The 5 Best CrossFit Shorts for 2021 [Review and Buying Guide]


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As Crossfit athletes, we know shirts are optional, but shorts? Most CrossFit gyms still need them. These shorts won’t add 5lb to your snatch PR, but they are going to make being in the gym more comfortable. And if you’re more comfortable at the gym, you’re more likely to go, and more likely to work towards your goals.

As a collegiate athlete who has trained in several small to world-class CrossFit gyms, I want to share my thoughts on my favorite CrossFit shorts

Find the Best Crossfit Shorts for you

 Product's name
Main Features
More Info
Under Armour Men's Raid 10-Inch Workout Gym Shorts , Black (001)/Graphite , Large
Best Affordable Shorts for Men
Under Armour Men's Raid 10-Inch Workout Gym Shorts , Black (001)/Graphite , Large
- 84% Polyester, 16% Elastane
- UPF 30 protects
- 4-way stretch
- Anti odor technology
- Moisture wicking technology
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Under Armour Women's Play Up 3.0 Shorts , Midnight Navy (410)/White , Small
Best for Intense Training
Under Armour Women's Play Up 3.0 Shorts , Midnight Navy (410)/White , Small
- 100% Polyester
- Soft, lightweight
- Anti odor technology
- Moisture wicking technology
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Epic MMA Gear Women's 3' Stretch Booty Shorts - Fitness, WOD, Yoga, Running, (M, Multi Ananas)
Best Booty Shorts
Epic MMA Gear Women's 3" Stretch Booty Shorts - Fitness, WOD, Yoga, Running, (M, Multi Ananas)
- Nylon Spandex
- 4 Way Stretch Fabric
- Flat Lock Stitching
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Best Crossfit Pants
Rogue Joggers
-70% Cotton / 24 Polyester / 6% Spandex
- Adjustable Drawcord
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2XU Core Compression Shorts, Black/Silver, Medium
Best Crossfit Compression Shorts
2XU Core Compression Shorts, Black/Silver, Medium
- 72% Nylon, 28% Elastane
- Drawstring elastic waistband
- Moisture wicking technology
- UPF 50+ Sun protection
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Under Armour Men's Raid 10-Inch Workout Gym Shorts , Black (001)/Graphite , Large

Best Affordable Shorts for Men

#1- Under Armour Men's Raid 10-Inch Workout Gym Shorts , Black (001)/Graphite , Large

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Don’t like to show off your quads? These Under Armour shorts, which feature 4-way stretch and come with a significantly lower price tag than some other brands on this list. They have a 10” seam, so they’ll cover you to the knee. 

Fit

The UA shorts are comfortable and give your legs room to breathe with their 4-way stretch tech. While they give your legs room to breathe, they’re also not so baggy where they’ll be in your way while completing your WOD. 

Design

UA offers a number of colours, all in a classic and simple design. These shorts will go with any tops, so you don’t need to worry about sticking out like a sore thumb in the gym. 

Durability

These shorts are built well and built to last. They hold up extremely well to multiple wash cycles, without losing their fit or colour. 

Price

At $22 (USD), these are by far the cheapest men’s shorts on the list. 

Under Armour Women's Play Up 3.0 Shorts , Midnight Navy (410)/White , Small

Best Affordable Shorts for Women

#2- Under Armour Women's Play Up 3.0 Shorts , Midnight Navy (410)/White , Small

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These 3” seam shorts include a polyester shell for breathability. They’re soft, lightweight, and contain sweat-wicking and anti-odour technology. Like the Men’s Under Armour shorts, these come with a lower price tag than a lot of other shorts on this list. Something that sets these shorts apart from the rest is that they have a separate Plus-Size model to ensure you’re ready for your workout, no matter your body type. 

Fit 

These 3” seam shorts include a polyester shell for breathability. They’re soft, lightweight, and contain sweat-wicking and anti-odour technology. These are a great alternative to booty shorts for workouts. The plus-size style option ensures that no matter your body type, you can have comfortable workout shorts. These shorts can run a bit small, so keep that in mind when ordering. 

Design

Like the Men’s UA shorts, the Play Up shorts are classically designed and versatile. You can pair these shorts with any top, and still look great while you’re getting sweaty!

Durability

These shorts can be worn multiple times a week and not give up their waistband or colour. 

Price: Depending on your size, you’re looking at around $10-$25. 

Epic MMA Gear Women's 3' Stretch Booty Shorts - Fitness, WOD, Yoga, Running, (M, Multi Ananas)

Best Booty Shorts

#3- Epic MMA Gear Women's 3" Stretch Booty Shorts - Fitness, WOD, Yoga, Running, (M, Multi Ananas)

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Nylon spandex, moisture wicking, flexible, durable, and affordable! Customers routinely rave about how well these shorts fit and the fact that they don’t ride up or produce the dreaded cameltoe. One downside of these shorts is that the waistband is not adjustable. 

Fit 

They’re comfortable and hug your booty but they won’t ride up while you’re squatting or running. You won’t have to constantly worry about stopping to fix your shorts while you’re trying to smash your Dianne PR! The one downside to these shorts, like most booty shorts, is the lack of an adjustable waistband. 

Design

The design options for the Epic MMA shorts are practically endless! You can get them in a matte black, snake-skin print, and a ton of other designs. If you’re flashy, they’ve got flashy, if you’re not, they got styles for you too!

Durability

One downside to these shorts is that they are pure Nylon Spandex. So they’re going to feel amazing, but they won’t stand up to as many wash cycles as polyester shorts will. That said, if you love the fit, you might consider hand-washing. 

Price 

Depending on your size, you’re looking at $10-$25, so very competitive!

Best Crossfit Pants

#4- Rogue Joggers

Cozy, breathable workout pants that move with you instead of around you. Whether you’re training outside in winter, or your local box owner doesn’t like to pay for heat, these pants will keep your legs toasty while you work out, without drenching your legs in sweat. 

Fit

The Rogue Joggers come with an adjustable drawstring so you don’t have to worry about pulling your pants up constantly during your workout. The cuffs at the bottom are snug, but not too tight. I much prefer this style of pants for training, as baggy bottoms can become irritating when you’re moving constantly. It’s never fun accidentally catching your pant leg in the first pull of your snatch! These pants have room to breathe, but will still show off what you’re working on!

Design

The pants come in a few basic colours (black and grey for men, black, blue, and teal for women). Both pants come with side pockets that will keep your phone safe during training, and a smaller back pocket, ideal for keys. The men’s joggers are a cotton/polyester blend, which makes them breathable, and the women’s joggers are a polyester/spandex blend, to ensure the pants move any way you need them too. 

Durability

As mentioned above, both pants are part polyester. The men’s pants are 40%, whereas the women’s are 89%. Both of these blends will ensure that these pants will hold up to frequent wearing and washing, though I’d suggest air drying the men’s pants. 

Price 

Both the men’s and women’s joggers come in at $50 (USD). While this is considerably more than you’d pay for a pair of sweatpants from WalMart, you are getting a high-quality, long-lasting pant. I would compare these pants to Lululemon joggers I’ve purchased in the past, but at half the price!

2XU Core Compression Shorts, Black/Silver, Medium

Best Crossfit Compression Shorts

#5- 2XU Core Compression Shorts, Black/Silver, Medium

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2XU are the champions in the realm of compression gear, and for good reason.

For heavy training cycles, the compression technology improves blood circulation, which improves recovery time, allowing you to hit the next training session feeling fresh!

Fit

It’s compression gear, so the whole point is for them to fit tight, but I never feel like I’m cutting off my circulation like some other compression shorts do. If you have super large quads, and I’m talking Ronnie Coleman quads, then you might want to look into the full length pants, just to make sure the shorts’ cuffs don’t dig into your skin.

Design

2XU knows how to do simple well. The shorts are black with a gold or silver “X” on the side. That “X” won’t make you run faster, but hell, you’ll feel faster. 

Durability

One downside to compression gear is that the materials they’re made out of won’t hold up as well after serious wear and tear. But really, unless you’re training at the Elite level, you shouldn’t need to wear them every day. Just wear them when you need them, and not just when you want to impress your gym crush, and you’ll be fine. 

Fit 

The men’s Core Compression ½ shorts go for $40 (USD) and the women’s MCS Run Shorts are $79.95 (USD). Again, compression gear is really only for those training intense hours, and not so much for the casual Crossfit-class participant. So if you fall into the former category, make the investment, your legs will thank you. 

Honourable Mentions

Reebok Crossfit Austin II Shorts

Lightweight, Polyester and Spandex shorts that are breathable, durable, and will move with you through the toughest WODs. With a 9” seam, these shorts are worn by many Crossfit Games athletes. 

 

Rogue Black-Ops shorts

Both the Men’s and Women’s Black Ops shorts are made of the same 4-way stretch material, a combination of polyester and spandex, so you get the best of both breathability and movability. The Mens shorts come in a 6.5” or 8” seam, while the Womens come in 3”. Both shorts come with side stash pockets, great if you’re taking your WOD to the Great Outdoors and don’t want to lose your car keys along the way. 

Rogue Board Shorts

With a 9.5-10” inseam, these are longer than most of the shorts on this list. The shorts are polyester/spandex, and come with a drawstring, as opposed to a lot of board shorts that only have velcro. These were the go-to shorts for a lot of Crossfitters a decade ago, but if you have big quads like me, you lose a bit of mobility. I’ve also heard from people with wider hips that they don’t fit as well. 

How to Choose the Best Shorts For You

Fit

If you’re going to spend the money on a new pair of shorts, ideally they’re going to last you a while, so you need to pick shorts that are going to fit you. Most companies are pretty good with their sizing charts, but it isn’t just fitting your waistband. 

You need these shorts to hold up in the bottom of a squat, you need them not to hike up while on your Murph run, you need them not to fall down when you’re in a handstand. Depending on the company, you can usually return your shorts for a better fit. 

Here’s the test I put a new pair of shorts through:

  1. Squat test: Get into the bottom of a squat, and move around. Do the shorts ride up? Does it feel like the seams are going to burst? Did something fall out? 
  2. Run: Go for an easy jog. It doesn’t have to be far. After 400 metres, you’ll know if the shorts are going to give you issues while you run. If you normally run with keys or headphones, see if the shorts’ pockets hold your stuff so that you don’t even notice it, or if it feels like you’ve got a mace attached to your hip. 
  3. Upside down: Get into a handstand. If you don’t have the unsupported handstand, do it against a fall. Can’t do that yet? Try a pike position on a box or couch. Similar to the squat test, does anything fall out? 
  4. Wash: Unfortunately, you probably won’t be able to return most shorts after you’ve washed them, so this should be your final test. After you wash your shorts, have they lost colour? Are labels starting to peel? Do they fit differently? You won’t really be able to fix any issues at this stage, but you’ll know to buy a different style next time. 

Durability

Read tons of online reviews. Normally, if clothing doesn’t hold up over time, people will be angry enough to leave a bad review. If you’re going to spend $40 plus on a new pair of shorts, you want them to hold up. 

In my competitive swimming days, we’d opt for nylon shorts for racing and polyester for training, and although you probably won’t get too much chlorine on your Crossfit shorts, the principal is the same. 

Opt for shorts with a higher % polyester than spandex and you’ll have a good durable base material. I’d also look for shorts with stretch panels, to prevent flexed quads busting through seams. 

Design

Are cool-looking shorts going to help you lift more, run faster, or recover harder? No, but like I said earlier, if you feel better in your workout clothes, you WILL be more likely to hit your WODs. 

Especially in the summer, I like shorts that I can wear at the Box, on the trials, and when I’m going out for lunch. 

Price

No matter if you’re a student or a doctor, everyone thinks about the price of your clothes. Everything on this list is affordable for most people, so I would personally consider the price last. 

If I’m having a tough time deciding between the Rogue Boardshorts or the Under Armour shorts, and I like the fit of both, I like the style of both, then I’ll go with the Under Armour because they’re cheaper.

Other considerations

Good CrossFit Shorts Should Facilitate Maximum Range of Motion

The most essential and the defining feature of any good pair of shorts for CrossFit are slits or stretch seams for easy movement and increased range of motion.

Whether you’re doing squats, dead lifts, snatches or cleans, you want to ensure your range of motion in not impeded by your shorts. Unfortunately, a lot of conventional shorts are made from rigid fabrics or just have poor design so that they pull and bunch when  doing big lifts.

They should be breathable and quick drying

When you’re completing an intense WOD, you’re going to get sweaty. In fact, if you’re not dripping with sweat, something is probably wrong! It makes sense then to wear shorts with good ventilation. This comes in the form of vents and breathable materials. Similarly, it’s important that your shorts are made from wicking material that draw the moisture from your body and then subsequently dry quickly. There’s nothing worse than having your shorts stay wet for days after your workout!

A great additional feature to look for are antimicrobial fabrics for odour control. Antimicrobial fabrics prevent the bacteria from growing and releasing all those nasty smells. It’s nice to be able to use your shorts a few times between washes. In addition, the fabric’s antimicrobial properties will enable you to do your workouts without smelling up the gym!

Conclusion

CrossFit workouts are intense and require you to move in different directions. As there is a lot of sweat, wear and tear, and stress during your WODs, finding the best crossfit shorts is crucial in both your safety and the comfort of your workouts.

By having the best crossfit shorts, you get their cutting-edge technology to help maximize your peak performance, so you can get the extra rep out in your next set.

One of the most useful items of clothing for CrossFit are shorts and there are several features you should look for when purchasing a pair of shorts for your CrossFit workout.

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About Julien

Hey! Thanks for being here. I’ve been active pretty much my whole life and I discovered Crossfit about 5 years ago. I want to help you improve your Crossfit performances by giving tips on specific movements, workouts and equipment. You have a question? Get in touch!

2 thoughts on “The 5 Best CrossFit Shorts for 2021 [Review and Buying Guide]”

  1. Great post however , I was wondering if you could write a litte more on this topic?
    I’d be very grateful if you could elaborate a little bit further. Cheers!

    Reply
  2. Does anyone know who manufactures the shorts?? I know these companies design them and have them branded,but who makes them?

    Reply

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