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Lululemon Surge Short Review | Good Option for Runners That Love Briefs

Lululemon Surge Short Running and chafing

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The Lululemon Surge Short is designed to tackle both serious and casual running. The Surgy Short features a lightweight shell and internal liner for supporting all types of runners.

As I get more into running and pursuing a sub-5-min mile, I’ve been really enjoying exploring different pairs of running shorts and running shoes. I’m a fan of compression briefs built into my training shorts, I was curious about how the Lululemon Surge Short performs.

Most serious running shorts feature an underwear liner, so when I saw that the Surge Short offered a brief built for running, I was intrigued and excited to test them out.

Surge Short Pros and Cons



  • The brief liner breathes well and should work great for guys with thinner legs.
  • The shell is wispy and never feels heavy when going on long runs or tackling cross-training workouts.
  • If you have thinner legs then you should have minimal chafing in these shorts.


  • Meaty legs, you'll probably want to pass on these because the brief can feel wicked snug at times.
  • The waistband could be a little more structured with storing modern-day phones.
  • Brief can cause chafing when it rides up for guys with thicker thighs, circling back to con one.

Lululemon Surge Short Summary

I think the Lululemon Surge Short will be best for the more recreational runner who’s getting more serious about their training. This model performs well across the board, and I enjoy the breathable compression liner in this model.

This model is also nice because it has two inseam options of 4″ and 6″. I don’t prefer to rock shorts with inseams shorter than 5″ due to my long legs, so the fact that the Surge Short comes in a 6″ inseam option is fantastic for folks like myself who want slightly longer running shorts.

If you want a short that is biased towards running with some cross-training, then I think you’ll resonate with this short. It won’t be as good for lifting as the Breaker Short, but for cardio, it works exceptionally well.

My main gripe and concern with the Surge Short is that it’s not the best running short for guys with big thighs. If you’re a hybrid athlete who has thicker legs from running and lifting then you may want to explore other short options.

  • How I Like to Use Them: Running and Cross-Training
  • Inseam Options: 6″
  • Liner Options: Lined
  • Pockets: Yes
  • Price: $68 (liner)
  • For More Info: Read My Review

Lululemon Surge Short


Lululemon Surge Short

Best For

  • Runners That Enjoy Briefs
  • Recreational Runners
  • For Casual Athletes

Falls Short

  • For Some Runners Due to Chafing
  • For Long-Term Durability

Lululemon Surge Short Pros

As a strong performer for my recreational running needs, I’ve found a few pros that I really like about the Lululemon Surge Short.

  1. Lightweight Shell
  2. “Limited” Chafing
  3. Breathable Compression Brief With Phone
  4. Waistband Loop and Pocket

The first pro about the Lululemon Surge Short is the outer shell. Honestly, you can tell right away how a short will perform based on its shell construction. The Surge Short’s shell has a 4-way stretch construction, and it features recycled polyester, which is also a subtle awesome pro for those that care about sustainability and the sources of materials.

Lululemon Surge Short Shell

The second major pro to these shorts is that I have yet to experience chafing in them. In some running shorts that have the underwear liner, I experience chafing on longer runs in warmer settings, but I have yet to notice that issue in the Surge Short. This mode’s brief liner’s lightweight nature does a good job of staying locked down and not riding up.

However, it’s worth noting that this doesn’t necessarily mean that you won’t experience chafing. With running shorts specifically and our individual anatomies, sometimes our build doesn’t line up with a short’s construction. In my context, this brief actually feels better than most underwear liners which I know is not the case for everyone.

I think that’s important to keep in mind when discussing chafing as a whole with running shorts. For additional context, I also have slightly meatier legs, so I’m curious if that plays a role in why I prefer briefs over most underwear liners.

Lululemon Surge Short Chafing

On the topic of liking the internal brief, I also like that it’s fairly breathable. This is a good pair of shorts for treadmill-focused running and running outdoors. If you’re someone like myself that sweats a ton, this is huge for both odor and sweat-wicking during workouts.

The final perks of the Surge Short revolve around its posterior and waistband. This pair of shorts has a pocket on the posterior to hold your phone, and overall, it’s fairly secure. Most running shorts are not designed to hold phones, but for more recreational runners like myself who love running with music, this is a nice pro.

In addition, there’s an external elastic loop on the right side posterior part of the waistband for storing your shirt. If you like running shirtless, but enjoy wearing one for warm-ups and being in more busy areas, this loop is great for easy storage without causing your shorts to feel bogged down. The waistband tuck is less than ideal, after all.

Lululemon Surge Short Pocket

Lululemon Surge Short Cons

Despite liking the Lululemon Surge Short as a whole, there are a couple of cons worth noting about this model.

  1. Long-Term Durability
  2. Brief May Cause Chafing In Some

The first drawback is the long-term durability in this short. Right out of the gate, these shorts are solid with durability, but I do have concerns with long-term wear especially for those who throw these into a normal wash and dry cycle.

With the lightweight nature of these shorts, I’d highly suggest limiting tugging on the materials and when you wash them, run them on cold and delicate, then let them air dry to prevent early breakdown.

This is what I do for all of my high-performance apparel to ensure my apparel goes the distance. It’s not always foolproof, but it’s certainly better than traditional wash and dry cycles.

Lululemon Surge Short Brief

Another potential drawback is that the compression brief in this short may cause chafing in some contexts for certain athletes. I have slightly more muscular legs (quads and adductors, specifically), so for me, the brief fits really well, but I know not everyone will have the same build, leg length, size, etc.

Ironically, I actually have more discomfort with this model’s brief when I’m walking in them, but when running they fit awesome. On that note, if you’re someone who finds briefs to cause chafing in any pair of shorts, especially for running, then you may want to look into other running shorts that feature an underwear liner.

Lululemon Surge Short Performance

For performance, I’m only going to discuss two sections and that includes running and agility/plyometric training. This short is not going to be great for lifting and daily wear due to no pockets, so we’re not going to discuss those sections.

Lululemon Surge Short Performance

Agility and Plyometrics

For agility and plyometrics, this short performs pretty well. Whenever I have to do speed workouts at the track, I’ll add in some pre-run agility work to warm-up and this short tackles these tasks with relative ease. I like the overall mobility in this short’s 4-way stretch shell.

The only caveat and drawback to this short in this performance context is that the brief can ride up and get uncomfortable when doing lateral work and jumps. Due to the nature of the brief, I think that’s why this happens in this model. If you’re moving front to back, though, this doesn’t really happen.

Lululemon Surge Short Chafing


For running, this short does exceptionally well, however, it’s worth noting once again, that some may not like the brief in this model due to chafing. When I’m running, I don’t have issues with the brief riding up, but it’s definitely tighter than other running shorts that I’ve tried.

Outside of the potential for chafing, I do like this short’s overall build for running. I think my favorite part with this short and running is the posterior pocket for holding your keys, cards, and phone, and the elastic loop for holding your shirt. As the weather gets colder, it’s nice having the option to store your shirt comfortably if you start you run wearing a top.

Lululemon Surge Short Sizing

When it comes to sizing and fit in the Lululemon Surge Short, I noticed it fits tighter than the Lululemon Pace Breaker Short and T.H.E. Short. In those models, I can comfortably rock a medium, and in this model, a medium fits pretty snugly.

In the Surge Short, I can rock a medium, but I definitely prefer a little bit more room for my legs and boys to breathe. Below, I’m going to provide my dimensions you can hopefully use them to pick the correct size short for you.

  • Waist: 33″
  • Hip Width: 38″
  • Mid-Thigh: 23.5″
  • Height: 6′ 0″

Lululemon Surge Short Sizing and Fit

If you have any additional sizing questions for the Surge Short, feel free to drop a comment below or reach out to me personally via Instagram (@jake_boly).

Construction Details

If you’re interested in some of the construction details of the Lululemon Surge Short, I’ve provided some of the key details below. For additional insights, make sure you check out the Lululemon Suge Short’s product page.

  • Shell: 86% Recycled polyester, 14% Elastane
  • Liner: 82% Polyester, 18% Elastane
  • Inseam Options: 4″ and 6″
  • Stash Your Shirt Loop
  • Posterior Phone/Key Pocket
  • 4-Way Stretch Shell
  • 100% of Polyester Used Is Recycled
  • Out of Mind™ (OOM™) Liner

Lululemon Surge Short Pocket and Shirt Loop

If you have any specific construction questions in regard to your performance needs, feel free to ask whatever you have!

Takeaway Thoughts

Overall, I’m hot and cold with the Luluelmon Surge Short. I like the brief liner for running, but when walking and wearing casual pre-runs, I’ve noticed it’s a bit uncomfortable. If you like brief liners, then I think you’ll like this short.

However, I do want to make it known that this short will not be for everyone, so I’d suggest exploring what you like most in your running shorts, whether it be underwear or brief liners, and then decide based on that answer.

If you have any questions on this short, drop a comment below or reach out to me personally via Instagram, and I’ll answer whatever you have!

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.

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