You’re a runner and more. You need apparel that suits your active lifestyle. Shorts are frequently overlooked when people shop for good, high-quality running gear.
But a good pair of shorts will keep you dry and cool, prevent chaffing, provide free range of movement, and last for many, many runs. Shorts shouldn’t bind, cling, bunch, or feel restrictive.
The best running shorts for women will wick moisture from your skin to keep you cool and comfortable. They should have a lightweight feel and ideally offer a pocket or two to carry gels, keys, or ID. Pair them with your favorite top and you’re set for a great run.
We’ve selected the best women’s running shorts and review them for you here…
Top 3 Best and Favorites
3” Inseam Shorts
First up, our 3” inseam short reviews. These are the most popular length for runners. They’ll keep you cool and won’t restrict you while running.
1. Brooks Chaser 3” Short
These versatile shorts are suited to a variety of distances. The short length coupled with side splits provide outstanding range of motion, and the semi-fitted cut further enhances flexibility.
Both outer shell and inner briefs are comprised of polyester and spandex; the outer layer’s blend is 84/15 while the brief’s blend is 90/10. This composition makes the Brooks Chaser 3” shorts lightweight with just the right amount of stretch. Breathable material helps keep you cool.
They have two pockets – one sweat-resistant – located in the flattering waistband.
- Wide elastic waistband provides slim look
- Doesn’t ride up
- Doesn’t fit everyone equally well
- Pockets lack zippers
2. Under Armour Fly-By Running Shorts
Under Armour’s Fly-By shorts are a well-rounded pair of running shorts.
They provide an exceptional fit that are both roomy without feeling too baggy. Their lightweight design makes them super comfortable.
The shorts are made with materials that wick moisture away. Even if you’re caught in the rain, they’ll dry out quickly.
The fabric also has great ventilation, so you stay cool. Even on the hottest days, you get plenty of airflow. A mesh strip on the sides adds further ventilation.
The wide waistband feels great and prevents bunching. A rear pocket lets you hold personal items for safe-keeping while you’re out for a run. There’s enough room for a smartphones, wallet, or smaller items.
You get standard front pockets for your hands, too. And the shorts have reflective details to keep you visible – and safe – during evening runs.
- Superb elastic waist
- Plenty of pockets
- Sizing runs big
3. New Balance Accelerate 2.5″ Shorts
If you prefer a snug fit in your running shorts, New Balance has you covered. The ladies Accelerates are a well-crafted pair of shorts that provide the perfect hug around your hips.
You will still have plenty of freedom to run. These shorts have the right balance of support and movement.
Moisture-wicking fabric repels water and sweat. And they’ll help keep you cool on a hot day. They have nice ventilation throughout.
While you won’t find any traditional pockets, there is one along the waist. This is perfect for storing small personal items while you’re out for a run.
- Hidden pocket
- Nice support
- Not the most attractive shorts
5” Inseam Shorts
Next up, we have our 5” inseams. This more modest length is great if you want the freedom of movement a 3″ inch length provides but want a little more coverage.
4. New Balance Accelerate 5” Shorts
Efficient and aerodynamic, the Accelerate shorts from New Balance are great for running and general training. They sport a boxer waistband with a drawstring that fits securely and isn’t prone to ride-ups. These shorts have an athletic fit for comfort and range of motion.
In addition to the fit, the fabric of these shorts enhances performances and movement. The material is light and breathable. The New Balance Dry technology helps you stay cool and dry even during intense runs and workouts.
- No inner lining allows you to layer comfortably
- Thin fabric for ultra-lightweight effect
- Petal hem for feminine style
- Competitively priced
- Only one small pocket
5. Brooks Chaser 5” Shorts
Brooks’ Chaser Shorts are one of their most popular styles. These shorts look and feel great.
The 5″ length we feel are just right – they don’t bunch up or get in the way during a run.
The waistband is nice and thick. The Chaser shorts hug your hips perfectly, but never feel too tight.
Inside the waistband is a hidden, sweat-proof pocket for your smartphone or keys. It keeps your personal items safe and secure.
The Chaser shorts are made with DriLayer polyester and spandex. This works to keep you cool and dry at all times. The inner liner is 100% polyester for comfortable support where you need it most.
- Excellent design
- Comfortable fit
- Bit pricey
6. Road Runner Sports R-Gear 5” Running Shorts
Road Runner delivers a versatile pair of running shorts that are value driven.
The waistband has a nice elastic that makes them easy to put on and off. It’s the right balance of comfort and support.
You’ll stay warm and dry as water is wicked away. And on hot and sticky days, R-Gear help keep you cool. There’s plenty of breathability to keep you comfortable.
Two front pockets have zippers, so you don’t have to worry about losing your belongings. The back of the shorts have a Velcro pocket for your wallet or phone. And there’s a hidden inner pocket for keys and gels.
You’ll also find an inner liner for support and comfort.
- Moisture-wicking material
- Lots of pockets
- Attractive design
- Snug in some areas
7” Inseam Shorts
7″ inseams are typically the longest length you find on women’s running shorts. They offer the most coverage but can feel confine to some runners.
7. Brooks Chaser 7” Shorts
Chase your exercise and lifestyle goals in the Brooks Chaser 7” shorts. The relaxed fit provides flexibility and movement even with the longer inseam. Both outer shell and inner brief lining are a polyester/spandex blend to provide a stretch that increases range of motion.
These are well-suited for light running, power walking, milder workouts, and causal wear. The shorts stay comfortably in place—no bunching, riding up, or sliding down. The lightweight fabric helps keep you cool, and the mesh lining wicks away moisture.
These shorts feature two pockets in the waistband, one just large enough for a small-ish phone.
- Two pockets, one waterproof, inside waistband
- The length provides coverage
- Flattering fit
- Moves out of position during intense runs
2-in-1 Boxer Brief Shorts
2 in 1 shorts offer a boxer liner instead of a brief (or no liner). These shorts provide an extra layer for runners who like more compression underneath.
8. New Balance 2-in-1 Impact Shorts
A combination of an inner compression boxer briefs and a woven outer layer make this New Balance short flexible, versatile, and comfortable during runs and workouts.
New Balance’s Impact 2-in-1 shorts sport nice wicking fabrics that keep you cool and dry. The materials used are lightweight and dry quickly. You don’t have to worry about them becoming saturated with sweat.
The waistband features a drawcord, so you can get a custom fit. The Impact shorts do sit fairly low on the waist, so you may want to look elsewhere if that isn’t your style.
Inside the shorts you’ll find two pockets. One is big enough to hold your smartphone. The other is better for smaller items like keys and gels. Both sit discretely inside the shorts.
Finally, the 2-in-1 design means you’ll feel secure and avoid any potential chafing issues.
- Two pockets, one in waistband and one on the side
- Lightweight, comfortably design
- Inner boxer brief may be too long for some
9. Under Armour Qualifier Speedpocket 2-in-1
As another 2-in-1 pair of running shorts, Under Armour delivers. The Qualifiers offer great support without feeling too tight.
The materials used repel moisture and dry it quickly. This ensures that you stay comfortable while you run.
The front Speedpocket measures 6” x 3”; large enough for most smartphones. And the rear pocket keeps your belongings secured with a zipper.
You get a pair of built-in compression shorts to help prevent uncomfortable chafing. All in a nice, soft design.
- Soft feel
- Large pockets
- Supportive throughout workout
10. Salomon Agile Shorts
With taffeta material, these lightweight shorts perform well in warm and hot weather. They consist of a light outer shell and an inner brief for comfort and support. Together, they keep moisture away so neither sweat nor fabric clings to you restrictively.
The relaxed, athletic fit moves with you to enhance your range of motion during your daily runs and competitive racing events. While they offer excellent performance for your runs, the Salomon Agile Shorts are versatile and great for multiple active uses.
- Single zip pocket in back won’t carry items you might want on long runs
Short tights are another good option for female runners. These aren’t full compression shorts, but a snug fit for freedom of movement.
11. Brooks Greenlight 7” Short Tights
Brooks has given you the green light to run comfortably without restrictions. These fitted tights offer firm support and hold everything in place. The polyester/spandex blend provides a high degree of stretch and flexibility for great range of motion.
The Greenlight 7” Short Tights are made for performance. They remain in place while you run. The fabric blend is light and breathable. As you work up a sweat, the shorts wick moisture so you remain cool and dry. The 7” inseam prevents chafing.
- Two hidden key pockets rather than the single pocket of many women’s running shorts
- Not prone to riding up during running and other activities
- Some people do experience riding up or rolling down of the waist depending on individual body type
12. Under Armour HeatGear Armour Shorty Shorts
Under Armour’s HeatGear Shorty shorts have a nice fit without weighing you down.
The polyester and elastane materials wick away moisture. Now you can run without fear of sweat ruining your workout.
You won’t feel any chafing, either. The stretchiness gives you plenty of freedom and flexibility.
The soft waistband sits on your hips without feeling too high or too low. You’re getting a fit that is just right.
- Can be worn alone or as a base layer
- Tight-fitting compression gives you streamlined motion
- Four-way stretch fabric further increases range of motion
- Too tight for some runners
Skorts are a combination short and skirt. Offering the freest of movement, skorts are lightweight and keep you cool. They usually have a boxer or brief liner under the outer skirt.
13. Asics Love Skort
The Love Skort is aptly named. It gives you lots of love with its many performance-enhancing features. The skirt’s fabric has a soft suede feel but is a polyester/spandex blend. This creates a skort that is neither too light nor too thin so is suitable for different conditions.
The love skort moves with you, affording you flexibility and range of motion as you run. The shorts are on the loose end of compression and provide ample support without uncomfortable tightness. The gusset is made of CoolMax material for ultimate cool comfort.
- Excellent for distance running
- Performs well in activities like tennis and golf, too
- Hitting slightly below the belly button, the waist is supportive and flattering without being restrictive
- Pleats cause extra movement when running
- Shorts don’t always stay in place
- No ball pocket if using for tennis
14. Salomon Agile Skort
This skort by Salomon is very lightweight, making it well-suited for warm and hot weather runs. The skirt moves easily with your body, providing flexibility and increased range of motion. The inner shorts provide consistent support.
AdvancedSkin ActiveDry technology keeps sweat away from your skin as you train and go the distance. The inner shorts have a mesh lining that enhances cooling air circulation. Material and fabrics of taffeta, stretch jersey, and polyester/elastane combine to give you a skort that stretches and flexes with you.
- Relaxed fit doesn’t bind
- Salomon UPF 50 for sun protection
- Only 1 small zipped side pocket limits what you carry
When you tire of boring running shorts, look no further than SparkleSkirts to add style and pizzazz to your wardrobe.
These American manufactured skirts not only look great, but are functional as well. They wick sweat and come with a patented under short beneath the skirt. The under short not only prevents chafing, but includes technology keeping them from riding up. You can run confidently, knowing you won’t need to re-adjust during your run.
The undershorts also include 3 huge pockets, allowing for storage of all your essentials.
SparkleSkirts come in a wide range of sizes. They are an inclusive brand that makes skirts from size 3XS to 3XL (even 4XL if you contact them directly). Runners of all shapes and sizes will be able to find the perfect fit. Cuffs on the undershorts can also be custom sized if you need adjustments.
SparkleSkirts are available in tons of different colors and styles. Even better, if you are looking for a running costume, you’re likely to find something from their large collection of themed skirts.
- Comes in wide range of colors and styles
- Numerous size options
- Lots of storage in under short
- Under short doesn’t ride up