The Best 7 Triathlon Shorts: Top Race Day Picks in 2024!

Triathlon shorts are a specialized piece of clothing designed to support athletes through the swimming, cycling, and running stages of a triathlon. The need for a seamless transition between activities makes these shorts a crucial part of a triathlete’s kit. With their quick-drying fabric and snug fit, triathlon shorts reduce drag in the water and provide comfort on the bike and support throughout the run.

Opting for the right pair of triathlon shorts can make a significant difference in an athlete’s comfort and performance. The material is typically a blend of nylon and spandex, which offers both stretch and durability. Some shorts come with a fleece or thin foam pad to cushion the ride without hindering the swim or run. When selecting triathlon shorts, it’s essential to consider the quality of the chamois, the length of the shorts, and the waistband’s comfort.

For an optimal experience, the fit plays a critical role. The shorts should be tight enough to reduce muscle fatigue through compression but not so tight as to restrict movement or cause discomfort. Breathability and the capacity to wick away moisture are also top considerations to keep the athlete cool and dry.

My comprehensive analysis of triathlon shorts across various brands and models aims to pinpoint the best options that provide the balance of comfort, aerodynamics, and quick transition capabilities triathletes seek. I’ve evaluated materials, pad thickness, and overall fit to ensure that the choice you make enhances your performance from start to finish.

7 Top Triathlon Shorts

I’m thrilled to share my top picks for triathlon shorts, perfect for both seasoned triathletes and newcomers. Each product has been selected for its comfort, durability, and performance features that will help enhance your race-day experience. Let’s dive into the options that can support your quest for a new personal record!


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I just took these shorts for a spin, and I’m convinced they’re a solid choice for anyone serious about triathlon.


  • Quick access to side pockets for nutrition on the move
  • Chamois designed specifically for comfort in aero positioning
  • Reliable fabric that resists chlorine and offers sun protection


  • Might be snug for those preferring a looser fit
  • Limited color options available
  • Leg grippers could cause discomfort for some users

Starting with the swim, the material felt great against my skin – stretchy yet supportive. Transitioning to the bike, the chamois provided just enough padding without feeling bulky during the run. The shorts stayed put, no pulling up or adjustments needed. What a relief!

On the road, the leg pockets were a game-changer; I easily stashed my gels and didn’t miss a beat. Those pockets, although a touch on the small side, never felt cumbersome or like they were dragging me down.

Durability feels like a given with these shorts, having just rinsed them off after a grueling session. They seem built to last, and the flat stitching meant I didn’t chafe, even during a long cycle. Comfort is definitely king with this gear.

Overall, the MY KILOMETRE Tri Shorts feel like a reliable companion for training days and race days alike. They’ve handled everything I threw at them with ease. The confidence I gained knowing my gear would perform lets me focus on the finish line.

Sparx Active Triathlon Short

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After giving these tri shorts a spin, I’d recommend them for their comfort and quick-drying material, which is essential for any triathlete.


  • Quick-drying material keeps you comfortable across disciplines
  • Reflective elements and ample pockets enhance functionality
  • Non-restrictive leg design avoids the dreaded ‘sausage leg’ syndrome


  • Drawstrings can be a fumble and feel outdated
  • Potential for inner thigh pilling over time
  • Foam padding, while slim, might not suffice for longer rides

I recently took these Sparx Active Triathlon Shorts for a test across all three sports, and they didn’t disappoint. The material felt like a second skin – stretchy yet supportive, never bunching up or sagging. I noticed the quick-drying feature in real-time, feeling significantly more comfortable transitioning from water to bike than with other shorts.

Visibility can be a concern during those early morning or late evening training sessions. The reflective logos on these shorts add a measure of safety, catching the light effectively. I also found the pockets handy; they’re the perfect size for stashing some energy gels or a small music player.

When it came to fit, I was quite pleased. The soft leg finish meant no pinching or discomfort around my thighs – a stark contrast to other compression gear I’ve tried. However, I did have a minor gripe with the drawstring waist. It’s not a deal-breaker, but it did seem a bit old-fashioned and less convenient than modern alternatives.

One concern I’ve had while putting these shorts through their paces is the fabric on the inner thigh showing signs of wear. Not a major issue so far, but something to monitor. And for any fellow cyclists contemplating century rides, you might want to double-check if the padding is adequate for your needs.

In summary, the Sparx Active Triathlon Short is a solid choice, especially if you’re after comfort, efficiency, and a good-looking piece of gear that performs as well as you plan to.

SLS3 Tri Shorts

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I just tested out these triathlon shorts and I’m thrilled—they’re a game-changer for multi-sport training!


  • Flexibility during transitions
  • Quick-drying material
  • Minimal padding that doesn’t hinder running


  • Padding may be thin for long bike sessions
  • Drawstring closure isn’t for everyone
  • Hand wash only could be inconvenient

Just slipped on the SLS3 tri shorts and immediately noticed their snug but comfortable fit. Designed with the needs of a triathlete in mind, these shorts stayed put during a rapid swim-to-bike transition. The fabric is a pleasant surprise—it shed water quickly, preventing that heavy, soggy feeling.

During the bike leg, the shorts provided adequate support without the bulk. The freedom of movement was apparent—I didn’t experience the typical constraint that some padded shorts tend to impose. That said, the padding might be on the lighter side for those used to thicker cushioning, especially over long distances.

Switching from cycling to running, I appreciated how the shorts moved with my body, almost like a second skin. The drawstring kept them secure without digging in. And post-workout, hand washing wasn’t a hassle, but a machine-washable option would be a plus for some athletes with more rigorous training schedules. Gearing up for the next triathlon session, I’m confident these are going to be my go-to shorts.

PEARL iZUMi Pursuit Tri Shorts

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If comfort and performance are high on your list, these triathlon shorts should be too.


  • Superb breathability keeps you cool
  • Reflective accents for higher visibility
  • Quick-drying fabric is a boon post-swim


  • Minimal padding may affect comfort on long rides
  • Pocket size could be larger for nutrition storage
  • Sizing can be tricky, check the chart carefully

Just off a cycling session wearing these PEARL iZUMi Pursuit Tri Shorts, I’m struck by the lightweight feel and breathable fabric. They hug the body without restricting movement, making transitions a breeze. Despite concerns over padding, I enjoyed my ride without any notable discomfort. Reflectivity is a thoughtful touch, ensuring I remain visible to others as the daylight fades.

The first plunge into the water with these on and I noticed how swiftly they transition from wet to dry. Their quick-drying prowess meant I could hop onto the saddle without the usual sogginess. Yet, while racing, I did wish for a slightly larger pocket; it’s a tad snug for all the gels I usually carry.

Sizing posed a minor challenge. Initially, the shorts felt snug, but they adapted nicely once I logged a few miles. Although I could use more padding for longer outings, it was ample for an impromptu 40-miler. A comfortable waistline and adequate leg compression rounded off my rather pleasant experience with these tri shorts.

Beroy Tri Shorts

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If you’re in the market for versatile triathlon shorts that transition smoothly between sports, these are a solid pick.


  • Quick-drying fabric is a game-changer
  • Side pockets add a touch of practicality
  • Padding provides necessary comfort for longer rides


  • May not be the most comfortable for everyone
  • Limited color options
  • Pockets could be too minimalistic for some

Slipping into the Beroy Tri Shorts, I noticed immediately how lightweight they felt. The blend of polyester and spandex offers the stretch and support you need when transitioning from swimming to cycling. It’s like a second skin, adapting to my movements without hesitation.

During my bike ride, I found the padding enough to cushion yet not too bulky, which is a delicate balance to strike in triathlon gear. It’s apparent that these shorts were designed with an athlete’s comfort in mind.

Post-swim, the material dried rapidly, to my relief. The convenience of side pockets was a subtle yet appreciated feature—they’re there when you need them but don’t interfere when you don’t. Judging by how useful these shorts have been to me, I can confidently say they live up to their high rating.

Zoot Core Tri Shorts

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If you’re seeking triathlon shorts that blend comfort and durability, these Zoot shorts are a strong contender.


  • Extremely comfortable, no chafing during any triathlon segment
  • Ample pocket space to carry essentials
  • Effective moisture-wicking and quick-dry capabilities


  • Inconsistent sizing, especially around the bottom leg section
  • Waistline is higher than typical tri shorts, which might not suit everyone
  • The chamois pad is narrower than other models which may require an adjustment period

Slipping into these Zoot Tri Shorts was a game-changer for my training rides and runs. They’ve got this second-skin feel that’s secure but not constricting, allowing me to move with ease. The tri-specific chamois offered just enough cushioning without the bulk, keeping me comfortable on long bike segments yet unobstructed on the run.

What really impressed me was how quickly they dried post-swim. They transitioned seamlessly, allowing me to focus entirely on my performance. Plus, they are equipped with UPF 50+ fabric, meaning my skin was shielded from the sun’s harsh rays, adding an extra layer of confidence to outdoor races.

Having pockets to stash my gels and bars without feeling weighed down was a lifesaver—literally fuel within reach. However, while the high-rise waist provided added coverage, it did take a little getting used to. I also noted the leg sections were a tad loose, but that didn’t significantly detract from the overall functionality.

Remember, triathlon gear is just as much about personal preference as it is about performance. These Zoot shorts are a solid choice, but make sure to try them on for size before your big race day. They could be the companion you need to shave off those precious seconds.

Zoot Tri Shorts

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If comfort, performance, and convenience are your top priorities for triathlon gear, these Zoot tri shorts are a game-changer.


  • Exceptional comfort with BioWrap and seamlink stitching
  • Quick-drying and stretchable Endura+ fabric optimized for triathlons
  • Convenient storage with hip holster pockets


  • Sizing can be tricky, might need to size up
  • Padding may be lighter compared to other shorts
  • Requires hand washing for care

The moment I pulled on the Zoot Men’s Core Tri Shorts, the fit and feel confirmed their top-notch design. It was like slipping into gear that’s just as ambitious as I am. With every stride and pedal push, the flexibility of the fabric moved with me flawlessly, never holding me back.

During the swim, these shorts were like a second skin. They shed water instantly as I transitioned to the bike, leaving behind no soggy discomfort that can weigh you down or chafe. And the sun protection? A real shield on those long outdoor sessions.

The thing about triathlon shorts is they have to stand up to every element of the race, and these Zoot shorts nailed it. Even as I zipped along on my bike, the cycling chamois pad offered just enough cushion without the bulk, and the fabric proved itself again with rapid drying from my previous swim.

I’ve tried plenty, but after experiencing the Zoot Core 7-Inch Tri Shorts, they’ve quickly become the mainstay in my triathlon drawer. They’re built for this, and you feel it with every transition.

Boat Interior Design men wearing triathlon shorts holding up his bike
by Pinterest

Buying Guide for Triathlon Shorts

Comfort and Fit

I always look for triathlon shorts that offer a snug but not constrictive fit. The fabric should be flexible enough to allow free movement during all three disciplines. Flatlock seams are a must to prevent chafing.

FeatureImportance Rating (1-5)
Flatlock seams5
Flexible fabric4
Snug waistband3

Material Quality

Durability is key for me, so I prefer high-quality, quick-drying materials that withstand chlorine and saltwater. It’s essential that the fabric offers UV protection for outdoor training and events.

Material PropertyImportance
Chlorine resistanceHigh
UV protectionModerate


Since I’ll be cycling, proper padding is crucial. I look for shorts with a thin, quick-drying chamois that won’t feel bulky during the run or swim.

Padding FeatureDesirability
Thin designMust-have

Length and Style

The length of the shorts impacts comfort and aerodynamics. I aim for a length that ends just above the knee, ensuring coverage and reduced drag.

Length FactorPreference
Above the kneeIdeal
Reduced dragBeneficial

Pockets and Extras

I appreciate a couple of well-placed pockets for my essentials. Additionally, leg grippers prevent the shorts from riding up, which is a great plus.

Extra FeaturesNotes
PocketsHandy for nutrition
Leg grippersPrevent shorts from riding up

Frequently Asked Questions about Triathlon Shorts

I’ve gathered some of the most essential insights for anyone looking to up their game with the best triathlon gear.

What makes a pair of triathlon shorts the best choice for race day?

I believe that the best triathlon shorts offer a blend of compression, aerodynamics, and quick-drying features. They should fit like a second skin to reduce drag and support muscles.

How important is the padding in triathlon shorts for overall comfort?

The padding, or chamois, is critical for comfort during the bike segment. I’ve found that a well-designed chamois protects without impeding my run or swim.

What distinguishes men’s triathlon shorts from regular athletic wear?

Men’s triathlon shorts are specifically engineered with fabrics that offer more compression and are water-resistant. They aid in quicker transitions between race segments, which regular athletic wear isn’t designed for.

When deciding between triathlon shorts and a suit, what are the pros and cons?

Triathlon shorts offer greater flexibility and can be paired with different tops, which is great for varying conditions. A suit, however, provides seamless coverage and potentially better hydrodynamics for the swim.

What do people really think about ROKA Tri shorts for performance?

Many athletes rave about ROKA Tri shorts, often highlighting their comfort, durability, and the compression they provide, which can help reduce muscle fatigue.

Why should one choose triathlon-specific shorts over regular running shorts?

I choose triathlon-specific shorts for their multi-sport functionality. They have a snug fit that reduces drag in the water, offer bike padding, and are made from materials that support my muscles without limiting movement during the run.

Did you like these Triathlon Shorts? Let me know in the comments. Don’t forget to read about Triathlon Bike Shoes and What is a good time for a sprint Triathlon.

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