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Buying a Pair of Running Shorts

Updated on September 11, 2012

Buying the perfect pair of running shorts is next to choosing the perfect running shoes. Running short is a vital and valuable part of any running activity. Finding that perfect shorts will spell convenience and guarantee an enjoyable running experience. If you plan on buying your next pair of running shorts, take notes of these tips.

The factors that you need to consider include comfort, functionality, durability, style and price. More often, comfort and durability is top priority, while good quality does not lag far behind.


Running Shorts Must Not Cause Chaffing

1. Avoid chaffing by choosing running shorts made of polyesters and other absorbent and light clothe materials. Never choose shorts with nylon or cotton as these as these are biggest culprit for skin to burn and chaff. Cotton also absorbs and retains moisture and sweat thus causing one to run in wet shorts which are very uncomfortable.

Running Shorts Must Not Ride Up

1. When the shorts ride up, pulling it down while running can be quite distracting and very uncomfortable, so if possible try it a shorts on before buying and make sure they don't unnecessarily ride up your legs. You may test this by doing some on-the-spot jogging action and doing some similar actions like stretching to see if the shorts remain fit and snug.

2. If your skin rubs together in upper part of your type, choose longer running shorts. Same goes for people on the heavier side with fatter legs that tend to rub in the inner sides as you run. Also consider that for short and fast runs, shorter running shorts are ideal, while longer ones are preferred by seasoned runners for longer runs.

Shorts Fabric Must Not Retain Moisture

1. Choose running shorts with breathable or dri-cloth fabric. These kinds of materials draw away the sweat and moisture from the body and evaporates. If you live in high temperature or humid regions, same thing would be appropriate for you.

How to get the right fit

Slide in one of your hands in the waist of the shorts and it must slide in easily. This test tells you if the pair is comfortable enough and has the proper fit to your waist. It would also ensure that the running shorts would not dig into your waist as you run. Never but shorts with tight waist bands or you risk wasting your money on a useless piece of apparel that will only restrict your breathing and movement while on the track. These checks would of course be unnecessary if the shorts can be tightened or loosened with an elastic or is fitted with an adjustable waist cord.


1. Before buying one, try them on to check for fit and comfort. For those intending to join a race or marathon, remember an important rule in running, "Never wear your newly-bought pair of running shorts on race day". Make sure to have them for a few spins or sessions of training to make sure they won't chafe you legs nor cause other discomfort while you run.

2. Running shorts these days come with inner lining or mesh so a runner can do away with underwear. If you are having a period, then an underwear made of same light, absorbent material maybe necessary as added support. This is the same one as that found in swimwear. Other than that, the inner lining or mesh can be quite adequate.

3. Make sure to get yourself a pair which has built-in small pocket (s) in the waist seam. This will be very handy for bring those keys, money or energy gel and energy bars when you run. Pockets should have a lock or zipper so that anything placed inside will be safe and won't slide out as one runs.


1. Buy running shorts which will last for many runs and races. You have invested on this piece of clothing and it's only proper that yiu get your money's worth by having one which can last you for a couple of years.

2. If you have friends who are in the running circuit for years, inquire them as to brands of shorts which they use and how long they last. Of course, it is not advisable to get the specific shorts they're wearing because each individual is different and what may work for another will not necessarily work for you. Just consider their opinions as pointers in choosing your own perfect pair of running shorts.


1. Different running short styles work differently across body shapes, types and sizes. Slimmer runners can get away with almost any style while those on the heavy side would have to be careful in choosing one if they prefer style to be a consideration.

2. In choosing the your pair's colors, the bigger you are, the darker the colors. Darker shorts makes one appear smaller or slimmer. However, if you have no problems with this and would want want to accentuate your lower body, then choose lighter colors for your running shorts.

3. Running shorts are categorized for each gender with good reason. Men and women are built differently physically hence, do not brush the labels as unnecessary. A woman's body shape and contours are different from a man, hence a men's running shorts will ride and fit differently. Ever worn a man's pair of jeans? The same theory works for running shorts. So, choose running shorts for women and veer away as much as possible form those labeled as 'Unisex' ones.


The price of your running shorts should be the last consideration knowing that you will be using the pair for quite a while and ensure that they are the lightest and most comfortable for you on the track.

Running shorts may come expensive these days but be assured that comfort, quality and functionality is what you paid for so don't be stingy in choosing your own pair. 


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