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Unraveling the Mystery of the Back Pocket in Running Shorts Unraveling the Mystery of the Back Pocket in Running Shorts

Design: Best Running Shorts

Unraveling the Mystery of the Back Pocket in Running Shorts

Unravel the mystery of the back pocket in running shorts. Explore the purpose and functionality of the back pocket, commonly found in many running shorts.

Runners know the challenge of carrying essentials without compromising performance. Hence, the back pocket in running shorts has become a subject of intrigue for many. It might seem like an odd addition to some, but the back pocket has its unique purpose and advantages. This article unravels the mystery behind this feature and explains why it’s more than just a design choice.

Running Shorts and the Essential Need for Pockets

Runners, whether they’re hitting a trail or pacing on a treadmill, often need to carry some essentials. From house keys to ID cards, energy gels, and sometimes even a compact media player for those who prefer music as their running companion – these small items require storage.

But why the back pocket? Why not just have side pockets like everyday shorts? The answer lies in the unique demands of running.

The Back Pocket: A Strategic Design

The back pocket in running shorts isn’t an arbitrary design choice. Instead, it is a feature meticulously planned for functionality and comfort. Here’s why:

Minimize Discomfort

When running, items bouncing around in side pockets can cause discomfort. However, a back pocket, especially when located on the waistband, can securely hold items, reducing bounce.


Placing the pocket at the back, around the waist area, helps distribute weight more evenly, maintaining the runner’s balance.

Compact and Non-restrictive

Running shorts are typically compact and lightweight. A back pocket allows for essential storage space without compromising the shorts’ sleek design.

Ease of Access

Although it might seem counterintuitive, reaching back to access a pocket is easier than trying to fish items out of a side pocket during a run.

Types of Back Pockets in Running Shorts

While the existence of a back pocket in running shorts is standard, the design can vary. Let’s look at a few common types:

Zippered Pockets

These offer secure storage, ensuring nothing falls out during the run.

Pouch or Envelope Pockets

These pockets might not have a zipper but they’re designed in a way that securely holds items, even during vigorous movement.

Running Shorts Front and Back

Image from Adobe

Sweat-Proof Pockets

Some back pockets are made with sweat-proof or water-resistant materials, offering a dry place to store items that could be damaged by moisture, like paper money or electronics.

Making the Most of the Back Pocket

While the back pocket is a beneficial addition to running shorts, there are ways to maximize its utility:

Prioritize Items

Prioritize what you need to carry based on necessity and duration of the run.

Bag It

For moisture-sensitive items, consider using a small ziplock bag for an extra layer of protection.

Balance It Out

When carrying heavier items, ensure to balance the weight across your body to avoid any discomfort.


The back pocket in running shorts is a strategic and functional design element. Indeed, it offers a solution to carry essential items without disrupting comfort and performance. While it may seem odd to people used to side pockets, once its benefits are understood and utilized effectively, the back pocket becomes a much-appreciated feature of running shorts.


Why do running shorts have a back pocket?

The back pocket in running shorts provides a secure and accessible place to carry small essentials without causing discomfort or hindering performance.

What can you carry in the back pocket of running shorts?

Items like keys, ID cards, cash, energy gels, or small media players can be carried in the back pocket of running shorts.

Are all back pockets in running shorts the same?

No, back pockets can vary in design. Some have zippers, while others are pouch or envelope-style. Some are even made with sweat-proof material to protect items from moisture.

How can I protect sensitive items in my back pocket?

For sensitive items, use a small ziplock bag for an additional layer of protection.

Does a back pocket in running shorts affect the runner’s performance?

A back pocket, if used correctly, does not affect performance. Instead, it is designed to securely hold items, reducing bounce and maintaining balance. However, overloading the pocket or not distributing weight evenly can cause discomfort.