Can You Swim In Cotton Shorts?

Aside from sports, swimming is an activity that is done to keep the body fit and energized. The water is our abode for a relaxed time after the bustle and tussle of life. As such, people swim to wash off every iota of stress to get their bodies relieved and fit for what is ahead.

With swimming, comes precautions. From its wear down to the water, quite a several things have to be put into deliberation, as a way of getting the body ready for a wonderful time ahead. However, this doesn’t insinuate that all wear can be acceptable for swimming. And this brings us to the question above, Can You Swim In Cotton Shorts?

The answer is No. Not that it isn’t possible to swim in shorts. It is. Just that it isn’t advisable to go into the water in your shorts. There are reasons why the shorts aren’t ideal for swimming. Rather than subjecting yourself to the pain and torture that is involved in swimming with shorts, why not go get suitable swim wears for this purpose?

The swimwear is more preferable to shorts because the swimming wear is being produced for swimming. This is why they are made in ways that make swimming fun and exciting. Unfortunately, the same cannot be said for the shorts.

Foremost, the shorts were produced for daily use and not for swimming. They are not made with the properties needed for the water. This is why swimming wears are the only recognized wears for swimming.

Why Swimming in a Cotton Short Isn’t Ideal

Well, having thoroughly provided an answer to the question, can you swim in cotton shorts, at this point, it is time to provide reasons why swimming in a cotton short Isn’t feasible.

1. It Becomes Heavier When Wet

Cotton wears are more like our daily wears. Ordinarily, you can’t swim with such kinds of wear except you are stuck in a situation that demands your presence in the water. When one swims with cotton shorts, the short becomes a lot heavier. The reason for this isn’t farfetched.

As the cotton short gets immersed in the water, it sucks up enough water that can cause it to become heavier due to the presence of the water. And such a scenario isn’t good to watch. It will drag the person down due to its heaviness.

Unlike cotton shorts that cause some sort of restrictions, swimming wear gives you as much freedom as needed to explore even the deepest depth of the water. The swimwear isn’t filled with so much water, such that it starts dragging you down. Reasons like this are why the cotton short is a big No.

2. Absorbs Chlorine And Other Chemicals

Chlorine isn’t something that should be joked with. Chlorine ruins bathing suits not to mention ordinary wear like our clothing. If a short is worn into the water, that short is open to be attacked by chlorine and other chemicals that are used in preserving water.

The shorts are not chlorine-resistant shorts like that of the bathing suit. So you do not expect the shorts to do the same job as the bathing suit.

Read Also: Complete Guide on How to Get Chlorine Out of Bathing Suits

3. It Can Restrict One From Swimming Long Distances

Yes, wearing a cotton shorts to swim can restrict one from not being able to swim a long distance. Since the shorts get soaked up with water, it will be tedious to swim with them, and not just that, it will cause one to swim a short distance because of the force to which the short is being dragged down.

Well, not in all cases though. There are some shorts one can swim with, and it wouldn’t restrict one from swimming long distances. These kind of shorts are a bit light which doesn’t get socked with much water. Note that this is under probability.

All the same, wearing shorts to swim will invariably cause the shorts to be lagged causing them to drag you down in the water. It might not be the case for everyone, but it isn’t something you should give a try.

4. Not Fitted

If you are in search of wear that would give you fit, short wear isn’t one of them. Wearing shorts to swim will not give you the tight feeling that a bathing suit gives to the body when it is worn.

Most of the shorts produced are loosely fitted because they are produced as wear, not necessarily for the sake of swimming. Do not expect to get the fitting you desire with shorts. If you choose to swim with the shorts also, the same is going to take place when the shorts are fully dried. It’s still going to give you that loose-fitting.

5. Clings To Skin

A third reason why we are advocating against swimming in cotton shorts is that it tends to cling to one’s skin. The ability to cling to the body like a second skin is caused by the water absorbed by the short while swimming.

The clingy nature of the shorts is more than enough reason not to wear them to swim. If you happen to be in a colder region, such clingy nature would certainly be bad for you. Even after stepping out of the water, you are most likely to be cold as a result of the wetness gotten from the short while the short cling to the body.

If it were to be a swimming wear, the wear wouldn’t cling to your body giving you an awkward look. Rather, it will be free and not causing one to be cold.

6. It Carries Germs And Bacteria

Shorts worn into the water carries enough germs and bacteria. They are easily accessible by germs and bacteria because the shorts aren’t strong enough to resist the chlorinated water.

Here is the worst part. The germs and bacteria are not only transferred to the water thereby making it unsafe but they are also transported to your undies. And these germs and bacteria are most likely going to get entangled in your genitals causing a few health problems. If you love yourself, desist from wearing shorts to swim so your shorts aren’t filled with germs and bacteria.

7. Doesn’t Dry So Fast

One thing about shorts that turns people off a bit, is that it takes a little while to dry off. We all know that cotton wears or materials dry quickly. But not in all circumstances. Even with the fact that there are cotton wears that dries quickly, it doesn’t change the fact that it doesn’t dry faster than some of the bathing suit we have.

Read Also: How Long Does it Take A Bathing Suit to Dry

There are bathing suits that dry faster than others which is one feature of the suit. Such that, when you are out from the water, it doesn’t take forever for the suit to dry. This way, the person won’t get cold while waiting for their bathing suit to dry. For cotton, one might be lucky to wear cotton shorts that can dry so quickly. Well, the best of wear for swimming, remains the bathing suit.

8. It Bleeds Color

Swimming with shorts will have your shorts bleeding into the water. By bleeding, we are referring to the short’s color fading into the pool water. Since this happens to be an issue, it wouldn’t be good to hit the water with shorts.

To add, shorts bleeding into the water can ruin the pool water. While it keeps on bleeding, the germs and bacteria that it carries will be entering into the water also, causing the pool water to have lint colors. To avoid having your short bleeding in water, get a proper suit for swimming instead.

Moreover, did you know that you can wear a short to the beach if you have no plans of entering into the water? Yes, if you are just heading to the beach or to the pool with no purpose of swimming in the water, you can wear shorts just for this.

This falls into the category of casual wear. Nonetheless, if you have something else in mind like swimming, then get your bathing suit.

What Swim Shorts Can I Wear?

Having stressed on the reasons why one shouldn’t swim in cotton shorts, there are three types of swim shorts you can wear to swim in place of shorts. They are; polyester, nylon, and Lycra.

1. Russell Athletic Men’s Standard Dri-Power Performance Short with Pockets

Russell Athletic Men's Standard Dri-Power Performance Short with Pockets, Black, L


Look no further than the Russell short for an endless time when hitting the water. The short is a multipurpose short that can be worn to several places which makes it one of the most popular shorts one can find.

It has a sun protection feature and it comes with a pocket for storing phones and other valuable items. It is that stretchy, quick drying, and quality short you can’t ignore.

2. Champion Men’s 6″ Nylon Warm Up Shorts

Champion Men's 6" Nylon Warm Up Shorts, Black, X-Small


Here is a nylon swim short that beats that of cotton shorts. As opposed to the cotton short, the champions men short is a water-resistant short that does not get soaked with water leading to lagging.

It is light weighted, with pockets that are placed at the sides and also at the back of the short.

3. JOJO LEMON Swimming Jammers for Men and Boys

JOJO LEMON Swimming Jammers for Men Adult Boys Bathing Suits with Lined Spandex Swim Shorts Trunk Youth Quick Dry Racing Training Swimsuit


This is the last short on the list. Lycra shorts will take the place of cotton shorts anytime, any day. The Jojo short comes with spandex to give more fitting and durability to it.

The short is chlorine resistant short, it is stretchy with topnotch quality for all its users. This short is a lifesaver from the disadvantages attributes to the cotton shorts.

Conclusion – Can You Swim In Cotton Shorts?

Swimming in cotton shorts isn’t something to be given a shot. Having carefully listed and stressed the reasons why you can’t swim shorts, it is left for you to decide on which sides you are heading towards.

Would you wish to swim in shorts or a bathing suit? The choice is yours to make. Above are swimming shorts ideal for swimming. Kindly go through the links for more details and reviews.


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. 

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