The best women’s running shorts for summer

If you’re a runner who wants to ditch the running tights as soon as the sun is out, you’re not alone, yet finding running shorts that don’t ride up or slip down can be difficult. No matter how many miles you plan on logging, shorts need to be non-restrictive, breathable and made from sweat-wicking material.

What to look for in women’s running shorts

Running shorts can generally be broken down into two categories: looser shorts, often with some sort of split down the side, that allow you to move freely, and form-fitting shorts that have more of a compression effect. Both will do the job, and it’s often down to personal preference on how you want the shorts to fit.

2-in-1 shorts combine both styles, often with a tighter-fitting layer underneath and a looser one over the top.

Related: 7 of the best women's running shoes

Whilst some will have built-in briefs to minimise chafing from underwear, others won’t, making sweat-wicking underwear a must, especially in the summer months.

Whichever style you go for, look for shorts that have a pocket big enough to allow you to leave your running belt at home, and a design that means they won’t ride up as you run.

Related: The ultimate female guide to running 

What are the best women’s running shorts on the market?

We’ve handpicked our favourite women’s running shorts for summer 2018 here:

The best women's running shorts for a flattering fit – Speed Up Short, £48.00, lululemon.co.uk 

The large waist-band and lightweight material ensure these Lululemon shorts are a comfortable fit as the temperatures rise. With a number of different colour options to choose from, these shorts are packed with handy pockets – the two gel pockets at the front connect, allowing you to store your keys or credit card in the waistband and there’s also a zipped pocket at the back, which should be big enough for your phone.

The best women's running shorts to take on holiday with you - Interval run shorts, £50.00, sweatybetty.com

A loose-fitting retro style, in a lightweight fabric, these are great for running, whilst being fashionable enough to wear to the beach on your summer holiday. The shorts have an elasticated waistband and in-built knicker, plus a handy zipped back pocket.

The best women's running shorts that won’t ride up – Engineered Short, £20.00, tribesports.com 

If you’re looking for shorts that won’t ride up but don’t look like hot pants, the Engineered Short from Tribe are a good choice. Available in burgundy, grey and bright pink, these are feminine, sweat-wicking and breathable. There’s an internal draw-cord at the waist to ensure they don’t move as you run and the second-skin fit allows you to put a looser pair of shorts over the top if you’d rather.

The best women's 2-in-1 running shorts – Nike Eclipse 2-in-1 running shorts £37.95, nike.com

These 2-in-1 running shorts are perfect for runners who just can’t decide – the built-in under shorts allow optimum mobility, with the upper shorts offering a more relaxed fit. Made from wicking material to keep you dry, there’s an interior pocket at the front of the shorts and a zipped pocket at the back.

The best women's running shorts to let you stride out –  3 Inch Impact Short, £30.00, newbalance.co.uk 

Simple shorts with a classic side-split design, the wide waistband ensures you’ll be comfortable as you stride. There’s two drop-in pockets in the waist band and a secure zipped pocket at the back for all your essentials. The shorts also contain a draw-cord waistband and in-built knickers.

The best women's running shorts on the high-street – Performance Shorts, £14, marksandspencer.com 

These longer, moisture wicking exercise shorts are affordable and flattering. The high-waistband ensures these are a comfortable fit and there’s a hidden, zipped, pocket for all your running essentials.

The best women's running shorts for comfort – Response Short Tights, £29.95, adidas.co.uk 

If you’re a fan of Adidas running tights, you’ll love these. Shorter versions of their comfortable classics, these soft, stretchy shorts allow you to run freely. With a drawstring waist for a tighter fit and a contrast mesh side panel for breathability, there’s also a hidden, zipped pocket.

The best women's running shorts for trail runs – Salomon Women’s S-Lab Short 6 Short, £60.00, runnersneed.com 

These might be a little more expensive than other shorts on the list, but are worth it if you’re planning on clocking up serious summer miles. Super lightweight, moisture-wicking and not too tight or clingy, there’s room to slip undershorts underneath if you choose. There’s no pockets, which isn’t ideal if you’re not running with a pack, but the design of the waistband means they fit well with a belt.

The best women's running underwear – Women’s Runderwear Brief, £16.00, runderwear.co.uk 

If you’re not a fan of undershorts and would rather add moisture-wicking underwear to your summer workouts, look no further. Runderwear tick all the boxes when it comes to comfort, with moisture-wicking material and a seamless, chafe-free fit.

The enviornmentally-friendly women's running shorts - Enduro Bamboo Shorts Blue Leaf Print, £28.00, bambooclothing.co.uk

These do come up pretty short, but they are some of the softest running shorts we have ever run in and didn't chafe, even on long runs. They're super stretchy and refuse to go see through, so could be good for yoga too. What's more, made from Bamboo cotton, you can rest assured you're doing your bit for the envionment, plus they're sweat wicking and made from UPF 50+ fabric.