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Bringing Them Back to Life: How to Repair Damaged Running Shorts Bringing Them Back to Life: How to Repair Damaged Running Shorts

Design: Best Running Shorts

Bringing Them Back to Life: How to Repair Damaged Running Shorts

Learn how to revive your damaged running shorts with this comprehensive guide to repairing them. Gain valuable tips for prolonging the lifespan of your running shorts and preventing future damage.

It’s no secret that running shorts are a fundamental part of any runner’s gear. They allow for maximum flexibility, comfort, and style as we pound the pavement or trail. However, even the most durable running shorts can face the occasional wear and tear. Before you consider throwing away your favorite pair, let’s explore some practical ways to repair damaged running shorts and extend their life.

Identify the Damage

Before we jump into the nitty-gritty of repairs, it’s essential to identify the type of damage your shorts have suffered. Common issues include:

  • Holes: These can occur due to friction or getting snagged on something sharp.
  • Seam Ruptures: The seam may come undone due to strain or poor manufacturing.
  • Elastic Band Issues: The waistband can stretch out over time, making your shorts loose.
  • Pilling: Small balls of fabric can form on the surface, compromising the shorts’ appearance and comfort.

Repairing Holes

Perhaps the most common issue with running shorts is the occasional hole. Fortunately, you can fix this with a little bit of sewing.

  1. Patch it up: For larger holes, consider using a patch. Cut a piece of fabric slightly larger than the hole and stitch it over the damaged area. This method works best on less visible parts of your shorts.
  2. Sew it closed: For small holes, thread a needle and simply sew the hole closed. Try to make your stitches as small and close together as possible for a seamless repair.

Fixing Seam Ruptures

Seams can occasionally come undone, especially in older shorts or those that have faced a lot of strain. The solution is simple:

  1. Resew the seam: Using a matching thread, carefully sew along the original seam line. Try to mimic the original stitching pattern for a consistent look.
  2. Reinforce the seam: For areas that face a lot of strain, such as the crotch or waistband, consider reinforcing the seam. You can do this by sewing a second line of stitches next to the original seam.

Reviving the Elastic Band

If the elastic in your running shorts’ waistband has stretched out, you have a few options:

  1. Replace the elastic: If your shorts have a casing that houses the elastic, you can simply replace the old, stretched-out elastic with a new one. Cut a piece of elastic the same size as your waist, thread it through the casing, then sew the ends together.
  2. Take in the waistband: If replacing the elastic isn’t an option, consider taking in the waistband. This involves removing the elastic, cutting it shorter, and then sewing it back into the waistband.

Removing Pilling

Pilling can detract from the look and comfort of your running shorts, but it’s relatively easy to remove:

  1. Manual Removal: For light pilling, you can pick off the pills one by one.
  2. Shaving: A disposable razor can effectively remove pills. Lay your shorts flat and gently shave the fabric, taking care not to cut it.
  3. Fabric Comb or Electric Shaver: These are very effective at removing pills and can make your shorts look almost as good as new.


With these handy tips and techniques, you can repair your damaged running shorts and extend their lifespan. Remember, the key to a successful repair job lies in patience, the right tools, and a bit of know-how. So, don’t be too quick to discard your beloved shorts when they show signs of wear and tear. A little TLC can go a long way in reviving your favorite running gear.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I fix holes in my running shorts without sewing?

Yes, you can use fabric glue or iron-on patches for small holes. However, these may not be as durable as a proper sewn repair.

Can I repair seam ruptures if I don’t know how to sew?

If you’re not comfortable with sewing, consider using fabric glue to close the seam. Alternatively, you can take your shorts to a professional tailor for repair.

How can I prevent my running shorts from getting damaged?

Proper care can prevent damage to your running shorts. This includes washing them inside out on a gentle cycle, avoiding harsh detergents, and air-drying them.

Can I replace the elastic in my running shorts if they don’t have a casing?

If your shorts don’t have a casing for the elastic, it may be more challenging to replace it. In this case, consider having a tailor replace the elastic or take in the waistband.

Can all types of pilling be removed from my running shorts?

Most types of pilling can be removed using a fabric shaver or comb, a disposable razor, or manual removal. However, heavily-pilled fabric may not regain its original smoothness.