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The 14 best women's cycling-style running shorts

Say hello to chafe-free running.

cycling style running shorts

Summer is coming! Which means it's time to refresh your running wardrobe. But while any opportunity to showcase your fabulous runner's pins should be jumped at, wearing short-shorts also increases your risk of thigh chafe. Fortunately running brands have finally seen the light, and cycling-style shorts are now available for runners looking for chafe-free comfort.

From the best high-waisted shorts for training runs, to what to wear on race day to combat thigh rub, keep scrolling for our pick of the best spandex and lycra shorts for women who run, available to shop now.

What are cycling-style running shorts?

Also known as spandex or compression shorts, cycling-style shorts are slightly longer, form-fitting bottoms. Similar to leggings (but for the summer months) they are well suited to women who run, as they minimise chafing by preventing your thighs from rubbing as you sweat.

They often come with a high-waist to keep your middle comfortable too. And if you're at all concerned about wearing tight lycra, don't be. Form-fitting spandex is surprisingly flattering and most styles now come with perfectly positioned seams to make you look (and feel) streamlined.

Confusingly, they are often still called cycling shorts (as bike fans got their first) but most of the shorts on our list are not padded, so they won't offer much protection if you're planning on wearing them on your bike, but they will feel great when you run.

texas elite adidas thunder blue white | Help choosing the best cycling-style running shorts

Choosing the best running shorts is largely down to personal preference, but there are a few points worth considering before you get clicking...

• Find your fit: While cycling-style shorts are revelatory for women who run, not all bottoms are created equal. Some spandex shorts still ride up, feel too compressive, or just lack the power to stay put, so look for shorts that cater to your specific needs.

• Leg length: Like leggings, cycle-style shorts are designed to sit tight against your skin. The key is to select the right leg length – the distance between your crotch and the lowest part of your leg. Too short and you might feel like you're running in pants, too long and they risk sagging or riding up.

• Pocket power: Planning to hit the road in just shorts and a vest? Look for bottoms with enough pockets to store all your essentials. Most now come with secret compartments in the waistband, while some also have drop-pockets on the thigh.

• Middle ground: Prefer to tuck it all in or feel the breeze on your midriff? Look for low, mid or high-rise waistbands depending on what you prefer.

14 best cycling-style running shorts for women

We've rounded up our pick of the best cycling-style shorts, to keep you running chafe-free and happy all summer long.

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1 Enduro Bamboo Long Sport Shorts
Bamboo Clothing
£49.00
2 Power 6" Cycling Shorts
Sweaty Betty sweatybetty.com
£55.00
3 Essential Base Bike Shorts in Obsidian Camo Print
Gym+Coffee gympluscoffee.com
£40.00
4 Base Pace High-Rise Short 8"
Lululemon
£48.00
5 Women's High Waisted Legging Shorts
Runderwear
£40.00
6 Kiprun Support W Tight Shorts
Decathlonn decathlon.co.uk
£24.99
7 TruePace Short Running Tights
adidas by Stella McCartney adidas.co.uk
£85.00
8 Power High-Waisted 9" Cycling Shorts
Sweaty Betty sweatybetty.com
£60.00
9 Dri-FIT Epic Luxe
Nike nike.com.uk
£49.95
10 Energy Colour Block Cycling Short
Pour Moi pourmoi.co.uk
£24.00
11 Q Speed Utility Fitted Short
New Balance newbalance.co.uk
£45.00
12 Rainbow Bolt Shorts
Designed By Sports designedbysports.co.uk
£34.99
13 Women's UA Meridian Bike Shorts
Under Armour underarmour.co.uk
£42.00
14 Bike stretch shorts
Girlfriend Collective net-a-porter.com.uk
£40.00
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