Best Basketball Shorts for Mobility, Breathability and Comfort While Moving

When it comes to selecting basketball shorts, there are certain features that you should look for when determining what suits you best. Despite the name, men and women alike wear basketball shorts for various purposes, some for athletic activities and others purely for leisure. 

To make things easier, we've done the research for you and the top factors will always be durability and performance. You’re searching for comfort and style, but what about versatility? Can you go from getting groceries to a pick-up game? How about working out in general?

No worries, we've compiled a list of some of the best basketball shorts based on quality and design. 

  • Best for Comfort
  • Effortless mobility and unstoppable comfort
  • Stay dry with Dri-FIT technology
  • Best for Versatility
  • Comes in 28 different colors
  • Internal quickcord for adjustability
  • Best for Mobility
  • Comfortable four-way stretch construction
  • HeatGear fabric helps you stay cool
  • Best for Cooling
  • Climacool fabric helps you stay cool
  • Environmentally friendly
  • Best for Durability
  • Double-needle stitching for longevity
  • Breathable mesh material

Best Basketball Shorts 2021

Alost everyone knows Nike's brand name; probably the most popular choice on the list, the Nike Dri-FIT shorts are incredibly comfortable to most consumers. They're versatile and can be worn whether you're training or taking a trip to the store. 

The premium Dri-FIT fabric takes sweat management to the next level. When wearing these basketball shorts, the construction allows for the sweat to rise to the shorts’ surface, where it then evaporates pretty quickly. This truly keeps you dry and cool. 

Additionally, the jacquard structure and the 100% polyester fabric are exceptionally breathable and allow for optimal mobility. 

The trademark Nike swoosh can be found on the left hem, and there are around seven different colors that you can choose from.

The Nike Dri-FIT shorts come with an elastic band and an internal drawstring, promoting a good, secure fit. This adjustable design also has pockets that are great for easy storage of keys or other small items. The 11" inseam comes below the knees of many tall consumers, which means they can't be especially long on those of a shorter stature. 

These are the best basketball shorts on the list for sweat management and comfort, while also offering some level of versatility. 

What's great:

  • Completely machine washable
  • Stay comfortable and dry with Dri-FIT technology
  • Pockets for easy storage options
  • Lightweight, breathable mesh material
  • Can be worn during various activities
  • Internal drawstring for a secure and comfortable fit
  • Versatile

What's not so great:

  • The shorts break down over time with heavy use
  • The color variety is limited
  • Can be somewhat pricey depending on the size you order

Champion is a brand that's known for producing quality sports apparel. The originators of mesh shorts and the Champion brand continue to evolve and create better, more durable clothing and gear. The smooth tricot lining of these shorts feels excellent against your skin and allows for mobility at every turn. 

Made of 100% polyester mesh, these shorts will actively work to keep you dry and cool no matter whether you're on or off the court. 

Offering versatility, comfort, style, and plenty of breathability on a budget, these shorts are of excellent quality. They come in a variety of sizes and colors, and women report having an easy time finding a suitable size as well. These shorts have a 9" inseam which brings them right above the knees on most customers unless you're a bit taller. 

These shorts are the best for versatility as you can wear them for training or leisure, equally. 

What's great:

  • Side pockets are great for storage
  • Made of a lightweight mesh fabric that keeps you dry when sweating
  • Very durable and breathable polyester mesh material
  • The drawstring offers a great fit for all shapes and body sizes
  • Comes in 28 different colors
  • Versatile 
  • Can be purchased for under $25, depending on the size

What's not so great:

  • Users have reported that the waist becomes loose over time
  • Some users have said that the shorts are a little see-through
  • Some users have said that they are too short 

Under Armour is another respected brand in the world of sports apparel and they've seemingly done a good job with the Men's Raid basketball shorts. Of particular interest to those who like to train/play outside, these basketball shorts offer four-way stretch protection that allows for maximum movement. With a 10" seam, many customers enjoy the longer look of the shorts that come right to the knees. 

The shorts don't have an inner liner, but they feel secure without feeling too snug. Equipped with UPF 30, these shorts will protect your skin while engaging in outdoor activities and the anti-odor function will keep you fresh and dry throughout the day. 

If you want super breathable shorts, have pockets for storage, and a polyester mesh blend that feels great on the skin, this option will get the job done. 

These are the best basketball shorts for mobility and keeping you cool.

What's great:

  • Comfortable four-way stretch construction ensures that the shorts don't fit too snug in an uncomfortable way
  • HeatGear fabric that's very smooth and soft and also helps you stay cool
  • Sun protection thanks to UPF 30; excellent for outdoor use
  • The anti-odor function keeps bad odors away
  • Lightweight mesh material keeps you dry and offers breathability
  • Reasonably priced

What's not so great:

  • No inner liner
  • Pockets are small
  • Not much versatility

Adidas is another popular sports apparel brand that has received many positive reviews for the 2 Move 3 Stripes Cool shorts. Another excellent option for buyers who want to enjoy the lightweight material that allows for easy mobility while playing sports, and the climacool fabric that keeps you dry when you're starting to sweat. 

The targeted airflow makes sure the fabric isn't a too heavy feeling, so it doesn't slow down your workout routine by clinging to your body uncomfortably. 

The famous Adidas 3-stripe design goes down both sides of the shorts, with the Adidas name located on the bottom left hem. These shorts come in a few colors, mostly neutral, and reviews have touted them for their supreme comfort and excellent fit. 

The drawcord is internal, along the elastic waistband, giving you the option to adjust the fit as necessary. The 9" inseam brings the shorts to your knees, though some taller individuals feel that they're a bit short. All in all, they have received positive reviews from buyers. 

These shorts seem to be the best on the list for a customized fit with very few complaints being made about the size or eventual looseness at the waist. 

What's great:

  • Pockets for storage
  • Shorts composed of recycled polyester which saves resources
  • Breathable, lightweight shorts for comfort
  • Drawcord allows for a customized fit
  • Climacool fabric on the inner lining allows you to feel cool and dry during warm weather
  • Can be purchased for under $30

What's not so great:

  • Pockets are shallow
  • Not very versatile, though you can wear them for leisure as well

The Pro Club men's basketball shorts are specifically geared towards those who want to engage in training or sports. They offer superior comfort during intense and moderate physical activity, and they also keep you dry since they're made from breathable polyester mesh material. 

What's unique about these pants is that they have two front pockets and a rear pocket with a zipper. This prevents items such as keys or your wallet from falling out of your pocket during training. 

The shorts' design features a solid stripe down each side, and there's also double-needle stitching for maximum durability. The elastic waistband has a drawstring to ensure the proper fit. The inseam ranges from 12.25" to 14", depending on the size. 

There are multiple color options available, and the sizes go up to a 4XL, so there are plenty of size options available. 

These shorts are the best on the list for durability, being reinforced by the double stitching. 

What's great:

  • Various color and size options
  • Thick fabric
  • Durable
  • Wide waistband
  • Breathable mesh material
  • Reasonably priced

What's not so great:

  • Some consumers have said that the shorts run large and it is challenging to find the perfect fit
  • It may not serve your needs if you're not into intense training and want the shorts more so for leisure

Best Features of Basketball Shorts

Shopping for hoop shorts and don't know where to start? This is what you're looking for when you're browsing the features section of the product.

When you determine your specific needs, line them up with these features, and pick whichever shorts offer you as many of these benefits as possible. 

Versatility

You want basketball shorts to be versatile; you should be able to perform various activities without changing your shorts.

Maybe they're reversible, and you can get two looks in one by wearing them inside out; whatever the case may be, versatility is a key feature of basketball shorts. 

In short, versatility encompasses a lot of qualities - durability, comfort, style, and mobility. All of these factors working together make for a versatile pair of basketball shorts that can be worn for any occasion. 

Quality Material

Your shorts should be made of quality materials that won't cause chaffing, sliding, or itching while you're wearing them.

Polyester mesh is usually the go-to for basketball shorts, as this material allows for breathability while you're moving around. Many times, shorts have a cotton or nylon blend inlay, similar to swimming trunks, for comfort during use. 

Quick-drying light materials are great for those who sweat a lot during physical activity. You'll also want to ensure that the material is durable and won't rip easily, causing you to have to replace your shorts every few months.

Mobility

One essential factor is mobility. Do you have adequate support to move around freely and comfortably?

You shouldn't feel like your shorts are too tight, or too loose. Often this is where an elastic band and drawstring come into play; your shorts have to be the perfect fit.

Maybe moving isn't such a problem if you're wearing shorts around the house.

However, if you were to go on the court or play a game of flag football, you'll need to make sure you're not continually readjusting your shorts because they're sliding down. You should feel free to make a wide range of movements.

What to Think About When Shopping for Basketball Shorts

Shorts are shorts, right? Not exactly. If you’re just starting out on the court or are upping your game and want to look a bit fresher while playing, there are some things to consider. For example:

  • Sizing considerations like length versus width
  • The environment you’ll be playing in
  • Breathability versus durability; some breathable materials aren’t as tough as high-performance, hotter fabrics

Also consider these questions while shopping:

  • Do you plan to wear compression pants or other undershorts with your b-ball shorts?
  • How active will you be versus wearing your shorts for lounge time?
  • Do you tend to run hot or cold overall?
  • Will you be wearing knee pads?

It may seem like overkill before you click ‘add to cart,’ but thinking ahead can help you make the best possible basketball shorts purchase.

Conclusion: On the Best Basketball Shorts

These are the top options based on which features have been shown to receive praise from basketball players and those who just want to be comfortable while they lounge around the house. 

The main aspects that we researched were the shorts that had plenty of athlete-friendly features while focusing heavily on comfort and style. The ability to switch between intense exercise and simple lounging was a key determinant of how we evaluated the shorts.

No matter which of these selections you pick, you're sure to receive a quality pair of basketball shorts. Remember to check the label on how to properly wash and dry the shorts to ensure longevity. 

Hopefully, this list gives you enough variety that you can easily select the best basketball shorts for your needs or at least serves as a starting point in you being able to determine what you're looking for. 

About the author

My name is Joshua Bast and I have been playing basketball ever since I was 7 years old. I love the game play, I love the feeling whenever I score a basket, but what made me fell in love was the camaraderie with my team mates. This blog is dedicated to help any up-and-coming basketball players maximize their potential.