Home>Shop by Feature>Design: Best Running Shorts>Can You Wear Running Shorts to the Gym? An In-Depth Analysis

Can You Wear Running Shorts to the Gym? An In-Depth Analysis Can You Wear Running Shorts to the Gym? An In-Depth Analysis

Design: Best Running Shorts

Can You Wear Running Shorts to the Gym? An In-Depth Analysis

Explore the suitability of wearing running shorts to the gym in this in-depth analysis. Whether you're a dedicated runner or simply seeking versatile workout attire, this analysis provides valuable information to help you decide what types of shorts are appropriate for your gym sessions.

(Many of the links in this article redirect to a specific reviewed product. Your purchase of these products through affiliate links helps to generate commission for Runningshorts.com, at no extra cost.)

The question of what to wear to the gym has puzzled fitness enthusiasts for ages. An element of this sartorial conundrum that often sparks debate is whether it’s acceptable to wear running shorts to the gym. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll delve into the factors that might influence your decision and whether or not running shorts could be your perfect gym companion.

Running Shorts: Designed for Movement and Comfort

Running shorts, by design, are lightweight, breathable, and allow for easy movement—qualities that also make them suitable for many gym activities. Let’s look at the features that make running shorts a potentially good fit for your gym routine:

  1. Lightweight Material: Running shorts are typically made of lightweight materials like polyester or nylon, which don’t weigh you down while you work out.
  2. Moisture-Wicking Properties: Most running shorts are designed with moisture-wicking fabric, which draws sweat away from the skin. This helps to keep you dry and comfortable during your workout.
  3. Ease of Movement: Running shorts are designed for maximum mobility, a quality that is beneficial in a gym setting, especially when performing exercises like lunges or squats.

Considerations When Wearing Running Shorts to the Gym

Although running shorts are a viable option for gym wear, there are considerations to keep in mind. The following aspects should be thought through before you decide to don your running shorts for a gym session:

  1. Length of the Shorts: Running shorts are generally shorter than typical gym shorts. Some may feel that they provide insufficient coverage, especially during exercises that require a wide range of motion.
  2. Inner Lining: Many running shorts have a built-in lining that serves as underwear. While this can be a bonus for running, it might cause discomfort during certain gym exercises.
  3. Loose Fit: Running shorts are often looser than standard gym shorts. This might not be an issue for most gym activities, but for exercises where form and fitting are crucial—such as yoga or Pilates—a tighter fit may be preferred.
  4. Lack of Pockets: Most running shorts lack secure pockets. This could pose a problem if you need to carry essentials like keys, cards, or a smartphone while at the gym.

Alternative Options

While running shorts can function well in a gym setting, there are alternatives to consider. Other types of athletic shorts may offer benefits that specifically cater to gym activities:

  1. Gym Shorts: Gym shorts are versatile and come in various lengths and styles, providing more coverage and often equipped with pockets for storage. They can be loose or fitted, allowing you to choose based on your comfort.
  2. Compression Shorts: Compression shorts offer a tight fit, reducing muscle fatigue and strain. They can be beneficial for weightlifting or high-intensity gym workouts.
  3. Basketball Shorts: These shorts are longer and provide excellent coverage while still allowing a good range of motion. They also commonly come with pockets.

To Wear or Not to Wear: Making Your Decision

In conclusion, there’s no definitive yes or no answer to whether you should wear running shorts to the gym—it largely depends on personal preference and the type of workout. Here’s a recap of the factors you might want to consider:

  • Evaluate the type of exercises you’ll be doing. If they involve wide-ranging movements and you’re comfortable with the length of running shorts, they could be a good choice.
  • Check for built-in linings and decide if this might cause discomfort during your workout.
  • Consider the fit. If you prefer a tighter fit for your workout, running shorts might not be the best choice.
  • Think about storage. If you require pockets to store personal items, running shorts might not fulfill this need.


In the end, wearing running shorts to the gym can be a matter of personal preference and comfort. Always choose attire that allows you to perform your best, feels comfortable, and provides the functionality you need. Enjoy your workout!

Frequently Asked Questions

Are running shorts comfortable for gym workouts?

Yes, running shorts are comfortable for gym workouts. They’re designed to be lightweight and breathable, making them suitable for high-intensity gym workouts. However, comfort can vary depending on personal preferences and the type of workout.

Can I wear running shorts for weightlifting?

Yes, you can wear running shorts for weightlifting. However, for exercises that require a wide range of motion, you might want to choose running shorts that provide adequate coverage and comfort.

Are there gym-specific running shorts?

Some brands offer hybrid shorts, which combine the best features of gym and running shorts. They’re designed to be versatile and comfortable for both running and gym workouts.

Do running shorts provide enough coverage for gym workouts?

Running shorts come in various lengths. While some are shorter, others provide enough coverage for gym workouts. It’s about personal preference and comfort.

Why do running shorts often lack pockets?

Running shorts are designed to be lightweight and limit distractions, and adding pockets can add weight and potential discomfort. However, some running shorts come with small pockets or pouches.