What Are the Best Compression Shorts for Running?

What Are the Best Compression Shorts for Running?
Compression shorts are tight-fitting shorts used for long distance running competitions like marathons or triathlons. Besides being more comfortable than baggier shorts, they provide less resistance, less muscle vibration and less skin chafing. Many types are constructed of material to trap heat so that your muscles remain warm and loose. The best type of compression shorts for you depends upon the sport you are involved in, and the weather in which you will be competing.

Cold Weather Compression Short

If you run in cooler temperatures, the Under Armour Core Ventilated Compression Short might be a good choice. The inner facing of the short is brushed with Under Armour's trademark ColdGear finish to trap in heat. The stretch Under Armour material is intended to decrease dry time, perfect for a cold weather triathlon wherein you need to dry off in time for the running portion to avoid stiff muscles.

Warm Weather Compression Short

Under Armour also has a compression short intended for heat, this time with their HeatGear technology. Like the cold weather short, these shorts work to "wick" the water away from the skin to prevent chafing or discomfort. The warm weather shorts work extra hard to keep the body cool, with the added protection of ultraviolet protection to protect your skin from the sun's UV rays. These shorts are available in two-, four- and seven-inch inseams.

Most Ventilation

One of the compression shorts with the most ventilation are the Under Armour Ventilated short. While many compression shorts focus on elasticity and are constructed mostly of Lycra, these ventilated shorts have a mesh crotch and cup insert, offering support and breathability. They are also built from Under Armour's HeatGear fabric.

Compression Shorts for Women

Kaepa offers a great compression short for women runners. The inseam and construction are designed with the shape of the female body in mind, whereas men's compression shorts have a straighter hip and thigh. The inseam is also shorter, and the shorts are not quite as long. They also sport a lower rise, as many women's compression shorts do, but the waistband is much thicker than other women's compression shorts, making it more comfortable and less tight around the waist. Furthermore, the seams are at the front and back of the leg, instead of on the inner thigh, so that the seam is not uncomfortable or a source of rubbing during a long run.

Best Support

One of the most highly regarded compression shorts are those by 2XU, a company specializing in triathlon sports gear and distance running attire. Their compression shorts are actually approved by the Therapeutic Goods Administration. They are made of a special blend of 50 denier Lycra and a circular knit weave that creates the highly compressive effect. The construction is intended to provide equal support throughout the entire region, while improving blood circulation.

Article Written By Heather Broeker

Originally from North Carolina, Heather Broeker studied journalism and advertising at the University of North Carolina. After graduation she moved to Los Angeles, where she worked for Fox Searchlight, Fox Reality and later as a writer and marketing director. Broeker now lives in Los Angeles and runs Head Over Heels, a writing and public relations company.

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