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How to choose active shorts for men

Choosing active shorts for men You’d think that finding that perfect pair of active shorts should be easy enough, but it gets complicated pretty fast.

Are you a guy who wears form-fitting gym shorts? A guy who prefers the classic, more versatile look of a basketball short? Do you want a liner in those shorts, or not? The truth is, everyone is different, and what will suit you comes down to personal preference.

That being said, there are a few factors that will take you from regret to rock on in no time at all…

Function first

We all want a pair of shorts that look good, but this shouldn’t be the first thing you think about when selecting a pair of active shorts.

To start with, you need to ask yourself what these shorts need to do for you. Consider whether your sport requires a material with stretch, and if so, does it need to be a multi-directional stretch (as per martial arts training) or uni-directional (like running, for example).

Do you need built-in pockets for storing keys or even a phone? Some shorts even have a built-in loop for attaching your shirt if you need to take it off.

Are you prone to chafing, or does your sport incorporate endurance elements where you’ll be wearing your shorts in a hot, sweaty condition for a considerable amount of time? If so, compression shorts or other skin-tight options might be your best bet.

When length matters

You might find that your choice of active pursuit mandates the length of your shorts. Teams and clubs often have regulations around this, so it pays to check before shelling out for a pair of your own.

Besides that, consider whether your sport is indoor or outdoor (climate controlled or not). Do you train in all seasons, or will you be working out primarily in hot or cold weather?

Saving in the long run

You might be tempted to shop around for the cheapest pair you can find, especially if you’re trying out a new sport or activity, but think again.

If you’re uncomfortable or restricted by your choice of clothing, your ability, sense of achievement, and overall enjoyment will be compromised. This can all contribute to quitting before you get started. If, on the other hand, you’re a long term committed participant, then you don’t need me to tell you that a high-quality pair of shorts are going to last a heck of a lot longer than the bargain ones, and you’ll end up shelling out less money over time, as well as looking better for longer.

Doing double duty

Are you the sort of person who catches up with friends or stops off at a cafe around your workout? Do you pick up the groceries on the way home? If so, you may be wise to opt for a pair of shorts that can adapt to the change of setting.

A quick shower and a fresh t-shirt will work for more casual looking shorts, but nothing is going to make compression shorts work in those settings.

Personal style

If it matters to you, it might pay to check out what others are wearing at your club or venue before finalising your decision.

Don’t make this your primary decision-making factor, but if you’re tossing up between a pair of compression shorts and loose shorts with a liner, and everyone else is rocking loose shorts, that might cinch it.

A few perennial classics

If this was all too much for you, or you don’t have much experience purchasing activewear, here are our top two choices for your first pair: V-notch shorts / split side shorts: Not your grandad’s shorts, there’s a very good reason these have been around for decades: versatility and comfort.

These are easy to spot because they have side seams that are either notched or overlapped but not sewn together. Commonly paired with a liner that is concealed by the overlying loose fabric, they allow a great range of movement and appear to have a loose fit, while still affording the support and coverage of a skin-tight option.

Basketball style shorts: Highly suitable for weight training, cross-fit, and most dynamic sports, these shorts are often longer (in the 6-9 inch range) than other active shorts. Made without a liner, from loose, breathable fabrics, many of these also look classy enough for a stroll around the city, and can even double as travel shorts when on holiday.

No matter what style of men's gym shorts you are looking for, check out the high-quality options at Flow Activewear.

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