Show Some Leg: How to Buy Women's Running Shorts

By Kristen O'Connell & Takia McClendon

Are you in the market for new running shorts? With so many options on the market, sometimes it's hard to pick the running short style that will be a great fit for your workout, body type, etc. Do you like short loose-fitting shorts or long tight fitting shorts? Do you like black shorts or bright shorts with patterns?

Use this guide as a resource to find out which styles/types may be best for you. 


Your Guide To Women's Running Shorts

When choosing a short, here are the five things you want to consider: 

What type of short do you want?: The most popular styles are compression (tight fitting shorts), split shorts (very short performance styles that offers a great range of motion), and v-notch shorts (the most popular style). 

How long do you like your shorts?: Running short inseams are typically between 3 inches and 7 inches (although there are shorter and longer ones available). If you don't want to show a lot of skin or want to prevent your legs from possibly rubbing together, consider a longer compression short. If you're looking for short and "flowy", try 3" v-notch or split shorts. 

How many (if any) pockets do you need? Will you be carrying your phone, keys, and/or ID? If so, you'll definitely need to think about storage. A lot of short options will have pockets built in the waist band or side panels. Some shorts even have zipper pockets to keep your items secure. 

What are your shorts made of?: The best running shorts are made with synthetic materials that wick away moisture and keep you dry. Although the price tag on cotton shorts may seem more appealing, don't forget that cotton absorbs moisture and can lead to uncomfortable rubbing and chafing. 

Do you want a liner? (And should you wear underwear?): A lot of running shorts will have a brief or compression liner built in. They're designed to help prevent infection and keep you dry. If you're wondering if you should wear underwear with them, the answer is typically no. Remember, you want to keep your bottoms dry so there's no need to add extra layers when there's a built-in brief. 


Brooks 5" Chaser Short

Brooks 5" Chaser Short

Ready to apply what you learned?

Stop by one of our shops and try on some of our popular short styles. If none of the shorts below stand out to you, you can try many other options in-store. 

Oiselle Roga Shorts $48: made with a stretchable polyester and spandex fabric blend. Thick yoga waistband with drawstring, rear pocket, build in liner with key pocket. Comes in many different lengths and styles:

  • Summer Roga $52: A nylon based fabric with mesh panels for a soft, lightweight summer running short. 
  • Long Roga $52: Not a fan of 4” inseam? Rogas come in a 6’’ inseam with an extra front pocket big enough to fit your smart phone! 

Brooks Greenlight 7” short tight : Features flatlock seams for comfortable chafe-free feel, wide waistband with a sweat resistant pocket that is strategically placed to make sure your essentials don’t move! With Brooks Drilayer Horsepower materials, it gives you supportive feel and helps wick away sweat from your body.

Nike Flex Rival Short

Nike Flex Rival Short

Nike Rival Flex Short $45: Made with Nike’s famous Dri-Fit technology, these shorts have a breathable flex material with a recycled polyester brief for long-lasting comfort. It also has three pockets: two external pockets and one zippered pocket. Not sure about the length you prefer? These shorts comes with in two lengths : 3” and 5” and a 2-in-1 with a  spandex liner. 

Brooks 5” Chaser Shorts $48: these seamless has a knit power waist with two pockets, one that is sweat resistant and can fit a iPhone 6. The side petal slit is flexible and allows for a full range of motion, and long run lasting comfort with a built in brief liner. 

Stop in one of our shops and ask a Wellness Guide to help you find the perfect short styles for you.