The Best Running Shorts For Women

When it comes to exercise, half the battle is having the right equipment, and running is no different. Having the proper shorts can make or break your runs and keep you cool, comfortable, and chafe-free for the most enjoyable experience possible. From body-hugging spandex designs to looser, more breathable alternatives, there are dozens of styles to choose from. Instead of sifting through them one by one on your own, we've done all the hard work for you. Choose from our top picks for women's running shorts to find your new favorites.

Nike Women’s Running Shorts

On the run

Log countless miles in these breathable and comfortable shorts.
Best Overall

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Made from Nike’s proprietary Dri-Fit fabric, these shorts will help to keep you cool, even on the longest runs. The classic style has an adjustable elastic waistband to give you the best fit, and the shorts are finished with built-in briefs for ultimate support and comfort. Mesh panels along the side create optimal breathability, and the internal key pocket is the perfect finishing touch that gives you a place to stash small your belongings, like keys or headphones.

Pros:

  • This classic style is designed for breathability, so you’ll stay comfortable even on hot days
  • The shorts have an elastic waistband that won’t rub or chafe
  • Built-in briefs help provide extra support

Cons:

  • The inseam is very short, which isn’t the right style for everyone
  • They run small, so consider sizing up

Colosseum Active Women’s Simone Cotton Blend Yoga and Running Shorts

The long and short of it

Wear these shorts for everything from long runs to errands for a versatile closet staple.
Best Color Selection

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Made with double-layered fabric and a stylish silhouette, these shorts blend the best of form and function. The cotton and polyester blend is breathable and durable, ensuring you can wear them for any type of workout. An elasticized waist with an adjustable drawstring helps you achieve the perfect fit, and the dolphin hem gives you an optimal range of motion so you don’t feel confined or restricted. Wear them for your next run or simply around the house for a pair of shorts that works for any occasion.

Pros:

  • They come in nearly 20 different colors and patterns, so you can find a pair that fits your personal style
  • With a double layer of cotton blend fabric, the shorts are breathable even in warm weather
  • The elastic waistband has an adjustable drawstring

Cons:

  • The thigh opening is fairly small, so they’re best for people with slimmer legs
  • The colors may look different in real life than they do online

The Gym People High Waist Yoga Shorts for Women

The home stretch

These spandex shorts are stretchy and breathable for maximum comfort.
Best High-Waisted

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This fitted style is perfect for any type of workout. The high-waisted cut gives you maximum tummy control, and a wide waistband helps to contour your curves and accentuate your shape. Made from moisture-wicking, quick-dry performance fabric, the shorts also give you compression and support for activities ranging from running to yoga. They even have a pocket on each side, giving you the perfect spot to store your belongings, like your phone and keys, so you can go hands-free.

Pros:

  • They come in a wide range of colors and patterns, so you can find a style you love
  • Four-way stretch spandex fabric hugs your shape and delivers maximum comfort
  • You can wear them for a wide range of activities, from strenuous workouts to lounging around the house

Cons:

  • They’re hand-wash only
  • The fabric may be see-through when stretched too thin, so consider sizing up

Nike Women’s Dry Training Shorts

Keep your cool

Stay cool and dry with this stylish, sweat-wicking pair of shorts.
Most Breathable

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Instead of feeling sweaty and uncomfortable during your workouts, opt for these shorts that will keep you dry. Made from sweat-wicking fabric, the breathable design draws moisture away from your body so that your workouts are more enjoyable. Designed to give you a full range of movement, the shorts have an elasticized waistband with a drawcord, allowing you to tweak the fit to suit your body. Plus, you can even throw them in the washing machine for super-simple maintenance.

Pros:

  • With a loose-fitting leg and longer inseam, these short gives you plenty of coverage and comfort
  • The polyester material is sweat-wicking, so you stay cool even in hot conditions
  • You can adjust the waistband with a drawcord to get the most comfortable fit

Cons:

  • They only come in a few colors
  • The shorts run large, so consider sizing down

Heathyoga Workout Shorts for Women

The long haul

Get added coverage with these long shorts ideal for biking.
Longest Inseam

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With an eight-inch inseam, these shorts help keep you covered and comfortable through any type of workout. From running to yoga to HIIT circuits, this quick-dry, moisture-wicking fabric stays in place and keeps you cool to maximize your comfort and mobility. Plus, the polyester and spandex blend delivers compression for gentle support when you need it.

Pros:

  • The shorts have pockets on each side, so you can carry your phone, wallet, or keys
  • They have a gusseted crotch and interlock seams to reduce chafing
  • The high-waisted style helps to slim and contour your stomach

Cons:

  • They run very small, so you may want to size up
  • After a few washes, the material may begin to pill

Frequently Asked Questions

How long are women’s running shorts?

There isn’t a single length for women’s running shorts. They typically range anywhere from 3-10 inches in length.

Do running shorts make a difference?

Running shorts can help keep you more comfortable during cardio exercise. They are often made from a more lightweight material than other types of shorts, and that material helps keep you cool and prevent chafing during long workouts.

Should running shorts be tight or loose?

Compression running shorts are meant to be snug to your body to provide extra support for your muscles. Other styles of running shorts are meant to be looser to help prevent irritation and chafing.