The right equipment can make or break a workout. Not only does the right gear offer a chance to improve your performance, but it’s also a great motivator for exercising more, and men’s workout shorts are one piece of gear you should consider changing up.
Most guys just have a single pair of go-to workout shorts, but not all workout clothing is made equal. Upgrading your workout wardrobe — whether workout shorts, workout shoes or even workout underwear — can elevate your whole game, make you start hitting the gym again or even help smash through a plateau.
If you’re not sure which shorts will be best for your sport or exercise, read on. We’ve rounded up some of the best men’s workout shorts. Some are just great overall, some are just solid cheap options and others are better for specific athletic activities, including cycling, running, weightlifting and more.
Check them out below because even if you don’t notice improvement with your exercises, we’d bet you’ll still feel more comfortable doing them with the right pair of men’s workout shorts.
1. Under Armour Men’s Tech Graphic Shorts
We love these Under Armour Men’s Tech Graphic Shorts because they’re meant for people who exercise the right way, which is to say the hot, sweaty, messy way. These men’s workout shorts are soft, ultralight and they effectively wick sweat and dry out quickly. Truly, that’s all there is to it. Go running in them, lift weights and just generally have your way with them and they’ll keep your legs feeling fresh.
2. Adidas Men’s Aeroready 3-Stripes Workout Shorts
Who likes short shorts? We like shorter shorts, especially the Adidas Men’s Aeroready 3-Stripes Workout Shorts.
They’re basic for sure, but 100% polyester works to keep you dry, zippered pockets keep your essentials in your pocket and the relatively short 8-inch length improves airflow, keeping you feeling fresher and drier for longer during even your most rigorous routines.
3. Amazon Essentials Men’s 2-Pack Loose-Fit Performance Shorts
If you’re less concerned with the ideal men’s workout shorts for this or that workout, you might consider a great value pick like the Amazon Essentials Men’s 2-Pack Loose-Fit Performance Shorts.
For the price of one, you get two of these generally solid men’s workout shorts. Polyester helps deal with sweat and the loose fit will ride up less during leg-intensive workouts like squats.
4. Hanes Men’s Jersey Short
If you don’t care too much about the quality, brand or design of your shorts or merely want to get some new workout shorts on the absolute cheap, the Hanes Men’s Jersey Short is the way to go.
These shorts combine cotton and polyester to deliver the basic comfort and sweat-wicking you need to get through your workout.
Plus, though pockets can be divisive on workout gear (should you really need to carry stuff when exercising?), they are so undeniably convenient in these cheap workout shorts that you likely use these shorts when chilling on the couch.
Just be aware that the solid color Hanes shorts don’t use any polyester. The heather colors, like the charcoal heather seen below, do use some polyester.
5. Reebok Men’s Drawstring Shorts
BEST FOR CARDIO
Grab these Reebok shorts whenever you’re going to be sweating, huffing and puffing for an extended amount of time. They’re simple, comfy, and great for a range of cardio-based activities from running to basketball.
6. Pinkbomb Men’s 2-in-1 Running Shorts
BEST FOR RUNNING
The one situation you’ll probably need to carry something during exercise is when you’re out running. Whether it’s for music or safety, having a phone with you can be a lifesaver. But nothing sucks more than running with a phone bouncing around in your pocket, so what’s a runner to do?
The Pinkbomb Men’s 2-in-1 Running Shorts effectively resolved this problem through its two-layer shorts. The top layer is your traditional breathable, light mesh fabric, but the bottom layer is a compression short with a phone pocket meant to keep your phone tight against your leg. The outer layer also has a headphone hole so you can still listen to music while running.
For the rest of your valuables, zippered side pockets have got you covered.
7. Under Armour Men’s Raid 10-Inch Workout Gym Shorts
BEST FOR CROSSFIT
Crossfit shorts need to allow for varied movement, speed and high impact activities, but they should also provide more coverage than running shorts. We recommend a reliable overall workout short like these from Under Armour because they’re simple, lightweight and feature an ultra-soft HeatGear fabric to protect against chafing.
8. Sponeed Men’s Cycling Shorts
BEST FOR CYCLING
Bike shorts might be a fashion statement now, but they’re still essential for actual cycling. We like these men’s workout shorts from Sponeed because they’re reasonably priced, but feature quality padding and premium construction that works great for cyclists of all levels.
9. Jed North Bodybuilding Shorts
BEST FOR WEIGHTLIFTING
These slim-fitted shorts from Jed North are ideal for weightlifting and strength training. There’s no excess material to get in your way, and a polyester-spandex blend provides optimal movement.
10. Champion Core Basketball Shorts
BEST FOR BASKETBALL
If there’s one sport that definitely has its own style of men’s workout shorts, it’s basketball. Stemming more from a quirk of history than any actual functional purpose, basketball shorts tend to run longer than most other shorts.
So if you don’t want to stand out on the court, you should pick up a pair of Champion Core Basketball Shorts.
They’re 10 inches long, offering that basketball look and a little more short to wipe sweaty hands before you swish that three. They’re also 100% polyester, so they’ll breathe and wick well, and feature two basic side pockets.
11. Anthem Athletics Resilience MMA Shorts
BEST FOR MMA
Even if you’re not Conor McGregor, you should still be wearing the proper shorts while practicing MMA. This pair from Anthem Athletics is great because they have a tear-resistant, fast-drying fabric and great reviews on Amazon.
12. YogaAddict Men Yoga Shorts
BEST FOR YOGA
Stay comfortable, cool and flexible during any type of yoga with these drawstring shorts. They’re made mostly of cotton for superior comfort (compared to regular athletic shorts), but also have 6% spandex for better movement.
13. Under Armour Men’s Rival Fleece Big Logo Shorts
BEST WARM SHORTS
Nothing beats exercising outside when the temp is just cool enough to not sweat hard but not too cold that you’ll feel it in your shorts. Fleece shorts like the Under Armour Men’s Rival Fleece Big Logo Shorts will help do their part to keep your legs just a click warmer when dealing with cooler weather.
They use a mid-weight cotton-blend fleece with a brushed interior for added softness and warmth. Plus, with a 10-inch inseam, they’ll inherently keep more heat in the shorts than shorter shorts.