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Running Shorts That Don’t Chafe (or ride up!)

May 15, 2018 | Kit, Lifestyle, Running | 15 comments

running shorts that don't chafe

When my friend Sarah turned up at the London 10 Mile race on Sunday, I eyed up her shorts closely, asking her if she was wearing two pairs she said proudly, ‘yes, these are Matthew’s boxers and these are Matthew’s running shorts’. Turns out, she’d stolen all of her boyfriends kit that morning because the chafing had been so bad from her own shorts on a previous run.

Been there, got the chub rub to prove it.

Luckily, I don’t have to worry about shorts anymore as I am building up quite the collection of amazing running shorts, but since it’s one of my most asked questions on Instagram, I thought I’d share them here.


My ultimate favourite pair of running shorts are a pair of Lululemon shorts with pockets on the thighs and in the back. Sadly, they seemed to have discontinued my faves, (however rumour has it something similar is coming back), and the closest I could find was the Train Times shorts.

Tokyo Marathon 2018 Race Recap

I’ve put together a collection of similar style shorts to those all time faves, that are long in length, flattering, and should prevent any of that unfortunate inner-thigh rubbing. I typically look for a 7inch length running short (I’m 5ft 6) and the more pockets, the better.

While we wait for Lululemon to release some new pocketed shorts, I think the closest I’ve found are the Oiselle pocket joggers. The Threo and 2XU shorts have zipped pockets at the back – perfect for keys, bank cards, phones etc.

Chafe proof running shorts

1. 2XU Compression shorts £65 

2. Nike Fast Shorts £22 

3. Threo Battersea Running Shorts £60 

4. Lululemon Train Times Shorts £48 

5. Sweaty Betty Contour Workout Shorts £35, 

6. Asics 2-In-1 5.5IN shorts £40 

7. Oiselle Pocket Jogger Shorts $58

Tokyo Marathon 2018 Race Recap

What pairs of running shorts do you love? Any particular style? I used to love the short, baggier style of short with the pant lining, but without pockets, found them annoying for running long distance (and, I think I’ve mentioned the chafing before!). Check out this old school Runner Beans blog post on Track shorts!


  1. The Mind/Matter project

    I have the Lululemon shorts with pockets on the sides – they are amazing and I would by 5 more pairs if I could. They’re just the right length and the pockets are great for energy gels.

    For long runs I always wear those. I have some Nike ones too but it’s hard to find the right length with Nike.

  2. Ger

    I have been eyeing these style of pants for a while but they’re so hard to find long. I have been wearing Nike tempo shorts or Oiselle rogas but would prefer more of a the style like leggings. Will be checking these out! Thanks for sharing!

  3. Andrea

    I had the most wonderful Adidas 5″ lycra shorts that I wore through multiple half and full marathon training cycles until I ended up getting a hole on the inner thigh! I’ve struggled to find a good replacement for them!

  4. Donna Rea Kaseberg

    Athleta has a running short with thigh pockets and a back pocket! Love them

    • charlotte

      Ooh thanks, will check them out and add them to the list 🙂 x

  5. Wendie

    Oiselle Pocket Joggers! Fingers crossed they bring black back in stock.

  6. taplatt

    Ah, inner thigh chafing…I love ‘classic’ short and loose running shorts for speedwork and shorter runs/races, but I also prefer shorts that stay put for longer runs. I just bought the lululemon Train Times shorts – partly on your suggestion! Although I was skeptical of them only having a slip pocket, it’s quite deep and securely fits my keys, card, and a gel. I’ve worn them for two 9-mile+ runs and they haven’t budged. Thanks for the tip!

  7. franbonfi

    This is super helpful! I need to invest in some shorts but wasn’t sure on which to get! Thank you!

  8. Shelby

    Kind of awkward question…but what kind of underwear do you wear with these? Or none? I’m having trouble finding a good pair of running underwear.

    • hannah

      Obviously everyone is different but personally I go commando when running and cycling.

      • Shelby

        That’s usually what I do too! Thanks!

    • charlotte

      Im with Hannah and go commando too! 🙂 x

      • Shelby

        Okay, thanks!!!

  9. Aleš Várady

    Shorts are super important, especially if you are running long distance. If you feel like running long distance for example marathon but don’t know how to plan for it just click on this link
    See you in front of the starting line.

  10. Bethan

    I really hope Lululemon bring back the shorts with pockets, they’re so handy! Have you seen the undershorts Tribe Sports do? They’re a seamless fitted short to wear under a looser running short, I’ve been substituting my running undies for them and they work a treat, plus are super comfy because they’re seamless. Only issue is I think they’re a bit too warm for the weather at the moment. x


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