The Best Women’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 women’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 4-inch, 7-inch, and 9-inch inseam lengths.
3. Nike Dri-FIT ADV Running Shorts
The Nike Dri-FIT ADV Running Shorts 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 Dri-FIT ADV Running Shorts
Nike’s Dri-FIT ADV Running Shorts offer distraction-free coverage and a Flyvent waistband for ventilation. These compression shorts have a 4.5-inch inseam, as well as lightweight fabric with an open-hole design to keep you cool.
4. Nike Mid-Rise Ribbed-Panel Running Shorts
The Nike Mid-Rise Ribbed-Panel Running Shorts feature a snug and stretchy design with soft and stylish ribbed panels. These compression shorts utilize sweat-wicking Dri-FIT technology to keep you dry and comfortable.
Shop at Nike: Nike Mid-Rise Ribbed-Panel Running Shorts
Nike’s Mid-Rise Ribbed-Panel Running Shorts have an internal drawcord for a personalized fit, as well as secure drop-in side pockets and a back zippered pocket for convenient storage.
5. Lululemon Base Pace High-Rise Shorts
The Lululemon Base Pace High-Rise Shorts feature the smooth and lightweight Nulux fabric that’s sweat-wicking, quick-drying, and has four-way stretch. These compression shorts have breathable fabric that provide a comfortable weightless coverage.
Shop at Lululemon: Lululemon Base Pace Shorts (6-Inch)
Shop at Lululemon: Lululemon Base Pace Shorts (8-Inch)
Lululemon’s Base Pace High-Rise Shorts feature a back pocket for storage, a no-inseam design for smooth striding, and a continuous drawcord that cinches for a locked-in feel that won’t shift or ride up as you’re active.
6. Lululemon SenseKnit Running High-Rise Shorts
The Lululemon SenseKnit Running High-Rise Shorts feature signature SenseKnit technology for targeted support, breathability, and unrestricted running freedom. These compression shorts sport a high-rise design with a 10-inch inseam length.
Shop at Lululemon: Lululemon SenseKnit Running Shorts
Shop at Lululemon: Lululemon SenseKnit Running Shorts (Grey)
Lululemon’s SenseKnit Running High-Rise Shorts have comfortable four-way stretch and foldover envelope pockets for secure storage. These compression shorts utilize a continuous drawcord and engineered grippers at the hem to keep in place.
7. Under Armour Run Stamina ½ Tights
The Under Armour Run Stamina ½ Tights feature super smooth structured free cut fabric that’s supportive, comfortable, and offers superior coverage. These compression shorts sport an expandable center-back Speedpocket for water-resistant, no-bounce phone storage.
Shop at Under Armour: UA Run Stamina ½ Tights
Under Armour’s Run Stamina ½ Tights utilize sweat-wicking and quick-drying fabric with mesh panels and strategic laser perforations for increased breathability. These compression shorts have a 6-inch inseam length, secure side drop-in pockets, and a high-rise stay-put waistband.
8. Under Armour Up The Pace ½ Tights
The Under Armour Up The Pace ½ Tights feature extra smooth and lightweight HeatGear fabric for superior coverage that’s built for speed. These compression shorts sport a streamlined fit with sweat-wicking and quick-drying material.
Shop at Under Armour: UA Up The Pace ½ Tights
Under Armour’s Up The Pace ½ Tights have a 6-inch inseam length and high-rise drawcord waistband that stays put. These compression shorts utilize comfortable 4-way stretch and a secure zip back pocket.
9. Under Armour Fly Fast 3.0 Half Tights
The Under Armour Fly Fast 3.0 Half Tights feature lightweight and quick-drying HeatGear fabric with mesh side panels for added breathability. These compression shorts have a 6-inch inseam and streamlined design for a locked-in feel.
Shop at Under Armour: UA Fly Fast 3.0 Half Tights
Under Armour’s Fly Fast 3.0 Half Tights have sweat-wicking material with four-way stretch and reflective details for low-light conditions. These compression shorts feature a high-rise waistband with an interior drawcord for a stay-put fit and a side drop-in pocket for storage.
10. Adidas DailyRun 5-Inch Short Leggings
The Adidas DailyRun 5-Inch Short Leggings feature sleek and lightweight Adiform fabric that’s both comfy and supportive. These compression shorts utilize moisture-absorbing AEROREADY technology to keep you dry and comfortable.
Shop at Adidas: Adidas DailyRun 5-Inch Short Leggings
Adidas’ DailyRun 5-Inch Short Leggings have secure drop-in pockets and a back waist phone pocket. These compression shorts sport an elastic drawcord waistband and reflective details for low light conditions.
11. Adidas TruePace Running Shorts
The Adidas TruePace Running Shorts feature HEAT.RDY technology to maximize airflow and keep you feeling cool when running in hot weather. These compression shorts have a flattering high-rise fit with a stay-put drawstring waistband.
Shop at Adidas: Adidas TruePace Running Shorts
Adidas’ TruePace Running Shorts pair bold colors with flattering stripes and offer secure storage for your essentials in a back waist zip pocket.
12. 2XU Aero Mid-Rise Compression Shorts
The 2XU Aero Mid-Rise Compression Shorts utilize ventilated PWX Dash Mesh panels for ideal breathability and flatlock seams to reduce chafing. These compression shorts feature a reflective logo, as well as flexible and lightweight PWX fabric that dries quickly.
Shop at 2XU: 2XU Aero Mid-Rise Compression Shorts
2XU’s Aero Mid-Rise Compression Shorts have a 6-inch mid-thigh length to help prevent ride-up and a mid-rise power mesh waistband for a secure fit. These compression shorts have a zip back pocket and a side pocket for secure bounce-free storage.
13. 2XU Light Speed Mid-Rise 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.
14. New Balance Q Speed Shape Shield Shorts
The New Balance Q Speed Shape Shield Shorts feature soft and lightweight Shape Shield fabric that provides superior stretch and coverage. These compression shorts sport a speedy and streamlined style in a high-rise design for added comfort and coverage.
Shop at New Balance: NB Q Speed Shape Shield Shorts
New Balance’s Q Speed Shape Shield Shorts have a 4-inch inseam length and sweat-wicking NB DRYx technology to keep you dry and comfortable. These compression shorts provide a secure hip pocket for storage and reflective accents for improved visibility.
15. New Balance Impact Run Shorts
The New Balance Impact Run Shorts feature a stretchy and comfortable poly knit material in a streamlined silhouette that provides a full range of motion. These compression shorts have a 6-inch inseam length and a mid-rise design that sits just below the waist.
Shop at New Balance: NB Impact Run Shorts
New Balance’s Impact Run Shorts utilize secure drop-in hip pockets, a back zippered pocket, and a storage tunnel to store your layers. These compression shorts have moisture-wicking NB DRYx technology and reflective branding and taping for visibility.
16. Saucony Fortify 3-Inch Hot Running Shorts
The Saucony Fortify Hot Running Shorts feature a stylish and performance driven design with ultra-stretchy fabric that’s supportive and fits like a second skin. These compression shorts stay-put as you’re active while also providing a full range of motion.
Shop at Saucony: Saucony Fortify Hot Running Shorts
Saucony’s Fortify Hot Running Shorts have a comfortable power waistband with storage pockets to keep everything secure. These compression shorts have a mid-rise design, a 3-inch inseam, and reflective logomarks for added visibility.
17. Saucony Pinnacle 8-Inch Tight Shorts
The Saucony Pinnacle 8-Inch Tight Shorts feature a stylish ciré polyester interlock fabric in a fitted high-rise design. These compression shorts are built for high impact with a fast-drying, no-clinging, nearly weightless performance fit.
Shop at Saucony: Saucony Pinnacle Shorts
Saucony’s Pinnacle 8-Inch Tight Shorts utilize laser perforations at the front panel and bonded hems for improved breathability. These compression shorts have an 8-inch inseam length, reflective logos, and a mesh back panel with an integrated pocket.
18. Reebok Chase Shorts
The Reebok Chase Shorts are designed to minimize distractions while you run with a snug fit and elastic waist that stays in place through sprinting, lunging, jumping, squatting, and any high-intensity workout.
Shop at Reebok: Reebok Chase Shorts
Reebok’s Chase Shorts feature a classic design with a smooth and sleek finish. These compression shorts utilize Speedwick fabric to wick sweat from your body and keep you cool and dry for superior temperature regulation.
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 painful 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, which is a win for any athlete.
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, bra strap, 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.
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.