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Runners, CrossFitters, gym rats, triathletes—what do all these groups have in common? They all love lululemon men’s shorts. Since exploding into the athletic apparel scene back in the early 2000s, the brand has become a go-to choice for workout apparel, and its workout shorts are among the best you can buy.
So, when lululemon fills up its “We Made Too Much” section with discounted men’s workout shorts, we take notice. And you should, too.
Whether you’re searching for running shorts to help hit your weekly mileage goal, workout shorts for your lifting routine, or just a comfy pair of athleisure shorts for hanging out at home, lululemon has a pair that’ll suit your needs.
Grab a pair or two, and you’ll be ready to crush your goals.
Best Overall: lululemon License to Train Linerless Short 7-inch Pique
A favorite among runners and Crossfitters on Reddit, License to Train Linerless has everything you need in a pair of workout shorts, plus the high-quality design and materials you’d expect from lululemon. These lightweight, linerless shorts are made with a polyester-elastane fabric that’s durable and stretchy, so they won’t snag or restrict your legs during HIIT workouts. The shorts breathe well and wick sweat, and lululemon gave them an anti-odor treatment, so you don’t have to stick these in the wash after every single workout. The seven-inch inseam offers just-right coverage; zippered side pockets keep a secure hold on valuables; and the wide, smooth drawcord waistband keeps the shorts in place without pinching or causing discomfort.
Best for Running: lululemon Fast and Free Lined Short 6-Inch
Fast and Free Lined Short 6-Inch was designed specifically for runners. It’s crafted from lululemon’s lightweight, highly breathable Swift fabric (a blend of recycled polyester and elastane), and the material is perforated to promote better airflow and keep you cool, even when you’re pushing the pace. The six-inch inseam length is ideal for running: It covers your thighs without weighing you down or flapping around as you move. Fast and Free has a built-in liner with a supportive pouch for a comfy, chafe-free fit, and the liner includes a phone sleeve to keep your device secure. Thoughtful features like a zippered pocket for toting keys or gels and a waistband loop to carry a shirt or windbreaker round this out as a great pair of running shorts.
Best for Lifting and Cross Training: lululemon Pace Breaker Lined Short 7-Inch
Pace Breaker Lined Short is an excellent choice for gym workouts. The main highlight here is the hardworking fabric: The Swift polyester-elastane material wicks sweat, dries quickly, and offers four-way stretch, so it can keep you comfortable through squats, lunges, and sprints on the treadmill. Up top, the drawcord waistband creates a close-yet-comfortable fit, and the shorts come with a built-in liner, so you don’t need to worry about packing underwear in your gym bag. Plus, a zippered side pocket and liner sleeve keep a secure hold on your valuables.
Best for Athleisure: lululemon Steady State Short 5-Inch
Steady State Shorts are an essential pair for guys who take recovery (or lounging around the house) as seriously as their workouts. These deliver big on comfort thanks to a cotton-polyester fleece fabric. And the muted green and brown colorways make it easy to style with your other favorite athleisure pieces, like a hoodie or T-shirt. These are the kind of shorts you can wear all day: The drawcord waist ensures a secure fit, and zippered hand and back pockets can carry all your everyday-carry essentials.
Best for Golf: lululemon Commission Golf Short 10-Inch
lululemon Commission Golf Shorts deliver top-tier performance on the course and will keep you looking sharp when you stroll into the clubhouse at the end of your round. These shorts offer great breathability for hot days and plenty of stretch, so they won’t interfere with your swing. The fabric is also water-resistant to ward off stains and raindrops. Once you're on the fairway, there’s no need to keep going back and forth to your golf bag: Commission features snap-button back pockets and side hand pockets to hold scorecards and keys, and it has dedicated pockets for tees and golf balls, too.
Best for Hikes: Water-Repellent Hiking Short 8-Inch
Stay prepared and comfortable on the trail with the Steady State Short 5-Inch. They’re made from a tough, water-repellent fabric that withstands scrapes against rocks or branches. There's four-way stretch to help you deftly scramble over logs and other obstacles. Plus, they have room for all your essentials: two cargo pockets on the sides (perfect for holding a compass and map), a zippered back pocket for keys or small items, and built-in loops for clipping on other accessories. With these shorts, you’ll be ready for any backcountry adventure.
Best for Swim: Current State Board Short 9-Inch
Board shorts don’t get better than this. Current State Board Short is made from a durable yet lightweight nylon-elastane fabric. The 9-inch inseam is best suited to men who don't want to show too much thigh, but is still suitable for adventurous days on the water. Whether you surf, kayak, paddleboard, or swim, you’ll appreciate the shorts’ ultra-wide waistband and silicone-lined drawstring, which ensures a secure fit even in rough water. And unlike many other board shorts, this one actually has useful storage: Zippered side pockets keep your valuables secure on land and sea.
Best Half Tight: SenseKnit Running Short 10-Inch
SenseKnit Running Short 10-Inch has a lot going for it: a supportive fit, good compression, and drop-in side pockets, which hold items securely so they don’t bounce around while you move. Made from a blend of durable nylon and stretchy elastane, SenseKnit is designed for unrestricted movement, and the fabric also wicks sweat and dries quickly to keep you comfortable during challenging workouts. The flat waistband won’t pinch, and built-in grippers on the hem keep these tights in place for a comfy, distraction-free fit. All you have to do is focus on crushing that next PR.
Best 7-Inch: T.H.E. Linerless Short 7-Inch
Simple, capable, and ready for whatever workout you have on the agenda, T.H.E. Linerless Short (Train Hard Every day) is a well-loved pair within the lululemon shorts lineup. It’s made with the same Swift fabric found in the Pace Breaker and Fast and Free models, so you can expect a lightweight feel (especially since this version doesn’t have a liner) with great breathability and stretchiness. The streamlined silhouette creates a flattering shape that still gives your thighs plenty of room to move, and a zippered rear pocket keeps a lockdown hold on small valuables while you get to work.
Best 9-Inch: Pace Breaker Lined Short 9-Inch
Pace Breaker 9-Inch is a great pick for taller guys or anyone who likes shorts with a bit more coverage. From long runs to early morning gym sessions, these shorts will keep you comfortable thanks to their stretchy, quick-drying Swift exterior fabric and grid mesh liner, which vents sweat and has a supportive pouch to keep everything in place. Cinch the waistband, slip your phone into the elasticated liner pocket, drop your keys in the side zipper pocket, and you’re good to go.
How to Choose the Right Pair of Workout Shorts
No matter which brand you’re shopping, choosing the right pair of shorts depends on the kind of activities you’ll be doing in them. Long-distance runners, for example, will have different requirements than powerlifters. Here are some key factors to consider as you shop and compare models.
The length, or inseam, of a pair of shorts will determine how much of your legs the shorts cover. For high-intensity movements like running, you’ll generally want a shorter inseam (anywhere from three to seven inches). The shorter length saves weight and keeps the shorts from flapping around your legs as you move.
For lifting and gym workouts that require squatting, many athletes prefer a slightly longer inseam (around seven inches or more). This offers more coverage, so you don’t expose your upper thigh and groin while working out.
For low-intensity activities like golf, you can opt for even longer shorts. lululemon’s Commission golf shorts, for example, have a 10-inch inseam for a refined look that won’t be out of place in a clubhouse.
Most workout shorts, including all the lululemon options below, are made with synthetic performance fabrics. Nylon and polyester are the most common. Nylon is highly durable, and polyester wicks sweat and doesn’t absorb water. These fabrics are often blended with elastane, another synthetic textile that offers stretchy elasticity. Together, these fabric blends give workout shorts their performance properties: breathability, moisture wicking, durability, and a snug yet comfortable fit.
In addition to length and material, keep your storage needs in mind when shopping for shorts. All the models below have pockets, but some have more than others, and they vary in design. For example, the License to Train has zippered pockets to keep valuables secure while you move, and the Commission has dedicated pockets to hold golf balls and tees.
Finally, some shorts have built-in liners, while others do not. These liners are made with an elastic moisture-wicking fabric that hugs your legs and keeps you cool, and lululemon includes a built-in pouch for support. With these shorts, you don’t need to wear a separate pair of underwear. You can also opt for shorts without liners if you prefer to use your own workout underwear. Many lululemon shorts come in both lined and unlined versions, and we’ve included a mix of both styles in this guide.