The Best Men’s Gym Shorts

By Beau Hayhoe  |  Updated July 2, 2023

The Best Men’s Gym Shorts
Courtesy of Ten Thousand

There are areas where you can’t cut corners: The gym or your daily training session are certainly two of them, but the gear you wear for said training session–like athletic shorts–is undoubtedly another.

I’ve worn athletic shorts for years, from the gym to the football field to the weight room and back, and I’ve got my preferences. I need stretch, durability, moisture-wicking capability and (these days) at least, a slightly shorter inseam length. Perhaps you feel the same way, but when you find the right pair of shorts for your training session, they become indispensable.

  • Specs set the tone: A pair of the best athletic shorts should boast stretch, moisture-wicking fabric and ideally, an abrasion-resistant design, too. Plenty of brands have the market cornered in that regard.
  • Difference-making details: These days, brands throw in helpful features in spades, from small zip pockets for your EDC to durable, modern stretch fabric. Make sure your shorts have the right features.
  • David vs. Goliath: While the world’s biggest sportswear brands are making some of the best athletic shorts, plenty of younger, smaller and upstart brands are making shorts that can surely throw some weight around.

In the same way you level up your training and push for new personal bests, stepping up the gear you wear can help you meet those aims quite handily.

It’s like finding the right set of weights, or the right weight for your ideal number of reps–when you find it, you know, and when you hit your stride, you really can tell. The same goes for stepping into the best gym shorts, which can deliver essential mobility, much-needed moisture-wicking capabilities and all-around durability for repeat wear.

The best gym shorts even feature helpful details like zip pockets, abrasion-resistant fabric and a length and fit that’s just right–all the better to power those repeat training sessions and new personal bests. These are all crucial components I look for from my favorite men’s clothing brands, and you should do the same.

The next time you heed that early wake-up call to hit the gym, do so wearing a pair of the best workout shorts–like my favorites below.

For more shorts options, view our list of the Best Men’s Shorts for summer.

Reigning Champ Training Shorts


Reigning Champ’s well-made athletic gear–including gym-ready sweatshirts and joggers–always seem to deliver both premium quality and hard-hitting training specs in one complete package.

I’m a huge fan of the Canadian brand for its durability across the board, even in more casual, post-gym situations, but let’s focus on the task at hand: The shorts you need for your workout.

The fittingly named Training Shorts do just that quite handily: The four-way stretch fabric is finished off with a Durable Water-Repellent coating for go-anywhere workout capabilities, while reinforced side seams add much-needed durability, too.

Vuori Kore Short


The Kore Shorts from Vuori Clothing are ultra-comfortable, they wick away moisture from the very first drop, and as Vuori says, they’re designed to be “one short for every sport.”

They’re even my go-to shorts for most activities these days, athletic pursuits in particular, but they can easily be worn on a hike or a trail run, too. That’s the kind of utility you really can use in your life.

Ten Thousand Interval Shorts


Of all the companies in the arms race to make the best workout shorts, Ten Thousand seems to go above and beyond. They’ve caught my eye plenty over the years, with a mission to take over your workout wardrobe. It’s a mission I’ve found them succeeding as they pursue it, at least when I consider shopping my own wardrobe.

Better still is the fact that they work with athletes to wear-test each product, then turn those tests into some of the coolest and most technically advanced pieces on the market. In the case of the Interval Shorts, that means a no-bunch waistband and shorts that seriously wick away moisture with a lightweight fabric blend.

Lululemon Pace Breaker Shorts


While some workouts are built for muscle and power, others are built for streamlined speed. Especially when on the road or the trail, the more mobile your athletic shorts, the quicker you’ll move.

It’s a basic fact, sure, but Lululemon kept efficiency in mind with its Pace Breaker Shorts. They boast a range of inseams and the option of no liner, and they include a low zippered pocket for added utility. The range of colors could just take over your workout wardrobe for most days of the week.

Under Armour Tech Mesh Shorts


If it’s a certified classic you seek when it comes to a pair of the best athletic shorts, then Under Armour is the brand to shop.

The U.S. company changed the game with workout shirts designed for college football players sweating their way through excessive heat during outdoor practices. That same technology extends to its highly effective, subtle yet functional athletic shorts, which use all-over mesh fabric for a soft, breathable feel.

A wide array of colors should give you plenty of opportunity to add some simple-yet-useful workout shorts to your collection.

WOLACO Warren Shorts


When WOLACO set out to perfect the workout short, they said they did so with a focus on shorts that would “fit universally into all aspects of our active lifestyle.”

At first glance, it looks like the Warren Shorts could be your new go-to pair when it comes to the best athletic shorts, blending a high-stretch, anti-pilling nylon and spandex fabric blend with details like a sweat-proof zippered phone pocket. To that I say: Well-done, WOLACO.

Rhone 7-Inch Mako Shorts


If you’re in the market for a pair of athletic shorts designed to move with you–not against you–and a pair without a liner–then Rhone is the brand you need to shop now.

The 7-inch inseam is my personal preference, with a fit that works for most guys, and handy details like a media pocket and a hidden zipper pocket make it all that much easier to store your everyday carry. Plus, the range of colors and prints injects a bit of style into your workout.

Keap Athletics Active Shorts


If you were to scour the market for (perhaps) the “perfect” pair of athletic shorts, Keap Athletics might have hit the nail on the head.

There’s lots to love about this durable and made-to-move pair of shorts, from the agreeable 7” inseam to the durable four-way stretch fabric and modern cut.

An oversized waistband ensures a snug fit no matter your active pursuit, but it’s winning details like a reinforced back pocket and easy-access, secure front pockets that elevate them to the next level.

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