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 have a single pair of go-to workout shorts, but not all workout clothing is made equal. Upgrading your workout wardrobe — whether workout shorts, gym shoes or even workout underwear — can make you start hitting the gym again or even help smash through a plateau.
What Makes a Good Pair of Workout Shorts?
When looking for a good pair of men’s workout shorts, there are several features to look for, like moisture-wicking properties, quick-drying abilities and ventilation ports. Essentially, you want designs that ensure a comfortable workout experience even while sweating bullets.
Sweating is beneficial but it can make for a miserable time if you’re not exercising in the appropriate fitness gear. Depending on the material, the wrong workout clothes can cause strong body odor, soggy shorts and even chafing. That’s why it’s worthwhile to invest in shorts made of polyester and spandex-like materials. A few other things you want in your workout shorts are a liner to provide ample support and pockets to store your personals.
SPY rounded up some of the best men’s workout shorts. Some are just great overall, some are solid, affordable options and others are better for specific athletic activities, including cycling, running and weightlifting.
Check out SPY’s picks below. Even if your shorts don’t help you set a new PR, you’ll feel more comfortable (not to mention stylish) with the new right pair of men’s workout shorts.
1. Gymshark Arrival Shorts
We love these Gymshark Arrival 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 effectively wick sweat. Truly, that’s all there is to it. Go running in them, lift weights and generally have your way in them and they’ll keep your legs feeling fresh. Plus, the affordable shorts come in an assortment of colors.
2. Adidas Aeroready Designed to Move Woven Sport Shorts
Who likes short shorts? We like shorter shorts, especially the Adidas Aeroready Designed 2 Move Woven Sport Shorts. These all-black (with white logo) shorts are made with a 100% recycled polyester plain weave. They work to keep you dry, have zippered pockets to keep your essentials and feature a trendy above-the-knee length, keeping you fresh and dry for longer during even your most rigorous routines.
3. Old Navy Go-Dry Mesh Performance Shorts
For the price of one, you get two pairs of Old Navy’s solid men’s performance shorts. They’re made of 100% polyester, making the shorts super breathable and lightweight and great for any day at the gym. Each pair of workout shorts come with an Old Navy reflective logo on the left leg and moisture-wicking technology to keep you dry.
4. maamgic Athletic Gym Shorts
BEST FOR WEIGHTLIFTING
These slim-fit shorts from Maamgic are ideal for weightlifting and strength training. They’re made with a durable fabric that doesn’t pill as much as others, even after repeated washing. Plus, the shorts have flexibility, breathability and moisture-wicking properties. Not to mention almost 5,000 reviews on Amazon and 4.6 stars in total, so you’re pretty much assured to love them.
5. Alo Yoga Chill Short
BEST FOR EASY WORKOUTS
You don’t go hard in the gym every time, and that’s when you need these Chill Shorts from Alo Yoga. The soft French terry shorts are comfy and lightweight, which will make you never want to take them off. They have a relaxed fit with an adjustable waistband and are designed to look good on any guy, no matter your size.
6. Lululemon T.H.E. Short 7″ Linerless
BEST FOR TRAINING
These linerless shorts from Lululemon are made with 100% recycled polyester to keep you going through any training sessions. Complete with a sweat-wicking, four-way stretch, these are the shorts that will bring you through runs, jogs, marathons and more. They’re available in several colors.
7. Nike Flex Stride
There’s nothing more annoying than having workout shorts without pockets. Nike has you covered with the Flex Stride shorts. These shorts come with a zippered back pocket, two side pockets and a drop-in pocket on the liner. Made of polyester with dri-fit technology, the lined shorts will keep you dry and fresh all day.
8. Sponeed Men’s Cycling Shorts
BEST FOR CYCLING
Bike shorts might now be a fashion statement, but they’re still essential for actual cycling. We like these men’s cycling shorts from Sponeed because they’re reasonably priced and feature quality padding and premium construction that works great for cyclists of all levels.
9. Myles Apparel Everyday Short
Whether you’re in the mood for a light jog or lifting some heavy weights, the Everyday Short from Myles Apparel is the way to go. They’re made of lightweight, four-way stretch fabric that offers optimal movement for any activity. They come finished with a durable water-repellent and feature bounce-proof front pockets. What makes them even better is they come in several colors and three different inseam lengths.
10. 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.
11. Rhone 5″ Mako Tech Lined Short
Everyone’s raving over 5-inch inseam shorts recently, so you’ll be on-trend in this pair from Rhone. These lined shorts are built with a lightweight material that performs under pressure and wicks moisture. As you’d imagine, you will get welt-side pockets along with a media pocket and a hidden zipper stash to keep everything where it needs to be.
12. No Bull Stretch Woven Short
BEST FOR CARDIO
Grab these R.O.W 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.
13. Mack Weldon Stratus Active Short
Going hard in the gym is the easy part when it comes to being a fitness fanatic. The hard part is trying not to overheat. Fortunately, Mack Weldon’s Active Short’s fabric is engineered with 37.5 technology that regulates your body and helps keep you cool. These shorts also feature laser-cut ventilation holes for increased breathability that will keep you fresh all day.
14. Patagonia Strider Pro Running Shorts
BEST FOR RUNNING
Whether you’re training for a marathon or just doing your daily cardio, the Pro Running Shorts from Patagonia are the best. The 5-inch shorts are lightweight and built for long strides, and designed with odor control properties and quick-drying abilities. They’re made of a blend of recycled polyester and spandex to give you the right amount of stretch and movement while in motion.
15. Champion 7″ Sport Short with Liner
BEST WITH LINER
These will be your go-to shorts for anything you have going on — and you don’t even have to wear underwear. These sport shorts come with a liner to keep everything where it needs to be on runs, jogs and workouts. Because they’re Champion, you can expect stellar quality and total comfort no matter where your day takes you.