How long should men’s training shorts be?

How long should men’s training shorts be?

Amon Fearon - February 08, 2023

Looking for some new training shorts for the gym or 5k run? You may be wondering why there is so much variety when it comes to length. There are performance and stylistic reasons for this, which you need to know to find your perfect pair based on activity.

From shorter lengths for speed and agility to longer shorts for functionality and strength training, here’s our guide on how long men’s training shorts should be.


How long should gym shorts be?

If you’re in the market for some new men’s training shorts, you may be wondering which length is best. There is a variety of different lengths and for good reason. Here’s a handy table explaining the best length for different activities:






Running is all about being as streamlined as possible to improve your performance. Avoid baggy shorts and joggers as these could be holding you back. Unless it’s the middle of winter, most people get very hot while running. Shorts help to regulate your body temperature allowing you to run further and for longer.


Strength training & golf

Mid-length shorts, about 9 inches, are superior for strength and weight training days as they allow a full range of motion without revealing too much. Mid-length shorts are also a standard for playing golf, although these would likely need to be chino shorts depending on the club.


Basketball & loungewear

Longer shorts tend to come in at about 11 inches. These are standard for playing basketball but are also perfect for rest days. They are super roomy which is ideal for both on and off the court. Make sure that your long shorts are made from unique performance fabrics as some longer men’s jogger shorts are designed specifically for lounging. So, if you’re shopping for long sports shorts, check out the materials list to avoid disappointment.



What to wear under workout shorts?

It’s not uncommon for men to wear an additional layer underneath their gym shorts. Whether that’s to prevent chaffing or to improve performance, base layers are an essential bit of gym kit.

Some men’s gym shorts come with a liner already sewn in and some don’t. Liners are made from lightweight materials that not only help provide some modesty but will help you to feel more comfortable for longer periods of time. Liners are great under shorts for activities like cycling, basketball, training and running – anything that requires full freedom of motion.

On the other hand, compression shorts are a bit thicker and provide muscle support that can help with circulation. These are best for weight training when you need that longevity through slower, controlled movements.


How should gym shorts fit?

The fit of men’s gym shorts all depends on the type of shorts. The liners and compression shorts should be comfortably tight around both the legs and hips and afford you the full range of motion you’re looking for. Regular workout shorts, again, should fit snugly around the hips but will be looser on the legs. Your gym shorts will probably be the same size as your regular trousers and shorts on the hips but always make sure to read the size guide as there may be some variations depending on the brand.


Are compression shorts good for running?

Compression shorts are great for running. Just like liners, they provide protection against chafing, which will help you run for longer, enhancing performance. They can also help to prevent injury by stabilising the joints. Plus, the tight fit reduces drag which can boost your speed.

Compression shorts work by applying gentle pressure on the underlying tissues in your legs. This improves blood flow which gets all those good nutrients into your muscles that improves your endurance and aids with faster recovery.

Wearing compression shorts for running can help to:

  • Filter the lactic acid build-up in your muscles
  • Promote the production of adenosine triphosphate (ATP), a type of energy used by the muscles for movement.
  • Increase lymph flow which reduces swelling


Whether you choose to wear compression shorts for running is entirely up to you. Although, the benefits are hard to ignore, especially if you’re a regular runner or an athlete.


Is it better to work out in leggings or shorts?

When it comes down to which is better, leggings or shorts, it’s ultimately up to personal preference. If you overheat a lot while working out, shorts may be a better option for you. And if you prefer your legs covered, leggings are always a safe bet.

While there aren’t any rules as to what you can wear when shorts and leggings lend themselves better to different sports and activities. For example, men’s shorts are great for fast-paced, intensive exercise to allow for better mobility. Whereas leggings are ideal for weightlifting days, especially if you buy compression leggings.


So, it’s entirely up to you as to which you choose to wear. But it’s worth keeping in mind that they do help you perform better depending on the activity.