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The Best Running Shorts For Women

Whether you love or loathe summer running, there’s a moment every year when it’s finally warm enough to ditch the leggings and switch to running shorts that everyone can savour. However, finding shorts that are comfy, flattering, breathable and chafe-free can be tougher than hill sprints in a heatwave.

Generally there are two types of running shorts: the looser-fitting type, usually with a side split which allows for ease of movement (and breeziness), and the form-fitting compression ones which will minimise chafing and offer support. You can also opt for a two-in-one for the best of both worlds.

That’s a matter of personal preference, but as far as we’re concerned, a pocket with a zip is non-negotiable so all the picks on this list (bar one) include that.

Lululemon Run Times

These flattering shorts are well cut – not super-short so you won’t feel like you went out in your underwear by mistake. Lightweight and exceptionally comfy, they are also ideal for a spot of mid-run strength training because they won’t let you flash any cheek when squatting! The wide waistband ensures they won’t ride up and the lightweight material keeps your nether regions well aired. Three pockets along the waistband offer plenty of storage, and there’s a built-in liner so you can ditch the underwear if you prefer.

Buy from Lululemon | £48

2XU MSC Compression

Although £65 is pricy for a pair of shorts, this high-performance compression pair should help reduce muscle soreness in your glutes and quads. Made from antibacterial, sweat-wicking, breathable stretch fabric, they have flat-locked seams to reduce chafing. As well as a zip pocket on the back of the waistband, there are reflective strips for low light visibility.

Buy from 2XU | £65

New Balance Impact HotShort

These skin-tight shorty-shorts can be worn alone or under a looser pair. Either way, the form-fitting stretch fabric allows for enough freedom of movement not to hold you back if you’re taking on a speed session. With hidden key pockets but no zip, these are streamlined and as pared-back as they come.

Buy from New Balance | £20

BAM Enduro Bamboo

These bamboo jersey shorts are comfy, flattering and offer a certain amount of support. BAM’s non-see-through material comes in a fresh blue print for extra coolness, and bamboo’s legendary antibacterial properties will be a bonus here – no smelly running kit for you.

Buy from BAM | £28 (currently reduced to £25.20)

Nike Eclipse 2 In 1

Who wants to buy two pairs of shorts when you can buy two in one? This Nike pair offers soft, stretchy liner shorts layered under matching top shorts with a side split – a flattering combination that offers flexibility, speed and style. There’s a zip pocket at the back for your card and keys, and the comfortable wide waistband has a hidden drawstring to ensure an optimal fit.

Buy from Nike | £37.95

Saucony Tranquil 5in

If you don’t like skin-tight shorts in summer but want to wear shorts that aren’t verging on hotpants, Saucony has the answer. The Tranquil five-incher is a great longer pair that lets you feel the breeze with the loose-fitting, slightly stretchy fabric that’s lightweight, wicks moisture away and has antibacterial properties. This is a sensible pair of shorts, with a waterproof zip pocket at the back of the waistband.

Buy from Saucony | £45 (currently reduced to £31.50)

Lululemon Speed Up

If you like to keep your shorts short for maximum stride freedom, you’ll love this super-lightweight pair. With several colourways available, you should find one that matches your sense of style – we like the eternal wave print, and the flashy lime green ones are fun, too. A zip pocket keeps your valuables safe and a drawstring helps ensure a good fit, so your shorts stay where you want them to.

Buy from Lululemon | £48

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