2022 Best Running Shorts For Women – That Won’t Break The Bank

Chafing, sagging, ride-up, and sweating—they’re enough to put even the most hard core runner off her stride.

If your running shorts wardrobe leaves a whole lot to be desired, we’ve got you. We’ve selected only the most stellar performers on the women’s running shorts market for our lineup. Say goodbye to sub-par running gear and say hello to buttery soft, bone dry, and ice-cool (OK—almost) comfort with our top 9 picks for the best running shorts for women.

Best Overall: ALWAYS Women’s Workout Yoga Shorts

5/5

With more than 13,000 5 star reviews on Amazon, ALWAYS Women’s Workout Yoga Shorts are killing it for running comfort, breathability, and design.

We like the buttery soft fabric that provides four-way stretch and enough of a firm hold to keep you feeling confident as you pound the pavement.

Super comfortable and with enough tummy control to provide a smooth silhouette, ALWAYS yoga shorts have some pretty versatile features, too.

Like the fact you can throw them on under short dresses for added insurance on a night out. A high 3” elasticated waistband for hold. Ultra-lightweight and with a tiny footprint, you can fit them in your pocket or purse for exercise on the go. Breathability for even the longest of summer runs. Fast drying.

And enough flexibility to take you from your morning run to cheerleading tryouts, to dance practice, to volleyball, and home to chill out before you do it all over again.

Price: $ – score them on Amazon for less than $25!

Durability: Excellent, thanks to a premium polyester and hard-wearing Spandex blend

Pockets: No pockets

Inner shorts liner: No

Material: 92% polyester, 8% Spandex

Size: X small to 3XL

What We Liked

What We Didn’t Like

Best on a Budget: ODODOS Women’s High Waist Biker Shorts (with Pockets)

5/5

If you like a snug fit while you run—and the added insurance of knowing your butt is firmly under wraps while you do it—ODODOS’ High Waist Biker Shorts option is for you.

These high-rise fitted shorts provide tummy control and butt coverage at the same time, making them ideal for hitting the trail at high speeds. They’re all certified squat-proof and provide a little added butt lifting bonus thanks to the high Spandex content. Throw in moisture wicking fabric, flatlock seams, and a gusseted crotch, and you’ve got yourself a winner.

Perfect for running in any weather, ODODOS shorts provide 4 way stretch and deep side pockets for added convenience. The pockets are deep enough to carry essentials safely, and wide enough to house your phone in comfort.

Price: $

Durability: Double knit polyester / Spandex blend means firmer, stronger fabric and a 4 way stretch for added resilience.

Pockets: 2 side pockets

Inner shorts liner: No

Material: ACEPORA Interlock Fabric Blend: 76% polyester, 24% Spandex

Size: X small to 3XL

What We Liked

What We Didn’t Like

Best for Flexibility: Luogongzi 2 in 1 Running Shorts

5/5

Luogongzi 2 in 1 Running Shorts make our list as the ultimate in freedom and flexibility. With a flowy, breathable outer short and a slim fitting stretch short liner underneath, these shorts will see you through any workout.

Great for trail running and hot summer seasons, Luogongzi running shorts allow excellent ventilation, dry quickly, and wick sweat away from your body with ease.

These running shorts also minimize chafing thanks to the inner short, and allow for a wider range of motion with all the discretion you could ask for thanks to the loose cut of the outer short.

Price: $

Durability: Double knit polyester / Spandex blend means firmer, stronger fabric and a 4 way stretch for added resilience.

Pockets: No

Inner shorts liner: Yes

Material: 87% Nylon / 13% Spandex

Size: Small to 2XL

What We Liked

What We Didn’t Like

CRZ YOGA Women’s Quick-Dry Athletic Shorts

5/5

Designed to wick sweat away from your body and dry quickly, these running shorts by CRZ YOGA are the perfect choice for those who want to avoid dampness and chafing (so, all of us, right?). With a mid-rise, elasticated waistband and a clever zipper pocket stitched securely into the back panel, you can focus on improving your run time—and worry less about storing your essentials on the go.

CRZ YOGA athletic shorts also include a clever Polyamide liner, drawstring closure, and internal waistband pockets.

Price: $$

Durability: Concealed drawcord waist, concealed pockets, Polyester-blend fabric, and ultra-soft fabric make for a hard-wearing running short for running and hiking.

Pockets: Yes

Inner shorts liner: Yes

Material: Feathery Fit: 88% Polyester, 12% Spandex (Lining: 94% Polyamide, 6% Spandex)

Size: XX-Small to XL

What We Liked

What We Didn’t Like

Blooming Jelly Women’s Quick-Dry Running Shorts

5/5

A cult classic with a major online following, these Blooming Jelly shorts are giving major activewear brands (Lululemon, we’re looking at you, girl) a run for their money.

A blend of Polyester, nylon, and Spandex, the Blooming Jelly offering is breathable, moisture-wicking, and super-soft. The fabric stays lightweight and cool to the touch in any weather, and the built in liner delivers discrete coverage exactly where you want it to be.

Need more? How about the fact Blooming Jelly’s running shorts have a zip-up pocket for your essentials, a stretchy waist, and a veritable rainbow of colors and styles to choose from?

Price: $

Durability:

Pockets: Yes

Inner shorts liner: Yes

Material:

Size: X-small to 3XL

What We Liked

What We Didn’t Like

Soothfeel Women’s Running Shorts

5/5

Soothfeel might be one of the most budget running shorts brands on Amazon, but they’ve got a surprising range—and something for every woman on the run (so to speak!).

Our top pick from Soothfeel is the 3” running short with high side hems and a secure, comfortable double-layer design. We love it for its secure hidden storage—by way of a side pocket and zippered, concealed back pocket. We also like the comfortable compression liner—and the fact these shorts come in 16 on-trend colors.

Price: $

Durability: Reasonable. We’d like to see a higher Sandex content for more longevity

Pockets: Yes

Inner shorts liner: Yes

Material: 95% Polyester, 5% Spandex

Size: XS to XL

What We Liked

What We Didn’t Like

Lululemon Run Speed Up Short

5/5

Fan favorite activewear brand, Lululemon, has a lot going for it.

For starters, they make epic gear—and the Speed Up short is no exception. Lightweight, moisture-wicking, dry, and breathable, it’s a definite winner on this list. Throw in a couple of easy-access, connected gel pockets, a continuous drawcord, a lightweight, sweat-wicking liner, and extreme durability, and you’ve got yourself a pretty unbeatable running short.

Price: $$$

Durability: Excellent

Pockets: Yes

Inner shorts liner: Yes

Material: 86% Polyester, 14% Elastane (Liner: 89% Polyester, 11% Lycra)

Size: XXS to XXL

What We Liked

What We Didn’t Like

Lululemon Run Speed Up Short

5/5

If you’re an avid runner, the chances are high you’ve bought a lot of running shorts over the years. If Under Armour’s classic Play Up women’s shorts haven’t been on your radar so far—they should be now.

Expert construction and lay-flat, concealed pockets keep your silhouette streamlined while adding extra functionality. The lightweight, moisture-wicking fabric keeps you cool and dry no matter how high octane your run gets. They don’t bunch, they don’t chafe, and they don’t scratch. Even the seam-free waistband is designed for your comfort on the track.

With a 3” inseam, the Play Up short is just the right length for your time on the trail. Not too long, not too short, you’ll stay comfortable and cute in a style that flatters but still allows a little discretion.

Price: $

Durability: Excellent

Pockets: Yes

Inner shorts liner: No

Material: 100% Polyester

Size: XXS to 2XL

What We Liked

What We Didn’t Like

BALEAF Women’s Long Running Shorts

5/5

If you’re looking for a hard-wearing running short that’s neither short, tight, or flowy—BALEAF have what you need. Their 7” inseam long running shorts are styled with a 3 inch waistband for tummy control and stretch, a loose fit leg for unrestricted freedom of movement and modesty, and a supportive, breathable fit.

BALEAF also checks all the boxes for behind the scenes comfort—with an inner mesh brief liner and concealed back pocket with zipper closure. Need more storage? This awesome addition to 2021’s best women’s running shorts has 4 pockets in total—the zippered back pocket, two side pockets, and a concealed inner front waistband pocket.

This is the running short that’s made for comfort and functionality wherever your run takes you.

Price: $

Durability: Excellent

Pockets: Yes (4 of them!)

Inner shorts liner: Yes

Material: 95% Polyester, 5% Spandex

Size: XS too 3XL

What We Liked

What We Didn’t Like

How We Tested The Women’s Running Shorts

Between running three times a week, hitting up my local gym almost every day, and taking HIIT classes twice a week, let’s be real: I have ample time to put my running shorts to the test.

I also wrangle my fellow panelists (all runners—all ages) into reviewing the best running gear each year. Here are the selection criteria we use…

Price

I know you can get a lot of pricey running shorts out there—I’ve even included a pair on this list. But a sub-$30 pair of shorts isn’t unthinkable, and it doesn’t always mean sub-quality, either. In my reviews, here’s what to expect per price bracket:

$ (Under $30)

$ ($30 to $50)

$$ (Over $50)

Durability

For a pair of women’s running shorts to make the cut here, they need to withstand 6 months of heavy use without showing signs of pilling, tearing, fraying, or separating at the seams.

Material

The fabric choice is crucial when it comes to durability, sweat-proofing, moisture-wicking, and overall comfort. In our top running short picks of 2021, we looked for fabrics with a 4 way stretch, softness, and flatlocked seams.

We also like synthetics—like Polyester, Elastane, Spandex, and nylon, for their breathability and ability to wick away sweat before you get soggy.

Weight

Good running shorts need to be lightweight, right? This helps with running comfort, agility, portability, ease of packing for travel, and bulk.

The heaviest contestant on our list is the BALEAF 7” running shorts, which weighs in at just under 6oz. for a size L.

Size

When it comes to shopping across multiple brands for your running shorts, you’ll inevitably run into a problem—inconsistent sizing.

Always check the sizing chart, and remember to rate brands on how true to size they are. We don’t judge brands based on their sizing scale—but we do judge on their range of sizes. Ideally, we’d like to see a range that goes from a petite XS (extra small) up to a curvier 3XL.

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