For the summer run or the indoor treadmill session, nothing beats a great pair of running middle running shorts. In fact, that deep affection for the right running shorts was part of the inspiration behind Janji. Our first product was a pair of Kenyan-inspired running shorts, and to this today we pride ourselves in making a great pair of 5” running shorts.
Every season we try dozens of running shorts from around the world to help us make the very best running bottoms for men. We’ve tested split shorts, compression shorts, and 2-in-1 shorts. After months of testing some of the most recent pairs of 4” or 5” running shorts, we’ve come up with a list of the best running shorts on the market.
Below are the best mens 5 inch running shorts broken into three categories: best in design, best in basic, and best in technical specification.
Best Designed Men’s Running Shorts
3. Men’s Asics Everyday 5” Shorts, MSRP $40
In the past few seasons, Asics has hardly been a leader is aesthetically beautiful shorts. But their Men’s Everyday 5” Shorts have taken big strides. The design has been revamped around color-blocking, and this latest style has an array of colors at a pretty affordable price. From black and olive combinations (a personal favorite) to simple dark blue and blue, the shorts show personality without showing too much. One knock on the shorts: they flare out a bit. Besides that, they’re comfortable both to the body and to the eye.
2. Men’s Brooks Shepra 5”, MSRP $48
Another major shoe producer that has lagged in well designed gear (have you seen the latest Brook Adrenaline GTS 17? Ooof), their foray into middle lenght shorts have produced winners. The Sherpa collection has been a long running style for the Seattle-based company, and their latest patterns are both flattering and bold without going over the top. And while some of the colorways can be a bit drab, the simpler styling looks great on body. You won’t get too many stares with these—just compliments on the purposeful simplicity.
1. Men’s Janji Dauda Journeyman 5”, MSRP $54
The Nepal Journmany 5" Shorts are hands down the best shorts Janji has ever made. From the rainbow threaded waistband, to the burgundy contrasted perfectly with stone blue, these shorts look great on and off. The perforated fabric breathes well and dries well, while the fit is flexible yet flattering. Best of all, these Nepal-inspired shorts give clean water to someone in Nepal with every pair sold. Self congratualtion over!
Best Basic Men’s Running Shorts
3. Men’s Nike 5" Flex Running Shorts, MSRP $40
This pair is the perfect transitionary piece for the runner used to wearing boxers under basketball shorts. This classic silhouette from the Portland-based sports giant comes in nearly every solid color, allowing you a great 5” pair of shorts to start (or complement) your running shorts wardrobe. With a small waistband and lightweight material, you’ll barely notice you’re wearing any shorts at all, allowing you to go mile after comfortable mile.
2. Men’s New Balance Impact 5”, MSRP $45
Some of the basic pair of shorts, such as the New Balance Impact 5”, aren’t as cheap as shorts you could find at a place like Target. But this is a list of the best basic men’s pair of shorts—not the cheapest. A great pair of shorts (such as this one) will cost you; luckily, you’ll have it for year after year. The Impact 5” from New Balance is extremely well made and one of the best fitting shorts on the list: the seaming is great, the fabric is top notch, and it’s a simple pair that you can wear week after week, training cycle after training cycle.
1. Men’s Under Armour Speedpocket 5” Shorts, MSRP $45
The Under Armour Speedpocket 5” shorts is our favorite pair of bottoms we’ve ever test from Under Armour. It has anti-odor technology, super light fabric, and plenty of pockets. The shorts come in several, simple colors and fit fantastically. One important note: these running shorts do not have a liner. So if you want to test them out, make sure you either wear compression shorts or are comfortable wearing a moisture wicking brief. These shorts also come in 7”.
Best Advanced Running Shorts
3. Men’s North Face Flight Series Warp Knit, MSRP $150
You read that price tag right. These 5.5” shorts from North Face might be the most expensive shorts you’ve ever seen, but if you’re into the most advanced running features you can justify that price tag. Inspired by New Balance’s ultrarunner athletes, these shorts have 5.5” shell with a stitch-free compression liner. The shorts wick moisture incredibly quickly, has a zip-pocket, and an extremely comfortable waistband. If you want the fast-drying fabric on the market coupled with a very comfortable compression liner, you should give these a try (as long as you’re comfortable with the price).
2. Men’s Sugoi Titan 5” Shorts, MSRP $65
Sugoi might be better known for making some of the best cycling wear on the market, but it’s men’s shorts deserve equal—if not higher—praise than anything they make for cyclists. The Titan Shorts are made with a lightweight woven fabric that has a nice mesh detail for breathability. What really makes these shorts special is the patented Icefil liner that cools your skin for the summer months—or cools you down for winter months if you’re wearing them inside or under pants. The shorts also fit well, have a zipper pocket, and stretch well.
1. Men’s Nike Aeroswift 5” Shorts, MSRP $80
Nike got its start in running. Its latest Aeroswift shorts (which can also be found as a split short or a long short), combines Nike’s most stretchable Nike flex fabric, an extremely light flyvent waistband that has an interior drawcord, and a split hem to maximize movement. These shorts also fit well, come in some great (if not overtly loud) designs, and feels supremely comfortable. If you’re willing to spend $80 on a single pair of shorts, the Aeroswift 5” shorts are a great option.