Don’t sweat it: Our top picks for stylish but practical activewear shorts

Look good, feel good.

Is it just us or does it seem like wearing nice activewear makes you more motivated to exercise? It doesn’t matter if you’re heading to the gym, pilates, yoga, or on a walk – it never hurts to feel good in what you wear. 

So, we’ve curated a list of our must-have activewear shorts for women to have you feeling confident and ready to kick some workout goals. 

With countless styles on the market right now, it can be difficult finding the activewear that’s right for you.

It can be especially difficult in terms of activewear shorts, as there are a variety of fabrics, textures, lengths and fits that can all serve different purposes.

So how do you know which style is best for you? We’ve narrowed down a list of our top picks for activewear shorts no matter your fitness goals, or if you just simply love wearing athleisure – because who doesn’t?

The best women’s activewear shorts to shop in 2024


lululemon License to Train High-Rise Short

$109 at lululemon

Designed for training, these shorts are made from an abrasion-resistant fabric that can handle any heavy cardio movement, while still giving you freedom to move thanks to the relaxed fit. 

The flowy style means you’ll have maximum comfort without any unwanted chafing. 

And if you go hard while exercising, don’t sweat it because these shorts are made to draw moisture away from the skin and to the outside of the fabric where it won’t bother you and can evaporate easily.

Key features:

  • Zippered hand pockets with hidden card sleeve
  • Waistband drawcord can be worn inside or out
  • Locker loop for easy hanging
  • Relaxed fit is roomy through glutes and thighs
  • Sweat-wicking and quick-drying fabric
  • Available in multiple colourways including storm teal, black, nomad, and elixir
  • Material: recycled nylon, recycled polyester, and elastane


MESHKI Martina Bike Shorts With Pocket

$59 at MESHKI

Bike shorts are great for almost any form of exercise, as the tight material moves with you.

This pair from MESHKI is a great staple for your wardrobe as they’re not only soft and comfortable thanks to the stretchy fabric, but are also super practical with the added benefit of pockets.

The wide waistband ensures the shorts stay in place and the high-rise fit offers squat-proof coverage so you can feel confident no matter what activity you’re partaking in.

The mid-length design is also great as it enables a seamless transition from the gym to the couch, allowing you to focus on your workout instead of worrying about your shorts riding up too far.

Kendall Jenner has even been spotted rocking MESHKI’s athleisure range, so you know it has the celebrity tick of approval.

Key features:

  • Squat-proof
  • High-rise 
  • Wide waistband
  • Mid-length 
  • Bodycon fit
  • Side pocket
  • Available in an array of colours such as: black, charcoal, dark chocolate, green, and white
  • Made from 80% nylon and 20% elastane


Lorna Jane Ultimate Run Short

$85 at Lorna Jane

As the name suggests, these shorts are great if you’re a runner.

They’re a long-standing design that have become a crowd favourite thanks to the lightweight material, built-in under shorts, drawstring, and zip-pocket.

The flowy fabric moves with you, and won’t rub while you’re kicking your workout goals.

Key features:

  • Internal knickers
  • External drawcord
  • Zip pocket
  • Available in four colours: french navy, dark teal, titanium, and cobalt blue
  • Fabric: 85% polyester and 15% elastane


Cotton On Body Plush Essential Gym Short

$29.99 at Cotton On

If you’re after comfort when it comes to activewear, these shorts are the ultimate pair for you.

The epitome of athleisure, these gym trackie shorts are perfect for low-intensity workouts, running errands, or just chilling around the house.

Featuring an elasticated waistband, a slouchy fit, and a lightweight fabric, these shorts will become your new go-to pair.

Key features:

  • Relaxed fit with room to move
  • Mid-rise style
  • Internal elasticated waistband with drawstring
  • Side drop-in pockets to hold your essentials
  • Fits true to size
  • Available in both grey and purple
  • Made from 55% cotton and 45% polyester

Available at:


STAX. Premium Seamless Midi Bike Shorts

$69.95 at STAX.

STAX. has become one of the biggest and best Australian brands when it comes to activewear, and it’s not hard to see why.

These shorts are comfortable, the perfect length, and will have you constantly reaching for them.

The seamless fabric is what sells us the most on these, as they’re super comfy and stretchy meaning they won’t rub, irritate, or dig into you while you exercise.

Key features:

  • Midi-length
  • High-waist fit
  • Sweat wicking fabric
  • Flexible ribbed waistband
  • Glute contouring design
  • Seamless fabric
  • Made from 94% nylon and 6% spandex

What type of shorts are best for the gym?

Obviously it depends on your personal preference as to what style of shorts you choose to workout in, but in general the best activewear shorts are stretchy, will wick moisture, and overall will be comfortable to wear during long periods of repetitive movement.

Ideal fabrics for activewear shorts include a blend of polyester, elastane, cotton, and spandex.

Should workout shorts be tight or loose?

Again, we all have different preferences when it comes to activewear, and often women will choose fabrics and styles that they feel suits their body shape and makes them feel confident.

The most important thing to consider when choosing workout shorts is if they are comfortable, so it truly depends on if you find tight-fitting shorts or loose and flowy shorts more comfortable.

Different styles are also designed for different types of exercises, with tight shorts typically ideal for high intensity workouts, whereas loose fitting shorts are ideal for activities such as running and yoga. 

If you had to choose, tight shorts are probably the preferred option as they offer compression which has many benefits for your muscles and joints while exercising.

In saying that, you should ensure that your activewear isn’t too tight as you need to be able to have a full range of movement with no limitations.

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