You can run shirtless and without socks (if you feel inclined), but there is an item of running apparel that you really can’t skip: running shorts. Just like running shoes, running shorts are simply essential, yet finding the right pair can be a challenge.
Like most running apparel, shorts are not made equally, which is why it makes sense to go with a trusted brand like New Balance. However, New Balance stocks an incredible and diverse range of running shorts, so shopping for your perfect pair can be a workout in itself!
Luckily for you, I have rounded up the eight best New Balance running shorts on the market in 2022.
My Bottom Line Up Front
The Women’s Impact Run 2 In 1 Short is exceptionally supportive, highly breathable, and looks good with any running top. I found these shorts to be super comfortable and I like the included inner short pockets. My favorite men’s shorts were the Men’s Fortitech 7 Inch 2 In 1 Short, which go up to a 2XL and come in 3 colors. These shorts provide excellent ventilation and comfort and are incredibly durable.
At a Glance: 8 Best New Balance Running Shorts
- Best Overall: Women’s Impact Run 2 In 1 Short
- Best Budget Pick: Women’s Impact Run Fitted Short
- Best Longer Length: Women’s Impact Run Short 5 Inch
- Best Patterned Design: Women’s Printed Accelerate Short
- Best Overall: Men’s Fortitech 7 Inch 2 In 1 Short
- Best Budget Pick: Men’s Core 7 Inch Woven Short
- Best for Versatility: Men’s Impact Run 5 Inch Short
- Best Short Length: Men’s Impact Run 3 Inch Split Short
Finding the Best Running Shorts
Running shorts differ for men and women, but generally, they are convenient, comfortable pieces of clothing that do a lot for you on the go. Quality running shorts will provide protection from the elements, help to keep you cool, prevent chafing, and some will even store your things, too.
When looking to find your perfect pair of running shorts, there are a few things to consider.
Here’s my handy matchmaking guide:
Personally, I find that the most important consideration with any running shorts – or running clothing per se – is the material. And this differs significantly from buying clothes for other activities, where cotton, for example, is rated highly for its comfort element. You certainly don’t want to be running in cotton clothing, though!
I would advise looking for technical blends and fabrics, such as moisture-wicking polyester or stretchy elastane and spandex. These materials will help keep you cool and allow greater freedom of movement.
How the textile is constructed is equally important. For warmer climates, open weave synthetic fabric or mesh material offers lots of breathability. Moreover, some high-end performance running shorts will feature antimicrobial treatments to keep odors at bay.
In addition to the material of the running shorts, some other features are worth looking for:
Some running shorts have built-in liners, which help to simplify the outfit by basically being a pair of supportive fit underwear to ward off irritation and chafing. Other shorts may feature additional support features, especially for men, such as pouches to keep sensitive body parts more comfortable.
Inseam is the shorts length, which tends to be between 3-in to 9-in for running-specific shorts. While this consideration is entirely personal – some runners prefer short shorts, others opt for long – it is worth noting that additional material has few advantages and will add weight.
Not all running shorts come with pockets, but those that do should be zip-up pockets that sit at the side of the waist. Any other type is not checking that completely convenient box.
My Product Criteria
When looking to decide what I deemed the best New Balance shorts, here were the things I was looking for:
While appearance isn’t the top priority for running, it makes financial sense to buy shorts that you like the look of – otherwise, you may not be inclined to wear them! Furthermore, plain or one-color shorts can match more running tops, vests, jackets, and shoes, so again are cost-effective.
For the reasons above, I chose New Balance shorts that I liked the look of and felt would work with other colors and designs of running attire.
If they’re not comfortable, they’re simply not going to work. To determine the comfort level initially, I looked for the material or material blend. I then looked at various lengths to ensure I had both road runners and trail runners covered.
Further reading on this can be found here: Trail Running vs. Road Running Shoes: What’s the Difference?
Some runners do not like pockets and find them to be troublesome or unsupportive, opting for bags or running belts instead. However, I like to have a zipped pocket to keep my cell and keys on my person when running, so pockets were something I wanted to find in a few pairs of shorts to recommend to you guys.
Did you know that the US Leads Overall Spend in $828 Billion Physical Activity Market? Now, a lot of that is made up of unused gym memberships, untaken supplements, and diet subscriptions that are ignored. But, some of it is on clothing. When it comes to running shorts, they really don’t have to cost a lot of money for them to be effective.
I looked across the price points to find running shorts that would suit all budgets but with justifiable prices.
When online shopping, the biggest asset is consumer feedback. I wanted to feel fully confident in my recommendations, so I ensured that other consumers felt as positive about my chosen running shorts as I did. Additionally, I wanted this feedback to be verified and accessible.
My Chosen 8 Best New Balance Running Shorts
#1 Best New Balance Running Shorts Overall: Women’s Impact Run 2 In 1 Short
The Women’s Impact Run 2 In 1 Short is my top pick for many reasons. In honesty, I found them to outshine other running shorts for women in several key areas; they’re super comfortable, highly supportive, convenient, well priced, and due to being completely black, they will go with any color or design of running shoes and tops. What more could you want?
Online reviews for these are excellent and accessible on Google as well as in many other places.
I found these shorts to check all my boxes; they’re short enough to keep you cool but long enough to provide good coverage. They don’t ride up when running and are super lightweight. The inner pocket is secure and spacious – big enough to fit a large cell phone and keys. The Impact Run 2 in 1 Short is available in other colors and has a size range from XS to 2XL.
My drawback is that these shorts only seem to be available online, and I can’t find any high street store stocking them at the moment. This means there will be a wait for delivery, and you can’t just run out to buy them.
- True to Size
- Secure Fitting
- Generous Size Options
- Inner Pocket
- Only Seem to be Available Online
#2 Best New Balance Running Shorts Budget Pick: Women’s Impact Run Fitted Short
The greatly cost-effective Women’s Impact Run Fitted Short is perfect for various exercises, from running to biking to working out. These shorts are long enough to prevent chafing and feel so nice on due to their breathable poly knit fabric.
The Impact Run Fitted Shorts feature NB DRY fast-drying technology that keeps moisture away from the body, ensuring excellent comfort throughout any run. Full body freedom is offered because of the tighter fit and lack of additional fabric.
I like the secure back zip pocket and extra side drop-in hip pockets. These shorts are available in garnet color here and from sizes XS to 2XL.
- Fast-drying Technology
- Super Comfortable
- Secure Back Zip Pocket
- Large Size Range
- Quite Expensive
#3 Best New Balance Running Shorts Longer Length: Women’s Impact Run Short 5 Inch
As mentioned before, I love pockets in running shorts, and if you’re like me, then you’ll love the Women’s Impact Run Short 5 Inch, which is absolutely loaded with them! There is an interior drop-in pocket, plus an invisible zipper pocket that sits conveniently on the back waistband. The storage provisions are simply excellent and mean you can take all you need with you on your run.
These shorts are perfect for distance runners, and I found the NB DRY technology to be highly effective at wicking sweat away from the body. The brand states that these shorts have ‘superior moisture management, and I fully support this.
The poly weaved fabric results in a super lightweight feel, and I think these shorts look great with a range of tops, vests, jackets, and running shoes. However, they are a little short for some at 5-in.
- Great Price
- Classic Look
- Comfortable Feel
- Excellent Moisture Management
- Lots of Storage!
- 5-in May Be Too Short For Some
#4 Best New Balance Running Shorts Patterned Design: Women’s Printed Accelerate Short
With a retro print that certainly makes one think of the 80s, the Women’s Printed Accelerate Short is a great choice for those who want something a little more exciting and vibrant than a block color. The fabric is lightweight woven and a polyester blend. It also features NB DRY fast-drying technology, and I found this to be highly effective.
There is an internal liner for enhanced comfort; however, I didn’t find this to be of the best quality and would recommend underwear, too. The liner/brief does include a small pocket, but this is small and would only really be suitable for keys or possibly an iPod.
The shorts stay in place during runs, and the internal drawcord allows you to tighten them if needed. At 2.5-in, these are short shorts that won’t be to everyone’s liking, but if you like a shorter length, this is certainly a pair to consider.
- Stylish Print
- Colorful and Vibrant
- Internal Pocket
- Internal Liner
- NB DRY Fast-Drying Technology
- Very Short
- Limited Storage
- Liner Not of the Best Quality
#1 Best New Balance Running Shorts Overall: Men’s Fortitech 7 Inch 2 In 1 Short
Online feedback for the Men’s Fortitech 7 Inch 2 In 1 Short is simply incredible, with negativity being few and far between – and often, pretty senseless, in honesty! But, we can’t please them all. I, like many others, feel that these shorts perform superbly; they’re comfortable, breathable, have generous pockets, and they’re affordable.
Let’s discuss the pockets first. I don’t know why New Balance isn’t making a bigger thing out of the pockets in their online ads, as they’re truly outstanding. Super secure, zipped, and large enough to fit all of your necessities, they’re among the best running short pockets I have come across and are certainly worth a mention!
Again, these shorts feature the NB DRY fabric technology, and again it works. I found these shorts to offer exceptional airflow and ventilation; however, some men have found a lack of support for sensitive body areas.
There is an elasticated waistband for precision fitting, and the Fortitech shorts are available in various colors and sizes to please everyone!
- Fantastic Feedback Online
- Outstanding Pocket Storage
- NB DRY technology
- Exceptional Air Flow
- Elasticated Waistband
- Various Size and Color Options
- Some Complaints of Limited Support for Certain Areas!
#2 Best New Balance Running Shorts Budget Pick: Men’s Core 7-Inch Woven Short
With an unbeatable price, the Men’s Core 7 Inch Woven Short is a perfect choice for beginner runners or those who don’t want to invest a lot of money in a pair of running shorts. You get a lot for your buck here, and if you’re looking for Dad presents, these shorts are a safe choice.
The Men’s Core Woven Short is perfect for running, jogging, working out, and playing various sports. They’re highly breathable, super comfortable, and feature the NB DRY technology. There is a convenient drop-in key pocket that – though small – is large enough to safely store keys and small cell phones.
Currently, these are only available at Joe’s New Balance Outlet in size small. However, you can buy the same pair in other sizes at a higher price on Amazon.
- Superb Value for Money
- Versatile Shorts
- Key Pocket
- Currently Only Available in Small at Joe’s New Balance Outlet
#3 Best New Balance Running Shorts for Versatility: Men’s Impact Run 5 Inch Short
The Men’s Impact Run 5 Inch Short is available in various colors and sizes at Joe’s New Balance Outlet. These are highly rated and greatly affordable shorts that perform well for various exercises, workouts, sports, and run durations.
I found that they stay comfortable and dry no matter how vigorous the activity is.
There are lots of practical design elements, such as easily accessible zip pockets and a moisture-wicking inner brief. The polyester blend is very comfortable, lightweight, and durable. The waistband feels supportive but not too tight, and this is also easily adjustable to find that perfect fit.
- Great Price
- Excellent Feedback
- Not All Sizes Are Available in All Colors
#4 Best New Balance Running Shorts Short Length: Men’s Impact Run 3 Inch Split Short
The Men’s Impact Run 3 Inch Split Short is an excellent fit and true to size. I found them to be super light, durable, and comfortable. However, the pocket does let them down – it has no zip and isn’t very spacious; basically, it serves no purpose (in my opinion).
Prices vary online for these, but the best price I have found is at Joe’s New Balance Outlet. Generally, they’re well priced and affordable elsewhere, too.
I have found some complaints about the liner and that this can feel a little too restrictive. For people who want short shorts, these are a solid choice and have the standard NB features such as moisture-wicking technology.
- Moisture Wicking Technology
- Restrictive Liner
- Varying Prices Online
Question: Why Are We Recommending Joe’s New Balance Outlet So Much?
Answer: Joe’s New Balance Outlet is the official source for discounted New Balance merchandise, and who doesn’t love a bargain? We have genuinely found this website to have the best prices around for most New Balance products.
Question: Can You Wear Bike Shorts for Running?
Answer: While you physically can wear bike shorts for running, and they can perform well for short or irregular runs, they’re not designed with running in mind and may lack some of the features in running shorts we have come to love. For example, bike shorts don’t come with pockets, liners, or drawcords.
Question: How Much Should You Spend on Running Shorts?
Answer: How much you spend on running shorts depends on many factors. Personally, I justify how much I will get out of a pair of running shorts – if I will wear them a lot, I want them to perform well and check all my boxes. For this, I’m prepared to pay a premium as I feel it is justified. However, if I had little intention of running regularly, I would be looking for a budget pick.
Final Thoughts on New Balance Running Shorts
New Balance running shorts are comparable to more expensive brands like Nike and Adidas. This brand’s shorts perform just as well but for a fraction of the price, especially when purchased from Joe’s New Balance Outlet. While I am confident that all of the NB shorts I have recommended will live up to the job, some shine more in certain areas, and depending on what you’re looking for in a pair of running shorts will determine the best pair for you.
I love everything about the Women’s Impact Run 2 In 1 Short. I found them to be attractive, breathable, supportive, and hugely convenient. I also found the price to be more than fair. However, you can only purchase these online at the moment, which is a drawback if you need a pair of running shorts in a hurry.
Another pair of women’s running shorts I particularly liked was the Women’s Printed Accelerate, and while I know these won’t be to everyone’s taste, there’s no denying they’re a vibrant pair of shorts! The storage is limited with these, however, and some consumers felt that the liner wasn’t of the best quality.
As a woman looking for men’s shorts, I had to really do my research to see what made a pair of running shorts good for men. I settled on the Men’s Fortitech 7 Inch 2 In 1 Short as the best all-rounder. These shorts provide great ventilation and airflow and also seem to wash exceptionally well. The price is fair, and the durability seems to be outstanding.
Another pair of men’s shorts that really stood out for me was the Men’s Impact Run 5 Inch Short, and I appreciate all of the design elements here, although not all sizes are available in all colors.
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