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2015 Running Gear Guide: Men’s Shorts

Running shorts from several different brands are put to the test.

$65, thenorthface.com

Highlight: Storage and support taken to a new level.
The full-length inner compression liner keeps your upper legs warm and supported while eliminating friction. The inner liner also features two well-placed pockets right above the knee, and with three rear-waistband pockets—including a centralized one with a zipper—there’s plenty of room for storage.

$50, zootsports.com

Highlight: Surfer style and great functionality.
These shorts tie in the front like a classic pair of board shorts, but an oversized elastic waistband stretching across the rear provides run-specific comfort and support. An eight-inch inseam offers plenty of leg coverage and a rear, zippered pocket on the right is big enough to hold a key and a credit card, or a couple of energy gels.

$90, tracksmith.com

Highlight: Unique and sophisticated look.
When was the last time you buttoned your running shorts at the waist? The liner-less Longfellow has a retro-casual look, fit and feel. These shorts are made of a thicker fabric but they wick moisture surprisingly well. A rear zipper pocket and hidden front pocket offer enough storage for a key, credit card and/or cell phone.

$75, smartwool.com

Highlight: Flexible fit with top-notch ventilation.
These 5” shorts feature a ventilated liner mostly made of merino wool (along with some nylon and elastic), which feels really comfortable against the skin and breathes surprisingly well. A polyester exterior stretches to move with your stride and a rear zip pocket provides an adequate amount of storage for your essentials.

$65, brooksrunning.com

Highlight: Great versatility.
These liner-free shorts are made for running, but are versatile (and stylish) enough to wear to the gym or for lunch afterward. Made of breathable polyester, these billowy 10-inch shorts allow for freedom of movement, and feature right- and left-side pockets as well as a secure rear zip pocket.