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Best Women's Running Shorts 2020

Buyer's Guide | Fleet Feet

Shop All Women's Running Shorts

The best women’s running shorts make your workouts more comfortable—especially when the weather heats up.

Running shorts for women have limitless combinations of fits, fabrics, colors and features to choose from. With options from flowy and breezy split shorts meant for the lightest feel to form-fitting styles that hug your body—and don’t forget pockets!—every woman can find the perfect running shorts for their training and lifestyle.

There are plenty of lengths and styles to choose from, but we think these are the best running shorts for women:

[This article is part of the Best Running Clothes 2020 Buyer’s Guide.]

Brooks Chaser 5” Short

Neither too tight nor too loose, Brooks tailored the Chaser 5” Short for a fitted, athletic feel without any chafing.

Brooks cut the Chaser from its DriLayer fabric that’s 89 percent polyester and 11 percent spandex. The combination fabric feels soft against your skin to keep irritation at bay.

The Chaser also has a slight bit of stretch. That stretchiness, paired with the just-right 5” inseam, gives you a full range of motion for cruising on the run or doing squats during your strength session.

Brooks sewed a flat, wide waistband onto the Chaser short for a snug fit, and designers added a sweat-resistant pocket into the band to hold your phone or other essentials. Lined with a sweat-wicking mesh brief, the women’s Brooks Chaser 5” Short is a go-to piece for many runners.

Features

Brooks Chaser 5” Short

Inseam

5”

Liner

Pockets

Stretchy

Nike Fast 7” Short

Generous coverage with plenty of pockets make the Nike Fast 7” Short one of the best women’s running shorts around.

Nike created the women’s Fast Short for a slim, snug fit. The stretchy fabric delivers a close-to-skin fit that protects your skin from rubbing, and it wicks sweat away so you stay dry and comfortable.

The fabric is soft and smooth, but the pockets really help set the Fast short apart from the competition. Nike added a drop-in pocket on each leg that’s big enough for your phone, a rear zippered pocket for secure storage, and a small pocket in the waistband for your keys or an energy gel.

With a wide, high-rise waistband and a fit that doesn’t ride up, the women’s Nike Fast 7” Short is a great option for long runs or anyone who likes more coverage.

Features

Nike Fast 7” Short

Inseam

7”

Liner

Pockets

Stretchy

New Balance 3” Impact Short

Comfort is key when you’re running (and lounging), so New Balance made the women’s 3” Impact Short for all-day wearability.

New Balance used a polyester-spandex blend fabric for a lightweight and stretchy feel. The athletic fit is designed for active movements, like running and gym workouts—no bagginess to get in the way.

An internal mesh brief adds comfort, and NB Dry technology pulls sweat away from your skin to keep you cool and dry. Like many of the best running shorts for women, the Impact Short has hidden drop-in pockets for your larger items, like a phone, and one zippered back pocket for your keys.

Topped off with a wide and soft waistband, the women’s New Balance 3” Impact Short is an easy choice for warm weather runs or tough gym sessions.

If you’re looking for the same performance in a longer cut, New Balance also makes the 5” Impact Short.

Features

New Balance 3” Impact Short

Inseam

3”

Liner

Pockets

Stretchy

Rabbit Hopper Short

Rabbit created the Hopper Short to feel weightless when you run.

The women’s Hopper Short is a lightweight and airy women’s running short designed for speedy workouts. To coax the quick feeling from the shorts, Rabbit pared the Hopper down to the essentials: a thin polyester-spandex blend fabric, wide waistband for a snug fit and a breathable mesh liner for comfort.

Even with the minimalist feel, though, the Rabbit comes with some key features. Designers hid a pair of small pockets in the waistband and added a zippered pocket in the back. The fabric wicks sweat to keep you dry, and it’s slightly stretchy to maintain a full range of motion.

With a 4” inseam and slim fit, the Rabbit Hopper is one of the best running shorts for women who want to push the pace.

Features

Rabbit Hopper Short

Inseam

4”

Liner

Pockets

Stretchy

On Running Short

Nothing is more annoying during your run than running shorts that ride up. So Swiss brand On designed its women’s Running Shorts to stay put.

The women’s On Running Short uses two layers to deliver premium performance: a looser outer layer and a snug inner lining. On cut the feathery outer layer from four-way-stretch fabric for the ultimate freedom of movement, while the supportive inner layer sits snugly against your skin.

Hidden just inside the hem of the liner, On added subtle grippy dots that keep the shorts from riding up your thigh as you run whether you’re running sprints on the track or cruising through your weekend long run.

With a short cut and lightweight feel, On optimized the women’s Running Short for race day.

Features

On Running Shorts

Internal liner

Pockets

Stretchy

Brooks Greenlight 9” Short

Cut for full coverage and tailored for a second-skin fit, the women’s Brooks Greenlight 9” Short mimics your every move.

Designers built the women’s Greenlight short tights from Brooks’ DriLayer HorsePower fabric. The stretchy polyester-spandex blend gives the shorts a slimming, supportive feel, and a wide, mid-rise waistband keeps the shorts in place without a drawcord.

The 9” length and supportive fit make the women’s Greenlight short a top performer and keeps it from riding up, but it’s the pockets that make it one of the best women’s running shorts on the market. Brooks added a no-bounce, drop-in pocket on each side big enough for a modern smartphone and one sweat-resistant pocket in the waistband for your cards and keys.

With mesh panels down the side of each thigh to help vent heat, the women’s Brooks Greenlight 9” Short keeps you cool and covered for every workout.

Features

Brooks Greenlight 9” Short

Inseam

9”

Liner

Pockets

Stretchy

Vuori Clementine Short

Vuori makes some of the most comfortable apparel for running, working out or just kicking around, so it’s no surprise the women’s Clementine Short is one of the best women’s running shorts.

Designers used a polyester-elastane blend fabric in the Clementine, which is lightweight and provides four-way stretch. The feathery fabric feels soft against skin, and it’s cut for an athletic fit.

Vuori included a single zippered coin pocket on the front of the short to stash a key and credit card, giving the Clementine short a streamlined, performance-focused feel.

A laser-cut mesh bikini liner adds comfort and ventilation without riding up, and the elastic waistband includes a drawstring for extra security. With a 2.5” inseam, the Vuori Clementine Short gives you a short fit for ultimate freedom of movement.

Features

Vuori Clementine Short

Inseam

2.5”

Liner

Pockets

Stretchy

How We Picked the Best Women’s Running Shorts

The best women’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 women 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 women’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 don’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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