Can Running Shorts Be Used for Swimming

Can Running Shorts Be Used for Swimming

Estimated read time: 6 minutes.

Swimming is one of the top recommended cardio exercises in the world. Many people use swimming as an active recovery exercise or an option to cool down after a vigorous workout. Some people go straight swimming after running or exercising.

This brings us to the question of whether running shorts are suitable for swimming.

The fact is that running shorts can be used for swimming. Contrary to most cotton shorts, many companies make running shorts with synthetic fiber that doesn’t clog or block water filters in swimming pools. Also, these shorts are light and nonabsorbent, making them perfect for any water sports.

In this article, we’ve discussed whether running shorts can be used as swimwear. Also, we’ve recommended different running shorts that can be used for swimming activities.

Top Recommended Running Shorts you Can Use for Swimming.

One of the advantages of top-quality running shorts is that you can swim in them. In this section, we’ve shared some of the best swimming trunks you can comfortably run in.

Board Shots

The reason board shorts are highly recommended is because they are made from nylon or polyester. These materials make the shorts dry quickly, and they also don’t become heavy when wet. Also, board shorts have a Velcro closure or drawstring waist, making them adjustable and comfortable to swim in.

Swim Trunks

Many people use swimming trunks for running. These shorts are lightweight, and they have a shorter inseam than standard athletic shorts. Also, swimming trunks don’t get in the way when you are running.

The following are the three best shorts you can run and swim with:

Maamgic Men Slim Fit Swim Shorts

These are the best swim shorts because they are made of polyester and spandex materials. They are fast drying and stretchy enough for all events. Maamgic shorts have a mesh lining on the inside for extra comfort. Also, these shorts will keep you cool during swimming exercises.

Wangdo Running Shorts

These shorts are a perfect pair you can wear during your workout. Wangdo shorts are designed using top-quality fabrics, and they are stylish and elegant. Customers can choose between blue, grey, and black colors.

SilkWorld Swim Trunks

SilkWorld is unique men’s swim trunks designed with quick drying material. Also, these shorts have side pockets, which makes them multipurpose. Since the shorts are 100% polyester, they dry quickly and are resistant to chlorine.

Differences Between Running Wear and Swimming Trunks

While running shorts have significant similarities with swimming trunks, they also have some differences that set them apart. As you are aware, swim shorts are designed to be worn underwater, and they provide minimum coverage. So, the following are key differences between the two types of shorts:


Swimming and running shorts can be used interchangeably, but they are different in performance. Running shorts promote mobility with sufficient airflow, while swim trunks are designed to prevent resistance during swimming.


The material for workout wear is meant for flexibility when exercising. Whereas running shorts allow moisture to evaporate quickly, swimwear enables the free flow of water.


Though running pants can be washed several times without bleaching, they may not resist the chlorinated water in swimming pools. They will fade after prolonged use.


Most swim shorts are designed to cover the groin area and are not suitable for running in public. Workout shorts are long and modest for people to use without affecting others. Also, many running shorts have more pockets than swimming shorts.

UV Resistant

Swimming in a pool or beach subjects you to lots of UV rays; that’s why swim trunks are designed with resistant materials. However, most running shorts don’t prevent UV sun rays.


The latest designs of running shorts have reflective materials that make them visible to drivers and other road users. This is not necessary for a swimsuit as they are for underwater usage.

Antimicrobial Properties

Wet swimsuits can be a breeding zone for many bacteria; that’s why the fabric is designed with antimicrobial properties. This protects you from skin irritation and infections, especially when using a public pool. However, this is not guaranteed in running shorts as they are designed for outdoor activities.

Key Factors to Consider When Buying Running Shorts

Buying a new pair of running wear can be challenging, but with these tips, you can make the right choice that suits you.


The length of the shorts is vital when choosing a perfect exercise trunk. You should pick a short that fits well for maximum comfort and flexibility. Tall people are advised to select tall shorts that cover their buttocks and prevent chafing. The standard lengths for running shorts:

  • Short (3-Inch): These shorts have an average length of 3-inch, and they are good for marathons and sprints. They cover up the thighs and provide ventilation and movement when running.
  • Medium (5-Inch): Medium running shorts are around five inches in length. These shorts are highly versatile; that’s why they are loved by modern runners who like switching between rail and track.
  • Long (7-Inch): Many male runners prefer long shorts of about 7 inches in length, and they are good for unpredictable weather conditions. Long shorts are the best bet as they are made of moisture-wicking material that traps in more heat and prevents your legs from being sweaty.


The most popular types of running shorts are made from synthetic materials such as polyester, nylon, and spandex. These materials are lightweight and comfortable and wick away moisture to keep runners cool and dry. Synthetic materials are also less likely to absorb sweat and bacteria, making them more hygienic than natural fabrics such as cotton. In addition, synthetic materials often have built-in UV protection to shield runners from the sun’s harmful rays.


Another essential to keep in mind when buying a good pair of running wear is the style. Of course, the style of shorts varies from one designer to another. The common styles of running suits are V-notch, split, and compression shorts. The choice depends on the runner’s preference. We’ve explained the different styles of running shorts in the next section.

Common Styles of Running Wear

As mentioned in the previous section, there are different types of running shorts you can get in the market. The style of the short regulates the fit and leg seam. Let’s take you through the three main types:

Compression Shorts

Running compression shorts are made from spandex, and they fit tight to the body like the common cycling chamois. Their design provides support to the muscles and prevents chafing during exercising. The length of these shorts varies depending on the runner’s preference.

V-Notch Shorts

Another common style is the V-notch shorts. They can be identified by the cut-out V feature on the side of the leg seam. The design provides runners with great mobility compared to regular shorts. Basically, V-notch shorts are a loose fit and vary in length.

Split Shorts

Splitting running shorts have close similarities with the V-notch style. The side of the shorts is not sewed together but split with overlapping fabric. The unique design allows more flexibility, and they range in length based on the runner.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Running in Swimming Shorts

There are advantages and disadvantages of running in your swimming wear. The following are the points to remember:

Benefits of Running in Swim Short


The design and fabrics of swimming clothing are versatile for outdoor activities. They allow you to dive straight into the pool after running or training. This flexibility is what many runners consider when buying shorts for swimming.


Wearing running shorts that are too revealing may make people think you are just strolling and not exercising.


As aforementioned, swimming trunks are lightweight, and this feature makes them suitable for running. The lesser the fabric, the faster your speed, whether running or swimming. Also, lightweight helps you keep cool during harsh conditions.

Disadvantages of Running in Swim Shorts


Even though swimming shorts might be good for running, they may not last long when used for outdoor activities. Their fabrics are made for underwater environments and not land.


Swimwear is made from synthetic materials that don’t breathe, like running shorts. Most of them are made out of polyester blends that make them perfect for water and not running.

Summary – Should I Swim in Running Shorts?

Yes, you can use running shorts for swimming, but it’s not their primary purpose. The design, fabrics, and style of running shorts are not meant for swimming. However, they are still a good option because they are lightweight and offer great mobility. Also, they can be a good choice if you want to save money and buy one clothing item that can be used for multiple activities. 

Ultimately, the decision comes down to your preference. Do you want a pair of shorts specifically designed for running or swimming? Or do you want something that can be used for both activities?

Joseph Peele