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Best Running Shorts for Women – Our Top 8 Picks! 

 July 5, 2020

by Michal
Title
Best Loose Shorts
Under Armour Women’s Play Up Short
Best Anti-Chafing Shorts
BALEAF Women’s High Waist Running Shorts
Best Compression Shorts
2XU Women’s Compression Shorts
Our Top Pick!
Nike Women’s Eclipse 2-in-1 Shorts
Preview
Under Armour Play Up Short 2.0, Ultralight Women's Active Shorts, Breathable and Soft Ladies Gym Wear Women
BALEAF Women's 8" /5" /4" High Waist Workout Yoga Volleyball Biker Running Compression Exercise Shorts Side Pockets
2XU Women's Run Mid Rise Dash Compression Shorts-WA6182b Shorts, Black/Silver Reflective, XS
Nike Women's W Nk Eclipse 2in1 Short
Material
Polyester
Polyamide, Elastane
Polyamide/Elastane
Polyester
Type
Loose-fit
Yoga
Compression
2 in 1
Pockets
Price not available
Price not available
£53.89
Price not available
Best Loose Shorts
Title
Under Armour Women’s Play Up Short
Preview
Under Armour Play Up Short 2.0, Ultralight Women's Active Shorts, Breathable and Soft Ladies Gym Wear Women
Material
Polyester
Type
Loose-fit
Pockets
Price not available
Best Anti-Chafing Shorts
Title
BALEAF Women’s High Waist Running Shorts
Preview
BALEAF Women's 8" /5" /4" High Waist Workout Yoga Volleyball Biker Running Compression Exercise Shorts Side Pockets
Material
Polyamide, Elastane
Type
Yoga
Pockets
Price not available
Best Compression Shorts
Title
2XU Women’s Compression Shorts
Preview
2XU Women's Run Mid Rise Dash Compression Shorts-WA6182b Shorts, Black/Silver Reflective, XS
Material
Polyamide/Elastane
Type
Compression
Pockets
£53.89
Our Top Pick!
Title
Nike Women’s Eclipse 2-in-1 Shorts
Preview
Nike Women's W Nk Eclipse 2in1 Short
Material
Polyester
Type
2 in 1
Pockets
Price not available

As summer hits, it’s time to hang up your leggings, and reach for a pair of running shorts instead. Just like a good running bra, a quality pair of running shorts is important for making sure your miles are fun and injury free. These days there are loads of running shorts for you to choose from, from loose shorts, to hot pants type shorts, long length shorts, and compression shorts.

We’ve picked out some of the best running shorts for women, for you to check out and enjoy your runs!

Our Reviews

We’ve picked out a range of the best women’s shorts for running, including loose shorts, 2in1 shorts, and tight/ compression shorts. In no particular order:

1. Nike Women’s Eclipse 2in1 Shorts

Nike Women's W Nk Eclipse 2in1 Short

These women’s 2 in 1 running shorts from Nike give you the best of both worlds – stretchy inner shorts for compression, and loose fitting shorts on top for confidence. Both layers of these shorts are made from Nike Flex fabric which stretches with your body, and the high split hem  on the outer shorts lets you move freely. Breathable fabric wicks sweat away. These shorts are made from recycled plastic, reducing their impact on the environment.

And finally, a zip pocket in the back of the waistband gives you a secure place to keep your keys!

These 2 in 1 shorts have it all, fun colours, comfortable fit, and sweat removing materials, making them perfect for those looooong runs.

Nike Women’s Eclipse 2in1 Shorts
1 Reviews
Nike Women’s Eclipse 2in1 Shorts

  • 2in1 shorts 
  • Moisture wicking material
  • Made from recycled materials
  • Shorts length: 3 inches (8cm)
  • Zip pocket in the back waistband


2. Adidas Alphaskin 3-inch Short Tights

adidas Women's Alphaskin Sport 3-inch Short Tights

Whatever your sport, these compression fit shorts will move with you.

Made from Adidas’s moisture absorbing AEROREADY fabric, they stay cool, comfortable, and right where they should sit on your legs. The fabric is also anti-odour, keeping you fresh as you move. These shorts are made with recycled materials, saving resources and avoiding waste, and making you feel good too!

Store your valuables close to your body in the mesh pocket, and enjoy your every run.

These shorts are cool, comfortable, and versatile, great for all you exercise needs from running, to lifting weights, and HIIT sessions.

Adidas Alphaskin 3-inch short tights
5 Reviews
Adidas Alphaskin 3-inch short tights

  • Compression shorts
  • Moisture wicking material
  • Made from recycled materials
  • Shorts length: 3 inches (8cm)
  • Mesh pocket to keep valuables safe


3. Ultrasport Women’s Running Pants

Ultrasport Women's Running Pants Short with Quick-Dry-Function

If you like long-length, compression fit shorts for your runs, these shorts are for you.

The spandex fabric gives you great freedom of movement, and quick-dry material controls your temperature, so you stay cool and dry as you run. The longer length allows you to stay chafe-free between your thighs, making these a perfect choice for your every run.

These shorts also have flat-seams to reduce the risk of chafing, and elastic in the leg openings hold them in place as you run.

Keep your valuables safely zipped in the waistband pocket.

These super comfortable, great value shorts, come highly recommended for running, whatever the distance.

Ultrasport women’s running pants
186 Reviews
Ultrasport women’s running pants

  • Tight shorts
  • Quick-dry material
  • Stay in place hems to reduce slippage
  • Longer length shorts reduce chafing
  • Zip pocket


4. BALEAF Women’s 8” High Waist Running Shorts

BALEAF Women's 8' /5' /4' High Waist Workout Yoga Volleyball Biker Running Compression Exercise Shorts Side Pockets

Banish chub-rub with these women’s running shorts that have it all – longer length for thigh-rub free skin, a high-rise waistband to keep you in, comfortable fit, tight shorts, and big side pockets for you to slip your phone into as you run!

Add in the moisture-wicking fabric which keeps you dry no matter how much you sweat, and chafe-free, flat, ergonomic seams, and you will ever want to take these shorts off.

Traditionally these are yoga styled shorts, but are perfectly suitable for running as well. Being longer length shorts makes them a little more versatile too, whether you want to wear them to run, squat, or simply run errands in your ‘activewear’!

BALEAF Women’s 8” High Waist Running Shorts
25,398 Reviews
BALEAF Women’s 8” High Waist Running Shorts

  • Tight shorts
  • Quick-dry material
  • Chafe-free seams
  • Longer length shorts
  • Side pockets for your phone/ keys


5. Under Armour Women’s Play Up Short

Under Armour Play Up Short 2.0, Ultralight Women's Active Shorts, Breathable and Soft Ladies Gym Wear Women

Designed to let you move freely, these shorts have a great fit, and come in lots of great colours. The soft, lightweight knit material is super comfortable and breathable, and the quick-drying material wicks sweat away fast. The thick waistband adds comfort around your tummy, and looks good too!

The great thing about these shorts is the side pockets – store your valuables in these pockets that are big enough for both your phone and your keys.

Pull on these versatile shorts whenever you go for a run, gym workout, or just potter around the house. They are supremely comfortable and you’ll probably find yourself wearing them even on your rest days!

Under Armour Women’s Play Up Short
1,365 Reviews
Under Armour Women’s Play Up Short

  • Loose shorts
  • Soft, lightweight knit
  • Curved hem
  • Shorts length: 3 inches (8 cm)
  • Side pockets for your phone/ keys


6. HMIYA Women’s Running Shorts

HMIYA Women's Running Shorts with Zip Pocket for Gym Sports Workout Training

These great value, comfortable and loose fitting shorts are designed to be super comfortable on every run. Made from polyester and spandex, they have a unique style all of their own.

The elastic waistband and drawstring keeps them in place on your waist, and the mesh liner gives you the confidence to move freely whatever exercise you are doing.

The quick drying material completes the comfort list, and the zipped pocket in the waistband lets you keep your valuables safe.

Whatever your sports preference, running, working out in the gym, hiking, and more, these shorts will be your perfect choice.

HMIYA Women’s Running Shorts
17 Reviews
HMIYA Women’s Running Shorts

  • Loose fit shorts
  • Quick drying, lightweight material
  • Mesh lining
  • Shorts length: 3 inches (8 cm)
  • Zip pocket in waistband


7. 2XU Women’s Compression Shorts

2XU Women's Run Mid Rise Dash Compression Shorts-WA6182b Shorts, Black/Silver Reflective, XS

Calling the long distance runners among you – if you frequently run long runs and need a little extra support for those beat up leg muscles, then these shorts from 2XU are for you.

The compression in these shorts support and protect your abductor, glute, quad, and hamstring muscles, making these shorts the perfect choice for long runs. The longer length protects your inner thighs from chafing, and the moisture wicking fabric keeps you dry and comfortable.

These shorts are ideal for longer runs, but they are versatile and stretchy enough for any workout whenever you need extra support.

They’re also a great pair of shorts for rest days and even to sleep in, as they’re comfortable and the compression helps boost your recovery times so you can get back on the road fresher and sooner.

2XU Women’s Compression Shorts

  • Compression shorts
  • Thick waistband stays in place
  • Moisture wicking
  • Long length for extra support


8. Ronhill Women’s Stride Twin Shorts

Ronhill Women's Stride Twin Shorts

You will want to run every day in these dual layer running shorts from Ronhill. The 2in1 style gives you both support and freedom as you run. The longer length inner shorts are made from Ronhill’s Powerlite fabric which stretches when needed without compromising on support, and the extra length keeps your legs chafe-free.

The relaxed-fit outer layer is made from their Flexlite fabric, which is breathable and high-wicking for comfort.

Run confidently in the knowledge that your belongings are secure in your shorts pocket.

These shorts are perfect for running in every day, no matter how long (or short) the distance.

Ronhill Women’s Stride Twin Shorts

  • 2in1 shorts
  • Moisture wicking
  • Longer length inner short
  • Secure pocket in outer shorts


Why you should always run in running shorts

Finding the right pair of running shorts will make your run speed by (pun intended), and a poorly fitting pair will make your runs miserable, so it is important you consider what fit works best for you.

You want to be able to forget about your shorts during your run, so shorts that chafe, dig-in, or ride-up can really ruin your day.

Loose fit shorts

Loose fit shorts are usually made from a less stretchy material, but they have a side split to allow your legs to move, and allow the breeze to circulate around your legs. They are designed for freedom of movement, and many women also like them because they are looser at the top, so no risk of camel-toe.

Tight fitting shorts

Tight shorts, cycling shorts, whatever you want to call them, these shorts are made from the same stretchy fabrics as your leggings are, but in shorter forms. They provide support to your legs and glutes, and many runners like them because they are stretchy and fit like a second skin.

This style of short is typically found in three lengths:

Short length: ‘Hot pant length’, these shorts are usually 3 inches/ 8cm long. They are great for allowing your legs maximum exposure to the air.

Mid-length: For people who want a bit more coverage, these shorts are usually 5 inches/ 12 cm long.

Long-length: These shorts usually come up just above the knee, and are great for runners who suffer from chafing on their thighs as they run. They are usually 7 inches/ 18cm long.

Compression shorts

The best compression shorts for running are designed to provide protection and support to the muscles in your legs as you run. They will protect your abdominal, abductor, glutes, quad, and hamstring muscles, reducing how quickly they become fatigued, and even making recovery times between runs quicker.

Fit

You will want to make sure that your running shorts fit you well.

Waistbands – Too big and the waistband will slip, causing chafing and rubbing against your skin. Too small, and the waistband will dig into your skin, leaving marks, and causing that unsightly ‘muffin top’.

Length – The length of your shorts can affect how you feel. Some runners with bigger thighs find that shorter length shorts will automatically ride up. If the fit on your legs is too tight, they will also ride up as you run. As mentioned above, the length of your shorts is also important if you have skin that is prone to rubbing and chafing.

Pockets

Pockets are important enough to most runners to give this topic a section on its own. Running is a great sport simply because you can put on your kit, grab your keys, and hit the pavement. But where do you store your keys on your run? Your pockets of course.

Many running shorts have zip pockets in the waistband to hold keys and money securely. More recently, many tights running shorts have deep pockets in the side that you can slip phones and keys into. And some running shorts have little fabric pockets tucked inside the waistband for you to hide your keys, but nothing else. 

The Best Ladies Running Shorts: Our Top Picks!

Title
Best Loose Shorts
Under Armour Women’s Play Up Short
Best Anti-Chafing Shorts
BALEAF Women’s High Waist Running Shorts
Best Compression Shorts
2XU Women’s Compression Shorts
Our Top Pick!
Nike Women’s Eclipse 2-in-1 Shorts
Preview
Under Armour Play Up Short 2.0, Ultralight Women's Active Shorts, Breathable and Soft Ladies Gym Wear Women
BALEAF Women's 8" /5" /4" High Waist Workout Yoga Volleyball Biker Running Compression Exercise Shorts Side Pockets
2XU Women's Run Mid Rise Dash Compression Shorts-WA6182b Shorts, Black/Silver Reflective, XS
Nike Women's W Nk Eclipse 2in1 Short
Material
Polyester
Polyamide, Elastane
Polyamide/Elastane
Polyester
Type
Loose-fit
Yoga
Compression
2 in 1
Pockets
Price not available
Price not available
£53.89
Price not available
Best Loose Shorts
Title
Under Armour Women’s Play Up Short
Preview
Under Armour Play Up Short 2.0, Ultralight Women's Active Shorts, Breathable and Soft Ladies Gym Wear Women
Material
Polyester
Type
Loose-fit
Pockets
Price not available
Best Anti-Chafing Shorts
Title
BALEAF Women’s High Waist Running Shorts
Preview
BALEAF Women's 8" /5" /4" High Waist Workout Yoga Volleyball Biker Running Compression Exercise Shorts Side Pockets
Material
Polyamide, Elastane
Type
Yoga
Pockets
Price not available
Best Compression Shorts
Title
2XU Women’s Compression Shorts
Preview
2XU Women's Run Mid Rise Dash Compression Shorts-WA6182b Shorts, Black/Silver Reflective, XS
Material
Polyamide/Elastane
Type
Compression
Pockets
£53.89
Our Top Pick!
Title
Nike Women’s Eclipse 2-in-1 Shorts
Preview
Nike Women's W Nk Eclipse 2in1 Short
Material
Polyester
Type
2 in 1
Pockets
Price not available

If you like the look and feel of loose running shorts, we recommend the Under Armour Women’s Play Up Short. The soft, lightweight knit is super comfortable and breathable, the expanded logo waistband looks and feels great as it keeps the shorts in place, and the curved hem simply flatters. You may have even seen these quite a few times on the roads or in the gym already. Hands down one of the best running shorts for women on the UK market today.

The best shorts for running for women to prevent chafing is the BALEAF Women’s 8” High Waist Running Shorts. The longer length, sweat wicking material, and flat seams are all designed to reduce any chance of chafing as you run. Add in the long side pockets, and these shorts are simply winners.

The best compression shorts for running are the 2XU Women’s Compression Shorts. The compression protects your muscles, allowing for better performance when running, and a quicker recovery time after your run. As an added bonus, the longer length will also keep you chafe free.

But not so surprisingly, Nike comes up tops again. Our overall choice is the short that lets you have it all, the Nike Women’s Eclipse 2in1 Running Shorts. The combination of support from the inner layer, and the freedom of the loose outer layer will allow you to enjoy your run every single time.

Last update on 2020-10-30 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API


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