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Best Compression Shorts for Running: Stay Comfortable and Supported

Heorhii Rysak

Runners, brace yourselves!

Ever felt that mid-run chafing, or wished for just a tad more support during those extra miles? Enter the game-changer: compression shorts. Not just any shorts, but the crème de la crème of the running world. Perfect for giving that snug embrace to your muscles, boosting circulation, and banishing discomfort, these shorts are the unsung heroes of countless marathons and sprints. Whether you’re a casual jogger, an avid marathoner, or somewhere in between, we’ve got you covered. Dive into our curated guide and discover the best compression shorts to elevate your run, and why they might just be the upgrade your running gear needs. Ready to stride ahead with confidence? Let’s go!

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Hanes Sport Performance Compression Shorts

2XU MCS RUN Compression Shorts

Element 26 6MM Knee Sleeves

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  • Optimal Fit & Comfort

  • Advanced Moisture Management

  • Versatile Design & Use

  • Anatomically Mapped Muscle Support

  • Advanced Storage & Visibility

  • High-Performance Fabric & Sun Protection

  • Enhanced Muscle Protection & Recovery

  • Optimal Comfort & Versatility

  • Multisport Performance

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Rated by our team

Our Top Picks

Hanes Sport Performance Compression Shorts – Best Overall

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2XU MCS RUN Compression Shorts – Best Compression Shorts for Sprinting

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Zensah Ultra Compression Recovery Bike Shorts – Best Compression Shorts for Track

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MAVA Sports Men’s Compression Shorts – Best Men’s Compression Running Shorts

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Neleus Compression Shorts – Best Compression Shorts for Trail Running

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Alphalete Infinity Speed Shorts 5.5 – Best Compression Running Shorts with Pocket

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Under Armour HeatGear Compression Shorts – the Best Compression Shorts for Runners

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Best Compression Shorts for Running: Detailed Review

When it comes to finding compression shorts for running, a detailed review is crucial in making an informed decision. The right pair of compression shorts can greatly impact your running experience, providing support, comfort, and performance benefits. In this comprehensive review, we will explore the top contenders in the market, highlighting their key features, materials, fit, and overall performance to help you choose the perfect compression shorts for your running needs.

Hanes Sport Performance Compression Shorts

Rating: 9,8*


Hanes Sport Performance Compression Shorts are made of an 84% polyester and 16% spandex blend, ensuring a durable and stretchy material. Imported with an elastic closure, they can be easily machine washed. The shorts feature the Cool DRI interlock fabric, which dries swiftly for optimal comfort. Integrated with Hanes Cool Comfort moisture-wicking technology, they ensure freshness throughout your activities. Crafted to resist chafing, they come with flat lock seams, ensuring unrestricted movement. They offer a snug compression fit, accentuated with a 9″ inseam and a pinch-free stretch waistband. The blend of quality fabric guarantees quick drying and lasting wear.


  • Material: 84% Polyester, 16% Spandex,
  • Pockets: 0


I recently bought these compression shorts for my gym workouts, particularly for leg exercises like squats. I usually wear double layers for extra support, and these shorts fit the bill perfectly. With a 33-inch waist and muscular legs, the medium size was spot-on for me. Remember, compression shorts are meant to be snug, not baggy. In terms of quality, they rival big names like Under Armour and Nike, but were great! So, they offer exceptional value for the performance and comfort they deliver.



  • Quality material.

  • Great value for money.

  • Elastic may weaken over time.

  • Inaccurate sizing.

2XU MCS RUN Compression Shorts

Rating: 9,6*


The 2XU MCS RUN Compression Shorts are crafted using PWX, a powerful and lightweight compression fabric that offers flexibility. They incorporate Muscle Containment Stamping (MCS) that traces the quadriceps, helping in load dispersion on the knee joint during running. This feature, combined with the 360-degree stretch of the fabric, reduces muscle movement, thereby enhancing performance and speeding up recovery. A drawstring waistband ensures a snug fit, with ample storage in the form of three back pockets, perfect for a phone, cards, keys, and gels. The shorts also boast quick-drying moisture-wicking yarns and a reflective X logo for visibility. Made with 70D and 105D PWX fabric panels, they contain a blend of nylon and LYCRA, offering a firm compression rating of 20-30 mmhg.


  • Material: PWX Flex 70D, 72% NYLON, 28% LYCRA,
  • Pockets: 3


After years of using CWX shorts, I tried these compression shorts and was immediately impressed by their lighter design. Their durability remains to be tested over time, but they’ve been supportive and cooling during my 10-mile run. I’m eager to push them to their limits in upcoming marathons. A standout feature is the convenient phone pocket. Based on my current experience, I’m inclined to buy them again in the future.



  • High-quality material.

  • MCS mapping for reduced muscle strain.

  • Features like reflective logos and rear zip pocket.

  • Limited color.

  • Only for male adults.

Zensah Ultra Compression Recovery Bike Shorts

Rating: 9,5*


The Zensah Ultra Compression Recovery Bike Shorts are made of a blend of 85% polyamide and 15% spandex, ensuring a flexible fit. Imported with a pull-on closure, they can be machine washed for easy care. Designed not just for cycling, they are also suitable for running, basketball, fitness, and workouts. The shorts feature 3D compression, emphasizing support in the quadriceps. This not only enhances endurance during prolonged activities but also aids in post-activity recovery. Their moisture-wicking capability ensures the wearer remains dry, free from perspiration during intense activities. For the best care, it’s recommended to machine wash cold and use a delicate machine dry setting.


  • Material: 85% Polyamide, 15% Spandex,
  • Pockets: 0



  • Quality material with good compression.

  • Moisture-wicking keeps shorts dry.

  • Retains shape after multiple washes.

  • Not fashion-forward, thicker material.

  • XS size might be too roomy in the waist for some.

MAVA Sports Men’s Compression Shorts

Rating: 9,5*


The MAVA Sports Men’s Compression Shorts come with an elastic closure and are designed for hand wash only. These shorts offer targeted compression, safeguarding against muscle trauma during exercise and minimizing muscle vibrations. They play a pivotal role in enhancing recovery by reducing fatigue and potential long-term injuries, ensuring optimal power and flexibility across major leg muscles. The shorts expedite pre-exercise warm-up, enhance performance by improving blood flow, and thus, hasten recovery. They’re designed to be quick-drying, breathable, and moisture-wicking, ensuring comfort. The lightweight and stretchy fabric allows a broad range of movement. They’re versatile and can be worn alone or as a base layer. Ideal for various sports and activities, they’re cooling in summer and retain heat in winter.


  • Material: 80% Nylon and 20% Spandex,
  • Pockets: 0



  • Enhances recovery and reduces soreness.

  • Reflective logos for safety.

  • Quick-dry and breathable.

  • Hand wash only.

  • Elastic closure might be limiting for some.

Neleus Compression Shorts

Rating: 9,3*


Established in 2008, Neleus is known for its unique designs, superior quality, and comfort. Prioritizing technological quality, the brand aims to offer innovative and cost-effective sports goods. The Neleus Compression Short is crafted with 90% Polyester and 10% Spandex. It features a wide and elastic waistband, ensuring comfort and resilience. The shorts have an 8-inch inseam (based on medium size) and are made of smooth HeatGear fabric that offers great elasticity. Designed for a compressive, skin-tight fit, they provide four-way stretch, moisture-wicking, and quick-drying properties, promoting two-way air circulation. While they can be worn as workout shorts or underwear, it’s recommended to check the size chart and consider going up one size for a snug fit.


  • Material: 90% Polyester, 10% Elastane,
  • Pockets: 1



  • Stretchable, quick-dry fabric.

  • Durable and comfortable.

  • Versatile for various workouts.

  • Less appealing design.

Alphalete Infinity Speed Shorts 5.5

Rating: 9,2*


The Alphalete Infinity Speed Shorts are one of the best running shorts with a compression liner on the market. These woven compression-lined shorts boast a 5.5” inseam and are designed with upgraded, smoother Infinity fabric. They feature front slip pockets and a waterproof pocket with reliable YKK zippers on the right side, making them highly functional. For runners seeking enhanced breathability, these shorts come with laser-cut perforations. In terms of aesthetics, the shorts are adorned with the Alphalete Infinity logo in silicone and the Alphalete Athletic logo printed on the left thigh. While the fit generally aligns with Alphalete’s standard sizing, they do tend to run small. Therefore, it’s recommended to size up, especially if you’re between sizes or prefer a less compressive fit.


  • Material: 80% Nylon, 20% Elastane,
  • Pockets: 2



  • Smooth Infinity fabric.

  • Functional pockets with YKK zippers.

  • Enhanced breathability features.

  • Runs small, consider sizing up.

Under Armour HeatGear Compression Shorts

Rating: 9,0*


The Under Armour HeatGear Compression Shorts are crafted from the brand’s original HeatGear® fabric, renowned for its lightweight properties, breathability, and quick-drying capabilities. Strategic ventilation is ensured by stretch-mesh gusset and inseam panels. An updated ergonomic design positions seams away from high abrasion zones, enhancing the shorts’ durability. The 4-way stretch material ensures superior movement in all directions, while its moisture-wicking properties ensure sweat is rapidly evaporated, keeping the wearer dry and comfortable.


  • Material: 84% Polyester, 16% Elastane,
  • Pockets: 0



  • Reduces muscle soreness and fatigue.

  • Aids faster recovery.

  • Reasonably priced.

  • May be too tight for some.

What to Look for in Compression Shorts for Running?

When searching for compression shorts for running, there are several key factors to consider. These factors play a crucial role in determining the comfort, support, and overall performance of the shorts during your running sessions. By understanding what to look for, you can make an informed decision and find the perfect pair of compression shorts to enhance your running experience. Key factors to consider when choosing compression shorts for running:

Compression Level: Look for shorts that offer the right amount of compression to support your muscles and improve blood circulation.

Fabric Quality: Opt for high-quality, breathable materials that provide moisture-wicking properties to keep you dry and comfortable throughout your run.

Fit: Ensure that the shorts have a snug fit without being too tight or restrictive, allowing for a full range of motion.

Length: Consider the length that suits your preference, whether you prefer shorter shorts or longer ones that offer additional thigh coverage.

Waistband: Look for a comfortable and secure waistband that stays in place without digging into your skin.

Seams: Check for flatlock or seamless construction to minimize friction and prevent chafing.

Durability: Choose compression shorts made from durable materials that can withstand frequent use and maintain their compression properties over time.

Reviews and Recommendations: Read customer reviews and seek recommendations from fellow runners to gain insights into the performance and durability of different brands and models.

Finding compression shorts for running requires careful consideration of factors such as compression level, fabric quality, fit, length, waistband, seams, durability, and reviews. By prioritizing these aspects, you can select compression shorts that provide the right support, comfort, and performance, helping you achieve your running goals while minimizing the risk of injuries and discomfort.

What Are The Benefits of Running in a Compression Short

Top rated compression shorts for runners offers several benefits that can enhance your running experience and performance. These specially designed shorts provide targeted support to your muscles, improve circulation, and offer additional comfort during your runs. Understanding the benefits of running in compression shorts can help you make an informed decision when choosing your running gear. Benefits of running in compression shorts:

  1. Muscle Support: Compression shorts provide a firm yet comfortable compression that helps reduce muscle vibration, minimizing fatigue, and reducing the risk of muscle strains or pulls.
  2. Improved Performance: The supportive nature of compression shorts can enhance muscle efficiency and power, allowing you to run with better form and maximize your performance.
  3. Faster Recovery: Compression shorts promote blood flow and oxygen delivery to the muscles, aiding in a faster recovery post-run by reducing muscle soreness and promoting muscle repair.
  4. Increased Proprioception: Compression shorts offer a close and snug fit, enhancing your body’s awareness of movement and position, which can contribute to better coordination and balance while running.
  5. Temperature Regulation: Compression shorts made from moisture-wicking materials help keep your body cool and dry by efficiently managing sweat and heat during your runs.
  6. Reduced Chafing and Friction: The close fit of compression shorts minimizes friction and rubbing between the thighs, reducing the risk of chafing and discomfort, especially during long-distance runs.
  7. Enhanced Comfort: Compression shorts provide a supportive and secure fit that keeps the muscles in place, reducing muscle oscillation and providing a comfortable running experience.

Running in compression shorts offers a range of benefits, including improved muscle support, enhanced performance, faster recovery, increased proprioception, temperature regulation, reduced chafing, and enhanced comfort. By incorporating compression shorts into your running routine, you can optimize your training, minimize the risk of injuries, and enjoy a more comfortable and efficient running experience.

Popular Brands of Compression Shorts

Under Armour – Known for their HeatGear line, they offer breathable and quick-drying compression shorts.

Nike – Their Pro Combat series offers top-tier compression wear for athletes.

2XU – An Australian brand renowned for its advanced compression technology, aiding in recovery and performance.

Adidas – Their Techfit line provides muscle support with a comfortable fit.

McDavid – Specializing in protection and sports medicine, their compression gear is highly regarded.

Zensah – Their advanced compression technology supports muscle performance and aids in recovery.

Neleus – Known for affordability without compromising on quality.

CW-X – Their patented Exo-Web helps support the muscles and joints.

Skins – Pioneers in gradient compression wear, enhancing athletic performance.

Reebok – Their compression apparel aids in muscle stabilization and reducing fatigue.

When considering the best compression shorts running brand, each of these brands has garnered attention and praise from athletes worldwide.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Are compression shorts good for ultra running?