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Ten Thousand Foundation Short Review (2024 Update)

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The Ten Thousand Foundation Short is one of the many pairs of high-performance shorts Ten Thousand offers. Oftentimes, the Foundation Short is related to increased durability for serious athletes who want to limit abrasion on the outside of their shorts.

I’ve been wearing the Ten Thousand Foundation Shorts for the past three years and I have a relatively good idea of how these shorts are going to perform for a variety of guy’s performance needs.

For context, I’m a powerlifter who dabbles in other various sports so I’m constantly varying my training and pushing these shorts to the max from a stretch point of view in movements like back squats.

Foundation Short Pros and Cons



  • Good overall shell durability for abrasion resistance
  • Deep pockets are great for storage
  • Great option for guys who like more board short-style training shorts


  • Drawstring security can be an issue with rubbing
  • These shorts are heavier so they lack breathability at times
  • With their heavier construction, these shorts can hold on to water

Foundation Short Specs to Know

  • How I Like to Use Them: Barbell lifts and hypertrophy training
  • Inseam Options: 5″, 7″, and 9″
  • Liner Options: Liner and Non-Liner
  • Pockets: Yes
  • Price: $68 (non-liner) and $68 (liner)

Ten Thousand Foundation Short


Ten Thousand Foundation Short

Best For

Falls Short

  • For Longer Runs
  • For Agility Training

Who Should Buy the Foundation Short?

  1. Strength athletes and lifters who want shorts primarily for heavy sessions and hypertrophy workouts.
  2. Guys who like training shorts that they can wear on a daily wear basis and for training.
  3. Anyone who likes using their board shorts for working out but who wants shorts more hyper-focused for training.

Who Shouldn’t Buy the Foundation Short?

  1. Runners. If you need workout shorts for longer distance runs, pass on these because they run heavy.
  2. Guys who live in super hot climates. These shorts can hold in sweat a little more compared to their lighter-weight peers.

Performance Assessment

For Strength Athletes and Gym Bros

For general strength training where you’re having barbell friction and putting a ton of stretch into your gear, you need shorts built a little heavier. I find the Foundation Short excels well in this environment due to its outer shell. I find it not only resists abrasion but also maintains its integrity over time. This durability has helped my shorts maintain their shape and I’ve put probably over 100 clean-focused workouts into my first pair.

Additionally, I like the deeper pockets and think they’re a thoughtful feature for general gym use because they make storage way better. I find this especially valuable in crowded gym settings where setting belongings on the floor isn’t ideal. I don’t know how many times I’ve gotten my AirPods case because I take it out of my pocket and set it by a machine.

For Those Undecided On Their Shorts

I remember being unsure about which workout shorts to commit to back when I first started buying premium training shorts, especially since my training leans heavily towards strength but I dabble in other activities too. The Foundation Short somewhat emerged organically as the perfect solution.

Foundation Short Performance

This was before Ten Thousand was dumping so much money into social media marketing and you saw them everywhere. Its versatility across various exercises made it an ideal starter short for me. If you’ve never worn higher-end shorts for strength training, then I feel like these can be a no-brainer for anyone who wants a pair of shorts that excel in the gym but are flexible enough for other activities.

For Those Who Need a Short for Training and Daily Wear

In my quest for the ultimate hybrid shorts, the Foundation Short has been a nice surprise. For daily wear, the heavier shell does give this model a more casual look. I still prefer shorts like the Pace Breaker from Lulu for daily wear, but the Foundation Short does suffice for me most days when my Lulu shorts are dirty.

At this point, I’ve worn these shorts everywhere—from grocery runs to casual outings—and they’ve never felt that out of place. It’s this blend of functionality and style that has made them a go-to choice for me, offering the practicality I need for workouts with the aesthetic flexibility for daily life.

Performance Takeaways

In summary, the Ten Thousand Foundation Short is a versatile, durable, and stylish option that meets my needs well. For dedicated strength athletes like me to those seeking a reliable pair of hybrid daily wear/training shorts, the Foundation can be a good option to explore and look into.

Again, though, keep in mind these shorts have their limitations. If you prefer shorts that are lighter-weight or built for running, I’d pass on these shorts entirely and look into something else.

Foundation Short Sizing and Fit

I wear a medium in this model’s sizing and fit. To help you find what size would be best for you, I’ve included some key measurements below that you can reference.

  • Height: 6′ 0″
  • Weight181 lbs
  • Waist: 32-33″
  • Hip (circumference around butt): 40″
  • Mid-Thigh: 23.5″-24″

When rocking a medium with these measurements, the shell never gets caught up on my thigh and the waistband fits very true. I can rock a large, but it’s a tad too large for my liking regarding how I like my shorts to fit.

Liner Vs Non-Liner, My Opinion

Personally, I’m always a fan of training shorts that have liners built-in. I like the fact that I don’t have to worry about two different articles of clothing and it usually just feels more natural than wearing a separate pair of compression shorts. That being said, the Foundation Short with the liner is my preferred option.

However, I think if you’re in the camp of a guy who loves wearing your own compression shorts (or none at all!), then the Foundation Short is one of the best options that Ten Thousand offers for doing so.

The heavier shell doesn’t get hung up on compression shorts that easily when going into deep hip flexion, plus, you can rock them without compression gear when training if you want to…I wouldn’t advise that, though.

Pros Expanded

Pro 1: Outer Shell Is Durable

The first thing I like is the outer shell is incredibly durable and resists abrasion from barbells well. The shell has a double-weave construction, so it’s built to withstand various levels of friction and stretch without ripping and tearing.

Of all the Ten Thousand shorts that I own, the Foundation Short has lasted the longest. In fact, I still have one of my first pairs from back in 2019 which is wild thinking about how fast I go through most apparel.

Pro 2: Deeper Pockets

The second thing I like is the deeper pockets and the additional zip pocket. If you’re someone who likes putting their phone, wallets, keys, or fob in their pockets, then these shorts will do a great job at keeping those valuables secure. The zip pocket on the right side is also great for increasing the security of your valuables during runs and various workouts.

Foundation Short Pockets

I like to wear my training shorts on a day-to-day basis so having a “casualish-looking” short with good security is a huge ask for me. Since these look like board shorts I find them easy to wear out and about casually.

The third thing I like is that these shorts can be worn on a workout or daily basis. Since the outer shell is slightly heavier and there’s a boardshorts drawstring, then they can be worn out and about and they don’t look overly “gym-esque” in nature. Basically, these are a good all-around pair of shorts for daily wear.

Cons Expanded

Con 1: Drawstring Security Can Be An Issue

My first drawback with the Foundation Short is the drawstring construction. Since the drawstring faces outwards it can suffer from coming untied at times if you’re doing things like cleans where you’re consistently hitting the barbell higher in the hips or burpees. This can be frustrating at times because the last thing I want while training is adjust my shorts.

Foundation Short Drawstring

I have found a way to mitigate this, though, and my tip for you is to knot the shorts and then double-knot your loops without crossing the strings first. Think of basically taking out the first half of how you traditionally tie your and just knotting your shorts with loops. For whatever reason, this has worked exceptionally well for me.

Con 2: Not the Best for Running and Endurance

The Foundation Short can feel heavy at times which knocks its performance for endurance-focused activities. At least for me, if I’m running casually for my hybrid workouts I want a lighter weight short like the Session Short and the Interval Short.

Factor in the heavier shell and the Foundation Short can also trap in heat if you’re running in hotter climates. It’s worth noting, too, that if you go with the liner option the shell also traps in sweat more with this model than in lighter more running-focused shorts like the Distance Short. If you buy these, just keep in mind they have some limitations.

Construction Specs

For all of my tech-focused friends, I’m going to list the construction specs from Ten Thousand’s site for the Foundation Short below.

  • Shell fabric: 88% Polyester, 12% Spandex
  • Shell weight: 168 GSM
  • Shell construction: Double-weave construction for strength
  • Silver Ion anti-odor finish
  • Leg gusset for increased range of motion

In layman’s terms, these specs are highlighting that the shell is heavier than other models they offer and provides a modest stretch for various activities. The silver ion anti-odor finish helps limit the amount of stank that comes with these shorts when sweating in them, and the leg gusset provides additional room for meaty quads.

Foundation Short construction

Takeaway Thoughts

The Ten Thousand Foundation Short is one of the most durable shorts Ten Thousand offers and is best served for strength-focused strength and day-to-day wear. I like the liner version of this model and will wear a 7″ or 9″ inseam when training in them!

Have questions on this model? Drop them below!

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.

6 thoughts on “Ten Thousand Foundation Short Review (2024 Update)”

  1. One thing I’ve noticed, the velcro can wear out and lose its ability to really secure. A universal problem with velcro I guess but something I’ve noticed with my Foundation shorts.

  2. Hi not sure if my earlier attempt at righting a comment succeeded. With the shorts with liners can they go three lifting sessions without washing and no underwear?

  3. Hopefully this isn’t a dumb question.

    Can the lined shorts be worn as day wear for more than one day in a row? Or can they go for say barbell sessions on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday evenings? All this and not giving you scrot rot?

    1. Hey Patrick! To be honest with you and this may come off as gross to some, lol, but I routinely rock my Foundation and Interval Shorts for more than 1 session without cleaning them. Now, if I’m sweating like crazy then I’ll shorten how many days, but generally, I’ll go 3-4 sessions before washing them. I do this because it not only prolongs their durability but I don’t have issues with stink/chafing either.

      Hope that helps and I got your first comment — making my way through YouTube and the site hitting everyone back as we speak!

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