The 4 Best Running Shorts To Prevent Chafing

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There's no faster way to ruin a hard-earned runner's high than with the dreaded thigh chafe. Products like anti-chafe creams, deodorant, and balms can be helpful, but one of the most sure-fire ways to prevent chafing while running is via your clothing and apparel. To help you out, I've compiled a list of the best running shorts to prevent chafing. When making my selections, I looked for several key components:

  1. Form-fitting design: The whole idea of anti-chafe shorts is to create a barrier so your bare skin can't rub together. Whether you opt for tights-style selections that are naturally form-fitting, or baggier shorts with compression liners underneath, this component is essential. It's also great to have flat-lock stitching or fully seamless designs.
  2. Stretchy material: Fabric that stretches when you run and provides ample range of motion will not only cut down on thigh rub but will also be more comfortable to train in. I made sure all of the shorts below have either spandex, LYCRA, or elastane components to maximize flexibility and comfort.
  3. Moisture-wicking fabric: Regardless of chafing, sweat is a factor too when you run. Your shorts need to be able to lift perspiration from your skin and dry quickly. Polyester is usually the best bet for this.

In addition to these factors it's nice to have pockets to stash your phone or a credit card while you run. To find the best running shorts to prevent chafing during your next training session, check out the list below.

1. The Best Overall

What's great about them: Made with a soft blend of polyester and spandex, these anti-chafe running shorts are both smooth and stretchy. Best of all, they're built with a fitted compression liner underneath that prevents your skin from rubbing together and causing irritation. The lightweight shorts are moisture-wicking, with secret pockets to stash small items and a convenient drawcord for a custom fit. As a bonus, they have reflective accents to provide enhanced visibility at night.

What fans say: "I’ve always wanted to wear shorts while running without the chafing but couldn’t find any that I liked. With The Core10 shorts, the underline is long enough with compression and works great for workouts & runs. The waistband is thick, they stay up without me having to pull them up. Lightweight and comfy."

  • Available sizes: X-Small to XXX-Large

2. The Best Standard Compression Shorts

What's great about them: These non-rubbing compression shorts offer a great way to prevent chafing while also boosting your circulation. They're constructed with a mix of mostly polyester, along with LYCRA for stretch. The mid-range compression helps bolster your blood flow, while the moisture-wicking fabric prevents you from feeling hot and sticky. Even with the form-fitting design, they still feature convenient pockets, one of which has a zipper to store cash or other valuables.

What fans say: "Chafe free Heaven. As an avid runner with thick thighs (5'6, 165 pounds), finding shorts that don't ride up or leave you with painful bumps are hard to come by [...] I took them out of a 10 miler and they were PERFECT. Took a little getting used to, as the seam now brushes against my thigh a little bit, but I had no chafing, no [discomfort] during or post run. I am THRILLED."

  • Available sizes: X-Small to XXX-Large

3. The Best Extra-Long Shorts

What's great about them: Constructed with 73 percent polyester and 27 percent spandex, these high-waisted running shorts are great for folks who prefer a longer design that goes farther down your thighs. The flexible, four-way stretch fabric offers comfortable compression while being fully opaque and breathable. The material dries quickly if you break a sweat and adapts to your body as you move, with flat-lock seams to prevent chafing. On top of that, the pocket in the waist is big enough to hold most phones.

What fans say: "Finally, shorts that don't cause chafing!! [...] I absolutely LOVE these running shorts, so much so that I've bought 3 pair and plan to get more! [...] They fit great and I love that I don't need an extra belt for my Iphone 6 (plenty of room if you have a bigger phone) [...] So far I've worn them for 3 half marathons and several shorter runs and they hold up great with just the right amount of firmness and elasticity."

  • Available sizes: Small to XX-Large

4. The Best Skort

What's great about them: If you prefer a skirt-style option to regular shorts, this lightweight running skort is a fantastic option. Designed to be sleek and non-chafing, you won't have to worry about bulky fabric rubbing together. The tights underneath are smooth and form-fitting, while the top skirt-layer offers a wide range of motion. The polyester-elastane material provides the perfect blend of breathability and stretch, and it has reflective material to keep you safe if you run at night. Not only that, but there are hidden pockets, too.

What fans say: "Great skirt for running! The compression shorts do not ride up and left me [chafe]-free. I love the zipper pocket for my keys and ID and the pocket in the skort fits my Samsung Galaxy S6 when I am not wearing my running belt. Wish it came in more colors I would buy them all."

  • Available sizes: X-Small to X-Large

Also Great: These Anti-Chafe Liners To Wear Under Regular Shorts

What's great about them: Made with the sole intention of reducing chafing underneath running shorts, these lightweight liners are an innovative alternative that works with the shorts you already have. You can wear them underneath virtually any running bottoms to reduce chafing and minimize friction. They're made with soft, breathable fabric (constructed from polyamide and elastane), seamless stitching, and a tag-free design. On top of that, they're moisture-wicking and dry quickly.

What fans say: "I heard about these underwear from an online trail running group and after some recent chafing issues decided to give them a shot. I ran 9.5 miles in them the other day and they were SO comfortable. No chafing, riding up, or discomfort of any kind. I’m usually a size 8 and bought the large but they are really stretchy so I feel like I could have worn a medium comfortably as well. As a bonus they are super cute."

  • Available sizes: Small to X-Large

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