Clothing > Shorts

10 Best Men’s Shorts for Summer

By Beau Hayhoe  |  Updated April 22, 2024

10 Best Men’s Shorts for Summer
Courtesy of Proof

In matters of style and substance, it’s the little details that make the difference: There’s no doubt this is the case with the best men’s shorts, as well.


WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW
  • Decisions, decisions: The world of the best men’s shorts has options for everybody, from durable hybrid shorts to stylish chino shorts – find the pair that fits your lifestyle.
  • Style points aplenty: Make sure your shorts are styled properly: Some pair well with a dressier polo, some with a simple pocket tee or a rugged henley and canvas slip-ons.
  • Essential fit, essential style: Pay close attention to the fit of your shorts, both in the inseam length (usually in the ballpark of 7 or 9 inches) and the waist size.

There are shorts best suited for hiking, shorts for lounging, shorts for sunny days on the brewery patio, shorts you can even dress up a bit. You need at least a few different options, in my humble opinion. After all, the right fabric and fit carry the day with plenty of menswear essentials, shorts included.

This summer, don’t treat them like an afterthought to be thrown on at a moment’s notice. Here are my favorite shorts in plenty of categories you might not have even considered.


Best Hybrid Shorts
Proof Equator Hybrid Short

Best Utility Shorts
Proof Rover EDC Short

Best Lounge Shorts
Vuori Ponto Shorts

Best Cargo Shorts
Carhartt Rugged Flex Canvas Cargo Work Short

Best Chino Shorts
J.Crew Stretch Chino Short

Best Tailored Shorts
Faherty All Day Shorts

Best Hiking Shorts
Prana Stretch Zion Short II

Best Running Shorts
Ten Thousand Distance Short

Best Board Shorts
Hurley Phantom Board Shorts

Best Athletic Shorts
Vuori Kore Short


Best Hybrid Shorts

Proof Equator Hybrid Short


$98
 

What do you turn to when you want the perfect blend of comfort and performance? Hybrid shorts, a simple name that makes a lot of sense. They’re not quite athletic shorts, they’re not swim trunks, but they’re not chino shorts, either.

In your rotation of the best men’s shorts for summer, it pays off to opt for something highly versatile – versatile to the next level, at that. And you can certainly trust Huckberry to deliver an option packed with plenty of utility and style points.

DWR-treated lightweight fabric keeps you cool, wicks away moisture and moves seamlessly from the trail to the stream to the town bar and back. Plus, helpful inseam options and versatile color choices offer something for everyone. 

Check out more options in our Best Hybrid Shorts buying guide




Best Utility Shorts

Proof Rover EDC Short


$98
 

What’s the difference between the best hybrid shorts and the best utility shorts? Utility shorts are packed with pockets, performance-enhancing features like a stretch waistband and moisture-wicking fabric, sure, but they’ve got the kind of breezy, effortless cool that’s perhaps more at home on the golf course than in the water or on a boat.

How can shorts add to your everyday carry? In a major way, particularly when it comes to these power-packed Proof shorts from Huckberry.

They’re highly sustainable (durable fabric made from recycled water bottles sees to that), but the ante is really upped with a whopping seven pockets to hold everything from carabiners to your wallet to a pocket knife.

Even the inseam is gusseted for maximum ease of movement – take these just about anywhere you can dream up, on or off the grid.





Best Lounge Shorts

Vuori Ponto Shorts


$78
 

Why upgrade your shorts if they’re going to be worn during laidback, breezy days? The better question is: Why not? Lounge shorts still aren’t veering into full-on athletic short territory (more on that in a moment), and that’s particularly true if you’re shopping for men’s clothing from a brand like Vuori.

Even your lounge shorts deserve an upgrade these days, and Vuori sees to that in fine form.

The ever-popular workout brand delivers when it comes to your gym-going gear, but its Ponto Shorts boast a more easygoing appeal.

Useful, laidback features include a cozy, thick waistband, helpful features like a side zip pocket and super-soft Dreamknit fabric. You very well might want a pair in more than one color. 

Check out more options in our Best Lounge Shorts buying guide




Best Cargo Shorts

Carhartt Rugged Flex Canvas Cargo Work Short


$40
 

The cargo short of days gone by is a thing of the past. To be clear, cargo shorts are highly functional at their core, with useful additional pockets aplenty, but that doesn’t mean they have to be baggy or look sloppy. In fact, they can look downright cool.

Just as you trust Carhartt to outfit you on frigid days spent in the yard or the garage, you can trust the brand to come through with a tried-and-true pair of workwear shorts.

Spandex cotton canvas delivers both durability and stretch, and plenty of pockets (including a cell phone pocket and a utility pocket) are built into these remarkably useful, hard-working shorts. Start taking care of that warm-weather to-do list ASAP.





Best Chino Shorts

J.Crew Stretch Chino Short


$49.50
 

When most guys think of shorts, there’s a good chance they’re thinking of the classic chino short, right? The cotton fabric is densely woven and most commonly seen in chino pants. But chino shorts are a reliable style move when you want a simple short that you can dress up or dress down.

I wear chino shorts in ways that are both a bit more preppy (with a navy polo and leather loafers) and dressed down (with a pocket tee and trusty canvas slip-ons).

Helpfully, you can build an entire #OOTD with J.Crew picks, but it all starts with the shorts in this case.

Here, J.Crew has designed as timeless a pair as any, available in colors like Dusty Navy and Aircraft Surplus. It also helps that the 7-inch inseam hits above the knee on most guys for a clean, cool look.

Check out more options in our Best Chino Shorts buying guide




Best Tailored Shorts

Faherty All Day Shorts


$98
 

Tailored shorts are an interesting conundrum: Shorts are more laidback by nature (there’s a reason you don’t see them on the red carpet), but there are still times when you want a sharp pair of dress shorts. The fit is more trim, the details are sharp – no cargo pockets or logos in sight – and they’re very easy to wear with a luxe polo, breezy button up or Oxford shirt.

Faherty takes all this into account, and more, with this sustainable recycled poly-blend pair in an easy-to-wear shade of Khaki or Navy. The flat front makes them dressy and eye-catching, and the stretch material doesn’t hurt, either.





Best Hiking Shorts

Prana Stretch Zion Short II


$75
 

Hiking shorts check plenty of the right boxes when you want to pack up and hit the trail. You’re making it easier on yourself to move around while wearing shorts versus pants, and hiking shorts are also well-suited to the demands of being in the heat, the fog or the rain – because adventure never stops.

Prana’s stretch pair has a visually interesting, adjustable waistline for a perfect fit, and hard-wearing stretch fabric, to boot. Best of all, four-way stretch fabric and UPF 50+ protection bolster their outdoor preparedness.





Best Running Shorts

Ten Thousand Distance Short


$88
 

Running shorts have made leaps and bounds from the pair you used to wear in gym class, as designers and brands have taken a tech-focused approach to fabric and fit. They’re cut shorter than other training shorts, typically, with few bells and whistles aside from handy pockets.

In the world of running shorts, you could say that no one does it better than Ten Thousand. They put the brand’s gear through rigorous testing, and the Distance Short takes it all into account perfectly. They’re incredibly lightweight and breathable, and designed to truly go the extra mile.





Best Board Shorts

Hurley Phantom Board Shorts


$39
 

Board shorts are always a useful tool of sorts to have in your rotation: When you want to hit the beach and hit the waves on a surfboard or boogie board, the longer cut and durable fabric helps protect your thighs from sun, sand and chafing.

Hurley is absolutely a brand you can trust in that regard, with years of experience and a deep commitment to surfing culture. The stretch fabric of their perennial favorite Phantom is also quick-drying, and the scalloped leg vent helps with mobility, too.





Best Athletic Shorts

Vuori Kore Short


$68
 

While a pair of hybrid, utility or chino shorts is going to serve you very well in plenty of style scenarios, a man’s wardrobe needs a touch of training-ready gear from time to time, too.

Athletic shorts have been leveled up in a big way as of late, with better fabric and a better fit. I’ve found myself going back time and again to Vuori in particular, especially the brand’s super-soft performance tees, but the Kore Shorts are a winner in my book, too.

They’re 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.” That’s the kind of utility you really can use in your life.

From my point of view, they work well for day hikes, backyard BBQs and yard games with the family – oh, and workouts, too.

Check out more options in our Best Gym Shorts buying guide




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