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What Makes the Perfect Workout Short?

July 10, 2020

There’s nothing more satisfying than a good workout. And one of the things that can make your workout better is the right workout clothing, in particular your workout shorts. Today’s workout shorts are a long way removed from the gym shorts of the good old days — and for good reason. In these on-the-go times, we expect our workout shorts to serve more than one function. They need to be just as at home in the gym as they do running errands. 

There are many factors that go into the creation of the perfect pair of workout shorts. Let’s break it down and give you the tools you need to separate the real contenders from the mediocre ones. 

Shorts That Work for You

It’s pretty simple, really. The perfect workout shorts are the ones that are perfect for your specific workouts. Seems logical enough. But to get that perfect set of shorts, designers need to consider what you need your shorts to do for you when you’re working out. Depending on your exact workout or level of activity you may need a range of different shorts like bike shorts, insulated leggings, compression shorts, yoga shorts, terry shorts, or even volleyball shorts. Fitness shorts that don’t meet these needs with features like drawstrings or stretch waistbands are just for show. Consider these attributes of perfect workout shorts. 

Freedom of Movement

What’s your choice of workout? Going for a run? Catching a yoga class? Or maybe you like racking up some weights or crushing the WOD at your local Crossfit box? One thing all of these workouts have in common is that they require you to move. The perfect workout shorts allow you to move without restriction, so you can concentrate on the task at hand, not on how your shorts are holding you back. 

To achieve freedom of movement, your workout shorts need to be cut to move, with multipanel designs that don’t hinder your legs. As an added bonus, high-quality athletic shorts will incorporate stretchable and breathable fabrics in their blend. This touch of spandex or other fabrics makes it easy to move when you’re pushing your limits. 

Moisture Management

You’re gonna sweat if you’re serious about your workout. No problem with that! But if the fabric of your workout shorts holds onto that moisture you’re going to get uncomfortable quickly. Plus, that moisture will start to weigh you down, and that’s not something you want to experience in the last few miles of your daily run.

Workout short makers tackle moisture management by incorporating moisture-wicking fabrics into their shorts. These fabrics move moisture away from your skin and release it to the air around you. That keeps your skin dry and stops your shorts from soaking up excess perspiration. Look for polyester and nylon blends when you’re shopping for running shorts. 

Functionality

The perfect run short needs to be a great match for your activity. While well-designed and built workout shorts will excel in many settings, you may find that some pairs will have features that make them ideal for your particular needs. 

For example, a pair of shorts built for serious training, like the best seller Willy California 304 The Training Shorts are constructed with a built-in liner, a slim profile, and a relatively short inseam that makes them perfect for demanding workouts. On the other hand, Willy California 301 The Workout Shorts boast a longer inseam and side pockets, so you can go right from the gym to the local brewpub without a changeover. 

Fashion

We all want to look good. Your perfect workout shorts should be offered in a variety of colors, plus have a wrinkle-free surface and a flattering cut.

Construction and Design Make the Difference

What your shorts are designed to do is important. The construction and design of the shorts are the real DNA that’s underneath their skin. High-quality workout shorts will boast these attributes. 

Fabulous Fabrics

High-quality fabric blends are one of the key elements of high-quality workout shorts. Looks for blends that incorporate nylon and polyester for moisture management, with a touch of spandex for freedom of movement. 

Flattering Fit

Baggy workout shorts are definitely out. Your perfect workout shorts should feature a clean line and a wrinkle-free exterior that will look at home in the gym and around town.

Anti-Microbial Features

Workout shorts go through a lot, so even with regular washings, you may find that they pick up odors that can’t be eliminated. High-quality workout shorts are made with anti-microbial fabrics and treatments that keep the funk at bay and keep you fresh during your workout. 

Pick the Style That Suits Your Needs

As you assess your needs, you may find that there’s not one single pair of workout shorts that’s right for you. Good workout shorts can handle a variety of activities with ease, but some will be a bit more suited for some activities than others. Think about these factors and how they’ll relate to your activewear needs. 

Inseam

When you’re working out hard you may prefer a shorter inseam to allow for better freedom of movement and to keep you cooler. That’s particularly useful with shorts that you’ll use for running or similar activities. For shorts you’ll use in settings like yoga or weight-training, a longer inseam provides more coverage. You may also need a high waist or high rise shorts depending on your activity. 

Lined or Unlined

You’ll find some workout shorts are made with built-in liners, while others do not have them. The benefits of a built-in liner are two-fold. First, the liner means you can pack lighter when you’re headed to the gym since you won’t need to pack underwear. Second, built-in liners are usually made from stretch fabrics that provide an extra level of support to your muscles. The downside is that you’re stuck using the liner the shorts come with, instead of your own choice of underwear. 

Get Great Shorts for Great Performance

Modern workout shorts are multi-purpose marvels. They’ll perform at a high level in the gym or wherever your athletic activities take you. Yet they’re also building blocks for your athleisure wardrobe, perfect for pulling out of your drawer when taking the dog for a walk, coaching a youth team, heading to the store, or getting out on the town with your buds. When you’ve chosen the perfect workout shorts, you’ll be ready to tackle all of these activities in style.