The Best Men’s Compression Shorts for Running 2023
Performance-driven compression shorts to power through your route.
Whether you’re logging the long-distance miles, training for speed, or simply out for some fresh air and easy strides, having the right running gear makes all the difference.
If you want a successful run, you’ll need a pair of shorts that’s distraction free.
And the best way to reduce any distraction or discomfort is to invest in a pair of quality compression shorts specifically designed for running.
The snug and smooth fit of compression offers superior coverage, comfort, and support for any running style or distance.
And a great pair of quick-drying and sweat-wicking compression shorts will keep you forging ahead through hot and humid conditions.
So, we’ve put together our list of the best men’s compression shorts for running.
Check it out, grab a pair, and don’t let anything slow you down as you power through your route.
Determining the Best Compression Shorts for Running
Here are the criteria we used for putting together our list of the best compression shorts and half tights for running:
Hot-Weather Design: While a general pair of compression shorts would fare better than other fabrics in hot weather, we’re looking for shorts specifically designed to keep your body from overheating. Lightweight, breathable, and sweat-wicking technology.
Extended Comfort: We’re looking for compression shorts that don’t sacrifice comfort for support. Whether you’re going a long or short distance, these two should work hand in hand to keep you focused and free of distraction.
Performance Driven: Once you lace up your running shoes, you don’t want anything holding you back or slowing you down. We need a waistband that stays up and stays put, full mobility in our legs, and a performance design that can handle speed.
Note: Featured products are independently selected and reviewed by Compression Athlete. If you purchase through our links, we may earn commission.
1. WOLACO Distance Half Tights
The WOLACO Distance Half Tights feature premium double-layered fabric that’s extra comfortable, sweat-wicking, and chafe-reducing. These compression shorts have a signature high-stretch modesty layer in front and are 100% opaque and squat-proof.
Shop at Wolaco: WOLACO Distance Half Tights
WOLACO’s Distance Half Tights provide two sweat-proof side compression pockets and two high-stretch back pockets for convenient no-bounce storage. These compression shorts sport a 10-inch inseam length and a drawcord waistband with silicone stay-put grip.
2. WOLACO North Moore Shorts
The WOLACO North Moore Shorts feature ultra-luxe performance fabric with moderate compression for extended comfort. These compression shorts are moisture-wicking and provide two compression pockets with 360-degree waterproof protection.
Shop at Wolaco: WOLACO North Moore Shorts
WOLACO’s North Moore Shorts utilize durable anti-pilling fabric and a comfortable elastic waistband. These compression shorts have a chafe-free ergonomic fit with 1-inch hem cuffs for a no-ride-up design and are available in 6-inch and 9-inch inseam lengths.
3. Nike AeroSwift ½-Length Running Tights
The Nike AeroSwift ½-Length Running Tights are designed for optimal speed performance while providing premium comfort. These compression shorts utilize innovative AeroSwift technology for an extra stretchy, lightweight, and breathable fit.
Shop at Nike: Nike AeroSwift ½-Length Running Tights
Nike’s AeroSwift ½-Length Running Tights offer distraction-free coverage and a Flyvent waistband for ventilation. These compression shorts have an internal brief for support, as well as 2 waistband pockets in the front and 2 in the back.
4. Nike Dri-FIT Fast ½-Length Running Tights
The Nike Dri-FIT Fast ½-Length Running Tights offer a perfect mix of stretch and support for your running stride with innovative Power fabric. These compression shorts utilize Dri-FIT technology to help keep you dry and comfortable.
Shop at Nike: Nike Dri-FIT Fast ½-Length Running Tights
Nike’s Dri-FIT Fast ½-Length Running Tights feature a classic streamlined compression design for a body-hugging feel and full range of movement. These compression shorts have a comfortable elastic waistband and reflective details for visibility.
5. Under Armour Speedpocket Half Tights
The Under Armour Speedpocket Half Tights feature an expandable center-front waistband Speedpocket that’s water-resistant, can hold any phone size, and provides no-bounce security.
Shop at Under Armour: UA Speedpocket Half Tights
Under Armour’s Speedpocket Half Tights have extra soft fabric with a structured free cut design for superior comfort and coverage. These compression shorts sport an 8-inch inseam, laser perforations for ventilation, and a drawcord elastic waistband.
6. Adidas Own The Run ½ Leggings
The Adidas Own The Run ½ Leggings feature a snug and stretchy mid-rise design for a secure fit with a full range of motion. These compression shorts utilize AEROREADY technology to manage moisture and keep you dry.
Shop at Adidas: Adidas Own The Run ½ Leggings
Adidas’ Own The Run ½ Leggings have a comfortable flat seam construction, a compression pocket on the side for secure phone storage, and a drawcord elastic waistband.
7. Lululemon SenseKnit Running Shorts
The Lululemon SenseKnit Running Shorts feature signature SenseKnit technology for targeted support, breathability, and unrestricted running freedom. These compression shorts sport a 10-inch inseam and a molded pouch for optimal space and support.
Shop at Lululemon: Lululemon SenseKnit Running Shorts
Lululemon’s SenseKnit Running Shorts have a flat waistband, secure drop-in side pockets, and easy access gel pockets. These compression shorts utilize engineered grippers at the hem to keep in place and reflective details for improved visibility.
8. Lululemon Surge Half Tights
The Lululemon Surge Half Tights feature signature Nulux fabric for weightless coverage and comfortable four-way stretch. These compression shorts are designed for running with reflective detailing and silicone grippers on the hem to prevent any ride-up.
Shop at Lululemon: Lululemon Surge Half Tights (8-Inch)
Shop at Lululemon: Lululemon Surge Half Tights (10-Inch)
Lululemon’s Surge Half Tights utilize a sleek and cool to the touch material that’s breathable, quick-drying, and wicks away moisture. These compression shorts have side drop-in pockets and easy-access gel pockets on the waistband.
9. 2XU Light Speed Compression Shorts
The 2XU Light Speed Compression Shorts are designed with Muscle Containment Stamping technology to reduce muscle movement, damage, and fatigue. These compression shorts feature flexible, lightweight, and quick-drying PWX fabric.
Shop at 2XU: 2XU Light Speed Compression Shorts
2XU’s Light Speed Compression Shorts use flatlock seams to reduce chaffing and 360-degree stretch for extra comfort. These compression shorts have a large phone pocket and an adjustable drawstring waistband with multiple pockets for storage.
10. New Balance Q Speed ½ Tights
The New Balance Q Speed ½ Tights feature an extra soft and lightweight feel with Shape Shield performance fabric that wicks moisture and provides superior stretch and coverage. These compression shorts have side drop-in pockets and zippered back pockets.
Shop at New Balance: NB Q Speed ½ Tights
New Balance’s Q Speed ½ Tights sport a 9-inch inseam length, premium quick-drying NB DRYx technology, and reflective accents for improved visibility.
11. Saucony Bell Lap Shorts
The Saucony Bell Lap Shorts offer a classic compression short design with streamlined support for your muscles in a clean and stylish look. These compression shorts utilize a recycled nylon fabric with plenty of stretch that allows for your natural range of motion.
Shop at Saucony: Saucony Bell Lap Shorts
Saucony’s Bell Lap Shorts feature a drop-in pocket that allows you to securely store your phone against your body, an internal drawcord for adjustable comfort, and a reflective logo and detailing for added visibility in low-light conditions.
12. Saucony Elite Shorts
The Saucony Elite Shorts feature an elite performance design that’s lightweight, breathable, and extra comfortable. These compression shorts are sweat-wicking, quick-drying, and provide lightweight support that prioritizes speed.
Shop at Saucony: Saucony Elite Shorts
Saucony’s Elite Shorts have an encased elastic waistband with an internal drawcord for a customizable fit, as well as a bold and stylish Saucony logo.
13. Asics Track Sprinter Shorts
The Asics Track Sprinter Shorts feature a comfortable knit fabric in a sleek performance design. These compression shorts have a soft feel against your skin and flat seam construction that reduces chafing while you move.
Shop at Asics: Asics Track Sprinter Shorts
Asics’ Track Sprinter Shorts sport a classic compression fit that’s snug, flexible, and dries quickly. These compression shorts utilize an adjustable drawcord waistband for a customizable fit.
Benefits of Compression in Hot Weather
When the temps and humidity rise, having the right gear becomes essential for athletes.
Whether you’re training, competing, or just out for some endorphin-boosting exercise, compression garments are the best available clothing choice for hot weather.
The unique fabric blend of compression dries quicker than any other fabric choice, which is helpful when you’re pouring out sweat.
This way there’s no trudging along in sweat-soaked garments that can hamper your range of motion and cause chafing.
Additionally, the breathability and sweat-wicking capabilities of compression will help you stay cool, comfortable, and dry.
Compression fabric is not only lightweight and breathable, but also moves sweat away from the body to allow for proper body temperature regulation, which is especially important in warm conditions when overheating can occur.
Another beneficial element of compression wear that shouldn’t be overlooked is improved muscle oxygenation.
Whenever you’re moving, exercising, training, competing, or whatever it may be, the muscles in your body start working harder and demand an increase in oxygen.
Compression can assist your body in this process, as the compressive pressure is designed to increase the levels of oxygen your muscles receive through improved blood flow.
This improved muscle oxygenation helps athletes perform at a higher level for longer periods.
There’s also the added benefit that better muscle oxygenation can lead to faster muscle recovery.
How to Keep Your Phone and Keys Secure When Running
Here’s a dilemma that every runner is faced with at least one time or another. What to do with your valuable items—phone, keys, credit card, etc.— while you’re out running.
Holding items in your hand is risky. Tucking them in your waistband or shoelaces isn’t a great or all-too-comfortable fix.
And nobody likes the feel of things bouncing around in their pockets while trying to focus on the task at hand.
Even just out for a walk you might find the feel of your phone or keys sliding back and forth kind of irritating.
And kick up the intensity on your workout and those items will start banging all around like crazy.
Thankfully, there are a few different solutions that have popped up over the years to combat this problem.
For example, some people prefer to use a running arm band as a way to secure their phone to their body while running.
Another option is the running belt or fanny pack that can be worn around the waist or shoulder.
And for those that are going for distance and require storage and hydration along for the ride, a running vest is a popular choice.
However, it’s worthwhile to note that each of these options adds an additional garment to your body.
And while they’re designed to minimize bulk and not interfere with your movements, many runners prefer the less is more approach.
So, if you’re looking for an option that doesn’t require any extra garments, superfluous fabric, or additional items to wear on your body, then a pair of compression shorts or tights with side drop-in pockets and waistband pockets is the best choice.
The side drop-in pockets on compression shorts and compression tights, like those in the picks listed above, are a great way to securely store your phone.
The stretchy and snug compression fabric secures the pocketed item tightly and comfortably against your leg or waistband.
This way the item wont shift or bounce around, throwing off your concentration or causing you discomfort.
Keys also store well in drop-in pockets; though, many compression shorts and tights also provide a zippered or fold-in waistband pocket that’s perfect for storing smaller objects.
And the best part about a compression pocket is that you’re still able to move freely with the pocketed item.
The compression fabric snuggly fits the item against your body while its stretchy properties allow your body a full range of motion.
So, if you’re looking for comfortable, secure, and performance-driven storage, check out our list of the Best Compression Shorts with Pockets.
And for additional help on picking out a great pair of compression shorts, check out our Comprehensive Guide to Compression Shorts.