10 Amazing Compression Shorts for a More Comfortable Workout

Everyone knows that compression shorts boost your workouts across the board. But there's one major drawback: They're really uncomfortable. Most pairs leave you sweaty and chafed, like you're wearing a straightjacket on your most vulnerable area. That's why we're head over heels for these pairs, which get the job (maximizing your gains) done—without giving up an ounce of comfort. Breathe easy, friend.

Man wearing gray compression shorts photo

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Under Armour HeatGear Armour Mid

From the company that stoked the compression craze, appropriately, come the tightest-squeezing shorts in this roundup. And they're fancier than most, too, with a stretch-mesh crotch gusset and inseam panels that let you air out, not to mention anti-microbial tech that will help keep you smelling fresh after even the most grueling of sweat sessions. The rest—sweat-wicking fabric with four-way stretch that's held up by a thick, no-slip waistband—is textbook. ($28; underarmour.com)

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Heather black compression shorts photo

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Pacterra Athletics Middy

Now in its third generation, the thigh-length Middy is the short that launched Oregon-based Pacterra, which creates comfy compression wear based on the same Feel-Is-Performance philosophy made famous by football legend Deion Sanders ("[You] look good, [you] feel good. [You] feel good, [you] play good…"). Features like a crack-keeping, raised-back hem, an "invisible," secure-fold hip pocket, and flattened seams combine with snuggly-soft fabric for a cozy, second-skin fit that's sure to inspire self-confidence, no matter where your performance levels stand. ($36; pacterraathletics.com)

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Black compression shorts photo

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Soar Running Speed Shorts

While most compression fabrics are heavier knits, boutique British outfit Soar went with a lighter-weight woven construction on these half-tights, making them thinner, breezier, and more flexible than other pairs, despite boasting a quad-hugging 29 percent spandex content. Other thoughtful details include printed silicone grippers to keep the bottom hems from riding up during sprint intervals, a zippered pocket for your phone, and reflective trim and logos for those dawn patrol runs. ($106; soarrunning.com)

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Gray camo print compression shorts photo

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Hylete Light Compression Short

This stylish underwear was built to be worn beneath Hylete's flagship verge cross-training shorts. As such, they're lighter and more breathable than most compression shorts, with just 10 percent spandex, for a slightly supportive, fast-wicking base layer that cuts down on chafing by holding everything in place, no matter how intense your workout is. Flatlock stitching and four-way stretch boost comfort even more, as does a unique v-shaped crotch panel that keeps your valuables safe from seams. ($40; hylete.com)

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Three pairs of dark blue compression shorts photo

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Neleus Performance Compression Shorts 3-Pack

While not quite as tight as some of the leading brands, these Neleus shorts nevertheless get the job done, and at a fraction of the price (which probably explains why they're a top-rated bestseller—with 4.3 stars from nearly 500 reviews—among the bargain hunters on Amazon). Moisture-wicking fabric, chafe-free seams and a thick, no-slip waistband ensure you're comfortable while you move. With a 3-pack, you can don a fresh pair for every workout, without carefully scheduling every load of laundry. Life's easier for you, and—trust us—much more pleasant for your training buddies. (3 for $23; amazon.com)

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Tattooed man wearing black compression shorts photo

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Alo Warrior Compression Short

Breathe easy. These first-rate compression shorts flow with you during yoga, thanks to a four-way stretch fabric made of softer, stronger nylon—the rest in this review use a polyester base—blended with 20 percent spandex. Other features that help justify the steep price tag include moisture-wicking antimicrobial tech, a crotch gusset that's lined for comfort an modesty, and the company's responsible, made-in-USA genesis. ($68; aloyoga.com)

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Guy wearing black compression shorts photo

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2XU MCS Run Compression Short

These knee-length (10.5-inch inseams) running shorts provide "anatomically mapped muscle support" to reduce the bone-jarring impacts that pounding pavement causes to the quads. In the process, Australian compression brand 2XU hopes to save runners' knees, and improve recovery times after races and hard runs. There are plenty of other runner-friendly details, too, including a rear zip pocket, anti-odor tech, flatlock seams, and reflective safety logos. ($80; 2xu.com)

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Men's colorblock compression shorts photo

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Reebok CrossFit Compression Short

By now, Reebok knows it can slap the CrossFit brand name on virtually anything, and it'll fly off the store shelves. Kudos are due, then, for making these highly-compressive—they're 25 percent spandex—shorts with Speedwick tech that manages sweat and helps keep you cool during high-intensity WODs. ($45; store.crossfit.com)

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Man wearing black compression shorts photo

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Wolaco North Moore Short

Other brands take note: When Way of Life Athletic Company (or, "Wolaco") built a compression short with two—not one, but two—"sweatproof" hip pockets, it practically broke the internet. Not in the same way that a certain reality TV megastar does, of course, but rather in the fact that 95 percent of reviewers absolutely gush about those pockets, and how they can hold smartphone and keys safely and separately while you get your fitness on. It helps, of course, that the materials and construction are top-notch, and the designs awfully street-friendly for what's essentially tight underwear. But, man, those pockets… (Yes, sometimes, it's the smallest details.) ($50; wolaco.com)

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Medium gray men's compression shorts photo

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Altra M Trail Short 2

These lightly compressive runners hide away an inner compression lining—intended to prevent chafing when your workouts heat up—beneath a lightweight, quick-drying outer shell. Five pockets, including a zippered one in the back of the waist, stow all your run essentials, like keys, cash, and gels. Not bad for the price. ($55; altrarunning.com)

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