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Best Women’s Workout Shorts

Check out seven of the best women's workout shorts on the web!

We receive free products to review and may receive commissions on purchases made through our links. See our disclosure page for details.

A good pair of workout shorts should feel comfortable and be easy to move in. Depending on workout goals and activities, the design of workout shorts can vary pretty significantly. This can be overwhelming when shopping for the best women’s workout shorts on the web, so we decided to curate a list of our favorite picks on the internet. We kept in mind performance goals and specific sports and movements when curating our list, so expect a full breakdown of workout shorts for all types of athletic activities.

We’ve tried on and moved in several women’s workout shorts and have selected seven of the most comfortable, affordable, and well designed products. Please keep in mind that sizing and fit with sportswear is a personal preference, but with that being said, let’s workout!

Best Womens Workout Shorts

Best Overall

Under Armour Women’s Fly By Running Short

These workout shorts are made out of 100% polyester. They are incredibly comfortable, lightweight, and durable. They can be worn for all kinds of activities and even have front hand pockets and an adjustable drawstring closure. These shorts are breathable, moisture-wicking, and feel secure with a well designed wide waistband.

Pros:

  • Pockets. Not all workout shorts have pockets. This product really stands out with its simple design but added details of front pockets.  
  • Comfort. These shorts have as secure fit with the wide waistband, but are incredibly lightweight. The polyester material feels comfortable and is breathable.
  • Cut. These shorts aren’t too short and aren’t too long. They are cut shorter on the sides, but are longer in the front and back for a tasteful look. They typically run about 7-inches high.

Cons:

  • Price. These shorts are offered in several colors, but depending on what color selected the price can vary significantly. Opt for simple black and white designs for cheaper prices.
  • Built-in. All of these shorts have a built-in brief. This is a preference thing, so definitely something to consider if built-in briefs aren’t your thing.
Under Armour Women’s Fly By Running Short
Under Armour Women’s Fly By Running Short
Under Armour Women’s Fly By Running Short

These workout shorts are comfortable, lightweight, and durable. They can be worn for all kinds of activities and even have special front hand pockets plus an adjustable drawstring closure. 

Best Running

Nike Women’s Dri-fit Temp Track

There are a lot of workout shorts designed specifically for running on the market. Nike has created a lightweight, high-quality pair of shorts that are a polyester-blend and feel comfortable to move fast and stride it out in. They also have special mesh sides that make them breathable and perfect for staying cool during long runs.

Pros:

  • Design. Between the side mesh panels, the internal audio pocket on the back, and the reflective details on the shorts, these are designed with performance, comfort, and safety in mind.
  • Comfort. Nike Dri-fit is lightweight, breathable, and the polyester-blend guarantees comfort.
  • Variety. These shorts are offered in several color options. Nike created a pair of running shorts for everyone by designing shorts with simple grey, black and white tones, but also more vibrant colors like orange, pink, and red. 

Cons:

  • Price. Depending on the color selected, the price does vary. 
  • Hems. These shorts have curved hems, which for some is a great detail when it comes to movement, but if a deeper cut on the side isn’t for you, this is something to consider.
Nike Women's Dri-fit Tempo Track
Nike Women's Dri-fit Tempo Track
Nike Women's Dri-fit Tempo Track

These shorts are lightweight, high-quality, and are made with a polyester-blend and feel comfortable to move fast and stride it out in. 

Best Lifting

Cadmus Women’s High Waist

When it comes to the best shorts for squatting, deadlifting, and moving around weight in the gym, the Cadmus women’s high waisted workout shorts stood out from the rest. They are made with a mix of polyester, mesh, and spandex material, making them comfortable and breathable.These shorts do have a compression-feel to them, which is a nice detail when exerting a lot of energy and muscle fatigue during training. 

Pros:

  • Package. Given the price, this product is a great steal because in every pack there are three shorts. That means there are  three shorts for three workouts in one week!
  • Durability. These shorts are made with a quick-dry material making them not only breathable, but also durable for long and sweaty workouts.
  • Fit. These shorts have a tight-fit. Even with the compression fit, these shorts are made with a dry-fit material that never feels too heavy or suffocating.

Cons:

  • Fit. Although a tight-fit works for some, there are people that prefer looser shorts for lifting. All three of the shorts that come in this package are all designed with the same tight-fit.
  • Size. These shorts are designed to cover the upper-thigh, but don’t go as long as other tight workout shorts on the market. Based on preference these could be too short or too long!
Cadmus Women’s High Waist
Cadmus Women’s High Waist
Cadmus Women’s High Waist

Feel good in the gym in the Cadmus women’s high waisted workout shorts. They are made with a mix of polyester, mesh, and spandex material, making them comfortable and breathable.

Best Low-Impact

ODODOS High Waist

For a low-impact workout, the ODODOS high-waisted shorts are a solid option if looking for shorts to move in, sweat, and maybe wear after the workout is over too. These shorts are made out of polyester, spandex, and nylon. They are comfortable, affordable, and the fabric even has a contour-affect for an added fashion flare.

Pros:

  • Stretch. This product prides itself on being stretchable four ways. The stretchiness comes from the mix of polyester, spandex, and nylon materials.
  • Design. The high-waist and side pockets make these shorts ideal for any low-impact workout, but also stylish enough to wear as an everyday workout pair of shorts.
  • Details. The thought to include side pockets are a nice option for carrying cards, a cell phone, or keeping any other small item on hand during a workout. We also liked that these pockets were bigger/deeper than other products we’ve seen. 

Cons:

  • Fit. These shorts have a tight and spandex fit to them, so if looking for something looser these may not be the right pair. 
  • High-Waist. This product is offered only high-waisted.
ODODOS High Waist
ODODOS High Waist
ODODOS High Waist

The ODODOS high-waisted shorts are made out of polyester, spandex, and nylon. They are comfortable, affordable, and the fabric even has a contour-affect for an added fashion flare.

Best Everyday

BALEAF Women’s 8

Feel good about tackling any kind of workout in the BALEAF Women’s high-waisted short. These have a very different cut than the other products we’ve reviewed, and that’s because they are designed with a longer in-seam to really consider full coverage during challenging movements and poses. These shorts are offered with in-stream lengths of 5-inches or 8-inches. 

Pros: 

  • Comfort. No matter if selecting 5-inches or 8-inches, these shorts are made with moisture-wicking and lightweight fabric ideal for moving with ease.
  • Design. These shorts are designed with a high-rise fit to provide solid coverage from the top down. 
  • Variety. There are several color options available. These shorts are also available in packs of two. Some colors offered are blue, green, coral, and more. 

Cons:

  • Price. Depending on the fit, color, and packaging, the prices vary for the product. 
  • Fit. These shorts have a tight and spandex fit to them, so if looking for something looser these may not be the right pair. 
  • High-Waist. This product is offered only high-waisted.
BALEAF Women's 8
BALEAF Women's 8
BALEAF Women's 8

The BALEAF Women’s high-waisted short have a different cut and design to them than a lot of other workout shorts on the market, but they offer good coverage, comfort, and are affordable.

Best Price

Starter Women’s 3

These workout shorts are a blend of polyester and spandex material and not only look good with its classic and tasteful design, but are also comfortable and suitable for all kinds of workouts. They have a subtle pack pocket and zipper, which is a nice detail.

Pros:

  • Design. These shorts are designed to move in with a stretchy and lightweight fabric. They also go so far as to include a small zipper pocket on the back and a reflective logo on the waistband for any workouts done once it gets darker outside.
  • Cost. From what we’ve seen and researched, these shorts are one of the most affordable options without lacking in quality materials and design. 
  • Comfort. These shorts are incredibly soft thanks to the polyester and spandex blend. They also have great stretch to them making for a comfortable and lightweight feel.

Cons:

  • Variety. These shorts are only offered in four color options, which is a smaller variety than some of the other products we’ve reviewed. The colors are, black, green/yellow, grey/black, and navy/coral.
  • Liner. These shorts do include an inner-liner, which is a personal feel and design preference thing.
Starter Women's 3
Starter Women's 3
Starter Women's 3

The Starter women's workout shorts are an affordable product given the high-quality blend of polyester and spandex material and its tasteful simple design.

Best Design

Nike Women’s Dry Training Short

The Nike Women’s Dry Training Short are designed with movement in mind. They have a simple overall look and include a drawstring closure and a thick waistband. What makes the design of these standout is how the fabric coverage was designed to move in many different ways. These shorts have a 5-inch inseam, and an angled side seams that matches the curve of the body.

Pros:

  • Detail. These shorts have a stylish waistband that when folded over shows the Nike logo. If unfolded, these shorts stick to a one-color look, which is also simple and tasteful. 
  • Fit. If looking for an even more adjustable fit, these shorts not only include a drawstring, but also they have an integrated drawcord for an even more customizable fit.
  • Length. These shorts are that happy medium between short shorts and basketball shorts. They have a 5-inch inseam which provides proper coverage without going too far down the thigh.  

Cons: 

  • Variety. Unlike a lot of shorts on the web, the color variety here is relatively limited.
  • Price. Depending on what color is selected, the price can vary pretty significantly.
Nike Women’s Dry Training Short
Nike Women’s Dry Training Short
Nike Women’s Dry Training Short

The Nike Women’s Dry Training Short kept movement in mind with a comfortable fit, thick waistband, and an adjustable draw-cord for a customized fit. 

How We Picked

When researching and trying on several women’s workout shorts, we found the best products to be those that were comfortable, affordable, and were designed with quality materials. We kept a special eye out for shorts that were versatile, but also looked at products that were designed for very specific activities to show a variety of options. Here’s what our methodology looked like.

  • Design. One of the most important things to look at when selecting women’s workout shorts is the fit and cut of the product. We’re aware that a lot of cut and fit has to do with personal preference, so we decided to select a variety of options. We picked women’s workout shorts that were high-cut, low-cut, tight, loose, and somewhere in between.
  • Material. We selected shorts that were made with breathable and moisture-wicking material. While some of the shorts we chose were primarily spandex, we also picked some options that were purely polyester. Even if the materials used to make the products varied, in general we selected products that felt lightweight and were easy to move in.
  • Price. Women’s workout shorts can really vary in price depending on the maker, design, and fit. We kept in consideration that prices do vary depending on size, and did our best to curate a list of affordable products that didn’t compromise quality. 
  • Activity. In our picks, we broke down certain workout shorts that would be the best for specific activities. We really kept in mind that some shorts are better for running vs. lower impact workouts, so created a list that had some shorts that were good for most activities, but also some options for more specific movements and performance goals. 

BarBend Tips 

At BarBend we are always testing and recommending different workout equipment and gear. As far as women’s workout shorts go, we have a few tips that can make your shopping process a little bit easier. 

  • Comfort. Above all else, we recommend making sure the shorts feel good! Look for materials like polyester and spandex that are comfortable and lightweight. 
  • Cut. Think about what kind of fit and cut you like. Workout shorts can run really short, but also there are some longer options too. An easy way to think about it is to buy the workout shorts based on the activity you’re doing.
  • Price. Workout shorts are a piece of sportswear that can really spike up in price depending on the brand and design. Think about your budget range, how often you’re planning on wearing them, and go from there. 
  • Durability. Workout shorts will go through about as much strain as you during a tough fitness class or run. Make sure they are designed to last with durable material, proper closure with draw strings or an elastic band, and can handle some sweat.

Wrapping Up

We hope that by now you are feeling better prepared to find the best pair of women’s workout shorts on the web! We carefully selected options that were high-quality, affordably priced, and show a good variety. Since workouts can significantly vary, we picked shorts that were specific to a few select workouts, but also some products that can be comfortably worn for all different types of exercises.

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