Sometimes simply starting your workout can be a major struggle. An easy way to boost your motivation? A new outfit to show off in your post-workout selfie. It may seem trivial, but the right set of workout shorts can help you move unrestricted and focus on each move and not your wedgies.
When you're searching for the top women's workout shorts on the market, you'll want to find those that balance style and practicality. Look for picks that offer room in the waist, don't ride up and come complete with functional extras like zipper pockets.
Look for descriptors like "sweat-wicking" and "breathable fabric," as that means the short is likely lightweight and made to move, says Cassandra Sethi, personal stylist and founder of Next Level Wardrobe.
Here, Sethi gives us her top short picks — as well as a few favorites from our staff — that offer both functionality and style. Made to stand up to even the sweatiest workouts, you'll be able to dedicate all of your focus on crushing that next rep.
1. Lululemon Track That Short 5-Inch
Available in seven different colors, this is a classic short that's ideal for everything from sprinting to lifting weights. Complete with four-way stretch and quick-drying material, they're designed to beat sweat faster than your first lap around the track.
"This 5-inch short is the perfect go to for those hot summer days," Sethi says. "The length gives you enough coverage for any activity, and the fabric is lightweight enough to keep you cool."
Buy it: Lululemon.com; Price: $58
2. Michi Kinetic Bike Short
These are anything but your typical biker shorts. "For those that want something a bit more fashion-forward and comfortable, Michi does a great spandex short," she says. "The mesh inserts give it a modern, sophisticated feel."
Featuring Italian performance fabric, the shorts keeps you covered and cool. Pair them with a cozy button down, and it's a sleek look perfect for brunch with friends post-sweat.
Buy it: MichiNY.com; Price: $98
When you want your workout shorts to make a statement but you also want them to stay put for the entirety of your workout, you'll want to grab a pair of WOD Bottoms. They're available in a variety of lengths from 2.5 to 5 inches and a ton of fun prints like Unirex (unicorn T. rex) and Kiss My Hass (avocados, pictured above).
And yes, they're moisture-wicking and will move with you throughout your entire workout, whether you're dropping it low in a squat, breaking records on the treadmill or tearing it up in a virtual Zumba class.
Buy it: WODBottom.com; Price: $42 to 45
4. Alala Plie Short
If you're a fan of lower-intensity workouts, like barre or restorative yoga, these shorts can take you straight from the studio to coffee dates and beyond.
"These shorts are made out of super soft french terry that you won't want to take off," Sethi says. "They're perfect to wear for a light workout, errands or just lounging around the house." Bonus: Two convenient front pockets for must-have cards and cash.
Buy it: AlalaStyle.com; Price: $85
5. Prana Olivia Short Plus
This plus-size pick is perfect for your next outdoor hike or long walk. "Made of a nylon/Spandex blend, it's ideal for the woman on the go," she says. "It has quick-dry properties, comes in a mid-rise and has enough pockets to stash your stuff."
Plus, the relaxed, trouser style makes this short a comfortable pick that won't ride up whether you're tackling trails or running errands. The short comes in two versatile colors: coal and black.
Buy it: Prana.com; Price: $59
6. New Balance Impact Short 5 Inch
Complete with an inner liner, these streamlined shorts from New Balance offer runners exactly what they need to pick up the pace. The gathered boxer-style waistband helps you feel locked in and super secure, and drop-in pockets at the outer thigh are right where you need them.
Buy it: NewBalance.com; Price: $54.99
7. Lululemon Align Short 4-Inch
Lululemon's buttery-soft, sweat-wicking Nulu fabric hugs your curves perfectly and makes you forget you're even wearing shorts. Perfect for everything from yoga to HIIT workouts, it's a no-frills, close-to-skin material that moves with you in any and every way.
The Align short also comes in both a 4- and 6-inch inseam and eight different colors, meaning that they're a right shape and style for every taste.
Buy it: Lululemon.com; Price: $58
When you're busting out burpees or forging your own path through the woods, the last thing you want to do is fiddle with your shorts. These shorts from Vuori are the perfect length and waist height so that once you put on your workout shorts, you don't have to think about them again until your post-workout shower.
The fabric is buttery soft, and the design features two pockets along the waistband — on in front and one in back. And if you wanted to wear them from barre to brunch, you'd be ready to go.
Buy it: VuoriClothing.com; Price: $54