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The Best Triathlon Shorts

author image Rebekah Joy
Rebekah Joy has been a health and fitness writer since 2007. Her work has appeared on LifeScript.com, a women's health and lifestyle website, and in "Goal Indoor," the official magazine of the United States Indoor Soccer Association. She holds a Master of Arts in English from George Mason University and is also a competitive rower and triathlete.
The Best Triathlon Shorts
A female triathlete exercising on her bike. Photo Credit Jacob Ammentorp Lund/iStock/Getty Images

In an endurance event like a triathlon, it’s important to wear clothing that will be comfortable for the duration of the race. And when the clock’s ticking, you want gear that will transition easily between swimming, biking and running. While some brave souls may opt to wear a swimsuit for shorter races, most triathletes prefer something that provides a little more coverage and padding for the bike and run. Fortunately, many endurance sports brands offer triathlon-specific shorts and other apparel that will give you one less thing to worry about on race day.


Started in Kona, Hawaii, where the Ironman World Championships are held every year, Zoot Sports has been catering to elite triathletes for over 30 years. And what works for the pros undoubtedly works for the rest of us, too. Zoot’s most popular triathlon short is the Performance Tri Short, which features breathable and quick-drying fabric with just enough fleece padding to keep you comfortable on the bike and run. The shorts also offer compression support for fatigued muscles, specially constructed hems that provide minimal seam stitching to prevent chafing, pockets for your nutritional needs and UPF+ sun protection. If cost isn't your driving consideration, Zoot's Ultra Tri Shorts offer even more advanced features for optimal performance.


Best known for their compression wear, 2XU offers triathlon shorts to fit a variety of budgets and preferences. If you want the best 2XU has to offer, take advantage of the Compression Short collection, which can help stabilize muscles, increase power and maximize blood flow for minimal lactic acid build-up and optimal movement. Other features include fabric that cools the body and protects against the sun, flat-stitched hems for reduced chafing, pockets for storage and quick-drying chamois padding. For the more budget-conscious, 2XU also offers less expensive shorts that aren't designed with compression technology.

Pearl Izumi

Based in Colorado, Pearl Izumi offers a variety of performance shorts for the triathlete. The In-R-Cool Tri Short series feature a revolutionary fabric that is lightweight, aerodynamic and cooling, with built-in UV sun protection. Designed for optimal comfort and minimal chafing, the shorts have chamois padding that is quick-drying, anti-odor and thermal-regulating. For easy access during the bike and run, the shorts are designed with one back pocket for your personal storage needs. Pearl Izumi's Select Tri Short is more budget-friendly, featuring fabric that offers compression and moisture-wicking, UPF 50+, leg grippers, quick-drying fleece chamois padding and reflective detailing for increased visibility.

De Soto

Designed, tested and worn by triathletes, De Soto's triathlon shorts are high in performance and low in cost. Its most popular short, the Carrera Tri Short, is made with the revolutionary Carrera Skin fabric, recognized for its lightweight, breathable and quick-drying properties. The product also features a seamless fleece pad for added cushion and minimal bulk and is designed to meet your swimming, biking and running needs. At a higher cost, the Forza Tri Short offers the same high quality with added performance features, such as compression fabric that provides support for tired muscles, increased durability, added comfort and the ideal swimming fabric for non-wetsuit races.

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