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 2022
Lululemon Run Speed Shorts
Lululemon Run Speed Up Short (Black, 10)
Lululemon made these shorts to keep us feeling comfortable and cool from training days to race day. A continuous drawcord is easy to cinch mid-stride so we can streak past our personal records. Get up and get it! Swift Ultra fabric is sweat-wicking and four-way stretch. Smooth fabric waistband lies flat under your top and has added LYCRA fibre for great shape retention. Lightweight liner helps shorts stay in place Three-pocket waistband gives you plenty of storage options - secure your keys and cards in the back zipper pocket, and pack your gels in the two waistband pouches. Swift Ultra. 86% Polyester, 14% Elastane. Inseam: 2.5 inches. RUNS SMALL - PLEASE CONSIDER SIZING UP.
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.
Zippered pocket in rear waistband. Cons
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.
Small zippered pocket up front.
25 inch inseam super short.
Good compression – high percent spandex content. Cons
Tend to ride up in the thighs.
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!
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
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.
Built in undies/liner.
Scallop cut with room to move.
Drawstring close for added security. Cons
Run small, order up a size.
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.
Climalite fabric keeps you dry.
Small key pocket up front.
Mesh underwear lining. Cons
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!
5-inch inseam, a few inches more than most.
Internal drawstring in the waistband.
Made with NB dry fabric, keeps you dry. Cons
Best women’s running shorts 2022 for tall or curvy ladies.
Rogue Women's Runner Shorts
Check Price on Rogue Fitness
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.
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.
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.
Generous 5-inch inseam. Cons
Waist is designed to sit low.
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.
Elastic waist for comfort, with drawstring for security.
Zippered key pocket.
Scalloped hem allows complete freedom of movement. Cons
The drawstring can come out in the wash.
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.
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.
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!
Two handy front pockets.
Light colored fabrics show sweat.
Super cute, super comfy running shorts for women.
2XU Women's Mcs Run Compression Shorts
2XU Women's Mcs Run Compression Shorts, Black/Nero, Medium
Benefits: MCS (muscle containment stamping) mapping targeted to quad to help reduce strain and soreness to muscles | UPF50+ Sun protection Features: reflective logos for greater visibility | rear zip pocket to keep essentials secure | flatlock seams to reduce chafing | Fabrics: PWX flex 70D to front panels & PWX weight 105D to back panels | powerful compression fabric using invista lycra for fit, support & durability | moisture wicking yarns to help keep you dry Active: running, training, competition, aerobic sports, gym/fitness and hiking
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.
High intensity graduated compression.
Flat seams will not chafe the skin.
Moisture-wicking fabric. Cons
Side mesh is see through.
Best women’s compression running shorts.
Ron Hill Women's Momentum Twin Shorts
Ron Hill Women's Momentum Twin Shorts, Peacock Hex, 2
BREATHABLE | Made with breathable fabric that allows air to circulate and move freely throughout. WICKING | Moisture wicking fibers draw moisture away from the body, through the fabric to the outer surface. At the outer surface the moisture evaporates into the air helping to keep you dry. This enhances comfort whilst running. RELAXED FIT | Features a relaxed fit for comfort. Back zip security pocket. Inner short: stretch for added movement and support.
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.
Two in one compression inner and flexlite outer.
Reflective trim detail.
Zippered rear pocket. Cons
Not available in sizes over 16.
Best women’s running shorts to avoid chafing.
Joe's USA Ladies Track & Field Running Shorts
Ladies Moisture-Wicking Track & Field Running Shorts. Black/ White/ Black, Medium
Joe's USA - Ladies Moisture-Wicking Track & Field Running Shorts in Ladies Sizes: XS-4XL. Printed with Joe's USA Logo Inside For training or relaxing, our feminine short keeps pace with high-performance moisture control. Tricot side panels provide breathability and add athletic style. 2.4-ounce, 100% polyester shell. 3.8-ounce, 100% moisture-wicking polyester tricot side panels 2.8-ounce, 100% moisture-wicking polyester crepe jersey built-in brief. Elastic waistband with drawcord. 3.25-inch inseam In Sizes: X-Small (size-2), Small (4-6), Medium (8-10), Large (12-14), X-Large (16-18), 2X-Large (20-22), 3X-Large (24-26), 4X-Large (28-30)
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.
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.
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.
Drawstring close with elastic band.
Made with sweat-wicking fabric. Cons
Runs a just a smidge large.
Comfortable, colorful, fun and functional – great every day running shorts for women.
Salomon Women's Agile 2-in-1 Shorts
Salomon Women's Agile 2in1 Short, X-Small, Black
Adjustability : The flat waistband won't bind or chafe when you move, and an adjustment cord keeps it in place. Secure carrying : Secure zipped pocket on the back of the hip is ideal for a credit card or key FOB. Quick drying : Both the inner and outer layers are made from light, fast drying stretch fabric that feels great when you heat up.
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.
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.
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.
2 gel pockets and one back zippered phone pocket.
Laser cut liner.
3-inch inseam. Cons
The front panel does not lay completely flat.
Best women’s trail running shorts to hold gels and other small belongings.
Nike Women's Dri-fit Tempo Track Shorts
Nike Women's Dri-fit Tempo Track 3.5 Short (Black/White/Wolf Grey, Large)
Nike Dry fabric helps you stay dry and comfortable. 3" inseam features a curved hem for great range of motion. Side mesh panels ventilate to keep you cool. Internal audio pocket on the back-right provides convenient storage for small items. Elastic waistband with an internal drawcord for a personalized fit. Drawcord has Nike Running and Swoosh design trademark print.
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.
Curved hem for maximum range of motion.
Many colors available. Cons
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.
Two zippered pockets.
Drawstring waistband secure the shorts well. Cons
Cute, comfortable, fashionable and practical.
Saucony Women's Endorphin Split Shorts
Saucony Women's Endorphin Split Shorts, Raspberry Beret, Medium
2.5 inch inseam with extra wide leg splits that won't get in your way Lightweight and breathable in an allover stretch fabric that wicks away the sweat Waterproof back zippered pocket to safely store your essentials Elastic waistband with continuous draw cord that stays put in the laundry Traditional brief liner with flat, chafe-free seams for comfort
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.
Zippered back pocket that’s waterproof.
Reflective trim allows others to see you. Cons
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.
Climalite fabric keeps moisture and heats away.
Small water-resistant zippered pocket.
Drawcord at the waist. Cons
Don’t sit completely flat in front.
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?
Small zippered pocket.
5-inch inseam. Cons
White color easily shows dirt.
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.
Continuous drawstring won’t get pulled out in the washing machine.
Side seam split/cutout allows ease of movement.
Zippered storage pocket in back.
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?
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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