The Best Nike Running Shorts for Women

Buying Guide

To help conquer any run, a pair of running shorts should be lightweight and high-performing while also comfortable and versatile. Check out Nike women's running shorts—which are both.

Last updated: April 6, 2022
4 min read
The Best Nike Running Shorts for Women

Warm-weather runs call for a pair of lightweight, breathable running shorts that fit comfortably—without chafing the thighs, restricting movement, riding up or falling down. Nike running shorts come with features to support every type of body on any type of run, from a short sprint on a treadmill to miles of winding trails. With so many options for women's running shorts to choose from, check out the styles and key features to consider.

How to Choose a Pair of Running Shorts

Tight vs. Loose Running Shorts

A standard pair of running shorts is often made from a lightweight material such as polyester and features an elastic waistband for a relaxed, easy feel. These may be a wardrobe staple for many runners, but if you're hoping to eliminate chafing, try a pair of tight running shorts. This bike-shorts style helps reduce friction between the fabric and the skin. A mid-thigh length is a good choice for preventing ride up, and several of Nike's tight running shorts options come with side pockets for easy on-the-run phone, key or card storage.

Lined vs. Unlined Running Shorts

There's a reason why many pairs of running shorts come with a built-in liner on the inside. Lined running shorts have a few benefits, including wicking moisture away from the skin, adding breathability and helping to prevent bacteria from accumulating. However, if you find the liner uncomfortable, look for unlined running shorts and pair them with moisture-wicking underwear.

Additional Features To Look For in Running Shorts

  1. Reflective-Design Details: if you're running at night or early in the morning, choose a pair of reflective running shorts so you can be seen more easily.

  2. Pockets: if bringing keys, a phone or any other essentials with you on the run, find a pair of shorts with pockets to run hands-free. Queue up an Audio-Guided Run in the Nike Run Club App and then place your phone in a secure pocket. Some Nike shorts have internal phone pockets so your tech will stay protected even when running in the rain. Others offer convenient drop-in pockets or a zip pocket in the back waistband.

  3. Moisture-Wicking Fabrics: wearing a pair of moisture-wicking shorts during a hot and sweaty run will help keep the body cool and dry. Nike Dri-FIT shorts are designed to wick moisture away from the body and disperse it over the surface of the fabric for faster evaporation.

  4. Sustainable Materials: by reusing existing plastics, yarns and textiles, Nike is on a journey to significantly reduce the impact that products have on the environment. Many of Nike's running shorts for women are made from sustainable materials, including recycled polyester, which is made from plastic bottles that are cleaned, shredded into flakes, converted into pellets, and then spun into a high-quality yarn.

Choose a Style You Love

After identifying the right shorts for you, consider the aesthetic of your other workout clothes. Do you tend to wear bold prints like camo and leopard or more subdued solids? What colours feel the most energising to you? You might also try to match your shorts with a running top or T-shirt. Check out all of Nike's running shorts for women to find your next favourite pair.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Long Should Women's Running Shorts Be?

The best length for running shorts depends on personal preference. The inseam of a pair of shorts is the length of the seam from the top of the inner thigh to the leg opening of the shorts. Some runners may feel more comfortable with less fabric and a shorter inseam, but other athletes prefer shorts with more coverage. Nike makes shorts with a 3-inch (8cm approx.) inseam, 7-inch (18cm approx.) inseam and sizes in between, so try on a range of styles and see what feels most comfortable.

Why Do Running Shorts Have Liners?

Lined running shorts have a few benefits, including wicking moisture away from the skin, adding breathability and helping prevent bacteria from accumulating. Not all running shorts have liners, but some athletes prefer the ones that do.

Do Nike Running Shorts Run Big or Small?

Nike apparel runs true to size. For more information on sizing for women's running shorts, check out Nike's size chart.

How Do You Care for Athletic Shorts?

It's best to wash workout shorts in cold water on the gentle cycle. You can add bicarbonate of soda if the shorts are smelly, but avoid fabric softener and dryer sheets. Whenever possible, let them air dry—most Nike shorts are designed to dry fast.

Words by: Lindsay Frankel

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