Best Compression Shorts for Running

Have you ever noticed how pharmacies and drugstores sell a lot of compressive products for different parts of the body, like your ankles, arms, and legs? The compressive braces are sold to increase blood circulation to help those with diabetes and arthritis. But nowadays, compression material is used widely by athletes who wish to improve their performance and comfort levels.
You may have noticed that compression tights, shirts, and shorts are all the rage in the running community at the moment. But is this just for the style and fashionable look that many of the colorful and patterned compressive gear seem to offer? Well, to be honest, this is most likely part of the reason. Companies that produce running gear have done a great job of creating tights that come in a wide range of colors that many flock towards. However, it appears that science backs the use of use of compressive workout gear, because it offers a bevy of fantastic benefits for any runner.

 

Last Updated: April 17, 2018
Avatar
By Brian:

This list of compression shorts has been updated with the most well tested, reviewed, and researched compression shorts on the market today. Check out our new list below.

Champion Powerflex
  • Champion Powerflex
  • 5 out of 5
    Our rating
  • Good fit
  • Comfortable
  • Price: See Here
HeatGear Sonic
  • HeatGear Sonic
  • 4.9 out of 5
    Our rating
  • Comfortable
  • Anti-odor technology
  • Price: See Here
2XU Shorts
  • 2XU Shorts
  • 4.8 out of 5
    Our rating
  • Comfortable
  • Versatile
  • Price: See Here
Some benefits of wearing quality compression tights include increased oxygen to muscles, faster removal of lactic acid, and an acceleration in recovery time. There are many more benefits that compression gear includes, but those are just a taster of what you can expect to experience. So as we enter into warmer weather, and if you are a runner, you may want to swap out your pants and try out some brand new compression shorts.

10 Best Running Compression Shorts

Champion Powerflex

Champion’s Powerflex Compression Shorts offer an excellent option in compression for the very active runner. You’ll get a lot of versatility designed into these shorts, which can also help you complete your other work outs at the gym with ease. You’ll get a great pair of durable compression shorts at a very affordable price, which makes these shorts a great option for runners shopping on a budget. They are very comfortable and breathable as well.
Expand to see more
Fit:

Champion’s Powerflex Compression Short are designed to provide runners with a great fit. These shorts come with a nice, stretchy combination of materials which helps compress important areas and boost blood circulation. Their fit works well considering how affordable these shorts are, since they cost far less than several other competitor’s options. They come with flatlock seams as well, so you’ll never need to worry about chaffing.

Fabric:

These compression shorts are comprised out of 84% polyester and 16% spandex materials, making them stretchy and flexible and also allowing them to compress well. They also come with quick-drying, moisture wicking materials that provide you with great ventilation and a lot of effective breathability, meaning you will stay dry and comfortable on your runs. Plus, you can throw these shorts in the washing machine for easy clean up, and they come in a wide variety of color options.

Durability:

The high-quality materials designed into these compression shorts helps to make them long-lasting. Since they have durable fabrics that can be thrown into the washing machine, they are easy to keep clean and will last for a long time. You’ll get a well-designed pair of compression shorts that you won’t need to worry about replacing for some time.

Value:

Champion’s Powerflex Compression Shorts come with an affordable price tag. That means these shorts are a great option for runners that are shopping on a budget. They also feature a very durable design, so you’ll have them for some time and get a lot of use out of them. They provide the compression and support you’ll want when you need to feel comfortable on your runs.
Pros
  • Good fit

  • Comfortable

  • Affordable

Cons
  • Can run small

 

Under Armour HeatGear Sonic

Under Armour is well-known as a manufacturer that makes great sports products. Their HeatGear Sonic Compression Shorts are another fantastic example of this. With these compression shorts, you’ll get a longer fit that works well if you prefer longer running shorts. They also work well for running or high intensity work outs, so they come with a lot of versatility. They offer a nice fit by design, and help boost your blood circulation as you run to prevent muscle soreness and fatigue.
Expand to see more
Fit:

Under Armour’s HeatGear Sonic Compression Shorts bring you a lot of nice technology that will offer you a great fit and the compression you need to feel great on your long runs. With these shorts, you get a four-way stretch fabric and that provides for a lot of flexibility and mobility, while still helping the shorts to retain their shape. The fabric used in these shorts feels very smooth to the touch, and also gives you a lot of compression. The seams are flatlock and won’t rub or chafe while you are on the go.

Fabric:

These compression shorts are comprised out of 84% polyester and 16% elastane materials. You also get shorts that have anti-odor technology designed into them, so you won’t ever have to worry about having a terrible smell. Also, these shorts wick moisture away and are designed with a great ventilation system.

So, they are very breathable, and you’ll feel very dry each time you run in them.

Durability:

These shorts offer a lot of durability in their design. They are made out of high-quality materials that are built to last, and also do a great job of keeping you ventilated. They have a lot of flexibility but still retain their shape well. They are built to last, and you should have them for some time before you need to worry about purchasing new compression shorts.

Value:

These compression shorts are priced in the average price range. They aren’t overly expensive and are still a cost-effective option for what they offer. You’ll get a very durable pair of compression shorts that will help boost your blood circulation and keep you comfortable on all of your runs.
Pros
  • Long

  • Comfortable

  • Great for high-intensity workouts

  • Anti-odor technology

Cons
  • Can run small

  • May feel thin

 

2XU Compression Shorts

2XU’s Compression Shorts offer you a very popular option in compression shorts, and that’s because so many runners find these shorts to be very comfortable, durable, and effective. Their compression will help boost your blood circulation and reduce muscle soreness and fatigue while you are on the go. Also, these shorts are very versatile, and you can use them for running as well as working out or a wide variety of other outdoor sporting activities. So, you’ll get a lot of use out of these shorts, and you’ll love the comfort they provide.
Expand to see more
Fit:

2XU’s Compression Shorts are designed with a drawstring and not an elastic band like some competitor’s options. That means it is pretty easy to adjust these shorts to fit perfectly around your waist, and you won’t need to worry about them falling down or having any issues. They also are built to provide consistent and high-quality compression pressure to boost your blood circulation and keep you comfortable while you are on the go. Plus, that compression will also help support you while you run.

Fabric:

These compression shorts are comprised out of Invista Lycra fabric, and that is a high-quality material that is designed for flexibility. The material is also designed to provide great, even compression while you are on the go. Plus, the fabric is also moisture-wicking, and designed to be antibacterial so that it keeps odor out. You’ll get a lot of ventilation as well and the breathability will help you feel cool and comfortable on your runs.

Durability:

You can throw these compression shorts into the washing machine, which is a nice feature. It also adds to the fact that these compression shorts are designed for durability, and you’ll be able to use them for quite some time. You’ll love all the comfort you’ll get when you are out on your runs with these shorts.

Value:

2XU’s Compression Shorts run on the more expensive end of the spectrum for compression shorts. However, for what you get, they are still a nice value option. These compression shorts are very durable, so they are built to last. You’ll have them for some time before you’ll need to worry about replacing them. Also, you’ll get all the comfort you need, and you’ll feel great on all of your runs.
Pros
  • Comfortable

  • Reduces muscle soreness

  • Versatile

Cons
  • Can run small

  • Expensive

 

Tommie Copper Recovery Expedite

Tommie Copper Recovery Expedite
Tommie Copper’s Recovery Expedite Compression Running Shorts feature a design that is focused on helping your body repair and recover from your runs so that you feel less soreness and pain. They assist for work outs and also help out runners that have been injured. They give you a lot of compression and comfort, and are so easy to wear they’ll feel great on you all day long. You’ll get a boost in blood circulation and support with these, and you won’t need to worry about feeling those terrible daily aches and pains.
Expand to see more
Fit:

Tommie Copper’s Recovery Expedite Compression Running Shorts are made to offer a great fit that provides a lot of support and compression. Since the compression designed into these shorts is supposed to help you recover from injuries or soreness, they feel great even if you wear them all day long. They are very comfortable, and they work great to help keep down the pain and keep you going strong on your runs.

Fabric:

The fabric designed into these shorts is 86% copper nylon and 14% spandex. That means you get a stretchy pair of compression shorts that provide a lot of flexibility, but still support you even as the move with you. You’ll get a lot of comfort and compression with these shorts as well, and you’ll feel great throughout your runs. Plus, you get a nice, breathable pair of compression shorts that ventilates well. Also, you get odor eliminating fabric that also helps cut back on bacteria.

Durability:

These shorts offer you a very durable design, mostly because they feature high-quality materials that are built to last. They are designed to be worn all day everyday if you need them, so they can help you through a lot of pain and stay comfortable all day long. They will last you for some time, and you’ll love all of the comfort that you feel.

Value:

Tommie Copper’s Recovery Expedite Compression Running Shorts runs at the expensive end of the spectrum for pricing. However, considering these shorts are so popular among runners and do a great job of aiding in muscle recovery from injury or soreness, they are well worth the price. You’ll get a lot of pain relief in these shorts. Plus, these shorts are also designed to be durable, so you’ll have them for some time before you’ll need to worry about replacing them.
Pros
  • Durable

  • Helps with soreness and fatigue

  • Comfortable

  • Versatile

Cons
  • Could offer more support

  • Expensive

HEAD Performance Shorts

HEAD Performance Shorts
HEAD’s Compression Performance Shorts are priced very affordably for the runner shopping on a budget, and make a nice option. You’ll get some great compression shorts here that will offer you the comfort and support you need, and they’ll help boost your blood circulation while you are out on your runs. Plus, you get moisture-wicking fabric and a lot of ventilation so you won’t ever feel like you are soaking in your own sweat. With a nice boost of blood circulation, you’ll feel less fatigue and soreness as you run.
Expand to see more
Fit:

These are great compression shorts, but one thing we’ve noticed is that they do tend to run large, so you might need to purchase a size down to get the right level of compression. You’ll get a nice fit with these, since these compression shorts are designed for comfort, fit snugly, and offer a lot of support. You’ll get shorts that also do a great job of boosting your blood circulation so that you won’t feel the pain or fatigue you want to avoid.

Fabric:

These shorts are comprised out of 84% polyester and 16% spandex materials, which means they offer a lot of flexibility and support at the same time. You also get a yarn dye waistband with them for extra adjustability. The fabric of these shorts is made to dry quickly and wick moisture away. So, you’ll get a lot of great ventilation and breathability, and you won’t need to worry about overheating on your runs.

Durability:

You’ll get a lot of durability as well with these shorts, which feature the same high-quality materials many competitors offer at a much higher price. Also, these shorts are machine washable, which means they are easy to keep clean and you can maintain them to use them for a long period of time. These shorts will last you for a while before you need to worry about getting another pair.

Value:

HEAD’s Compression Performance Shorts come with an affordable price tag, which makes them a great option in compression shorts for runners shopping on a budget. You’ll get a lot of durability designed into these shorts, which means they will last for a while and they make a nice value purchase. Plus, you’ll get a lot of compression, support, and comfort each time you run, which makes these shorts a good investment.
Pros
  • Affordable

  • Comfortable

  • Great fit

Cons
  • Can run large

  • Only three color choices

Pearl iZUMi Quest

Pearl iZUMi Quest
Pearl iZUMi’s Quest Cycling Shorts are one of the top-selling types of compression shorts available on the market today. These shorts are so popular because they are affordable, which makes them a great option for a runner shopping on a budget. However, besides being affordable, they are also made with a high-quality design that offers a lot of durability and comfort. You’ll get a lot of great compression to help boost your blood circulation and reduce fatigue and muscle soreness while you are on your runs. Also, you’ll both look and feel great in these shorts.
Expand to see more
Fit:

Pearl iZUMi’s Quest Cycling Shorts are made with a nice fit that offers comfort and compression to fit your body while you are active. You’ll get the flexibility and range of motion you need while you run, but you’ll also get the support and compression you want. These compression shorts fit very comfortably, and have a lot of high-quality materials packed into them. They will help you feel great on all of your runs.

Fabric:

These shorts are comprised out of four fabric technologies. The manufacturer calls these four technologies transfer, barrier, thermal, and softshell. Together, these technologies help make these shorts very temperature consistent for any type of weather condition. They offer a stretchy nylon material that is very flexible, but also designed to ventilate well so that the shorts stay very breathable and comfortable all day long.

Durability:

Although these shorts have an affordable price tag, they come with so many high-quality materials built into them, they are made to be very durable. These shorts do a great job of providing you the compression you need while lasting. You’ll be able to use them for a long time without having to worry about replacing them.

Value:

Pearl iZUMi’s Quest Cycling Short come at an affordable price, which means they are great for any runner shopping on a budget. With these shorts, you’ll get high-quality compression and comfort that you’ll love when you run. Plus, you won’t break your bank, and you’ll get some very durable shorts that are designed to last you for a long time.
Pros
  • Great fit

  • High-quality materials

  • Good value

  • Well made

Cons
  • Could offer more padding for comfort

Tesla Compression Shorts

Tesla Compression Shorts
Tesla’s Compression Shorts offer you an average price option and a nice pair of compression shorts that stacks up well against its competition. These shorts feature a lot of quality materials that make them very durable, but they also have a lot of support and flexibility as well. Plus, they are designed to handle all seasons well, which means you can wear them year-round. These shorts are also made to be easy to get on and off, feature a soft material that is very comfortable, and have great compression to help prevent soreness and muscle fatigue.
Expand to see more
Fit:

Tesla’s Compression Shorts can run small and tight, so you might need to buy a size up with them. However, other than that, they offer a very nice fit and have just enough compression to still feel flexible and move with you as you move. You’ll get plenty of extra support and compression where you need it, and you’ll get a lot of blood circulation improvement to help reduce pain and fatigue. They also have a lot of flexibility with their spandex properties designed into them.

Fabric:

Tesla’s Compression Shorts are comprised out of 87% polyester and 13% spandex, so they offer a lot of flexibility and move well while still giving the compression and support you need to feel great. They have nice compression and a lightweight design that is still durable. They also feature a quick-drying material that also wicks away moisture. That means you get good ventilation and breathability with these shorts, and you won’t have to worry about feeling like you are drowning in your own sweat.

Durability:

The high-quality materials featured in these compression shorts make them quite durable. The spandex materials helps to boost the thickness level of these shorts while making them durable, but they still feel lightweight when you wear them. These shorts will work well for a long time, and you’ll be able to use them time and time again for great compression and nice support.

Value:

Tesla’s Compression Shorts come with an average price tag for what they offer, which means they won’t break your bank account if you want to buy them. That’s a nice bonus. Plus, you’ll also get a lot of long-lasting durability designed into these shorts, so you’ll be able to use them for a long time without having to replace them. You’ll love the comfort and compression you get with these shorts on your runs.
Pros
  • Very durable

  • Nice flexibility

  • Very breathable

  • Works well in all seasons

Cons
  • Can run small

CompressionZ Shorts

CompressionZ Shorts
CompressionZ’s Compression Shorts offer you an average price range in high-quality compression shorts that are designed with great fabrics. You’ll get a nice pair of compression shorts with this product that offers a lot of comfort and support while still effectively boosting your blood circulation so that your body feels better while you are on the go. Also, these shorts are very versatile and can be used for all types of work outs, including running. You’ll get a lot of flexibility with these shorts, and good mobility. Plus, the fabric also is quick-drying, and offers a nice ventilation system that will give you plenty of breathability and comfort.
Expand to see more
Fit:

CompressionZ’s Compression Shorts are made to fit well and offer enough versatility to keep your body feeling great with boosted blood circulation during almost any outdoor activity. You get a comfortable fit with these that compress well and aren’t overly tight, so you still get a lot of flexibility and a wide range of movement. You’ll be able to use these shorts for just about anything, and you’ll love how great the compression makes you feel and how much flexibility you’ll get with these shorts.

Fabric:

The fabric in these shorts is designed out of 85% nylon and 15% spandex materials, providing a lot of compression as well as comfort. The fabric is also anti-odor, anti-itch, and anti-bacterial, meaning you’ll get a very healthy, well-built pair of compression shorts. These shorts also offer a lot of built-in ventilation with the materials that are used to make them, so these shorts can wick away moisture and keep you from feeling like you are soaking in your own sweat. Also, the flat lock seams on these shorts makes them very comfortable.

Durability:

CompressionZ’s Compression Shorts feature a lot of high-quality materials in their design that makes them quite durable. You won’t have to worry about bacterial or odor build up with these, which also helps to extend the life of these shorts. You’ll get a lot of comfort tied in with that durability, and you’ll be able to use these shorts for a long time on your runs and still feel great.

Value:

CompressionZ’s Compression Shorts are moderately priced, so they aren’t too expensive and still offer you a good value deal considering what they offer. You’ll get a nice pair of durable shorts that is built to last, so you won’t have to worry about replacing them. Plus, they’ll feel very comfortable and offer you all the support you need on all of your runs so that you experience far less fatigue and soreness, and always feel great.
Pros
  • Versatile for many sports

  • Flexible

  • Comfortable

  • Good breathability

Cons
  • Feels small in the crotch

  • Can rub

Skins A200 Men's Half Tights

Skins A200 Men's Half Tights
Skins A200 Men's Compression Half Tights are made with a focus on really boosting your blood circulation, and that will help give you more stamina when you are on the go. You can improve your run times in these shorts, and they are also versatile enough to be used while you train at the gym, or if you decide to perform other outdoor sports. You’ll get UV protection as well with these shorts, and they also do a great job of wicking away moisture and providing a lot of breathability and great ventilation. They offer the comfort, flexibility, and support you’ll want on your runs.
Expand to see more
Fit:

Skins A200 Men's Compression Half Tights can run large in size, so you might need to buy a size down to get the right type of compression. Other than that, they actually are a nice-fitting pair of compression shorts and utilize gradient compression in their design so you get plenty of oxygen to your muscles. That will increase your power while you run, and keep you going strong. You’ll also get the support you need on your runs, and plenty of versatility to use these shorts for other exercise.

Fabric:

These shorts are comprised out of 25% nylon and 75% elastane materials, which makes them both stretchy and strong. They provide a lot of great compression and also help provide the support you need while you are on the go. The fabric also features UV 50+ protection, so that you’ll be safe from the sun if the weather is very warm. Also, you get a moisture-wicking feature with this fabric, and that brings you a lot of ventilation and breathability so you stay dry and comfortable.

Durability:

You get plenty of durability designed into these shorts. First, they have a high-quality fabric design that makes them comfortable, supportive, flexible, and very durable. They feature gradient compression which will help your muscles feel great for long periods of time. Plus, they have weather protection features built into them, which increases their durability.

Value:

Skins A200 Men's Compression Half Tights are offered at an average price, which means they aren’t too expensive and offer a competitive option in compression shorts. You won’t have to break your bank with these, and you’ll still get a great pair of compression shorts. These shorts are also very durable and built to last for some time, so you’ll get a lot of use out of them before you need to replace them. You’ll love how great they feel each time you hit the trails.
Pros
  • Great compression

  • Very durable

  • Comfortable

Cons
  • Can run large

  • Fabric seems thin

Neleus 3 Pack

Neleus 3 Pack
Neleus offers their 3 Pack Compression Shorts at a three-for-the-price-of-one deal price, meaning this is a very affordable option is you are shopping on a budget. You’ll get plenty of great compression with these shorts, and a lot of comfort. The material on these shorts feels soft and they are also designed to be lightweight. These compression shorts also help to boost your blood circulation effectively while offering support, but they are still flexible and won’t chafe or irritate your skin.
Expand to see more
Fit:

Neleus 3 Pack Compression Shorts come with a medium compression design, and that offers enough of a blood circulation boost to help prevent fatigue, pain, and muscle soreness. These shorts also bring you compression but are flexible and stretchy enough to not restrict your movement, and they will move with you as you run. They feature a four-way stretch design so that you’ll be able to move with easy. With this level of support and flexibility, you’ll be able to boost your running performance with these shorts.

Fabric:

These shorts are comprised out of 85% polyester and 15% spandex materials. That means you get a breathable, moisture-wicking fabric that offers nice ventilation for comfort. Plus, they have a lot of flexibility that allows for you to get the motion you need. They are designed to dry quickly, and they are also built to last. They’ll feel great on all of your runs.

Durability:

You’ll get a lot of durability designed into these shorts. These shorts are manufactured of high-quality materials that offer a lot of great ventilation, compression, and flexibility, but they also make these shorts very long lasting. So, you’ll get three pairs of excellent shorts for the price of one, and a lot of great features built into them.

Value:

Neleus’s 3 Pack Compression Shorts come at an affordable price, considering you get three pairs for the price of one. That’s a great value, and makes them an excellent option for runners shopping on a budget. You’ll also get a lot of durability with these shorts, since they are designed from high-quality materials and built to last. You’ll feel great and comfortable on all of your runs, and all of that makes these shorts a great investment.
Pros
  • Three pairs come in one pack

  • Flexible

  • Durable

  • Comfortable

  • Versatile

Cons
  • Sizes run small

Criteria Used For The Evaluation

Fit

For all of the products on our list above, we discussed the way each type of compression shorts fits. You’ll find there is a lot of variety here, so you’ll need to pay attention to customer reviews and comments on fit. Many compression shorts seem small and tight at first, but they are designed to fit that way for compression. Just make sure you get the size that is right for you to get a lot of comfort.

Fabric

Fabric choices can vary with compression shorts, but most of them feature polyester, nylon, spandex, or materials along those lines. The materials are combined so that the shorts are able to breathe and ventilate well, keeping you dry, while at the same time staying stretchy so you get great compression, but plenty of flexibility and range of motion while you run.

Durability

We examined all of the products on our list for durability and discussed what we felt about each product. The products on our list are all designed to be durable, and they feature great fabrics and materials that should help you get the most out of your compression shorts.

Value

We also examined the value of each one of the products on our list. With value, we talked about affordability as well as durability, and what the shorts had to offer you overall.

 

Other Important Factors To Consider

Compression shorts designed by different manufacturers offer a wide range of fabrics and fits. To get the most comfort out of your comfort shorts, you’ll want to make sure you get the best fit possible. Comfort is a very important factor when you are looking for a good pair of compression shorts because if the shorts don’t feel comfortable, you’ll wind up wasting your money and not using them. While comfort can often be a matter of personal preference, you want to make sure whatever compression shorts you by are comfortable enough to do what you need them to do so you wind up wearing them often.

 

FAQs

Q: How often should compression shorts be replaced?

For starters, check with what the manufacturer of your shorts suggests. However, in general, and if you buy a quality pair of compression shorts, you can expect that they will last for at least a couple of years. But the important thing to remember for most compression shorts is to wash them in cold water and hang them to dry. This will help the fabric to stay in good shape. And as always, follow your own judgment based on personal comfort, fit, and effectiveness.

Q: Do compression shorts need to have weather protection built into them to offer great durability?

No, not always. Some compression shorts do have weather protection features, but not all. Many don’t include weather protection and are still manufactured out of high-quality materials that makes the shorts very durable. So, weather protection isn’t really a hugely popular feature or item you’ll need to think about when it comes to durability.

Q: Can a pair of good compression shorts improve my running performance?

Yes, they can. Compression shorts help reduce fatigue, strain, and soreness in your muscles, making you more powerful and able to run better for longer periods of time. That means a good pair of compression shorts can certainly help you improve your running times, and your overall performance.

Q: Are most compression shorts flexible?

Surprisingly, yes, they are. While it might sound like shorts that are compressing your body to boost your blood circulation would have a stiff design, modern technology and fabrics have taken care of this. The products on our list are all flexible so that you get a decent range of motion. You won’t need to worry about restricting your movement with a good pair of compression shorts.

Q: If I am a heavier runner, can I comfortably wear compression shorts?

Actually, you may find that compression shorts feel really comfortable if you tend to be a little heavier. This is because they usually have spandex in them, so they can easily adjust to your body. Not to mention, the compression of the shorts will hold your body in place, so there will be less movement that can distract you with discomfort on a run.

The key to finding the right running shorts for your body type will be to find a pair that properly fit and aren’t too restraining feeling. You will also want a pair that has a lot of breathability and sweat-wicking capabilities, so you can sweat up a storm, and still feel cool and great on your run.

Q: Should I wear underwear with my compression shorts?

Compression shorts are designed to fit like a second skin, as they are meant to be worn very close to your skin. Another layer under the shorts, like underwear, will feel bulky and uncomfortable. However, with anything, if you find that you enjoy wearing underwear beneath them and there is no feeling of chafing, tightness, or bulkiness, ditch the commando and go right ahead.

Sources

  1. Andrew Peloquin, 10 Best Compression Shorts For Men, Informational Running Website, Nov 06, 2017
  2. Ryan Sabin, Best Running Compression Shorts Reviewed, Informational Running Website, Oct 27, 2017
  3. Compression Design, Compression Shorts: What You Get For The Money, Informational Running Website, Oct 28, 2017