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The Best Workout Shorts for Men (2024)


Workout shorts are a staple in any gym-goer’s wardrobe.

The right pair can enhance your training by making you feel comfortable, cool, and able to move freely,

In this expert guide, you’ll learn the best workout shorts for men, including the best lined workout shorts for men, the best budget men’s workout shorts, the most durable men’s workout shorts, and more.

(Affiliate Disclosure: All products we review reflect the research and opinion of our editors. We sometimes receive the products we review for free, and when you make a purchase using the links in this article, we may earn an affiliate commission at no extra cost to you.) 

The Best Workout Shorts for Men

Best Workout Shorts for Men Overall: Gymreapers Training Shorts



Gymreapers Training Shorts



The Gymreapers Training Shorts were our favorite overall because they’re basically all benefits and no drawbacks. 

They’re light and comfortable, so they’re perfect for all kinds of training, and the “four-way stretch” material is highly durable, easily accommodates thicker thighs, and dries quickly.

The finishing touches are solid, too: they have generously sized pockets, the drawstrings feature high-quality branded aglets, the printing on the Gymreapers logo is excellent (no peeling or fading after several workouts and washes), and they come in 15 colors—enough to suit any personal preference

At $45 per pair of gym shorts, they’re very affordable. Or, for those looking to make a saving, you can buy them in packs of 3 for $115. 

  • Material: 92% polyester and 8% elastane
  • Inseam Length: 6 inches
  • Lining: No

Pros

  • Comfortable 
  • Durable
  • Affordable
  • Quick-drying 
  • Well-made 

Cons

  • Only available in one length
  • No lined option

Best Budget Men’s Workout Shorts: LRD Athletic Shorts



LRD Athletic Shorts



Despite their relatively low price, the LRD Athletic Shorts boast features typically associated with higher-end products, including a supportive compression liner that prevents chafing and a zippered back pocket that ensures your valuables stay secure as you move.

Additionally, they come in 12 designs, so most will find a style they like. 

The one area that falls slightly short is the fabric. While it wicks sweat and dries quickly, it feels less durable than other shorts on this list. It doesn’t have quite as much flexibility, either. That’s not to say they’re restrictive, but they don’t allow the same freedom of movement as other sports shorts we tested.

  • Material: 100% polyester
  • Inseam Length: 7 inches
  • Lining: Yes

Pros

  • Moisture-wicking 
  • Quick-drying  
  • Built-in liner
  • Affordable

Cons

  • Not the most durable
  • Slightly inflexible

Best Lined Workout Shorts for Men: Born Primitive Versatile Short w/Compression



Born Primitive Versatile Short



 

True to their name, Born Primitive’s Versatile Shorts are fit for all kinds of training, including weightlifting, running, and rucking

Their standout feature, however, is their compression liner, which offers excellent support and protection, features two pockets, and, unlike many other similar products, doesn’t ride up while you move, greatly increasing the shorts’ overall comfort. 

The outer layer of the shorts is decent. However, it doesn’t quite match the comfort and breathability of other athletic shorts in this selection. It also runs a little large, so unless you have big thighs, it can feel like there’s excess material around your upper legs.

  • Material: 88% polyester and 12% spandex
  • Inseam Length: 7 inches
  • Lining: Yes

Pros

  • High-quality compression liner
  • Suitable for all types of training

Cons

  • Large outer shell
  • Not as breathable as other similar products
  • Expensive 

Most Durable Men’s Workout Shorts: Ten Thousand Foundation Short



Most Durable Men’s Workout Shorts



 

The Ten Thousand Foundation Shorts are as hard-wearing as workout shorts get. 

The outer material is exceptionally durable, so the shorts work well for any barbell training where the bar regularly “scrapes” your upper legs (deadlifts and Olympic weightlifting, for example).

Because they’re heavier than other items on this list, they’re also more like traditional “dress” shorts. This might be an advantage if you want a pair of shorts to wear outside the gym.

One thing we found when testing the Foundation Shorts, however, was that they regularly came undone while training. This isn’t a deal-breaker but a minor inconvenience worth noting.  

  • Material: 88% polyester and 12% spandex
  • Inseam Length: 5, 7, and 9 inches
  • Lining: Optional

Pros

  • Heavy-duty material
  • Look good in and out of the gym

Cons

  • Susceptible to coming undone
  • Expensive

Best Workout Shorts for Men with Big Thighs: Gymreapers Mesh Training Shorts



Gymreapers Mesh Training Shorts



The Gymreapers Mesh Training Shorts are a superb choice for men with thicker thighs, thanks to their slightly wider fit than most shorts in this category. The mesh fabric is also flexible, which ensures it stretches comfortably around the legs without digging in, even if your legs fill the shorts. 

These shorts offer all the high-end features synonymous with Gymreapers, including zippered pockets for secure storage, branded aglets for a touch of style, and high-quality graphics that are durable and visually appealing.

Although they don’t incorporate sweat-wicking materials, the highly breathable nature of these shorts significantly reduces sweat-related discomfort, making them a practical and comfortable option for all kinds of workouts. 

  • Material: 100% polyester
  • Inseam Length: 4 inches
  • Lining: No

Pros

  • Wide fit for large legs
  • Flexible material
  • Breathable 

Cons

  • Not ideal if you have thinner thighs
  • May be too short for some

Best Outdoor Workout Shorts for Men: Ten Thousand Tactical Short



Ten Thousand Tactical Short



Ten Thousand’s Tactical Shorts are a solid choice for anyone who trains outdoors, especially those who enjoy hiking and rucking.

They’re made from light but hardy ripstop fabric, which dries quickly for increased comfort and protects your legs from branches and other hazards while walking outdoors. 

They’ve also got zippered pockets, which are handy for carrying essential items while out hiking, and they’re lightweight and feature “side slits,” which allow you to move freely. 

The biggest downside is that at $78, these athletic shorts are expensive. They also fit smaller than other Ten Thousand shorts, which can make sizing tricky. A sensible workaround is to size up, but in our experience, this meant the shorts were slightly too large and needed to be fastened tightly to stop them feeling loose. 

  • Material: 80% nylon and 20% spandex
  • Inseam Length: 5 and 7 inches
  • Lining: Optional

Pros

  • Very durable
  • Lightweight 
  • Quick-drying 

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Sizing can be tricky to get right

Best Running Shorts: Nike Trail Second Sunrise



Best Running Shorts



Nike’s Trail Second Sunrise track shorts are made from a light and breathable woven fabric that wicks sweat away from your skin, ensuring you stay comfortable during long runs.

They also have a brief liner that gives excellent support and feature side vents to allow your legs complete freedom of movement.

They have a ton of pockets for a small pair of gym shorts, too—seven to be exact. This means you have plenty of room for essentials when you’re on the trail.

As expected from a Nike product, these running shorts have a higher price point. However, the $75 price tag is justifiable, given how good they are.

  • Material: 80% polyester and 20% spandex
  • Inseam Length: 5 and 7 inches
  • Lining: Brief liner

Pros

  • Breathable 
  • Lightweight 
  • Sweat-wicking 
  • Lots of pockets

Cons

Most Comfortable Men’s Gym Shorts: Vuori Sunday Performance Short



Most Comfortable Men’s Gym Shorts



The Vuori Sunday Performance Shorts are top-notch if you like ultimate comfort while training.

They’re made from a soft and stretchy blend of polyester and elastane that’s heavy enough to prevent the shorts from riding up as you move, which enhances their comfort. 

They also feature deep front pockets, zippered back pockets, and a zippered thigh pocket, so there’s plenty of room to stash your odds and sods. That said, some will find the black thigh pocket an eyesore, especially if you get the shorts in a light color.

The biggest downside is the price. At $84, they’re the priciest pair on this list. While they offer luxurious comfort, this price may be a little high unless top-tier comfort is your primary concern.

  • Material: 88% polyester and 12% elastane
  • Inseam Length: 7.5 inches
  • Lining: No

Pros

  • Comfortable 
  • Lots of pockets

Cons

What To Look For When Buying The Best Men’s Shorts

Inseam Length

For sports requiring a lot of repetitive movements, such as running, most prefer a shorter inseam (around five inches) to minimize thigh rubbing. However, not everyone is comfortable with this length, so a seven-inch inseam made of light, stretchy fabric can be a viable alternative.

For activities involving a wide range of movements, such as weightlifting or basketball, most favor longer inseams to prevent the shorts from riding up.

Material

For outdoor activities like hiking, choose thicker, more durable fabrics for protection. In contrast, lightweight, stretchy, and moisture-wicking materials work best for indoor training. Quick-drying synthetics are ideal, especially those using lightweight, durable polyester.

Odor Prevention

Some brands use odor-resistant fabrics that inhibit the growth of bacteria that cause bad smells. However, these technologies aren’t always effective. For most, investing in shorts that can survive regular washing is a better way to prevent odors than opting for shorts that feature “odor-fighting” technology.

Should You Buy Lined Or Unlined Shorts?

Deciding between lined and unlined shorts is a preference, often influenced by whether you want support or greater freedom. 

Lined shorts fit snugly against the skin, which offers support and helps wick sweat. However, they typically feel warmer and more restrictive than unlined shorts, which some will dislike. 

On the other hand, unlined shorts are usually more breathable, allowing you to wear your preferred underwear, and may not need to be washed as often as lined shorts. 

How Can I Prevent My Shorts From Smelling Bad?

To keep your shorts odor-free, promptly dry them after sweating or getting wet, and avoid leaving them damp in a gym bag. 

While some shorts feature anti-odor treatments, regular washing is still necessary. Wash them in cold water with a mild detergent and air dry for best results. This method not only keeps them fresh but also prolongs their lifespan.

How Long Should A Good Pair Of Workout Shorts Last?

It depends on how often you use them and how well you care for them. Quality shorts should last over a year with regular use and significantly longer if you use them less frequently. To keep them in good shape, wash them in cool water and avoid using a dryer, as heat can damage their elasticity.





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