When the summer months arrive it is time to reach for the shorts over the leggings when heading out on your run. Shorts come in various lengths, sizes, shapes and fit. What you wear is completely up to you. But when purchasing a pair of shorts for running remember that functionality comes before fashion (you want to avoid chaffing at all costs!).

Styles

  • Compression
    These types of shorts are tight fitting. Because of the snug fit they are the best types of shorts for providing muscle support and are also great at preventing chafing. The length of these shorts vary. Women’s styles are often on the shorter side with men’s around the mid thigh to knee.
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  • V-Notch Shorts
    These are the most popular style of running shorts. Their name comes from the upside down v-shape cutout on the outer leg seams.This v cut out allows you to have a greater range of movement when running. These shorts are quite loose in comparison to compression shorts.

Gender Differences

Running shorts are sold in both men’s, women’s and unisex styles, all of which have different features. 

  •  Men’s
    Men’s shorts are cut specifically for their body, they have a longer inseam, and the lining has more support in the groin area. 
  • Women’s
    Women’s shorts are cut to fit the waist, hips and thighs so that women get the most comfortable fit. They have shorter inseams than male shorts. 
  • Unisex
    These shorts combine the cuts of men’s and women’s shorts. They lack the specific support features noted above and often don’t offer the chaffing support needed on long runs.

Fabrics

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Typically running shorts are made from synthetic or natural fibres. Though shorts made from natural fibres, such as cotton, offer a good stretch. They do not hold moisture well, leading to the one thing we wish to avoid: Chaffing. Synthetic fibres are usually a blend of polyester-spandex or nylon. These materials not only have good moisture management to prevent chafing but are much more durable than natural fibres meaning you can stretch and exercise more!

Extras

  • Underwear/Liner
    Some running shorts have built in underwear or liners. With these types of shorts, you are not supposed to wear underwear because by wearing the extra layer of fabric you can cause chaffing. Liners provide moisture management helping keep things cool, comfortable and dry.
  • Pockets
    A useful feature that you may look for in a pair of shorts is a small pocket. Super useful for storing your house key, phone or snacks whilst on a run. They are often sewn into the waistband area or placed at the back of the shorts with a zip up pocket. 

 

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