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Top 9 Men’s Athletic Shorts for the Gym, Track or Court

Looking for the best men’s athletic shorts to help foster your gains? Today, we’re reviewing 9 outstanding pairs of gym shorts across a range of budgets and styles–so you don’t have to waste any more time comparison shopping and can get back to the gym sooner.

Best athletic shorts for men reviewed 2021

A decision to hit the gym needs to be matched with athletic shorts equal to the task. And thanks to modern fabric technology, you can now get the best gym shorts without making a dent in your protein budget.

But with the growing number of gym clothes brands in the market today, settling for the ideal pair of workout shorts can be an uphill task. From form-fitting running shorts to loose-fitting basketball shorts, the options are so numerous that knowing exactly what to pick can be confusing.

Luckily, you won’t have to break a sweat while taking your pick as we’ve simplified the choices for you by narrowing it down to 9 of the best gym shorts.

Let’s hit the ground running and find your ideal pair. Shall we?

9 Best Athletic Shorts for Men at Any Budget

The following are reviews of some of the best gym shorts every man needs to have in their wardrobe. If you’re a fitness enthusiast, you should have these shorts. If you aren’t, then you must have them to support your fitness goals.

1. Under Armour Athletic Shorts | Tech Graphic Shorts

Under Armour Athletic Shorts | Tech Graphic Shorts
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Under Armour Tech Graphic Shorts are made of polyester and elastane blend. These fibers make the shorts breathable and quick-drying. Additionally, the material is endowed with a sweat-wicking ability that makes the shorts comfortable as you sweat it out on the treadmill.

If that’s not enough, the fabric is ultra-soft with a natural feel that makes it comfortable against the skin. Moreover, these Under Armor athletic shorts for men also allow for the right amount of stretch enabling unrestricted mobility.

An encased elastic waistband holds the shorts securely in place. Likewise, an internal drawcord is included for additional fastening. These shorts come in a variety of colors, all at an attractive price point. So go ahead and pick one or two for your workout sessions.

2. Amazon Essentials Gym Shorts | Men’s Loose-Fit Performance Shorts

Amazon Essentials Gym Shorts | Men’s Loose-Fit Performance Shorts
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Offering two gym shorts at the price of one, these Amazon Essentials Men’s Loose-Fit Performance Shorts is the bargain to beat. This basics brand has long been known for offering quality yet affordable outfits–and their athletic shorts are no exception.

Amazon gym shorts are made of 100% polyester which is lightweight, moisture-wicking, and breathable. Moreover, the fabric is stretchable giving plenty room for movement while exercising. The loose fit also offers comfort for those with thick hips and thighs, and fits true to size.

With the drawstring closure along the waistline, you can secure the shorts in place allowing for a variety of movements. Deep side panel pockets are available to slip in some small items. Caution should however be taken when keeping your valuables here as the pockets are open and the items you put in can slip out and get lost.

3. Real Essentials | Mesh Athletic Performance Gym Shorts

Real Essentials | Mesh Athletic Performance Gym Shorts 5-pack
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Real Essentials’ line of mesh athletic Shorts for men are extremely versatile. They are great to wear during workout sessions as well as other sporting activities like volleyball, soccer, basketball, cycling, and more. They can also be used as running, hiking, or jogging shorts.

Made of 100% polyester, these workout shorts are made with moisture-wicking technology which helps to keep you cool and dry. The breathable construction provides proper ventilation helping to take moisture away from your body.

They are 9 inches in length providing proper coverage that allows for a full range of motion while running, squatting, climbing, or whatever else. Two convenient storage pockets for small items are also available on either side of the shorts. Additionally, the elastic waistband and drawstring ensure a custom fit that secures the shorts in place even when moving around.

4. Russell Gym Shorts | Cotton Jersey Athletic Shorts

Russell Gym Shorts | Jersey Cotton Athletic Shorts for Men
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Russell Athletic men’s gym shorts major on comfort as they are made from jersey cotton fabric. The simplicity and ruggedness of this pair of shorts make it a favorite among pro players and amateurs alike.

You can rock them while going for a run, to a strenuous workout session in the gym, or even over a relaxed weekend out. They’re that versatile.

These gym shorts’ deep pockets keep your valuables safe as you exercise. An elastic waistband with an internal drawcord ensures a secure but relaxed fit letting you indulge in a range of motions. This classic pair of athletic shorts are timeless and are still as desirable today as they have ever been.

5. DEVOPS Workout Shorts | Loose-Fit Men’s 10 Inch Shorts

DEVOPS Workout Shorts | Men's 10 Inch Shorts
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We all enjoy a good bargain and DEVOPS men’s athletic shorts offer exactly that, with two high-quality gym shorts for the price of one. That’s simply irresistible. Given their fair price, you can easily stockpile several pairs; keep an extra pair in your locker or backpack, and pick your favorite colors on the cheap.

Made with the Dri-Fit technology of sweat management, these cheap gym shorts are nevertheless guaranteed to keep you cool and dry all day. The fabric used offers up to UPF 50+ protection that keeps off the harmful sun’s radiation, making them decent running shorts as well.

DEVOPS athletic shorts can also be worn for a day out at the beach without looking out of place or as loungewear at home. The 4-way stretchability allows for a variety of movements with ease. They come in a relaxed fit size that gently drapes off the body for maximum comfort and a style that won’t make your eyes bleed.

6. Pinkbomb Men’s 2 in 1 Shorts | Quick Dry Running Shorts

Pinkbomb Men's 2 in 1 Shorts | Quick Dry Running Shorts
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Pinkbomb men’s 2 in 1 shorts are specially made to deliver maximum comfort and convenience on or off the track.

The inner layer is compression tights which provide support for the thigh muscles and also help to reduce friction while running or jogging. The outer layer consists of a mesh fabric providing a durable covering for the inner layer and good mobility. It all comes together as a pair of workout shorts for men which are breathable, lightweight, and super comfortable.

Pinkbomb decks you out with 3 convenient outer pockets–two on the side, plus a hidden zipped pocket. The zipped pocket helps to keep your valuables safe by preventing them from slipping out while working out or running. There’s also a phone pocket on the inner shorts, which have a unique headphone hole and can securely hold your phone in place allowing you to listen to music as you work out.

7. Nike Basketball Shorts | Dri-FIT Icon Shorts

Nike Basketball Shorts | Dri-FIT Icon Shorts
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Nike is a world-famous brand in manufacturing quality sports attire. Nike’s Dri-FIT Icon basketball shorts are no exception, offering effortless mobility and excellent comfort enabling you to take your training to the next level.

Made from 100% polyester, these gym shorts are light and breathable providing proper air circulation. They’re made with the Dri-FIT technology that moves sweat away from your skin and onto the surface of the garment for quick evaporation. This ensures you’re dry and comfortable even during an intense workout session.

When you talk about versatility, Nike has got you covered. While these are widely considered to be some of the best basketball shorts for the money, they stretch your dollar further serving as solid workout and running shorts. With an elastic waistband and an internal drawstring, the Dri-FIT Icon has a secure adjustable fit. Grab one or two for an enhanced gym workout experience.

8. Surenow 2 in 1 Shorts with Compression | Men’s Camo Gym Shorts

Surenow 2 in 1 Shorts with Compression | Men's Camo Gym Shorts
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These 2 in 1 multifunctional training shorts are versatile and can be used for running, basketball, outdoor travel, and other related activities. The Surenow Men’s Shorts have two layers; an inner fitting lining, and an outer loose layer. The inner lining has a higher spandex content for better elasticity.

Surenow makes their gym shorts using polyester and spandex. This blend of highly elastic fabrics ensures stretchability for ease of movement. The quick-drying and breathability qualities help drain sweat and keep you fresh and dry all through your workouts.

One unique feature of these gym shorts is the towel loop. This innovative design helps you keep your towel accessible during workouts to wipe away sweat.

What’s more, the shorts have an adjustable drawstring for customized waist comfort and features a zipper pocket to store your phone and other carry-on items.

9. G Gradual Running Shorts | Men’s 7 Inch Inseam Athletic Shorts

G Gradual Running Shorts | Men's 7 Inch Inseam Athletic Shorts
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G Gradual 7” sports shorts for men offers an athletic fit and can be worn when running, jogging, weight lifting, and during other gym workouts.

Made of mesh material consisting of 95% polyester and 5% spandex, these workout shorts are lightweight and built for performance. The fabric blend is also moisture-wicking and quick to dry; it’s designed to clear off sweat from your skin, keeping you dry and comfortable during workouts.

Additionally, G Gradual gym shorts feature two safe zipper pockets on the sides where you can keep your phone, keys, wallet, or cards. The elastic waistband and the inner drawcord are designed to hold the shorts securely in place preventing them from sliding down.

G Gradual shorts are available in several appealing colors offering a wide variety to choose from. So go ahead and take your pick.

Factors to Consider When Buying Gym Shorts

All shorts aren’t made equal. Athletic shorts, in particular, have some very specific requirements to be worth a damn.

Here are some key factors to consider if you want to end up with a suitable, stylish, and durable pair of gym shorts in your wardrobe.

Type of Fabric Used

When it comes to the ultimate performance fabrics, synthetics like polyester, lycra, and nylon are the undisputed champions of men’s running shorts. For the best performance, these fabrics are blended rather than used in isolation when constructing gym shorts.

These synthetic fabrics can wick away moisture from the skin and enhance airflow thereby keeping you dry, comfortable, and healthy. A well-ventilated fabric will also ensure that bad odor is kept at bay. The weaving on the fabric should also allow for sufficient air holes to enhance the maximum breathability of the fabric without compromising on the quality.

Synthetic fabrics are also light in weight. The last thing you want is a heavy fabric that slows you down and compromises your performance. These synthetic fabrics are considered to be among the lightest fabrics ideal for making gym-related attire.

Sometimes some of these synthetic fabrics are mixed with natural ones, like cotton, to get the best of both fabrics.

Sweat Control

The pair of gym shorts you settle on should be equipped with the ability to deal with sweat effectively. Several gym shorts available in the market today make use of the latest technologies. These enable them to perform optimally during sweaty moments supporting peak performance over a workout session.

Look out for brands that make use of the latest sweat-tackling technologies like Dri-fit. Typically, brands will heavily advertise when they’re selling moisture-wicking running shorts as it is such a desirable feature. The design of the shorts should also provide for effective aeration as that also helps to prevent odors.

Performance Fit

You should feel comfortable wearing your pair of gym shorts. If they are too baggy or too tight-fitting, they might be an impediment to achieving your fitness goals by slowing you down.

When purchasing a pair of shorts from a physical store be sure to try them on. Try some practical physical movements with them to ensure you’re comfortable. But be reasonable here, no need to engage in a full-body workout in the store. Just a few stretches and body twists should be able to help you confirm that a pair of athletic shorts fit well.

When doing an online purchase, look at the size guide that’s often provided by the brand on the site. Different short brands might have different size charts for their gym shorts. Avoid using one brand’s size chart to purchase a different brand of shorts. Ensure the size you are purchasing will be the right fit to avoid costly returns of items.

Price

Today, gym shorts come in a wide price range depending on the brand, material, or workmanship. As a rule of thumb, you don’t have to spend an arm and a leg for a quality pair of gym shorts.

Nonetheless, if a pair of gym shorts offers value for money, you could always cough up some extra bucks for the quality. I bet you’d rather pay more for a good quality pair of shorts that’ll last you several years than settle for cheap stuff that will barely make it past the sixth-month mark.

Be on the lookout for sale offers or for brands that sell in packs at discounted rates. Whenever you have an opportunity to save some money, by all means, go for it. Only make sure in doing so you don’t compromise on quality and comfort.

Ultimately, when you consider all the factors listed here you will be able to gauge whether a pair of cheap athletic shorts is worth its price tag or your time.

Length

Gym shorts come in a variety of lengths. We have long gym shorts that are almost knee-length. These shorts’ lengths mainly fall between 9 and 10 inches. 4 to 5 inch inseam shorts are considered short, as they rest just below your butt cheeks and offer supreme mobility and cooling. In the middle, 7 inch shorts are good all-rounders, and are something of a sweet spot for a lot of guys.

The length of the gym shorts you settle on will greatly be determined by the type of workout you intend to wear them for. Weight lifting workouts might require you to put on the longer 9 or 10-inch shorts. These long shorts are preferable for such workouts, as they can offer protection and coverage between the thighs and the bench. Crucially, it helps to prevent friction discomfort.

Runners on the other hand might prefer the shorter 4 or 5-inch shorts. These allow for proper air circulation, cooling you off as you run. The medium-length shorts are a good compromise and can be ideal for almost any type of workout.

Additional Features (Pockets, Zippers, Loops, etc.)

Helpful extra features are always a welcome relief. They help to give a decorative as well as functional purpose to a pair of shorts. They also help to separate one pair of shorts from another as they allow a brand to showcase their creative twists setting them apart from the rest.

Some shorts have a deep zipper or back pockets for you to be able to carry your mobile phone or other valuables. If you run, jog, or work out outdoors at night then it would be important to invest in a pair of shorts with reflective features. Some have a waist drawstring to properly secure the short in place.

Best Athletic Shorts for Men: Parting Words

A lot of guys get by with the cheapest pair of loose-fitting pants they can find, and never think twice about it. That is, until rashes, chaffing, wear-and-tear, and poor moisture control rear their ugly heads. Thus, it pays to not only pick a solid pair of athletic shorts–but also the right type of shorts for your intended workout.

Towards that end, we’ve presented 9 diverse types of gym shorts across a variety of price points (though, mostly pretty cheap to enable easy purchase of multiple pairs). You’ve also gotten the lowdown on some general concepts that will help you make smarter buying decisions with your athletic wear.

Do you have a favorite pair of athletic shorts? Or, do you have any personal experience with any of our recommendations? What do you look for in a good pair of gym shorts? Sound off in a comment below!

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