OK, so after pushing out our top seven faves and taking a step back, we realized there are more must-consider trail running shorts/skorts out there than we could fit in one review. So we went back to the testing board. And, voila, we came up with a few more we think you should consider!
Salomon Agile Shorts, $42
Made with: 100% polyester
We normally don’t jive with two in one shorts, mostly because they tend to be heavy. Not the case with the Salomon Agile Shorts. These are light and comfortable with modest coverage (a four-inch inseam) and Salomon’s proprietary “advancedskin activedry” technology, designed to dry quickly and keep you warm (or cool).
Here’s what TS tester Abby Harris had to say:
These versatile, lightweight shorts are an excellent choice during hot summer weather. With a four-inch inseam and a built-in inner brief, they offer a perfect balance of length and comfort for everything from track workouts to long trail runs. They also come with a zippered back pocket—big enough to store a few items—and a reflective side band for nighttime visibility.
A couple of downsides: While a drawstring is a nice addition to help create a more secure fit, I found that the one in these shorts ended up creating too much excess bunching around the waistband when tied, especially around the backside. Also, I have muscular thighs so more room in the legs plus a split would be helpful.
Still, I enjoyed the overall feel and comfort so much that the Agile Shorts are now part of my running bottoms rotation! I recommend them.
BUY NOW – $42
INKnBURN Purple Azalea Shorts, $65
Made with: Dry ICE fabric
If we go off of fashion alone, these shorts top the list. The namesake flower pattern is feminine, soft and is, apparently, also a symbol of beauty and intelligence. More than that, though, the fabric feels light (it does cool off well), and the shorts have large pockets for storing everything from a few gels and car keys to a smartphone.
INKnBURN claims they are chafe resistant, but without months of testing, we’re not quite willing to commit to that as fact (though so far our testers report the claim is true). If you buy a pair, please comment below and let us know!
Bonus: They’re made here stateside.
Here’s what TS tester Kate Schwartz had to say:
There are a few things I usually look for in shorts: comfort, a flattering fit, and a pocket that easily holds a key.
When I tried these on for the first time, the fit seemed snug. However, the wide waistband, flattering cut, and light, stretchy fabric makes the shorts comfy even on the small side. The liner is a light, stretchy white brief (I’m not big on white underthings, but at least they feel good!).
The pockets are different from any running shorts I’ve ever worn. There are two of them, that fall right on the front of the pelvis. They sit lower and are wider than the skinny waistband key pockets of yesteryear. I feared my key would jab me in there, but luckily I couldn’t feel it at all.
I first wore them on a super hot day, and they not only stood the heat test well, but they also landed me several compliments! No chafing yet either and they dried quickly. They also stretch well when running, which is nice because my booty fills them out. Still, if you’re between sizes, I would suggest going up. All-in-all, I recommend these, and they will make it into my regular rotation.
BUY NOW – $65
Brooks Greenlight – Three and Seven Inch Shorts, $38 – $46
Made with: DriLayer HorsePower
It’s not often that you can find the same dependable fit in varying lengths and yet, Brooks nailed it. But for our testers—many of whom run up and down steep mountains—the “three-inchers” felt a little on the short side.
Still, a wide waist band and light sweat-wicking fabric mean these provide a comfortable and barely-there feel. We’ll take ‘em!
Here’s what TS tester Meesh Metcalfe had to say:
I wore these shorts for five miles on a rolling-flat trail, and then to a hot yoga class later in the week. My run was early in the morning, so I didn’t sweat much, and they stayed put quite well with movement. I got loads of compliments on the pattern at yoga and LOVED practicing in them. They didn’t roll down or ride up at all, even when dripping with sweat. So, all in all, two thumbs up. Still. ….
For those of us with full thighs, I think these shorts are preferable for short runs because they are just short enough that thigh-chafing becomes a risk during long days on the trail (seven-inch would be better).
BUY NOW – $26 (3 inch)
BUY NOW – $46 (7 inch)
For more short/skort options, check out our Trail Sisters Shorts Review – Part 1
I’m a former INKnBURN ambassador can comment on the INKnBURN shorts, having worn them for over three years. These are the only shorts I wear any more. They’re incredibly comfortable, they’ve got two pockets each big enough to hold an iPhone or a few gels (!!!), they wear exceptionally hard (I still regularly wear a few 3.5 year old pairs and they look nearly as good as new), and they make my butt look AWESOME.
I’ve worn them for a 50 mile race, for many hours in the rain, for a 13 hour pacing stint, for a snowshoe half-marathon, and for hundreds of weekday and weekend runs on roads and trails. I have had essentially no chafing and they’re comfortable even in stupendous heat, rain, or wind. I can’t overstate how much I love these shorts.
I have a lot of the INKnBURN shorts and have worn them for years, including these Azalea shorts you picture. I have run marathons in them without issue, run through storms, and hot and humid weather. They are awesome. The best part is that the shorts last the test of time. The shorts I have that are 5+ years old look as new as these Azalea ones that I got a few months ago. Love their shorts!
I own the Purple Azalea Shorts from INKnBURN along with maybe every other pair of their shorts! I love them!! They fit so well! I’ve worn them casually around all the way to running a 50k. I’ve never has any chaffing issues either. The 2 pockets on each side are great for holding my key and a few GU packets.
I love these shorts and I’m sure you will too!
I wanted to leave a comment about INKnBURN shorts. In the interests of full disclosure I am an ultrarunner and I only wear INKnBURN brand for running and I am a brand ambassador for them. I can confirm that they do not chafe me and I am not the smallest of ladies. Before INKnBURN I never wore shorts (only Capris) because I didn’t like it when shorts rode up/bunched up around my tights when running and didn’t like the chafe. I have none of those problems now with INKnBURN and I regularly wear them for ultras. I also like that they have wide pockets, even my iPhone 7plus fits in them, the material is comfortable to wear and the designs are awesome. They fit true to size on me, but you can go up or down on size depending on how you like your fit. Best, Leanne
I am a former Ambassador for INKnBURN…. I have worn INB shorts doing a wide variety of activities…From 50 mile trail races to Climbing Mt. Whitney and never had any issues. I wear their shorts, skirts & capris for running and la-la-love!!! Thanks Trail Sisters!
Hooray for the Brooks Greenlight! The 7 inch short is money!!!!! I wish more companies made longer “compression” shorts like these.