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Running shorts can provide flexibility and comfort while a person is exercising, and some fabrics are breathable as they allow air to flow and reduce sweating. They may also be less irritating to sensitive skin.

People can find compression shorts, which are a type of tight-fitting running shorts. A 2020 study found that compression shorts can enhance athletic performance by supporting the muscles and preventing muscular fatigue.

Furthermore, a 2014 study found that tighter fabrics, such as Lycra and profiled polyester, are the most effective for compression and recovery.

There are some factors that women should consider when buying running shorts:

  • Material. Some running shorts have a combination of materials for different purposes — for instance, a person can find a product with nylon for sweat wicking and spandex, which is a stretchy fabric that allows for movement in all directions without restrictions. Soft materials may be the best option for comfort as they do not irritate the skin. There are also eco-friendly brands that use recycled materials for their products. Some fabrics are water repelling or tear resistant, which may suit trail or long-distance runners.
  • Inseams. Shorts that have long inseams provide a lot of coverage, but those that come with shorter inseams may benefit those who are into speed running and racing as they allow greater freedom of movement for longer and quicker strides. Tighter shorts with longer inseams are generally better at preventing chafing, but athletes need to find the inseam length that works best for them.
  • Breathability. A person may also wish to look for shorts with good ventilation and sweat-wicking technology, as these can help prevent skin irritation.
  • Features. Individuals may consider buying shorts that have pockets and interior liners to prevent chaffing.

How we chose

Our writer chose the following running shorts for women based on online research and brand vetting. Our review covers different materials, styles, features, and prices.

Medical News Today chooses products that meet the following criteria:

  • Price. Products are available for a wide range of budgets.
  • Features. Products come with beneficial features, such as sweat-wicking material, pockets, adjustable waistbands, and more.
  • Options. Products are available in a range of different colors and sizes.

Please also note that the writer has not tested these products. All information in this article is research-based, and we do not intend to recommend certain products over others.

Here are some of the running shorts that women can find online:

Athleta Mesh Racer Run Shorts

These running shorts are made from recycled polyester which according to the company should feel smooth on the skin. They are water-repellent and have a mesh ventilation to avoid sweat accumulation.

They also have:

  • a nonslip waistband
  • reflective details
  • a built-in brief for extra coverage
  • two pockets
  • a secure zip
  • a hidden key pocket

They are available in three colors: black, white, and lilac and at the time of publication, they cost $49.

On-Running Running Shorts

These running shorts have a four-way stretch blend of polyamide and elastane, which are lightweight and fast-drying. The inner part features a silicone grip that prevents the shorts from riding up as a person moves.

Other features that they come with include:

  • an adjustable waistband
  • an inner brief for support
  • a reflective logo for night visibility

They are available in black, white, and blue, and they also come in different sizes.

On-running’s running shorts are available for $79.99.

Lululemon Speed Up Low-Rise Shorts

These Lululemon shorts come with a combination of nylon, elastane, and recycled polyester, and they also feature a quick-drying Lycra fiber. The company claims that the design is lightweight, and according to reviews, it can wick away sweat.

Other features include:

  • a drawcord
  • a back pocket
  • a built-in liner
  • waistband pockets

They come in 20 different colors and patterns, and they are available in two lengths: 2.5 and 4 inches (in).

As of August 2021, the price is $58.

C9 Champion Premium Knit Waistband Run Shorts

This product consists of 86% recycled polyester and 14% spandex, which wicks away moisture. It has an Ultraviolet Protection Factor (UPF) of 50+, meaning it offers sun protection too.

Other features that it comes with include:

  • an elastic waistband
  • a stash pocket
  • a quick-dry finish
  • a curved hem
  • a back zippered pocket

In addition, the shorts are available in four colors: black, peach, cranberry, and teal. They cost $20.

Nike Aeroswift Shorts

The Nike AeroSwift Shorts are made from polyester and spandex, and they are lightweight, tight-fitting and stretchy for support.

They come with:

  • a 4.5-in. inseam
  • an elastic waistband
  • a machine wash design
  • a sweat wicking technology

These are available in two colors and cost $65.

New Balance Impact Run 2 in 1 Shorts

New Balance’s shorts consist of recycled polyester and spandex and are lightweight and stretchy.

They come with fast-dry technology and a drawcord closure, that a person can adjust for a comfortable fit.

They are available in black and cost $49.99

Tasc Performance Air Flow Run Shorts

Tasc Performance is an eco-friendly brand and their product is made from sustainable materials: bamboo viscose and organic cotton.

The company claims that the shorts can wick away sweat and repel odors.

Users can also benefit from:

  • a wide waistband
  • an inner bikini layer
  • a back pocket
  • a breathability and lightweight design

There are two colors available, and the price is $26.

Tracksmith Twilight Split Shorts

These shorts are suitable for fast runners, as they have a split design so the shorts do not get in the way when a person is moving.

The material is a blend of micro-polyester and elastane, and according to the company website, it is lightweight, comfortable, and it has antimicrobial properties.

The manufacturer also uses a high-gauge knitting equipment to create the shorts’ small holes to provide more airflow.

Moreover, the shorts come in seven colors, and they have internal back pockets that hold items tight against the body.

They are available online for $52.

Outdoor Voices Flex Shorts

These shorts are made from nylon, Lycra, and polyester, and come with a sweat wicking technology.

People can choose from three different colors, and they can also find:

  • a flexible mid-rise waistband
  • a 3.5-in. inseam
  • a front storage pocket

The Outdoor Voices Flex shorts are available for $48.

Baleaf Women’s High Waist Biker Shorts

This product has three different inseam options: 8-, 7-, and 5-inch. It is available in a wide array of colors. They also have large side pockets for phones.

These shorts are made from polyester and spandex. It is flexible and stretchy, and also wicks away moisture and offers breathability.

The company states that the shorts have good compression and so, they can support the muscles.

There are various colors available, and a person can also choose from different inseam options.

The Baleaf Women’s High Waist Biker shorts are available for $16.79.

Many brands stock shorts for women who are into running, and they are available in different colors, materials, and styles. Running shorts can benefit runners by allowing for free and comfortable movement.

People should check reviews and compare the features of each product before committing to a purchase, as some have a breathable design and can repel odors. Some fabrics also wick away sweat, which can be beneficial as they cause less possibility of skin irritation.