11 pairs of men's shorts that are built for every type of workout


A solid pair of workout shorts is a wardrobe essential, as they can be worn for everything from weightlifting and running to lounging around at home. The best workout shorts for men are comfortable, have some stretch to the material, and are the right style for your routine.

Before choosing your workout shorts, think about what type of activities you'll use them for most, so you'll know what features to look for. If you plan on working out in hot, sunny weather, you'll want shorts that are UV-blocking and moisture-wicking, so you can stay cool and dry. For yoga, you may want shorts with a built-in brief or liner, and for hiking you'll need zippered pockets, so you don't lose anything important on the trail. If you love running, look for shorts that have split sides to give you more leg movement, or loose-fitting shorts. There are also shorts with compression liners, which can help prevent chafing and may even improve your performance.

The type of closure on shorts is also important, but it mostly comes down to preference. Hiking shorts often have button closures, but other workout shorts tend to have drawstrings, elastic bands, or both. Drawstrings allow for an adjustable fit, but some people prefer the flexibility of elastic.

Once you've decided which features you need, consider the different styles. Shorts also come in a variety of colors, from neutral tones that can pair with any workout shirts to bright colors that are sure to stand out. Inseams can range from 3 inches, which may work better for lifting or running shorts to longer 7- or 8-inch inseams, which provide extra coverage for yoga or lounging. With that in mind, read on for some of the best exercise shorts for every type of workout.

We only recommend products we love and that we think you will, too. We may receive a portion of sales from products purchased from this article, which was written by our Commerce team.

1. The tried-and-true shorts

These Under Armour graphic shorts are a fan favorite on Amazon with over 23,000 five-star ratings. They're made with the brand's synthetic UA Tech fabric, which is both quick-drying and soft to keep you comfortable, and they come in a wide assortment of color options. These shorts have a 10-inch inseam, mesh pockets, and a secure elastic band with an internal drawstring.

One reviewer wrote: "Great fit. Light weight. Easy to wash. Looks great. Feels great during workouts."

  • Available sizes: X-Small — 5X-Large Tall
  • Available colors: 38

2. The 7-inch running shorts

Runners on Amazon love these unlined workout shorts, which measure 7 inches in length and have an elastic closure. They're made from lightweight fabric that not only protects you from UV rays, but is also moisture-wicking and quick-drying. If you like to run with your phone or keys, these shorts are a great choice because they have two zippered pockets to keep valuables safe.

  • Available sizes: Small — 3X-Large
  • Available colors: 3

3. The extra-long shorts

If you're taller and looking for more coverage, these extra-long workout shorts are a solid choice. They're made from a lightweight blend of cotton and polyester that's breathable and simple to care for, and they feature an elastic waistband with an integrated drawstring that makes it easy to get the perfect fit. They have two side pockets and a back pocket with a button closure, and come in a wide variety of colors.

  • Available sizes: Medium Big — 9X Large Big
  • Available colors: 27

4. The 3-inch running shorts

If you're looking for shorter workout shorts, these have a 3-inch inseam and a split design that makes them comfortable and breathable. The two side pockets are also zippered, so you don't have to worry about losing your keys or phone while you're out on your run. These shorts are built with two layers: a quick-drying shell made from nylon and elastane and a mesh brief liner made from polyester and elastane.

One reviewer wrote: "Love these shorts! They fit exactly as shown on the size scale. Lightweight and comfortable. Perfect for running and working out in the gym. Will buy in more colors. For reference I am 32” waist and 6ft tall, medium fits perfectly. The zip pocket is large enough to fit a phone and keys."

  • Available sizes: Small — XX-Large
  • Available colors: 16

5. The 2-pack of loose-fit shorts

These loose shorts can be worn for all types of workouts, and they're only $9 a pair. They're made from 100% polyester with a mesh-like design for added breathability, and they're moisture-wicking to keep you comfortable even on hot days. Over 19,000 Amazon shoppers have given these workout shorts a five-star rating. While the exact inseam isn't listed, these shorts hit slightly above the knee.

One reviewer wrote: "I have to say, I was not expecting much from these amazon branded gym shorts. I train, run and play basketball regularly. I was looking for an inexpensive decent mesh-like short to withstand a lot of activity. These shorts fit the bill. I am 6'3, 215 pounds and the large fit perfect. The shorts end right above the knee which I prefer when running. For $6 a piece, you can't beat it. The pockets are nice to have and deep enough to prevent items from falling out. I would buy again."

  • Available sizes: Small — XX-Large
  • Available colors: 10

6. The shorts with built-in compression

These may look like your basic workout shorts, but underneath they have a built-in compression layer to give you added support. They're made from a blend of polyamide and polyester that is not only lightweight but moisture-wicking to keep you dry. Perfect for anyone who likes to listen to music or podcasts during workouts, these shorts have a 7-inch inseam and pocket in the liner to hold your phone, in addition to two exterior pockets and a back pocket.

One reviewer wrote: "Now I normally don't write reviews, but this product was very impressive from the moment I opened my package through when I was wearing them! They are by far the most comfortable workout shorts I have ever worn [...] pleasantly surprised it had four pockets [...] The three on the outside all have high quality zippers to make sure things don't fall out. I will be ordering a few more of these shorts as soon as the colors I want are back in stock."

  • Available sizes: X-Small — X-Large
  • Available colors: 16

7. The luxe yoga shorts

Made from polyester and spandex, these stretchy shorts from popular yoga mat and apparel brand Manduka have four-way stretch and a breathable design that will help you stay cool and comfortable during your workout. But they also have an elevated silhouette that works for dinner or drinks, too. They're quick-drying, moisture-wicking, and have a built-in brief and a secure pocket on the liner. The 8-inch inseam is perfect for those who like a little extra coverage.

  • Available sizes: Small — X-Large
  • Available colors: 1

8. The long mesh shorts

If you're looking for longer workout shorts at a good price, try these 9-inch shorts from the well-loved athletic brand Champion. They have a longer inseam and are constructed with a polyester mesh fabric that's breathable and lightweight, making them ideal for a variety of workouts. These shorts also have an internal cord that is easy to adjust, and two convenient side pockets.

One reviewer wrote: "They fit very comfortably, most of the time I don't even notice I'm wearing them which is a good sign. They didn't shrink noticeably any of the times they've been washed, and the color is staying true now 9 months after being purchased. I wear them quite often, I'd live in these types of shorts if I could. Very basic and they get the job done."

  • Available sizes: Small — 4X-Large
  • Available colors: 16

9. The Champion big and tall shorts

These big and tall workout shorts have the oversized Champion logo on one side that makes them for street style as well as workouts. Constructed with cotton jersey material, They're lightweight and breathable with a secure drawstring closure, and they come in both muted and bold color options. The inseam is not listed, but these should hit at the knee, or just above.

One reviewer wrote: "These Champion shorts are my favorite gym/sport shorts period. They are like the best shorts from decades ago when material wasn't thin and [cheap] like most clothes are made of today."

  • Available sizes: X-Large — 6X
  • Available colors: 8

10. The retro running shorts

These runnings shorts not only have a retro design and a 3-inch inseam, but they're also budget-friendly at less than $15 per pair. They're made from 100% polyester with a secure drawstring closure, and to keep them in the best shape, you'll want to hand-wash them. They have an inner pouch along with two convenient side pockets, and split sides for greater freedom of movement while working out.

One reviewer wrote: "I love these shorts so much, I ordered two more in different colors the next day. Super comfortable, and, THEY'RE ACTUALLY SHORTS! Mid thigh, not down to my knees."

  • Available sizes: Small — X-Large
  • Available colors: 7

11. The cargo shorts for hiking

Perfect for summer hikes and spring strolls, these cargo shorts are made from lightweight stretch fabric. They have an elastic waistband with a button closure for a secure fit, and they have a water-repellent and UV-protective finish. Both the two side pockets and two back pockets all have zippered closures to keep your belongings secure. The inseam varies by size, starting at around 9.5 inches.

One reviewer wrote: "These shorts are the most comfortable I think I have ever had. Size wise, they do stretch. I am normally a 46 in waist and the extra large fit perfect- but I did remove the belt- I don't wear belts. Now if they would start making pants!"

  • Available sizes: Small — 4X-Large
  • Available colors: 10