What to Consider When Purchasing a Pair of Running Shorts
Running is seeing a resurgence in popularity, as people take greater care of their health and seek to strengthen themselves against unwanted illnesses. As thousands of Singaporeans take to roads, stadiums, and trails across the country, many running enthusiasts are investing in proper equipment to push their performance while staying in comfort, such as running shoes, utility belts, and running shorts.
Bringing more than just comfort and mobility to your running experience, running shorts come in a variety of designs and styles, and are suited to a variety of different running styles. Read on to learn more about what you should consider when you decide to purchase them from a running store in Singapore.
Contrary to popular belief, running shorts come in a range of designs, and some types are more optimised for certain styles of running. They include V-notch shorts, split shorts, as well as compression shorts. V-notch shorts get their name from the V-shaped cutout on the exterior leg seams of the shorts. This allows greater range of movement and flexibility, as compared to if the seams were stitched together. They offer an easy and looser fit compared to other shorts, making them a versatile and leading option for runners of all kinds.
Split shorts have a cut seam along the side and overlapping fabric, allowing for greater range of motion for legs compared to V-notch shorts. This makes them the go-to option for performance-driven athletes, particularly for those competing in races and short-distance running. Lastly, compression shorts are tight-fitting and hug one’s legs. They are designed to offer muscle support in comparison to range of motion, helping to prevent chafing and friction and reducing the risk of muscle tear. In addition, they offer superior stretching, making them the popular choice for long-distance and marathon runners.
In addition to these types, both men’s and women’s running shorts are made differently as well. Men’s shorts tend to have a longer inseam, as well as a built-in liner to reduce chafing of the groin region. Women’s shorts offer a better fit for their waists, hips, and thighs. Unisex shorts also exist, although offering reduced support and comfort compared to gender-specific shorts.
Many shorts come with various quality-of-life features, ranging from pockets to visibility strips as well. This allows runners to carry their valuables as they run, as well as stay more visible when running along roads, helping drivers to notice them and reduce the risk of accidents, particularly when running in low-light conditions at early mornings or nights. Visit your nearest running store in Singapore to find out more.
Running shorts can be classified into three broad categories, based on their length. They include short (3-inch), medium (5-inch), and long (7-inch), and are carried by most running stores in Singapore. Short-length shorts are the most popular of the three categories, due to their non-restrictive length and best range of movement. They are popular amongst both male and female runners seeking to enhance their performance, particularly for competitive runners across both short and long-distance running.
Medium-length shorts offer a balance of robustness and competitiveness, making them the most popular option for both casual and competitive runners, as well as for those who find themselves running across different terrains and training regimes. Long-length shorts offer greater protection against debris or branches during trail runs, and are handy for runners who only plan to run for shorter distances. A benefit of long-length shorts is that the extra fabric allows for the inclusion of pockets, making them great for a casual run near one’s home.
Generally, shorter-length running shorts are the preferred option due to greater ease of movement, improved airflow, and reduced risk of chafing. However, it is up to individual preference, as some runners may not be comfortable with the exposed designs of some of these shorts as well.
Running shorts are often made out of either natural or synthetic fibres. Most shorts are made out of synthetic fibres, such as polyester or a polyester-spandex blend. The reason is that such fibres are durable, light, and allow for improved moisture management, which is an essential part of running.
Natural fibres such as cotton offer improved comfort but also absorb moisture and sweat, which can lead to chafing and greater discomfort for long-distance runs. In a humid country such as Singapore, the vast majority of running shorts are synthetic in material, due to the rapid accumulation of sweat and heat. Prolonged heat build up can also lead to greater strain and fatigue on one’s body, affecting recovery and health as well.
Not all running types are equal, and each type has specific running shorts that work best for their requirements. There are three categories of runs: trail running, track running, and road running.
Trail running takes place on hiking trails, usually with constant gradient changes and in nature areas such as reservoirs and reserves. Due to the uneven terrain and presence of branches and obstacles, trail runners prefer more durable and longer-length shorts to reduce scrapes and injuries, as well as those with pockets and a compressive liner.
Track running is your classic high-performance sport, and runners prefer super-lightweight and short length V-notch and split shorts for maximum freedom of movement. These running shorts thrive for both explosive sprints as well as long-distance running. Lastly, road running often involves long distance running, making medium-length shorts a popular choice due to their versatility across diverse weather conditions, along with their general breathability and lower risk of chafing.
In addition to the type of running activity, there is also the level of intensity. Some runners may prefer to do it as a social activity and keeping fit with friends, while others may be full time athletes who seek to beat their personal bests and be the best in their field. Regardless of one’s desired level of intensity, a good pair of running shorts should combine performance with comfort and versatility, helping you to fully immerse in the act of running as you strive towards healthier living.