Basketball is a fun game, whether you play it with some strangers at a local court or you get some friends over to try out your new driveway hoop. But then, basketball can also be quite uncomfortable if you have the wrong apparel.
Sure, if you think about it, how hard can it be? Get some shorts and a jersey, and you are ready to go. If you are playing at home, you might as well go shirtless.
But then, everything changes when it comes to shorts – breathable and lightweight materials to make you feel comfortable on the basketball court.
Some shorts are better than others, and choosing the best basketball shorts depends on more factors. At first glance, most of them seem identical – it is just the color that differs a bit. But then, if you dig deeper, you will find different technologies that make some shorts better than others.
Here are some of the best shorts I have ever used for basketball, based on personal experience, recommendations, popularity, and reviews from other users – quick reviews and their pluses and minuses.
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Under Armour Men's Tech Graphic Shorts
Best Basketball Shorts for Men Overall
Simple and attractive design
Nike Dri-FIT Icon
Most Comfortable Basketball Shorts
Adidas Men's 3G Speed X Shorts
Best Basketball Shorts for Sweat
Moisture absorbing technology
Champion Men's Shorts
Best Basketball Shorts for Variety
Available in plenty of designs
Healong Basketball Athletic Shorts Men
Best Basketball Shorts With Pockets
Asimoon Women's Bermuda Shorts
Best Basketball Shorts for Women Overall
Nike Women's Dri-Fit Attack 2.0 Tr5
Best Basketball Shorts for Women Who Sweat
Excellent moisture management
Hanes Women's Jersey Pocket Shorts
Best Budget Basketball Shorts for Women
Workable outside drawstring
These are some of the best basketball shorts I have ever had. Available in all sizes and a bunch of different colors, they are in the perfect length to play comfortably but without covering your knees to cause issues while running.
They feature the famous UA Tech fabric, which is incredibly soft and can dry straight away in case you sweat – it happened to me around the waist all the time. The shorts feature an elastic waistband, so they are suitable for skinny and slightly overweight guys. The draw cord is internal.
There are mesh hand pockets – be careful there if you place keys inside or other sharp pockets, as they can cut through the mesh. There is no liner, which makes the game more comfortable. All in all, you just cannot go wrong with them.
- Hand pockets
- More sizes and colors
- Soft fabric
- Quick drying technology
- Thin material, so you may show more than what you want
Nike definitely knows what comfort is about. You can wear these shorts for most activities out there – basketball, running, gym, or just doing chores around the home. They provide plenty of mobility and a high degree of comfort.
The shorts come in different colors, so there is something for everyone out there. They feature the impressive Dri-FIT technology, which practically moves sweat away from the skin and through the surface of the shorts in order to let it evaporate.
The shorts are adjustable due to the elastic waistband and feature a knit jacquard design for a breathable experience.
- Multiple anti-sweat technologies
- Excellent levels of comfort
- Materials feel breathable
- Suitable for more activities
- Might feel a bit tight if you are overweight
These might be the best basketball shorts for you if you tend to sweat a lot. They come in the classic design from Adidas – three lines on the side and a bunch of different colors. They feature a couple of pockets at the front for storage.
The sweat-wicking technology does a pretty good job at keeping moisture away. At the same time, materials are breathable for more comfort. The fit is modern and will come close to the body, while the lightweight fabric adds to the comfort.
Other than that, the shorts are based on 100% polyester.
- Good sweat-wicking technology
- Breathable materials
- Front pockets for storage
- Good looking design
- Not as good as the previous generations from Adidas
You cannot really go wrong with Champion when it comes to sports apparel, can you? These shorts will not disappoint you either. You can find them in most sizes, as well as over 30 different colors. This is not the first release, as Champion has been perfecting these shorts for ages.
The shorts are airy and allow good air circulation, but they also feel super lightweight. They have a silky lining for extra comfort and a breathable mesh for stability. They feel loose, but the mesh keeps them stuck to you.
They are longer when compared to other shorts, and they feature side pockets. They come with an elasticized waistband for extra comfort too.
- Elasticized waistband for comfort
- Airy design
- Loose, but will stick to you
- Spacious side pockets
- Unusual loop string for the tie
Funky designs, a bit of color, and lots of different options – this is what you can expect from Healong’s shorts in terms of appearance. But the nostalgic references to the 1990s are not everything if you want to be active and stand out on the court.
These shorts are made of polyester. They feature a double-layer mesh fabric and great breathability. The lining removes moisture and lets it evaporate, while the side pockets are convenient for carrying your valuables.
In terms of bells and whistles, you have four technical multi-stretch fabrics and an adjustable drawstring. Also, they are suitable for all kinds of activities, not just basketball.
- Large side pockets
- Superior fabrics
- Good at moving moisture away
- Nostalgic 1990s style
- Might be useful to order a size up if you are overweight
Available in a few dark colors, these shorts are specifically designed for women – you can tell by looking at the cut. They are slightly longer, so they can provide a bit of privacy, but without hindering comfort – probably the best shorts my partner has ever tried on.
The shorts are based on 95% polyester and 5% spandex, so I would rather refer to them as yoga shorts too. They are soft, thick enough to hang, and comfortable. The material is breathable and allows sweat to escape.
The elastic waistband is comfy, while the large side pockets are convenient for keys, mobile phones, and other goods you might carry on the court.
- Skin-friendly fabric
- Comfy waistband
- Good looking designs
- Loose wide leg design
- May feel a bit too long if you are very short
The Dri-Fit technology will not disappoint you, especially if you tend to sweat a lot. Sure, pretty much everyone sweats while playing basketball, but this is another level. The technology manages moisture like no other, regardless of the weather conditions.
The shorts are quite comfy and feature an elastic waistband. It makes no difference if they fit well or they are too large – the elastic will ensure a comfy fit. Then, you have built-in briefs for extra support while playing. It is pointless to mention that they are great for all physical activities.
Other than that, they come in a few different colors and all possible sizes.
- Good sweat management system
- Adjustable elastic waistband
- More colors and sizes
- Suitable for all kinds of physical activities
- Might seem a bit too short for tall women
Available in a few different colors and designed for women, these shorts make any sport extremely comfortable. They are a bit shorter than average, with an inseam of seven inches only – still good for privacy, though, so there is nothing to be concerned about.
They are mostly based on cotton and a bit of polyester. They can breathe better than pretty much everything else on the market, and they offer a comfortable experience. Given the materials, you can use them for basketball, but also to hang around in the lounge or even go to sleep.
The drawstring is adjustable and provides a secure fit, while the front pockets are excellent for small bits.
- Excellent value for money
- Breathable materials
- Shorter than average and comfortable
- Convenient pockets
- Not suitable for tall women who like long shorts
Choosing Best Basketball Shorts – Our Buying Guide
Most people aim to find the best NBA shorts by looking at materials and design – nothing else. The truth is there are more aspects to take into consideration, as well as a few bells and whistles. Here is what you need to pay attention to.
You will feel miserable while playing basketball if you are limited. If the shorts are too short, you might be worried about revealing too much. If they are too long, you could trip on them. You also want a good material – cotton is fairly good because it is breathable, but polyester is also very common.
Comfort targets even more aspects – how about the waistband? Even if you know your size, different brands have different standards in terms of sizing. Elastic is the best choice because it allows plenty of adjustability.
Some of the above-mentioned aspects also relate to your performance – such as the length of the shorts or perhaps the briefs, if any. But then, the performance is also about bells and whistles – such as moisture management fabrics.
Sweat will inevitably kick in – even worse if you are playing on a hot day. You cannot avoid it completely, but at least you can get shorts in a fabric that will let it evaporate faster. You will feel cooler and more comfortable, meaning you will play better.
Two materials stand out in this industry – polyester, and cotton. Polyester is more common. A bit of spandex will not hurt either, especially in women’s shorts. Cotton is also good because it is more breathable – in fact, I find cotton to be better than any other material.
Finally, when it comes to style, it is a matter of personal preferences. Some people like their shorts a bit longer – just above the knee. Some others like them a bit shorter. Some want loose shorts, while others need them by their body.
The same goes in terms of color.
Finally, style may also bring in pockets, which are quite convenient for small bits.
Best Basketball Shorts – Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
What size should I get for basketball shorts?
Check the sizing table for whatever brand you are after – different brands have different standards. Size S in a brand could be the same as size M in another brand.
What are basketball shorts used for?
Generally speaking, if you find shorts that work for basketball, chances are they will work for other physical activities too – running, gym, other sports, or even chores around the house.
Why are basketball players’ shorts so long?
Shorter is normally better, but you do not want to reveal too much. Michael Jordan is responsible for asking the Chicago Bulls supplier – Champion – to add some inches to the hemline. It became a trend, and more players copied it. Just get whatever feels comfy for you.
Deciding on the best basketball shorts is often a matter of personal preferences. Whether it comes to size, features, or material, it is up to you. Make sure you opt for quality and a reputable brand – everything else depends on you only.