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Womens/Clothing/Activewear/Shorts & Skirts
Top 10 Running Shorts

Here's Your Definitive Guide To The Best Shorts For Running (Or Not)

Temperatures may be soaring, but that doesn't have to keep you from getting in a great run. The key to getting the most out of any summer exercise is ensuring you're well prepared for the heat and humidity. Good hot-weather workout wear makes a huge difference in the quality and comfort of your summer sweat sessions, but trying to sift through all the options can feel overwhelming. If you're ready to stop sitting inside searching and get started sprinting in the sunshine, we're here to help. We've rounded up a list of the best women's athletic shorts for all your summer workouts.  

Since exercise is for everyone, we've made sure to include brands that are size inclusive, work for different body types, and come at a variety of price points. We've even got some great solutions for specific (and really common!) issues like chafing. If this affects you, you know summer heat can exacerbate this issue.

How We Found The Best Running Shorts

At Rank and Style, we use our proprietary algorithm to select the best products for our Top 10 Lists. Our algorithm pulls information from a variety of sources, so you don't have to, saving you time and frustration by putting everything you need to choose your perfect products in one place. And, because our algorithm is unbiased, you know you can shop our lists with confidence. So if you're ready to find the best women's athletic shorts, check out our list for a pair that perfectly suits your workout style.

Next up, check out the 10 Best Leggings With Pockets. 

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June 28, 2022

Words:Maggie Gillette

Product Expert:Georgia Jones

Top 10 Lists serve as unbiased shopping guides to the most trusted product recommendations on the internet. Products are scored and ranked using an algorithm backed by data consumers find most valuable when making a purchase. We are reader-supported and may earn a commission when you shop through our links.

The Rankings


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Blooming Jelly Quick-Dry Running Shorts

Our Score4.45

WHY IT MADE THE LIST: These running shorts are perfectly practical in every way. The wide elasticized waistband won’t pull or dig in no matter how strenuous your workout, and the small side slit in the leg ensures a full range of motion. Matching built-in underwear means you can focus on your workout and never have to worry about showing anything you don’t want to. With these shorts, nothing will slow you down.

WHERE TO WEAR: These shorts also have an extra-large zipper pocket that can fit necessities like your phone and keys, so they’re perfect for going on a run.

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Vuori Clementine Short

Our Score4.5

WHY PEOPLE LOVE THEM: Don’t be fooled by their cute details like the contrast drawstring and pocket design—these shorts are great for hot weather. The quick-drying fabric has odor-blocking properties, making them ideal for summer sweat sessions. Plus, they have four-way stretch to move with you through the toughest workouts. 

ADDITIONAL THINGS TO KNOW: These shorts are made from fabric that contains 50% recycled polyester, making them a more sustainable choice.

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Lululemon Hotty Hot Short II Long

Our Score4.5

WHY THEY MADE THE LIST: These low-rise shorts were born to run. They have extra roomy legs, so you never need to break stride. Add in their super lightweight fabric and mesh panels for extra ventilation, and they're the ultimate choice for steamy-weather workouts. They also come in multiple colors and patterns and are available in sizes 0 - 20.

ADDITIONAL THINGS TO KNOW: There's also a shorter version of this short with a 2.5-inch inseam if you like the style but want a different length. 

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Nike Dri-FIT Tempo Running Shorts

Our Score4.6

WHY PEOPLE LOVE THEM: These Nike running shorts are some of the best on the market. They have an attached brief and a hidden interior pocket for your valuables. The featherweight fabric is quick-drying and moisture-wicking, so you can stay sweat free under the most extreme summer weather conditions. 

STYLE WITH: The basic black and white color scheme makes them a great base for a stylish workout outfit. Pair them with an amazing running shoe and trendy workout top.

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FP Movement The Way Home Shorts

Our Score4.6

WHY PEOPLE LOVE THEM: High-rise with a cool retro cut, these shorts as much about style as they are sports. They’re available in 40 fun colors, and there’s even a matching jacket if you want to make a high impact fashion statement.

ADDITIONAL THINGS TO KNOW: While the legs of these shorts are very roomy, customers find the waistband runs small. If you want to ensure you have enough room to work out comfortably, you may want to go up a size.

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Under Armour Play Up Shorts

Our Score4.65

WHY THEY MADE THE LIST: The flat elastic waistband of these athletic shorts keeps them from riding up whether you’re running or working out in the gym. These midrise shorts have a three-inch inseam, which is a great length for a variety of training activities. The lightweight fabric is not only moisture-wicking, but it's also super soft, making them a go-to for any hot summer day—even if you aren’t hitting the gym.

USER REVIEW: “These shorts are so comfortable that I will be purchasing another pair. Great for working out, running errands, or just wanting to be comfortable around the house. Breathable with pockets. They are a must have!”

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Outdoor Voices Relay 3" Short

Our Score4.7

WHY PEOPLE LOVE THEM: This short has ultralight, unlined fabric and a relaxed and breezy fit that’s optimal for warmer temperatures. Minimalist seaming gives them a flattering shape while providing visual interest on otherwise simple shorts. 

ADDITIONAL THINGS TO KNOW: Outdoor Voices is a celebrity favorite brand worn by people like Lizzo, Hailey Bieber, and Sophia Bush.

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Athleta Mesh Racer Run Short 4"

Our Score4.7

WHY THEY MADE THE LIST: These shorts are made from Athleta's Recycled Featherweight Stretch fabric. Long enough to provide full coverage, this short never rides up or rubs, so you can run in comfort. This size-inclusive style goes from a 00 to 26w, and customers say the fit is on point for plus-size and curvy runners.

ADDITIONAL THINGS TO KNOW: Athleta has a huge range of size-inclusive clothing, from sports bras to tops and leggings, so if you like these shorts, the brand has many more options to choose from.

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Inclusive


Lululemon Track That Mid-Rise Short 5"

Our Score4.7

WHY PEOPLE LOVE THEM: At five inches, these are the longest shorts on the list. The longer length prevents chafing, and they're made from Lululemon's water-repellent Glide fabric that keeps them moving smoothly with your body. They're also lined for extra modesty and to help keep them from riding up while you run.

USER REVIEW: "High waist, wide leg opening, breathable. They never ride up when I'm running, as so many shorts in my experience have done. They flatter a thicker thigh. I like the length. So glad I found these."

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Outdoor Voices Hudson 4" Short

Our Score4.75

​​WHY THEY MADE THE LIST: Outdoor Voices took one of its best-sellers and redesigned it with a longer inseam. These shorts have an ultra-comfortable and flattering waistband, plus a high-cut outer hem that elongates the legs. They also have a pocket inset on the side seam and a tiny hidden pocket in the belt that’s perfect for stashing an emergency key or anything else you want to keep close.  

ADDITIONAL THINGS TO KNOW: These shorts are made of 86% RecPoly (a lightweight recycled polyester that wicks moisture) and 14% Spandex to move with you, so they’re good for you and the planet.

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