Blame memories of track practice in middle school, or the ultra-short athletic shorts trend that dominated the 2000s, but many of us have a somewhat negative Pavlovian response to the words "workout shorts." This reaction is valid, especially considering how many comfy workout leggings you probably have in your roster. But the feeling you get running, dancing, hiking, or practicing yoga with your legs free in the wind is pretty lit, too.
Workout shorts have come a long way since the mesh shorts you probably remember. These days, workout shorts have multiple pockets, high-tech fabric to ward off chafing, and come in tons of lengths and styles that will make you feel comfortable during any workout. If you're looking to reclaim workout shorts, we've found options that will suit your needs ahead. Your leggings are about to be long gone — at least until the weather gets cooler.
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Outdoor Voices 3" Relay Shorts
These breezy OV shorts are light as air, and won't slow you down during your ten-mile runs, according to reviewers who have done exactly that.
Reviewers Say: "I absolutely love these shorts. So lightweight and perfectly fitted while also not being too tight. I love the waistband too — really comfortable and helps keep shorts at the perfect spot on my waist even when running. Very breathable material for exercise or just walking around. Got these in two colors because I love them so much!!" - Kate, Outdoor Voices Reviewer
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Lululemon Fast and Free Short 8"
Lululemon's take on running shorts provides moderate compression with a light-as-air feel for shorts that work some impressive sweat-wicking magic. They also come in multiple colors, patterns, and lengths.
Reviewers Say: "First time trying the 8" vs. the 10" as a runner, and I'm sold! Very comfy, perfect length, and the legs stay put with no chafing while I run. My new favorite!" - Carla, Lululemon Reviewer
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Core 10 Women's 'Race Day' High Waist Run Compression Short with Pockets
These high-waisted compression shorts are available up to a size 3X, and provide gentle compression and stretch from all angles.
Reviewers Say: "I ran the Chicago Marathon in these shorts. They were amazing. Perfect length to avoid thighs rubbing together. 26.2 miles and I never had to adjust. Also, the pockets were the envy of my teammates. They were super practical. I was able to ditch my heavy running pouch and just use these pockets. I am going to buy more pairs and make them my go to shorts for all my runs." - Abigail, Amazon Reviewer
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Girlfriend Collective Trail Short
These multi-functional shorts are high rise, water-wicking, are lined with compressive micro running shorts, and have a zip back pocket for storage.
Reviewers Say: "These shorts are really comfortable! I use them when running and at the gym. The pocket at the back is great for storing my keys and mask. They are true to size, I usually wear an S and bought an S pair. Definitely going to buy another pair :)" - Jacqueline C., Girlfriend Collective Reviewer
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Adidas Run It Shorts
The brand's moisture-wicking AEROREADY fabric will keep you cool and dry (aka, no swamp butt) even during a hot summer day, plus it's made from recycled materials.
Reviewers Say: "Comfortable shorts, worn and washed a lot already because they’re one of my faves and they still look new. Love the colour as well. Would definitely recommend and buy again" - Anonymous, Adidas Reviewer
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Reebok Run Essentials Allover Print Shorts
Enjoy plenty of stretch and movement in these airy shorts that have a built-in mesh brief to ensure that your shorts stay in place during running and other dynamic workouts.
Reviewers Say: "Absolutely love these shorts! Super comfy and they don’t go anywhere!" - Anonymous, Reebok Reviewer
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Nike Women's Running Shorts Tempo
Perfect for dewy spring mornings, these Nike shorts have a nylon outer layer, with a sweat-wicking compression short on the inside.
Reviewers Say: "Very comfortable short. The inside lining isn't too tight and doesn't compromise my running." - Alisa V, Nike Reviewer
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New Balance Impact Run Short 5 Inch
With two deep side pockets on the interior layer and a funky printed outer layer, these shorts would be perfect for race day Instagrams.
Reviewers Say: "My favorite running shorts! Right length, comfortable stretchy waist, zipper pocket in back for keys, and perfect fit — checks all the boxes for me! I have several and all have held up well through many washes!" - Deffie, New Balance Reviewer
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Brooks Running Chaser 7" Short
Stretchy fabric on these loose-fitting shorts means you have enough room to do lunges and hamstring stretches.
Reviewers Say: "This newer version of the Chaser is even better. What I love? the wide soft waistband. Widest I could find. The pockets are a bonus. More ventilation now in the back and same great fabric and long inseam. I ordered 2 and may have to come back for more." - Jeanne G., Brooks Reviewer