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2017 Running Gear Guide: Men’s Bottoms

The latest men’s shorts and pants feature materials that are getting lighter and more comfortable, but they also offer novel portability.


Highlight: Top-end tights for cool-weather running

With a velvety brushed lining on the inside, welt phone pocket on the hamstring and a grippy silicone waistband that eliminates the need for a drawstring, these tights are simply luxurious. The weight is perfect (not too warm), the fabric dries in a flash, and the fit, featuring brass achilles zips, is dialed just right.


Highlight: Comfy, functional minimalism

These shorts are roomy but not baggy, and feel perfectly sized. It’s a minimalist design, featuring only a few laser cut holes, no liner and a single pocket big enough for a phone on the right hip. Its stretchy material is extremely comfortable on the run, and the thickly taped hem keeps the legs from riding up.


Highlight: Casual look, exceptional comfort

Zoot keeps pumping out this wildly popular short for a reason. It’s literally a board short made with lightweight, run-focused materials. The flat elastic waistband is among the most comfortable out there, as are the brief and the lightweight short material. The only storage is a back patch pocket—just like real board shorts.


Highlight: Primo phone storage in linerless short

This comfy, run-specific short borrows a novel design from the athleisure world: a slit pocket on the waistband directly below the navel for storing your phone securely, without any bounce. Two side pockets, mesh accents and a flat waistband round out this liner-free, semi-fitted run short.


Highlight: Style and support

If you like light compression, or just the feeling of support, these tights deliver it through the grid weave around the quads and calves. They’re comfortable but never hot, and feature smart touches like a flat waistband, roomy welt pocket on the hind leg and rare reflectivity on the front legs.


Highlight: Do-it-all function with long-distance comfort

The Sherpa is a stretchy, ultralight, race-ready short that nonetheless packs in a ton of storage. There’s an interior key pocket, a zippered, sweat-resistant lumbar pocket and two small mesh patch pockets on the hips perfect for holding fuel on long runs. Reflective accents fully round out this superbly designed run apparel.


Highlight: Ultra-comfortable, rain-resistant long short

Perfect for spring running—or just spring living—in shorts, the Energy Short repels water on the outside and feels amazingly soft on the inside. The liner features boxer-brief-length legs and friendly seams. Two zip side pockets, one with a phone-sized inner sleeve, are handy, while long side splits and laser-cut venting keep the legs of these 9-inch inseam shorts from bunching up or getting too hot.


Highlight: Minimalist 5-inch shorts made in the USA

Lightweight, a bit stretchy and just the right length for running fast but not showing too much leg, these made-in-NYC shorts from OnlyAtoms feel like pure running shorts. There are two pockets, one on the back lumbar, large enough for a phone, and another front interior pocket that can fit up to four gels. The soft waistband like this one’s is always welcome.