Compression Shorts: The 4 Best Shorts for Your Workouts
When it comes to the most intense activities, one of the strongest new contenders for clothing is compression shorts.
Compression shorts are spandex shorts meant to be worn with nothing underneath. Both highly comfortable and practical, athletes around the world have turned to this style as their go-to for intense workouts.
While there are pros and cons to any shorts you choose, we’re here today to walk you through the benefits of compression shorts and show you how to style them for your activewear wardrobe.
What Are the Benefits of Compression Shorts?
First, let’s talk about why compression shorts should even be considered for your closet.
Power Up Your Workouts
Compression shorts are much more than a trend. They bring serious comfort and practicality to an area where those qualities are absolutely essential during a workout.
While other bottoms have pros and cons that can (but don’t always) relate to activewear, compression shorts are specifically designed to maximize performance.
There are various benefits compression shorts can provide, such as improved endurance, improved blood flow, better-perceived exertion, and decreased chance of injury.
Of course, no pair of clothing can turn a 10-minute mile into a 5-minute mile, but when every little advantage matters, compression shorts can help optimize your workouts.
Boost Your Comfort and Support
Few things can inhibit your focus more than discomfort beneath the belt, which is why choosing shorts specifically designed for peace of mind during high-intensity activities can be beneficial.
Compression shorts find an effective middle ground between the tight-fitting support build of briefs while also offering the same support down the length of the thigh, where boxers and briefs offer comfort but little else.
Many athletes prefer the feel of compression shorts during their workout, but these areas ultimately come down to personal preference, so trying different styles is typically recommended.
Improve Your Recovery
Achieving your best workout is about more than just the results in the moment. Recovery is an essential metric as well, allowing you to gain the most benefits from your workout and be ready to go again.
Research shows that, in combination with other properly facilitated active recovery methods, such as ice baths, compression shorts can measurably improve recovery.
If you’re looking for every edge available to maximize your recovery post-workout, compression shorts may be an excellent option for you.
Should I Wear Compression Shorts Every Day?
Now that we’ve examined some of the benefits of compression shorts, let’s give full consideration to what situations they are best for and what alternatives are available.
Compression shorts are best for high-intensity workouts and recovery after such workouts are complete. At least, that’s where their benefits truly shine. The style itself is quite versatile, so there’s no reason they can’t be worn in most other situations.
Whether lounging around the house, heading out with friends, or suiting up for the big meeting, compression shorts can be an option on the cards.
The tight fit makes them easy to hide beneath any type of pants. Compression shorts made with quality materials are generally comfortable enough for leisurewear but might feel overly constrictive after extended use.
That’s where other styles come in, offering their own specializations for more casual situations. Boxers and boxer briefs are particularly popular as leisurewear, so at times it may be best to give up the compression shorts and go with a different style.
The highest quality boxers and boxer briefs can excel in high-intensity activities as well. Look for styles made with bamboo, an incredibly powerful and efficient fabric, for the most versatile underwear available.
Which Shorts Should I Buy?
In general, compression shorts aren’t a style to wear on their own, but underneath an outer garment such as gym shorts.
Whether your routine will be powered by compression shorts or our super versatile bamboo underwear, you’ll need an equally effective pair of shorts to pull over them.
Before we dive into the best pairs of shorts, let’s briefly talk about our criteria.
Nothing is more important to a pair of shorts than the fabric. That’s why you want only the highest quality materials at the foundation of your styles.
Traditional cotton and synthetic fibers have been popular for years but carry some unignorable downsides. Cheap, traditional cotton threatens the environment with its means of production, while synthetic fibers do so by the chemical treatments they require to achieve their features.
Look for organic cotton as an alternative to cotton. The same soft feel in a vastly more sustainable package should be an easy choice.
Then there’s bamboo. The benefits of bamboo are vast and entirely environmentally friendly, thanks to the natural qualities of the material. For the best moisture-wicking, breathability, odor resistance, soft feel, and more, look no further than the bamboo and organic cotton blend shorts below.
1. Carrollton Fitness Shorts
The Carrollton Fitness Shorts are an essential for anyone with an active lifestyle. Perfect for the lowest-intensity Saturday or the highest-intensity workout, this style is incredibly versatile.
If compression shorts are your underwear of choice, this may be the perfect style to pair with. The looser fit nicely complements the tight fit of the underwear, allowing plenty of airflow so any breathable capabilities of your underwear can thrive.
The 9” inseam should be more than sufficient to hide your compression shorts as well.
2. Recess Tech Shorts
If you’re looking for shorts to maximize your performance, you’re going to want our Recess Tech Shorts.
With the best in lightweight design and performance features, thanks to our signature blend of bamboo and organic cotton, these running shorts are fully equipped to help you achieve your best workouts possible.
Plus, you won’t need a separate pair of compression shorts—we’ve got those built in! The super-soft bamboo support liner keeps the benefits of bamboo close to your skin, with all the performance and recovery benefits of the compression design.
3. Weekender Elastic Short
For something with a bit more of a casual style but no less versatile or effective in function, try our Weekender Elastic Short.
Featuring a modern twist on a classic, preppy look, you can wear these shorts in just about any situation to provide a fashionable appearance.
The bamboo viscose material, lightweight design, and elastic waistband work together to ensure these shorts take care of every essential need you may have, whether you’re wearing them to the backyard for a barbeque or to the field for a ball game.
4. Forward Pleat Skirt
For the ladies, an ultra-efficient option for both style and performance is our Forward Pleat Skirt.
With a built-in inner compression short, this skirt brings a trendy look to meet the highest performance standards. You can rest assured this style is up to spec on essential functions, too, thanks to the blend of bamboo and organic cotton.
With the rise in popularity of athleisure and tennis styles, there’s never been a better time to try an active skirt. If that’s not enough, the built-in compression short makes the Forward Pleat Skirt one of the best all-in-one options for an active lifestyle.
What underwear you prefer for your workouts and everyday life comes down to preference at the end of the day.
Now thanks to our complete guide to the pros and cons of compression shorts, and our list of the best shorts to pair them with, you’re equipped to discover your own preference backed by the best information.
For more guides like this and info from our experts, stay tuned in to Tasc Performance.