Nike vs. Adidas running shorts


Running shorts typically come with inseams from 2-9 inches. Competitive and high-speed runners often prefer shorter lengths, while long-distance or casual runners prefer longer lengths for more coverage and protection from chafing.

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Are Nike or Adidas running shorts better?

Both Nike and Adidas are popular athletic brands that manufacture high-quality running shorts. However, if you are trying to figure out which brand to choose, there are a few things to consider. Each brand’s offerings come with their own unique features and style, so the one you choose depends on your personal preference.

For the most part, both brands are fairly comparable. Nike is the largest sportswear manufacturer in the world with a range of athletic gear and products beyond running shorts. Adidas is most prominently known for its athletic shoes and sporting goods, as well as sports apparel.

Nike running shorts

Founded in 1964, Nike is a popular brand when it comes to running shorts, shoes and other athleticwear. Nike running shorts are unique in that they are designed for maximum comfort, mobility and breathability. They also come in various lengths and styles to suit anyone.

As a company, Nike focuses on quality and sustainability. Their commitment to this goal makes for high-end athleticwear that is used by many professional athletes around the world.

Nike running shorts are highly durable and range in price from around $30-$60.

Nike running shorts pros

  • Made with sustainable materials like recycled polyester and cotton that are long-lasting and highly durable
  • Come in a variety of styles, colors and designs
  • Lined for comfort
  • Well-ventilated, breathable and lightweight with interior mesh panels to keep the wearer cool
  • Secure, customizable fit with an elastic waistband
  • Some have secure internal pockets for carrying the essentials
  • Use Dri-FIT technology to wick away moisture and prevent sweat buildup or chafing

Nike running shorts cons

  • Some running shorts don’t have pockets
  • Sizing may be inconsistent, with some shorts on the smaller or shorter side
  • Lighter colors and materials may be see-through

Best Nike running shorts


Nike Women’s Dry Tempo Shorts

Nike Women’s Dry Tempo Shorts

These comfortable running shorts are made from recycled polyester that keeps moisture away from the skin. They have an elastic waistband for a secure fit and an inseam length of 3 inches.

Available at Amazon


Nike Men's Challenger Brief-Lined 5” Running Shorts

Nike Men’s Challenger Brief-Lined 5” Running Shorts

Made with a lightweight woven fabric and Dri-FIT technology that helps remove excess moisture, these sustainable running shorts are great for avid runners who need something with all-day comfort. They are also roomy and very durable.

Available at Dick’s Sporting Goods and Macy’s

Adidas running shorts

Originally founded in 1949, Adidas is considered one of the best sportswear manufacturers, just behind Nike. Adidas running shorts, as well as most of their other athleticwear, have a classic feel and consist of different materials.

With several different styles and sizes to choose from, Adidas offers a large variety of breathable running shorts that work for any type of terrain. Considering this, these shorts are perfect for both casual and marathon runners.

Adidas running shorts range from $25-$50.

Adidas running shorts pros

  • Great temperature regulation
  • Recognized brand
  • Suitable for any type of runner
  • Contain sweat-wicking technology that absorbs moisture
  • Different leg lengths for runners of all heights
  • Materials include recycled polyester, satin and cotton
  • Some shorts are high-rise, which keeps them from slipping
  • Fit true-to-size
  • Some styles have a zippered pocket for carrying small valuables
  • Anti-odor technology

Adidas running shorts cons

  • Less color variety than Nike running shorts
  • Some shorts have small pockets that won’t fit things like a phone or wallet
  • Material may feel stiff at first
  • Running shorts with splits may be revealing for some runners

Best Adidas running shorts

Adidas Women's Squadra 17 Shorts

Adidas Women’s Squadra 17 Shorts

Suitable for an array of activities, including running and soccer, these 100% polyester shorts have an elastic waistband and drawstring combination for a customizable fit. The material wicks away sweat and water for long-term comfort. Due to their design, they also offer unrestricted movement for any activity. They come in many colors, including orange, green and black.

Available at Amazon and Dick’s Sporting Goods


Adidas Men's Running Response Shorts

Adidas Men’s Running Response Shorts

These shorts are lightweight and designed to wick away moisture before it ever reaches the skin. They have an elastic waistband for an optimal fit and maximum mobility. Plus, they’re fast-drying, which is ideal for those who sweat a lot or run in the rain.

Available at Amazon

Should you get Nike or Adidas running shorts?

Both Nike and Adidas are great options if you’re looking for a new pair of running shorts. However, if you’re a casual runner who just wants a pair of shorts that fits well and is a little more affordable, consider Adidas. On the other hand, if you’re an avid runner who prefers to wear sustainable clothing, Nike may be the better choice.

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Angela Watson writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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