As we head into April the annual gym clothes shedding begins. Off come the hoodies, the sweatpants and selection of underlayers that have gotten us through the chilly winter, all tossed to the back of the wardrobe to make way for our resplendent summer sportswear. Now the key to a successful seasonal gym wear transition is to have a few pairs of performance-enhancing, sweat-wicking gym shorts in your rotation.
Comfort is important when buying a new pair, as are pockets if you’re gyming sans gym bag — you’ll want these deep enough that your iPhone won’t slip out on the leg press.
And don’t forget looks either, with a study on 2,000 gym-going regulars finding seven in ten were more motivated to work out simply by donning their gymwear.
So, here are seven splendid gym and running shorts to take a look at, each with good looks and novel features that stand them out from the rest of the gym shorts pack.
9 Of The Best Gym And Running Shorts
Chpt3 Studio Padded Women’s Shorts
Headed by former pro cyclist and four-time stage winner on the Tour De France, David Millar, Chpt3 has quickly become one of the leading brands in the cycling kit world, offering high-quality specs to rival the bibs on the backs of the road-cycling pros.
These padded shorts are aimed less at the road cyclist though, and more the spin bunny, with a high waistband to keep your shorts in place and a female-specific pad that ensures comfort in the places you need it.
Lululemon Surge Short 6″ Lined Men’s Shorts
No longer just the number one place to pick up your yogawear, Lululemon has in recent years become a sportswear behemoth covering all sorts of athletes and needs. While these shorts are aimed at runners, they’ll make a fine short around the gym too, with a 3D-shaped pouch for breathable support as you move, flat-locked seams to reduce chafing and a built-in pocket to hold your phone. Plus the fit around the glutes and thighs has been made specifically roomy for all you leg day regulars out there.
Nike Pro Dri-FIT Flex Rep Men’s Shorts
If ever a brand has transcended sportswear to become, well, lifewear, it’s Nike. So, while these Nike Pro Dri-FIT shorts are designed with working out in mind thanks to stretchy reinforcement in high-wear areas and hem vents on the sides to help you move without restrictions, they’re also just a really good-looking pair of shorts. So, pop a white tee on top, some clean sneaks below, and bam, you’ve got yourself a neat outfit there for the hottest of summer days.
Hamilton & Hare Lyocell Drawstring Men’s Shorts
London-based loungewear experts Hamilton & Hare are a real dab hand at elevating the basics through impeccable classic fits and clothing so comfortable it needs to be worn to be believed.
These shorts are based on the brand’s popular joggers, and come in a lyocell blend, a more eco-friendly alternative to cotton made out of wood pulp, while the beautiful attention to detail truly shines through in the handsome jacquard rib and the nickel-free drawstring metal caps.
Allbirds Natural Run Women’s Shorts
Allbirds built its house on sustainable, ultra-cushy, knitted trainers, but in recent years it has started to branch out and use that know-how across the whole of the sportswear spectrum. These shorts — made Carbon Neutral don’t you know — come in a luxe merino wool blend that is naturally thermoregulating. It’s natures way of keeping you cool in the gym so you can keep your mind on that next set.
Puma Infuse Fashion Woven Women’s Shorts
Another day, another sportswear powerhouse making sustainable tracks. This time its the turn of Puma, who’ve put together some real eco-friendly features into these shorts with a recycled, water-repellent material and a seal of approval from sustainability certificators bluesign®.
Tracksmith Off Road Women’s Shorts
The retro running, throwback vibes of Tracksmith harks back to the US running boom of the ’70s — think thigh high shorts, fitted tanks and diagonal stripes. These shorts from the brand are made less for road runners, more for those trail dwellers who prefer their marathons ultra style.
And so you get a short that’s as pragmatic and hard-wearing as it gets, with a quick-drying UV-protective shell, a compressive short underneath and an adjustable elastic belt that’s exposed at the back for tucking in an extra shirt lest the first one succumbs to the terrain.
Saysky Pace 5″ Mens Shorts
One of our founder Damian’s favourite running shorts brands (along with the next choice on our list), Saysky is a Danish running apparel brand with a bold but clean aesthetic that you’ll actually want to wear beyond the gym or on a run, into the pub garden afterwards. These incredibly lightweight shorts from the brand are a bestseller, with a narrow fit to reduce wavering when running and two handy inner pockets designed to stock those all-important energy gels.
Satisfy Space‑O™ 2.5″ Distance Mens Shorts
Parisian label Satisfy has been billed as an anti-performance running brand, preferring to focus on community and culture, than shaving seconds off their wearers Strava times. What you get then is a unique fashion-running hybrid — technical silk fashioned into sweat-wicking snakeskin, or cotton tees made to look moth eaten for novel ventilation purposes.
These techwear-like perforated mesh shorts from the brand naturally stretch to your body’s movements and come with a silk lining that’s inspired by medical compression bandages.