The Perfect Short

It’s official: I’m tired of the summer.  Specifically, I’m tired of it being so warm that I have to run in shorts all the time.  I can’t wait for it to get a little bit cooler–cool enough that I can run in capris and put my shorts away.

Nike Women's Pacer, via Running Warehouse

I’ve searched high, low, far, and wide for running shorts that I like, and it seems like every time I think I’ve found a pair, something happens to change my mind.  Right now, my favorites are the Nike Women’s Pacer Short, although lately even they’ve been something of a disappointment.  Generally, these are great shorts: they’ve got two inside pockets (and very well sized to fit a gel or two), a comfortable waistband, and a good length.  Recently they’re riding up more than usual, but it’s possible that my patience with them has worn thin because I’m so annoyed at my running shorts in general.

Shorts that creep up my inner thighs are such a commonplace that I’ve learned to accept that little problem as something I’m never going to succeed in avoiding as long as I choose to wear loose-fitting shorts.  I wish I could say this is the only problem I’ve been having!  These days, my shorts are pulling across the back (unless they’re pulling across the front); they’re slipping down; and they’re gapping so much in the front that I feel like there’s something anatomically wrong with my body!  When I go out for a run, the last thing I want to be concerned about is what’s going on with my apparel.

The biggest problem, as far as I can tell, is that the warm weather is far from over.  I’ve probably got about a month (at least) of shorts weather to push through.  And honestly?  I’m not at all sure I want to spend another month tugging at my running shorts.  In fact, I’d like to just completely forget about them, and never have to think about them ever again.  But is that even possible?  Or am I chasing a dream?

Here’s the only solution I can really think of: compression shorts with a long(er) inseam.  It may come as a surprise given my long history of animosity toward loose shorts, but I’ve never really tried compression shorts.  What’s the verdict?  Any favorite styles?  Cautionary tales?  Let’s hear how you deal with your shorts.



  1. I’ve never done compression shorts because well… I have body image issues. My favorites are the Nike tempo shorts, which are short, but I’m short so I don’t think I could do the pacer shorts. I also have some Soffe running shorts that I really like too, and even a pair from Old Navy that are pretty good but a few years old. I own like 1 pair of running capris and 2 pairs of Adidas workout pants, but I’ll be wearing shorts until probably mid-November, so yeah.

    Honestly more expensive isn’t always better… I would try some from Old Navy or Target. That’s where most of my friends and I get our workout gear from and it works great for us. I wore my old navy running shorts for my last race and for many, many training runs- never had a problem :).

  2. how dare you! wishing for fall/winter already?!? i don’t know if we can still be friends… 😉 really though, i am not looking forward to layering up to run – that just creates more laundry!

    i mostly wear nike tempo shorts. i guess they work ok (for me) b/c i’m usually not irritated with them/don’t think about them while running. i like them because you can usually get them on sale and in fun colors.

  3. They aren’t the most flattering shorts, but I love the Brooks Epiphany Stretch Short II. I’ve worn them for 13+ mile runs, Bikram classes, and weight lifting. Very comfortable, incredible moisture wicking, and don’t ride up the thighs. The inside pocket is a little small, but I usually wear a belt for long runs anyway.

    Those Lululemon shorts are cute! If you are looking for something longer:

  4. I loved my Pacer shorts too… but then lately they just don’t feel the same. It probably has something to do with (supposedly healthy) weight gain, but the changes hurt my self esteem! And now, I’ve never tried compression shorts because I’m too self-conscious!

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