When participating in a triathlon, you have to pay special attention to what you’re wearing. The best triathlon shorts will keep you comfortable and ensure hassle-free participation in the event.
Triathlons are a test of endurance and personal capacity, and triathletes have to wear the same triathlon gear for all three events, namely, swimming, cycling, and running. It thus becomes very important to pick a tried-and-trusted pair of shorts. But every athlete has a unique build and should wear a pair that will allow them to complete each leg without any restrictions. To help you choose better, here is a list of the best triathlon shorts for men and women.
10 Best Triathlon Shorts
1. Best High-Elasticity: SL3 Men’s Triathlon Shorts
SLS3 has designed these shorts for athletes by keeping in mind the intensity of the sporting events in a triathlon along with delivering a hassle-free experience. To ensure maximum comfort while participating in events, these shorts are made from 80% nylon and 20% spandex. Its atomic fit, high elasticity, and minimalist design offer freedom of movement while participating in triathlons. One of the best-selling options, it has quality flat seams and soft leg finish to offer maximum comfort and durability. To prevent the reduction of speed while cycling, running, or swimming, the triathlon shorts for cycling are equipped with a tri pad that provides comfort to your body.
- Comes with pockets
- Offers UV protection
- Controls chafing
- May not be suitable for chlorinated swimming pools
2. Best With Flat-Locked Stitching: My Kilometre Men’s Triathlon Shorts
The MY KILOMETRE Men’s Triathlon Shorts are made to ensure that its users experience maximum comfort while participating. Thanks to the polyamide and Lycra used in manufacturing these triathlon-specific shorts, you can now experience better aerodynamics during distance races. Do you crave an energy bar while you are running? No problem! These shorts have mesh pockets on both sides of the legs that can be easily accessed while running. Simply put your favorite energy bar or a small bottle of water and you are good to go! It comes with a tri 2.0 multi-density chamois pad for better performance while on the bike and while running. Available in different colors and sizes, these compression shorts are a triathlon clothing essential.
- Suitable for chlorinated swimming pools
- Prevents contours on the body
- Offers muscle compression
- Flat locked stitching for user comfort
- Chamois may be oversized for cycling
3. Best With Micro Fleece Pad: Synergy Men’s Tri Shorts
As the name of the brand suggests, participating in a triathlon is all about synergy with your capabilities and your sports outfit. These shorts by Synergy ensure that you feel comfortable while wearing the shorts through its micro fleece pad. Made using 84% nylon and 16% spandex, Synergy ensures optimum performance while at a triathlon through better flexibility. Its quality craftsmanship includes a neo-gel pad for better support and comfort while cycling. Available in 7 sizes ranging from XS to 3XL, this pair of shorts is a one-stop-solution for a comfortable experience while participating in a triathlon.
- Superior fabric
- Stylish design
- Suitable for carrying water bottles
- The padding may be too thin.
SL3 Men’s Triathlon Shorts
My Kilometre Men’s Triathlon Shorts
Best With Flat-Locked Stitching
Synergy Men’s Tri Shorts
Best With Micro Fleece Pad
| 9.9 x 6.6 x 1.5 inches; 2.4 Ounces
| 7.7 x 6.4 x 1.3 inches; 5.61 Ounces
| 8 x 5.5 x 1.5 inches; 3.2 Ounces
4. Best Fast-Drying: Beroy Men’s Triathlon Shorts
The Beroy Men’s Triathlon Shorts provides a seamless experience to those who decide to wear it. It has a drawstring to secure its position firmly while wearing it. Its material blend consists of 80% nylon and 20% spandex, giving you flexibility while stretching and comfort while wearing. Are you worried that while participating the drawstring of the shorts may not be in place? Don’t worry! The waistband of the shorts secures it and prevents it from moving. The shorts are available in sizes ranging from S to 3XL. Available in attractive and stylish designs that can ace the stringent stylistic evaluations, these affordable triathlon shorts are suitable for both beginners and professionals.
- Sponge cushion as chamois support
- Padding suitable for all triathlon sports
- Comfortable finish around legs
- Quick-drying material
- May not be suitable for machine wash
5. Best Seamless: Canari Women’s Triathlon Shorts
The shorts from Canari are made by fusing 83% nylon and 17% spandex keeping in mind the comfort of the athletes while participating in a triathlon. Its seamless design reduces chafing. It is equipped with grippers which help in preventing the shorts from riding up your thighs, making it one of the best women’s tri shorts. Its design and inseam play an important role in ensuring mid thigh coverage. These shorts with dual material blend are available in four sizes, ranging from S to XL.
- Low bulk chamois pad
- Pull-on closure
- Dries quickly
- Quality craftsmanship
- Available only in 1 color
6. Best For Good Blood Circulation: 3SB Men’s Triathlon Shorts
Right from making these shorts using top-quality nylon and spandex for better mobility to ensuring that the shorts are uniquely designed for better blood circulation, these shorts from 3SB understand the issues faced by triathletes and have designed the triathlon product accordingly. It is stitched to suit the shape of the body seamlessly. Its side pockets can be used to store energy bars and cooling gels while participating in events. The men’s triathlon-specific shorts come in sizes ranging from small to XL.
- Reduces fatigue caused by triathlons
- Quick-drying tri shorts
- Secure drawstring
- Light design
- Not available in multiple colors
7. Best Breathable: TYR Men’s Competitor Core Tri Short
TYR takes pride in being a swimwear brand which was co-founded by 1972 Olympic bronze medalist Steven Charles Furniss. It continues to remain one of the major manufacturers of sports apparel. This time-tested pair of shorts by TYR is known to be one of the most durable swim gears available in the market, making it completely performance driven, thanks to its specialized compression webbing. The modern tri shorts are available in three sizes— XS, small, and large. Since these triathlon shorts for swimming come from a brand that was founded by former Olympian swimmers, you can be assured of its performance.
- Light in weight
- Ultra-breathable fabric
- Offers UPF 50+ protection
- Highly durable material
- Drawstring may be fragile
8. Best With UPF 50+ Sun Protection: Zoot Core Men’s Tri 7 Inches Shorts
Zoot hails from the land of the ironman triathlon world championship, that is, Hawaii. These shorts have a flattering biowrap ginger-free hem which eliminates the need for a firm leg gripper. Its endura+ fabric helps keep the shorts dry and comfortable when used. These shorts have UPF 50+ sun protection to ensure that you participate seamlessly while swimming, cycling, and running. This pair of shorts also doubles as cycling shorts and is available in five sizes ranging from S to XXL. If you are looking for a pair of comfortable triathlon shorts from a reputed brand that understands sporting events and designs products accordingly, this is for you.
- Offers next-to-skin comfort
- Integrated compression
- Double-layered brushed fleece
- Vibration protection
- Seams may be stitched poorly
9. Best With Seamless Gusset: Zoot Core Men’s Tri 9 Inches Shorts
Whether you are training for a triathlon or gearing up for the distance race day, these high-quality triathlon shorts by Zoot can provide you with the comfort you need. Its performance endura+ fabric keeps the shorts dry and comfortable while participating. Thanks to the integra SBR 2d fleece pad, you will be able to achieve maximum level of comfort while you are cycling. This triathlon gear has dual pockets to store cooling gel or water bottles. It doubles as bicycle shorts, is made from high-quality polyamide and elastane, and is available in 5 sizes, ranging from S to XXL. Its drawcord gives a secure fit to its users.
- Eliminates sausage leg
- Seamless gusset
- Quality craftsmanship
- Stretches comfortably
- Provides extra core coverage for smooth movement
- Pad may not have the required depth
10. Best Abrasion-Resistant: Women Select Pursuit Tri Shorts
This women’s triathlon apparel is a great fit with enhanced durability and comfort. Ideal for training and races, its one-access pocket can be used by athletes for storing cooling gels and water bottles. This pair of shorts is available in 2 colors— black and navy coral and exists in 6 sizes ranging from XS to XXL. Made from top-quality nylon and lycra, this pair gives you much-needed comfort and flexibility. The triathlon race apparel has a quick-dry fabric that offers compression and wicks moisture. Whether you swim, cycle, or run, this pair of shorts delivers maximum performance and is a must-buy!
- Suitable for machine wash
- Reflective design for low light
- Suitable for all levels of athletes
- The padding might seem non-existent.
How To Choose The Right Triathlon Shorts?
Consider these factors when choosing a pair of triathlon shorts.
- Fabric: Fabric is one of the most pivotal factors when choosing triathlon shorts. Triathlon shorts are made using nylon and spandex. While one particular fabric may give you an edge over another during the three sporting events in a triathlon, triathletes prefer shorts that are made by combining both nylon and spandex to balance the benefits across all events. Blended fabrics provide comfort while swimming and dry quickly by the time triathletes proceed to running or cycling.
- Compression: Participating in a triathlon translates to experiencing intense heat, a rise in body temperature, and physical and mental stress while running, swimming, and cycling. This means that you must buy triathlon gear that can absorb sweat and provide a cooling feeling to your body. However, if you experience any cramping, compressions are not recommended. The overall point is to look for shorts that have some sort of aero specific benefits.
- Pockets: Usually, experts do not recommend shorts with pockets, especially when you are running and carrying something in the pockets, because it can hinder your performance. The pockets in a triathlon gear are used not only for carrying energy bars but also gel packs to relieve body pain. If you are planning to carry energy bars, water bottles or cooling gels, you can consider using shorts with pockets.
- Pad: Since a triathlon consists of 3 events, you have to pick shorts with pads that are compatible with all events. If you have any past experiences with chafing, you can go for shorts that have thinner underpads. However, if you experience body pain while cycling, you can go for shorts with a thicker underpad. Every professional triathlete will have a forte in triathlon, where you can pick suitable shorts.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. What kind of shorts can I wear for a triathlon?
Swimming, cycling, and running are part of a triathlon, so the shorts you wear should also be conducive for all three. The shorts should be made of moisture-proof and quick-drying material to keep the sweat away and be comfortable enough to run in.
2. What is the difference between bike shorts and tri shorts?
Bike shorts have a thicker foam pad to absorb sweat and would weigh a person down when running a triathlon. On the other hand, tri shorts have a quick-drying pad to match all three activities–swimming, cycling, and running.
3. Can I swim in tri shorts?
Yes, you can swim in tri shorts. Modern tri shorts are usually quick to dry, seamless, and have a snug fit, making them the appropriate clothing for swimming.
Why Trust MomJunction?
Poulami Nag is an experienced product writer and reviewer who writes on clothing and loves giving fashion advice. She ensures her articles meet the needs of the readers. Keeping user requirements in mind, she has compiled a list of the top triathlon shorts after conducting in-depth trend analysis, comparing different pairs, and reading reviews. She has added a detailed description of each triathlon product, including their flexibility, fabric, and pros and cons, as well as a tri shorts buying guide to help you find the right shorts according to your requirements.
Triathlon is a combination of three sports- swimming, running, and cycling, all of which require you to be comfortable. Choosing the best Triathlon shorts from trusted brands that do not hamper the range of motion and feel cozy can add to your performance. The best fabrics for Triathlon shorts are nylon and spandex, as they’re both stretchable and gentle on the skin. When you invest in a pair of breathable Triathlon shorts, they keep moisture and sweat at bay to keep you dry.
Infographic: Things To Look For When Buying Triathlon Shorts
Whether you’re involved in swimming, running, or cycling, triathlon shorts provide comfort and the required elasticity needed for these sports. These shorts ensure a hassle-free experience while participating in any of these events. Look through this infographic to learn the features your triathlon shorts should have when buying one.