In today’s fast-paced, fitness-focused world, it’s more important than ever to find the perfect pair of workout shorts. But with so many options available, it’s easy to get inundated by choice. That’s why we thought through all of the features that the top men’s workout shorts have to offer and compiled them here for your convenience. Read on to learn all you need to know about what you get from a great pair of workout shorts.
While each person’s body is different, and nobody can expect to make the same fitness gains as the next person simply by doing the same activities, one thing is fairly universal: we all sweat.
Sweating (also known as perspiration) is the mechanism that your body uses to cool itself down. When your nervous system recognizes that your body temperature is rising, your brain sends a signal to your sweat glands: get to work. In turn, the sweat glands start pumping out sweat—which is mostly water, with trace amounts of salt and fat.
There are two types of sweat glands:
But never fear, because these days, there’s a solution to our mid-workout sweating problem: moisture-wicking fabric.
When you’re out for a long run, or riding your bike for hours on end, or even just doing your basic workout, the last thing you want is for your clothing to get all soggy and smelly. That’s why these days, the best workout shorts feature material that wicks moisture away from your body, keeping you drier and more comfortable throughout the day.
Moisture-wicking fabric is engineered to work in a couple of different ways: first, to rapidly pull sweat away from the body and toward the outer surface of the material; second, to allow the sweat to evaporate rapidly, quickly drying the moistened material. Because of the dual abilities of the fabric, your body stays dry—no matter how hard you’re working out.
Obviously, this only works when you’re above water—so don’t expect your shorts to stay dry if you take them for a swim. But if you’re looking to work out (on dry land) and keep your more sensitive areas from getting swampy, you need shorts made of moisture-wicking material.
There are many different materials that allow the fabric to wick moisture away from your body, each with its own benefits, but some of the most popular are spandex, cotton, polyester, and bamboo.
Workout shorts of yore had many limitations, but the biggest difference between the athletic shorts of the past and the athletic shorts of today may be that modern pairs of shorts (at least the best ones) are made of antimicrobial materials that kill microorganisms—or at least slow their spread.
For those who haven’t thought of microbiology since high school science class, microorganisms are exactly what they sound like: microscopic organisms (microscopic meaning incredibly small, and organisms being life forms). Microorganisms can come in the form of bacteria, fungi, archaea, or protists…but for the sake of the workout apparel conversation, let’s just think of them as tiny little life forms.
Just how tiny are these little life forms? So tiny that the human eye cannot see them without the assistance of a microscope. But just because we can’t see them, it doesn’t mean that they’re not there—and it doesn’t mean that we can’t smell them.
That’s where antimicrobial materials come in. This cutting-edge technology allows the fabric to kill those microorganisms long before they stink up your clothing, which is especially necessary when it comes to workout shorts.
Men’s workout apparel can be made to be antimicrobial in a few ways:
While antimicrobial fabric doesn’t make workout shorts a substitute for penicillin, it is engineered to keep microorganisms (and the unpleasant odors they cause) at bay.
And if you’re worried about the safety of your more vulnerable body parts, put those worries to rest. The U.S. government strongly regulates the term “antimicrobial;” fabrics that are marketed as antimicrobial must be non-toxic to the consumer and the environment, so you don’t have to worry about your workout shorts killing anything other than pesky microorganisms.
Whether you’re trying to lose weight, gain muscle, increase your endurance or mobility, or pursue any other fitness goal, the last thing you want is for the clothing you wear to hold you back. You need everything touching your body to help you achieve your goals—and that includes your workout shorts.
Because of this, the best workout shorts are all made from fabric that’s been engineered for performance. Performance fabrics like spandex and polyester can help not only to wick moisture away from your body, but also to keep you cool and comfortable no matter how hard your body’s working.
Maybe the most important feature in a pair of workout shorts is its level of comfort. Some shorts can look trendy but feel prohibitive or constraining, and if you’re working out in uncomfortable clothing, how long are you really going to want to stay at the gym? You want your workout shorts to be so comfortable that they keep you pumping iron for as long as possible.
That’s why some of the best pairs of workout shorts feature four-way-stretch material. Four-way stretch refers to the ability of the fabric to stretch in all directions, making the material not only as stretchy as possible, but also as comfortable as possible—because when you’re moving your body athletically, you want the clothing you have on to move with you.
It doesn’t take an Olympic athlete to understand that working out is very different than average, day-to-day activity. On a given day when a person isn’t at the gym or going for a run, they’ll probably walk a bit—maybe jog, if they’re running late; they’ll sit and lie down as well. That’s about it for physical activity.
When you’re working out, however, you force your body to do all sorts of things that it normally wouldn’t do: rowing and lunging and doing deep squats with heavy weight, etc. If you’re not wearing the right material, those activities can be made more difficult—or you might actually tear right through the clothing on your body. While that’s not a bad look for Bruce Banner, you might not want to walk home in a ripped pair of shorts.
Simplicity is one of the most important facets of fashion, and one of the hardest to get right. Many clothing companies try—and fail—to design a set of workout gear that’s utterly simple while still being functional. That’s why you’ll see pairs of workout shorts that don’t even have a pocket for your phone or your keys.
While pants with no pockets might be ideal for going swimming (you don’t want to forget your phone in your pocket before diving into the deep end), it can be cumbersome to have to carry your belongings around the gym with you and set them down every time you want to change machines or pick up a set of weights. Plus, it can be risky to accidentally leave them lying around.
It’s simple, but it’s true—pants need pockets, and workout shorts are no different.
Whether you’re a hardcore fitness enthusiast or a casual gym-goer, your workout deserves the best apparel possible. And with moisture-wicking, antimicrobial, four-way stretch fabric, Willy California Workout Shorts are some of the best in the business.
At Willy California, we believe that people should be able to go straight from working at the office to working at the gym, or vice versa. That’s why all of our clothing is made to be comfortable, light, and stretchy—and our Workout Shorts are no different. Made from the best in performance materials and engineered to fight sweat and odor, Willy California workout shorts are soft and breathable without sacrificing any support. And weighing in at only 5.5 grams, our workout shorts are incredibly light and breathable—you’ll feel like you’re flying through your routine.
But don’t take our word for it. Order a pair and see how they work for you.