Best Basketball Shorts For Men
If you love the game, chances are you spend a lot of time going over your basketball equipment.
You get the best possible shoes, protect your ankles with braces or wraps, and may even use knee protection.
The same amount of attention isn’t always offered to your clothing.
A quality pair of basketball shorts can make the difference between a comfortable basketball game, or an uncomfortably restrictive one.
Shorts that impede your movement stop you from reaching your full potential.
They can restrict your ability to jump and spread your legs, define how fast you can run or tight you can turn, and whether you can plant your feet wide enough to make a powerful jump.
Of course, range of movement isn’t the only consideration. The type of material the shorts are made out of can also effect your game in a different way.
Some shorts have an inner lining that helps wick away sweat and provide added comfort.
Softer materials that don’t rub or chafe can allow you to play for longer, without getting abrasions or experiencing discomfort from the basketball shorts themselves.
One final consideration in the shorts is their actual design. Some basketball shorts have pockets, and some don’t.
If you want to be able to hold your keys while you play a casual game of pick-up basketball, finding out they don’t have pockets can be a big annoyance.
On the other hand if you hate the bulge of a large pocket pressing against your legs, a pocket free pair of basketball shorts may be more to your liking.
The length of the basketball shorts also plays a part. Although not as critical as other parts of the basketball shorts, longer shorts are generally more preferable for taller people.
No one wants to feel exposed while they are trying to make a slam dunk. You can typically get an idea of what size these basketball shorts are meant to fit by the in-seam.
A longer in-seam means it was designed to fit a taller person, while a shorter in-seam means it was designed to fit a shorter person.
If an in-seam is drastically short, it could lead you to feel like they’re little more than a pair of underwear—not the look you want to have when you’re trying to psych yourself up for a great performance.
If they’re too long, they may feel more like a pair of pants rather than a pair of shorts, leaving you feeling and looking awkward, as if you don’t know how to pick between shorts and pants.
If you’re taller, aim for an in-seam that is more than 10” and if you’re shorter, 10” or under.
Let’s take a look at 5 great pairs of basketball shorts, and a few awesome runner ups as well.
Top 5 Best Basketball Shorts For Men
1. Under Armour Men’s Mo’ Money Shorts
Under Armour is a reputable brand for sports clothing.
They have a great reputation for making breathable, comfortable sportswear that lasts a long time.
Their Men’s Mo’ Money Shorts are a quality example of what this business has done for the clothing industry.
These shorts are made from knitted fabrics, Knit fabrics are stretchy, comfortable, and soft, which is why they are a great choice for your basketball shorts.
These shorts also come in two different distinct designs, so you can choose the design you find most comfortable.
They have the traditional one piece style, and also a two piece which may take a little getting used to, but looks amazing.
The quality of the material used in these shorts is durable and long lasting.
The strength of the stitching and the fabric itself makes it likely to stand up to the frequent washing sports equipment usually needs.
That means you can expect to wear these shorts for many years instead of just a few washings.
The knitted fabric is also made using polyester, which is a fabric known for its moisture wicking and cooling properties.
That means you can stay cool and not feel damp or overheat during even the toughest of matches when wearing these shorts.
Finally, it has multiple color choices and mesh pockets that zip to keep your personal items in.
These shorts are draw string to help adjust the fit, but care still needs to be taken when sizing to make sure that you’ve got a pair of shorts that look good on you and don’t restrict your movement.
2. Under Armour Men’s Raid 10″ Shorts
Another fabulous design by Under Armour, these shorts are technologically advanced to give you the biggest advantage on the court.
They feature HeatGear fabric, which is designed to keep you cool through its unique internal “Crystal” pattern that pulls heat away from the body.
This fabric also has built in UV technology, so you don’t have to worry about a sunburn during outdoor play.
The in-seam is 10” compared to a 12” seam for the Mo’ Money shorts we talked about earlier.
This makes the shorts better for players with shorter legs, compared to the Mo’ Money which is better for taller players.
These shorts are available in a dazzling 23 different color combinations. That means you can customize your look to the rest of your equipment, so you can have a polished, professional appearance.
This pair of shorts does not have an inner liner, so if you prefer the feeling you will either need to wear underclothing with it, or select a different pair of shorts.
Although this is a high quality pair of shorts, there are some reports that the shorts can start to fray after several washings. If you are looking for the highest durability shorts, you may want to look for a different pair.
3. Best Wear Mens Mesh Long Athletic Running Basketball Active Shorts
If you are looking for a more affordable pair of basketball shorts, the Mens Mesh Long Athletic Running Basketball Active Shorts are the way to go.
This pair of shorts has its flaws, but we’ll talk about those in a minute.
The greatest benefit of these shorts is that they are longer than most of the shorts we review in this article.
If you are a very tall basketball player, it can be very difficult to find a pair of shorts that fit well and look good.
Long legs can leave you with shorts that appear awkwardly short, even if they are the same length as most standard pairs. These active shorts are the perfect solution.
They come below the knee in basketball players who are 5’9 and shorter, so these shorts are directed at people who are taller than 5’9.
The shorts come in a respectable 9 different color choices, so you won’t be limited when trying to match team colors or other important factors.
They have pockets, which are large enough for keys and a wallet if you need to go places before or after the big game. These shorts are made out of mesh fabric, which is a cooling fabric.
If you are looking for a bargain pair of shorts, these are worth considering, but they aren’t without their cons.
Because of their cheaper materials, they are prone to splitting at the seams, and may wear out sooner than other pairs of shorts.
4. Nike Men’s Nike Layup Basketball Shorts
If you’re not sure whether you need a longer seam or a shorter seam, these basketball shorts made by Nike are the perfect compromise.
They have an 11” seam, which is half way between most of the seams written about here.
Nike has a different fit style, designed to be loose and flowing.
This is good news for people who like to plant their feet wide for a solid launch into a slam dunk, or like to do quick dodges and sharp turns.
You need a pair of shorts that doesn’t restrict your movement in any way for that kind of performance, and that means a comfortable, loose fit.
These shorts are made out of polyester, which is largely considered the ideal for basketball shorts.
These shorts are comfortable, and have the iconic features associated with Nike’s shorts, such as their distinctive sound.
They also feature deep pockets so you have enough space to carry your things before the big game, but as with any product they do have their downside.
The material for these shorts is a little thin, which may be uncomfortable to some, or wear prematurely.
5. Adidas Performance Men’s Superstar 2.0 Shorts
Rounding up our top 5 is the Adidas Performance Men’s Superstar 2.0 shorts.
No list would be complete without a feature product from Adidas, a long standing sports company that excels at bringing quality to basketball players.
These shorts do not disappoint with their 100% polyester fabric, which overlaps so that no matter how you bend and twist, your shorts will give you the room you need.
These shorts have an elastic waist band so that it stretches to fit a variety of different player weights, and a 10” in-seam that makes them ideal for players shorter than 5’9.
They may be uncomfortably short on taller players.
These shorts do have pockets, which can fit keys or a phone while you are out and about. These shorts come with the unmistakable Adidas stripes, and 6 different color patterns to choose from.
They’re great shorts with just one flaw, similar to that of many of the other shorts.
The fabric is once again very thin, making them uncomfortable for those who prefer thicker fabrics, as well as more prone to damage.
These are the best shorts we’ve seen, but here are a few others worthy of mentioning.
Although these are not in our top 5, if you didn’t see what you’re looking for you may find a diamond in the rough with one of these up and coming products.
6. Champion Men’s Long Mesh Short with Pockets
With 28 different colors, these shorts will let you pick and choose to match any uniform. If you love matching your gear, than you’re sure to find a color option that works for you with these shorts.
The shorts feature breathable mesh, which will help keep you cool while you’re running and jumping.
Finally, they are easily adjustable with an internal cord and elastic, so that they can fit most waist sizes. Of course, they are not without their down sides.
At just 9”, this has a very short in-seam, and this is one of the reasons why it didn’t make our top 5.
This may not feel comfortable or look good on anyone but a very short basketball player
7. Pro Club Men’s Heavyweight Mesh Basketball Shorts
These shorts seem to have sorted out many of the more obnoxious problems with mens shorts. They are made entirely of polyester fabric, which means they are sweat wicking and will keep you cool.
Additionally, they have a mesh layer to add to the cooling process. While just this ideal combination of fabrics is enough to interest even the pickiest of basketball players, they also feature large pockets with zippers.
If you like to play casual games of basketball and keep your wallet or other essentials with you, you’ve probably had your phone or keys go flying out during a game.
With these zippered pockets, you won’t be dealing with those problems no matter what crazy move you pull.
The thick fabric also provides a heavier weight, which is more comfortable for many people.
The vast majority of reviews for these shorts are praising their durability, thickness, and comfort. A few people have complained about getting defective products.
Defects included missing elastic, and seams that ripped out on the first wear or washing.
These defects appear to be rare, with about 6% of reviewers noting them. 6% is still fairly significant, so we did not make them part of our top 5 even though they are fabulous shorts otherwise.
8. Tesla Mens Quick Dry Active Shorts Sports Performance HyperDri II with Pockets MBS02/MBS01
If you prefer a lighter weight fabric rather than a heavier one, the Tesla Mens Quick Dry Active Shorts might be worth looking at.
These shorts are deodorizing, carry sweat away from the skin, and are designed to reduce chafing.
While they don’t have quite the same number of colors that some of our most impressive recommendations have, but they still have a variety of colors.
Customers who purchased these shorts liked the fit and feel of these shorts, but some complained that they didn’t hang quite like a pair of basketball shorts.
If how a set of shorts hangs on you is important to you, this may not be the right set for you.
9. ChoiceApparel Mens Two Tone Training/Basketball Shorts with Pockets (S up to 4XL)
Looking for a pair of shorts with a unique design that will help set you apart? These two tone basketball shorts may have what you’re looking for.
They come in a modest number of tones, including black, blue, red, and various different trim colors. The selection isn’t great, but it’s not completely without choice either.
These soft shorts are made from 100% polyester, and have a flow to them that feels silky and comfortable.
They are designed to hang loose, giving you full range of motion as you move up and down the court.
Although these shorts are well liked by a variety of different people, they are not a good fit for bigger players.
They don’t fit well on people who are well over 6 feet, and heavyweight, even if the sizes available suggest that they can be.
The honorable mentions above didn’t make it into our top 5 for various reasons, but that doesn’t mean they can’t be a good choice for you.
We’ve done our best to explain the pros and cons of each product, so you can choose a pair of basketball shorts that fit you and your play style perfectly.
Things to consider when purchasing a pair of basketball shorts
With so many great brands to choose from, what separates a great pair of basketball shorts from an okay one?
The answer comes down to three major considerations.
Materials, fit, and pockets. Since materials will be one of the biggest factors separating a brand, let’s take a look at the different types of materials going into the shorts first.
Imagine trying to play your best game with fabric that sticks to you in all the wrong places or rides up when you run.
Common types of materials
There’s a few different possible materials your shorts could be made of. What the materials include can clue you in to how the shorts will feel before you purchase them.
Materials can make a big difference in how you feel, particularly in terms of thermoregulation. If the materials fail to wick away sweat or are too warm, you may end up overheating.
On the other hand if the materials are too thin, you could find an uncomfortable draft distracting you from your game.
Here’s the material you can generally expect your shorts to be made out of, and what you can expect out of each one.
Polyester is a cloth made out of petroleum products. It’s a slick fabric that seldom snags, and easily wicks away sweat.
They make great materials for basketball shorts because of their durability and breathability.
It also encourages you to be able to move fast and freely because you won’t feel weighed down by your sweat.
Polyester is the most popular type of fabric for basketball shorts, and for good reason. It has no real drawbacks, apart from the fact that you may pay more for them than other shorts.
Cotton is a natural fabric made from plant based fibers. It’s also soft, and highly absorbent. It has been a long standing favorite with old school basketball players due to that absorbency and softness, as well as affordability.
It’s not however, ideal in its pure form for basketball shorts. Because they are absorbent instead of water repellent, they can keep sweat against your body.
This can lead to discomfort at best, and embarrassment if your competitors want to know exactly what that wet spot on your shorts is.
Blends of fabrics are a common way to get the best of both worlds, and are rapidly gaining popularity.
The right blend can give you the water wicking benefits of polyester, with the unrivaled comfort and softness of cotton.
Some shorts are either made out of mesh. This material is soft and highly breathable. They’re considered better than cotton shorts because they don’t get nearly as hot, but aren’t quite as good as polyester.
If you think any old pair of shorts will work, prepare to be laughed off the court. Basketball shorts are unique, and your team, and your opponents, will be able to tell the difference.
You don’t want to go out on the court in a pair of khakis when you should be wearing a proper pair of basketball shorts.
Basketball shorts should also not be too short, or too long, and while there is some natural leeway in sizing, they obviously shouldn’t slip off either.
When choosing a new pair of basketball shorts, your best bet is to stick with a trusted brand that has never let you down before.
Although you may save money initially by purchasing a bargain brand, it will cost you more in the washing machine.
Cheaper brands tend to use cheaper materials, and these can fall apart after just a few washings.
You don’t want to take your shorts out of the washing machine one piece at a time, nor do you want to discover an uncomfortable breeze from a split in the crotch after you’re already at the big game.
Although this isn’t always the case, high end brands tend to mean higher quality products.
With their image to protect, brands such as Adidas and Nike spend more on materials and quality control, so they don’t have these embarrassing mistakes to deal with.