Best Non Chafing Running Shorts for Men

My goodness, is there anything worse for a runner to endure than chafing? Several miles from home and you feel it, first as a slight niggle, then as a painful, irritating problem before waddling home like John Wayne. And it doesn’t seem to matter how many shorts you buy and try, the shape of your body just seems so susceptible to chafing!

It’s worth noting that the majority of men tend to feel a little uncomfortable and a bit self-conscious in lycra shorts, so we’re going to focus on looser running shorts and lycra undergarments, commonly called ‘compression shorts’ that help to prevent chafing.

Runners chafe is such an irritating, grimace-worthy issue that we’ve researched and discovered 5 really, really good options to consider – after all, you need to be concentrating on running a PB, not basting yourself with Vaseline.


Our Pick

Puma Pace Men’s Running Shorts – 2 in 1

Excellent shorts from a trusted brand. The built-in compression shorts mean you are effectively getting two pairs of shorts for your money. The fit can be a bit small so you may need to order a size up, but overall these are an excellent choice for avoiding the chafe!

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There is enough length with these shorts to avoid giving yourself a wedgie, it’s a tricky one but judging the length is critical; too short and you’ll be in a pair of hot pants after 1 mile, too long and you’ll be piling up the wind resistance with a pair of sails on your legs. Puma are renowned for using good quality materials that shouldn’t ‘ride up’ your leg within the first mile.

This Puma pair actually look pretty cool too. The inner shorts offer excellent breathability and the Puma Drycell material wicks moisture away from the body, whilst the Cleansport NXT organic finish keeps sweaty, musty smells at a minimum. Oh and to solve that ‘where do I put my house key?’ problem, there’s a zippable, waterproof pocket at the back so things don’t jangle about too much. They’re quite reasonably priced too when you consider you’re effectively getting 2 shorts for 1 price.

  • Good price point from a trusted brand.
  • Inner compression shorts built in.
  • Won’t ride up.
  • Size up – the fit can be small.

Value Pick

Phibee Men’s 2-in-1 Lightweight Running Shorts

Great value for money choice from a relatively unknown brand. These are an excellent choice too if being seen on the road is a priority for you.

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At the cheaper end of the scale, these lightweight, traditional ‘runner cut’ shorts are excellent value for money. You may not have heard of the Phibee brand, but don’t let that put you off. The trim and under layers are fluorescent giving you excellent visibility on the road. The waist is well elasticated and the ‘cut’ means this pair may suit the longer distance runner, perhaps half marathon and the full marathon participants.

Either way, whatever the distance, chafing will be negated. As with every good pair of running shorts, there is a back, zipped pocket for valuables. A sensible, cheap choice in our opinion.

  • Excellent price.
  • Good for visibility.
  • Runners cut.
  • Brand Snobs look elsewhere.

Nike Men’s Flex Distance 5in 2-in-1 Shorts

Nike’s DryFit technology ensure these are super breathable and dry extremely quickly – helping to alleviate many of the issues that lead to chafing.

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No review of running gear should be without a Nike representative! It’s typically fantastic kit and these are Nike’s best version of the 2 in 1 compression + running shorts combo in our opinion. The reason why Nike are so popular for sports such as football, golf, tennis and obviously running is due to the DryFit technology in the material. If it rains, they dry very quickly and don’t ‘hold’ the water. If it’s hot and sweaty the material is super breathable and wicks away sweat, ideal where chafing is concerned.

The back zippable pocket is also waterproof so you won’t be getting your debit card signature all smudgy! Nike gear can be expensive but you’re paying for the quality.

  • Good quality and DryFit wickability!
  • Waterproof back zipped pocket
  • As it’s Nike they are a tad pricey

Nike Men’s Challenger 5in Shorts

No inner compression layer, but again, thanks to the DryFit technology these runner cut shorts should cause no issues with chafing.

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Yes, it’s a Nike selection again. These are ‘runner cut’ too and don’t have the inner compression layer, so it’s a bit of a gamble for the chafing issue, especially if you DON’T have a thigh gap. But, if we had to pick a non-chafing pair of running shorts without an under-layer, it would be these or the Asics pair in the next section.

  • Dryfit material, excellent moisture control
  • Practical waterproof back pocket
  • No internal compression layer, higher chafe risk

Asics Men’s L1 Shorts

Extremely lightweight shorts from a reputable brand in Asics, that may make a great choice for the more serious or competitive runner.

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Not for the faint-hearted but these are the minimalist cut, nice and airy pair for the faster times. Due to the high cut, they should avoid the chafing problem. Asics manufacture these slightly on the large side, so do bear that in mind. Zippable back pocket as standard, the material is so lightweight, it may be worth wearing a pair of sports briefs underneath!

  • Cut for faster times
  • No length so no riding up
  • No problem in the wet
  • A bit too airy and a bit revealing for some!

Let’s don the non-chafing shorts and hit the road! Seriously, a chafing situation that is only getting worse is a really unpleasant situation a few km into a run. So invest and prosper so the PB can come without the need for vaseline. On the subject of which, if the chafing persists, there are products out there believe it or not to try and eliminate this niggly problem once and for all. Here’s a selection of creams, balms, and lubricants!


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