Best running shorts for women to invest in for summer runs

·7-min read

With summer here, you may want to shed some layers to embrace the warmer temperatures, which means pulling on shorts for your weekly run instead of those sweat-wicking leggings you’ve been rocking all winter.

But don’t just opt for the first pair of running shorts you stumble across, a good pair of running shorts is just as worthy an investment as the best running leggings are.

Comfort and fit should be top of your checklist: after all who wants shorts that chafe on the legs or keep sliding down as you’re trying to clock up those miles?

Lightweight and sweat-wicking fabrics will mean zero distractions when you’re out on the road, or trying to navigate a tricky hill.

Design is of course important too, black shorts are a staple, but we love a bright design, as it not only gives us #runninggoals but also sets us apart from all the other runners in the park.

Here’s our pick of the best running shorts

New Balance Printed Fast flight shorts

These blue tiger print style shorts are heroes at wicking away sweat build-up thanks to their lightweight NB DRY perforated material. Designed with a scalloped edge on the leg and a drawcord at the waist they can be adjusted to fit perfectly.

With a hidden inner brief, you’ll feel well covered and protected from any sweat-induced injuries. The stylish yellow waistband sits in the middle of the stomach for a comfortable fit without pinching the skin. Our winning pair for comfort and style.

Buy now £30.00, New Balance

Modibodi recycled running shorts

You don’t have to skip your workout when Aunt Flow makes her monthly visit: these shorts are here to save the day (and your workout).

Made from recycled polyester they feature a built-in 3mm modifier technology lining that’s highly absorbent, as well as stain, odour, and bacteria-resistant - so no worries about leaking.

With a pull tie just inside the shorts, you can pull them for a tighter fit or loosen them for comfort. With plenty of pockets, the shorts in black have a loose fit around the leg, allowing for cooling breathability as you jog.

Buy now £32.00, Modibodi

Pocket Sport Morisot Track Shorts

If you want to stand out on your weekly 5K, Pocket Sport’s highlighter yellow shorts are just the ticket. As well as offering headturning style, they’re lightweight enough for those hill sprints or just a light jog around your local park.

The elastic waistband sits comfortably on the waist, and is chunky enough to reassure against slippage. The stylish design have a flared leg, so won’t obstruct your stride and will allow ample airflow - good news if we’re in store for a heatwave.

The pair also has a handy zipped pocket on the side, with just enough space to keep keys or your phone when you’re out running.

Available in black and sage.

Buy now £45.00, Pocket Sport

Runderwear women’s ultra-light running shorts

Runderwear’s shorts are incredibly light (weighing in at just 60g) so you won’t feel like you’re moving through masses of fabric - the last thing you want when you’re in the midst of marathon-training.

The ultra-light fabric also means they’re perfect for summer as they won’t stick and make you hotter as you sweat. If you prefer your shorts on the longer side, these 4inch lengths are just right and also have a four-way stretch, allowing you to move freely if you plan to add lunges or squats to your workout.

The only thing they’re missing is an inner lining, but you can wear them with the brand’s underwear to protect against chafing.

Buy now £50.00, Runderwear

Salomon Sense Aero 2in1 short

Storage are these shorts biggest draw: there’s a 360 wraparound mesh on the waistband to store drinks, energy bars or your valuables - so clever! Having this at the waist means there’s less flapping around than there would be in pockets, helping you focus on beating your PB.

The shorts, which come in blue and black, also consist of stretchy inner boxers to guard against chafing. While the outer short is made from a four-way stretch Aerotech fabric, giving you tons of space to move in them and room to breathe. They are finished off with reflective details and an elasticated waistband.

Buy now £70.00, Salomon

ASICS Core 4inch running shorts

Looking for a pair of fuss-free running shorts? These black ASICS running shorts are lightweight and quick drying, so you won’t end your run a sweaty mess.

With a length of five inches, they’ll cover enough skin to avert chafing. And if you’re embarking on night runs, there’s a handy safety element too: the ASICS spiral is reflective, heightening your visibility to traffic.

The best part? A sweat-proof storage pocket at the back of the shorts - so even if your legs aren’t in working order after a long run, your phone will be.

Buy now £28.00, ASICS

Lululemon Find your pace High rise short 3inch

Lululemon’s shorts are built with everything we’ve come to expect from the brand - lightweight, sweat-wicking and breathable materials.

With a chunky high rise waist, they’ll contour the stomach, while the continuous drawcord will make you feel supported as you pound the pavements. The waistband is also made from “no-stink zinc” to stop any odours creeping into your shorts.

Available in an array of bright shades, from neon pink to red, the three-inch shorts float off the legs with plenty of room for long strides or even a HIIT class, if you fancy it.

Buy now £39.00, Lululemon

Under Armour Fly-By 2.0 Shorts

What’s the one thing you need when you’re out running? A key pocket. Under Armour’s pair have a built in pocket with just enough space for your keys, so they won’t distract you by jangling around.

The shorts feature a cross over curved hem and have striking colours piped throughout to add style. They also act as reflective hits.

Along with a built-in brief to keep the sweat at bay the material is also sweat-wicking with breathable mesh to help you feel fresh. The internal drawcord on the waistband will keep you feeling safe and secure whether you’re out for a jog or cleaning the house. One of the cheaper running shorts on our list we think they’re a great shout if you’re on a budget.

Buy now £22.00, Under Armour

Sweaty Betty 3.5" Running Shorts

Sweaty Betty’s black running shorts will keep you fresh and can be paired with a bright top in the summer months. Ideal for runners after slightly more leg coverage, the shorts are crafted from a stretchy woven fabric and perforated mesh.

Three pockets offer enough storage for all your valuables, while their internal briefs will keep you supported throughout your whole run.

Buy now £40.00, John Lewis

Gymshark speed 2 in 1 shorts

If you love cycling shorts but want the coverage and breathability of looser shorts these 2-in-1 version are just that. Built for speed the inner shorts are long enough to stop skin rubbing together, while the outer layer is made from a lightweight fabric to allow for ease of movement and to keep the sweat at bay.

Available in an array of attention-grabbing colours, including cucumber yellow and horizon orange (featured here), they’re perfect for boosting motivation when you’re feeling low on the workout front. The stylish design also includes a mesh front and an overlap style at the side, giving you more freedom to move.

Buy now £35.00, Gymshark


The New Balance Printed Fast flight shorts are as stylish as they are practical - with a funky design it will give your marathon training some edge. The shorts drawcord and inner breifs mean you are well supported throughout your run - pair it with a simple running vest or tee.

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