Running is tough, but it’s also therapeutic and leaves you tingling with all those good feeling endorphins when you finish. So basically it’s the exact thing all us insanely busy moms need this summer. Luckily it doesn’t require a lot of fancy equipment or time to get in a good run—you just need a good pair of running shoes and maybe a jogging stroller if you’re toting along the little ones.
As for what to wear, a moisture-wicking T-shirt or tank, a supportive sports bra plus a really sharp pair of bike shorts or classic running shorts is all you’ll need. If you’ve not bought new running shorts for a while (we hear you), they’re pretty high-tech these days. Sweat-wicking, breathable, and quick dry are features to look for. We love reflector details for runs at dawn/dusk (whenever you can get the hell out for a few minutes) and we fully applaud the pocket details. And built in briefs? YES. Underwear are sometimes built in so that you have one less thing to put on and one less thing to launder.
Ok mama, get dressed and get ready to hit the sidewalk, track, or trail if that’s more your speed. Here are some of the best women’s running shorts to keep you dry and comfortable through all the miles you’ll accomplish this summer.
Sweat stains on your behind after a run? No thanks. Luckily you won’t have to worry about any of that with Fly By Shorts, which are made from sweat-wicking material designed to keep you dry. Other awesome features include a wide and comfortable elastic waistband so you know they won’t ride up or fall down while you are out crushing some miles, plus a front AND back pocket to stash some fuel or other gear. Also reflective details and built in briefs. These come in more than 35 fun color combinations like mango orange and green typhoon so you can stock up on your faves. Some of them even have built-in reflection if you tend to run at night or early a.m. hours. They have over 2,200 four and half star reviews on Amazon, with one fan writing, “My new favorite running shorts! They fit perfectly snug around my waist, not too tight or uncomfortable. They have an inside key pocket and also outside pockets. I plan to get one in every color!”
If biker shorts are more your jam while running, you’ll feel uber comfortable in this high-wasted pair from TSLA. They are designed to stretch so they won’t feel tight and are breathable enough for all your outdoor runs on hot days. (They even have built in UV protection for the win.) They are great for any other workouts, too, including yoga or cycling. Plus, there’s a stretchy pocket for your phone so you don’t need to worry about also bringing along an extra pouch or armband. These shorts have over 1,000 positive reviews on Amazon and growing, with one jazzed up runner saying, “Love, love, love these shorts! I’m a curvy girl and just now getting back into running after an 8-year lapse. The shorts are a lifesaver (or a thigh saver at least.). They’re long enough to prevent thigh rub and keep me really comfortable during my run. They also are snug and strong enough to provide support and minor compression, but somehow do it without that horrible muffin top effect.”
If you like a bit of pizzazz with your running gear, you’ll love these fun patterned shorts from Munvot. The prints range from splatter paint to tie dye to outer space, so you can mix it up and keep things interesting. Plus they score lots of points for comfort, too, with chafe-free and ergonomic seams to keep you comfortable through all the miles. They have a high-waist and pockets for your phone or fuel, too. You could wear them for running outdoors this summer and keep them around for hot yoga or other indoor workouts when the weather turns, too. Just be prepared to turn heads in these bold shorts. They have over 460 positive reviews on Amazon, with one runner writing, “I was looking for something lightweight to run long runs in for half marathon training in 90+ degree weather and I love these! I needed something lightweight and I love the pockets on both sides—the only type of workout wear I will use these days because the pockets are so handy.”
Lululemon has top-notch yoga pants, but have you tried their running gear yet? These shorts have a cult following, too. They are beloved for their longer length (4″), lightweight feel and quick drying material. They offer you multiple pockets for your phone and fuel. And don’t let the higher price deter you too much, as an investment these will hold up well in the wash for years. One reviewer says these go the distance, writing, “I bought these a few weeks ago and have since used them on a number of runs including a half marathon. I am in LOVE. The waistband is incredible. The fit of these is incredible. Never change! Please make them in ALL OF THE COLORS. I loved the dark red color.”
Biker shorts are the look of summer 2020. Despite the name, they also make great running shorts in addition to being a serious fashion statement. This version from BALEAF offers moisture-wicking fabric for the hottest days, plus chafe-free and ergonomic seams so you can run around freely without worrying about any discomfort. Brilliant! You can even wear them under a dress or with an oversized sweatshirt when you aren’t running—and they are stretchy and comfortable, so you definitely are going to want to. Black or navy are classic, but these come in several fun colors like coral, rose red and Niagara blue, if you feel like mixing it up.
These beloved shorts have over 6,000 positive reviews on Amazon, with one ultra-marathoner who is a fan writing, “I wore them for the first time during a 10K race and they served me well. The high waist keeps my tummy in place. The inseam is a comfortable length on my thigh—not too short or long. The legs didn’t ride up either. The pockets were perfect for my big phone. Perfect thickness of fabric and not see-through when squatting. Several of my runner friends were interested in them for themselves. I immediately bought another pair in navy.”
Looking for some old-school running shorts that will bring back memories of your high school athletic endeavors? Look no further than the Dry Tempo Print Running Shorts from Nike. These sporty shorts will carry you through all the miles (or whatever active pursuits you take on.) And you’ll be happy to hear running shorts have come a long way since your school days. These are moisture wicking so you don’t need to worry about getting a little (or a lot) sweaty as you move. Plus they come in classic colors like navy, red, green or royal blue so you can even pick one that reminds you of your school’s old colors, if you want to go there. Runners on Amazon can’t get enough of them, with one writing, “These are my favorite running shorts! I’ve always had issues with shorts riding up, being tight around my bigger thighs, or just being uncomfortable. These shorts don’t do any of that! I have them in several colors and I love them all. Would highly recommend to any runner or active person.”
It’s so hard to come by budget-friendly running clothes that are also high quality. Well no worries if you’ve already spent your entire summer budget on stuff to keep your kids entertained at home—you can still get a few things for yourself, too. For example, these biker-style running shorts from Athletic Works are just $16 for two pairs! And they’re comfortable, so you’ll want to wear them all summer long. They are moisture wicking and designed for movement while you are running or getting your strength workout in. You can also wear them under dresses or with an oversized sweatshirt when you aren’t working out. They have over 677 positive reviews on Walmart’s site, with one satisfied customer writing, “I love these shorts for working out and even for the occasional grocery trip. They’re very comfortable and the perfect length—not too short and not too long.”
Live somewhere with extreme heat and humidity in the summer? You’re probably in need of a really lightweight pair of running shorts to keep you cool and this option from CRZ Yoga delivers. They are made with an ultra lightweight fabric that’s quick-drying and cool to the touch (especially if you get them in white.) They also have built-in briefs so you don’t have to wear separate underwear, which can add to the sweat factor (yuck.) Even though they are lightweight, there’s still a bonus pocket for your keys or an ID. They have over 246 positive reviews on Amazon, with many reviewers comparing them to Lululemon Hotty Hot Shorts, but for just $25! One runner wrote, “I wore these little shorts for my last half marathon and loved them. They had a little zipper pocket for my gel, they stayed in place, and they were really cute. I appreciate any shorts that don’t constantly ride up. They fit perfect. I got them in white and they were not at all see-through even with all the sweat and the dark underwear I was wearing. They are short enough to not be revealing.”
Looking for more gear for your active summer plans? Check out mom approved wellness finds.