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What Are the Best Men’s Workout Shorts?

July 31, 2020

Why are men’s workout shorts important? Fitness should be an integral part of every man’s life. Regular activity and exercise will build your aerobic capacity, and improve muscle strength, flexibility, and coordination. These attributes will make your daily life more enjoyable and help guard your body against the inevitable effects of age. But what’s the best way to build and maintain your fitness? Fortunately, you’ve got lots of choices. Whether it’s running, cycling, or weight training, or sports like soccer or basketball, regular participation in workout activities is a great benefit. 

To get the most out of your fitness routine you need sportswear to match the activity and this includes workout shorts along with other staples like hoodies, joggers, and leggings. Workout shorts have come a long way from the utilitarian gym shorts our dads wore in PE class or the cargo shorts that you used to think counted as workout shorts. Nowadays you’ll find men’s workout shorts designed for every conceivable activity.

How to determine which men’s gym shorts are the best for you? Let’s take a look at some of the key factors that ensure a set of workout shorts will match you and the activity you’re doing. 

How to Decide Which Shorts Are the Best

A lot goes into a good pair of shorts! With different lengths, materials, features, and comfort, it might seem like it’s impossible to find the “perfect” pair. Thankfully, there are a lot of different options out there that you are bound to find ones that you love to wear. That being said, not all shorts are created equal in terms of quality and function. And some shorts might work well for some activities but not others. These are all things that you need to keep in mind when shopping for workout shorts. But it doesn’t have to be hard and we are here to make the process super easy for you! Just make sure to keep in mind the following factors when looking for a great pair of workout shorts: 

Material

The first thing that determines a quality workout short is the material. Material is an important component for any piece of clothing but especially so when it comes to athleticwear. This is because you need to be able to move and stay dry when you are working out, playing basketball, golfing, etc. The good news is that athletic materials have evolved a lot and now use amazing technology that has created soft, light, and dry materials that won’t easily become soaked in sweat every time you move around. With that in mind, here are some of the most common materials for men’s workout shorts:

  • Cotton: This is a fan-favorite material for a reason. Cotton is soft and breathable, which, in theory, sounds like it would make a great material for workout shorts. However, cotton is also very porous and retains a lot of moisture. Just think about what happens to your armpits when you wear a classic cotton t-shirt during any kind of physical activity -- pit stains for days! This obviously isn’t ideal when working out, so even though cotton might be soft and comfortable, there are other options out there that are better-suited for physical activity. 
  • Polyester: Polyester is another popular material when it comes to all different types of clothing. Like cotton, polyester is very breathable and is relatively soft as well. It’s also cheaper than cotton which can help lead to more economical clothing choices. Unlike cotton, it’s not very wrinkle-prone and doesn’t retain moisture to the same degree as cotton. All of these factors combined make polyester a great choice for men’s workout shorts. 
  • Spandex: We’ve all heard of spandex and we immediately think of the tight neon shorts from the 80s. Thankfully, spandex has changed with the times and can be used in all sorts of different products without making you feel like you just hopped inside a time machine. Spandex is a great material for athleticwear because it’s extremely flexible and can withstand a lot of moving and stretching. Spandex basically forms to your skin and is great at sweeping up any sweat and moisture from your skin right away -- leaving you feeling cool and dry. That being said, since spandex is so form-fitting, it might not be right for everyone or every activity. 
  • Nylon: Nylon is a fabric that we occasionally see in men’s workout shorts. It’s very similar to spandex but isn’t as popular -- despite the fact that it’s a very solid choice for workout shorts! This is because nylon is extremely durable and holds up well over time, making it a great choice for workout clothes that go through a lot of rough activity during each use. The stretchiness, flexibility, and moisture-wicking properties of nylon are all ideal for a workout short. 
  • Blended materials: Finally, we have blended materials. We have seen that each of these materials have pros and cons. However, you can combine these different fabrics together for a top-notch result that has all the pros and none of the cons! One example of this is the Willy California 301 Workout Shorts that are made with a custom blend of polyester and spandex so that you get all the stretch and airflow that you need! 

Length

Length is a very important factor when trying to find the perfect pair of workout shorts. The general inseam lengths for men’s workout shorts range from five inches to ten inches. An inch might seem small but it really makes a big difference here! And while everyone has their own personal preferences when it comes to length, there are still some general tips and tricks that you should know about finding the perfect length shorts:

  • Men who are shorter might want to buy a shorter pair of shorts so it doesn’t totally consume their frame. 
  • Men who are taller might want to buy a longer pair of shorts so they get more coverage. 
  • Men who aren’t crazy about showing off their upper legs might want to buy a longer pair of shorts so that they feel more comfortable. 
  • Men who are going to be doing a lot of activity in their shorts might want to buy a shorter pair so that they have enough range of motion.

Activity

While there are some great all-around workout shorts out there, one pair of shorts that’s great for golfing might not be good for biking or running. That’s why you also need to keep in mind your favorite sport or activity when shopping for men’s workout shorts. This doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to have a bunch of different kinds of workout shorts in your dresser, but it is something to think about while you’re looking around. Here are some different things to look for in your activewear based on the activity:

  • Running shorts need to be light, moisture-wicking, and have enough flexibility so that you can reach top speeds. So look for a shorter pair of best seller men's running shorts that are made out of polyester or nylon. 
  • Basketball shorts need to be longer and thicker than other types of shorts. So look for polyester, mesh, or even jersey shorts that have a drawstring waistband. 
  • Golf shorts need to be light and medium-length so that you can still get the right movement while looking sharp on the links. So look for a pair made of polyester and spandex with moisture-wicking technology. 
  • Powerlifting shorts need to offer more coverage than other types of shorts while still being flexible enough for you to do a perfect squat. So look for a pair of men's training shorts made out of spandex or nylon that hit just above the knee great for cross-training -- compression shorts are also a good fit here.

Features

Depending on the activity, you need to make sure that your workout shorts have the right features. Everyone has their own needs and preferences, but you might want to look for the following features for your workout shorts:

  • Elastic waistband
  • Drawstring waistband
  • Zippered pockets
  • Inner lining

Quality

At the end of the day, your shorts are only as good as how they’re made. And all shorts are not created equal! You want shorts that last, so you need high-quality shorts that are built to withstand all of the different activities you’ll do in them. Make sure that they are well-made in the USA from a reputable company, like Willy California, that can boast tons of five-star reviews for the quality of its products and stellar customer service. 

Choices, Choices, Choices

A lot of sports, and a lot of choices to make. But what if you dip your toes into a lot of different activities and sports? Do you need a drawer full of different sport shorts to choose from each day?

Fortunately, no. The fundamentals of well-designed and built men's shorts are pretty much universal. Choose a well-built short made from performance fabrics like Willy California’s 302 best selling Nicer Shorts and you’ll find that you can move from workout to life and back again without having to spend all your time in the locker room changing clothes. So pick your shorts, suit up, and get out there and get to work (or play)!