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The Best Running Shorts with Pockets (2024)

Embarking on a run is not just a physical activity; it's a personal journey, a stride toward a healthier self. In the realm of running, where comfort and functionality are paramount, the search for the perfect gear is a pursuit every avid runner understands. Enter the realm of innovation and convenience with the best running shorts featuring pockets – the essential companions for those who appreciate seamless utility without compromising style.


Gone are the days of struggling with where to stow your essentials while logging those miles. Today, we present a curated selection of the finest running shorts, meticulously designed to blend comfort, performance, and the added convenience of pockets. As you hit the pavement or trails, these shorts become more than just sportswear; they become an integral part of your running experience, offering a practical solution to carry your keys, phone, or energy snacks effortlessly.


Join us as we explore the world of running shorts that keep pace with your strides and provide the storage solutions you need. Elevate your running game with the best in comfort, style, and practicality – because every step forward should be met with the confidence that your gear is as determined as you are. Discover the ultimate fusion of function and fashion in the best running shorts with pockets crafted to enhance your running journey.


The Black Diamond Sprint shorts are the best running shorts with pockets

Black Diamond Sprint


The Black Diamond Sprint Shorts offer a refreshing take on performance wear, and for pocket enthusiasts, these shorts are nothing short of a revelation. 


Clear and simple – most runners dislike carrying things while running; it's inconvenient and slows you down. If you share this sentiment, the Black Diamond Sprint Shorts ($90) is a game-changer. These shorts offer five secure pockets – three drop-in and two zippered – without needing a hydration vest or belt- perfect for light and fast mountain runs.


I found they comfortably held my essentials like a phone, 500mL soft flask, emergency wind shell, and enough fuel for over three hours, even featuring a dedicated pocket for trash. The polyester liner provided me with excellent support, and the well-ventilated waistband ensured a secure fit.


While I found the stretch nylon face shell is ultra-durable, it's not the best at wicking moisture on hot days. Yet, it acts like a reliable wind shell on chilly, windy days. In summary, the BD Sprint Shorts are the top choice for high alpine mountain running with exceptional storage and wind protection.



The REI Swiftland running shorts in the grass


For runners seeking the ideal blend of comfort, performance, and storage, the REI Swiftland Running Shorts emerge as a true standout. REI's Swiftland running shorts, available in 5-inch and 7-inch inseams for $60, impressed me with their top-notch design. Made from 73% nylon and 27% spandex, the shorts are light, airy, and provide excellent mobility. The brief-style liner offers support without feeling restrictive.


The comfortable waistband secures the shorts, and a rear zip pocket can hold a smartphone, while two side pockets carry snacks or keys without bouncing. Although I found the thin shell fabric raises concerns about long-term durability, they've held up well in our tests.


Minor improvements could include a slightly larger opening for the rear zippered pocket. Despite these considerations, REI clearly prioritized comfort and functionality, making these shorts suitable for runners of all levels. Whether on road, trail, or track, these shorts deliver and will likely become a staple in your drawer.



One of the best men's running shorts you can buy


The On Lightweight Running Shorts deserve attention alongside On running shoes. Crafted from a stretchy, durable PFC-free DWR recycled polyamide, elastane front, and breathable recycled polyester mesh back, these shorts offer both functionality and style. The dual-fabric design provides wind-blocking and moisture resistance at the front, while the mesh back ensures excellent ventilation.


With a five-inch inseam, I found these shorts deliver outstanding mobility without restrictions. The integrated brief offers superior support, eliminating the need for an additional brief. The thick 2-inch waistband sits comfortably, and the large drop-in back pocket accommodates an iPhone 14 Pro. However, the sole rear pocket might limit multiple-item storage options, and the waist belt elastic could be stronger, requiring additional drawstring support when carrying phones.


What To Look For In Running Shorts With Pockets


When shopping for running shorts with pockets, consider the following features to ensure functionality and comfort:


  • Pocket Size and Placement:

  • Look for appropriately sized pockets to hold your essentials (keys, phone, energy gels).

  • Ensure that the pockets are strategically placed around the waist to prevent bouncing or discomfort during your run.

  • Secured Closure:

  • Opt for shorts with at least one pocket that has secure closures, such as zippers, to prevent items from falling out while you're on the move.

  • Material and Breathability:

  • Choose shorts made from breathable and moisture-wicking materials such as polyester to keep you cool and dry during your run. 

  • Look for shorts blended with a stretchy fabric such as elastane or spandex to increase mobility.

  • Mesh panels or breathable fabric in the back or around the pockets can enhance ventilation.

  • Comfortable Waistband:

  • Seek a comfortable and elastic waistband that stays in place during your run. An elastic waistband with drawstrings is a common and effective choice.

  • Versatility:

  • Opt for versatile shorts that can be used for other activities, such as going to the gym, hiking, or even casual wear. Typically, the longer the inseam, the more versatile a pair of running shorts are.

  • Chafe-Free Design:

  • Check for seams and stitching that won't cause chafing or irritation, especially in areas where the shorts come into contact with your skin, such as the waist and crotch area.

  • Length:

  • Pick a length that suits your preference, whether it's short (3”), mid-length (5”), or longer (7”+). Make sure it allows for unrestricted movement during your run.

  • Brand Reputation and Reviews:

  • Consider brands with a good reputation for producing high-quality running gear. Read reviews from other runners to get insights into the performance and durability of the shorts.

  • Wash and Care Instructions:

  • Be sure to look at the care instructions to ensure that the shorts are easy to maintain and can withstand regular washing without losing their shape or functionality.


By considering these factors, you can find running shorts with pockets that cater to your specific needs and enhance your overall running experience.


FAQs


Why do running shorts have pockets?


Running shorts have pockets to provide runners with a convenient and hands-free way to carry essentials such as keys, energy gels, smartphones, or even small water bottles. Pockets offer quick access to items, reduce reliance on additional accessories, and contribute to a more streamlined and comfortable running experience. They add versatility, making running shorts suitable for various activities and eliminating the need for runners to hold items in their hands.


What are the small pockets on running shorts for?


The small pockets on running shorts are designed to provide a secure and convenient space for carrying small items such as keys, energy gels, IDs, or other items. These pockets offer quick access, reduce the need for additional accessories, and allow runners to carry essentials without impacting their performance or stride.





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