Summer is here, and those of us who love to run are pretty excited about what that means. Longer days with more opportunities to get outside, treks up into the mountains for alpine trail adventures, ice cream as a proper post-run recovery treat, and stashing away our jackets and tights to make way for breezy tanks and lightweight shorts.
If you’re like us, you’ll agree that summer is for running, and no item of clothing speaks more to the freedom of running than a good pair of shorts. Below, we’ve selected our favorites for this summer. To help you find your perfect pair, we’ve categorized them by length, and further divided them into options for function (well-constructed, perfect simplicity), flair (offering a unique design that we love), and fitted (for women who prefer a tight silhouette).
Short Length (1 – 3.5″ Inseam)
Function – Nike Women’s Dry Crew 2″ Short
When it comes to a basic, wear-on-any-run short, we want something comfortable, versatile, and reasonably priced. The Dry Crew 2″ Short checks all of those boxes, with a classic profile, lightweight design, wide waistband, and price tag that won’t break the bank. We’ll throw these shorts on for everything from short jogs to long runs or speed workouts.
Flair – rabbit Women’s Lady Dukes 2.5″ Short
When you’re feeling fiesty, plain black shorts just won’t do. The Lady Dukes from rabbit use a classic cut with a spunky colorblock style that we love. The bold colors and striped waistband stand out, while the scalloped hem allows you to lengthen your stride and put some pep in your step. A rear zippered pocket and two extra stash pockets let you to bring along small items.
Fitted – OIselle Women’s Mini Spandos Shorts
No one wants a booty short that rides up or digs in at the waist, which is why we love the Mini Spandos Shorts from Oiselle. Stretchy and form fitting, these shorts stay put thanks to the extra-wide, soft waistband and high-quality material. Spunky prints add some extra oomf to your step, so you can breeze along with style.
Medium Length (4 – 5.5″ Inseam)
Function – Cabrillo Women’s Sea Wind 4″ Short
We wish every short could fit as well, feel as good, and look as flattering as the Cabrillo Women’s Sea Wind Short. Built with lightweight, high-quality material, these shorts have the type of effortless comfort that makes us want to keep them on all day. The structured cut and scalloped hemline create a flattering profile, and the wide waistband sits flat and provides a secure fit. The zippered pocket at the rear of the waistband is just big enough to hold nutrition and keys or a smaller-sized phone.
Flair – Janji Women’s Uganda Signature 2-in-1 Short 3″
We can’t get over the pink pop and geometric patterning on the Uganda Signature 2-in-1 Shorts. With a fitted, cold-colored interior short and a lightweight, funky-styled outer short, the Uganda Signatures scream fun fashion. A stash pocket in the liner is big enough to stow your ID and key, and we love that Janji always donates 10% of sales to global clean water initiatives.
Fitted – The North Face Motivation High-Rise Short
Say farewell to flimsy fitted shorts that have you readjusting the waistband and wondering if your bum is showing through. The high-waisted TNF Motivation High-Rise Shorts stay put and are constructed with sturdy, structured material that doesn’t sacrifice quality for stretch. A small stash pocket provides a secure spot to stow small essentials.
Long Length (6″ + Inseam)
Function – Brooks Women’s Chaser 7″ Short
Lightweight, breathable, and modest, the Brooks Chaser 7″ is everything we want in an everyday short. With a casual aesthetic, these shorts pair perfectly with any lightweight tank or tee for an easy summertime look. Petal slits at the side ensure that the longer length won’t impede your stride, and we’re really digging the combination of hand pockets and an inner stash pocket for both ample and secure storage options.
Flair – Oiselle Women’s Long Flyout Shorts
We love these shorts because they offer the modesty of a longer inseam while providing a fun silhouette that won’t slow you down. Thanks to the scalloped hemline, your legs won’t be constricted or held back. A total of four pockets provide plenty of storage opportunities (the side stash pockets are big enough to hold your phone!), and the fresh color options are just the thing for a bright summer morning.
Fitted – Brooks Women’s Greenlight 7″ Short Tight
Sometimes, you just want a good, solid short that feels good and gets the job done without too many extra bells and whistles. For those of us who prefer a little extra coverage, the Brooks Greenlight 7″ Short Tight is an easy go-to for hassle-free comfort. A nice, wide waistband, flatock seams, and stretchy, moisture-wicking fabric work together to create a short that’s ready for just about anything.
Function – Oiselle Women’s Roga Skirt
Freedom of movement combined with flattering femininity — who wouldn’t love running in a skirt? We love the Oiselle Roga’s winning combination of semi-fitted design and soft, stretchy fabric. The wide waistband creates a secure and comfortable fit, while the built-in brief underneath provides coverage without inhibiting your stride or adding extra bulk. Stash your small necessities in the rear zippered pocket for safe keeping.
Flair – The North Face Women’s Flight Better Than Naked Skort
With a subtle print and an eggplant-colored waistband, this skort from North Face brings just a hint of pizzazz without being loud or flashy. Built-in fitted shorts underneath provide an extra layer of modesty, and the lightweight, loose-fitting skirt allows you to stretch your legs and speed along in style. The extra-wide waistband sits flat without digging in, creating a fit that stays comfortable mile after mile. A total of three pockets provide plenty of storage space.
Looking for shorts but not impressed with our picks? Check out our complete catalogue below.
Tracie is a former teacher and a lifelong learner who loves exploring. Most at home in the mountains, she enjoys tearing up and down the trails on her mountain bike, and occasionally leaves the wheels at home for a run through the trees. Having recently earned her personal trainer certification, Tracie thrives on helping others reach their athletic goals.
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