7 Best Workout Shorts for Men in 2021

The best Workout Shorts for Men
Image by LightField Studios / Canva

It’s a warm summer afternoon, and you’re feeling motivated — it’s time to get back to the gym! You head to your room for a quick change of clothes, only to realize there’s a problem. You’ve got no workout shorts! So, you don a pair of cotton sweatpants and head out, knowing you’ll soon be drenched in sweat and foul odors. It’s time to invest in a pair of the best workout shorts for men.

Workout shorts are non-negotiable when it comes to serious exercising. This remains true whether you prefer the gym, the court, or the track. That’s because workout shorts keep things light and breezy, while providing plenty of breathability and range of motion.

The best pair of workout shorts for enhanced comfort and performance overall? It’s gotta be the Nike Men’s Training Shorts due to their top-notch quality and features. But stick around — we’ve got a bunch of great options for every type of athlete.

Our Top Picks: Best Workout Shorts for Men

In a rush? Here’s a quick overview of our favorite shorts:

  • Best Overall: Nike Men’s Training ShortsNike strikes again with their Men’s Training Shorts. This pair of workout wear features a comfy, durable, and sweat-wicking blend of polyester and proprietary Dri-Fit fibers.
  • Best Budget: Champion Men’s Jersey ShortsIf you’re looking for budget athleisure wear from a powerhouse company, the Champion Men’s Jersey Shorts are the only way to go.
  • Best for Sports: Under Armour Men’s Raid Workout ShortsTrain harder and longer with the Under Armour Men’s Raid Workout Shorts, complete with HeatGear Fabric and Under Armour’s iconic finish.
  • Best for Training: Adidas “Designed 2 Move” ShortsLevel up your workout game with these silky-smooth contouring shorts designed to support your every move.
  • Best for Gym: Jed North Fitted Workout ShortsTake to the gym and show ’em how it’s done. These form-fitting shorts are comfy, conforming, and ready to show off your leg muscles.
  • Best Athletic: ASICS Woven Shorts. Unleash the beast with ASICS’ woven shorts, a pair of multi-purpose athletic shorts ready for the gym or ball court.
  • Best w/ Liner: Pinkbomb Men’s Workout ShortsEnhance your workout with the latest compression technology to feel more energized and less fatigued.

1. Nike Men’s Training Shorts

The best workout shorts for men overall

Nike Men's Training Shorts

Brand: Nike | Material: 100% Polyester | Sizes: SM – 4XL | Colors: 17 | Price: 💰💰💰💰

What are the best men’s workout shorts overall? You’re looking at them!

The Nike Men’s Training Shorts are the hottest workout shorts on the market. Of course, you gotta pay out the yin yang for the latest and greatest from Nike. But trust us — they’re worth it.

These shorts boast superior polyester construction, with Nike’s proprietary Dri-Fit technology woven into every fiber. This unique Dri-Fit fabric blend absorbs the sweat from your skin, whisks it to the outer surface of the shorts, and wicks it away in record time. The result? A completely dry and comfortable workout like you’ve never experienced before.

The Nike Men’s Training Shorts are machine washable and come with a convenient drawstring closure that secures them to your waist. Oh, and for those looking to rep Nike, you’ll find the iconic swoosh embellished near the left-side seam.

  • Comfortable gym shorts
  • Durable polyester construction
  • Moisture-wicking Dri-Fit technology

  • Buyer beware — fakes on the market
  • Sizes run small, so consider choosing a size up

2. Champion Men’s Jersey Shorts

The best men’s casual athletic shorts on a budget

The Champion Men's Jersey Short With Pockets

Brand: Champion | Material: 90% Cotton / 10% Polyester | Sizes: SM – 4XL | Colors: 4 | Price: 💰

As a pioneer in the low-cost sporting wear industry, Champion is renowned for their quality merchandise. Their Jersey Shorts are no different.

Made from a polycotton blend, these comfy and breathable shorts are everything you need for casual to moderate workouts. Simply slip them on, tie the elastic drawstring closure, and work out without worrying about them slipping down or moving around. Even with your phone, keys, and wallets conveniently placed in the side pockets, you’ll experience a perfect fit, every time. 

The only downside? These shorts aren’t designed for intense workouts. While they’ll wick away some sweat, the 90% cotton finish will begin to absorb liquid past a certain threshold. Fortunately, they’re machine washable, and the 10% polyester should help them dry relatively quickly.

Channel your inner champion with these affordable shorts.

  • Fantastic quality for the price
  • Excellent fit, even with pockets full
  • Among the best cheap men’s athletic shorts

  • Colors fade quickly
  • Elastic waistband can be irritating on the skin

3. Under Armour Men’s Raid Workout Shorts

The best men’s sport shorts

Under Armour Men's Raid Workout Shorts

Brand: Under Armour | Material: 84% Polyester / 16% Elastane | Sizes: XS – 4XL | Colors: 15 | Price: 💰💰💰

There are shorts. And then there are the Under Armour Men’s Raid Workout Shorts.

These stylish workout bottoms are as comfortable as they come. That’s because they feature a stretchy waistband complete with internal drawcord — offering the perfect fit around your waist. You also get mesh hand pockets for keeping your goods safe and secure.

As for performance? These shorts feature a blend of 84% polyester and 16% elastane, which provides a silky smooth finish and offers UPF 30 protection from the sun. Not only that, but melded into the fabric is Under Armour’s HeatGear technology, which offers quick-dry and sweat-wicking capabilities without adding any extra weight. Throw in the shorts’ odor resistance, and you’ve got the best workout shorts for CrossFit and high-intensity exercise.

  • UPF 30 keeps you safe from the sun
  • Polyester and Elastane w/ Under Armour’s HeatGear technology
  • Contours with your movement and wicks away moisture in record time

  • No under-liner
  • Beware of fakes on the market, including on Amazon

4. Adidas “Designed 2 Move” Shorts

The best men’s training shorts

Adidas Designed 2 Move Shorts

Brand: Adidas | Material: 100% Polyester | Sizes: XS – 2XL | Colors: 20 | Price: 💰💰

What makes the “Designed 2 Move” Shorts from Adidas one of the best pairs of workout shorts around? 

For starters, you’ve got 20 color options to choose from, and they all rock that timeless triple-stripe style from Adidas. Gotta love it.

As for the material, these shorts feature a 100% polyester finish. But Adidas didn’t stop there. They incorporated their exclusive Climalite Fabric technology to sweep away sweat and keep you cool and cozy, even during extreme workouts. Plus, the elastic waist has a drawcord and a sweat guard pocket to keep your valuables free from moisture.

Overall, these shorts are ideal for all your athletic training purposes.

  • Lightweight and comfortable
  • Perfect for all types of exercising
  • Reasonable price considering the overall quality

  • Drawstring is poor quality
  • Some feel the fabric is too stretchy

5. Jed North Fitted Workout Shorts

The best men’s gym shorts

Jed North Men's Fitted Shorts

Brand: Jed North | Material: 90% Polyester / 10% Elastane | Sizes: M – XL | Colors: 6 | Price: 💰💰

The Jed North Fitted Workout Shorts are tight, form-fitting shorts designed especially for the gym. If you haven’t been skipping leg day and are ready to show off some gargantuan leg muscles, these are for you. 

These shorts have been thoroughly tested by dedicated athletes, and the verdict is clear — they’re incredibly comfortable and completely anti-chafing. And, they don’t restrict leg movement at all!

The shorts come with two deep pockets (with zippers), so you can take any essentials out with you, and you don’t risk losing your phone when hunkering down into that leg press machine. Winning!

They come in five sleek styles and four size options, and are guaranteed to attract lots of compliments. Overall, a fantastic pair of shorts for the gym!

  • Quality quick-dry fabrics
  • Great for all types of workouts, particularly squats
  • Extremely comfortable, with a wide range of movement

  • Reports of the zippered pockets breaking
  • May expose a bit too much for those on the modest side

6. ASICS Woven Shorts

The best men’s shorts for athletic builds

Asics Woven Shorts

Brand: ASICS | Material: 100% Polyester | Sizes: SM – 2XL | Colors: 6 | Price: 💰💰

Next up, we have ASICS premium 7-inch woven workout shorts, which are available in half a dozen color combinations. They’re not too short, not too long — just right.

The polyester fabric is made to stretch with your body, keeping you cool and comfortable during all types of workouts. They feature a minimalist design, and there is only one zip pocket on the back, which is perfect for storing a key or keycard. There are also reflective dots on the back and stripes on the sides, so you will stand out if you like to run or work out in poor lighting conditions.

The jock liner is functional and provides plenty of support and comfort for the ole’ jollies. Plus, they have an elastic waist with a drawstring. This means that these shorts may stretch as you move, but they won’t fall down!

  • Convenient zippered storage pocket
  • Attractive pastel colors and a wide range of sizes
  • Polyester fabric w/ elastic waistband conforms as you move

  • Pocket won’t hold much more than a single key or card
  • Shorts are smaller in leg diameter, so not suitable for powerlifters

7. Pinkbomb Men’s Workout Shorts

The best men’s athletic shorts with liner and phone pocket

Pinkbomb Workout Shorts

Brand: Pinkbomb | Material: 95% Polyester / 5% Nylon | Sizes: SM – 2XL | Colors: 14 | Price: 💰💰

We know what you’re thinking: what kind of name is Pinkbomb? Just hear us out.

These workout shorts are some of the most comfortable workout shorts on the market, and certainly the best men’s workout shorts with phone pocket. A bold claim, to be sure. But that’s because they’re jam-packed with awesome features.

For starters, they’re made from a premium blend of polyester and nylon. The outside is breathable and light, while the inside is smooth and stretchy, providing exceptional comfort and all the benefits of compression wear. And what exactly are the benefits of compression wear? Well, these shorts can reduce muscle fatigue, increase oxygenation, and enhance your workout performance! That’s no joke!

Factor in the wide variety of styles and the discreet phone pocket that’ll fit your iPhone like a glove, and you’ve found your new favorite workout shorts. You’ll just have to get over the awful brand name.

  • Excellent compression capabilities
  • Comfortable fabrics that feel great on your legs
  • Convenient phone pocket for your iPhone or Android

  • Lesser-known branding
  • Sizes run small; consider choosing one up

What to Look for in the Best Workout Shorts for Men

Exercising With the Best Workout Shorts for Men
Image by G-Stock Studio / Canva

The issue with choosing a pair of the best workout shorts is, well, there are all different types of workouts! Some folks like to work out in the gym, others on the track, and others get their exercise on by playing sports.

Each workout requires slightly different approaches to material, size, and style. To help you navigate all the options, here are some tips for choosing the perfect fit.

1. Material

Most workout shorts incorporate moisture-resistant and moisture-wicking materials that keep sweat (and thus, bacteria and odors) at bay.

Popular moisture-resistant materials include:

  • Polyester. The most popular fabric for workout shorts, polyester is hydrophobic, durable, and reasonably breathable. It’s also machine-washable and exceptionally affordable.
  • Nylon. Another popular material is nylon, which is soft, lightweight, and abrasion-resistant. Unfortunately, it’s also prone to shrinking in the wash.
  • Elastane. This category encompasses two popular materials: Spandex and Lycra. Elastane is (surprise!) incredibly elastic, comfortable, and resistant to sweat.

The most popular material is polyester due to its low cost and generally high performance. It’s often used as the base of workout shorts and mixed with nylon or elastane for best results.

Another comment material you’ll find polyester mixed with is cotton. Cotton, on its own, does not make a great workout clothing material due to its lack of elasticity and its propensity for soaking up sweat. But, when blended with polyester, you get something called polycotton, which delivers the best of both worlds.

When it comes to working out, consider your needs carefully. If you’re seeking athleisure wear, a budget option made with mostly cotton, e.g., the Champion Men’s Jersey Shorts, should do just fine. But if you’re seeking a pair of shorts that’ll conform to your every movement, opt instead for a blend of polyester and nylon (or elastane). The Pinkbombs and Jed Norths are great picks.

2. Size

Next up, we have size. Size encompasses everything from the fit (think small or extra-large) to the length. There’s no one-size-fits-all solution.

The first thing to do when considering size? Determine your waist size.

If you don’t know your waist size, you’ll need to find out before you select your shorts — it’s essential. It’s best to use a specialized garment measurer, but you can also use a tape measure in a pinch. Compare your results against the sizing chart on your favorite short’s product pages to uncover the ideal size (every brand is different).

Sizing also refers to the length of the shorts. Longer shorts are perfect for athleisure, running, and sports, but may not work so well when you’re bending all over the place, like in yoga or during certain gym workouts. Keep this in mind as you shop.

3. Style

Last (but certainly not least) there’s style. The best workout shorts for men come in all kinds of colors, patterns, and designs.

In terms of aesthetics, it’s as simple as choosing a pair of shorts that matches your existing wardrobe, or whatever you find pleasing. The same goes for patterns. But design is an entirely different beast.

Workout shorts are each made differently. Two of the most common design features? Liners and pockets. Some shorts have them, and some don’t.

Liners are found underneath the outer material, and offer different benefits like compression and enhanced comfort. This can be nice, but it’s not always necessary.

Pockets are another vital consideration. Where will you keep your wallet and accessories while working out? If you don’t have a locker or pouch, pockets are your best bet. Fortunately, we’ve included several options with pockets on our list of best workout shorts for men.

When all is said and done, the most important thing is to keep working out! So choose something that you’ll look and feel good in, then head back to the gym!

Our Process

For this guide on workout shorts for men, our team spent 3 hours researching the most popular options from over 30 brands and manufacturers big and small. We then read about one hundred user reviews (both positive and negative) to discover what shoppers thought about each pair of shorts. After comparing this data, we narrowed our list down to the top 7 workout shorts for men on the market. You can count on this research to guide you to a mindful purchasing decision.

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