Home » 6 Best Men’s CrossFit Shorts for 2021 | Picks for Versatility and Durability

6 Best Men’s CrossFit Shorts for 2021 | Picks for Versatility and Durability

In the growing world of apparel, it can be really difficult finding the right pair of workout shorts for CrossFit. Companies continue to innovate their CrossFit shorts with more features, which is fantastic for performance, however, it can make the decision-making process tougher on the consumer. Paralysis by analysis is a real thing.

To keep things simple, the best pair of CrossFit-focused workout shorts need to possess a few key construction aspects.

First, they need to be mobile to accommodate the various demands that come with CrossFit-style training. Second, they need durability to prevent tears from things like rope climbs and barbells. Third, they need to look clean and like a pair of shorts you’ll feel proud wearing — look good, feel good, play good, after all.

In this men’s workout shorts for CrossFit, I’m going to break shorts into a few different categories so you can select a pair that best suits your training needs.

If you’re interested in other men’s workout apparel like hoodies, pants, and more, make sure you check out the That Fit Friend Apparel Hub.

Best Overall CrossFit Short: Ten Thousand Interval Short

My top pick for CrossFit and overall training is the Ten Thousand Interval Short. The Interval Short delivers strong performance across the board for versatility and durability and holds its own in pretty much every training setting.

This pair of shorts has three major construction features that feed really well into CrossFit-style training. First, their 4-way stretch is mobile and never feels limiting in snatches, deep squats, and pretty much any other movement you throw at them. I personally like that the shell stretches and moves well with you and there’s never a “breaking point” in which the material feels like it’s going to rip.

ten thousand interval short

Second, the waistband and leg gusset are nice subtle performance touches. The waistband never bunches up and fits true on the waist. I’m a big fan of this because if you’re doing things like burpees or other movements where the front of the shorts is going to be rubbing, then you don’t want waistband bunching. The leg gusset is also nice for guys with beefier legs who don’t want their shorts riding up a ton mid-workout.

Third, the quick-drying tech in this model is also solid. If you’re training in hot CrossFit boxes, then you’re going to want a pair of shorts that dries quickly and doesn’t hold a ton of moisture. Factor in the anti-odor tech in this model and you have a solid pair of workout shorts that won’t get you labeled as the “smelly guy” in the morning or evening class.

  • Best For: CrossFit, Recreational Lifting, Versatile Training
  • Inseam Options: 5″, 7″, and 9″
  • Pockets: Yes
  • Price: $58 (non-liner) and $68 (liner)
  • Read My ReviewTen Thousand Interval Short Review

Ten Thousand Interval Short

$68

Ten Thousand Interval Short (2)
4.8
Versatility
4.8
Durability
4.7
Quality
4.7

Best For

  • Shorter/Mid-Range Runs
  • Recreational Lifting
  • Agility Workouts
  • Classes
  • CrossFit

Falls Short

  • For Cost-Efficiency

 

Best Short for Casual CrossFit Classes: Lululemon T.H.E. Short

The Lululemon T.H.E. Short is a great option for the more casual CrossFit-focused athlete and lifter. This pair of shorts can perform well in serious training settings, but also look great and be really comfortable on a day-to-day basis, hence why it’s my top pick for the casual CrossFit-focused athlete.

This pair of shorts has three key features that help it to excel in the more casual CrossFit setting. First, the material used in this short is super mobile and comfortable. The T.H.E. Short features a lightweight 4-way stretch construction composed of 86% Recycled polyester and 14% Elastane. Personally, I love that Lululemon is using recycled materials in this product.

Lululemon T.H.E. Short Material

Second, the pockets on this short are deep and they have a zipper pocket for securing your valuables. This is great for the athlete and lifter that wants to wear their shorts outside of the gym and keep their valuables secure. If you want a pair of workout shorts for training and casual wear, this is a good model to look into.

The third and final aspect is the overall breathability of this product. Whether you go for the lined or linerless option, you’ll never feel overly hot in these shorts. Their overall lightweight construction and sweat-wicking materials help them breathe and keep you cool in even the hottest gym settings.

  • Best For: Casual CrossFit, Daily Wear, Recreational Lifting, Versatile Training
  • Inseam Options: 7″ and 9″
  • Pockets: Yes
  • Price: $68 (non-liner) and $68 (liner)
  • Read My ReviewLululemon T.H.E. Short Review

Lululemon T.H.E. Short

$69

Lululemon T.H.E. Short
4.5
Versatility
4.6
Durability
4.3
Quality
4.4

Best For

  • Recreational Lifting
  • HIIT Training
  • Class Workouts
  • Lighter/Mid-Range Runs

Falls Short

  • For Long-Term Durability
  • For Serious Strength Athletes

 

Best Budget CrossFit Short: Gymshark Apex Perform Shorts

Despite being in the “budget” category, there’s nothing about the Gymshark Apex Perform Shorts that suggest lacking quality. This pair of shorts is over $20 than most of its competitors and delivers a high-performance construction across the board.

There are three key construction details about the Gymshark Apex Perform Short that I love for CrossFit. First, the waistband and shell both have strategic construction details to promote breathability. The waistband has a more perforated construction while the sides of this short’s shell have areas for additional ventilation.

Second, the shell is lightweight and features a 4-way stretch construction composed of 87% Polyester, 13% Elastane. The shell in the Apex Perform Shorts does a good job at stretching and sliding back down the leg when moving through a variety of ranges of motion. The additional side slits are also a nice feature for supporting the overall mobility in this pair of shorts.

The final and third perk to this pair of shorts is their price point. This model comes in at $45 USD, which is considerably less than most of the Apex Perform Shorts’ CrossFit-focused competitors. If you’re shopping on a budget, this is a great pair of shorts that doesn’t sacrifice overall quality despite having a slightly lower price point.

  • Best For: CrossFit, Lifting, Outdoor workouts, and Versatile Training
  • Inseam Options: 7″
  • Pockets: Yes
  • Price: $45 (non-liner)

Gymshark Apex Perform Shorts

$45

gymshark apex perform shorts
4.6
Versatility
4.7
Durability
4.6
Quality
4.6

Best For

  • Casual CrossFit Training
  • Recreational Lifting
  • Athletic-Focused Training
  • Cost-Efficiency

Falls Short

  • For Guys With Thicker Legs (they fit more slim)
  • For Built-In Compression Liner Lovers

 

Best Men’s CrossFit Shorts: Ten Thousand Interval Short

The Ten Thousand Interval Short is making our list once again and taking the top spot for men’s CrossFit shorts. This model offers a variety of inseam options and colorways so pretty much every guy can find a pair of shorts that works really well for their needs, wants, and preferences.

In the context of men specifically, I think this short has three aspects really going for it. First, the Interval Short comes in 5″, 7″, and 9″ inseam options. Personally, I like 7″ inseam shorts, but I also know a bunch of guys like 5″ and 9″ options, so having more options that not is awesome for matching a variety of training preferences.

xero shoes for lifting

Second, every inseam option also offers liner and linerless options. This is huge because some guys love wearing their own compression shorts while others like having compression shorts built-in. I personally like having a compression liner built-in because it takes away the potential of the shell and compression short not aligning well. Either way though, you’ll be safe selecting what you prefer in this model whether that’s linerless or lined.

The last aspect which makes this model a good performer for guys is that this short is pretty much bombproof. I hate spending money on apparel and shoes that break down too quickly and their pair of short’s durability does a good job at standing the test of time. I’ve had pairs last for two years before having to finally retire them.

  • Best For: CrossFit, Recreational Lifting, Versatile Training
  • Inseam Options: 5″, 7″, and 9″
  • Pockets: Yes
  • Price: $58 (non-liner) and $68 (liner)
  • Read My ReviewTen Thousand Interval Short Review

Ten Thousand Interval Short

$68

Ten Thousand Interval Short (2)
4.8
Versatility
4.8
Durability
4.7
Quality
4.7

Best For

  • Shorter/Mid-Range Runs
  • Recreational Lifting
  • Agility Workouts
  • Classes
  • CrossFit

Falls Short

  • For Cost-Efficiency

 

Best CrossFit Short for Comfort: Rhone Mako Short

The Rhone Mako Short is a great option for the athlete and lifter that seriously prioritizes comfort in their buying decisions. This model is soft, maneuverable, and a pleasure to wear for training and daily wear.

The first aspect and construction trait that I really like about the Rhone Mako Short is its anti-odor tech. If you buy the lined Mako Short, then your liner will have GOLDFUSION™ Anti-Odor Technology which I’ve consistently noted to do a good job of tackling the task of keeping me stink-free.

Rhone Mako Short Pockets

Another construction aspect to like about this short is the shell. This model has a 4-way stretch construction composed of polyester and spandex, so it has a nice level of softness and mobility to it. It’s a good model for all-day wear and comfort, so if you want to hit a CrossFit class or training session in the morning, then run errands all day, this is a good model for doing do so.

The final aspect to like about the Mako Short is the quick-drying tech and leg gussets. This model’s shell does a fairly good job at not getting hung up on the legs when training and their quick-drying tech also make them a good model for hotter training settings. This is a good model to wear for casual outdoor sessions, in hot CrossFit boxes, and pretty much everywhere else.

  • Best For: CrossFit, Recreational Lifting, All Day Wear
  • Inseam Options: 7″ and 9″
  • Pockets: Yes
  • Price: $68 (liner and linerless)
  • Read My Review: Rhone Mako Short Review

Rhone Mako Short

$68

Rhone Mako Shorts
4.5
Versatility
4.5
Durability
4.4
Quality
4.4

Best For

  • Recreational Lifting
  • Lighter Runs
  • Class Workouts
  • HIIT Training

Falls Short

  • For Cost-Efficiency
  • For Maximal Waistband Security

 

 

Best Short for Outdoor CrossFit Training: Ten Thousand Tactical Short

If you love tackling outdoor workouts and CrossFit classes, then you’ll need a pair of shorts that can hold their own to the outdoor elements. The Ten Thousand Tactical Short is a good option for being a top performer in both settings.

The Ten Thousand Tactical Short has three key components that make it great for CrossFit and outdoor training. First, the shell on this model is composed of a ripstop material that is both durable and lightweight. This material moves well with you and also does a good job at resisting friction from barbells, branches, and everything else you may run into.

Ten Thousand Tactical Shorts

Second, the thicker waistband is secure and provides adequate support in every training setting. If you’re big on having secure waistbands, the Tactical Short is a good option for you. The internal drawstring is also a nice touch for preventing the shorts from coming untied during your workouts and outdoor sessions.

Lastly, the Tactical Short has quick-drying tech and zip pockets. These are nice touches for giving you more versatility with this pair of shorts. In one session, I’ve worn the Tactical Short to train in, then wear and use for a trail run and creek plunge. Due to their versatility, I never had issues or thought twice about this pair of shorts in those settings.

  • Best For: CrossFit, Recreational Lifting, Rucking, Outdoor Workouts, Versatile Training
  • Inseam Options: 5″ and 7″
  • Pockets: Yes (zip pockets on both sides)
  • Price: $72 (only comes with liner)
  • Read My Review: Ten Thousand Tactical Short Review

Ten Thousand Tactical Short

$72

Ten Thousand Tactical Short
4.6
Versatility
4.7
Durability
4.6
Quality
4.5

Best For

  • Outdoor Training
  • Barbell Training
  • Rucking and Hiking

Falls Short

  • For Cost-Efficiency

 

What Makes a Good CrossFit Short?

Everyone will have their own hierarchy in regard to what makes a great pair of CrossFit shorts, but I wanted to share my thoughts so you could further understand the rationale behind my picks. I think it’s important to share context with readers so you have a better idea of what I look for when making picks.

There are three key components that I look for in CrossFit shorts.

  1. Versatility: A short needs to be a top-performer in a variety of settings, not just one or two. Shorts need to be mobile, great for different gym settings, and good for tackling pretty much any task you throw at them.
  2. Durability: A short needs a shell and construction to promote long-term durability. In CrossFit settings, you can run into friction from ropes, barbells, kettlebells, and so forth, shorts need to be able to resist breaking down from all these settings.
  3. Look Good: A short needs to look good because, after all, if you’re investing your hard-earned money into a pair of shorts, then you might as well find a model that you’re proud to wear.

what makes a good pair of crossfit shorts

These are my top three key qualifiers, then I’ll dive deeper into the construction details of each model to assess how each short performs in niche settings — hence our different sections above!

Do You Wear Underwear With CrossFit Shorts?

Generally, no, you’ll want a compression liner built-in to your shorts or wear a separate compression liner if your shorts are linerless. In CrossFit workouts, you’ll be lifting, jumping, running, and tackling a variety of other exercises, so you’ll want something to help keep everything secure and locked down.

Personally, I like having shorts with built-in compression liners because it helps me bring less total articles of clothing with me in my gym bag and it takes the stress out of compression liners and shorts that don’t blend well. Basically, there are occasions when waistbands of separate compression liners and shorts interact poorly with one another resulting in sliding and constant adjustments.

lined or linerless shorts

Either way, I’d suggest selecting a compression liner option that aligns best with your preferences, wants, and needs. Underwear will likely be too loose for providing you with security with this style of training.

Where to Buy CrossFit Shorts?

At this point, pretty much every apparel company has a pair of shorts designed for more serious versatile training. In most cases, you’ll have to purchase your CrossFit shorts online due to the lack of brick-and-mortar locations for a majority of apparel companies.

My advice is to check out reviews for the pair of shorts you’re interested in, then if you order a pair of shorts, try and test them without ripping the tags fully off. This will give you the ability to try them out and return them if they don’t fit you well which can help ease the stress of the buying process.

Takeaway Thoughts

There are countless CrossFit short options on the market, so if you feel overwhelmed at times, I totally get it. What’s most important is that you find a pair of CrossFit shorts that align best with your needs, wants, and preferences. Each pair of shorts offers a slightly different take on what a high-performing CrossFit short should possess.

If you have any questions on men’s CrossFit shorts, please feel free to drop comments below and I’ll help you the best pair for your needs.

That Fit Friend is a site that is supported by myself (Jake Boly) and its readers. If you purchase products through affiliates links on this site, then I may receive a small commission on the sale. These commissions help keep the lights on here at That Fit Friend so I can continue to create content and they help me purchase new models to review!

nv-author-image

Jake Boly

I've been in the fitness and strength training industry for nearly a decade. In that time, I've trained hundreds of clients, created thousands of articles, reviewed countless products, and produced a large list of training videos. And truthfully, I'm only getting started! As for my educational background, I have my Masters in Sports Science, Bachelors in Exercise Science, and have my CSCS.

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