For some women, running shorts is a year round staple of the running wardrobe however, for others, the shorts only come out in the summer months. Choosing running shorts for ladies can be much trickier than one might think though and it is not always easy to get it right. Here are some of the mistakes i have made, especially when ordering ladies running shorts online, followed by tips on how to choose the right ones.

Mistakes to avoid when choosing ladies running shorts

Too short

I remember once ordering a new pair of shorts – Ronhill Ultra Shorts – I loved them – so many pockets and gel loops – they were amazing. It wasn’t until I wore them to a race and looked back at a photo that I realised just how short they were! They didn’t leave much to the imagination and I was then too self conscious to wear them again. However, they are super comfy and I do wear them when I am running less publicly. 

Shorts that are too short also bring chafing issues. If you are lucky enough to be blessed with a thigh rub then you won’t have an issue but for those that do have thighs that touch, chafing, especially in the warm weather can be a real issue. 

The wrong fabric 

Most running shorts are made from synthetic fabrics such as polyester or nylon. 

It is important to choose the right fabric. Running shorts are typically made from synthetic fabrics, such as polyester or nylon. These fabrics are moisture-wicking and quick-drying, which helps to keep you cool and comfortable during your run.

The wrong fit

Running shorts should fit snugly but not too tightly. You should be able to move freely without feeling restricted. If your shorts are too loose, they may ride up and cause chafing.

Our top tips for choosing ladies running shorts


As well as avoiding all of the above, there are also some additional features to consider. I have gone to pop my car key in the back pocket of my shorts only to realise that I have the wrong shorts on and there is no pocket. It’s got to be a staple of all shorts I buy now. Some running shorts come with features that can make them more comfortable and functional. These features may include a built-in liner, pockets, or a drawstring waist.

Consider your budget

Running shorts can range in price. It is important to set a budget before you start shopping so that you don’t overspend.

Our favourites

Hoka Hupana 5” shorts

Our latest favourites are these Hoka Hupana 5” shorts. They are more of a cycling style short, Beautifully fitting and with useful pockets, we love these for road and off road runs. We would say they come up a little snug so you may want to order the next size up to be on the safe side. 


They feature a zip pocket on the right side leg and an open pocket, big enough to slot your phone into on the left leg and also a pocket on the waistband. They also have a thick waistband so that you aren’t pulling them up every five minutes. 

Our friend was the first to buy them sparking a whole barrage of “how much were they, where did you get them from, ooh they’re nice” type comments. She absolutely loves them and has worn them for a recent 30 mile ultra. 



The Nike Dri-FIT Mid-Rise 8cm (approx. Brief-Lined Shorts) are a staple of our running gear and are comfortable and wear well. I’ve been wearing them for a few years now, rotating them with other shorts. I generally wear them for anything – short, long, racing. I don’t suffer with chafing in them and don’t find them too low on the waist. They come up true to size as well. If you aren’t a fan of shorter shorts then these may be on the cusp of being too short. A good purchase though for any kind of running. 


Adidas M20

If you are on a budget and want a pair of shorts for running then these were a one off purchase we made about a year ago. I am not even sure why I bought them – i think I just did a sweep of cheap running gear on Sports Shoes and thought “what’s the worst that can happen”. Anyway, this £9.99 pair of sustainable ladies running shorts was a pleasant surprise. They fit really well, are true to size and are really comfortable. They are now in my rotation of running shorts as a pair of faves. 


Amazon High Waisted Tummy Control Shorts

I recently got bought these by a friend and I absolutely love them. I wear them for running, netball, paddle boarding – you name it. No particular brand but comfortable, practical and true to size. Most of the time in this type of shorts now, even the ones without side pockets, i find myself trying to pop my phone in the side. Definitely recommend for your running kit. In fact, in the hot weather, because of the high waist, I feel comfortable wearing them with a cropped running top

running shorts


There are so many different types of shorts out there. Some if it is trial and error. For every pair I have bought and loved, I have definitely bought a pair that doesn’t work. Luckily I have two teenage daughters who make use of my regretted purchases.