What Are the Benefits of Men’s Athletic Shorts?
When shopping for athletic shorts, there are a lot of things to keep in mind. Many companies tout their clothing’s performance capabilities, but what does that mean? We’re here to break down what you should get out of your athletic shorts — and what to look for when updating your wardrobe.
What You Should Be Looking For In Men’s Shorts
There are plenty of factors that make for a great pair of athletic shorts, and they all fall under a few basic categories:
Athletic Shorts Should Be Comfortable
Above all else, your gym shorts should be comfortable. Otherwise, you’re simply not going to want to wear them.
What Overall Fit Do You Need?
When it comes to the ideal fit for athletic shorts, there are differences in opinion. Some men like baggier shorts, while others prefer a snug fit. While we’re not here to tell you what your preferences should be, we do have some pointers on finding shorts that fit.
Even if you want a loose, relaxed fit (like our Carrollton Relaxed Fit Gym Shorts), you want to make sure that your shorts don’t fall down while you’re working out.
Similarly, if you’re a bodybuilder looking to show off those quads or a cyclist trying to cut down on wind resistance, you might opt for a skin-tight fit — but you certainly don’t want to restrict your movement or cut off circulation. So it’s important to find athletic shorts that fit properly.
The Type Of Material Matters
The type of material that comprises your gym shorts can make all the difference in your performance. Plenty of different fabrics are used to make athletic apparel, but not all are created equal.
Synthetic materials, like spandex and polyester, are very popular in workout clothes due to their stretchiness, but they’re often treated with harsh chemicals in order to obtain some performance capabilities. Those chemicals can cause skin reactions, and it’s not very comfortable to get hives from your shorts.
So be on the lookout for natural materials, like bamboo and cotton, that are more sustainable than these plastics-based synthetics and organically have those performance capabilities without needing chemical treatment.
Seams And Elasticity
The more elasticity in the material, the better you’ll be able to move. When you’re working out, the last thing you want is for your clothing to hold you back from performing your best. So the right athletic shorts will allow you to go into a deep squat or lunge without any unnecessary resistance.
While that’s important for the fabric used in athletic shorts, it’s also true for the thread used in the seams. If the seams don’t have any flexible give, you run the risk of tearing your shorts.
Breathability Is Key For Working Out
Imagine working out in a rubber jumpsuit. Even if it’s pretty flexible, how long will you be able to perform at your best? Probably not very long.
That’s why breathability is so important. Breathability refers to a fabric’s ability to allow air and moisture to pass through its fibers. If you’ve ever powered through a difficult workout only to be drenched in your own sweat, you know the discomfort of sitting in cold, wet clothes. So you want athletic shorts made from materials that keep you dry for as long as possible.
Moisture-wicking fabrics are engineered to draw moisture (i.e., sweat) away from your body and rapidly dry it on the material’s surface. This is a fairly standard feature in athletic apparel these days, but not all methods of achieving moisture-wicking properties are equal.
Synthetic materials, like spandex and polyester, are often treated with chemicals to obtain those moisture-wicking abilities. The chemicals used can wash out after a few wears, making them just as useless for keeping you dry as clothing that was never treated at all. Additionally, those harsh chemicals can cause skin reactions and do harm to the environment.
However, natural materials like bamboo and cotton naturally wick moisture away from your body without the need for chemical treatments. So when looking at a tag that boasts of clothing’s moisture-wicking properties, also consider whether the material has been sprayed with chemicals.
Just as sitting in your own sweat can be uncomfortable for you, the odors caused by that sweat can be pretty uncomfortable for everybody around you. Microorganisms on your body interact with your sweat to produce body odor, and those odors can be pretty unpleasant.
Luckily, a lot of athleisure options are designed to fight odors before they start. Clothing with anti-odor properties is capable of killing or slowing the spread of those microorganisms, keeping you smelling fresher for longer.
Again, synthetic materials often need to be chemically treated in order to fight odors, but natural fibers do this organically. Bamboo fabric has natural antibacterial and antifungal properties, making it perfect for use in athletic apparel.
Your Athletic Shorts Should Be Versatile
The line between casual and formal gets blurrier by the day. While it hasn’t gotten so blurry that you can wear gym shorts to the office, there are plenty of options for athletic gear that can be worn almost anywhere.
When buying a pair of athletic shorts, the most important factor to consider is whether they can stand up to your fitness routine. Ideally, you want something stretchy and breathable that can wick moisture from your body and repel unpleasant odors, while also looking stylish at the gym.
While performance at the gym is incredibly important, a major benefit of today’s multi-purpose athleisure gear is that it can be worn outside of the gym just as easily. It can be burdensome to carry an entire second outfit to the gym, especially if you have somewhere to be after you work out. So it’s helpful if your gym clothing is stylish enough to work in any casual setting.
Take our Weekender Elastic Short — while these shorts have the performance capabilities of the best athletic apparel, they’re also stylish and casual enough to wear to brunch. Even though working out requires clothing to have certain special features, like moisture-wicking and anti-odor properties, you shouldn’t sacrifice style.
While you might have plenty of closet space for multiple sets of athletic gear for every occasion, not everybody has that luxury. So when it comes to your workout clothing, it’s important to have athletic shorts that work in every setting — whether that setting is a pickup game of basketball, an impromptu bike ride through the park, or any other physical activity that might pop up.
There’s a lot to think about when buying a pair of athletic shorts, and that’s especially true in today’s fast-paced world. The clothing you wear should not only be able to handle your workout regimen, but it should also be capable of going with you out into the world after you finish up at the gym.
At Tasc Performance, we make sure that all of our clothing helps you perform to the best of your abilities without sacrificing style and comfort. And because we use natural bamboo fibers in our apparel, you can rest easy knowing that your clothing choices are not only good for you — they’re also good for the environment.