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Fellas, we need to have a talk: It’s time to stop wearing your high school and/or college shorts to the gym. I don’t care if you work out with all of your home gym essentials and nobody else can see you, a pair of baggy mesh shorts with a worn-out drawstring is not appropriate workout attire. 

So whether you’re a dude, identify as a dude, or shopping for a dude, we have a list of the best workout shorts for men to help freshen up that wardrobe. You’ll find workout shorts that won’t just look good, but will be functional for everyone from the runner to the men blessed with voluptuous thighs. 

Our team has years of experience in wearing workout shorts for all types of training. As certified personal trainers, CrossFit Level 1 Trainers, competitive weightlifters, and nutrition experts, we eat, sleep, and breathe everything fitness—and that includes the best gym shorts. 

These are workout shorts that we wear on a regular basis, even when we’re not necessarily on the clock (but does the clock ever really stop?). We rated these workout shorts 1 to 5 in categories such as:

  • Fit and compression
  • Appearance and design
  • Workout performance
  • Pockets and extras
  • Overall value

The Best Workout Shorts for Men

Best Overall Workout Shorts for Men: Ten Thousand Interval Short

Good for: Anyone looking for a durable, comfortable, and versatile workout short 

Ten Thousand Out of Ten

Ten Thousand Interval Short

GGR Score: 4.1 starstarstarstarstar

Product Highlights

  • Versatile men’s shorts can be worn for almost any workout type
  • Features a no-pinch and no-bunch waistband
  • Optional compression liner with permanent silver ion anti-odor treatment
  • 3 inseam lengths (5”, 7”, 9”)
  • Available in lots of different colors
  • Material offers a four-way stretch to enable a good range of motion
  • Sizes range from extra-small to XX-large

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Enables great range of motion
  • Optional liner
  • Lots of colors
  • Four-way stretch for maximum comfort
  • Secure pockets
  • Free shipping
  • Minimalist, lightweight design

Cons

  • A bit pricey
  • Runs small

Bottom Line

Whether you are a crossfitter, runner, or Olympic weightlifter, the Ten Thousand Interval Short for men is a versatile choice.

After much deliberation, we named the Ten Thousand Interval Short the best overall men’s workout shorts for their flexibility, versatility, and customization. You can pick from 5-, 7-, or 9-inch inseam options in sizes ranging from extra-small to double-extra-large. This is good because most reviewers, including Garage Gym Reviews founder Cooper Mitchell, found these ran a bit small. You might want to order a size up from what you usually wear. 

Coop said the four-way stretch on the Interval shorts offered great support no matter the workout, though he found they sagged a bit if things were left in the pockets. Speaking of pockets, there’s a built-in phone pocket in one of the two external pouches and an extra zippered pocket, earning the shorts a 4.5 out of 5 for pockets and extras. 

You have the option to purchase these with or without a liner, though the unlined version seems to protect well enough against chafing. Either way, the shorts are made with sweat-wicking and quick-drying fabric and have side vents to stay breathable during your workout.

The one major concern with these shorts is that some customers complained the waistband folded over after a few washes. This is normal after extended use but shouldn’t happen after only a few weeks (we haven’t experienced any such issues).  

At around $70, these are not the cheapest workout shorts on the market, but we believe their performance and durability make them worth the price for anyone who’s looking for a quality pair of men’s workout shorts. 

Material86% polyester, 14% spandex
SizingXS–XXL
Inseam5”, 7”, or 9”
Liner?Optional
CareMachine wash cold, tumble dry low
Color options14 options

Best Budget Workout Shorts for Men: Path Projects Sykes PX Short

Good for: Those shopping on a budget 

Don’t Come up Short

Path Projects Sykes PX Short

Product Highlights

  • Designed for trail or road runs
  • Unlined but sold with an independent base liner system 
  • Plenty of pocket storage: rear center zip phone pocket and two rear zip storage pockets
  • Lightweight but durable fabric offers 360-degree stretch
  • Available in 5” or 7” lengths
  • Features vented bottoms, reflective logos, an internal key pocket, Tripure elastic waistband, and an exterior draw cord for comfort

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Lightweight
  • Separate base liner system eliminates chafing
  • Two length options
  • Plenty of pockets
  • Great fabric
  • Comfortable

Cons

  • May run small
  • Drawcord is super long so likely will need to be cut

Bottom Line

If you are looking for a classic pair of running shorts that allow for personalization to meet your specific body type and preferences, Path Project’s Sykes PX Running Shorts may be for you.

The Path Projects Sykes PX Short are targeted toward runners, but these budget-friendly gym shorts can and should be worn by anyone looking for a good deal on workout attire. Right off the bat, these are one of the more breathable shorts on the market. You get ventilated bottoms and a special anti-microbial fabric called Toray PrimeFlex that offers 360 degrees of stretch throughout the shorts. 

The PrimeFlex fabric also has a chafe-free design, as does the separately sold base liner (the shorts themselves are unlined, and there are very few customer complaints of chafing for those who didn’t buy the liner). Reflective elements are added to the shorts to maintain visibility during later runs.

You have your choice of a 5- or 7-inch inseam in five color options, though the largest size is only an extra-large. This is a problem not only because workout apparel companies should strive to make products for people of all sizes, but several people have said these shorts run a bit small and you may have to order a size up from what you usually wear.  

One of the only other major complaints is that the shorts’ drawstring is a bit long, and many customers have had to cut theirs. 

But, for under $50 these shorts are still a great deal and we’d highly recommend them to anyone, especially if you’re looking for cheap workout shorts for men. All the pockets are located on the backside, with the exception of an internal key pouch. Reviewers said the pockets were secure and they felt little to no jiggling during short and long runs. 

MaterialPrimeFlex fabric
SizingXS–XL
Inseam5” or 7”
Liner?Sold separately
CareMachine washable
Color optionsNavy, Jet Black, Dark Grey, Olive Grey, Tobacco

Best CrossFit Workout Shorts for Men: Bearbottom Atlas Shorts 

Good for: CrossFitters looking for a pair of shorts to support them through various WODs

CrossFit Check

Bearbottom Atlas Shorts

GGR Score: 4.35 starstarstarstarstar

Product Highlights

  • Made with recycled nylon/spandex performance fabric
  • Engineered to be moisture-wicking and flexible
  • 4-way stretch, elastic waistband, hidden drawstring, zipper back right pocket, built-in phone stability pouches
  • Reinforced stitching 
  • 5.5” and 7” inseam available

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Tagless
  • Zipper pockets
  • Built-in phone pouch
  • Made with recycled material
  • 2 inseam options

Cons

  • Durability is questionable
  • May shrink after washing (even when following care instructions)

Bottom Line

If you are looking for a functional pair of training shorts at an affordable price, the Atlas shorts are worth considering.

The Bearbottom Atlas Shorts will keep you feeling comfortable and supported no matter what your workout of the day involves, be that rope climbs, snatches, sprints, or all of the above. I’ve worn these for nearly three months now, and if it weren’t for the fact that I got them with a 5.5-inch inseam, I’d happily wear them during the winter months, too. 

The four-way stretch gave me the perfect range of motion no matter what I was doing, and despite there being no liner I’ve never once had any problems with chafing. I gave them a 4 out of 5 for workout performance.

The elastic waistband is hardly noticeable, and a hidden drawstring allows you to tighten or loosen it when necessary. Some reviewers complained it ran a bit small in the waist, which I agree with partially. But in my personal opinion, it wasn’t anything that made these performance shorts uncomfortable. 

You have two pockets, both with stability pouches for your wallet or phone, and a zippered back pocket. I will say the pockets are somewhat shallow, but if you’re just leaving the house with your phone, wallet, and keys it won’t be an issue.  

At $45 per pair, these are a great deal for men’s workout shorts, earning them a 4 out of 5 in their overall value. They come with reinforced stitching for extra durability and are available in sizes small to double-extra-large. 

Material85% recycled nylon, 15% spandex
SizingS–XXL
Inseam5.5” or 7”
Liner?No
CareMachine washable
Color optionsGrey, Navy, Military Green, Maroon, Black

Best Comfortable Workout Shorts for Men: Ten Thousand Tactical Short

Good for: Anyone who needs a durable pair of shorts that can be used anywhere, anytime 

For Any Conditions

Ten Thousand Tactical Short

GGR Score: 4.1 starstarstarstarstar

Product Highlights

  • High-performance training shorts designed to handle military-level fitness
  • Can be worn in tough conditions in and out of the water
  • Developed in collaboration with members of the U.S Special Operation Forces
  • Available in 5 or 7-inch inseam lengths

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Can be worn in the water
  • Durable
  • Lightweight
  • Stress tested in the toughest conditions
  • Secure pockets
  • Developed in partnership with U.S. military

Cons

  • Runs small
  • Some found waistband to be too stiff

Bottom Line

Designed to tackle any condition and the most elite training sessions, the Ten Thousand Tactical Short is durable, functional, and lightweight.

The only thing we need to tell you about these shorts is that they were designed in partnership with the U.S. Special Operations Forces, which is made up of people who are tougher than a $2 steak. So you know the Ten Thousand Tactical Short will be able to withstand anything you put them through. 

Wildly enough, these are still comfortable shorts, too. Stress-tested in some of the toughest conditions known to man, these shorts are made with ultra-durable ripstop fabric, can be worn in the water, and have an anti-odor treatment, all while feeling as light as a feather. 

“Probably some of my favorite pairs of shorts around,” says Cooper Mitchell, GGR’s founder who tested them out. He complimented their breathability and flexibility, as well as the multiple designs and colorways offered in 5- and 7-inch inseams with or without a liner. 

While Coop didn’t have this issue, some customers found the waistband to be a bit stiff for their liking. Others found that their sizes ran a bit small (many had to order a size up from what they usually wear). 

As with anything in life, these high-quality shorts come at a high price tag: $80. Are they worth it? Well, if you’re someone who likes to ruck or just run around in some grueling conditions then yes. These shorts are built to last a lifetime and feel comfortable during that time. On the off chance they don’t last that long, they’re backed by a lifetime guarantee. 

Material80% nylon, 20% spandex
SizingXS–XXL
Inseam5” or 7”
Liner?Optional
CareMachine wash cold, tumble dry low
Color optionsBlack, OD Green, Navy, Highland, Slate, Stone, Green Smoke, Black Camo

Best Unlined Workout Shorts for Men: lululemon T.H.E. Linerless Shorts

Good for: Those who prefer a workout short without a liner

No Liner, No Problems

Lululemon T.H.E. Short

GGR Score: 3.94 starstarstarstarstar

Product Highlights

  • Lightweight and breathable
  • Feature zippered pockets, a tapered fit, and split hem
  • Fast-drying, sweat-wicking 100% polyester material
  • 7” or 9” inseam lengths

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Zippered pockets securely hold a phone or wallet
  • Comfortable
  • Two length options
  • Waistband does not feel constricting but stays in place

Cons

  • Some reviews say that this newest edition of T.H.E. shorts are not as durable as former editions
  • Thin crotch fabric

Bottom Line

If you prefer shorts without a liner, Lululemon's T.H.E shorts may be for you with their lightweight, functional, tapered, and comfortable fit.

Liners are often used to offer extra protection against chafing (and nobody likes chafing in the shorts area), but there are people who find them to be a bit constricting. If you’re one of the latter, we recommend lululemon’s T.H.E. (Train Hard Every Day) Linerless Shorts.

I’ll be honest, I was a lululemon skeptic before trying these on but I have now seen the light and am converted.

Because they’re linerless, they’re not as form-fitting as other gym shorts for men, which can be a great or bad thing depending on what you’re looking for. If you’re looking for breathability and mobility, these are the shorts for you. Although they’re roomy, they never felt baggy on me and the waistband sat comfortably whether I was standing, lying down, or sitting. I rate the fit of the shorts a solid 4 out of 5. 

And even without the liner I never had a problem with chafing, even when I wore them during longer cardio sessions. The pockets are also secure, with each external pocket coming with a stability pouch and a zippered back pocket. 

The drawstring is a bit long for my liking, and my one other major callout (which other customers have talked about in the online reviews) is that the fabric is notably thinner in the crotch area. Mine are still holding up just fine but I can see how this might cause a problem after a few more washes. The rest of the short feels very durable and nice to the touch, so this feels like a weird oversight on lululemon’s part. 

That oversight is made a bit worse by the fact that these cost around $70, and undoubtedly a lot of that is due to the lululemon name.   

Material86% recycled polyester and 14% elastane (body), 89% polyester and 11% Lycra elastane (contrast)
SizingS–XXL
Inseam7” or 9”
Liner?No
CareMachine wash cold, tumble dry low
Color optionsAero Blue, Black

Best Workout Shorts for Men with a Liner: 5.11 PT-R Havoc Pro Short

Good for: Trainees who prefer compression shorts that offer chafing protection

I Got 5.11 On Me

5.11+ PT-R Havoc Pro Short

GGR Score: 4.36 starstarstarstarstar

Product Highlights

  • Purpose-built shorts for life’s most demanding missions
  • Enduro-Flex Fabric 
  • Jersey anti-odor liner
  • Elastic pass-thru at center back of waistband

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Multiple pockets: 2 hand pockets and 1 pocket in the liner
  • Tagless heat transfer label
  • More affordable than many competitors
  • 90-day return policy

Cons

  • Only 3 color options
  • Only offered with lining
  • Available in 1 inseam length

Bottom Line

The 5.11 Tactical PT-R Havoc Pro shorts are a comfortable short if you are looking for something with an inner lining and multiple pockets. The few reviews did not find the shorts to be durable.

Liners not only offer additional chafing protection but can also give your workout shorts a more compressed fit, which some people like. The moisture-wicking 5.11 PT-R Havoc Pro Short comes with a built-in jersey liner that extends below the pant line for extra protection. There’s also an extra pocket in the brief liner for those who need extra storage. 

As far as the fit goes, it’s a bit of a mixed bag according to our tester Jared Myers, who stands at 6 feet, 2 inches tall with a fairly athletic build (take it easy, he’s married). “It seemed to fit my large thighs a bit tighter than I expected,” he says. “The waist was a bit loose without the drawstring, which was a bit long.” He rates the fit a 4 out of 5.

Once the drawstring was tied, Jared says these workout shorts are good for just about anything (including sweeping leaves off his father-in-law’s roof). They have four-way stretch and are durable, yet still lightweight and breathable. 

Jared’s other complaint is that the pockets were a bit small for his larger hands (a problem I can empathize with), though he loved thatt they were zippered and had a phone holder. There’s also a towel loop on the back for those who get a little extra sweaty during their workout. 

Many customer reviews stated the stitching throughout the shorts, especially around the pockets, was sub-par and left them prone to tears. 

While these shorts’ functionality can’t be questioned, their customization falls a bit short. They’re only available in one inseam length (5.5 inches) and only have three color options. 

Material86% polyester, 14% elastane jersey
SizingS–XXL
Inseam5.5”
Liner?Yes
CareMachine washable
Color optionsBlack, Pacific Navy, Shadow Green

Best Running Workout Shorts for Men: Bearbottom Run Short V2

Good for: Those who primarily run and do cardio-based workouts

Run It, Run It

Bearbottom Run Short V2

GGR Score: 4.23 starstarstarstarstar

Product Highlights

  • Lightweight running shorts with built-in phone pouches
  • Added reflective strips for safety
  • Moisture-wicking and 4-way stretch
  • Available in 5.5” or 7” inseam

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Reflective strips for safety
  • Variety of colorways
  • Moisture-wicking
  • Built-in phone pouches

Cons

  • Unlined shorts
  • Some customers say sizing is small

Bottom Line

The Bearbottom Run Short V2 is a breathable pair of shorts with four-way stretch and a moisture-wicking blend of recycled polyester and spandex. Although these running shorts aren’t lined, they’re lightweight enough for running and have built-in pouches for your smartphone, able to keep your phone secure during long runs.

If you find yourself hitting the pavement more than hitting the iron, the Bearbottom Run Short V2 is a great choice for style and comfort. GGR staff writer Matt Dustin, CES, PN1-NC, has a pair of these shorts, and loves the look and feel. “It’s a pretty cool design and pattern, plus they feel great. I like them a lot,” Matt says.

RELATED: Best Running Shoes

There are plenty of colors and patterns to choose from—15 options in total. Along with that, these shorts are made for running, with moisture-wicking fabric and built-in phone pouches. Matt adds that the pockets have inner pockets to keep smaller items in place, rating them a 4 out of 5.

The main complaint among users is that the shorts aren’t lined, which is typical in running shorts. Matt, on the other hand, remarks, “Although they aren’t lined like many running shorts, I prefer them that way.”

Person wearing Bearbottom Run Short V2

He did add that the shorts will make a whooshing sound while running, mostly from the fabric rubbing together some. “It probably won’t bother people on their runs or in a busy gym,” Matt says, “but I tried using these on my spin bike at home while watching Netflix, and all I could hear was the swishing of the shorts.” He rates the workout performance a 4.5 out of 5.

At $45, these shorts might be a little pricier than what you want to spend on workout apparel. However, this is still cheaper than many of the shorts on this list, making it a decent value.

Material86% recycled polyester, 14% spandex
SizingS-XXL
Inseam5”, 7”, or 9”
Liner?No
CareMachine washable
Color options15 options

Best Workouts Shorts for Men with Big Thighs: Fabletics Fundamental Short II

Good for: Men with larger thighs who want a comfortable pair of sport shorts

Big Thighs Save Lives

Fabletics Fundamental Short II

GGR Score: 4.46 starstarstarstarstar

Product Highlights

  • Workout shorts available lined or unlined
  • Hidden and external pockets
  • Sweat wicking
  • Polyester and spandex blend
  • Available in 5”, 7”, or 9” inseam
  • Sizes from XS to 4X

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Variety of sizes
  • Lots of colorway options available
  • Hidden pockets
  • Anti-stink, sweat-wicking tech
  • Savings as a Fabletics VIP member

Cons

  • Colorways are limited in larger sizes
  • Pricier pair of shorts

Bottom Line

For a stylish pair of workout shorts in and out of the gym, the Fabletics Fundamental Short II is an excellent choice. With a variety of sizes and colors available, it’ll appeal and fit a variety of body types and personalities. With anti-stink and moisture-wicking technology, the shorts are sure to help you feel cool and fresh during your workout.

As a card-carrying member of the thick thighs club (we meet every second Friday at Chili’s), I can confidently recommend the Fabletics Fundamental Short II for my fellow chunky-legged gentlemen. Available in lined or unlined versions and three inseam lengths (5, 7, and 9 inches), these shorts are roomy where they need to be and form-fitting where it matters.

Another member of the thick thighs club, Caine Wilkes, OLY, USAW-L1, tried out the upgraded version of the Fundamentals, and he was impressed with the feel throughout all of his training sessions. “I took it through back squats, snatches, and clean and jerks, plus some agility drills after my workouts,” he says. “These felt good and stretchy on my squats, and roomy and pliable while performing high-knee drills.” He rates the performance a 4.5 out of 5.

Man performing agility drills wearing the Fabletics Fundamental Short II

The original version of the Fundamental Short didn’t have a drawstring, but the new version has included a drawstring to help cinch up the shorts while in use. “I always feel that lined shorts will ride down on me, but once I tightened the drawstring, I didn’t have any trouble,” Caine adds.

Now I need to be honest for a second: I love everything about Fabletics, but if you’re not enrolled in their VIP Membership, you could find better value elsewhere. Members can get these shorts for under $20, whereas non-members pay between $60 and $70 per pair, depending on the size and lining.

These are some of the best shorts and I’d recommend them even at the higher price, which, to be honest, is more affordable than most other shorts on this list.

Material90% polyester, 10% spandex
SizingXS–4XL
Inseam5”, 7″, or 9”
Liner?Optional
CareMachine washable
Color options6 core options, 19 limited options

Best Everyday Workout Shorts for Men: Chubbies Men’s Performance Everywear Shorts

Good for: Those who want to wear their workout shorts outside of the gym

Do-It-All Shorts

Chubbies Men’s Everywear Performance Short

Product Highlights

  • Performance shorts suitable for everyday wear
  • Lined or unlined options
  • Variety of colorways and patterns
  • Sizes range from XS to 3XL
  • Water-resistant and wrinkle-resistant

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Water-resistant
  • Wrinkle-resistant
  • Variety of sizes
  • Lots of color options
  • Two inseam options

Cons

  • Pricey pair of shorts
  • Some customers experienced stitching issues along the seams

Bottom Line

Chubbies is popular for fun colors and patterns used in their shorts, and their Everywear Performance Short is no different. These shorts come in a variety of inclusive sizes, as well as providing colorway options from a plain khaki, to fun flower and plaid patterns.

If you’re the type who goes straight from the weight room to the grocery store and want a pair of shorts that can do both, I recommend going with Chubbies Performance Everywear Shorts. Looking like normal khaki or patterned shorts, they are surprisingly flexible and stretchy, working as a great pair of shorts in or out of the gym.

While we haven’t tested these Chubbies specifically, GGR founder Coop Mitchell has used various Chubbies shorts, and gives them high praise. Often coming in a variety of colors and patterns, the shorts also have a compression liner and offer chafing protection.

“Chubbies offer great materials and fit for people like me that prefer shorter inseams on shorts,” Coop adds. “I want my shorts to be just that, short, and Chubbies nails it both in how wide the leg openings are and how short the inseams are. They also have fantastic branding and don’t take themselves too seriously, which is very different from others in the fitness industry.”

With water- and wrinkle-resistant fabric and a half-elastic waistband, Chubbies Performance Everywear Shorts offer plenty of comfort and performance, but at a steep cost—$65, or $75 for the lined version. If you can fit these shorts in your budget, you’ll get a lot of use out of them, whether pumping iron or just hanging with friends.

Material89% polyester and 11% spandex (shell), 93% modal and 7% spandex (liner)
SizingXS–3XL
Inseam6” or 8”
Liner?Optional
CareMachine wash cold, tumble dry low
Color options12 options

Best Workout Shorts for Men for Yoga: lululemon Fast and Free 5”

Good for: Those wanting a pair of shorts that allows for optimal range of motion

Stretch and Reach

Lululemon Fast and Free 5” Short

GGR Score: 3.86 starstarstarstarstar

Product Highlights

  • Lined shorts for running or yoga
  • Water-repellent, ripstop fabric
  • Quick-drying mesh fabric Out of Mind liner
  • Built-in pouch for support
  • No-bounce phone pockets

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Phone pockets
  • Quick-drying mesh liner
  • Roomy fit

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Limited colorways at this inseam length

Bottom Line

With a quick-drying mesh liner and a 5-inch inseam, the Fast and Free 5-Inch Short from lululemon is a comfortable, roomy short ideal for running or stretching. Although it's a pricey pair of shorts, the water-repellent fabric and breathable waistband make these shorts feel great and cool throughout short or long workouts.

If you want to get your yoga on, you’ll want something that gives you plenty of range of motion, all while keeping yourself secure while in a deep stretch. That’s why we picked the lululemon Fast and Free lined shorts for our best workout shorts for men for yoga. The perforated sides and relaxed fit keep these shorts comfortable, while the liner helps give you compression and security.

I tried out the variation with a 3-inch inseam, but I’d recommend getting the 5-inch inseam. You can even go longer with 6-inch and 8-inch inseams, but for yoga, shorter inseam lengths will help you stay mobile and get deep into your stretches easier. The shorts have a nice appearance too, earning them a 4 out of 5.

My biggest gripe with the 3-inch inseam was the lack of any pocket. The 5-inch version has some storage, but it’s still limited to just a zipper pocket. Because of the lack of storage, I don’t recommend them for running. However, limited storage isn’t bad for stretching; just set your phone next to your exercise mat, and you’ll be fine.

Customers commonly say that the shorts run small, which they do, getting a 3.5 out of 5 for the fit. If you run with these, you’ll want to order a size up to avoid some uncomfortable long-distance runs, if you catch my drift.

Material100% recycled polyester (pocket lining), 51% recycled polyester and 49% nylon (shell), 89% nylon and 11% elastane (pockets), 84% nylon and 16% Lycra elastane (waistband), 82% polyester and 18% elastane (liner)
SizingS–XXL
Inseam5”
Liner?Yes
CareMachine wash cold, tumble dry low
Color optionsTidewater Teal/Power Purple

Best Lightweight Shorts for Men: GORUCK Men’s Simple Shorts

Good for: Those who want a lightweight, yet durable pair of shorts

Lightweight Baby!

GORUCK Men’s Simple Shorts

GGR Score: 4.23 starstarstarstarstar

Product Highlights

  • Lightweight workout shorts made for everyday wear
  • Fast-drying and abrasion resistant material with 2-way stretch
  • Back pockets and finished belt loop
  • 10” inseam
  • Nylon and spandex blend

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Lightweight
  • Fast-drying
  • Abrasion-resistant
  • Back pockets and finished belt loop

Cons

  • Only neutral colorways available
  • Pricier pair of shorts

Bottom Line

GORUCK Men’s Simple Shorts are lightweight shorts made for working out, rucking, or just hanging out with friends. With a 10-inch inseam, back pockets, and finished belt loops, this pair of shorts can operate as everyday wear. However, the fast-drying and abrasion-resistant ToughDry fabric is suitable for rucks and intense training sessions, too.

The irony of a company like GoRuck having the best lightweight workout shorts for men is not lost on us, yet here we are. GGR staff writer and fitness coach Matt Dustin remarks, “These are very light and they dry really fast.” He rated them a 4.5 out of 5 on the fabric and durability. These water-resistant shorts are lightweight, but still durable enough for a long rucking or hiking session.

RELATED: GORUCK Sandbags Review

GORUCK makes these shorts with their ToughDry fabric, which keeps them light and quick-drying, but also abrasion-resistant with 2-way stretching. The inseam is 10 inches long, which is a pretty long inseam compared to other shorts on this list. Matt noticed, too, adding, “The shorts are kind of long, with a simple design. Not my typical kind of workout shorts.”

Man wearing GORUCK Simple Shorts

Although Matt doesn’t recommend them for typical gym use, they’re fantastic for those looking to venture outside for their workouts and training. “I wore them on a hike and a few long walks around the neighborhood with my dog,” Matt explains. “They don’t look like gym shorts, but they’re much lighter and more comfortable than I would expect.” He rates the performance a 4.5 out of 5.

The price is a bit high, at $65 for a pair. With the longer inseam, Matt didn’t see the same versatility as in other shorts, giving the value a 3 out of 5. However, if you want a durable pair of shorts for the outdoors, these are an exceptional choice.

Material94% nylon, 6% Spandex
Sizing30” to 40” waist
Inseam10”
Liner?No
CareMachine wash cold, only non-chlorine bleach when needed, hang dry
Color optionsCharcoal, Coyote Brown, Ranger Green, Black

How We Picked and Tested the Best Workout Shorts for Men

Our journey to find the best workout shorts for men began way before the dressing room, and involved a lot of internet searching. We wanted to find what people on different forums and websites liked, and what was trending outside of the household brands like Nike, Vuori, Under Armour, Adidas, Patagonia, and Reebok. 

We also relied a lot on our own personal recommendations, along with our female coworkers letting us know what their significant others like to wear.

After trying on several different pairs, we arrived at our list by taking the following factors into consideration. 

Fit/Compression 

With each pair we tried on, we wanted to see how they fit on our waist, thighs, quads, and glutes. This might be subjective and change based on preference and body type, so it’s important to note that our descriptions of how they fit on us may not match how they feel on your body. 

Rise 

Do the shorts rise or sag at all while wearing them? Do they tend to sit just at the waist, or do they have a high- or low-rise? These were all things we took into consideration when testing them. 

Workout Performance 

We lifted weights, climbed ropes, ran, shopped, dropped, rolled, and slept in these things to see how they would feel during different activities. 

Pockets 

It might sound silly, but pockets can make or break a pair of workout shorts. At the very least, we wanted to see if there was a stability pouch for our smartphones. We also liked when a pair had a key holder or zippered pocket. 

Appearance 

We wanted to find shorts that would compliment different outfits, be that your workout gear or the outfit you put on to head to the grocery store. They should also look good even if you’re just lounging around for the day. 

Anti-Chafing

We started testing these shorts out in the dog days of summer, so chafing protection was a top priority when seeing how these performed. 

How to Choose the Best Men’s Workout Shorts for You 

If you’re still unsure about which pair of men’s workout shorts is the right fit for you or your loved one, here are a few ways to ensure you make the right pick. 

Fit/Compression 

Some people might prefer a tighter fit on the thighs, while others may like it a little roomier in that area. Regardless, you want to make sure the shorts feel comfortable on you when you’re standing, running, lying down, or in any other position. Try them out and see how they conform to your body. 

Rise 

This is another subjective factor, but make sure the rise complements your body and preference well. Also make sure the shorts sit on the waist well enough that they don’t fall down, because nobody needs to see that.

Fabric 

All manufacturers will let you know what fabric their shorts are made of, which is especially important if you have any allergies. If a company uses their own special fabric, which some do, contact customer service to make sure it’s safe for you. 

Fabric can also determine how warm an article of clothing is, as well as how much it can stretch. 

Liner

A liner can offer chafing protection and give shorts a more compressed fit. Some people don’t like this and prefer linerless shorts, so we recommend trying both to find out which works best for your needs and preferences. 

Workout Performance 

This should go without saying, but test the shorts using your preferred training method. Make sure they don’t limit your range of motion, don’t sag at any time, and can withstand any special conditions you might put them through without tearing. 

Man deadlifting in the Lululemon License To Train shorts using JerkFit Death Grips

Pockets 

Even if you leave your valuables in a locker or on a plyo box next to you while you’re weight lifting or getting a nice HIIT training session in, there’s going to come a time when you’ll need pockets. Make sure they’re deep enough and don’t cause any sagging when you put your phone or wallet in there. It’d also be nice to have a zippered pocket for things like keys or money. 

Breathability 

Gentlemen, I don’t think I have to tell you that keeping your shorts area well-ventilated benefits everyone. Breathability can be impacted by the shorts’ fabric or design. Take a look at the reviews, as this is something many customers will write about when reviewing shorts. 

Appearance

Make sure the shorts fit your personal style. 

Inseam 

The inseam is the length of the shorts from the crotch area to the bottom of the pant line. This is once again a personal preference for many, though some training situations may benefit from a shorter inseam than others. 

Anti-Chafing

Once again, chafing in the shorts area is not something I’d wish upon my worst enemy. If there’s no liner make sure the shorts are made with a material that won’t irritate your skin—or better yet, check to see if it won’t rub up against you at all. 

Durability 

Barbell knurling, ropes, and even sweat can cause your shorts to wear down over time. A good pair of shorts should be able to withstand at least a couple of months of regular use. 

Wash/Care

I can’t stress this enough: Please read the label! Many shorts are cold wash only, and some can’t be put in the dryer. 

FAQs

Are 2-in-1 shorts good for the gym?

If you’re looking for a versatile pair of workout shorts for the gym, 2-in-1 athletic shorts are a great option. A combination of traditional shorts and compression leggings, 2-in-1 shorts have a relaxed-fit exterior with a compression liner, providing a stretchy and roomy feel while keeping your legs compressed and secure. These shorts are versatile, making them a great fit for the weight room and gym.

What do guys wear under their shorts at the gym?

A 1:1 replica of Batman’s utility belt. No, just kidding. Just like the shorts themselves, many men have different preferences on what to wear under their shorts, from briefs to boxerjocks. Just wear what feels comfortable for you.

Are shorts good for a workout?

Absolutely! Shorts may also be preferable to some compared to workout pants because they’re not as form-fitting and have more breathability.

What length shorts should I wear to the gym?

Again, this is a personal preference and there’s no right answer. Some people prefer a 9-inch inseam, while others like the more modern 5-inch inseam.

Further reading

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Fellas, we need to have a talk: It’s time to stop wearing your high school and/or college shorts to the gym. I don’t care if you work out with all of your home gym essentials and nobody else can see you, a pair of baggy mesh shorts with a worn-out drawstring is not appropriate workout attire. So whether you’re a dude, identify as a dude, or shopping for a dude, we have a list of the best workout shorts for men to help freshen up that wardrobe.  » Read more about: Best Workout Shorts For Men (2024): Dress for Sweat and Success  » Read more