How to choose athletic shorts for women


When we gear up for a run, we usually focus on finding the right shoes. However, finding the right clothes is just as important, so choosing comfortable running shorts was no exception. In this guide, we’ll advise you on how to find women’s shorts that are so comfortable you won’t even know you’re wearing them while training or racing.

Which material to choose?

Whether you’re running or running on asphalt, you need comfortable, lightweight and quick-drying shorts. Therefore, only look for those made of synthetic fabric (such as polyester), which have the right degree of elasticity.

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If you like intense activities, it is better to avoid cotton clothing for this reason: although cotton clothing is comfortable, it absorbs and retains moisture from perspiration. It also takes longer to dry, which can lead to an uncomfortably cold and damp feeling when you’re done exercising.

  • Our women’s shorts
  • What length should shorts be?
  • It’s up to you to find the perfect length for your running shorts.

For example, among the Salomon runners, François D’Haene opts for fairly long models, which, thanks to the compression built into the sportswear, offer good protection and muscle support, especially over long distances. But on the other side of the coin, Kilian Jornet opts for the minimalism of the shortest. Therefore, the length of the shorts should be based on your personal preferences in terms of support, height and the type of running you enjoy.

when it’s hot

If you want to run on asphalt or a short course, 12 or 13 cm shorts are ideal because of their light weight and because they offer freedom of movement. Women generally prefer shorter running pants.

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For trail running and long-distance racing (such as ultra trails), longer shorts from 6 to 18 cm offer better protection from the sun and extra warmth when the temperature drops. They are also more suitable if you want to integrate longer inner shorts to better support the leg muscles.

In the case of running in cold, rainy or wintry conditions, you can opt for tights or overpants to wear over yours, although there are those who prefer to wear pants over tights.

What type of liner to choose?

There are roughly two types of running shorts:

  • Shorts that integrate underwear are the most common. Support is provided by briefs, boxers or tights, depending on the model. These shorts offer a high level of comfort, with excellent friction control, especially between the thighs. On the other hand, shorts with built-in compression are ideal for runners seeking thigh support.
  • Twinskin ™ construction is a Salomon exclusive with a fitted inner short with stretch and a loose overpants that do not overlap at the crotch. This reduces friction and provides comfort.

Depending on the level of thigh support you’re looking for, you can opt for shorts with built-in muscle support, or compression shorts for women’s athletic shorts, which are tighter and promote circulation.

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Women have the alternative to the skort: a culotte skirt. They are ideal for summer running outfits, even for long distances. Shorts without integrated underwear give you the freedom to wear your favorite underwear or compression shorts underneath. This way you can combine them with different underwear, depending on your needs of that day in terms of weight, protection and support.

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How to choose the right size shorts

Comfort is the key to choosing the right model when it comes to running shorts. If you’re not quite sure what length, build, or size you’re looking for, pick the one you feel most comfortable with.

How to choose the right size shorts

There are those who prefer a lot of support and a tailored design. To get the right size for your compression pants, it’s best to consult the manufacturer’s size chart.

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If you prefer to forget about shorts as soon as you put them on, you will probably prefer shorter styles with integrated underwear that is as comfortable as possible, such as briefs or boxers, even if that means little or no muscle support. Be sure to choose a size that will keep the garment in place while running, especially if you like integrated pockets at the waist.

Details to keep in mind at the waist of the shorts

Most running shorts have an elastic waistband that usually has a drawstring. More refined designs have wider, stretchy, ergonomic fabric waistbands (the cut for women’s and men’s models is different) and may include pockets to store items. These belts offer more comfort and less friction while running. If you’re looking for these kinds of features, you’ll find them on more expensive models in the performance and trail running range.

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How many pockets should you have in shorts?

We don’t recommend running shorts with side pockets, as they have no support and anything you put in them will bounce back and forth uncomfortably as you run. Instead, the idea is to look for pockets that are integrated into the waist of the pants, as they can hold a bottle of water, a standard-sized energy bar or gel, a light piece of clothing or just the keys. † Sometimes a cell phone pocket on the back is usually included, but don’t lose sight of the moisture content of perspiration if you choose a pocket that incorporates it.

Some liners also have small pockets, usually on the front and back.

If you want to increase your range on long runs by wearing more gear or clothing, use a running belt, backpack, or vest.

The medical information in this article is for informational purposes only. This information does not create a patient-physician relationship and should not be used as a substitute for professional diagnosis and treatment.