Top Short Shorts You Need to Buy

woman wearing shorts on a run

The flexible fabrics and athletic build of many short shorts create need-to-buy items that are the perfect pair for various activities, from workouts to weddings and everything in between.

Welcome to short shorts, where the inseams get shorter, and the patterns get flashier. The top short shorts you need to buy have different colors, styles, and textures to get you through a beautiful summer day.

Shorts are the perfect addition to any summer occasion. When the sun is beating, and you feel the sweat beginning to drip down the back of your neck, short shorts will keep you nice and cool while making sure that you can participate in every summer activity. Are you looking for a pair of shorts that you can wear for a quick run before attending your best friend’s wedding? Our list of the top short shorts you need to buy will provide you with options for both occasions!

The Controversy of Shorts

Originally shorts, or short pants, were considered only appropriate when worn by children, usually under 16. There were regulations across the United States banning the wearing of shorts by adults. These regulations were due to the lobbying efforts that labeled shorts to be emphasizing adultery and a disgrace to humanity.

Today, however, much of the United States has embraced the wearing of shorts. Shorts are a great way to keep your legs cool and relaxed in the summer. While long pants can be constricting, shorts are a way to keep your legs free to participate in athletic endeavors, everyday adventures, or just lounging around. Shorts are even becoming a statement of spring fashion as well.

Why Wear Short Shorts?

Short shorts take regular shorts and elevate them. These shorts are even shorter and the versatility even greater. Overall, short shorts can be the best shorts to wear in the summer.

Short shorts expose your legs to the sun, allowing a more significant vitamin D absorption into your skin. Vitamin D has several essential qualities. It promotes digestive health and can increase bone strength. Vitamin D can also help with inflammation, particularly in cell growth, reinforce the immune system, and aid in glucose metabolism. Sun exposure is an excellent way to absorb the essential vitamin D.

Short shorts are also responsible for more agility and mobility. The shorter the shorts, the less material can get in movement. Short shorts can help increase the ease of stretching for the same reason. Rugby shorts, in particular, are very short of promoting agile athletes who are less likely to get hurt.

Finally, short shorts are even better at keeping your legs cool in the spring and summer than regular shorts. When you expose more of your legs in short shorts, the body uses the processes of vasodilation to create more blood flow and sweat to cool down. Sweat arises onto your skin where it evaporates and takes energy. It is how excess heat leaves your body. Wearing longer shorts keeps more clothes in the way of the evaporation process and can prevent the cooling down of your body.

woman standing in front of a wall wearing black athletic shorts

Short Shorts for All Genders

Many people assume short shorts are just for women. However, this is not true. Short shorts are great for all genders, not just women. With all of the advantages of short shorts, why shouldn’t people of all genders wear short shorts?

Short shorts are some of the best men’s shorts, as proven by these iconic men who have embraced the benefits of short shorts. Daniel Craig and Sean Connery, both James Bond actors, have been known to wear short shorts even while playing the action figure that is 007. Musician Bob Marley is another iconic figure in short shorts. Athletes Larry Bird and Conor McGregor are both pictured wearing short shorts proving that short shorts can be excellent additions to athletic endeavors and on a summer vacation. Even Presidents aren’t opposed to short shorts, as JFK is known to have appeared in short shorts.

While it is more socially acceptable for women to wear short shorts, why shouldn’t men take the plunge? If people as enigmatic as James Bond, Bob Marley, and JFK can wear short shorts, why can’t you?

What to Look for In Short Shorts

You want to look for a few things when shopping for an amazing pair of short shorts. You will want to look at the length of the shorts’ inseam, the utility and versatility of the shorts, and the fabric material of the shorts themselves.

The Inseam

Short shorts are usually shorts with an inseam of 5 inches or less. It is common for both men and women. The inseam is often expressed in a visual diagram of the shorts or as a product description when purchasing shorts. If you have already purchased a pair of shorts and would like to know the inseam length, follow these helpful instructions.

To measure the inseam of shorts, you will first want to fold them one leg behind the other to look as if there was only one leg. Take a clothing tape measure, place one end where the crotch begins, and run the tape measure down the leg of the pair of shorts, where the shorts end will be the end of the inseam.

The Waist Size

The measurement of your waist determines the waist size of shorts for you. To measure your waist size, you must have a flexible clothing tape measure. You should stand still and wrap the tape measure around your body, horizontally, between the top of your hip bone and the bottom of your rib cage. For best results, take the measurement directly after you have exhaled. Stay relaxed. The average waist size in the United States of America is 38.7 inches for women. According to the World Health Organization, healthy waist size is 31.5 inches.

The Versatility

Short shorts can be extremely useful. Depending on the design, they can be used for loungewear, sleep, under dresses or skirts, athletic activity, and casual everyday wear!

If you are looking for short shorts to wear as loungewear or sleep, perhaps you want to look at short sweat shorts or loose athletic short shorts. If you are looking to wear the shorts under a skirt or dress, you may want to look for shorts that are tighter to the skin or even shorter than other short shorts.

For athletic activity, it may vary from sport to sport. Running shorts may be different from basketball shorts. Shorts for golf may differ from shorts for rugby based on the amount of movement and contact. Check out this article for different shorts to wear for different athletic activities!

You may want to find shorts that fit your predetermined style in terms of everyday wear. Check out the brands you usually wear and see if they have any short shorts. You may want to check out Patagonia, Orlebar Brown, Thom Brown, J Crew, or any store where you already know your size and style.

woman in the gym wearing black athletic shorts


There are many different fabrics used in shorts and just as many in short shorts. Three other materials take the cake for the official list in our Top Short Shorts That You Need to Buy article. For additional materials for shorts, please keep reading to find our Additional Shorts section of the article!


The most common material in the list of short shorts that you really should purchase is polyester. Polyester is a synthetic fiber made from petroleum-derived products and an acid heated together. The heated material spins together to create fibers, and the fibers weave together to form various articles of clothing. Polyester has the benefits of being extremely durable and flexible. It dries quickly and is virtually wrinkle-free.


Another common material in short shorts on our list is cotton. Cotton is a material derived from the cotton plant. The seeds need to be separated from the cotton before the material can be processed. It also must be cleaned, fluffed, and pressed to be the shorts you know and love. Cotton is hypoallergenic, low maintenance, versatile, and great for sleepwear.

Elastane or Spandex

This last material goes by many names in the industry, but the two important names are elastane (a known name) and Spandex. Elastane is a specific type of synthetic fiber and a long-chain polymer. It is made into clothing by heating and weaving. Elastane is a lightweight fabric that is durable and resistant to sweat. It can wick moisture away from the body.

Top Short Shorts You Need to Buy

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12/09/2023 06:48 pm GMT

URATOT – Cotton Sport Shorts

These Cotton Sport Shorts by URATOT are 95% cotton and 5% polyester. They are skin-friendly and breathable, absorb moisture, and are soft and durable. The shorts can be machine washed or hand washed with a scrunchy elastic waistband.

The shorts are great for running, outdoor activities, yoga, cycling, and daily use. A large amount of cotton in the material also makes these shorts comfortable shorts for sleeping and lounging around the house, the yard, or the patio.

There are 25 different color variations. The shorts are available in waist sizes 23.6″ to 32.2″ in size.

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12/09/2023 10:06 pm GMT

ALWAYS – Workout Yoga Shorts

Workout Yoga Shorts, produced by ALWAYS, are made with a material that is 92% polyester and 8% spandex. They have a four-way stretch to fit your body shape perfectly and are very soft. The shorts are hand wash only and have a 3” elastic waistband sewn without a casing. The 3” waistband provides tummy support.

While named for yoga, the shorts can also be excellent for cheerleading, running, dance, and volleyball. They are also great for wearing under skirts and dresses, and loungewear!

There are a wide variety of color options, 137 different options. The shorts are available in sizes 22″ to 32″ in terms of sizing.

Colosseum – Simone Yoga and Running Shorts

Colosseum’s Simone Yoga and Running Shorts are 52% cotton and 40% polyester. The shorts have a drawstring closure at the waist and elevated seams. They have no lining, but they have a double-layered body and are machine washable.

The shorts are great for lounging, sleeping, running, other athletic endeavors, outdoor activities, and casual daily wear. They have 28 different color options, and in each option, the drawstring color matches the shorts.

The shorts have waist sizes 24in” to 38″ in terms of sizing. The sizing chart for these shorts was not with the product, but you can find them at this additional site. In terms of color, they offer 28 different color options.

Under Armour – Play Up 3.0 Shorts

Under Armor’s Play Up 3.0 Shorts are 84% polyester and 16% elastane. The shorts are soft, lightweight, and durable with a relaxed fit. They are comfortable shorts to wear for all occasions.

The Play Up Shorts wick sweat and moisture away from the body and dry very fast. They should be machine washed in cold water with like colors. These easy shorts are great for athletes of all kinds, playing many different sports, including track, hockey, softball, soccer, and track.

The shorts have various sizes available for sizing, from 24.5″ to 53″. Under Armour offers shorts in 74 different color options.

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12/08/2023 10:02 am GMT

Blooming Jelly – Quick-Dry Running Shorts

Blooming Jelly’s Quick-Dry Running Shorts are 90% polyester and 10% spandex. The shorts have a stretchy underwear liner, an elastic waistband, and zipper pockets. They are quick-dry, breathable, and have a 4-way stretch.

The shorts can be wonderful additions to any sport and other athletic endeavors. The shorts are good for outdoor and indoor uses and can be worn as casual, everyday wear. In terms of sizing, they fit waist sizes 24in – 36in and have a color variation of 29 different color options.

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12/08/2023 11:43 am GMT

THE GYM PEOPLE – High Waist Yoga Shorts

THE GYM PEOPLE have put out a line of gym shorts called High Waist Yoga Shorts. The shorts have material of 88% polyester and 12% spandex. They have a high-waisted elastic closure with tummy control, a 4-way stretch, and are breathable.

The shorts have a pocket on either leg. The location of the pocket on the side of the leg is ideal for a phone or other mobile device. Like the other shorts, the shorts are hand wash only, made primarily from polyester and spandex.

The shorts are estimated to fit you for sizing if your waist is between 24.4in – 31.5″. In terms of color, you can purchase these shorts in 26 different color options.

Additional Shorts

In addition to the top short shorts that we have listed on our list, there are other amazing types of shorts. They just often happen to have inseams over 5”. These shorts may be less versatile than the shorts listed above, but they are excellent options if none of our top short shorts fit what you want.

Basketball Shorts

Contemporary basketball is a sport where they prefer longer shorts in both men’s and women’s basketball. Previously, they used short shorts.

Basketball shorts are athletic shorts that are usually polyester. This athletic wear may not be as agile as short shorts due to the extra material, but they still allow you to run, dribble, and pass very well.

Check one of the related articles on choosing basketball shorts.

Bermuda Shorts

The Bermuda short is indeed a style of shorts from Bermuda. The British often wore shorts around the knee area, made of cotton, and when the style was brought from Bermuda to North America, the term Bermuda shorts was coined. They are great to style with a polo shirt, button-up shirt, or another business casual shirt for such occasions. These shorts and their versatility are called one of the best men’s shorts styles.

Chino Shorts

The chino short, made from chino cloth, is a clothing item great for all casual occasions. Typically sold as pants, these short pants mimic the same style. Chino shorts are versatile and breathable. These shorts usually fit just above the knee or the mid-thigh. Avoid chinos with baggy pockets reminiscent of cargo shorts.

Denim Shorts

The denim short, or the jean short, is a popular style of shorts that is also easy to make yourself. These shorts are the perfect day short for any occasion, just shorter versions of jeans. Denim shorts come in various lengths, from below the knee to very short shorts.

Leather Shorts

Leather shorts, a bit less popular, can still be very fashionable. Black leather shorts look great paired with a leather vest, black tights, and white or other brightly colored heels. A disadvantage of these shorts is that they can absorb a lot of heat from the sun.

Pleated and Tailored Shorts

These shorts have a bit more style than your typical shorts. More popular as men’s shorts, these shorts can be great for women.

Pleated shorts are great with one or two pleats and are styled mid-thigh. J Crew sells excellent pleated shorts. Check out this related article on pleated shorts. These shorts can allow a bit more breathing room in the crotch area.

The tailored short has a hem at the bottom. They are comfortable shorts with enough dressed-up details to be appropriate at work or an event. Tailored shorts can go well with anything from a blazer to a t-shirt.

Swim Shorts

Lastly, we have swim shorts or swim trunks. The swim short, typically associated with men, is becoming popular with some women. They are perfect swimwear for all genders. These shorts are for movement, so they are great for playing sports and excellent for all water activities.

Final Thoughts

Shorts may have been banned in the past but are rocking in the present. More and more shorts come on the market every summer, so make sure you’re getting the exact pair of shorts you want.

Our list of the top short shorts you need to buy is an excellent selection of shorts to wear for all occasions. The additional shorts that we have listed can add a well-needed spice to your summer wardrobe.

Let your legs breathe with our list of the top short shorts you need to buy!

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