If you’ve been even remotely clued into the fitness conversation over the past 20 years, you’ve definitely heard of CrossFit, the full-body fitness regimen with a cult-like following and locations sprinkled across seemingly every city in the country. CrossFit incorporates a circuit approach with a range of functional strength training and fat-burning movements — from Olympic powerlifting and calisthenics to kettlebell workouts and high-intensity interval training. That means if you’re headed to CrossFit, prepare to leave with your heart rate through the roof, your shirt drenched and your muscles toasted.
The unique nature of CrossFit training — blending explosive movements with cardio — demands a wardrobe that’s equally bespoke. CrossFit advocates swear by using certain shoes and other accessories to help them get the most out of their workout of the day (WOD, in CrossFit land).
The best shorts for CrossFit should embody a similar “ready-for-anything” philosophy, with stretchy material that moves with you and a slim fit that won’t get in the way as you sprint between squats, kettlebell swings and pull-ups. We recommend going with a slightly shorter inseam — like 7 inches (or 5, if you don’t mind showing a little thigh) — to make sure that material doesn’t slow you down. Many of the best shorts for CrossFit feature a built-in liner, which generally keeps things more stable (*ahem*) down there. You can certainly go the linerless route and wear compression shorts you already own, but odds are that the liner and shorts of the built-in option will work better in tandem.
1. Ten Thousand Interval Short
If you’ve shopped for workout shorts before, odds are you’ve been inundated with ads for these shorts from Ten Thousand. The company’s ad spending, as it turns out, isn’t unfounded. Its Interval Shorts are one of the best shorts for CrossFit based on their versatility, fit and customization options. The thick elastic waistband and stretchy material combination means the shorts will move with you and won’t ride up while you’re knocking out all those explosive movements. The Interval Short is available in 11 different colors, and perhaps the best feature is the ability to customize inseam length and the inclusion or exclusion of a built-in shorts liner. The price below corresponds with the 7-inch liner version.
Ten Thousand Interval Short
2. Lululemon License to Train Lined 7-inch Short
Over the years, Lululemon has garnered a pretty stellar reputation for its high-quality activewear. The brand’s License to Train shorts are no different, sporting a tapered fit lined with compression shorts for even the deadliest of CrossFit workouts. The liner even features a zippered pocket for secure storage. That brand name recognition comes at a price though, as these shorts will run you almost $100.
3. Vuori Stockton Short
Just because you’ll be drenched in sweat doesn’t mean you can’t look stylish. These training shorts from Vuori feature a throwback style with its retro trim along the edges. From a performance perspective, the Stockton Short blends polyester and elastane, a hidden adjustable waistband and that coveted built-in liner.
Vuori Stockton Short
4. Anthem Athletics Hyperflex 7″ Men’s Cross-Training Shorts
There’s an argument to be made for splurging on something you’ll surely get a ton of use out of. But there’s also a case for saving a little cash on a pair of shorts that are bound to take a beating with regular workouts. On the cheaper end of the spectrum, we have these cross-training shorts from Anthem Athletics, which boast the familiar elastic waistband and stretchy fabric of other options on this list, but with a $30 price tag. These come in a number of sweet colors, and Anthem Athletics also offers a 5-inch version.
Anthem Athletics Hyperflex 7
5. Nike Flex Stride 5″ 2-in-1 Running Shorts
It’s really hard to go wrong with anything Nike puts out these days. These 5-inch running shorts feature the compression liner that’s so key with CrossFit, but is actually a bit longer than the shorts themselves. This allows you to opt for the shorter, 5-inch pair (which will stay out of your way during workouts) without having to show too much thigh. These shorts come in a handful of bright colors and utilize recycled materials in the fabric.
Read more: Best Running Shorts for Men
Nike Flex Stride 5
6. COOFANDY Workout Shorts (2-Pack)
Need to restock your CrossFit shorts drawer on a budget? Take a look at this two-pack of workout shorts from COOFANDY, which costs just over $30. These shorts blend nylon and spandex for a stretchy fit that will also dry quickly, which comes in handy during intense HIIT workouts, and would even work well if you decide to take a dip in the pool during or after your workout. They’re offered in a nearly-overwhelming number of different color combinations and have more than 5,000 reviews on Amazon.
COOFANDY Workout Shorts
7. Reebok Workout Ready Shorts
The built-in liner feeling isn’t for everyone. Maybe you’ve already got a ton of compression shorts in your closet, or want to throw on some workout tights when the weather dips. Either way, these affordable shorts from Reebok are a great choice for CrossFit, with a recycled polyester material, elastic waist and a handful of simple colors to choose from.
Reebok Workout Ready Shorts
8. Rogue Fitness Black Ops 6.5″ Shorts
BEST BRAND CONSISTENCY
Rogue Fitness is one of the biggest manufactures of gym equipment and even have a special collection devoted to CrossFit, from kettlebells and plates to ropes and dumbbells. Given that familiarity with CrossFit, Rogue’s Black Ops shorts pair well with any WOD, with a stretchy feel and moderate length for ultimate mobility.
Rogue Fitness Black Ops 6.5
9. Under Armour Stretch Train Cloud Shorts
The muted blacks and greys — chic and versatile as they may be — are all too familiar in the world of activewear. Why not make a fashion statement while pushing your body to its limits? These training shorts from Under Armour come in three colors with cloud-inspired patterns, two of which are about as eye-catching as a pair of shorts could be.
Under Armour Stretch Train Cloud Shorts
10. Rhone 7″ Essentials Training Short
Rhone’s Essentials Training Shorts come in three no-fills colors — black, navy and gray — making this a versatile pair of shorts to combine with a loud, stylish top or a similar color for a monochromatic look. The simplicity of the design means you could sport these on a regular basis, too, or just keep the sleek vibes going on your way to your post-WOD coffee.