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The 7 Best Running Shorts For Women Reviewed – 2019

Running shorts are an absolute essential if you’re going to be out running around in the heat. Even if you’re a gym-goer who prefers to get your runs in on the treadmill, you’re probably going to get hot and want something a bit lighter.

Your legs will feel liberated yet you can still use them in various seasons. However, running shorts vary widely in design, fabrics and quality.

We’ve done thorough research and found the best women’ running shorts. Keep on scrolling to read our detailed reviews and buying guide below!

For more of my recommendations, have a look through these popular Women’s Workout guide links: Running Belts, Running Hydration Packs, Running Jackets.

Quick Answer: The 7 Best Rated Running Shorts For Women

  1. NIKE Tempo Running Shorts
  2. Under Armour HeatGear Authentic Long Shorts
  3. ODODOS Power Flex Yoga Short
  4. Oiselle Toolbelt Roga Shorts
  5. adidas Women’s Running M10 Shorts
  6. Joe’s USA Ladies Track & Field Running Shorts
  7. Under Armour Women’s Fly-By Shorts

We’ve reviewed the top rated women’s running shorts, followed by a comparison table and buying guide to help you decide on a pair of shorts that will work best for you.

Best Women’s Running Shorts

 NIKE Tempo Running ShortsODODOS Power Flex Shortadidas M10 Shorts
editorschoice
Fit:LooseCompressionLoose
Waistband:ElasticElasticDrawstring
Material:PolyesterPolyester, SpandexPolyester
Pockets:Internal Key PocketInternal Key PocketInternal Key Pocket

Women’s Running Shorts Reviews

You may have heard of the little brand called “Nike”, before, so it probably comes as no surprise that the Tempo’s are our Editor’s Choice as the best women’s running shorts.

Nike produces quite a few different models of running shorts, but their Tempo is our favorite and the favorite of many others. They stand out particularly, for their performance, quality, affordability, and comfort, among other things.

Even if they didn’t have the low price tag that they do, we’d still place them at the top of our list.

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As you know, a good running short can easily be ruined by an improperly-placed inseam. The three-inch inseam on these Nike running shorts are neither too short nor too long.

The Nike Dry Tempo running shorts are made of polyester, with Nike Dri-Fit technology, designed to move moisture away from the body, even in the hottest conditions. Breathable mesh side panels aid in keeping you cool, with excellent airflow.

The adjustable elastic waistband ensures comfort and flexibility no matter which way you’re moving. The built-in briefs are also nice to have for added security and smoothness.

The lightweight running shorts also have an internal pocket for you to easily keep your ID or keys close. Oh, and they come in a ton of different color ways, so you’re bound to find the perfect pair (or 10) for your tastes!

 

NIKE Tempo Running Shorts at a Glance:

  • Colors: Dozens
  • Material: Polyester
  • Waistband: Elastic
  • Sizes: Extra-Small to 2X Plus
  • Included Pocket: Yes

Under Armour is one of the most well-known brands in the athletics world, and there’s no question why. They’re products are some of the most well-made, comfortable, stylish out there.

In addition to all of that, they’re superior to the vast majority of similar brands in overall performance. Countless professional athletes and casual runners alike find themselves decked out in Under Armour.

Let’s talk about their HeatGear Authentic Long Shorts.

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Yes, it’s true! Compression shorts can be comfortable. These 100% polyester lightweight running shorts feature a signature moisture transport system, wicking away sweat to ensure you’re dry and comfortable all the way to the finish line.

The exposed waistband is made of elastic, making it nice and stretchy. It even includes a little internal pocket to keep your valuables handy. The anti-odor technology prevents unwanted bacteria from taking up residence in your shorts, which is always nice for you and those around you.

The ultra-tight, second-skin fit will make it you feel free as you’re running – the way it should be. Even though they’re so snug, you will feel the opposite of restrained.

The 4-way stretch construction will keep its shape time after time, so you if you are looking for the best compression shorts for running, the Heatgear are a good choice!

 

Under Armour HeatGear Authentic Long Shorts at a Glance:

  • Colors: Black/Silver, White/Silver
  • Material: Polyester
  • Waistband: Elastic
  • Sizes: Extra-Small, Small
  • Included Pocket: Yes

We know that many running shorts aren’t very forgiving. If you’d like to hide or minimize certain areas of your body, it can be hard to do so.

However, with the ODODOS Power Flex Yoga Short, you get a short that is designed to give you a more streamlined look.

With the compression material, it’s stretchy enough for you to remain comfortable, while also making you look sleeker by lifting and shaping.

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The tummy control panel sucks the stomach area in, so that it instantly looks flatter. The good thing is, it’s still flexible so you can move around with ease and comfort with the 4-way stretch design.

If you’re on a budget, these are the way to go. You’ll be hard-pressed finding one of the best trail running shorts at a price like this.

The fabric works to wick away moisture from your skin, and as it’s anti-microbial, you don’t have to worry about foul odors developing. The hidden pocket is great to have, as you can keep your valuables safe without others taking notice you’re carrying them on your person.

The model comes in various gorgeous, trendy colors that are perfect for wearing out running, just as well as at a café.

 

ODODOS Power Flex Yoga Short at a Glance:

  • Colors: White, Black, Navy Heather, Charcoal Heather, Coral, Deep Purple, Gray, Grey Heather, Navy, Wine
  • Material: Polyester, Spandex, Nylon
  • Waistband: Elastic
  • Sizes: Extra-Small to 2X Large
  • Included Pocket: Yes

If you’re serious about running but need shorts that can actually hold the things you need them to, check out the Oiselle Toolbelt Roga Shorts.

These will hold more than just your keys and an ID. You can even stash some sports gels, your phone, and more in them, thanks to the elasticized stretch mesh pockets on the back waistband.

You even get a rear zipped patch pocket which securely holds your essentials. What’s more? The premium liner features a little discreet pocket for smaller items.

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The fabric is stretchy and lightweight – perfect for long runs. The adjustable drawstring waist is also comfortable, and provides a bit of security to make sure they’re not falling down or riding up.

You don’t get that many color options, but the ones that are available will turn heads. The colorways are trendy, and the short design is, too. It gives a bit of a retro vibe, but are very well-made women’s running shorts with pockets, and designed to last.

 

Oiselle Toolbelt Roga Shorts at a Glance:

  • Colors: Clean Blue, Punch/Midnight, Blaze
  • Material: Polyester, Spandex
  • Waistband: Drawstring
  • Sizes: Small, Medium, Large
  • Included Pocket: Yes

Adidas is another brand that we knew we could trust in, but we were still pleasantly surprised when trying out the M10 Running Shorts.

They come in a huge variety of colors and patterns (over 30), that are perfect for running outdoors and working out in the gym.

The lightweight pair also have a 3-inch inseam which is the perfect length for most runners out there.

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The mesh inner lining will ensure comfort, while the Adidas Climalite fabric wicks moisture away from you as you’re running so you stay happy and focused on your runs.

The 100% polyester fabric is sturdy, and made to hold up well against countless runs.

The key pocket located in the front waistband isn’t as spacious as some of the others on our guide, but they’re still good for keeping keys and cards.

They may not be as affordable as some others, but they’re durable and our pick for the best trail running shorts.

 

adidas Women’s Running M10 Shorts at a Glance:

  • Colors: Dozens
  • Material: Polyester
  • Waistband: Drawstring
  • Sizes: Extra-Small to Extra-Large
  • Included Pocket: Yes

Another pair of good running shorts that are budget-friendly are the Joe’s USA Moisture-Wicking Track & Field Running Shorts.

They’re quite similar to many of the biggest brand names out there, but at a fraction of the cost. Made of 100% polyester, they’re smooth, durable, and lightweight.

The drawstring closure is easily adjustable to make sure you have the perfect fit while you’re running, or just lounging around.

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Coming in 12 different colorways, there’s something to match your other running clothes or your shoes.

For high-performance moisture control, the fabric keeps sweat away from your skin, making sure it evaporates more quickly. The tricot side panels increase airflow, as well, to ensure you’re always nice and cool.

The crepe jersey built-in brief also assists with moisture-wicking. We also really liked that these come in a wide variety of sizes, so that runners with all body types can enjoy running in comfort and style.

 

Joe’s USA Ladies Track & Field Running Shorts at a Glance:

  • Colors: 12
  • Material: Polyester
  • Waistband: Drawstring
  • Sizes: Extra-Small to 4XL
  • Included Pocket: Yes

Yes, we’re back again with another short from Under Armour. We just couldn’t leave their Fly-By model off of our list.

Available in a ton of gorgeous colors, you can easily select something that will fit your personality perfectly. The 100% polyester pair are nice and durable, yet still soft and comfortable thanks to the lightweight woven fabric.

Instead of just a small key pocket hidden in the waistband or liner, these come with front hand pockets, as well as a hidden back storage pocket for other items.

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Their Moisture Transport System pulls sweat away from the skin, and the breathable mesh side panels help boost airflow to keep you dry at all times. The wide elastic waistband feels wonderful against the skin, and doesn’t dig in, even while twisting and turning in athletic activities.

The waistband is also quite flush against the skin, rather than creating an awkward ridge under shirts and tank tops. The reflective detailing is something that we surprisingly, rarely found on running shorts.

They’re our number one recommendation for this reason, for running in low-lit conditions.

 

Under Armour Women’s Fly-By Shorts at a Glance:

  • Colors: Dozens
  • Material: Polyester
  • Waistband: Elastic
  • Sizes: 2x Small – 2x Large
  • Included Pocket: Yes

Women’s Running Shorts Comparison Table

Running Shorts FitWaistbandMaterialPocketsRating
NIKE Tempo ShortsLooseElasticPolyesterYes4.6 / 5.0
Under Armour HeatGearCompressionElasticPolyesterYes4.4 / 5.0
ODODOS Power FlexCompressionElasticPolyester, SpandexYes3.9 / 5.0
Oiselle Roga ShortsLooseDrawstringPolyester, SpandexYes4.2 / 5.0
adidas M10 ShortsLooseDrawstringPolyesterYes4.5 / 5.0
Joe's USA Running ShortsLooseDrawstringPolyesterYes4.4 / 5.0
Under Armour Fly-ByLooseElasticPolyesterYes4.4 / 5.0

How to Choose the Best Women’s Running Shorts – Buying Guide

Best Women’s Running Shorts

Now that you’ve had the opportunity to read all of our in-depth reviews about the best running shorts for women, which pair will you be taking along for your future runs? If you’re still on-the-fence about which ones to select, that’s perfectly normal.

While they’re all excellent products, you must find the ones that are just right for your body and your needs. Keep on scrolling, to make sure you end up with the best for you!

Length

This is surprisingly an aspect that many do not look into. Shorts the go high up the thigh (mid-length/3 inches) are known to provide the most ventilation as well as the greatest range of movement.

If you’re doing serious sprinting or long-distance runs, then you should look into a pair like this. However, they may be too short for some, and could make you feel uncomfortable if that’s not your thing.

If it’s not for you, then you could look at medium length shorts, or 5 inches. These are often the coveted length, as they give you the perfect balance between competitiveness, yet a bit more modesty that some runners may feel they require. It’s definitely the most versatile length, and work well from outdoors to indoors.

You also have long length models, which are 7 inches. These are not ideal if you’re a sprinter, or if you’re a long-distance runner. If you’re just going to be jogging/running short distances, however, give this length a look. If you do opt for this length, make sure that the fabric they’re made out of is moisture-wicking.

Liner

If you’re a brand-new runner, you may be surprised to know that you’re actually not supposed to wear underwear! That may be weird at first – we understand.

However, your shorts will (or rather, should) come with an inner liner to keep you secure and comfortable. If you wear underwear in addition, it often can cause chafing and pain, which will discourage you from running. These short designs are made to keep ventilation going, while keeping you dry and clean.

Compression shorts, however, don’t have these liners, due to how tight they are. However, you also don’t need liners with them, because there’s no fabrics that will be rubbing against your skin. Again, no underwear with these!

Materials

Of course, material is essential when it comes to athleticwear. You need a fabric that’s going to hold up against regular use, yet remain comfortable and efficient. Polyester is the most common material, due to how durable it is, and how smooth and breathable it can be.

In addition, it wicks sweat away from the skin quite well so you can keep dry. Spandex is also a common fabric, which is nice and stretchy. It’s more commonly used in compression shorts, so you get the benefits of shaping, no chafing, and freedom!

Loose Vs. Compression

This brings us to our next point, which is regarding the two types of running shorts: loose shorts and compression shorts. We feature both on our guide, and you may be curious about which ones are better for you.

Loose shorts are more of the “running standard”. They’re often quite short, but can be worn out running, to the gym, and just for lounging around with ease. They come in bright patterns and usually work well at creating airflow, because they’re not tight against the skin.

Compression shorts can be worn alone, or under other pieces of clothing, if you’d like. It’s nice and convenient, as on cold days you can wear sweatpants over them, and once you get in the gym or start warming up, you can just take them off instead of having to go change completely.

They are tight against the skin, but they still provide a good amount of moisture-wicking to keep the skin dry. They also ensure you have that liberated feel as they’re stretchy and flexible.

Waistband

The waistband of a pair of running shorts is surprisingly important. After all, if the waistband doesn’t fit properly, it’s either going to dig into the skin, or fall off of you, and you don’t want either of those to happen!

Elastic waistbands are nice, as they’re stretchy and flexible. However, they’re not necessarily adjustable, so if they don’t fit you you’re kind of out of luck.

Drawstring waistbands are nice, as they are completely adjustable so you get the perfect fit every time. You can wear them for casualwear, for running, and more, and adjust them to suit whatever the situation is.

best trail running shorts

Price

How much are you willing to spend on jogging shorts for women? Think about this number before you start looking, and try not to go over it. This way, there’s no chance you end up with buyer’s remorse. Even if you love the shorts you get, if you’ve spent more than you wanted, it can cause this and no one wants that!

The price varies widely among these running shorts. Generally speaking, when you go up in price, you’ll get a bit more in terms of comfort. You can still get very durable, functional shorts at a very low price.

Pockets

What are you planning on taking with on your runs? If you just want to bring your keys with you, then that’s no problem at all. All of the shorts above feature at least a little hidden pocket for small items like them.

However, if you want to bring along sports gels and your smartphone, then you’re going to need bigger, more accommodating pockets. Ideally, the pockets will be stretchy, so that your items aren’t going to be jumping around as you’re running. Also look for pockets that are zippered so your belongings are nice and secure.

The best solution if you want to your phone or keys is to use a running belt or keep them in a hydration pack.

FAQs For Running Shorts

Q: Are my valuables going to constantly be bouncing around in the pockets as I’m running?

This will of course, depend on the model. However, most feature a stretchy material in the pocket to hold your items in place. If they don’t, they’ll often have a mesh liner that will help keep them still.

Q: Why are running shorts so short?

Longer shorts can drag on the leg, restricting movement, which could seriously affect your stride.

Q: What are split shorts?

These are shorts with less fabric, and a cut seam that runs up the side of the shorts. This design allows your legs to have a greater range of motion, with less restriction.

Q: Is there a difference between men’s and women’s running shorts?

Definitely. They not only look different, but are constructed differently throughout the waist and hips to fit each gender well.

Tips For Picking Out Running Shorts

Tip #1: To avoid chafing, stop wearing underwear with your shorts. That’s what the built-in liner is for. It is non-chafing, and is much more comfortable.

Tip #2: If you’re wearing compression shorts, make sure they’re made out of high-quality materials. Cheap or thin fabric is more likely to ride up or not stay in place. Not only will it cause you discomfort, but it’s just not going to look flattering.

Tip #3: To properly measure, look at how long the leg area is from the groin rather than your entire legs’ lengths. Some shorts will have higher waists or sit lower on the hips.

Final Thoughts

Now that you’ve learned just about everything you need to about the best women’s running shorts, which ones will be making their way to your doorstep? We hope that this article has helped you select the perfect pair for you. Thanks for tuning in, and we’ll see you again soon!

Comfort
Quality
Value

The NIKE Women's Tempo is our Editor's Choice for the best women's running shorts based on comfort, features and value.

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