What to Look For in Running Shorts
by Bob "Wish" Wischnia on March 9, 2012
Although choosing the right running shorts isn’t quite as critically important as finding the perfect training shoes, if you pick the wrong pair of shorts it will cost you in the long run.
Running shorts matter and there are nearly as many different styles and models as there are shoes. And buying the right shorts for your body type, gender and size—as well as the type of training and racing you do—will make your run more enjoyable and comfortable.
In running shoes, fit is everything. Same with running shorts. With shoes, the colors and styling doesn’t matter as much as it does with shorts. After all, they are clothing and even the least style-conscious runner, doesn’t want to look like a dork by wearing shorts last worn in a PE class.
To make certain you run comfortably, you first need lightweight shorts specifically designed for running. In other words, long, floppy, cotton basketball (or tennis) shorts that are fine for the court, are out for running.
Why? If you wear cotton shorts on a run, you will almost certainly end up with severe chafing in a sensitive area that will make every step painful to the end.
If you’re going to be a runner, you need running shorts. Mizuno offers the best line of technically driven shorts in several styles to address the fit and performance needs of every runner. Each short is distinctive in its styling, comfort and performance qualities.
If you are new to running, here are some tips to picking the right pair of shorts:
- Fit, fit, fit.The only way you can be certain a pair of running shorts fits you well is to try them on. All reputable running stores will allow you to try on shorts. Do so. Even if you know your waist size, shorts are available in a variety of sizes and some experimentation might be necessary to find the perfect size for you. You want a snug fit without being too tight.
- Fabrics.All technical running shorts are made with light, soft fabrics that wick moisture away from the skin so it evaporates. Mizuno shorts are made out of a breathable Polyester and have an internal brief or liner made of DryLite which is a moisture management fabric. Mizuno shorts also are extremely durable.
- Underwear or not?Not. All Mizuno running shorts are made with a non-chafing, built-in liner. (If you buy shorts that don’t have a built-in liner, they aren’t running shorts.) But wearing underwear—especially if it’s made of cotton—is uncomfortable and negates the anti-chafing fabrics of running shorts. Plus, the liners provide enough support without underwear. Nor do men need to wear a jock with running shorts.
- Lengths. Running shorts come in a variety of lengths, starting with “short shorts” such as Mizuno’s Maverick Splits and extending all the way to mid-thigh shorts such as the Inspire Short or Mid Tights. The length you choose is a matter of personal preference, but if you have “thunder” thighs that tend to rub and chafe on long runs, longer shorts will minimize the problem.
- Is there a difference between men’s and women’s shorts?Absolutely. Mizuno shorts for men and women not only look different, they are shaped differently through the waist and hips to create a better fit for each gender.
- Pockets are a must.All Mizuno shorts come with a key pocket on the inside of the front waistband. But since many runners need a larger pocket to carry gels on long runs, most Mizuno shorts come with an additional side pocket to accommodate any additional nutrition you wish to carry. These side pockets are also deep enough to securely carry a cell phone, iPod or those pesky hotel room keys.
- Does color matter? To some runners, it matters a lot. There are plenty of color options available with Mizuno shorts. Many of the shorts match up with corresponding shirts and singlets for style-conscious runners.
Mizuno Running Shorts Collection:
- Maverick Split:Made of 100 percent stretch Polyester with DryLite brief, the Maverick is ideal for racing and training. The Maverick Split is comfortable and so light it will never slow you down. It has all of Mizuno’s top short features such as side pocket, drawcord waist and anti-abrasion labeling. Inseam, 2 inches; Outseam, 11 inches. Available in three color options for women; four for men. Sizes: (m) S-XXL; (w) XS-XL.
- Mustang:A slightly longer, fuller cut than the Maverick, the Mustang is made of 100 percent stretch Polyester with the DryLite brief. It has mesh inserts for increased ventilation. Inseam, 3.5 inches; Outseam, 12.5 inches for women; for men, Inseam, 4 inches; Outseam, 14 inches. Available in seven color options for women; six for men. Sizes: (m) S-XXL; (w) XS-XL.
- Meridian Short(women only): Breathable and light, the Meridian is made of a Polyester/Spandex blend with a DryLite brief. Beautifully designed, the Meridian has a contrasting waistband with an exposed drawcord. Inseam, 3.5 inches; Outseam, 10 inches. Available in four colors. Sizes: XS-XL.
- Shorty Short(women only): The shortest length short specific to women runners, the Shorty has a 100 percent stretch Polyester shell, DryLite trim and brief. Combining soft knit and stretch woven, the Shorty Short has an elastic waistband with an internal drawcord. Although it does have an internal coin pocket, it does not have a side pocket. Inseam, 3.5 inches; Outseam, 10 inches. Sizes: XS-XL.
- Ascend 2-in-1 Short: Made of 100 percent Polyester with a DryLite internal compression short, the 2-in-1 has a stretch shell fabric which allows plenty of mobility for running, walking or other sports. Comes with a drawcord waist and anti-abrasion labeling. Inseam, 5 inches; outseam, 14 inches for women; for men, Inseam, 5 inches; Outseam 14 inches. Available in five colors for men and women. Sizes: (m) S-XXL; (w) XS-XL.
- Rider Short(men only): A long, comfortable short which works well for running or other fitness activities, the Rider is made of stretch Polyester with a DryLite liner. The stretch shell fabric provides plenty of mobility making this a versatile short. Inseam, 5.5 inches; Outseam, 15.5 inches. Sizes: S-XXL.
- Inspire Short Tight(women only): Aggressively stylish, the Short Tight extends to mid thigh for races and/or long run comfort. Made of a Polyester/Spandex blend, the Inspire Short Tight has stretch mesh ventilation inserts, a gusset crotch and back zipper storage pocket. Available in five color options. Sizes: XS-XL.
- Inspire Mid Tight(men only): Ideal for racing or long runs, the Mid Tight extends to mid thigh and prevents any chafing between the thighs. Made of a Polyester/Spandex blend, the Inspire Short Tight has stretch mesh ventilation inserts, a gusset crotch and back zipper storage pocket. Sizes: S-XXL.