Running Clothing

Best Running Shorts in 2020 – Reviewed

Running shorts can make or break a runner’s workout routine. If their shorts are too tight, chafe their thighs or bunch up in the crotch area, then it can be one uncomfortable run for the athlete. That’s why every runner should consider their shorts one of the most important pieces of equipment, and as such, the runner should carefully consider all of their options.

To help our readers find the perfect pair of shorts for running, we’ve reviewed the shorts that we’ve considered to be the best. And to help our readers select from among the ones we’ve reviewed, we’ve even written up a handy guide on buying running shorts. Now there’s no reason for any runner to not buy the best shorts for their needs.

Quick Summary of Running Shorts

 Editor’s Choice 
Baleaf Men’s 3-Inch Running Shorts  (review)

 Also Recommended 
TSLA Men’s 3-Inch Running Shorts  (review)

 Also Consider 
Contour Athletics Men’s Gym Shorts  (review)


Baleaf Men’s 3-Inch Running Shorts

 Editor’s Choice 

Day after day, an untold number of athletes turn to Baleaf Men’s for their athletic apparel needs and there’s a good reason why they’re so trusted. It’s because this company has been cranking out some of the best equipment and apparel for runners for quite some time now. And these 3-inch shorts aren’t an exception to that rule. Although they might be a little bit shorter than what many runners need their shorts to be, for those runners who like their running shorts a little bit shorter, then these are perfect for them.

The first thing we’d like to discuss concerning these shorts is that they’re made with a split-leg design that allows the runner to have the widest range of motion possible. These shorts are also lightweight and are made with a woven fabric that never binds in the crotch and allows the runners’ skin to breathe. Also equipped on these shorts is a mesh liner that provides additional support and helps to wick away moisture that might accumulate on the skin.

Another thing that we liked about these shorts was that they were available in a variety of different colors. These shorts are available in orange, purple, yellow, neon yellow, gray, navy, army green, red, blue, black, teal and neon green. These shorts are also equipped with an inner key pocket that gives the runner access to their house key at all times but doesn’t feature a raised seam so it doesn’t cause rubbing while the runner is running.

Sure, we understand that not everyone is going to appreciate these running shorts because they’re a little bit short, but we think that runners who like this cut are going to love how these shorts feel. They’re made with high-quality materials, are well assembled, and are comfortable to wear on long runs. We don’t think that anyone could ask for better shorts than these.


  • These shorts are extremely well made.
  • They come in an assortment of bright colors.
  • They’re made of lightweight fabric.

  • These shorts may be too short for some runners.

TSLA Men’s 3-Inch Running Shorts

 Also Recommended 

Even though these running shorts might be a little bit shorter than what some runners might like, we think that for the vast majority of runners these shorts are going to give runners the comfort and feeling of freedom that they want out of their shorts. These shorts are made out of a combination of 95% polyester and 5% spandex, so they not only breathe quite well, but they flex with the wearer’s movements. Their 4-way stretch allows the runner to push them to their max, and do it without worrying about if they’re going to hold up to the workout.

These split-leg shorts allow the runner to move their legs in just about any conceivable fashion and they’re less likely to chafe than some of the other running shorts made these days. This product is equipped with a lined mesh that protects the runner from the material and also lends a bit of support to them while they’re running. And each of these shorts is branded with a TSLA reflective logo that helps to raise the night profile of these shorts, so runners can use them for night runs.

Another thing that we liked about these running shorts is that they dry quickly after use. They wick away sweat from the runner’s skin and allows it to evaporate quickly so that the runner doesn’t have a wad of wet cloth being held up against them on their runs. These shorts are also available in a variety of different colors, so the runner can buy a different color for each day of the week. Some of the colors these shorts are available are red, black, blue, navy, army green, yellow, sky blue, teal, and orange.

Keeping all of these things in mind as we review these shorts, we do believe that most runners are going to want to at least investigate buying a pair of them. They’re soft, comfortable, quick-drying and come in a wild assortment of colors. I don’t think we need to say much more.


  • They are comfortable to wear.
  • They are extremely durable.

  • These shorts may be too short for some runners.

Contour Athletics Men’s Gym Shorts

 Also Consider 

The last running shorts to make our list are these shorts from Contour Athletics. When we reviewed these shorts, we noticed that they had quite a few features that we absolutely loved and one feature that we absolutely hated. We felt that they were shorts that most runners would love, but they weren’t the kind of shorts that could be used in every situation. To see what we mean, just follow along with this review for the details.

These shorts are made from a premium fabric that’s heavy-duty and contours to the shape of the runners’ body. They also are capable of wicking moisture away from the runner’s skin, so the runner is more comfortable. Unfortunately, the heavy-duty nature of this fabric also means that it tends to be heavier than other types of shorts. It holds in the runner’s body heat and doesn’t breathe as well as some of the other shorts we’ve reviewed. This means that they might be uncomfortable to wear for summer running.

We do have to say, however, that these shorts fit extremely well. They’re made with an adjustable waistband that holds them snugly in place. And this is true during even the most rigorous of training regimens. They’re also equipped with zipper pockets that allow the runner to hold small valuables while they’re on their run. We would also like to add that they come in one of several bright colors. They’re available in gray, maroon, black, or navy.

Although we don’t think that these running shorts would be good for running in the middle of summer because of their thickness, we do think that they would make a fitting pair of shorts for running in the spring or fall. And that’s why we’ve given them a place on our list. These aren’t the best running shorts available, but they aren’t half bad either.


  • They fit very well.
  • They seem extremely durable.
  • They are reasonably priced.

  • The material is a little heavier than what we would’ve liked.

A Guide To Buying Running Shorts

Since most runners would probably agree with us that shorts are an essential piece of running equipment, we thought that we would do more than just review the best running shorts around. We wanted to also create a guide that would help our readers find a pair of shorts that were perfect for their workouts and their personal needs. The result is this guide that you’re currently reading. We hope that this guide gives you and all of our readers the information they need to make an informed buying decision.

Step One: Choose The Running Short’s Length

The first thing that the runner is going to want to decide on before they shop for their next pair of running shorts is what length they need. As a general rule, most shorts come in short length, medium-length or long length shorts. Each of these lengths has its pros and cons, so let’s take a closer look at each one individually to see which one might be right for you.

Short Length

Short length shorts are also known as 3-inch shorts. These shorts are mainly used by competitive runners and are good for both marathons or for sprinting. This length is often chosen when the runner is attempting to achieve the maximum running performance possible.

Medium Length

Medium-length shorts are also known as 5-inch shorts and they’re designed to be a compromise between the durability of long shorts and the performance of short shorts. Shorts with a 5-inch length might not offer the best performance, but they do offer the runner versatility.

Long Length

These shorts are designed more for their durability and comfort then they are for their performance. When choosing shorts in this length, the runner should choose fabrics that are capable of wicking the sweat away from them. If they don’t, then they can end up with wet, balled up fabric being held against their skin.

Step Two: Choose The Right Type Of Shorts

The next thing that you’re going to want to decide on is what types of shorts you need. When it comes to running shorts, you have several different options available. There are Trail Runner’s, Track Runner’s, and Roadrunners. Let’s examine each of these individually and see how they differ from one another and how they’re the same.

Trail Runner Shorts

These shorts are a little heavier than other types of shorts, which means that they’re not only durable but also tend to be quite warm. They provide the runner with protection from the elements and also provide them with some degree of support. These shorts are not only good for running trails but also intense gym workouts.

Track Runner Shorts

These shorts are designed to be ultra-light, so they not only breathe quite well but they also give the runner the best range of motion possible. These shorts are good for sprints, as well as for long-distance runs. If the runner needs an even greater range of movement, they can choose track runner shorts that are split shorts for an increased range of leg motion.

Road Runner Shorts

These shorts are good for gym workouts as well as for light runs. They’re usually lightweight and breathe more than comparable track or trail runner shorts. They also usually do a good job of wicking away moisture from the skin. They’re also good for running in just about any weather conditioners the runner can normally run in.

Step Three: Consider Other Features

Once the length of the shorts is determined, as well as the material they’re made from, it’s time to talk about some of the additional features that need to be considered. Although some of the following features may seem trivial to some people, they can mean the difference between a pair of quality shorts that the runner likes and a pair of low-quality shorts that they wish they had never bought.

  • A Polyester/Spandex Blend
  • Mesh Liners & Split-Leg Designs
  • Comfort-Fit Waist Bands
  • Zippered And/Or Hidden Pockets

Runner’s Shorts To Avoid

Don’t worry, we’re almost at the end of this article. The only thing left for us to do is to warn our readers about one of the few things that they should avoid when purchasing their next pair of running shorts. And the main thing that we want to warn our readers about is avoiding shorts that are made out of cotton.

Why should the runner avoid cotton shorts? They should avoid it because cotton soaks up moisture like a sponge. This means that it soaks up the runner’s sweat and just lies limply against their skin. This can result in chafing, and a most uncomfortable run. Therefore, the runner should make sure that they only buy shorts that are made of moisture-wicking fabrics instead of cotton or nylon.

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