Best Men's Running Shorts 2021
Buyer's Guide | Fleet Feet
The best men’s running shorts come in all different lengths and styles, which means every man can find the right pair.
Men’s running shorts come in a wide range of lengths. From minimal and breezy 2” split shorts that evoke classic runner vibes to full-coverage 9” models, you can pick out the length that’s most comfortable.
Different lengths aren’t the only option, though. Brands like Nike, New Balance, Brooks, On and more make men’s running shorts with plenty of different features: internal briefs, zippered pockets and technical fabrics give you all the options you need.
There are so many shorts to choose from, and your preference on sizes, brands and features will play a role in what works for you. But, for most runners, we think these are the best men’s running shorts you can buy:
- Brooks Sherpa 5" Short
- Nike Flex Flex 7” 2-in-1 Short
- New Balance Impact Run 7” Short
- On Lightweight Short
- ASICS Fietro 2-in-1 Short
- Brooks Sherpa 3" Split Short
[Updated March 14, 2021. This article is part of the Best Running Clothes 2021 Buyer’s Guide.]
Brooks Sherpa 5" Short
The men’s Brooks Sherpa 5" Short is one of the best-selling men's running shorts on the market for good reason.
Brooks loaded the 5" Sherpa Short with details to make them versatile and practical. First up, the pockets. An envelope-style pocket lines each hip for things like car keys or energy gels, and a zippered rear waistband pocket holds your ID and credit card.
Brooks cut the men’s Sherpa Short from its 100 percent polyester DriLayer fabric. The smooth fabric wicks sweat away from your skin, so you stay more comfortable even when your workout heats up. Then designers added an internal mesh boxer brief (also made from DriLayer) to give you breezy support and extra moisture-wicking power to keep you cool.
If you're looking for a little more coverage than the 5” length, Brooks also cuts it a couple inches longer with the men’s Sherpa 7” 2-in-1 Short.
Nike 7” Flex Stride 2-in-1 Short
Smooth styling and premium performance make the Nike Flex 7” 2-in-1 Short one of the best running shorts for men.
Nike designed the men’s Flex Short with its Flex fabric—a stretchy, woven fabric that won’t restrict your movement.
One of the key elements of the Flex Short is its low-profile waistband. The elastic waistband lies flat against your skin for a clean look and feel. It also has a drawcord that lets you find the right fit.
An internal drop-in pocket can hold small items, like your car keys, while a zippered rear pocket sits just below the waistband for something like a phone. Nike lined the rear pocket with a vapor guard to protect your stuff from sweat.
While the outside fabric is made from 100 percent polyester, the internal mesh lining is cut from a polyester-spandex blend to give it a just-right snugness. Nike also makes the men’s 5” Flex Stride 2-in-1 Short for runners who want a shorter cut.
New Balance Impact Run 7” Short
The New Balance Impact Run 7” Short is an elevated version of the classic, comfortable gym short, tailored specifically for running.
New Balance designed the Impact Run from a blend of new and recycled polyester fabric for a lightweight, breathable feel. A soft inner brief provides comfortable support and wicks sweat to help keep you dry.
The 7” length falls just above the knee for the ideal coverage and modern look, and a split hem gives you a greater range of motion for those post-run lunges. New Balance also included drop-in hip pockets and a zippered back pocket that’s just big enough to hold many smart phones.
On Lightweight Short
As the name suggests, the men’s On Lightweight Short is light.
At just 3.71 oz, the men’s Lightweight Short is one of the lightest men’s running shorts on the market. On achieves the feathery feel by paring the short down to its essentials.
Designers employed an ultralight polyamide-elastane blend fabric that delivers just the right amount of stretch for easy movement; a lightweight mesh brief is sewn into the short; and a flat waistband with a drawcord holds the shorts in place.
A single rear pocket centered just below the waistband can store a few small essentials, like your car keys, and the zippered closure keeps your stuff from falling out.
Ideal for racing, uptempo training days or any warm-weather outings, the men’s On Lightweight short is one of the best men’s running shorts around.
ASICS Fietro 7” 2-in-1 Short
The ASICS Fietro 7” 2-in-1 Short is one of the best men’s running shorts because it’s downright dependable.
ASICS built the Fietro for a classic fit: slightly loose without being baggy, above-the-knee length and elastic waistband. Inside, designers sewed in a lightweight liner that gives you comfortable support.
Pockets on each side give you enough room to carry your phone and other everyday items when you’re done with your run.
The men’s ASICS Fietro 7” 2-in-1 Short is a no-fuss running short that gives you everything you need to run comfortably.
Brooks Sherpa 3" Split Short
Pick up the pace distraction-free in the Brooks Sherpa 3" Split Short.
Designed with movement in mind, the Sherpa 3" short features a redesigned waistband that lays flat against your body and includes an internal drawcord so you can achieve a no-slip feel on race day.
A combination of side splits and Brooks DriLayer fabric create an airy, lightweight running experience. DriLayer technology wicks away moisture and dries fast to keep you cool and comfortable. Plus, a brief liner made of the same material adds a layer of comfort to your run.
How We Picked the Best Men’s Running Shorts
The best men’s running shorts for you comes down to personal preferences. Fit, features and style all play a role in finding the right pair. But there are things that set some shorts apart from the rest.
We picked the best running shorts for men based on a combination of real-life use, quality of materials, details and our own top-sellers lists. With all of that in mind, we picked men’s running shorts that lived up to our own personal (and professional) expectations.
Standing Behind Our Picks
We’re confident this gear is some of the best you’ll find, but we don’t want you to get stuck with running shoes or apparel that doesn’t work for you. That’s why we offer our Happy Fit Guarantee.
Our return policy means you have 60 days to put your gear to work. Wear it, run in it, wash it. If you’re not satisfied with the way it looks, fits or performs, we’ll take it back within 60 days and give you a full refund.
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