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10 Best Basketball Shorts (of 2021) Reviewed & Rated

Basketball shorts, an uncomfortable pair could have a serious negative impact on your game. By investing in the best basketball shorts, you will be able to play more intensely and more often. Not to mention you will get more value for money and they can last longer.

Top 3 Choices

Preview
Best Overall
Nike Men's Dry Training Shorts, Black/Black/White, Medium
Best Value for Money
Under Armour mens Raid 10-inch Workout Gym Shorts , Black (001)/Graphite , Medium
Best Multi-Pack
Men's Mesh Active Wear Athletic Basketball Essentials Performance Gym Soccer Running Summer Fitness Quick Dry Wicking Workout Clothes Sport Shorts - Set 4-5 Pack, XL
Title
Nike Men's Dry Training Shorts, Black/Black/White, Medium
Under Armour mens Raid 10-inch Workout Gym Shorts , Black (001)/Graphite , Medium
Men's Mesh Active Wear Athletic Basketball Essentials Performance Gym Soccer Running Summer Fitness Quick Dry Wicking Workout Clothes Sport Shorts - Set 4-5 Pack, XL
Benefit 1
From the elite Nike brand.
Highly reviewed.
Smooth 100% polyester materials.
Benefit 2
Signature polyester Dri-FIT sweat ventilation technology.
From the quality Under Armour brand.
Pack of 5 random colors.
Benefit 3
Motion vents for breathability and range of motion.
Ultra-smooth HeatGear fabric is frictionless.
Breathable material which moves with you.
Benefit 4
Adjustable fit.
Four-way-stretch design for maximum flexibility.
Secure side pockets.
Benefit 5
Comfortable 9 inches long flat seams.
Anti-odor technology.
Internal drawstring for a more comfortable fit.
Best Overall
Preview
Nike Men's Dry Training Shorts, Black/Black/White, Medium
Title
Nike Men's Dry Training Shorts, Black/Black/White, Medium
Benefit 1
From the elite Nike brand.
Benefit 2
Signature polyester Dri-FIT sweat ventilation technology.
Benefit 3
Motion vents for breathability and range of motion.
Benefit 4
Adjustable fit.
Benefit 5
Comfortable 9 inches long flat seams.
Best Value for Money
Preview
Under Armour mens Raid 10-inch Workout Gym Shorts , Black (001)/Graphite , Medium
Title
Under Armour mens Raid 10-inch Workout Gym Shorts , Black (001)/Graphite , Medium
Benefit 1
Highly reviewed.
Benefit 2
From the quality Under Armour brand.
Benefit 3
Ultra-smooth HeatGear fabric is frictionless.
Benefit 4
Four-way-stretch design for maximum flexibility.
Benefit 5
Anti-odor technology.
Best Multi-Pack
Preview
Men's Mesh Active Wear Athletic Basketball Essentials Performance Gym Soccer Running Summer Fitness Quick Dry Wicking Workout Clothes Sport Shorts - Set 4-5 Pack, XL
Title
Men's Mesh Active Wear Athletic Basketball Essentials Performance Gym Soccer Running Summer Fitness Quick Dry Wicking Workout Clothes Sport Shorts - Set 4-5 Pack, XL
Benefit 1
Smooth 100% polyester materials.
Benefit 2
Pack of 5 random colors.
Benefit 3
Breathable material which moves with you.
Benefit 4
Secure side pockets.
Benefit 5
Internal drawstring for a more comfortable fit.

*Details last updated on 2021-08-02

The Definitive Basketball Shorts Buyers Guide

The style of basketball shorts have evolved over the years. For example, teams and players have gone from sporting more tightly-fitted and shorter shorts to baggier, more breathable options. These days, the most popular shorts tend to sit between the mid-quad to around the knee.

Thanks to developments in manufacturing and technology, shorts are more affordable than they have ever been. This has made great equipment and gear more attainable by players of all different sized budgets.

Many assume that all basketball shorts are created equal and would argue that they are essentially all the same. However, besides there being a huge number of different color and design options available, shorts can differ in their performance and quality also. Shorts made from higher-quality materials can be considerably more comfortable, offer better ventilation and be more durable.

We have reviewed the shorts below thoroughly to help you decide on which pair is right for you. Consider the below whilst reading:

  • How much do I want to spend on my shorts?
  • To I prefer a particular style (e.g. longer shorts or a tighter fit)?
  • Do my shorts need to go with a certain uniform (if you are playing competitive as part of a team, you will want your shorts to match the team colors)?

If in doubt, I would suggest heading to your local sports equipment and clothing store (COVID-19 permitting) to try some shorts on and get a better idea on what style suits you best.

The 10 Best Basketball Shorts

1. Nike Dry Training Shorts

*Details last updated on 2021-08-02

These shorts are a great option for those looking for comfort, quality and durability. Nike is a sought after brand and basketball players all over the world benefit from their premium products.

Material

Nike’s Dry Training Shorts for men are made from Nike’s signature polyester Dri-FIT material. As some of the best basketball shorts on the market, their next-level technology offers superior sweat management with motion vents that allow air to flow freely and sweat to evaporate. They also have mesh pockets with mesh insets for breathable storage and ventilation enhancement.

Fit

These basketball shorts are designed with an adjustable fit in mind. They’re equipped with an elastic waistband and an internal drawstring closure for added security. Additionally, these shorts sit 9 inches above the knee with flat seams, so you won’t have to worry about shorts that are too long or seams that scratch the skin.

Positives
  • Produced by the highly respected Nike brand.
  • Signature polyester Dri-FIT technology means that these shorts are highly ventilated.
  • Motion vents makes them breathable without limiting stretch and motion.
  • Adjustable fit/elastic waistband makes them suitable for players of all shapes and sizes.
  • 9 inches long mean they will sit just above the knees with flat seams.
Negatives
  • Not the best option for those looking for a more fitted and streamlined pair of shorts.

2. Under Armour Raid 10″ Shorts

Sale
Under Armour Raid 10
24,840 Reviews

*Details last updated on 2021-08-02

Highly reviewed, highly sought after basketball shorts. The Under Armour brand has exploded on the basketball scene in recent years because of their exceptional products and strong brand image. You might have seen them sported by some of the best athletes in the world and their products never fail to deliver on quality.

Material

Under Armour’s Raid Shorts are constructed from their ultra-smooth HeatGear fabric. The material wicks away sweat and dries almost immediately. It also provides for a “four-way stretch” to allow for easy movement in all directions. Additionally, the materials provide a UPF of 30 for added sun protection for outdoor games.

Fit

With a sturdy elastic waistband, these shorts were designed for the perfect “pull-on fit,” with just enough give — but not so much that they’ll sag. They have a 10-inch inseam for just the right amount of coverage that still allows you to move with ease so that they won’t hold you back on the court.

Positives
  • Highly reviewed.
  • Under Armour is a hugely popular brand because of their quality products.
  • Ultra-smooth HeatGear fabric for a frictionless running experience.
  • Four-way-stretch means you can manoeuvre freely (something which can directly improve your play).
  • Elastic waistband for easy pull-on fit.
  • Anti-odor technology makes them perfect for more intense (and often younger) players.
Negatives
  • Slightly longer pair of shorts. So, if you like shorter styles you will have to wear them high on your waist.

3. Real Essentials Active Athletic Performance Shorts with Pockets

*Details last updated on 2021-08-02

A highly affordable pack of 5, these shorts will have you playing comfortably for months to come! The pack also comes with several sleek and elegant designs. They are another pair that fall just below the knees and are perfect for use on the court, off the court, in the gym or for day-to-day wear.

Material

Real Essentials’ basketball shorts are 100% polyester and use moisture-wicking technology to keep you cool and dry throughout the entire game. Not only is this material breathable, but it’s designed to move with you while releasing moisture from your body for maximum comfort.

Fit

These athletic performance shorts are perfect for all sports, especially basketball. They have a 9-inch inseam that gives you the appropriate amount of coverage matched with a full range of motion. The pockets are set on the side seams for immovable storage, and they have an internal drawstring for an adjustable fit that stays put on your waist, no matter what.

Positives
  • Smooth 100% polyester materials minimizes the risk of chaffing and rubbing.
  • Moisture-wicking technology helps to keep you dry throughout the game.
  • Breathable material which moves with you as you move about the court.
  • 9-inch inseam design gives you a full range of motion.
  • Secure pockets.
  • Internal drawstring for a more comfortable and snug fit.
  • Pack of 5 makes them highly affordable!
Negatives
  • The pack of 5 shorts contain the same design in different colors. So, if you aren’t a fan of the design and/or like a plainer look, these aren’t the shorts for you.
  • You aren’t able to order/select individual color options.

4. Adidas Basketball 3G Speed 2.0 Shorts

*Details last updated on 2021-08-02

A longer option often favoured by the more casual player. These shorts are perfect for weekend games, even competitive play and lounging round the house in your recovery time. They are machine washable and come in a number of simple yet appealing designs (featuring the classic 3 adidas stripes).

Material

Adidas’ 3G Speed basketball shorts are made from 100% recycled polyester climate fabric that sweeps away sweat to keep you cool on the court. In typical Adidas fashion, each pair of the 3G Speeds have the contrasting three stripes down the side and Adidas Badge of Sports above the hem.

Fit

Like most of Adidas’ basketball shorts, these have a 12-inch inseam for more coverage. However, they also have a triangle paneling at the hem for unrestricted movement on and off the court. For a more customized fit, these shorts also have a thick elastic waistband with an internal drawcord to keep them in place for the game’s duration.

Positives
  • Perfect for the casual player and occasional competitive matches.
  • The shorts feature the notorious 3 contrasting adidas stripes.
  • Triangle paneling to help with movement.
  • Wide elastic waistband and internal string keeps them firmly in place.
Negatives
  • Longer pair of shorts which some might claim can restrict movement (although the triangle paneling means this isn’t such an issue, in our opinion).
  • Some notes on the size of the pockets (so maybe not the best option if you like to play with your phone and/or keys on you).

5. Everlast Men’s Basketball Shorts/Pants/Trousers

*Details last updated on 2021-08-02

Another long short option which are much baggier in look and feel. Everlast is another top contender when it comes to sports brands. The shorts are suitable for virtually all sports (including boxing, weightlifting and especially basketball).

Material

These shorts are made from 100% polyester with mesh paneling on the sides and bottom hems for airflow and comfort. These basketball shorts, in particular, are a bit thicker than the rest for those cooler outdoor court days.

Fit

These shorts are known for their long and loose fit. They sport two open side pockets as well as an elastic waistband with an internal drawstring that keeps them in place as you run, dribble, and weave up and down the court. Despite being thicker, their looseness allows for unrestricted movement, making them some of the best basketball shorts available.

Positives
  • Everlast is a brand that makes product suitable for a huge range of sports (especially basketball).
  • Considerably longer than other options so great for those looking for extreme comfort.
  • 100% polyester and mesh paneling keeps the shorts well ventilated.
  • Thicker material makes them perfect for cooler outdoor games.
Negatives
  • Not the best option for hotter days and more intense games (e.g. tournament play).

6. Adidas Women’s Pacer 3-Stripes Woven Shorts

*Details last updated on 2021-08-02

A high-quality machine washable pair of basketball shorts for women. They are slim fit shorts with a fit close to the body. Great for hotter days and indoor court games. Another quality product, tried and tested by the Adidas brand.

Material

These Adidas Women’s Pacer woven basketball ball shorts are made from 100% recyclable polyester with moisture-wicking climate technology. They offer a super soft and stretchy feel that also perfectly manages moisture with an all-direction stretch that allows you to move at full speed down the court. These mid-rise shorts also sport Adidas’ signature three stripes in contrasting colors down the sides.

Fit

The women’s Pacer shorts offer a slim, mid-rise fit. They have a 3-inch inseam with a longer back length for added coverage. They also have a thick elastic waistband with an adjustable drawcord. Fitting close to the body, these shorts provide a second-skin feel for unrestricted movement so you can focus on the game.

Positives
  • Machine washable pair of shorts.
  • Slim and comfortable fit.
  • Great for hot days and gym court games.
  • Soft and stretchy materials.
  • Thick elastic waistband and adjustable drawcord for a snug fit.
Negatives
  • Close fit design means these shorts aren’t the best option for those looking for a longer pair and/or shorts for colder climates.

7. Hanes Sport Men’s Mesh Pocket Shorts

*Details last updated on 2021-08-02

A highly affordable option that offers extreme comfort and quality. Perfect for social games and general athletic training. A more casual option for everyday wear and light training sessions.

Material

The Hanes Sport Men’s mesh pocket shorts are made from 100% polyester materials. The entire shorts are mesh throughout for maximum breathability to keep you cool while you dribble, run, shoot, and pass. They also have a sewn-in mesh liner to prevent any unwanted transparency while you play.

Fit

These basketball shorts keep it simple fit-wise with a classic 9-inch inseam and a covered elastic waistband. An internal drawstring accompanies the waistband for a customizable fit. They also have mesh-lined pockets so you can hold onto your keys during a pickup game without sacrificing your breathability.

Positives
  • One of the most affordable options to be featured on the list. Good for those on a budget.
  • Great for casual and social play.
  • Breathable materials for exceptional air flow (good for dribbling, running, shooting and passing).
  • Customizable fit thanks to the internal drawstring.
Negatives
  • Less likely to be suitable for competitive games.
  • Limited color options compared to other options.

8. Champion Long Mesh Basketball Shorts with Pockets

*Details last updated on 2021-08-02

You can select from a huge range of color options to find the right pair of Champion long mesh shorts for you. Premium brand quality without paying a premium price.

Material

The Champion Long Mesh Basketball Shorts are made of 100% machine-washable polyester. They’re incredibly lightweight, and mesh throughout with smooth tricot lining, including their side pockets. This provides for consistent and optimal airflow to keep you cool and dry whether you play outdoors in the sun or an intense indoor game.

Fit

Champion’s basketball shorts offer a classic athletic fit with a 9-inch inseam. They sport side vent paneling for easy movement. They also come with a covered elastic waistband and an internal quick-draw cord, which is essential to keeping your shorts in place while you play.

Positives
  • A wide selection of color options for players with all different tastes.
  • High-quality, machine-washable polyester.
  • Lightweight shorts.
  • Optimal design for ventilation and airflow.
Negatives

None we could find or think of.

9. Nike Flex Woven Shorts 2.0

*Details last updated on 2021-08-02

A fantastic pair of lightweight basketball shorts for players quick on their feet. Not the tightest and not baggiest, these shorts are a good option for those looking for a pair of all-round shorts suitable for multiple climates.

Material

Nike Flex fabric is well known for its breathability and ability to stretch with your body’s natural movements. The 100% polyester machine-washable material includes Nike’s patented Dri-FIT material, which wicks away sweat quickly to keep you cool and dry. This also makes them more hygienic than options not offering this or a similar technology.

Fit

Nike Flex basketball shorts provide for a standard, relaxed fit. They have a classic 9″ inseam, mesh-lined side pockets, and a covered elastic waistband with an internal drawstring cord. These shorts offer the perfect amount of coverage and an adjustable fit. They won’t hinder your movement on or off the bench. Also, they aren’t transparent at all so you can confidently and comfortably stretch and reach for the ball/basket.

Positives
  • Light weight option for those players looking to maximize their speed on the court.
  • Suitable for a wide range of hotter and colder climates.
  • Stretchy materials for maximum flexibility.
  • Moisture wicking material to help keep you cool and minimize sweat build up.
  • Classic 9″ inseam and mesh-lined pockets.
Negatives
  • No back pockets so you can only carry what fits in the side ones on the court.

10. Southpole Men’s Basic Basketball Mesh Shorts

*Details last updated on 2021-08-02

A modern design with coloured triangle sides on these lightweight mesh shorts. These shorts made the review list because they are simple, high-quality and affordable. Sizes range from small to XXL making them suitable to players of all different weights, shapes and sizes.

Material

These Southpole Men’s Basic Basketball shorts are made from 100% machine-washable polyester. They’re mesh throughout, except for their triangular side paneling. This allows for maximum breathability and comfort. The quick-drying material provides extra UV protection for those outdoor games under the hot sun. Sweat build up will never be a concern with these shorts.

Fit

These basketball shorts range in size from regular to tall. They provide a standard fit with inseams starting at 12-inches. They have an elastic waistband with a drawstring cord for an adjustable fit that stays in place during all activities. The hem sits just below the knee, but the expanded side paneling allows for unrestricted movement.

Positives
  • Modern, stylish design.
  • Affordable option.
  • Elastic waistband and adjustable drawstring cord.
  • Below the knee hem for complete quad coverage.
Negatives
  • Slightly limited range of color options (depending on your preference).

The Best Basketball Short Review Criteria

In order to properly assess how suitable the huge selection of basketball shorts are for a wider range of players (of all shapes, ages and sizes), we used a select number of review criteria.

We first selected a sample of basketball shorts from well-known and well-respected brands before hypothetically putting each pair through the below criteria.

Materials

The materials used to construct the shorts is one of the key elements in how practical and effective they are. A solid choice of materials means that the shorts offer a lot of air flow, ventilation and minimizes sweat built up.

A strong material also makes them more durable and long-lasting. Sometimes games can get heated and wear and tear of your gear is inevitable. You want a strong pair of shorts so you can train in them regularly without worrying about rips and tears!

Fit

Of course any shorts you buy need to be comfortable to wear. Nothing will distract you in a big game or tournament more than being uncomfortable. A good fit will be quite personal to you depending on your shape and size. Your personal preference will also come in to play as some people prefer shorter, tighter fits whilst others want a loose and baggy style.

Price

When thinking about sports gear, price always comes in to it to some extent. Basketball gear (like in-ground hoops and specialist ankle support basketball shoes) can be expensive and you will want to marry quality with affordability. Remember though, high-quality materials and ethical, fair manufacturing can cost more. So don’t always go for the cheapest shorts because you are on a budget (buy cheap, buy twice).

Design

Design is another vital part of finding the right pair of shorts! There is no point buying even the highest-quality shorts if you wouldn’t want to be seen dead in them. We look for sleek, appealing designs in the shorts that we review.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Why are basketball players wearing short shorts?

To cut a long story short, styles change over the years. In previous years (around the 70s, 80s and even early 90s), basketball uniforms where generally tighter and shorter, including the shorts. This was considered stylish and trendy back then. These days, most NBA players opt for a longer, baggier style. In any case, wear what makes you feel most comfortable!

What is the difference between soccer shorts and basketball shorts?

Soccer shorts tend to be shorter and lighter than basketball shoes. Basketball is a fast paced game but, soccer players tend to find themselves running longer distances throughout a match which is why the shorts might be slightly shorter. Also, the personal style of the sports more famous might have a personal preference for shorter designs.

What fabric is used for basketball shorts?

Basketball shorts are usually made out of polyester or nylon. Such materials are light, breathable and comfortable. The aim of designers is to offer high performance without compromising on comfort. Some might be cotton or a blend of cotton and the previously mentioned materials.

What length should basketball shorts be?

Basketball shorts should be approximately between 9 and 12 inches. Whilst you might find some stricter rules and regulations surrounding the length in some tournaments and competitive environments, in general you can wear whatever length shorts you like. An ideal length is one that offers a good amount of coverage without restricting your movement and flexibility.

Why do men wear basketball shorts?

Simply because they are comfortable, stylish and good at minimizing sweat built up. You can play in regular sweat pants or even jeans (although I wouldn’t recommend it), but you will find that you can play a lot more comfortably and confidently whilst wearing properly designed basketball shorts.

When did NBA players start wearing long shorts?

NBA players have opted for longer shorts over time. There is unlikely to be an exact date where players switched from shorter alternatives, but it is generally accepted that they became more popular in the mid to late 90s onwards.

Sources

Wikipedia, Basketball Uniform, Accessed on 25th December 2020.

SportsRec, NBA Uniform Rules, Accessed on 29th December 2020.

Jake Dennon

I am an avid sports enthusiast who has been fortunate enough to train with some of the best athletes and coaches in the world.

As a child, I had a keen interest in football (soccer) and regularly played with my friends and for my school. We had an ex England ace coaching us at one point and he really motivated me to make sports a big part of my life.

Moving into my teenage years I tried everything from basketball to weight lifting and everything in between. I was lucky enough to train weekly at a local tennis club who's head coach was a at one point the 9th best player in India and within the top 100 ranked players in the world.

The combat sport coaches I have been trained by have also trained some of the top fighters in the industry. All of these brilliant trainers (and all the ones in between) have shown me just how rewarding keeping fit and healthy can be.

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