Gear: running shorts

Women's racing 

X-Bionic Marathon Pants

£72.99, x-bionic.com

Disturbingly tiny-looking when in your hand, these stretch for an exceptionally comfortable fit and run. Packed with features, the X-Bionics incorporate everything from targeted insulation pads to special wicking zones on the rear that prevent a sweaty bum. 

Men's racing

Saucony Inferno Split Short

£27, saucony.com

Saucony has taken the classic short shorts (a 3in inseam, the inside leg measurement) and incorporated a continuous drawstring that won’t vanish into the waistband, mesh and perforated side panels for ventilation, and a secure, zipped rear pocket. Lightweight and very comfortable.

Men's training 

Salomon EXO S-Lab TwinSkin Shorts

£130, salomon.com

High spec at a high price, the inner ‘Exo’ compression-wear provides muscle support and promotes faster recovery after long runs, while the lightweight outer covers everything but the single-layer thigh area to reduce chafing. The bobbly panel material takes getting used to, but the results are worth it.  

Women's training 

The North Face Eat My Dust Shorts

£32, thenorthface.co.uk

A name that throws down the gauntlet but lives up to the promise – lightweight, with a comfortable inner knicker and side venting. The only downside is a lack of drawstring adjustment – so those with a narrower hip may struggle to get a personal fit. Bright and stylish with a zipped rear pocket.

Men's trail

Gore X-Running 2.0 Shorts

£59.99, goreapparel.co.uk

These shorts are ideally suited to long runs with a length that protects the legs and an inner running tight for added support and true comfort. What makes these outstanding, though, is the number and quality of storage options: a zipped rear pocket, two large mesh side pockets and elastic loops for stashing a further four gels or energy bars. 

Women's trail 

Ronhill Trail Twin Shorts

£35, ronhill.com

Exceptionally comfortable thanks to the soft inner shorts with their seamless sides. The outer shell is water-repellent and the rear pocket is more than ample to accommodate a couple of gels or an MP3 player. The two-in-one design adds warmth (while venting well, too), which will see you through the cooler spring or autumn trails, too.