#Health & Fitness

The 15 Best Running Shorts for Women Will Help You Go the Distance

by Caroline Harris

The 15 Best Running Shorts for Women Will Help You Go the Distance
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Unpopular opinion: I love running. When I tell my friends I’m going jogging for fun, they typically stare at me like I’m some alien life form. But considering my parents literally met by running into each other, you can probably blame genetics. As a lifelong runner, I’ve tried countless running shorts, making me a bonafide expert when it comes to finding the best running shorts for women.


Ill-fitting and uncomfortable running shorts can ruin a run before it’s even started. After all, how are you supposed to gather enough motivation to go running when you hate your outfit? Besides, when you’re gasping for breath at mile six, the last thing you want to be doing is tugging down your running shorts. Picking a wedgie on the treadmill is never a cute look, and if you run track, your shorts can even influence your race time.


That’s why when I find a great pair of running shorts, I hold onto them tightly and never let them go. I’ve been wearing Lululemon’s Hotty Hot Shorts for years, along with UVA-branded Nike Running Shorts (Wahoowah!). These lightweight and moisture-wicking options support me throughout trail running, long distance running and sprint training. I adore my running shorts so much, I even wear them as athleisure all summer long.


If you haven’t found your dream pair of running shorts yet, keep scrolling for these much-loved picks. Whether you’re a sprinter, marathon runner or somewhere in-between, you’ll meet your match with one of these best pairs of running shorts for women.


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1 of 15 Image Credits: Under Armour

Best Cheap Women’s Running Shorts

Under Armour Women’s Fly By Running Shorts

These Amazon running shorts start at just $14.99, making them an economical way to elevate your running gear. The shorts feature breathable mesh side panels, an elastic waistband and front hand pockets. Plus, with dozens of shades to pick from, you’re sure to find a design that speaks to you.

2 of 15 Image Credits: Lululemon

Best Lightweight Women’s Running Shorts

Lululemon Run Times Short II 4”


These Lululemon running shorts are my personal go-to. When shopping for Lululemon shorts, note that they tend to be very form-fitting. I like more of a breezy, free-flowing fit, which is why I recommend sizing up for extra comfort.

3 of 15 Image Credits: Sweaty Betty

Best Women’s Trail Running Shorts

Sweaty Betty Time Trial Running Shorts


Tackle the trail in this colorful pair of running shorts, which is ultra lightweight and features built-in underwear. There are four shades and two lengths to choose from, so you can customize your new running shorts to fit your vibe.

4 of 15 Image Credits: Nike

Best Lined Women’s Running Shorts

Nike Women’s 3” Running Shorts


Go to any track and you’re sure to see tons of Nike running shorts. They’re a classic in the world of women’s running, and for good reason. These shorts boast mesh side insets, built-in underwear and an elastic waistband for pounding the pavement.

5 of 15 Image Credits: Outdoor Voices

Best Moisture Wicking Women’s Running Shorts

Outdoor Voices The Doing Things Shorts


These Outdoor Voices shorts have a quick-drying fabric that will keep you comfortable throughout your runs. They’re true to size with reviewers claiming they’re “fantastic shorts for bopping around on hot days.” The handy side pockets store your keys, phone and credit card as you jog.

6 of 15 Image Credits: Athleta

Best Women’s Marathon Running Shorts

Printed Mesh Racer Run Short 4”


Marathons are tough enough without having to worry about your running shorts. So come race day, reach for a mainstay you can trust. These Athleta running shorts have over 500 five-star reviews, with reviewers raving that they’re “comfortable, flattering” and “chafe-free.”

7 of 15 Image Credits: Lululemon

Best Women’s Running Skirt

Lululemon Pace Rival Skirt 4-Way Stretch


My mom is in her 60s and still running marathons (talk about an icon). When she ran the Marathon du Médoc last year, she wore a Lululemon running skirt, which made for a strong race time and some super sweet pictures. This tried-and-true Pace Rival skirt is great for running 26.2 miles in.

8 of 15 Image Credits: Athleta

Most Comfortable Women’s Running Shorts

Athleta Run With It 3.5” Short


These running shorts feel weightless and light, with a stretchy waistband and adjustable drawcord to max out on comfort. On hot summer days, you can rock these running shorts as athleisure by throwing on a matching bra or cropped tee.

9 of 15 Image Credits: Amazon

Best Women’s Compression Running Shorts

Baleaf Women’s High Waist Compression Shorts

Chafing is the worst, so grab a pair of compression shorts that eliminate the risk. These compression shorts are ultramarathoner approved. Happy Amazon shoppers love how “the high waist keeps my tummy in place” and say “they work great for preventing my thighs from chafing.”

10 of 15 Image Credits: Amazon

Best Long Women’s Running Shorts

Brooks Women’s Chaser 7” Shorts

These shorts have a vibrant print and a 7-inch inseam for all-day comfort. There’s a lightweight stretch fabrication and petaled hemline for your fastest run yet. Blast Springsteen’s “Born to Run” and take to the track in these fun shorts.

11 of 15 Image Credits: Under Armour

Best 2-in-1 Women’s Running Shorts

Under Armour Launch SW 2-in-1 Women’s Running Shorts


This Under Armour option includes built-in compression shorts for extra support. Reviewers say they’re “perfect for the gym or running” and “so easy to move in.” Plus, how can you go wrong with that sleek silver shade?

12 of 15 Image Credits: Lane Bryant

Best Plus-Size Women’s Running Shorts

Lane Bryant Wicking Layered Active Short


These Lane Bryant running shorts go up to a size 28 and come in two versatile shades that will complement any outfit. They’re moisture-wicking and quick-drying, with a supportive feel and built-in bike shorts.

13 of 15 Image Credits: Athleta

Best Women’s Running Shorts with Pockets

Athleta Printed Run With It 3.5” Short


If you’re running many, many miles, who knows what you might need along the way? Stay prepared by stashing your stuff in the secure zip back pocket of these shorts. This stylish option includes subtle side slits and works for everything from sprinting to distance runs. Earning a near-perfect 4.9 rating, these shorts are an excellent option to add to your running rotation.

14 of 15 Image Credits: Nordstrom

Best Reflective Women’s Running Shorts

Nike Dry Tempo Running Shorts


If you’re like me, you get a big burst of energy at the end of the day, right when everyone else is winding down. Channel that enthusiasm into an evening run, but stay visible and safe with these reflective running shorts. Mesh side panels wick away sweat so you can feel (and look) cool throughout your run.

15 of 15 Image Credits: Amazon

Best Loose Women’s Running Shorts

R-Gear Women’s 7-Inch Running Shorts

For fuller coverage, these Amazon running shorts with a 7-inch inseam are a great option. The legs are loose-fitting for a more relaxed look and feel. The super stretchy fabric gets you a flattering fit that prevents chafing and rubbing. Plus, there’s a zipper back pocket for storing your exercise essentials.