Time to get those legs out – shorts on test

Trail Running (UK) - - Contents -

Light­weight and tight – these are clas­sic moun­tain-run­ning shorts. Made of a breath­able, re­cy­cled polyester, they dry out quickly when run­ning in hot con­di­tions. There’s no zip pocket, but the two side pouches are just right for en­ergy gels. They sit high on the waist but the ad­justable waist­band is com­fort­able.

These bar­gain shorts are packed with fea­tures, in­clud­ing a wind­proof- and wa­ter-re­pel­lent outer layer, built-in briefs, and a good-sized pocket. They also come in some nice, bright colour­ways. The elas­ti­cated waist­band isn’t ad­justable, though, so it's worth try­ing them on for siz­ing, as it can feel a lit­tle tight.

You get the best of both worlds here; fit­ted shorts cov­ered with a light­weight skirt, for ex­tra cov­er­age and added style. There’s also wick­ing Ac­tiveDry fab­ric with UPF50 pro­tec­tion, and a pocket for keys and an en­ergy bar. They sit quite high on your hips and the waist­band is chunky, so try be­fore you buy if you can.

These bright shorts come with a tight in­ner layer and light­weight, high-cut outer shorts. Made with Flexlite and Pow­er­lite fab­rics, they of­fer stretch and breatha­bil­ity. There’s a zip pocket at the back for sup­plies, too. These aren’t the light­est op­tion, but they feel com­fort­able and sup­port­ive.

Light­weight and breath­able, these ladies shorts are made for rac­ing. The four-way stretch fab­ric is fin­ished with a flu­o­res­cent bor­der, which pro­vides ex­tra vis­i­bil­ity. The cut is high enough to feel un­re­stricted at speed. You also get built-in briefs, a com­fort­able draw-cord waist­band and a small pocket.

These are the heav­i­est shorts on test, but don’t dis­count them; for that ex­tra weight you get a four-way stretch fab­ric with a wa­ter-re­sis­tant DWR coat­ing. The 6in un­der-shorts are su­per-com­fort­able and sup­port­ive, and the looser, outer shorts of­fer cov­er­age and move­ment. There’s also a small zip pocket.

Made from a mainly polyester quick-dry fab­ric, these shorts fea­ture a small zip back pocket suit­able for keys and an en­ergy gel, mesh pan­els in the gus­set and at the sides, and re­flec­tive de­tails. The briefs are built in, and a higher cut at the sides al­lows for ex­tra move­ment – al­though they still feel quite snug to run in.

In­cred­i­bly light­weight, these loose-fit­ting shorts are per­fect for hot weather. The ny­lon and elas­tane fab­ric dries quickly and of­fers plenty of stretch. There’s also a com­fort­able, ad­justable waist­band and a zipped pocket at the back, suit­able for keys. They sit low on the hips, how­ever, so won't suit if you pre­fer more sup­port.

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