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How difficult is choosing a pair of running shorts?

Well, I’ve recently discovered that the search for the best running shorts for women can be very challenging indeed.

Some running shorts feature moisture-wicking fabrics, but turn out to be too long and bunch up around the inner thighs. Ouch – I can already feel the blisters forming.

Not all is lost though: I ended up with my dream pair of comfortable, lightweight running shorts after hours of scouring the Internet. And lucky you: I figured I’d help you out with your choice by sharing the results of my research!

Here we go:

women in short running shorts

TOP 17 Running Shorts for Women 2019

Oalka Women’s High Waist Running Shorts

Oalka Womens High Waist Running Shorts

Review: Can’t stand your shorts riding up, or bunching between your thighs when you’re running? Me too.

Luckily, we have these running shorts from Oalka. Its 9-inch inseam is designed to fit around your legs securely, so they stay in place through the entirety of your workout.

Another benefit of its length is the fact that these shorts don’t chafe. Spare your inner thighs from pain while you cover the miles! They also feature a high waistband – perfect for those days where you feel a little more jiggly than usual around the mid-section.

Your tummy will be tucked right in!

  • Deep side pockets – carry your phone, and keys along with you.
  • Moisture-wicking fabric – allows you to cover greater distances without worrying about the pooling of excess sweat.
  • High waistband – provides tummy control, so you don’t have to suck your guts in at every traffic light stop.
  • Pockets are not zipped – valuables may fall out during intensive sessions.

Hate having to continually adjust the position of your shorts while pounding the pavement? Get Oalka’s running shorts – it’s one of the best women’s running shorts that don’t ride up.

RIBOOM Women’s Fitness Running Shorts

RIBOOM Womens Fitness Running Shorts

Review: I love 2-in-1 running shorts – I mean, an inner lining that doubles as compression wear? Consider me sold. But some of these shorts feature inner layers that are way longer than the outer one.

Functional, yes. But fashionable? Definitely not.

If you’re put off by shorts that come with disproportionately long inner linings, grab yourself a pair of RIBOOM’s running shorts. Its inner layer is only 0.5 inches longer than the outer shorts.

The shorts’ fabric – made with 96% polyester and 4% spandex – also ensures that you’ll stay cool and dry throughout every single mile.

  • Soft elastic waistband with outer drawstring – snug, adjustable fit on your waist.
  • Moisture-wicking material – stay cool and dry over long distances.
  • 2-in-1 shorts – the inner compression layer contributes to better blood flow and can help with performance.
  • The inner compression layer does not hold up to wear and tear.

A great pair of affordable 2-in-1 running shorts that provide you with maximum comfort on your runs.

Homma Women’s Tummy Control Running Shorts

Homma Womens Tummy Control Running Shorts

Review: If you’re someone who needs your running shorts to double as shapewear, then look no further. Homma’s running shorts have been specifically designed to give you an instant tummy tuck the moment you slip these on.

Its thick, high waistband cinches everything from the hip up, giving you an incredibly flattering silhouette.

The fabric of the shorts is entirely opaque, so you don’t have to worry about your underwear showing through while you’re working up a sweat.

  • Tummy control – boosts your confidence so you can give 100% to your workout.
  • Compression fit – improves blood circulation to your leg muscles, and boosts athletic performance.
  • Non-see-through fabric – run freely without fretting over whether people on the streets can make out your underwear color.
  • No pockets.

These shorts’ thick material ensures a sung and firm hold around your lower body. Its budget-friendly price-tag definitely makes it one of the best women’s compression shorts for running.

Cadmus Women’s High Waist Compression Shorts

Cadmus Womens High Waist Compression Shorts

Review: Chafing hurts. There’s no reason to subject your poor inner thighs to painful abrasions when you can simply grab a pair of Cadmus’ compression shorts.

With its flatlock seams, you never worry about moisturizing angry, red, and irritated skin after your workout session.

Are you a runner who loves taking long strides? No worries – these shorts can keep up with you. Its gusseted crotch allows you unrestricted movement, so you are free to pick up the pace by lengthening your strides.

  • Hidden waistband pocket – securely stash away a key, or two while working out.
  • Sweat-wicking fabric – draws sweat away from your body, and allows for faster evaporation of moisture.
  • Flatlock seams – prevents painful inner-thighs abrasions.
  • Inconsistent quality.

Grab yourself a pair of these if you no longer want to deal with irritated inner-thighs after a running session – these are quite simply the best women’s running shorts to avoid chafing.

Icyzone Running Sweat Shorts

Icyzone Running Sweat Shorts

Review: Your search ends here if you’re looking for a casual pair of running shorts. Its stylish design makes it a perfect closet addition for the busy, active woman.

These shorts can be dressed up (collared blouse), or down (basic tee) based on the occasion. You can literally start, and end your day in them.

When it’s time for your scheduled run, simply put on your workout top of choice, and you’re ready to go.

  • Stylish design – a pair of versatile running shorts that can be dressed up or down.
  • Elastic waistband with adjustable drawcord – gives you a custom fit.
  • Two front pockets – always keep your essentials by your side.
  • Material is primarily made of cotton (80%) – will not wick sweat away well.

These running shorts are ideal for busy, active women who don’t have the patience to keep changing in and out of clothes throughout the day.

Nike Women’s Dry Attack Athletic Shorts

Nike Womens Dry Attack Athletic Shorts

Review: As the name suggests, these athletic shorts from Nike are meant to keep you dry and comfortable. This sweat-wicking property is credited to the brand’s signature Dry fabric.

The shorts also come fitted with an elastic waistband that conforms to your waist for a customized fit.

Find 5 inches too long? Well, simply roll the waistband down to shorten the inseam. Doing so exposes the inner elastic with repeating ‘Nike’ print around the band.

The rolled-down branded look, along with the curved hemline, gives off a fun look that is ultimately both flattering and stylish.

  • Sweat-wicking material – stay cool, comfortable, and dry over longer distances.
  • Foldable waistband – gives you the flexibility to adjust the length of the shorts.
  • 5 inches inseam – provides you with ample coverage without restricting movement.
  • No pockets.

These shorts’ functionality is not compromised by its stylish and fun design. This makes it one of the best women’s running shorts in 2019 for fashionable, active women.

Regna X Women’s Dolphin Running Shorts

Regna X Womens Dolphin Running Shorts

Review: Want your running shorts to help give off the illusion of slim legs? Look no further, because you’ve found the perfect pair: Regna X’s running shorts feature unique ‘Dolphin Hem Side Slits’ that streamline the appearance of your lower body.

These shorts are also made with moisture-wicking fabric, so you don’t have to worry about sweat trickling down the length of your calves while you’re working out hard.

Its elastic waistband with an outer drawstring provides you with an adjustable fit around your waist.

  • ‘Dolphin Hem Side Slits’ – gives off the illusion of slimmer legs (who doesn’t want that?)
  • Moisture-wicking fabric – keeps your skin fresh and dry throughout your longest runs.
  • Elastic waistband with outer drawstring – ensures a snug, comfortable, and adjustable fit around the waist.
  • Runs small.

If you’re looking for a pair of lightweight running shorts that can also help with streamlining your lower body, grab these.

Adidas Women’s Running M10 Shorts

Adidas Womens Running M10 Shorts

Review: Adidas’ M10 running shorts have been specially made for comfort. Stay dry throughout your run with the brand’s signature Climalite fabric – it’s incredibly efficient at wicking sweat away from the body.

Also, the material ensures a high level of breathability, so you stay fresh for longer.

The shorts’ 3-inch inseams provide sufficient coverage and are not too long such that they bunch together around your thighs. It also features a small pocket at the front of its waistband so you can store essential items within.

  • Climalite fabric – sweeps sweat away from your skin.
  • A small pocket in the waistband – carry your keys with you when you go for a run.
  • Elastic waistband – stays in place no matter how intense your session gets.
  • See-through in specific colors (primarily white).

Breathable, lightweight, and moisture-wicking. What more can you ask for in a pair of running shorts? In my opinion, this is one of the best women’s long-distance running shorts.

Baleaf Women’s Running Shorts

Baleaf Womens Running Shorts

Review: Baleaf’s running shorts offer the best of both worlds: comfort and unrestricted mobility.

It comes fitted with a built-in mesh liner that helps keep moisture away in, you know, that region, so you stay cool and dry for more extended periods.

The shorts’ split-leg design provides you with unrestricted mobility, so you are free to experiment with longer strides while running. Also, this unique design prevents the shorts from bunching up as you train.

  • Built-in mesh liner – enhances comfort and breathability.
  • Split-leg design – never worry about ripping through your shorts when going all out.
  • Large side pockets – keep your phone, keys, and bank cards with you by your side.
  • Pockets are not zipped.

Move freely and comfortably in these running shorts from Baleaf.

FITTIN Women’s Active Sports Shorts

FITTIN Womens Active Sports Shorts

Review: FITTIN’s sports shorts have been engineered to feel like a second skin the moment you put them on. Its fabric is buttery-soft and does an excellent job at wicking away excess sweat.

You never have to deal with annoying, wet fabric that clings onto your legs when you run with this pair of shorts.

These shorts are made from 90% polyester and 10% spandex. Its compression ability improves blood circulation to your muscles, so they’re adequately oxygenated for better performance.

The snug fit of these shorts also prevents your phone from slipping out of its side pockets.

  • Moisture-wicking fabric – wicks away excess sweat, so you stay dry throughout your run.
  • Buttery-soft material – lightweight and breathable, provides you with enhanced comfort.
  • Compression ability – promotes blood circulation and provides support to your lower body.
  • Fabric tends towards the sheer side.

You won’t go wrong with choosing FITTIN’s sports shorts if you’re looking for the best women’s running shorts with pockets.

Athlarel Women’s Lightweight Running Shorts

Athlarel Womens Lightweight Running Shorts

Review: This broad, elastic waistband option is super stylish – heads are bound to turn when you hit the pavement in these shorts. Its scalloped hems end just after the butt cheek area and perfectly highlight the curves you’ve been working so hard for.

You don’t have to worry about ‘curious’ bystanders taking a sneak peek at your underwear either – the shorts come fitted with a mesh liner layer that protects your privacy. Move freely and confidently in these shorts!

  • Wide, elastic waistband – provides tummy control without cutting into your skin.
  • Scalloped hems – allows for greater freedom of movement.
  • Zipped pocket in the back – easily stash spare cash or keys.
  • May not look flattering on pear-shaped women.

The length of these shorts makes them the best women’s running shorts to prevent chafing.

Starter Women’s Running Shorts

Starter Womens Running Shorts

Review: These relaxed fit shorts from Starter are perfect for your summer trail runs. With a rough 5-inch inseam, these shorts are not too short, and not too long.

They provide just the right amount of coverage you’d need to get through challenging trails.

Stay dry and comfortable with its moisture-wicking fabric. Its stretchy material also allows for unrestricted movement, so you are free to cover more distance with wider strides.

  • STRETCH-STAR fabric – take long strides without worrying about tears.
  • Sweat-wicking material – pulls sweat away from your body, and dries fast.
  • Back zip-pocket – securely store your keys while you’re out on a trail.
  • Inconsistent sizing.

This is the running shorts to go for if you want one that will serve you well on trails. These shorts are quite possibly the best women’s trail running shorts.

VALINNA Women’s Running Shorts

VALINNA Womens Running Shorts

Review: VALINNA’s running shorts are made from 87% polyester and 13% spandex.

The shorts are silky smooth to the touch and are incredibly comfortable when worn. Its dolphin hems can also give off the illusion of slimmer legs – who wouldn’t want that, right?

These shorts are also fitted with an outer drawstring so you can customize the fit of the shorts to your preferences.

  • Lightweight, breathable fabric – prevents the uncomfortable experience of wet and sticky skin rubbing together.
  • Dolphin hems – gives off the illusion of slimmer legs.
  • Elastic waistband with outer drawstring – offers you a fully adjustable waistband fit.
  • Issues with durability.

One of the best options for active women who want to go straight from lounging on the couch to a casual run around the neighborhood.

CRZ YOGA Women’s Running Sports Shorts

CRZ YOGA Womens Running Sports Shorts

Review: Do you frequently run at night? Well, you might want to consider getting yourself a pair of these shorts from CRZ YOGA.

They feature reflective strips detailing on both sides, so you never have to worry if that car to your left can spot you in the darkness.

The shorts also come with built-in briefs, so you stay fresh and comfortable while covering the distance. Easily carry small, essential items along with you on your runs with the shorts’ back zipper pocket and inside pocket.

  • Built-in briefs – you never have to pull your underwear down mid-run again.
  • Reflective strips – stay safe when running in low-light conditions.
  • Lightweight fabric – delivers superior comfort.
  • Runs big.

The best running shorts for women who frequently run under the moonlight.

TSLA Active Running Shorts

TSLA Active Running Shorts

Review: If you hate the hassle of having to pull up your workout shorts’ waistband every half a mile or so, you’d appreciate what TSLA has to offer.

Their running shorts’ elastic waistband has been designed to stay securely in place over long periods.

The shorts’ material also wicks away excess sweat away, so you stay comfortable and happy even during the most challenging runs. Its fabric is thick and completely opaque, so you never have to fret if bystanders are getting a free show.

  • Elastic waistband – securely stays in place over long periods and distances.
  • Ultra-stretch fit – conforms and contours to your running gait for enhanced freedom of movement.
  • Compression ability – provides your leg muscles with additional support.
  • Prone to ripping.

Its affordable price makes it one of the best women’s compression running shorts you can add to your activewear collection.

Layer 8 Women’s Quick Dry Running Shorts

Layer 8 Womens Quick Dry Running Shorts

Review: You should know by now that I love 2-in-1 shorts. It almost feels like you’re getting two pairs of shorts at the price of one when you purchase them.

The inner layer of Layer 8’s running shorts is tight and body-hugging a perfect example of compression wear. The outer shorts, on the other hand, feature sweat-wicking technology to keep you dry and comfortable.

These shorts also feature a four-way stretch fabric that enables it to conform to your body’s natural movements.

  • Inner compression shorts – offer you more support and coverage.
  • Moisture-wicking outer shorts – dries quickly, so the fabric does not cling onto your skin.
  • Anti-microbial – eliminates the spread of bacteria and odors within the fabric.
  • Specific colors of shorts are not fitted with pockets.

You need to give these a go if you’re looking for a pair of budget-friendly 2-in-1 running shorts.

Under Armour Women’s Fly-By Run Shorts

Under Armour Womens Fly-By Run Shorts

Review: You should know by now that I love 2-in-1 shorts. It almost feels like you’re getting two pairs of shorts at the price of one when you purchase them.

The inner layer of Layer 8’s running shorts is tight and body-hugging a perfect example of compression wear. The outer shorts, on the other hand, feature sweat-wicking technology to keep you dry and comfortable.

These shorts also feature a four-way stretch fabric that enables it to conform to your body’s natural movements.

  • Wide, covered elastic waistband – offers a perfect, comfortable fit on your waist.
  • Machine-washable – how convenient is that?
  • Light-weight, moisture-wicking fabric – wicks sweat away efficiently, and dries fast.
  • Pricey.

Its superior ability to wick sweat away, and prevent chafing makes it the best women’s running shorts for a marathon.

Keep This in Mind When Buying Running Shorts

When you first start out running, you’ll get by with just about any old pair of shorts you have lying around in your closet or a pair of general workout shorts that fit more situations.

But when you begin to get more serious and cover more considerable distances, you’ll find the need to invest in a dedicated pair of running shorts.

Here are a few factors you can keep in mind before you part with your hard-earned money:


You definitely need your running shorts to be constructed with lightweight, moisture-wicking fabric. Trust me, it is not fun to deal with heavy, sweat-drenched material that clings on to your skin.

I’ve been there. Synthetic materials such as polyester, spandex, and nylon are excellent choices.

Another benefit of choosing sweat-wicking fabric is that its moisture-management feature prevents chafing and discomfort. You want to enjoy the post-workout endorphins, and not experience the constant itching that comes from irritated inner-thighs.

Avoid cotton at all costs, unless you’re absolutely sure that you won’t be sweating buckets by the end of your workout.

woman running on beach


These are not hard rules that you have to abide by, but different short lengths do lend themselves to different purposes.

Let’s take a quick look:

Short (3 inches)

These ‘shorty’ shorts end well above the knees and are capable of providing the best range of motion when you run.

You don’t have to worry about excess fabric getting caught between your thighs in the middle of an intense sprint session with these shorts.

The lightweight and non-restrictive cutting of 3 inches running shorts are best suited for you if you frequently sprint, or if you do long distance road running.

Medium (5 inches)

This is probably the most popular choice among runners, as its length ensures that it’s versatile enough for those who vary their training from the track to nature trails.

These shorts are also an excellent choice for you if you’re not comfortable with showing too much skin while working out.

Long (7 inches)

Do you specialize in running off-road? You do? Okay – you’ll definitely appreciate the additional protection that comes with the extra fabric.

Such 7-inch shorts will protect you from any potential nicks or cuts on your thighs when you bound over obstacles on the trail.

The additional fabric can cause you to feel warm during your runs though – be sure to choose lightweight, moisture-wicking fabric so you can stay dry and chafe-free.

In-built Liner

Most running shorts come fitted with a built-in liner. Please do not wear underwear with them as the extra layer of a garment can cause uncomfortable chafing.

Liners are great at moisture-management: they wick sweat away, so you stay cool, comfortable, and dry.

If you’re not comfortable with not wearing underwear underneath your running shorts though, just choose those that are not lined. Be sure to select lingerie that can draw sweat away from your body, though.

You don’t want a wet mess underneath your shorts!


Worried that you might miss an urgent phone call while you’re out on the run? Go for running shorts that feature pockets.

Even if you don’t need your phone with you, I’m sure you’ll appreciate the fact that you can easily store a couple of gels and salts with you by your side when you’re covering longer distances.

You need to keep that energy up somehow!

girl running on road

Compression Shorts

Many athletes swear by compression gear – they believe that it helps improve blood flow to the muscles and boosts athletic performance. Many runners also feel that compression wear aid with muscle recovery.

Well – try it out for yourself, and see if you feel better working out in compression running shorts!

Even if you do not experience any performance benefits, compression running shorts can also keep you warmer and reduce inner-thighs chafing.

If compression shorts seem to be a better option, you might also want to take a look at the 17 Best Workout Leggings that could fit your preference.


Running shorts are meant to be practical and functional – the best pair of shorts is one that fits you well and meets your needs.

I hope you’ve found a suitable one from our comprehensive list of the best running shorts for women! If not, no worries. You’re now equipped with the knowledge on the factors you should keep in mind before you buy your next pair.

Managed to find your dream pair of running shorts because of this article?

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emma lynn

Hi, I’m Emma Lynn

I’m a proud mother of two wonderful children and a wife to a loving, affectionate husband. I enjoy exercise – yoga (yes, I teach yoga as well), running, and going to different fitness classes from time to time.

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