priced in the same range of every other pair on the market. Something that is odd about this particular model, however, is that most of the common sizes are sold out. This leaves only the extreme small and large sizes available for most of the colorways.
- Higher build quality
- Extra mobility
- Fantastic breathability
- Lacking additional color options
- Limited availability for some sizes
Men’s Raid 10” Shorts
These shorts come in multiple color schemes that cover the entirety of its externals, with one small UA emblem on the corner and two mesh side vents providing accents. The wide range of color options can help some of the more fashion-oriented runners find the right model for them; however, the lack of additional colors in its design is still very disappointing.
Under Armour’s popular Moisture Transport System makes its glorious return in these running shorts, meaning that sweat and heat are no match for the premium design and construction of this product. Additionally, the Heat Gear material used for its construction manages to be thin enough to prevent excessive heat absorption without compromising durability or comfort.
Much of the Under Armour Men’s Raid running shorts are made from polyester entirely; however, some aspects of its design are made from a mixture of polyester and elastane. This combination of synthetic fabrics helps to vastly improve the build quality and comfort of the entire package, helping these shorts define themselves from the rest of the pack.
For common sizes such as Medium, Large, or Extra-Large, these Under Armour running shorts are reasonably priced. The only scenario in which these shorts cross the line from affordable to ridiculously expensive is when ordering in extreme sizes such as XXXXL. Aside from this, the price for a pair of these running shorts is more or less on par with the price of any other shorts.
- Multiple colorways
- Higher quality fabric
- Thin and breathable construction
- Slightly disappointing style
Men’s Launch 7” Running Shorts
Although most of the Under Armour Launch is made from one color of fabric, the small mesh ventilation pockets on the sides will offer a different tone to break up the monotony. These relatively unassuming shorts can be ordered in bright neon colors to improve visibility or in muted palettes to coordinate with other aspects of the wearer’s outfit.
While it doesn’t seem as though Under Armour implemented their Moisture Transport System into the design of these running shorts, some breathability has been added through the use of two side mesh pockets. These provide an excellent channel for cool air to enter the shorts, wick heat and moisture away from the wearer’s body, and then exit out the other side.
In a move that is sure to surprise no one at this point, Under Armour decided to use polyester exclusively for the construction of the Launch Running Shorts. This may not seem like a big deal since so many other running shorts adopt this style of manufacturing, but the potential benefits to comfort or breathability that would come from using elastane or cotton is vast.
With a reasonable price range for all sizes and colors, customers shouldn’t have any issues justifying spending the meager amount of money required to own a pair of these running shorts. Apparently, one particular color and size of these shorts is significantly more expensive than the rest, most likely due to scarcity; however, most of the Launch models are reasonably priced.
- 5-pocket design
- Variety of available colors
- Select models are odor-resistant
- Drastic price difference for some models
- Lack of UA’s Moisture Transport System
Women's Great Escape II Running Shorts
With a slightly slimmer cut, these running shorts manage to look and feel a bit more streamlined than the traditional design adopted by Under Armour for other models. A variety of colorways further helps to define the Great Escape II’s sense of style, with more subdued aesthetics available side-by-side with ostentatious neon palettes.
Under Armour once again took advantage of their impressive Moisture Transport System to make sure that wearers of these shorts aren’t bothered by an excessive accumulation of sweat. Other pertinent aspects of this product’s breathability is its thinner construction, which significantly improves its airflow, and an anti-microbial liner that prevents odor.
It may come as a surprise to learn that the Under Armour Great Escape II is entirely made from polyester. This is because the way in which this material was implemented is transformative to the degree that it feels like a different textile altogether. Unfortunately, it is still entirely constructed from this synthetic fabric at the end of the day.
Something that may take some getting used to for a few customers is the fact that the price for these running shorts will vary wildly depending on their size. Due to the use of extra fabric, it can be tenuously justified that jumping from a Medium to a Large will cause a price increase of up to 25%. Ultimately, the entire range of prices for these shorts is reasonable.
- Very lightweight and breathable
- Wide range of available colorways
- Anti-microbial lining prevents odor
- Drastic price increase for larger sizes
- Limited availability for some colors
Men’s Reflex Shorts
With a bit more leg coverage than most other running shorts of its kind, these Under Armour garments offer a degree of modesty that is often difficult to find. This small feature helps to make up for the lack of variety in terms of color options and makes these a viable low-profile option for running in public.
These running shorts use a technology referred to by Under Armour as a Moisture Transport System. While the name may evoke images of pneumatic tubes or complicated machinery, the actual implementation of this system is simply an effective fabric pattern that provides enough breathability for the wearer to avoid experiencing sweat-related discomfort.
Much like the vast majority of running shorts on the market, the Under Armour Men’s Reflex Shorts are made from polyester. This material is inexpensive and considered to be on the lower end of the fabric quality spectrum, but the designers of these shorts managed to creatively implement it in a way that transcends its normal limitations.
Due to the fact that these running shorts have been available to purchase for quite some time now, it makes sense that their price has dropped to a very reasonable budget rate. However, the unfortunate consequence of this phenomenon is the lack of availability for certain sizes.
- Terrific breathability and moisture management
- Reasonable price
- Can be used for other exercises
- Difficult to find certain sizes
- Lack of color variety
Men’s Speedpocket 7” Shorts
For the most part, these running shorts look similar to many other pairs of shorts on the market. Something that helps to set these apart from some other running shorts is the wider range of colorways in which they are available. Additionally, small reflective elements on the sides of a few color options help to improve low-light visibility.
Leave it to a high-end brand like Under Armour to find a way for a simple fabric like polyester to provide higher breathability on par with something of a much higher quality. Thanks to their design prowess, these Speedpocket running shorts are able to effectively manage both heat and moisture.
With a construction entirely based from polyester, it would appear that these are some of the cheapest running shorts around. However, Under Armour has found a way to utilize this fabric so inventively that it provides a level of comfort and ventilation that wouldn’t otherwise be possible from such an unassuming textile.
When considering how pleasant these shorts feel on the wearer’s body and how visually appealing they present themselves, it can be understandable to pay the higher than average price the Under Armour Speedpocket has been listed at. However, some customers would be justified in balking at this price due to the fact that it is made entirely from cheap polyester.
- Fantastic breathability and moisture wicking
- Multiple appealing colorways
- Wide range of motion
- Somewhat overpriced
- Made entirely from polyester
Men’s Flex Pipe Training Shorts
These training shorts come in either red or blue colorways. These styles are very bright and clearly visible from a distance, which can be a helpful safety feature when running outdoors. The slightly lower cut of these shorts’ legs can dissuade some of the more fashion-oriented runners, but individuals interested in modesty will appreciate this feature.
Since these shorts were designed to accommodate a circuit training routine, it’s reasonable to assume that they can handle a decent amount of sweat that would likely be generated from this kind of physical activity. However, Under Armour didn’t add any special moisture or heat management features to these shorts like they do with many of their dedicated running apparel.
The Men’s Flex Pipe Training Shorts from Under Armour are made entirely from polyester. This material is lightweight and very cheap, which has the benefits of reducing sweat and keeping the total price of this product low. However, the lack of more comfortable or durable materials does result in these shorts feeling a bit flimsy.
As is custom for Under Armour, these training shorts are excellent at fulfilling their intended purpose. They will allow for the wearer to engage in numerous forms of exercise without discomfort or degradation, which is more or less the bare minimum expected of this kind of product. Since they are perfectly average at this task, they come at a perfectly average price.
- Increased visibility
- Can accommodate multiple exercises
- Lightweight design
- Longer cut is less stylish
- Made from cheap material
The Criteria We Used to Find the Best Under Armour Running Shorts
We’ve done the hard work for you and conducted extensive research in order to find the best running shorts Under Armour has to offer. All of our sources can be found at the bottom of the page if you’re interested. When making our ultimate judgment call, we compared the top products based on the following criteria:
Although it is important for a pair of running shorts to provide adequate functionality as a simple garment, many people are just as interested in picking fashionable products. This category determines how stylish each pair of shorts are, with extra points given to products that offer multiple colorways to choose from.
Running is a strenuous activity that often leads to excessive perspiration. This phenomenon can be exacerbated when running in a warmer environment, which is the common climate where individuals will wear running shorts in the first place. Because of this, we evaluated how effective each Under Armour product on this list is at managing airflow and moisture.
This category gets into the specifics of each product. It mainly concerns the fabrics used for the construction of each pair of shorts, with higher rankings given to products that make use of multiple high-quality materials.
It’s important to know if you’re receiving a product that is worth its listed price. Even if a pair of running shorts works exceptionally well, no one wants to pay more than they need to for them. This section compares the cost of each item to similar items on the market in an attempt to objectively evaluate their value.
Other Important Factors to Consider
For the most part, the criteria listed above will be sufficient to make an informed purchase for the vast majority of customers interested in Under Armour running shorts. However, there may be some special cases in which additional information is required. Here are some additional factors that may be worth considering before making a purchase:
Some of these shorts are designed with a looser fit, while others provide a beneficial degree of compression. Depending on the stylistic preferences and particular physical needs of each customer, it may be a better idea to avoid one style of running shorts and adopt another instead.
For the most part, these running shorts are made from the same synthetic textiles. However, it’s possible that some of these products will contain trace amounts of certain fabrics and materials that can cause an allergic reaction in some sensitive individuals. Be sure to carefully check the description of each product if you have any textile allergies.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What are the sizes of Under Armour products?
A: Under Armour’s apparel products all adhere to traditional clothing sizes (Small, Medium, Large, Extra Large, etc.). For a more detailed size chart of all their products, click here.
Q: What do compression running shorts do?
A: There are a few reasons why individuals may prefer wearing tight-fitting compression shorts and shirts during a running session. The most common reason is that it reduces muscle vibration during physical activity, which then helps to reduce fatigue after a run.
Q: How do I stop my running shorts from riding up?
A: In order to prevent running shorts from riding up, it may be a good idea to purchase a larger size. Another way to prevent this issue is to purchase an accessory for your running shorts such as a NoRider patch. Ultimately, a small amount of bunching up is normal for running shorts and should be expected.
Q: Can I wear running shorts over tights?
A: If you are already wearing a pair of running tights or compression leggings, there is no functional reason to wear running shorts over them. However, it is entirely possible to do so without experiencing discomfort and it can provide benefits in terms of heat insulation and modesty.
Q: Should I wear underwear with running shorts?
A: This will ultimately come down to personal preference. Many people prefer to wear underwear with their shorts because it provides a greater amount of support than the included mesh provided by many products. Others don’t like the extra material because it leads to extra heat, which can cause discomfort.
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