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The 17 Best Men’s Workout Shorts in Fall 2021

Staying motivated to workout is hard. One great way to stay on top of your fitness routine is to keep your workout clothes fresh and comfortable, particularly your shorts. The best workout shorts for men are moisture-wicking, flexible, durable, and stylish. Let’s not forget that the proper fit and length are essential when choosing the right workout shorts, as well. Pockets are a bonus, too — especially if they are zippered and spacious enough to hold your essentials while exercising.

Although there’s no shortage of options in the world, there are only a few pairs of workout shorts that can truly check all of these boxes. What’s great is you don’t have to search far and wide to find them, as we’ve put together a list of the best men’s workout shorts — all of which are pulled from the best workout clothing brands. Throw a pair of these guys into your gym bag and get ready to sweat this fall.

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Best 3-Inch Inseam: Janji Split Short

A running man wearing a black Janji Short.

For the more run-heavy individual, Janji’s 3-inch inseam Split Shorts are recommended. They come with a built-in performance brief liner, and they’re cut with a deep side split to ensure full mobility when striding. Another great feature is the zippered back pocket that’s big enough to toss your phone in.

Best 5-Inch Inseam: OnlyNY NYC Parks Basketball Shorts

A navy OnlyNY NYC Parks Collection Short.

For those who like to throw in a little pickup basketball with their workout routine, go with these NYC-inspired shorts from OnlyNY. Made with a durable midweight polyester mesh and lined with a breathable nylon tricot fabric, think of these as an elevated version of the classic gym shorts.

Best 9-Inch Inseam: Champion Jersey Shorts

A man with his hand in his pocket is seen wearing a gray Champion Shorts.

If you’re looking for ultra-comfortable shorts, whether to wear them at the gym or on the couch, you can’t go wrong with Champion, purveyor of some of the coziest jersey knits in the game. We’ve found more of the best athleisure brands like this one to browse as well.

Most Durable: Lululemon Pacebreaker Short

A midsection of a man wearing a black Lululemon Pacebreaker Short and white shoes.

Lululemon’s Pacebreaker short is pretty much the going standard for workout shorts these days. Simply put, they set a new level of expectations for what activewear should feel like. These come in a 7-inch inseam and feature a 3D pouched liner. Whether it be yoga, Peloton-ing, weightlifting, or even throwing the football, you’ll own a durable workout short for years to come.

Most Comfortable: Marine Layer Yoga Short

A red Marine Layer Yoga Short on white background.

We love these Marine Layer shorts (one) for their cozy water repellant material and (two) for their awesome Rosewood color. A lot of times workout shorts are either presented in a range of grayscale or in ultrabright, in-your-face colors. We’d say these provide just the right amount of color while guaranteeing trusted function — it’s a Goldilocks workout short.

Best for Monitoring Body Temp: Smartwool Merino Short

A gray Smartwool Merino Short on white background.

For those who want a versatile 5-inch inseam short, Smartwool has an answer. Made with their Merino Sport 150 material, these shorts will limit odor, regulate body temperature, and quick-dry like the best of them. And if you find the weather’s too nice to stay inside, the Merino Short is a solid choice for wearing out on a trail run.

Most Eco-Friendly: Nike Flex Stride

A midsection wearing the Nike Flex Stride and a pair of Nike shoes.

Flex Stride is the sustainable choice for runners—they’re made with 100% recycled polyester. They feature a 5-inch inseam and a split hem on the side for a full range of motion. Not to mention they come in great colors like this mint green, for instance.

Best Running Shorts: On Running Hybrid Shorts

A man wearing an On Hybrid Shorts, rubber shoes, and socks.

On Running is home to some of the best running gear and the Hybrid Short is a clear standout. Though slightly pricey, these shorts are incredibly breathable, durable, and mobile, built as they are to move with the person wearing them. What’s especially interesting about these running shorts is their two-in-one design, which means you can wear the breathable outer shell or the interior compression layer independent of one another.

More Great Workout Shorts

Myles Everyday Short

A navy blue Myles Everyday Short on white background.

Sporting a cool river colorway, the Myles Everyday Short is great for the gym as it is hanging around the house on Sunday afternoon. They have great stretch thanks to their nylon and spandex blend, and they’re crafted with water repellant properties. Our favorite feature? That would be the ballistic mesh pocketing: Breathable, form-fitting, and durable enough to hold your phone and keys in place.

Mack Weldon Stratus Active Shorts

A black Mack Weldon Stratus Active Shorts.

Featuring an odor-free silver lining, temperature-regulating tech and reflective side details, the Active Short from Mack Weldon packs a serious punch. In addition to all these functional specs, the shorts also have a hidden pocket in the back for your cell phone or other essentials.

Rhone Versatility Short

A midsection of a man wearing the Rhone Versatility Short and a pair of white sneakers.

In this case, the name really says it all. Here, you’ll find a pair of incredibly versatile gym shorts designed with an adjustable interior waistband, zippered invisible pocket, and lightweight, quick-drying fabric exterior. Whether you’re getting your cardio on or making your way through leg day, these bad boys will definitely see you through.

Topo Designs Global Shorts

A gray Topo Designs Global Shorts on white background.

Topo Designs sells a lot of fantastic items (from backpacks to wallets, water bottles, and workout gear), but one of its best is the Global Short. This versatile accessory is lightweight and quick-drying, making it a great option for guys on the go, whether to the gym or on a mountain hike.

Patagonia Strider Running Shorts

A blue Patagonia Strider Running Shorts on white background.

Though known primarily as an outdoor clothing brand, Patagonia also sells some great gym clothes, like the Strider Running Short. Made from recycled polyester stretch material, these shorts are built to move with you, allowing for a wide range of motion that’s ideal for high-intensity workouts.

Luwell Pro Men’s 7-Inch Running Shorts

A midsection of a half-naked man wearing the Luwell Pro Men's 7-Inch Running Shorts.

Luwell’s running shorts are among the top-rated workout duds on Amazon for their lightweight material, moisture-wicking features, and their myriad pockets for storage.

Ten Thousand Set Short

A black Ten Thousand Set Short on white background.

Ten Thousand has steadily made a name for itself in the athleisure sphere over the past few years for its uber-functional garments. Case in point: The brand’s new workout shorts that double as swimming trunks, and are tested by Navy Seals and marine rangers, so you know they’re the real deal.

Vuori Banks Shorts

A Vuori Banks Shorts on white background.

We can’t stop raving about Vuori’s signature shorts. They feature a blend of moisture-wicking fabrics that also fend off odors, provide plenty of support for your family jewels, and give you ample pocket room for your phone or outdoor gear.

Fabletics Men The Franchise Short

A man with his hand in his pocket is wearing a watch, blue shirt, and a pair of Fabletics Men The Franchise Short.

On top of being anti-odor and sweat-wicking, this was one of the few workout shorts we tried, and we found they provide plenty of secure pocket space that won’t let things fall out when you’re exercising, whether you’re carrying tennis balls, your keys, or other EDC.

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