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The 7 Best Running Shorts for Every Type of Runner

A figure running with Baleaf Running Shorts.

Jumpstarting the running season this 2022 means buying a couple of new running gear to hit the pavement with. Whether you’re a runner or new to running, running shorts are a must for keeping your full range of motion on your treks. And if you’re unsure about getting a pair of those iconic, quad-revealing 3-inch inseams, there are still a wide range of solid options that’ll work just as well.

The running shorts below come in all shapes and sizes. These quality shorts brands own different cuts, different colors and designs, and even different purposes for those who take part in niche running(trail runners unite!) because there’s a running short out there for everyone.

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Best Overall: Tracksmith Van Cortlandt

Blue Tracksmith Running Shorts on a white background.

Tracksmith is the crème de la crème when it comes to running shorts: 4-inch inseams, a comfortable mesh liner, and anti-microbial fabric, the list of features goes on. These shorts have stayed in the runner’s rotation for a reason. And for design, we love the Van Cortlandt’s. They’ve got a classic collegiate touch to them.

Best for Hardcore Runners: New Balance Impact Running Short

Dark blue New Balance Running Short on a white background.

New Balance is all about legacy in the runners’ world. Functionally superior, always trusted. Snag a pair of these iconic 3-inch Impact shorts — made with 100% polyester.

Best for Trail Running: Nike Running Dri-Fit Ripstop

Nike Running Shorts on a white background.

For the trail runner — or for the fashion-forward runner — Nike makes some great outdoor gear for all types of activities. These Ripstop ACG shorts are built to handle the most rugged trails. You’ll look good tackling the terrain, too.

Most Stylish: Acne Studios Black Jersey Running Shorts

Acne Running Shorts worn by a figure on a white background.

Vented outseams, tonal mesh lining, and made with premium stretch nylon, these jersey shorts from Acne Studios earn as many style points as they do road points. Honestly, we wouldn’t be mad if you grabbed these to wear as your casual shorts.

Three More Great Running Shorts

Janji 3-inch AFO Split Shorts

Janji Running Shorts worn by a model.

Janji makes these running shorts with a superbly lightweight and fast-drying AFO fabric — a blend of recycled polyester and elastane. Their split cut design is made for runners who want supreme movement and mobility. Other great features include a built-in liner and zippered back pocket big enough to fit your phone.

Asics Road Stretch-Shell

Asics Running Shorts on a white background.

Asics have spent years engineering products for all types of runners. Aside from their best running shoes, they also make quality apparel. These stretch-shell shorts are made with quick-drying materials and a compression mesh liner for added support. And if you want to run in a low-light environment, they’ve got just the right amount of reflective detailing.

Baleaf 3-inch Running Shorts

Baleaf Running Shorts worn by a model.

Baleaf running shorts can be described as offering extreme stretch and extreme affordability. Your grab-and-go running shorts come in all the colors under the rainbow. Run fast and far in these bad boys.

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