Home » Best Compression Shorts for Running [2020 Review]

Best Compression Shorts for Running [2020 Review]

Compression shorts are becoming increasingly popular. You can see many professional athletes wearing them, showing how much it affects performance, especially in running. That speaks volumes of how much getting the best compression shorts for running can change your running experience. 

Top Compression Shorts for Running

There are many benefits of wearing compression shorts: They help improve your performance, offer sweat-wicking, and anti-chafing properties that you won’t get from a regular pair of boxer briefs. Some compression shorts are even specialized to feature things such as boosting muscle recovery. 

If you’re interested in using one, we’ve reviewed the top available products in the market right now. 

Brand
Best Overall
Under Armour HeatGear Armour 2.0 6-inch Compression Shorts
Best for the Money
Silkworld Compression Shorts Pockets Sports Running Tight
Best Cheap Pick
Hanes Sport Men’s Performance Compression Short
Product
Under Armour Men's HeatGear Armour 2.0 6-inch...
SILKWORLD Men's Compression Shorts Pockets Sports...
Hanes Men's Sport Performance Compression Short,...
Material
84% Polyester, 16% Elastane
85% Polyester + 15% Spandex,
84% Polyester, 16% Spandex
Size
XS - 4XL
S - XXL
S - XXL
Rating
Best Overall
Brand
Under Armour HeatGear Armour 2.0 6-inch Compression Shorts
Product
Under Armour Men's HeatGear Armour 2.0 6-inch...
Material
84% Polyester, 16% Elastane
Size
XS - 4XL
Rating
Best for the Money
Brand
Silkworld Compression Shorts Pockets Sports Running Tight
Product
SILKWORLD Men's Compression Shorts Pockets Sports...
Material
85% Polyester + 15% Spandex,
Size
S - XXL
Rating
Best Cheap Pick
Brand
Hanes Sport Men’s Performance Compression Short
Product
Hanes Men's Sport Performance Compression Short,...
Material
84% Polyester, 16% Spandex
Size
S - XXL
Rating

Best Overall Compression Shorts for Running: Under Armour HeatGear Armour 2.0 6-inch Compression Shorts

Under Armour Men's HeatGear Armour 2.0 6-inch...

Under Armour is one of the most popular clothing brands when it comes to compression wear. They’re based in the U.S and provides various sportswear and equipment.

The Under Armour HeatGear Armour 2.0 Compression Shorts provides a fit base layer and still gives you enough stretch to move freely in them. It also gives you anti-odor and moisture-wicking qualities making them the best compression shorts overall. 

These shots are one of the most durable and comfortable compression shorts in the market.

They come in various colors and sizes so there are a lot of options to choose from. We personally recommend going for the black color option, simply because of aesthetics.

The Under Armour HeatGear Compression Shorts are made from a blend of polyester and elastane. This material provides this compression short with some durability, unlike other compression shorts.

While washing and regular use will make compression shorts loosen up and even lose their tight fit, the Under Armour compression shorts can keep their fit for a long time compared to most brands.

The stitching on these compression shorts was excellently sewn. In most shorts, the logo on the leg is usually the one to peel off first. In the case of the Under Armour logo, it looks and feels stitched securely that it won’t come off after multiple uses. 

The compression shorts weigh around 200g so it isn’t noticeable and heavy that you’ll be expending energy. Even with the lightness, it still gives compression for comfort and stability. 

Under Armour also advertised some features that these compression shorts have like a quicker recovery after exercising. The compression shorts also provide greater mobility in any direction which is helpful in running if you want a completely free range of motion. 

If you were to find fault in these compression shorts is that they don’t live up to their predecessor, the Under Armour HeatGear Sonic Compression Short. Sadly, the production of this compression short was halted a few years ago so the Under Armour HeatGear Armour 2.0 is the next best thing.

Overall, these compression shorts are an excellent choice if you want comfort and durability that can last for multiple uses.

Product Highlights 

  • Tough lightweight HeatGear fabric
  • Stretch-mesh gusset and inseam panels give ventilation  
  • 4-way stretch construction for better movement in any direction
  • Material wicks sweat and dry fast
Under Armour Men's HeatGear Armour 2.0 6-inch...
  • Tough, lightweight HeatGear fabric, with all the performance benefits of UA Compression
  • Stretch-mesh gusset & inseam panels deliver strategic ventilation
  • Updated ergonomic design keeps seams off high abrasion areas & increases durability

Best Women’s Compression Shorts for Running: BALEAF Women’s High Waist Running Compression Exercise Shorts

BALEAF Women's 8' /5' /2' High Waist Workout Biker...

The Baleaf Women’s High Waist Running Compression Shorts are a popular pair of compression shorts designed for running. 

If you commonly deal with uncomfortable inner thighs chafing during running, then the Baleaf High Waist Compression Shorts can help with that. Because of the longer inseam, it provides you with additional coverage that prevents your thighs from constantly rubbing against each other. 

The material also wicks away excess sweat that will keep you dry, fresh, and comfortable even when running for a long time. 

The compression shorts also feature a high, slip-free, tummy flattening waistband and chafe-free flatlock seam. The waistband is wide and there are easily accessible side pockets for items like keys and your phone. You have 3 pockets, 2 of them are easy-access leg pockets and the other one is an internal waistband pocket. 

The Baleaf High Waist compression shorts consist of a good quality material blend. They come with different solid color options. However, some colors have different combinations of materials. We recommend getting black or charcoal ones as you’ll never go wrong with them. 

Most women worry about their compression shorts being see-through. However, that’s not going to be an issue with these compression shorts. Baleaf designed these compression shorts to be non-see-through. 

The fabric of the Baleaf compression shorts is breathable and stretchable. Its moisture-wicking properties vary depending on the blend of the compression shorts’ material. The fabric also feels cool to touch and lightweight. 

The gusseted crotch provides for greater freedom of movement. 

The compression shorts fit like a second skin that you won’t even feel it. It also provides support and mobility to make your running more efficient. 

However, if you have rather thick thighs then these might be too tight for you. The design didn’t take into account women with thick thighs despite having a small waist. 

Overall, the Baleaf High Waist Compression Shorts are an excellent pickup for women who want to be comfortable when they run. 

Product Highlights

  • Non-see-through materials
  • Side pockets for storing important items
  • Longer inseam for preventing inner-thigh chafing
  • High-waistband for maximum coverage while bending or stretching
BALEAF Women's 8" /5" /2" High Waist Workout Biker...
  • Moisture-wicking, breathable and stretchy fabric provides complete coverage
  • High-rise, wide waistband for no muffin top and maximum coverage while bending and stretching
  • Our women compression biker shorts feature big side pockets, which are available for 4",4.7",5",5.5"...

Best Compression Shorts For Running For The Money: Silkworld Compression Shorts Pockets Sports Running Tight

SILKWORLD Men's Compression Shorts Pockets Sports...

The Silkworld Compression Shorts are soft and comfortable making them the best price to quality alternatives. These shorts consist of polyester spandex blend with flatlock seams that add protection without chafing.  

This polyester-spandex blend is comfortable to wear while also providing enough stretch to give you freedom of movement during running. It enhances your range of motion with max comfort and lightweight. It also feels durable to last multiple uses. 

The fabric is very skin-friendly for the overall comfortable running experience. The flatlock seams add to its softness and protect you from skin chafing and irritation. 

The compression shorts contain two side pockets for holding your essentials in place. The pocket also secures the essentials when you are running so there is less chance of it dropping during your run. 

The Silkworld compression shorts have a comfort fit with an elastic waistband. They feel comfortable and their anti-slip while the material also keeps them dry and breathable during your run. Silkworld claims that these compression shorts can relieve muscle soreness and keep you in good shape to keep on running. 

Silkworld’s uses a specific 4-needle, 6 thread technology to make these shorts. This technology makes them durable and not even fade with wash. They don’t lose shape or compression features making them great for long term use.

These compression shorts also provide you with UV SPE 50 protection so you can run under the sun with protection on your lower area staying cool and dry. 

One downside we can tell is that these compression shorts run big, so you have to get 1 size down than what you normally wear and it will give you more compression to skin tight. 

If you’re looking for money to quality ratio compression shorts then the Silkworld compression shorts are an excellent choice. 

Product Highlights

  • UV-resistant
  • Skin-friendly and durable design
  • Doesn’t fade after washing
SILKWORLD Men's Compression Shorts Pockets Sports...
  • Sports compression short tights was made of excellent elasticity fabric enhances range of motion...
  • Skin friendly and durable design. Flatlock seams add softness and protection without skin chafing...
  • Comfort fit. Fashion elastic letters waistband is comfortable and anti-slippery, these running tight...

Best Cheap Compression Shorts for Running: Hanes Sport Men’s Performance Compression Short

Hanes Men's Sport Performance Compression Short,...

If you’re low on budget, then getting the simple yet effective Hanes Sport Men’s Performance Compression Short might be the best option for you. Though not as aesthetically pleasing as some of the options above, these compression shorts have the same comfort and stability. 

However, you can always wear these compression shorts under your standard sports shorts. Considering their price, it’s not a bad compromise. These compression shorts will be enough to get your running activity on a different level.

While the contrast elastic waistband is simple, it gets the job done. There’s also a small interior pocket to store your keys or phone while you are running. It also has chafe-resistant flatlock seams. 

These compression shorts consist of polyester and spandex. They’re great materials for comfortable and stretchable wear. They’re really lightweight and will give you a great range of movement when you are running. 

Hanes employs two of its own innovative technologies to aid in keeping you cool and dry. The first one is the Cool Comfort™ fabric which wicks away moisture so you can keep cool throughout your activity especially for running. The second one is the Cool DRI™ technology to help performance fabric dry faster for maximum comfort. 

While these compression shorts are great at keeping you cool and dry, it doesn’t perform that well when it comes to tightness around your thighs. While they don’t offer as much compression compared to the compression shorts above, it’s understandable considering the pricing. 

Overall, this is a solid pickup for the best cheap compression shorts for running if you’re low on budget. 

Product Highlights

  • Ample spandex gives you a snug compression fit
  • Cool DRI® technology dries fabric faster for maximum comfort
  • Cool Comfort™ fabric rapidly wicks away sweat to keep you cooler
  • Comfort Flat seams help reduce chafing
Sale
Hanes Men's Sport Performance Compression Short,...
  • Compression fit short featuring contrast elastic waistband and chafe-resistant flatlock seams
  • Cool DRI interlock fabric dries faster for maximum comfort
  • Cool Comfort technology rapidly wicks away moisture

Best Cold Weather Compression Shorts for Running: CompressionZ Men’s Compression Shorts

CompressionZ Men’s Compression Shorts - Athletic...

CompressionZ Men’s Compression Shorts are some of the best compression shorts you can get on the market right now. These compression shorts have 15% spandex in them which provides you comfort and elasticity for the right fit. 

They are thicker than most compression shorts out there which is why they are perfect for running even in cold weather. 

The designers specifically designed these compression shorts with cold weather in mind. They feature a fabric that is true 2-way breathability. They understand that even in cold weather people will sweat during running. This feature helps wick winter sweat that could cause irritation or skin chafing affecting your performance. 

These CompressionZ shorts will eliminate moisture, keeping your skin dry and warm while also providing circulation in your thighs for maximum performance. They also have great breathability that you can use them with comfort for prolonged hours of running. 

The fabric used in these compression shorts is anti-odor and antibacterial, protecting you feel comfortable and protected. These compression shorts employ a four-way stretch technology that primarily targets your quad and hamstring muscles to prevent cramping and pain during running. 

The CompressionZ shorts use 20-30 mmHg compression technology that helps promote blood circulation and muscle recovery. They’re also really durable and will retain their shape even after multiple washes. 

Overall, the CompressionZ shorts is a great pickup if you want to do running on cold weather. They provide you with warmth and comfort that will make running pleasant. 

Product Highlights

  • Thick weatherproof construction
  • 4-way stretch technology
  • Odor resistant and antibacterial
CompressionZ Men’s Compression Shorts - Athletic...
  • HIGH PERFORMANCE COMPRESSION - Our men's spandex shorts are the perfect mix of support & comfort....
  • GREAT AS BASE LAYER - Shorts are ideal athletic underwear in hot or cold weather. Comfortable to...
  • 4 WAY STRETCH FABRIC - Our 20 30 Compression underwear features breathable fabric for max comfort....

Why Wear Compression Shorts?

Compression shorts have many benefits that help elevate your performance. They’re becoming popular for athletes of different levels of competition.

Some of the benefits of wearing compression shorts are the following:

  • Reduces muscle fatigue
  • Prevents muscle strains
  • Lowers the risk of sore muscles
  • Enhances jumping power
  • Improves muscle oxygenation
  • Promotes better recovery
  • Supports and protects the groin area
  • Provides comfort

Are Compression Shorts Underwear, or Shorts?

First off, compression shorts aren’t for everyone. Some runners, gym regulars, and regular sports savvy feel uncomfortable when they wear compression shorts.

Man running on a road while wearing compression shorts

That’s why you should decide first if you’ll be comfortable wearing them. 

This question is the most commonly asked among people when they hear compression shorts for the first time. There really is no definite answer to that question. Just treat them as different special clothing. Some athletes wear them as outerwear and some prefer wearing it under another pair of shorts. The important part is that it does its job of providing comfort and improving your performance. 

Group of people running a marathon

Conclusion

Compression shorts are fairly new in the sports world and they are making buzz already. They help with improving athletic performance which is why you often see them being worn by professional athletes. They’re perfect for all-around activities. You can use them for running, gym workouts, martial arts, and many more. 

Robert Lemus is natural competitor for 6 years, starting in Men’s Physique, then Bodybuilding, and then into Classic Physique. He is the Orange County Bodybuilding champion in 2016 for the Musclemania Organization. In 2018, he received his Pro Card with the Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) in Classic Physique.