Prepare yourself. Fall is upon us, which means it won’t be long before we are bombarded with images of bundled-up children frolicking in the snow, crackling fireside evenings, and icy reflections of holiday lights glimmering on the streets.
To all of that, we say NOT YET. It’s still October, and for every blustery, crisp morning, there’s a warm, sunny afternoon asking you to come outside and play. Brightly colored leaves and yesterday’s puddles beckon you outside, and that golden hour of evening sunlight says, “Live in the now, let’s go for a run!”
Amidst candy corn, pumpkin carving, and Thanksgiving travel plans, we’re basking in the part of Autumn that’s a little bit more like its summer cousin. We’ll dutifully pull out our jackets and gloves from the back of the closet, but shorts and tanks, for the time being, are keeping their position front and center.
If you’re like us, you’ll agree that no item of clothing speaks more to the freedom of running than a good pair of shorts. Below, we’ve selected our favorites for Fall. To help you find your perfect pair, we’ve categorized them by length, and further divided them into options for function (well-constructed, perfect simplicity), flair (offering a unique design that we love), and fitted (for women who prefer a tight silhouette).
Short Length (1-2.5″ Inseam)
Function – Oiselle Mac Roga
A basic short that’s so much more, we love these shorts because of the soft, wide waistband and slightly scalloped hem. The semi-fitted construction means that you can feel confident wearing a shorter inseam without showing everything to the world, if you know what we mean. A rear zip pocket and internal drop pocket give you a bit of storage space to work with, so it’s easy to bring along small necessities.
Flair – rabbit Mountain Climbers 2.5″
Start with a silhouette that already has our attention (a wide waistband, scalloped hem, mesh paneling, and flattering fit). Then add seven (SEVEN!) pockets. We’re in love. Wearing these shorts is like having our cake and eating it, too—we get the shorter, more minimal construction that we want, without sacrificing storage space. Heck, we could even bring along a piece of that cake.
Fitted – Oiselle New Mini Stride Short
This fitted little shorty short is equal parts class and sass. The sleek construction and wide waistband work together for a secure, comfortable fit that won’t dig in or ride up, and a small zippered pocket on the right hip provides just enough storage space to carry your keys. What we love most about this short, though, is the subtle all-over print, which sparkles and comes to life with reflectivity in low-light settings.
Medium Length (3-4.5″ Inseam)
Function – New Balance Impact 3″
Lightweight, soft, and stretchy, these shorts are the perfect go-to for everyday running. We love how comfortably the wide waistband sits and appreciate the way the scalloped hem allows for unrestricted movement. The small pocket on the rear of the waistband provides enough space to stow a key or other small essentials.
Flair – Under Armour Tulip 2-in-1
If you love the secure feeling of a fitted short, but want just a tad bit more modesty, these are the perfect shorts for you. The outer short is extremely lightweight and soft, and the inner short is just long enough to provide the coverage you want without peeking out below the outer short. Our favorite thing about these shorts is the unique storage design. A pocket on the outside leg of the inner short provides the perfect spot to stow your phone, and a smaller zip pocket on the outer short is the ideal place to put your key.
Fitted – Brooks Greenlight 3″
Short and sweet, these are the perfect option for someone who wants a simple but high-quality pair of fitted shorts. Well constructed with durable, moisture-wicking material, these shorts feature a wide waistband with a mesh lining and a small pocket in the inside of the waistband.
Long Length (5-6.5″ Inseam)
Function – Nike Rival 5″
Not just your run-of-the-mill boring running apparel, these shorts maintain an understated silhouette while meeting all of your technical performance needs. The main body of the short is soft and lightweight, while the wide waistband is made of a secondary material that is a bit more stretchy and plush. A half split at the sides means you can enjoy a slightly longer inseam without any limitations of movement, and a total of four pockets give you plenty of storage options for small essentials.
Flair – Brooks Chaser 5″
With several color and print options to choose from, the Chaser Shorts add a little bit of spunk to a solid foundation. Two stash pockets within the wide waistband, a 1/2 split, and a gusseted crotch all act to bump these shorts up a notch, providing superior comfort and mobility.
Fitted – Saucony Scoot Tight Short
For the woman who appreciates a fitted short, but prefers a little bit more coverage, the Scoot Tight Short delivers what you want. Soft, four-way stretch material wicks moisture away from your skin and provides a compressive feel, while a wide waistband and rear zipper pocket put this short over the top.
Extra Long Length (7″+ Inseam)
Function – New Balance Premium Performance 8″
Who says running requires wearing short shorts? For the woman who prefers more coverage, these shorts allow for great range of motion and a comfortable fit. A mesh liner means that these hassle-free shorts are ready to go, and the wide waistband ensures a fit that’s secure and feels good. The addition of two hand pockets means that you won’t have to leave anything essential behind.
Flair – Lucy Do Everything Bermuda
A long length running short that you can look forward to wearing, these shorts are both flattering and comfortable. So comfortable, in fact, that you might be tempted to wear them all the time. Lightweight and not too baggy, these shorts feature two hand pockets and a silhouette that is ready to go anywhere (without necessarily looking like you ran there).
Fitted – adidas Techfit 7″ Short Tight
A basic fitted short that will get you comfortably through your workouts, these shorts provide a compressive fit and moisture-wicking technology. A high value short, we think this is the perfect go-to answer for the woman who prefers a longer, fitted option.
Function – ASICS Women’s Core Skort
Looking cute is a bonus, but what we really love about this skort is the freedom of movement it provides. A built-in fitted short underneath features four-way stretch material and a gusseted crotch, so it’s ready to get out there with you and move. The outer skirt has a scalloped hem for full range of motion, and has a sporty yet feminine look.
Fashion-forward and ready for forward motion, this skirt will add a stylish element to your run. This skirt does not have an internal liner, so you are free to mix it up with your preferred fitted short underneath. Grippy tape on the inside of the waistband means the skirt stays in place and moves with you, instead of twisting around or bunching up. A rear zipper pocket provides some storage space for small necessities, and if you run this skirt into the night, reflective elements in the print will keep you visible.
Looking for shorts but not impressed with our picks? Check out our complete catalogue below.
Tracie is a former teacher and a lifelong learner who loves exploring. Most at home in the mountains, she enjoys tearing up and down the trails on her mountain bike, and occasionally leaves the wheels at home for a run through the trees. Having recently earned her personal trainer certification, Tracie thrives on helping others reach their athletic goals.