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5 Best Men’s Workout Shorts for CrossFit

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Shorts can take a serious beating during CrossFit workouts, and that’s why it’s usually a good idea to pay attention to what you wear during your WODs. The last thing anyone wants is an “equipment malfunction,” yes, I’ve ripped a pair at the crotch while training before.

To keep things simple, the ideal pair of CrossFit-focused workout shorts needs to possess a few key construction aspects, and I consider these when reviewing gear. 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. I’m a big fan of shorts that I feel confident in from both a comfort and looks perspective.

Best of the Best: My favorite short for CrossFit workouts is the Ten Thousand Interval Short. These shorts have been super consistent for my training needs and they do well regarding long-term durability.

I have a simple saying here at That Fit Friend and in life, “Look good, feel good, train good.” Our shorts need to work for training, but also look good — let’s be real, there are people in class we want to impress.

What Makes a Good CrossFit Short?

Everyone will have their own hierarchy concerning what makes a great pair of CrossFit shorts, but I wanted to share my thoughts on my big three. I think it’s important to share context with readers so you have a better idea of what I look for when making picks. For me, I’m considering three things.

  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 my different sections.

Best Overall: Ten Thousand Interval Short

  • Best For: CrossFit, Recreational Lifting, Versatile Training
  • Inseam Options: 5″, 7″, and 9″
  • Pockets: Yes
  • Price: $58 (non-liner) and $68 (liner)
  • For More InfoRead My 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

The Ten Thousand Interval Short is my top pick for CrossFit and overall training. The Interval Short delivers strong performance for versatility and durability and holds its own in almost every training setting.

Testing the TYR CXT-1 Trainer for CrossFit

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. Second, the waistband and leg gusset is 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.

Testing the Reebok Nano X3 for CrossFit Workouts

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

  • Best For: Casual CrossFit, Daily Wear, Recreational Lifting, Versatile Training
  • Inseam Options: 7″ and 9″
  • Pockets: Yes
  • Price: $68 (non-liner) and $68 (liner)
  • For More InfoRead My Review

Lululemon T.H.E. Short

$68

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

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.

Lululemon T.H.E. Short Review

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. Second, the pockets on these shorts are deep and they have a zipper pocket for securing your valuables.

This is great for the athlete and lifter who 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.

Lululemon T.H.E. Short Material

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 Budget CrossFit Short: LRD Athletic Shorts

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

LRD Athletic Shorts

LRD Athletic Shorts Product Shot
3.9
Versatility
4.1
Durability
3.8
Quality
3.7

Best For

  • Recreational Lifting
  • Cross-Training
  • Budget Shoppers
  • Thin/Moderate Muscular Legs

Falls Short

  • For Running
  • For Long-Term Durability
  • For Thicker Thighs

The LRD Athletic Shorts are taking my top pick as the best budget CrossFit shorts. These shorts have a price point of $33 USD and cost essentially half — if not less when on sale — to what the rest of the shorts on this list cost.

Me Testing the LRD Athletic Shorts for Cross Training

The LRD Athletic Shorts are great picks for lifters that need a budget pair of shorts for lifting, cross-training, and WODs. These shorts have a decent level of stretch in their shell and they’re heavy enough to resist abrasion.

I also like these shorts for guys that have thinner to moderately muscular legs. If you constantly feel like your workout shorts are lacking security, then these will be a great pair of shorts for your anatomical needs and needs.

LRD Athletic Shorts Liner

While the price of the LRD Athletic Shorts is great, they do have a few shortcomings. For example, you’ll want to pass on these shorts if you have thick thighs and their liner durability can be hit or miss depending on how you care for them.

Best for Comfort: Vuori Kore Short

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

Vuori Kore Short

$68

4.5
Versatility
4.5
Durability
4.4
Quality
4.6

Best For

  • Casual Training
  • Day-to-Day Wear
  • Recreational Lifting
  • All Day Comfort

Falls Short

  • For Maximal Durability
  • For Sprints and Plyometrics

If your main ask is a workout short that you can train but is also super comfortable, then the Vuori Kore Short is an awesome option to explore. Of all the shorts on this list, the Kore Short is one of the easiest shorts to leave on all day and forget about.

Vuori Kore Short

The Kore Short has a nice level of stretch through its shell so when tackling WODs with different mobility demands, these shorts should never get in your way or slow you down.

One of the star players behind the Kore Short’s comfort is its liner. As opposed to a compression liner, this short is built with a lightweight and breathable brief. It won’t give you as much security, but from a comfort point of view, the brief is awesome.

Vuori Kore Short Liner

My only complaint with the Kore Short is that their brief’s ability to maintain its “hug” can fade over time if you have bigger legs. Essentially, the material gets a little lax for my preferences when doing explosive work in WODs like power cleans and snatches.

Best for Outdoor CrossFit Training: Ten Thousand Tactical Short

  • 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)
  • For More Info: Read My Review

Ten Thousand Tactical Short

$74

Ten Thousand Tactical Short
4.7
Versatility
4.7
Durability
4.6
Quality
4.7

Best For

  • Outdoor Training
  • Barbell Training
  • Rucking and Hiking

Falls Short

  • For Cost-Efficiency

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.

Ten Thousand Tactical Short performance review

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 of resisting friction from barbells, branches, and everything else you may run into.

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.

Ten Thousand Tactical Shorts

Lastly, the Tactical Short has quick-drying tech and zip pockets. These are nice touches to give you more versatility with this pair of shorts. In one session, I wore the tactical short to train in, then wore and used it 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.

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, I totally get it. What’s most important is finding 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.

Jake Boly, CSCS, MS Sports Science

Jake Boly, CSCS, MS Sports Science

Jake Boly is the Founder and Editor-In-Chief of That Fit Friend. He's often regarded to as a go-to resource in various performance shoe communities. He’s been formally reviewing shoes and training gear for over 7 years and has hand-tested over 400 pairs of shoes. Jake is known on the internet and YouTube for blending his review process with his educational, strength sports, and personal training background.

Jake has a Masters in Sports Science, a Bachelors in Exercise Science, a CSCS, and he's been personal training for over 10 years helping hundreds of clients get stronger, lose weight, and accomplish their goals. He uses his exercise science brain and personal training background to make curated and thoughtful review content on the fitness gear he's testing.

3 thoughts on “5 Best Men’s Workout Shorts for CrossFit”

  1. Another great budget pick is the GymReaper Training Short at $45. Really solid short. They have outlasted most of my others and they are unlined.

    Jake what are your picks for 9 inch compressor shorts?

  2. Thank you! Your article on these brands does help me a lot because I’ve tried several pairs of shorts and they weren’t that impressive. I had to return them back several times. I will try these brands you mentioned in the article. Again, I appreciate it a lot.
    Thank you!

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