Time for Shorts

I can’t speak for the weather where you are, but here in New York City spring has definitely sprung. Overall we had a very mild winter, so it wouldn’t really be accurate to say that these warmer days are giving us a break from much of anything. Still, though, it’s nice to be able to ditch some of the layers as well as the heavy coats. And I challenge anyone to complain about flowers being in bloom. Especially flowering trees.

Sadly, though, spring always heralds an inevitability that is (for me, anyway) unsettling: running shorts. It seems like every year I set out on a new odyssey to identify a style of shorts that I feel comfortable wearing and that doesn’t ride up, has the right amount of pockets, is the length I’m looking for, and doesn’t do some weird, inexplicable ballooning in the front. I’ve tried Brooks, Nike, Zoot, Reebok, Adidas…the list goes on, and although I’ve found pairs that are tolerable, my search continues.

What is it about running shorts that makes them so uncomfortable? Why has it been so hard to find a pair that gets it right? When I run in cooler weather, I don’t think twice about what I’m wearing or how I look. The minute I have to wear something that hits above the knee, I freak out. Last week, after pulling on a pair of shorts for the first time in several months, I nearly had a melt down. That’s not how they fit last year! What’s happened to my body! Why do I even care about this! Is this an expression of the fact that I haven’t actually come all that far in accepting and loving my body as I would like? Or is this an unavoidable side effect of the “shrink it and pink it” approach that a lot of brands have taken in the creation of women’s running apparel? Will these questions ever be answered?!

I may never fully understand why running shorts set me off the way they do. I do know, though, that my search for the perfect pair will continue over the coming months. I’m determined to find something that works. And if I end up having to ditch shorts altogether and take up running in skirts, so be it.

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11 comments

  1. Honestly, I usually go to Target for shorts and buy the C9 ones. They’re pretty cheap, so if they didn’t work, I wouldn’t feel bad for spending a bunch of money. I found that they work so now I’m just going to buy them in every color :).

    I actually share your feelings- but mine are about running PANTS or capris. I live in South Carolina, and it’s hot enough for shorts here 9 months out of the year, with one of those being December which is busy with the holidays so typically not a huge running month. I’m short and can’t ever find pants that hit where I don’t step on them, so I usually run in capris. Not a big deal, even when the weather’s cold, it’s still warm enough for capris.

    I hope you find some shorts soon. Seems hot everywhere!

  2. I run in full length tights in the winter and knee-length tights in the summer. My thighs touch, so running shorts are a non- starter for me (that’s a comfort decision only, not an aesthetic one). From watching your shorts odyssey maybe my lack of choice is a blessing. I find that even in very warm weather as long as my calves are exposed the short tights aren’t too hot (and if it’s hot enough for the knee length tights to be unbearable, air quality issues will probably keep me from running anyway). The spandex is also very forgiving of natural fluctuations in body weight, so I like that they cut negative body image thoughts off at the pass. I’d suggest giving short spandex a shot for summer running if you haven’t already.

  3. I have loved my Athleta Hana Run shorts… I have them in 4 colors! And they still fit me right now, so that’s nice. I imagine when I outgrow them though, I’ll probably just go see if I can make some cheap Target C9 shorts work for a couple months!

    You’re right, shorts can be a pain. I’ve never liked Tempo shorts that so many rave about. I liked Nike Pacer shorts… before I was in recovery. Then I got healthier and they didn’t seem to work for me as well. It’s tough!

  4. I struggle with shorts too. They all so seem so billowy, whereas my capris and tights lay on my skin. So I found some shorts that did that last year at JCP. And bought a zillion pairs.

    I hope you find some that you like and help you feel comfortable in your body!

  5. I just found this blog and am thrilled. Running and Yoga are my two favorite passions!

    I used to hate shorts and now I love them…..I used to watch people running along the river and not which shorts looked the best …..clearly the young beauties sporting bright shorts looked the best, but I have to say, I have three favorites that I love….and it is really more about getting a slightly larger size to get the right fit.

    Nike Dri fit
    Asics

    I also like the running skirts….pretty fun. Did a triathlon (the running and biking part) in one and loved it!

    1. I hear so many good things about running skirts! Do you have a favorite brand? I’d like to give one a try one of these days 🙂

      Also, I’m thrilled that you’re thrilled! Running and yoga are the best.

  6. I wear the lululemon groovy run shorts that they don’t make anymore 😦 I sized up and they’re pretty comfortable. For the most part i size up in any shorts because i hate super fitted ones and don’t understand how people run in biking shorts (super fitted not necessarily the padded shorts)

    Have you tried knee length capris maybe? if you get a light weight wicking material that might be the trick 🙂

    1. I do adore capris. Maybe the solution is just moving to a place where it doesn’t get as hot as it does in NYC?

      I hate it when you find an article of clothing you like (especially something difficult like shorts) and then the company stops making them. It shouldn’t be allowed!

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