"Hearst Magazines and Yahoo may earn commission or revenue on some items through these links."
If you’ve already got a regular workout routine, you know the importance of having the proper shorts while exercising. While the wrong pair can leave you feeling uncomfortable and frustrated, the best shorts offer optimal functionality to help you crush your workouts (and hopefully even enjoy doing them).
Even if you’re brand new to fitness, setting yourself up with supportive clothing is one of the best ways to ensure you have a positive experience that you’ll want to repeat. This list of the best workout shorts for women offers a range of options suitable for everyone from fitness newbies to dedicated athletes.
When deciding which pair of workout shorts is right for you, narrow down your choices by considering which activities you’ll primarily be using them for. If you’re someone who mostly walks for exercise, is an avid runner, or a committed yogi, you’ll find options in this list that are tailored to each of those types of movement. If you like to dabble in multiple sports, there are also more versatile picks that are suitable for various activities.
Lastly, if budget is an important factor, you’ll find plenty of affordable shorts below that you can stock up on. To continue building out your workout wardrobe, make sure to also check out our recommendations for the best workout leggings and other cheap workout clothes.
Hotty Hot High-Rise Lined Short
With over 1,600 5-star reviews and numerous product features to power your workouts, these Lululemon shorts are tough to beat. Packed into the lightweight design are a built-in liner, zippered pockets for your essentials, reflective details, and an infinity drawcord that adjusts to your waist for a perfect fit.
Best For: Running, High Intensity Workouts | Material: 86% Recycled Polyester, 14% Elastane | Colors: 19 | Sizes: 0-20 | Inseam: 2.5" or 4"
Pacer 3-Stripes Woven Shorts
At just $25 per pair, you can reasonably stock up on several of these classic Adidas shorts at once. They're made with stretchy, moisture-absorbing fabric produced from 100% recycled materials, so it's a pair you can feel good about having multiple pairs of.
Best For: Running, High Intensity, Walking, Casual | Material: 100% Recycled Polyester | Colors: 4 | Sizes: 2XS-2XL | Inseam: 30.5"-32"
Women's High-Waist Biker Shorts With Pockets
With 59,000 (!) 5-star reviews on Amazon, there's no denying that these flattering and comfortable workout shorts are a fan favorite. Shoppers praise the four-way stretch fabric for being "so soft" and having "no squat see-through." They also come in an impressive range of sizes, with curvy women saying they love the high waistband and moderate compression for tummy control. On each thigh you'll find deep pockets that can fit a smartphone, keys, cards and more, plus an additional hidden pocket in the waistband.
Best For: Yoga, Walking, Running, Biking, Casual | Material: 87% Polyester, 13% Spandex | Colors: 30+ | Sizes: XS-8XL | Inseam: 5", 7" or 8"
These shorts were designed for medium to high-sweat workouts, including everything from HIIT, to running, biking, and more. One reviewer who purchased multiple pairs wrote that "These are by far my favorite athletic shorts. Comfortable and flattering. Not super short but not too long that it makes them look frumpy. I own these in five colors and love the bright colors as well as the basic ones."
Best For: High Intensity, Running | Material: 86% Recycled Polyester, 14% Spandex | Colors: 10 | Sizes: XXS-XXXL | Inseam: 4"
You might not think a functional pair of hiking shorts could also be incredibly cute, but these ones from Free People check both boxes. They feature a buckle waistband, high-rise fit, and snap button pockets to keep you feeling secure, while the gorgeous color shades make them a stylish addition to any athletic outfit.
Best For: Hiking | Material: 100% Polyester | Colors: 3 | Sizes: XS-XL | Inseam: 2"
High-Waist Biker Short
Whether you're a proud yogi, a barre enthusiast, or someone who just loves the biker trend, these Alo shorts are for you. They have over 1,100 5-star reviews thanks to their comfortable, odor-resistant fabric, and they also sculpt and smooth your legs for added confidence while working out.
Best For: Yoga, Barre, Casual | Material: Alo's Signature Airbrush Fabric | Colors: 8 | Sizes: XXS-L | Inseam: XXS - 6.5"; XS & S - 7"; M - 7.5"; L - 8"
Mesh Racer Run Short
These Athleta shorts have over 3,000 5-star reviews and plenty of design features specialized for running. They come with ultra lightweight fabric, mesh ventilation, reflective details, two zip-pockets, and built-in briefs, plus the no-slip waistband keeps them firmly in place throughout your workout.
Best For: Long-Distance Running, Short-Distance Running, Trail Running | Material: Recycled Polyester | Colors: 6 | Sizes: XXS-3X | Inseam: 4"
Dri-FIT High-Waisted 2-in-1 Shorts
The smooth, sweat-wicking fabric in these shorts is designed to help you perform your best during intense running and strength workouts, and even comes with a snug inner layer to prevent chafing. With how comfortable and supportive these are, you'll likely want to wear them for errands and lounging too.
Best For: Walking, Running, High Intensity Workouts, Casual | Material: 100% Polyester | Colors: 7 | Sizes: XXS-3XL Tall | Inseam: 3"
These lightweight shorts have it all: built-in underwear lining, zip pockets, and a drawstring waist. To top it all off, they come in a wide range of sizes and are sustainably-minded, since the material is made from recycled water bottles.
Best For: Running | Material: Ripstop woven materials | Colors: 6 | Sizes: XXS-6XL | Inseam: S - 2" (S); XL - 2.5"; 6XL - 3"
Clementine Shorts 2.0
During brisk walks that can work up a sweat, these Vuori shorts will keep you cool and comfortable. They're made with lightweight stretch fabric that's moisture wicking and quick drying, plus they come with a breathable mesh swimsuit liner.
Best For: Walking, Running | Material: 50% Recycled Polyester, 42% Polyester, 8% Elastane | Colors: 11 | Sizes: XXS-XXL | Inseam: 2.5"
Women's Baggies Shorts
If you're working out in warm temperatures or just generally run hot, you might opt for these shorts that reviewers agree have impressive breathability. "These shorts are exactly what we need in the ultra hot climate of Houston," One happy customer wrote, Whether it is yardwork, hiking, running, or just reading a book in the backyard! Very roomy. Great pockets, breathes well."
Best For: Hiking, Running, Casual | Material: 100% Recycled Nylon | Colors: 17 | Sizes: XXS-XXL | Inseam: 5"
You Might Also Like