Athleisure Wear

7 Pairs of Workout Shorts That Will Never, Ever Cause Chafing—No Matter How Sweaty You Get

Zoe Weiner

Photo: Getty/Luis Alvarez

Workout shorts have got a lot going for them. They're generally cute, comfortable, and keep your legs from feeling like they're trapped in a set of heavy leggings during a warm-weather workout. But there's one problem: With the combination of sweat, movement, and exposed skin, chafing is pretty much inevitable. That is, unless you've got the right pair.

When choosing a chafe-free style, you'll want to look for a few different elements that will help prevent any uncomfy thigh-to-thigh contact. They have to be long enough to cover your skin, sweat-wicking so that they don't cause irritation, and made from super-soft materials that won't rub. To help you find a pair that checks all three boxes, we rounded up the best anti-chafe shorts money can buy. Shop our picks below, and prepare for a thigh-happy summer, ahead.

Outdoor Voices Hudson 4" Short — $58.00

OV’s cult-fave running short now comes in a longer version, which means your summer runs will be chafe-free from here on out. They’re made from breezy, recycled polyester, and come with built-in briefs so you won’t have to worry about any mid-stride wedgies.

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Girlfriend Collective FLOAT High-Rise Bike Short — $48.00

Like all of Girlfriend Collective’s workout-wear, these shorts are equal parts supportive and buttery soft. They come in five colors and sizes XXS to XXL, and have an 8.5 inch inseam to keep your thighs covered. And what’s more? They’ve got UPF 50 and sweat-wicking properties, which means you’ll want to wear them for every outdoor activity, all summer long.

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Nike Flex Essential 2-in-1 — $40.00

Consider this the perfect marriage between a bike short and a running short—which means you don’t have to choose between the two. The stretchy base layer extends below the hem of the breezy outer shell, to help prevent chafing with two different layers.

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Sweaty Betty Super Sculpt 8” Biker Shorts — $68.00

Made from the same butt-lifting material as Sweaty Betty’s celeb-fave Power Leggings, the brand’s new power short represents the perfect combination of stretchy and sweat-wicking. The 8-inch inseam hits just above the knee, and they’ve even got a pocket so you can move with all of your essentials on-hand.

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WOLACO Women's North Moore Biker 7" Inseam — $50.00

With a 7-inch inseam, these shorts are slightly shorter than some of the others on the list, but manage to stand up to the chafe test thanks to the fact that they never, ever slip or ride up. They’re made with compressive fabric to keep your muscles locked in place, and have a special kind of flat stitching that won’t rub against your skin and cause irritation.

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New Balance Impact 2-in-1 Short — $50.00

Another biker-meets-runner situation, these shorts give you both the support and breeziness that each has to offer. Their lightweight fabric allows you to move with ease, and will fit comfortably without ever feeling too tight.

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Lululemon Align Short 8" — $68.00

With the help of special seaming on the inner thighs, these shorts are designed to keep you from chafing during even the toughest yoga poses (looking at you, Eagle). They’re designed for low impact activities, so may not be the best pick for a long run or a HIIT class, but offer sweat-wicking properties that make them perfect for bopping around in all summer.

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Once you've selected the perfect pair, put your new anti-chafe shorts to the test with this 20-minute lower body workout. 

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