Can I Run In Swim Shorts? Yes But!

Running can be classified into long-distance and short-distance races. Any race that falls between 3k and above is usually considered a long-distance race, and such races require maximum comfort for your leg muscles and every other part of your body in general.

Will your swim short meet the basic criteria needed to compete in a racing event be it short or long? You may probably want to ask yourself “Can I run in swim shorts?

Well,  you can, but it still depends on the distance to be covered and the nature of the race.

Can You Run In Swim Shorts?

Running in swim shorts is a controversial topic. Some people believe that running in swim shorts is more comfortable than running in regular shorts, while others argue that it’s better to run in long pants.

But yes, you can, I mean there is no crime in going for it if you so desire.

I’ve been running for years and have tried both swim shorts and regular running shorts. I’ve come to the conclusion that there are benefits and drawbacks to both options, but ultimately it comes down to personal preference.

Swim Shorts Pros

  • They’re lightweight and easy to move around in, which makes them ideal for hot weather runs where you don’t want anything heavy or bulky on your body.
  • They’re quick-drying, so they won’t hold water weight or weigh you down after a swim.
  • They’re breathable, which means they’ll help keep you cool during warm weather runs.
  • They’re stretchy enough so they don’t chafe when you bend over or crouch down during a run (if you wear them low enough on your hips).
  • Some brands have pockets built into their designs, which can be useful for storing keys or other items while you’re out running

Which Swim Shorts Can I Run In?

If you see running as a hobby or necessity, then running in the following swim shorts should serve the purpose in the short term until you get proper running shorts.

1. Board shorts

Board shorts are typically made from nylon or polyester with a mesh lining to improve breathability. While they don’t provide much coverage, board shorts are great at keeping you cool and dry during your workout.

2. Swim trunks

Swim trunks are the perfect choice for running. They’re lightweight, have a shorter inseam than the average running short, and they don’t get in the way when you’re in motion.

TRENDING: How To Wash Swim Trunks

Pros of Running in Swim Shorts

1. Versatility

Swim shorts are versatile enough to be worn for just about any activity. They’re great for running, swimming, and even golfing! You can also wear them around town to show off your athletic side or just to make it easier to head straight into the water after your run.

2. Safety

If you run early in the morning or late at night, wearing running shorts will help keep you safe. If you wear shorts that are too revealing, people may not see you as a runner and may think that you are just out for a stroll. They might not be as aware of potential dangers or avoid giving you the right-of-way when they should.

3. Lightweight

Running in swim shorts is not only comfortable but also lightweight. The material used to make these shorts is lightweight so that it does not make you feel burdened during your run.

Cons of Running in Swim Shorts

1. Lacks breathability

The biggest downside is that they don’t breathe as well as running shorts. Swim shorts have a lot of material and are usually made out of polyester blends. This makes them great for water sports, but not so great for hot weather activities like running.

2. Not ideal for long-distance racing

Running in swim shorts isn’t ideal for long-distance racing or training.

You’ll need to wear something over your swim shorts if the race is longer than a 5K, because they won’t offer any compression or support. This could lead to chafing or skin irritation.

Types of Running Shorts

Running shorts come in different styles and design, but there are basically three styles of running shorts as I would be explaining below:

1. V-shaped shorts

The most common style of running shorts is the V-shaped short, which features a high waistband that sits at the top of the hipbone and ends in a V-shaped hemline. These types of shorts have an elastic waistband that allows for easy on-and-off access and a comfortable fit.

2. Compression shorts

Compression shorts are made of high-tech fabrics that help reduce muscle vibration, thereby reducing fatigue. They also help reduce muscle vibration, which can lead to more power and speed.

Compression shorts are made of special fabrics that squeeze tight around your leg muscles. This helps prevent blood from pooling in the lower legs and gives your muscles more oxygen to do their job.

Compression shorts also have a built-in band at the bottom that helps hold them in place. They’re ideal for running because they keep your legs warm and prevent chafing against the skin.

Compression shorts are designed for running and other sports where you want to be protected from the sun’s rays or stay cool during a workout.

4. Split shorts

Split shorts are an evolution of the traditional running short. They have an elastic band that goes around your waist, but instead of having side seams all the way down they have them only in the back half.

This makes it possible to wear longer tops with these shorts without having to worry about them riding up or showing off too much skin when you bend over.

Factors to Consider Before Buying Running Shorts

1. The length of the shorts

The length of the shorts is one of the most important factors to consider when buying running shorts.

If you are taller, then you should go for longer shorts that will cover your buttocks and also prevent chafing. If you are shorter, then you can choose shorts that are shorter than normal as they will make it easier for you to move around without feeling restricted.

Amazon Brand - Goodthreads Men's Slim-Fit 5" Inseam Lightweight Comfort Stretch Oxford Shorts, navy, 36

  • The 3-inch length shortThese running shorts give the best ventilation and scope of movement, making them ideal for cutthroat sprinters. In other words, if you intend to go pro, then this should be your best bet.
  • The 5-inch length running short – Anyone who runs on the two tracks and trails will do well purchasing this length to serve both purposes equally. Running shorts with a five-inch inseam gives adaptability and is the most famous decision among sprinters – professionals and non-professionals alike.
  • The 7-inch length running shorts – These shorts are slightly above the knee region and are incredible for aiding trail sprinters to shield their legs from branches and creepy crawlies.

In other words, anyone running through mountain trails or bush paths should pick this length above the other two mentioned earlier, however, ensure the pair is anti-chafe, especially as you are likely to run for long periods.

2. The material of the shorts

The material of the shorts is an important factor to consider. Generally, there are two types of materials: synthetic and cotton. Cotton is more comfortable and breathable than synthetic materials. However, it can be hard to find running shorts made with this material.

3. Fabric type

Every fabric has its own advantages and disadvantages, so it’s important to choose the fabric which suits you best.

A good example would be cotton fabric which is breathable and absorbs sweat well but can also become heavy when wet and does not dry quickly.

On the other hand, technical fabrics such as nylon or polyester provide greater durability and wicking properties but can be less breathable than cotton fabrics.

Can You Exercise in Swim Trunks?

The answer is yes. But you should know that there are some things to keep in mind.

Swim trunks are not as comfortable as workout shorts, and they will get wet. If you’re doing any kind of high-impact exercise like running or jumping, you may find yourself uncomfortable with the shorts getting wet.

The same goes for some forms of yoga, especially hot yoga. If you plan on exercising in a pool or ocean, it’s probably not a good idea to wear your swim trunks.

If you are going to wear your swim trunks for exercise, make sure they are made from quick-dry material so they won’t cling to your skin when wet.

Can You Run in Board Shorts?

The answer is yes, and no.

Yes because board shorts are lightweight, have pockets, and offer a lot of ventilation. They look good on the beach and at the pool, so why not run in them?

No, because sometimes board shorts can feel too flimsy for running, especially if you’re doing more intense workouts or runs. They may also be too short to properly protect your legs from sunburn.

Can I Use Running Trunks as Swim Trunks?

Running shorts are great for running, but they’re not ideal for swimming. These shorts have a tighter fit than swim trunks and usually have a mesh lining that can cause chafing when wet.

If you’re not comfortable with your body, wearing running shorts in the pool could make you feel self-conscious.


So, if you’re going for a run in swim shorts, yes, you can. Yes, it may have its cons, but the pros of wearing them are more appealing than the cons.

The cons will only affect what you can accomplish on your run. No matter what kind of runner you are, from a casual jogger to an avid marathoner, if you enjoy the benefits of running in swim shorts then feel free to do so as much as you like.


You may see some products here which has either been used by us or independently selected by (obsessive) editors. As an affiliate of Amazon, Anything purchased through our links may earn us a commission at no extra cost to you. 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *