Running Shorts for Different Body Types: Spring 2017

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Shopping for running apparel can be so hard, especially when you can’t try the pieces on. We know the struggle, we’ve all been there, and we want to help. We took Running Warehouse employees of differing shapes and sizes (banana shaped, pear shaped, apple shaped, and hourglass shaped), and asked them about popular running shorts and how they fit on their bodies. Here are their thoughts (broken down by body type):

Fitted shorts: Nike Women’s Pro 3” Cool Short

Banana: These shorts are my go-to shorts for ALL of my runs. They aren’t too compressive and allow me to move freely without any hassle. I don’t worry about them riding up, and the waistband is super comfortable. These are simple, comfortable, and get the job done without a fuss.

Apple: These guys are built for a younger athlete who’s on the petite side … or maybe not afraid to show a little cheek. It’s on the thinner side, so the hold isn’t as compressive as some shorts.

Pear: This short is a definite ‘go-to’ when I’m in shape. They don’t ride up, nor do they chafe, even when I’m out on a really long run.

Hourglass: These shorts are notorious for riding up on my thighs, so I only bring them out (with a lot of Body Glide) on track workout days where I won’t care if they ride up because I can fix them during recovery segments. On the plus side, they’re super flattering when they aren’t riding up!  

Split leg: Nike Women’s Rival 3” Short

Banana: These shorts are fantastic for shorter runs or events where I’m running at an easier pace and want a little more modesty (family friendly events, generally). The waistband is out-of-this-world soft, and there’s a surprising amount of storage in these guys. Sadly, anything past 10 miles and I start to chafe where the liner meets my skin.

Apple: These shorts are super comfortable …something about the fabric makes me want to use them as everyday wear, no joke. As for the waistband, it’s flattering, secure, and super soft with a built-in zippered pocket for my keys.

Pear: This short has generous openings for my legs, and the waistband is really soft, wide, and supportive. I tend to have issues with shorts that fit my legs being loose at the waist, but these shorts fit me perfectly in both places. They are my definite ‘go-to’.

Hourglass: I love the feel of these shorts. The fabric is SO soft and the waistband is SO wide, but the split on the side is a little too large and the fabric tends to bunch between my legs when I’m running. I adjust these shorts on the run a lot more than I do with others.

Short: Oiselle Women’s Mac Roga Short

Banana: My pet peeve is when shorts ride up and give me a wedgie, and these shorts have enough of a split that they really move with my legs and don’t ride up. Not to mention that they have a wide and secure waistband.

Apple: Sometimes shorts with drawstrings loosen up over my run and start to fall down over my hips, so these shorts work perfectly because the waistband is constructed with elastic that holds snugly no matter how far I run.

Pear: These shorts are a no-go for me. They’re already pretty short, and on my figure they get even shorter. I just don’t feel comfortable. I prefer the Roga Short as it’s a longer length of this short!

Hourglass: Similar to my pear counterpart, I’m a big fan of the Roga Short, and I just skip the Mac version. The waistband is really wide and secure, and the shorts don’t ride up since they’re a bit more fitted than other options. I also really love the fabric because it’s super soft while still managing to keep my legs cool.

See the Oiselle Women’s Roga Short

Mid-length: Brooks Women’s Chaser 5” Short

Banana: Since my legs are pretty lean, they don’t really fill out this short, so I wear the 3” version. I love the wide waistband with its built in storage, but I’m not a huge fan of the material. Although that’s just my personal preference

Apple: I recently fell in love with these shorts. They have a wide waistband, are a modest length, and are built with super comfortable fabric.

Pear: Bingo, this one is a winner! I love that they’re a bit longer than most shorts because my legs fill them out and make them sit at a normal length. Breathable fabric and a secure waistband make these shorts a wonderful option for any run. 

Hourglass: This fabric is really thin, so it’s great for warmer weather days, not to mention that the waistband fits securely on my waist. Since my legs are a bit thicker, having a little extra length in these shorts is great for shorter runs, but they start to ride up on runs past seven or so miles. I love the fit and flattering look of these all the same, so sometimes I just ramp up my Body Glide and wear them anyway.

See the Brook’s Women’s Chaser 3″ Short

2-in-1: La Sportiva Women’s Snap Short

Banana: I love the unique look of these shorts and the wide waistband, but I generally don’t wear 2-in-1s because they have unnecessary fabric for someone who doesn’t have issues with chafing. I wish they had a version of these without the internal liners because so many of my coworkers rave about them!

Apple: I like these shorts because of how comfortable they are for longer runs. It’s nice to put on a pair of shorts, head out the door, and not think twice about them throughout the run! The internal shorts are breathable and the seams are placed to avoid irritation. These shorts are just plain reliable.

Pear: It has been hard to find a 2-in-1 that I like, but these shorts are super comfortable and secure on my thighs. I like them because they are a more modest length, and they have a wide waistband that keeps them in place.

Hourglass: Since I have fuller thighs, it can be difficult for me to find a good pair of 2-in-1s that don’t cause chafing after 5 miles, but these shorts do the trick. The internal liner is really thin and doesn’t irritate my inner thighs (*raise the roof*). The liner also stays in place and La Sportiva has done a killer job keeping these 2-in-1s ventilated and comfortable. A big thumbs up.


Sierra balances an overflowing schedule of work, college, and running, and can relate to any 20-something who’s trying to figure out life. Her running is her kind of self-care – and also the small amount of time that she gets to spend with herself every day, coming before all else (except her dog, Butters).

Read more posts by Sierra

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