It’s simple right?
If you are a lady runner, you only have a few wishes for your dream pair of running shorts.
NO wedgies, NO riding up, NO chafing and pocket or two!
Is that too much to ask?!
I say NO.
In fact, I have hand assembled this list of the 23 best running shorts for women I could find.
TOP 23 Best Women’s Running Shorts of 2021 Lululemon Run Speed Shorts Review: Run Speed Shorts by Lululemon are a favorite for a reason. They have an internal continuous drawstring that will not work its way out of the shorts in the wash.
They also sit away from the leg, allowing a full range of motion.
These shorts have a liner, aka, built-in underwear that keeps them from riding up and helps them stay put as you move.
Pros Very short. Thick material. Internal drawstring. Zippered pocket in rear waistband. Cons Takeaway
Best women’s running shorts that don’t ride up!
Oiselle Women's Mini Stride Shorts Review: These very short running shorts are virtually indestructible and can be worn mile after mile without showing wear.
They are really short, second skin style running shorts that hug your curves. Plus they are really, really cute.
Pros Small zippered pocket up front. 25 inch inseam super short. Good compression – high percent spandex content. Cons Tend to ride up in the thighs. Takeaway
Really short body hugging running shorts.
Under Armour Women's HeatGear Armour 2-In-1 Shorty Review: I love these two in one shorts by Under Armour. They have built-in spandex compression under layer to prevent chafing and add a little style to the shorts.
The outer layer is made from a light, well-ventilated material that is scalloped at the thigh for freedom of movement.
These running shorts both look good and perform well. You can’t ask for more!
Pros 2 in 1, fitted compression under layer & scalloped roomier outer layer. Sweat-wicking and anti-odor technology built in. Pinhole ventilation of inner and outer layer. Cons Takeaway
Thanks to the built in spandex underlayer these are some of the best women’s running shorts to prevent chafing
Nike Women's 10k Running Shorts Review: These reasonably priced Nike 10k running shorts are short, but not too short. They are lined, and the won’t ride or bunch up, which I appreciate.
They even have a drawstring you can cinch up just to be sure they stay up.
One caution: these tend to run small and I would advise getting a size larger then you normally do, especially if you are curvy.
Pros Built in undies/liner. Scallop cut with room to move. Drawstring close for added security. Cons Run small, order up a size. Takeaway
Best women’s long distance running shorts.
Adidas Women's Running M10 Shorts Review: These Adidas running shorts are easy and breezy and are perfect for a short midday run.
The Climalite material keeps you dry and the cut and design of the shorts prevent the fabric from rubbing and chafing as you go.
As an added bonus, these shorts sport the classic Adidas three stripe styling you know and love.
Pros Climalite fabric keeps you dry. Small key pocket up front. Mesh underwear lining. Cons Takeaway
Stay cool and look cool with these Adidas Climalite M10 running shorts for women.
New Balance Women's Accelerate Shorts Review: What I love about the New Balance Women’s Accelerate 5” shorts is the 5-inch inseam which gives just a little bit more coverage.
They have petal style hems, so you can still move around well, the extra length does not get in the way.
If you have long legs or a curvy behind, you will appreciate the extra coverage these shorts provide-trust me!
Pros 5-inch inseam, a few inches more than most. Lined. Internal drawstring in the waistband. Made with NB dry fabric, keeps you dry. Cons Takeaway
Best women’s running shorts 2021 for tall or curvy ladies.
Rogue Women's Runner Shorts Review: These Rogue Runner shorts have you covered-literally. Whether you are squatting, running, climbing, or jumping, the extra inch or two at the inseam prevents you from baring it all.
These have a small hidden pocket for a key or cash, and stylish Rogue logo down the side.
These are very attractive running shorts that are also performing very well. You won’t be disappointed.
Pros 4-inch inseam- short but not too short. Scallop style hem for ease of movement. Built-in liner. Cons The built-in liner/panty runs small. Takeaway
These comfy ROGUE running shorts will become your new favorite!
These shorts also work really well for CrossFit. If you CrossFit, check out this list of
best CrossFit shorts for women. Brooks Women's Go-to Shorts Review: These Brooks running shorts are super comfortable. The two things that make them stand out are the longer 5-inch inseam which offers good coverage for your backside, and the pocket that is large enough to hold your smartphone.
What’s more, these shorts are made with a loose flowing design that is simply roomier than most women’s running shorts.
Pros Large pocket. Built-in liner. Generous 5-inch inseam. Cons Waist is designed to sit low. Takeaway
Best women’s running shorts with pockets large enough to hold a phone.
The North Face Women's GTD Running Shorts Review: These shorts are designed for marathon running and other long distance races and training.
They are made with a sweat-wicking stay dry liner so you can focus on the road ahead in comfort.
They have a handy waistband pocket that has a zipper so your gear stays secure, and stretch mesh panels that allow the shorts to breathe while they hug your curves.
Pros Elastic waist for comfort, with drawstring for security. Sweat-wicking liner. Zippered key pocket. Scalloped hem allows complete freedom of movement. Cons The drawstring can come out in the wash. Takeaway
Best women’s running shorts for marathon.
ASICS Women's Pocketed Shorts Review: These short running shorts are super lightweight and allow a complete range of motion.
The best feature of these Asics running shorts are the two side seam pockets, which are big enough to hold a phone and other small things.
They are available in so many fun colors, it’s hard to choose just one.
Pros 2 large side seam pockets. Notch at the side seam increases range of motion. Quick drying, 100% polyester. Cons More flared and less fitted than other running shorts. Takeaway
Best women’s running shorts with pockets, large enough to hold a phone.
Under Armour Women's Fly-By Shorts Review: Under Armour Fly-by shorts are one of the bestsellers for a reason. They are form fitting, without being tight.
They have two front pockets to comfortably hold your things, and they are cut out at the seam so it’s really easy to move in them without feeling exposed.
They are flattering which, let’s be honest, not all running shorts are!
Pros Flattering cut. Two handy front pockets. Lined. Cons Light colored fabrics show sweat. Takeaway
Super cute, super comfy running shorts for women.
2XU Women's Mcs Run Compression Shorts Review: These high elastane running shorts can be worn by themselves or with looser fitting shorts for complete comfort and coverage.
They are high compression shorts that sit mid-thigh and are the perfect length for chafe-free running.
Pros High intensity graduated compression. Flat seams will not chafe the skin. Moisture-wicking fabric. Cons Side mesh is see through. Takeaway
Best women’s compression running shorts.
Ron Hill Women's Momentum Twin Shorts Review: These attractive two in one Twin running shorts are made by the UK based RonHill brand.
They have a compression short inner with a light flexible outer. They come in two attractive colors and are made from breathable, sweat-wicking material that keeps you comfortable and dry.
Pros Two in one compression inner and flexlite outer. Reflective trim detail. Zippered rear pocket. Cons Not available in sizes over 16. Takeaway
Best women’s running shorts to avoid chafing.
Joe's USA Ladies Track & Field Running Shorts Review: Joe knows what’s up! These old school style track and field running shorts for women are awesome.
I love the inclusive sizing-from Extra small all the way up to 4 XL, cool!
They have mesh side panels that keep you aired out, and are made from moisture-wicking fabric so you stay dry.
Pros Curved cutout at the side for a great range of motion and a flattering look. Very well ventilated yet NOT see through. Flattering cut for ALL sizes. Cons They run a bit large in the waist. Takeaway
Cute, functional and inexpensive and inclusive, these women’s running shorts are a winner!
Adidas Women's Run It Shorts Review: These Adidas run-it shorts are comfy and cute. They are roomy, with a great range of movement.
They have a short, but not too short 4-inch inseam and a flattering fit.
They are high rise back shorts and offer ample coverage, even for us curvy ladies.
Pros 4-inch inseam. Drawstring close with elastic band. Made with sweat-wicking fabric. Cons Runs a just a smidge large. Takeaway
Comfortable, colorful, fun and functional – great every day running shorts for women.
Salomon Women's Agile 2-in-1 Shorts Review: Solomon 2 in 1 stretch running shorts provide a compression layer underneath with a breathable roomy outer layer complete with reflective details that help others see you.
I love that these have a zippered side hip pocket that is big enough for a smartphone and a drawstring to keep them secure.
Pros The hip pocket is zippered and secure-large enough to hold a phone. A drawstring keeps shorts in place. Breathable mesh outer helps you stay cool. Cons Would be nice if the inner compression layer was a few inches longer. Takeaway
Close fitting, comfortable 2 in one shorts with large zippered pocket.
La Sportiva Women’s Snap Running Shorts Review: Oh snap! These are some nice trail running shorts! They have an attractive, flattering, curve-hugging fit with a dynamic, eye-catching, contrasting color design.
The best part?
These shorts have two front pockets for gels and small items, plus a zippered secured pocket in the back that is big enough to hold your phone.
Pros 2 gel pockets and one back zippered phone pocket. Laser cut liner. 3-inch inseam. Cons The front panel does not lay completely flat. Takeaway
Best women’s trail running shorts to hold gels and other small belongings.
Nike Women's Dri-fit Tempo Track Shorts Review: Possibly the most popular women’s running shorts of all time, the Nike Tempos deserve their reputation.
These shorts are quite durable – some might say indestructible, they are lightweight and breathable, and they won’t give you a wedgie or ride up.
They come in lots of colors and sizes up to 3x so you are sure to find your perfect pair.
Pros Curved hem for maximum range of motion. No liner. Many colors available. Cons Takeaway
Most popular running shorts for women of all time.
Oiselle Women's Roga Shorts Review: Possibly the most fashion-forward running shorts, the Oiselle Roga are not short on style or functionality.
They have a really flattering fit and a barely there super lightweight fabric that is really comfortable to run in.
The waist is also surprisingly comfortable, won’t ride up, or cut into your tummy.
Pros Two zippered pockets. 4-inch inseam. Drawstring waistband secure the shorts well. Cons Takeaway
Cute, comfortable, fashionable and practical.
Saucony Women's Endorphin Split Shorts Review: Feel the runners high while wearing these Saucony Endorphin Split shorts that will help you push on mile after mile.
This pair of shorts has something I have not seen on any other shorts, a waterproof zippered back pocket.
With its split seam and stretch material, these shorts allow you to move freely for a comfortable secure run.
Pros 5-inch inseam. Stretchy material. Zippered back pocket that’s waterproof. Reflective trim allows others to see you. Cons Takeaway
Attractive and useful short running shorts with a waterproof pocket.
Adidas Women's Running Adizero Split Shorts Review: I am attracted to these running shorts because of the appealing striped designed and became a believer because of the useful features like a small water-resistant pocket, split hems that allow you to move, and Climalite fabric that keeps you cool and dry.
They are a bit short, but if you like your running shorts really short and really cute, give these Adidas Adizeros a trial run.
Pros Climalite fabric keeps moisture and heats away. Small water-resistant zippered pocket. Really short. Drawcord at the waist. Cons Don’t sit completely flat in front. Takeaway
Attractive, really light weight, really short running shorts for women.
Gaiam Women's Warrior Running Shorts Review: Gaiam is that Yoga brand, right? OK, runners, hear me out. These Gaiam Warrior shorts are GREAT for running.
They have a split seam so you can move, mesh ventilation panels to keep you cool, special French terry sweat-wicking material to keep you dry, a handy drawcord so you can tie them and keep them secure and a modest yet not too long 5-inch inseam.
Ready to give them a try?
Pros Drawstring. Small zippered pocket. 5-inch inseam. Cons White color easily shows dirt. Takeaway
Flattering and functional running shorts.
Saucony Women's Impulse Shorts Review: These Saucony shorts are cute, feminine women’s running shorts.
They have a flattering cut and design that hugs your curves and moves with you, while allowing your legs complete freedom to move.
Pros Continuous drawstring won’t get pulled out in the washing machine. Side seam split/cutout allows ease of movement. Zippered storage pocket in back. Takeaway
Non-chafing, no rising up, made for the summer, long distance running shorts.
Women’s Running Shorts FAQs How to Avoid a Wedgie While Wearing Running Shorts?
The main contributing factor to the dreaded wedgie is underwear that is too big. That is one reason you often see running shorts that are lined or have built-in underwear.
Some shorts overcome “hungry butt” problem by including an inner compression shorts layer so your bum won’t eat your shorts as you run.
These shorts are often called two in one shorts, like the
Salomon Women’s Agile 2in1 Short and Under Armour Women’s HeatGear Armour 2-In-1 Shorty I featured in my list above. Pro tip: If you buy a pair of shorts with a built-in liner, do NOT size up! The extra fabric contributes to the problem.
Look for a close, snug fit and avoid having to tug, dislodge or adjust your shorts mid-run.
How Long Should Women’s Running Shorts be?
Really, whatever you are comfortable with. Most women’s running shorts are between 2 and 5 inches at the inseam.
A two-inch inseam puts you at risk of exposing your bun bottoms to the world, but some women swear by them and honestly, they are really comfortable to run in.
Best of all, these sure short shorts stay outta your way and minimize chafing.
Longer shorts offer more coverage and are a good choice for curvy ladies. I am curvy so I speak from experience. If I bend over, the size and shape of my rear will expose me if I wear shorts with a short inseam, so I like 4 or 5-inch inseam shorts.
Rogue makes a good running short with a 4-inch inseam. Should I Get Running Shorts with a Liner or Built-in Underwear?
Opinions are divided when it comes to the built-in liner. I personally love them, and so do many other female runners. These built-in liners make the shorts one with your underwear and prevent them from riding up or causing a wedgie. Very Zen-like, right?
Plus, the liner is usually made of super thin mesh material that dries really quick-probably faster that your go-to undies.
So if you ask me-yes, you should look for running shorts that are lined.
May I suggest the
Nike Women’s 10k Shorts for short races or the La Sportiva Women’s Snap Running Shorts for trail runs? What are the Best Women’s Running Shorts Brands?
My favorite brands for women’s running shorts are Nike, Oiselle, North Face, Brooks, Saucony, Adidas, La Sportiva, Rogue, Under Armour, 2XU, Vuori, New Balance and Lululemon.
Looking for the best running shoes to match the shorts you are planning to get?
Look no further, I have specially curated this list of the
best running shoes for women. What are the Most Important Features of Running Shorts for Women? Zippered Pockets
For me, zippered pockets are a must. If you are running, you are bouncing and shaking, and you can bounce or shake your keys or phone right out of your pocket.
When you are running, as you know, you sweat! And it can get ugly! That’s why you need shorts that breathe and release all that heat and moisture away from your body.
Never let them see you sweat! Is my motto, even if I did steal it from Dry Idea. But whatever!
The point is, the best women’s running shorts must breathe, ventilate, circulate air. You get the point.
Ability to Move Without Chafing
This is a must, especially if you run long distances. Some shorts have cutouts or scallops that allow your legs to move better.
Some use a compression layer to prevent chafing.
If you really find chafing a problem no matter what you wear, try BodyGlide anti-chafe sticks, they can be used just about anywhere on your body where chafing is a problem.
I love the humble and underappreciated drawcord. It really deserves more love.
Sure, the elastic waistband probably does a good job keeping your shorts up, but if you are running with a phone, and that phone is bouncing around, the waistband can shift.
Not so with a well-secured drawstring. Just saying.
Oh, and if you are curvy like me, with a smaller waist and bigger hiney, then a drawstring cord is a lifesaver.
Well, that’s all she wrote, ladies.
Until next time, I will see you out on the trail!
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