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Best Nike Running Shorts in 2021

 

Nike has been bringing out some high-tech running shoes lately, with gender-specific changes to suit men’s feet and women’s feet.

But shoes aren’t the only thing Nike produces. They’re a full athletic apparel company. If you’re a fan of their shoes and you’re due for some other new running gear, why not try a pair of the best Nike running shorts?

We recommend the Nike AeroSwift Running Shorts. Nike’s AeroSwift technology makes them light, airy, and easy to move in. A ventilated waistband, split hem, and internal pockets make it a good choice for any runner.

Shorts may not seem like the most technological of apparel, but the right pair can make you feel extra comfy and speedy on the road! Here’s our full list.

Top 5 Best and Favourites

 

Nike AeroSwift Running Shorts

 

  • AeroSwift technology
  • Low-profile elastic waistband
  • Moisture-wicking fabric
CHECK MEN’S PRICECHECK WOMEN’S PRICE

 

Nike Flex Stride Run Division Hybrid Running Shorts

 

  • Hybrid waistband with drawstring
  • Nike Flex fabric
  • Center back pocket
CHECK PRICE

 

Nike Tempo Luxe 2-in-1 Shorts

 

  • Internal drawcord
  • Nike Flex fabric
  • Center back pocket
CHECK PRICE

 

Nike Flex Stride Wild Run

 

  • 75% recycled polyester
  • Soft brief liner
  • Dri-FIT technology
CHECK PRICE

 

Nike Eclipse Shorts

 

  • Pocket space for valuables
  • Custom fit drawstring
  • Dri-FIT technology
CHECK PRICE

Best for Races

1. Nike AeroSwift Running Shorts

Runners looking for light, easy-to-wear shorts that are both comfortable and streamlined for races should consider Aeroswifts.

The men’s and women’s designs are fairly similar in style and have an old-school, traditional look that’s reminiscent of the old greats.

Nike’s AeroSwift technology keeps these shorts very lightweight. The men’s features a light brief for extra support. This tech also reduces the cling of the material, increasing comfort and range of movement.

As well as being very light on the body, they’re well-ventilated thanks to the Flyvent waistband, zoned ventilation panels, and split hem sides. Dri-FIT technology keeps you cool and dry, removing perspiration as quickly as possible.

A large waterproof pocket in the back center protects your valuables from sweat, puddle splashes, and rain. A variety of other internal pockets are designed to hold electrolyte tablets or energy chews to keep you going on the road.

Runners who don’t readily embrace the short-shorts, whether for style or comfort, will find that these are, in fact, the short-shorts.

PROS:

  • AeroSwift technology
  • Low-profile elastic waistband
  • Moisture-wicking fabric
  • Internal drop-in pockets

CONS:

  • May be too short for some
 

Top 2-in-1 Shorts

2. Nike Flex Stride Run Division (men), Nike Tempo Luxe 2-in-1 (women)

These hybrid shorts have a lightweight outer layer and a supportive inner layer. It’s important to note that the inner layer isn’t technically compression shorts, although they are tighter than average.

The men’s (Flex Stride Run Division) and women’s (Tempo Luxe) are quite similar. In terms of performance, they pack the same punch and will be more supportive than the average pair of running shorts.

Both make use of Nike Dri-FIT technology to remove moisture and keep the runner dry and cool. They also both have a drawcord for a comfortable, custom fit, although the women’s is internal and the men’s is external.

The men’s version has more pockets than the women’s. You’ll find pockets on either hip, a handy little key pocket on the inner left (on the liner), and a center back pocket. The back pocket can be turned inside out, to form a “pass-through tube” to slip a jacket or cap into.

There are no side pockets on the women’s shorts. A large zippered back pocket should be able to store a phone comfortably, and there’s also a little card or key pocket inside the shorts.

There are also some notable style differences. The women’s shorts feature a more flattering cut, with a large side slit that helps with ventilation. Both feature a reflective Nike Swoosh on the lower leg.

PROS:

  • An inner brief for support
  • Hybrid waistband with drawstring
  • Nike Flex fabric
  • Center back pocket

CONS:

  • The women’s has fewer pockets
 

Best Shorts with Pockets

3. Nike Flex Stride Wild Run (men), Nike Eclipse (women)

If you’re one of those runners who prefers being prepared for anything, a well-pocketed pair of shorts may be appealing to you!

These are our picks for the best Nike running shorts with pockets. The Flex Stride Wild Run (men) and Eclipse (women) are fairly different styles, but they both offer enough pockets for you to carry your valuables close to you and stash away an energy chew or two as well.

For the Women: Eclipse

Let’s begin with the ladies’! The Eclipse Shorts have comfy inner tights under the outer shell, which provide slight compression to keep the blood flowing. They also help to keep you feeling stable and supported.

The outer layer is thin and well-ventilated. It’s designed to be petite and stylish, with a curved hemline that’s both flattering and cooling. Perforations along the hemline create a pretty pattern while encouraging airflow at the same time.

Nike Flex fabric and a wide waistband make this pair of shorts comfortable no matter what level of exercise you’re doing. Your movement won’t be hampered in any way.

A large back pocket fits most phones, although if yours is on the larger side, there’s a chance of the zipper breaking. An internal drop-in pocket also keeps valuables safe and close to your person.

For the Men: Flex Stride Wild Run

Now for the men’s! Made from around 75% recycled polyester, they’re good for the planet as well as for your running.

Unlike the ladies’ pair, these don’t have an inner compression lining, but a soft brief liner that provides light support. Strategically placed mesh areas allow for good airflow.

The pocketing system is helpful for your phone, electrolyte tablets, cards, keys, and even a snack. Two side pockets, an internal drop-in pocket, and a large back zippered pocket provide ample space to store valuables.

They feature a mid-width waistband with an external drawcord, as well as Dri-FIT technology to keep you comfy on your run.

PROS:

  • Pocket space for valuables
  • Dri-FIT technology
  • Inner layer (women’s tights, men’s soft brief)
  • Custom fit drawstring

CONS:

  • The zipper on the pocket may break easily
 

Top Reflective Shorts

4. Nike Challenger Run Division (men), Nike Tempo Luxe (women)

Reflectivity is an underestimated feature of running gear. But if you run at night, or even during the twilight hours, being seen by other runners and motorists is super important for your safety.

These are our two picks for the best reflective shorts. Once again, we have two different models, one for men and one for women.

For the Women: Tempo Luxe

The Tempo Luxe is what we recommend for women. They’re light and stretchy and should provide comfort on any run. They’re also easy to wear alone or over tights if you prefer.

The elastic waistband with adjustable drawstring means you can adjust them to fit you perfectly every day. There’s a phone pocket at the back that can be zipped shut for safety.

The reflectivity of these shorts is beautiful! The entire pair of shorts lights up like a beacon, so nobody will miss you on the road.

For the Men: Challenger Run Division

For the men, the Nike Challenger Run Division shorts are what we’ve chosen. The woven, patterned fabric is unique and comfy, soft on the skin, and sweat-wicking.

For extra support, a light inner brief is present. They’re a little longer than some of the other men’s designs, which is great for men who prefer a bit more length.

The pattern is reflective, but the most noticeable element is the large Nike Swoosh on the left leg.

PROS:

  • Reflective-design trims
  • Stretch fabric
  • Elastic waistband with drawcord
  • Dri-FIT Technology

CONS:

  • Some runners may prefer a different length
 

Best for Summer

5. Nike Run Division Flash (men), Nike Tempo (women)

Summer runnin’, had me a blast, summer runnin’, happened so fast! Running in summer is not just a “strap your shoes on and go” kinda thing.

You need to consider your hydration, make sure your clothing is cool enough, and wear sunscreen (although you need to do those things in cold weather too).

Our summer Nike choice for ladies is the Nike Tempo. For the men, the Nike Run Division Flash wins the top spot.

Both of these pairs are on the shorter side, which helps with ventilation. In summer, the less fabric you have against your skin, the better! They’re both lightweight, breathable, and stylish to boot.

The Tempo (ladies’) uses Nike Dri-Fit fabric to keep you cool, comfortable, and dry. An elastic waistband and drawcord help fine-tune the fit.

To provide extra airflow, the side vents in the shorts add ventilation. A small interior pocket is ideal for holding keys or a gel.

The men’s Run Division Flash shorts are made of soft woven fabric and repel water, so if you go running in summer rains you should stay dry where it counts. An inner brief keeps you well-supported.

Side pockets and a water-repellent back pocket keep your important stuff safe from heat, sweat, and unexpected showers.

PROS:

  • Shorter length
  • Sweat-wicking technology
  • Breathable design
  • Lightweight

CONS:

  • No pockets on the women’s
 

Top Compression Shorts

6. Nike Fast 1/2-Length (men), Nike Pro 365 Shorts (women)

Compression shorts can provide great benefit not only while you’re running, but during recovery too.

The great thing about these is that you can wear them by themselves, or as an extra layer underneath a loose-fitting pair of shorts or pants.

The women’s Pro 365 Shorts are tight and stretchy, easy to get on and off, and they hug your body comfortably without chafing. Dri-FIT tech is integrated into the material to keep you as dry as possible.

They’re designed in a high-rise style, with lower back and abdominal support. An elastic waistband prevents them from slipping down, and is wide enough to disperse pressure and stay comfy.

Extra support is provided by the curved seam at the back, which also enhances comfort by following the natural contours of a woman’s body.

The Nike Fast Shorts for men are tight-fitting too, and come down to just above the knee. Stretch material keeps a light compression while still allowing you to move freely within your full range of motion.

Moisture-wicking Dri-FIT tech, reflective detailing, and a comfy elastic waistband add to the comfort and safety of these compression shorts.

PROS:

  • Dri-FIT technology
  • Tight fit compression feel
  • Elastic waistband
  • Reflective details

CONS:

  • Men’s may be too long for some
 

Best Trail Shorts

7. Nike Flex Stride Trail (men), Nike Fast (women)

Any form of running requires the runner to be comfortable. But trail running needs a slight bit more freedom than just running on the road.

You need to be free and flexible to dodge tree branches, make quick changes in your steps, and bend and sway when you need to.

These shorts allow you the freedom of movement to do that. For the ladies, the Nike Fast has been engineered for trail runners, and provide a tight yet flexible fit with no extra material flapping around as you move.

There’s an impressive array of pockets, including a phone pocket on the hip, a small valuables pocket on the leg, and a zippered pocket on the back hem.

The higher-rise design features a wide waistband for added comfort and less chafing when you run, but be aware that the leg seams may be slightly too tight for some.

For the men, the Nike Flex Stride trail running shorts are a completely different design than the women’s. They’re shorter than average and have a knit liner for added support on the rocky trails.

Two side pockets and a back zippered valuables pocket give you enough space for what you need to carry along with you.

Although these shorts are fairly loose in design, they come with an updated narrow waistband with a drawcord. This allows for a custom fit that won’t slip down as you run.

PROS:

  • Nike Flex fabric
  • Multiple pockets
  • Engineered for trail running
  • Reflective design details

CONS:

  • Women who prefer a looser fit may not like these

 

 

FAQs

You’re spoiled for choice when it comes to Nike running shorts. It makes it hard to choose the best from the rest. Here’s some more information to help you find the right pair.

Why are Good Shorts Important for Running?

Shorts may seem like a silly thing to put your thought into when it comes to running gear. But choosing the right pair can make a lot of difference, as can choosing the wrong pair!

A great pair of running shorts will:

  • Be comfortable
  • Not weigh you down
  • Reduce chafing
  • Have some reflective detailing
  • Protect you from the sun or cold
  • Contain pockets for carrying valuables

What Material are They Made Of?

Running shorts can be made from polyester, elastane, nylon, Lycra, or a fiber blend.

What Features are Important?

When looking for a pair of shorts to suit you, consider the following:

Size and Length

If you’re looking for something light and airy, you may want to go for a looser, shorter pair. If compression shorts are what you’re after, you’ll need something tight-fitting or you won’t get the benefit of the compression.

Length is often a matter of personal preference. Many styles these days go for shorter, especially for women. But if you prefer a longer leg, you should still be able to find a quality pair in the length you prefer.

Breathability

You need to stay cool and as dry as possible when you’re running. The breathability of your shorts is important.

Nike uses Dri-FIT technology to wick sweat away from the skin and move it to the surface of the shorts where it can evaporate.

Even so, some shorts are more breathable than others due to their design and added ventilation elements, like side slits, mesh paneling, or other technologies.

Material

You may have an idea of which materials you like and which you don’t. There’s no real winner when it comes to fabric, so it’s best to go with what feels good on you.

Visibility

Reflective detailing is a must for safety on the road or trail. How reflective you want to go depends on you. You can always add a reflective vest if you like a pair of shorts but feel it’s not reflective enough.

Aesthetics

Obviously, choose a color and style that you like!

Nike makes some of the most fashion-forward shorts, shoes, and clothing out there, so it’s hard to go wrong.

The Wired Runner