13 Best Compression Shorts for Men in 2024, Tested and Reviewed

Not too loose and not too tight, but just right.

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13 Best Compression Shorts for Men in 2024, Tested and Reviewed

FOR MOST ACTIVE dudes, compression shorts are an essential part of their workout gear. Whether you're biking, jogging,

running, or doing just about any physical activity, these stretchy yet supportive undergarments keep you 'locked in,' so to speak, so you can focus on your workout without worrying about what's going on in your gym shorts. Plus, moisture-wicking properties in compression shorts ensure you stay cool and dry even during the sweatiest of sessions.

While the debate continues regarding whether compression garments can reduce injury risk, they undeniably assist in muscle recruitment and promote more coordinated movement, as noted by Gerardo Miranda-Comas, MD, a sports medicine physician and assistant professor at the Icahn School of Medicine, in previous discussions with Men's Health.

Read more: How Men's Health Thoroughly Tests and Reviews Fitness Products

Although the jury's still out on whether compression shorts directly enhance your workout or recovery, they do offer ample support to contain and stabilize your muscles, potentially aiding circulation by directing blood flow towards the heart. Based on our editors' and experts' firsthand experiences, we can attest to the difference quality compression shorts can make.

The best compression shorts are designed to withstand rigorous use and maintain their shape and compression over time. They should offer a snug yet comfortable fit that contours to the body without feeling restrictive, with features such as flatlock seams and reinforced stitching contributing to durability and minimizing the risk of irritation or rubbing against the skin. High-quality compression shorts for men also offer targeted compression to support key muscle groups during physical activity, reducing muscle vibration, enhancing blood circulation, and providing stability.

To determine the factors that contribute to a great pair of compression shorts, our team of fitness, style, and gear editors rigorously tested the leading compression shorts on the market across a range of activities. From short and long-distance runs to sprint workouts, races, rowing sessions, and strength training, we closely observed any signs of discomfort such as chafing or riding up, evaluating each pick on criteria including comfort, fit, price, and overall quality.

So whether you're looking to expand your collection of compression shorts or considering your first pair, rest assured, we've got you covered with our selection of the best options for all your fitness needs. Continue reading for our curated list of the top 13 choices to consider this year.

Under Armour comes through yet again with these HeatGear Compression Shorts. "There's a reason that Under Armour is so popular when it comes to compression garments, " explains MH Fitness Director Ebenezer Samuel, C.S.C.S., who has been wearing these for years thanks to a seamless, second-skin fit. You'll barely even notice wearing these mid-length shorts.

The design features smart craftsmanship to keep seams off chafe-prone areas, while strategically-placed mesh panels ventilate the areas where you need breathability most. "These are among my most worn, most loved compression shorts," adds John Thompson, MH Senior Gear and Commerce Editor. At under $30, they're also surprisingly affordable, especially among Under Armour's premium-priced offerings.

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No-frills, all-season name brand compression shorts for the guy on a budget. The polyester and spandex fabric keeps your shorts from being weighed down by sweat and ensures proper ventilation. And UPF 50+ sun protection means they shield you from the sun's harmful rays during outdoor workouts.

We recommend sizing up a pair in these, as the compression is pretty unforgiving. (Which, by the way, we much prefer compared to weak compression that feels nearly indistinguishable from a pair of underwear.) At less than $6/pair for this 5-pack, its one of the best value compression shorts we've tried, and the compression seriously delivers.

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These all-season sweat-wicking shorts from CompressionZ breathe during the summer and trap heat during the winter, leaving you dry and comfortable all year long. The four-way-stretch material offers a great amount of squeeze without feeling too constricting or hard to get on or off.

The fabric is thinner than some competing compression shorts we tested, but without compromising on compression quality. Because they're so thin and the thermoregulating tech actually works, these shorts are one our go-t0 for layering in any season.

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These Runhit compression shorts are a best seller on Amazon for a reason. Not only are they super affordable (less than $10 per pair!), but we found them incredibly comfortable. Our favorite feature? Flatlock stitching that increases durability and even prevents chafing. With a smart synthetic blend of primarily polyester and a little spandex, they're stretchy, lightweight, and quick-wicking to keep you cool and dry.

We like that they're available in more than a dozen colors and a good variety of sizes, ranging from small to 4XL, making these an accessible choice for most guys. On the downside, we did notice some fraying at the seams after about seven cycles of wearing and washing (no machine drying). But, given the incredible price point, you can easily stock up on a year's worth of these shorts for less than a 3-pack of brand-name alternatives.

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The iconic underwear brand also has its own performance apparel line, and just like it's briefs, this compression short is worthy of cult-classic status. The primarily polyester and spandex blended fabric lives up to its cooling claims, wicking away moisture as you sweat. The contrast elastic waistband and chafe-resistant flatlock seams contribute to an overall comfy wear and a fit that doesn't budge.

These aren't the most compressive shorts on this list, but the squeeze isn't weak either. If you prefer a level of compression that feels snug and athletic without feeling noticeable as you move throughout your workout, these may be a good choice for you. They come at a great price and are often on sale on Amazon, making them hard to beat for a budget buy.

These Champion shorts feature quick-drying Vapor technology and flatlock seams to keep chafing at bay. If you're specifically looking for long inseam compression shorts (something that hits just above the knee), these might be right up your alley.

We tested these compression shorts solo for a few cycling sessions on an indoor bike and were pleased with how well they stayed in place. Even when cycling, the legs didn't ride up and the waistband didn't roll over. We did find the waistband a touch too tight and a touch too thin for our preferences, but it wasn't a dealbreaker, given the good fit. The crotch area is roomy and comfortable but keeps the package secure. One final thing to note: instead of the label being printed on the inside of these shorts, they feature a cloth tag. We found this annoying and uncomfortable (and surprising, for activewear), but it's nothing a little scissor can't take care of.

The embedded waistband within these 2XU compression shorts provides a ton of comfort during workouts and runs, eliminating the discomfort of overly tight ones that dig into the skin or poorly constructed designs that tend to rip at the seam where the waistband attaches. The waistband is nearly undetectable, offering a secure fit without slipping down.

The lightweight fabric hugs your glutes, quads, and hamstrings with a nice level of compression, which is graduated to be slightly looser toward the knees for optimal comfort. Unlike some other strong compression options we tested, these shorts won't leave indent in the skin above the knees from digging in. Plus, the material is incredibly breathable and quick-drying, which we particularly appreciate for hot weather workouts outdoors.

Ten Thousand's Compression Short is just as high-quality as their top-rated Interval Short. "These shorts not only stay locked in place, but are also incredibly comfortable. Zero pinching and zero chafing by design," explains Samuel. Oh, and they have a side pocket you can slide your phone in—just in case you're bold enough to wear these bad boys out on their own. Made from luxe, ultra soft fabric, they're also quick-drying with a contoured fit for maximum range of motion.

On the down side, they're only available in black—NBD if you're not the ballsy sort of gentleman who's inclined to wear compression shorts as, ya know, just shorts. And at more than $50, they're reasonably priced, but more expensive than many of the other alternatives we've seen and tested this year. Still, given Ten Thousand's solid rep and hundreds of positive reviews for these premium compression shorts, we think they're worth it for a. stay-in-place HIIT pick.

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Featuring two water-resistant pockets, this short offers a jostle-free solution to store your phone, keys, cards, and other valuables, so you can focus on crushing your workout. I had my 68-year-old dad wear these for his marathon training long runs, and he was impressed. "I can carry my iPhone, energy gels, and keys easily, and they don't jostle around with each stride," he said.

This pair airs on the side of minimalism, but also features a moisture-wicking waistband and flatlock stitching which add to the comfort value. The fit is great, material is soft, waistband is nice and thick, and compression is in that 'just right' Goldilocks range.

Leave it to Alo to make an incredibly soft pair of compression shorts. The 9" Warrior Compression Short is all about comfort first with a buttery soft, 4-way-stretch, nylon jersey fabric with plenty of stretch and give. It's also odor-resistant and moisture-wicking to keep you cool and dry. We found them highly versatile, as they work well as standalone shorts or underneath a pair of running shorts—your call. An adjustable waistband drawcord ensures a perfect fit that's neither too loose or too tight, which is a thoughtful touch to keep compression shorts in place and fitting comfortably.

There's a lot to like about these premium compression shorts, even given the nearly $70 retail price tag. But, some reviewers complain of a fit that's not quite as tight as they'd like in more "hardcore" alternatives (i.e., these aren't super compressive). Still, we like the look, the versatility, and, most importantly, the adjustable waistband.

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The Adidas Techfit Training Short Tights are a great choice for those seeking reliable performance under $30. Thanks to Adidas’ AEROREADY technology, these shorts excel at keeping you cool during intense workouts, making them perfect for high-intensity sessions. Plus, they're crafted with at least 60% recycled content, which is a nice nod to eco-conscious practices.

One of the best features is their ability to regulate temperature effectively, making them a versatile choice for year-around training. Whether it was chilly outside or we were in the midst of a heated workout, these shorts kept our lower body at just the right temperature without feeling too tight or overheated.

In terms of durability, these shorts held up well. Even after multiple washes and drying cycles, they maintained their compression better than many others in the same price range

As for sizing, we found that the medium size fits true to waist sizes 32- to 34-inches, providing a comfortable and secure. The availability of petite and tall sizes is also a nice touch, ensuring a proper inseam length for individuals of different heights.

Among the many compression shorts Samuel has worn throughout the years, this stands out as one of his all-time favorite. It's no surprise, really, given Lululemon's extraordinary fit and buttery, luxe fabric.

Wearing these feels almost like wearing, well, nothing. That's how comfortable they truly are. Abrasion-resistant fabric and a snug fit means these will move with you, wicking away moisture and keeping you dry along the way. Lightweight, real compression, seams and panels that contour to the body—what more can you really ask for?

It can be tricky to find a compression short for running—a pair with a good balance of compression and fit. These 9" tights from Brooks can be worn as true compression shorts, while still promising full range of movement and a fit that neither slides down or rides up. The moisture-wicking nylon fabric is helps to keep you cool and dry for all-day wear. Bonus: A surprising amount of pocket space for stashing your phone, ID, and more.

Like most products in Brooks' catalog, these premium compression shorts are durable enough to keep up with your speed runs, long runs, and everything in between. For a near-perfect fit and a few final touches that help meet the unique demands of most runners, we found these to fall neatly into the category of 'best compression shorts for running.' For cold weather runs, check out these lightweight tights in the full-length version.

Like most workout apparel, compression shorts aren’t complicated. The right pair should keep you cool, dry, and comfortable through even the toughest workout. While there is no one ultimate pair of men’s compression shorts, these are the things to look for when shopping for the best compression shorts for you:

Ideal compression: Of course, the most important feature of compression shorts is—wait for it—the compression. But, finding the right compression for you can be a challenge, especially if you’re not used to wearing ultra-tight shorts. You want a pair that fits very snugly, but not so tight that it’s unflattering or you feel “squeezed” while wearing them. If you’re buying your first pair of compression shorts, consider sizing up until your body gets accustomed to the feel. Inseam matters: Choosing an inseam is partly about looks, but it’s also about supporting the right muscle groups. Longer inseams tend to stay in place better without the notorious compression short “ride-up.” Full-length compression shorts also target your hamstrings and quads which may be better for, say, cycling. Shorts with shorter inseams (5 inches or less) are better at targeting the glutes and hips. Just keep in mind that the shorter they are, the more likely they’ll be to ride up and or chafe. There’s no “right” inseam—it’s a matter of personal preference and what works with your fitness routine. It’s all about the stretch: Every pair of men’s compression shorts we’ve researched or field-tested is made of a blend of either polyester or nylon, plus some amount of stretchy fabric like elastane or spandex. The more stretch fabric, the more give; the more give, the looser the compression. Again, it’s about the right fit for you. Price: Thankfully, compression shorts aren’t expensive. Even the best models are typically under $70. But you can also score good, budget-conscious shorts for less than $10 per pair. Bottom line: You don’t have to spend a fortune.

"In terms of science, there's no clear evidence that [compression] will decrease injury risk," explains Dr. Miranda-Comas. But, he goes on to say, "It can help with biomechanics, and personally that's why I recommend it at times."

The biggest potential benefit from compression shorts is the fact that they may help you recover better and faster. One 2019 study found that wearing compression leggings actually helped muscles recover more quickly after intense eccentric power or resistance exercise. And another 2016 study found that runners who wore compression clothing may also benefit from improvements in endurance performance, as well as reduced muscle pain, damage, and inflammation. Read more: Best Compression Pants for Men

First off, they're great for muscle support. You slip into them, and it's like a gentle hug for your legs. This support can help support your natural muscular engagement, which can help you feel more engaged and ready to attack your workout.

Now, the big debate: can they actually make you faster or stronger? Science isn't entirely convinced, but some folks swear by it. Compression gear can help with blood circulation, potentially sending more oxygen to your hard-working muscles, which can help support muscular endurance.

Compression shorts can also act as your personal climate control system. They're usually made from moisture-wicking material that says, "Sweat, we got this." It whisks away the wet stuff from your skin, keeping you cool and dry. No swampy, chafing mess in sight (or out of sight).

The most obvious disadvantage when it comes to compression shorts is that they can feel tight—sometimes too tight—causing discomfort for some. If your shorts have really tight compression, they may also be difficult to put on or take off, which can also make going to the bathroom mid-session a total pain.

Finally, depending on the fit, some compression shorts can ride up, shift, and bunch as you move. The compression shorts included on this list feature flatlock seams and contoured fits to mitigate the possibility of chafing related to a poor fit.

When most guys wear compression shorts or leggings for exercise, they wear shorts over them. That being said, it is acceptable to wear compression shorts alone, without shorts over top. In fact, some athletes do it all the time.

The outline of your goods is going to show through, but that's your business. (Keep in mind that it is not recommended to wear underwear or a base layer underneath compression shorts.) The general view is that as long as your compression shorts fit well and covered your package, you're fine.

At Men's Health, we take great pride in providing our readers with reliable and trustworthy product recommendations. We believe that our readers deserve the best, which is why we always make sure to conduct thorough research and testing before making any recommendations. Our writers and editors thoughtfully select experts for collaboration on product recommendations, and are also experts in their own right, using their informed opinions to select products and ensuring that our content is of the highest quality.

Our product recommendations are purely editorial, and while we may receive free products to test and review, we only recommend the products we are most impressed by. We never let retailers or public relations contacts dictate our content or product coverage. Which is why you can trust us to provide you with reliable and unbiased product recommendations.

For the past two years, Men's Health's fitness editors and experts collaborated on the top compression shorts for men. Experts including our own fitness director Ebenezer Samuel, C.S.C.S., and senior fitness editor Brett Williams, NASM, put countless men's compression shorts through the wringer to evaluate their fit, support, comfort, effectiveness, and price. In addition to our personal favorites, we combed through Reddit reviews to discover which compression shorts for running and strength training have gained popularity with the general public. The list above represents our honest picks for the best compression shorts for men in 2024.

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13 Best Compression Shorts for Men in 2024, Tested and Reviewed

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