The kit you choose to wear while running can massively help or hinder your speed, comfort and endurance. You’ll want to make sure you’re kitted out in a pair of the best running shorts, then, especially as summer 2022 keeps throwing heatwaves at us left, right and centre.
There are a few things to consider when it comes to running shorts. When you’re pavement pounding, it’s easy for waistbands to slip down or wiggle around. Not only is this incredibly uncomfortable, but it also means precious running time is wasted pulling up shorts, messing around with waistbands and just getting generally frustrated. The height of the waistband also comes into play” some might prefer a high waistband for a “tucked-in” feel, while others might prefer a hip-height waistband.
Short length is also important. Do you want full coverage or do you prefer baggy shorts that might flash the flesh a little? Some baggier styles come with a tighter pair of inner shorts, which offer coverage but disguise the silhouette of your body. Pockets are also handy when you’re running – maybe to store a key or coins. Some designs now come with a specific phone pocket, which runs down the leg of the shorts.
Then there’s the fabric – from sweat-wicking and thick to thin, soft and stretchy. And finally, colour – black is a safe bet for hiding sweat patches, but there’s a whole array of other colours and designs that we reckon are definitely worth exploring.
Ultimately, the best pair of running shorts need to be comfortable, fast-drying, stylish and offer a good fit while also washing well. After all, these summer runs can get mighty sweaty!
How we tested
Put simply, each pair of shorts was worn during a run. The minimum-length run we tested was 3km, with others enduring around 15km of wear. Although there is, of course, a big difference in run lengths, 3km tends to give a good indication of comfort because, by this point, if shorts are going to slip or chafe they’ll be doing so already. We also checked for fit and comfort during runs (as well as before and after), plus style and other additions such as pockets.
The best women’s running shorts for 2022 are:
- Best overall running shorts – Lorna Jane reflective night cat bike short: £56, Lornajane.co.uk
- Best high-waisted running shorts – Sefi timeless 9in shorts: £38, Thisissefi.com
- Best running shorts for bright colours – BAM enduro bamboo long sport shorts: £17, Bambooclothing.co.uk
- Best running shorts for leakproof runs – Modibodi recycled running shorts: £32, Modibodi.co.uk
- Best mid-rise running shorts – New Balance relentless 2 in 1 short: £18, Newbalance.co.uk
- Best loose and free running shorts – MP women’s velocity jersey shorts: £12.99, Mp.com
- Best running shorts for design – Designed by Sports rainbow bolt shorts: £34.99, Designedbysports.co.uk
- Best running shorts for standing out – Castore women’s mango speed shorts: £16.50, Castore.com
- Best running shorts for long runs – Lululemon senseknit running high-rise short 10in: £98, Lululemon.co.uk
- Best second-skin running shorts – Runderwear women’s high-waisted legging shorts: £40, Runderwear.co.uk