I was going to buy a pair of running shorts when suddenly I saw these different types of running shorts used in their descriptions. I had no idea what they were and how they were different from each other so I researched. \n\n\n\nThere are 4 common types of running shorts: Split shorts, v-notch shorts, compression shorts, and 2-in-1 shorts. They are usually short in length and are made of moisture-wicking fabric like polyester. \n\n\n\nAfter knowing the different kinds I needed to know how they were different and which one is a better option. So, after spending time in different kinds of running shorts in different conditions, I finally can give a good recommendation as to the type you should use. \n\n\n\nAhead, I will share with you their main differences and which one to use in different running conditions. \n\n\n\nThe 4 Different Types of Running Shorts\n\n\n\nOriginally, there were only 3 types of running shorts. The split, v-notch, and compression. However, after looking at a bunch of running shorts, sellers started calling 2-in-1 shorts (lined shorts) a type of running shorts so I decided to include them as another type rather than considering them as a short with running to help you choose a type of running shorts better. \n\n\n\nType of shortsProsConsSplit shortsWidest range of motionMost BreathableVery lightGeared for performanceProne to chafingUsually very shortV-notch shortsOffers lots of length optionsLooks naturalSome shorts are a little tight of the crotch and groin areaCompression shortsOffers added muscle compressionProvides heat during cold weatherAdds supportBest in preventing chafingFeeling of restrictionA little warm inside when the weather is humidUncomfortable to wear in public (usually for men)2-in-1 ShortsPrevents chafingOffers modestyLining gives a feeling of restrictionWarm during hot weatherHard to choose the right sizeSummary of the types of running shorts, their pros and their cons. \n\n\n\nSplit shorts\n\n\n\nSplit shorts are made of two panels. The front panel overlaps the back and they usually have V-shaped cuts at the outer side which is why it's commonly confused with V-notch shorts. \n\n\n\nThey are the lightest, most breathable, and offer the widest range of motion out of all types of running shorts making them popular shorts for elite runners running in hot\/humid conditions. \n\n\n\nMost split shorts are very short in length (2-4 in) which makes them prone to chafing. \n\n\n\nThigh chafing is a condition that happens when friction is frequently occurring between your thighs. This is common for those using short shorts without compression shorts underneath. \n\n\n\nThe easiest way to combat chafing is by either wearing compression shorts underneath or applying an anti-chafe balm or vaseline in between your thighs. \n\n\n\nIf you like split shorts, most of ASICS split shorts look nice and feel great. You can check them out on Amazon.\n\n\n\nV-notch shorts\n\n\n\nV-notch shorts look just like regular athletic shorts but have a V-shaped cut in the outer portion to allow movement. \n\n\n\nThey are the most popular type of running shorts and are often seen in different sports. \n\n\n\nThis type of shorts is highly recommended for recreational runners looking for a nice pair to run in public with. That\u2019s because V-notch shorts offer a lot of designs, styles, and lengths to fit your preference and fashion. \n\n\n\nTake a look at this v-notch shorts from New Balance, for example. They look nice and tidy and they look just like any other athletic shorts. Unlike split shorts or compression shorts that is hard to find a design you can feel confident to walk around the city and drink inside a coffee shop post-run. \n\n\n\nThe downside of this type of running shorts is that some options are a little tight on the crotch area making it uncomfortable while some can also be too loose to the point where your thighs can rub against one another and cause chafing. \n\n\n\nIn other words, because there\u2019s a whole bunch of options out there that are created unspecific to running, it\u2019s harder to choose the right v-notch shorts that will fit you and your activity. \n\n\n\nA lot of V-notch shorts being sold on amazon contain \u201crunning shorts\u201d in their description but they aren\u2019t really made for running. \n\n\n\nOne way to make sure you get a nice pair is by buying from brands known to produce high-quality running shorts like New Balance, Asics, and other big brands. \n\n\n\nCompression shorts\n\n\n\nCompression shorts are tight-fitting shorts that look very similar to cycling shorts. \n\n\n\nThis type of shorts offers muscle compression that is said to aid performance by delaying the lactic acid formation in your thighs. \n\n\n\nThis is commonly seen in sprints and marathons but is less common for recreational running. \n\n\n\nCompression shorts are the best in preventing chafing making them a great option for those with thighs. \n\n\n\nBut like all the other types, compression shorts come with a downside too. They are tight, less breathable, and uncomfortable to wear in public (for some, especially men). \n\n\n\nOthers wear this as underwear and wear some type of shorts over it while others wear it as it is. Whichever you decide to go for, it\u2019s always nice to own at least a pair of compression shorts because of their versatility and muscle compression properties. \n\n\n\nIf you're trying to decide what to get, I like the Under Armour HeatGear 2.0. Check them out on Amazon. \n\n\n\n2-in-1 Shorts\n\n\n\nOne search on amazon about running shorts and you\u2019ll find a bunch of sports shops selling 2-in-1 shorts. \n\n\n\nThese are a type of lined shorts where the built-in lining is like a compression short (but usually thinner) and the shorts outside are either v-notch shorts or any athletic shorts.\u00a0\n\n\n\nI see this a lot when I go trekking or when I join a local fun run which tells me lots of runners are comfortable running with these. It\u2019s becoming a popular option in the gym too. \n\n\n\n2-in-1 shorts are great for those who like going commando (no underwear) when they run because of the compression and modesty it offers. These are also great at preventing chafing. \n\n\n\nDespite all the praises it's been getting, I found them to be a little warm in the summer. But overall, this is my favorite type of running shorts.\n\n\n\nIf you're a woman, try out this Under Armour Women's Play Up 2-in-1 short. A friend of mine owns one and she's been telling me she likes the feel of it. \n\n\n\nI use Lixada 2-in-1 shorts and it's my favorite running shorts ever. The best thing about it is it's very affordable. You can buy them on Amazon. \n\n\n\n\n\n\n\nWhich type of running shorts is the best?\n\n\n\nWhen it all comes down to it, it will always go down to a matter of personal comfort and preference. What worked well for me may not work well for you because we have different running forms, and body shapes. Plus, we don\u2019t run in the same running conditions. \n\n\n\nTherefore, to say that one type of shorts is better than the other is pointless. \n\n\n\nHowever, because I have run for quite some time with different types of running shorts, I can make a few recommendations based on the distance and running conditions.\n\n\n\nYou can use this information to try for yourself and if it works well for you, stick with it. If it does not, feel free to try on different running shorts.\n\n\n\nSprints, Tempo, Interval, Uphill\n\n\n\nIf you\u2019ve done sprints, uphills, and intervals, you know the feeling of that incredible soreness you feel the day after the session. \n\n\n\nTherefore, I recommend wearing compression shorts to benefit from the muscle compression and the added support. \n\n\n\nAccording to a 2019 study conducted on soccer players, researchers found a reduced perceived muscle soreness for players who wore compression shorts in 2 games 72 hours apart. This study shows the effectiveness of the compression short\u2019s ability to reduce fatigue on high-intensity exercises. \n\n\n\nMid Distance Running (2 miles and below)\n\n\n\nTechnically, you can wear anything for mid distances, but I like wearing v-notch shorts simply because of how it looks. \n\n\n\nV-notch shorts are nice and modest making them perfect for running in cities and parks - which I usually do when I just want to enjoy the day and run a couple of miles.\n\n\n\nIt\u2019s like halfway between looks and performance. I\u2019d look sporty and nice when I grab myself a cup of coffee but I can also kick it up a notch and run when I have to.\n\n\n\nLong-distance Running (5 miles or more)\n\n\n\nWhen it\u2019s time to perform, split shorts are my go-to when the weather is hot and 2-in-1 shorts when it\u2019s cold. \n\n\n\nI like the breathability and range of motion that the split shorts offer, however, I don\u2019t like how it looks. That\u2019s why I only use it when I\u2019m on a less crowded route or races. And only on a really hot day. \n\n\n\nJust make sure you apply the anti-chafe balm in between your thighs to avoid chafing. \n\n\n\nWhen I run at night, early in the morning, or when the weather is kind of gloomy, I wear 2-in-1 shorts (which is my favorite type of shorts, by the way). \n\n\n\nThe lining acts as underwear and provides additional support while the shorts outside provides storage (some have back pockets) and modesty. \n\n\n\nThe Wrap Up\n\n\n\nThere are four different types of running shorts and all of them possess pros and cons. Your decision on what running shorts to wear should depend on the running condition, distance, comfort, and preference. \n\n\n\nI suggest you should try out a bunch of them and see which one works best for you. \n\n\n\nOther than the type of running short, you should also consider the length of your running shorts in making a decision. I made an article about it. Check it out. \n\n\n\nI hope this article was able to help you find the right type of running shorts for you.