There are a lot of things that go into making sure that you get to perform basketball really well. Skills, talent, and the hard work you put into improving your game might be the most important aspects of basketball but you also need to be sure that you are comfortable enough when playing the sport. That means that you should have the gear that best makes you comfortable.
How you are dressed plays a role in making you feel comfortable in the middle of a basketball game. The right basketball attire and the best basketball shorts will make it easier for you to feel comfortable and to focus on what you are doing out there. That is why there is a need for you to wear the best shorts that do not only look good and perform well but are actually very comfortable.
If you want to get back to playing basketball, get our top pick for best basketball shorts here.
Our Favorites for the Best Basketball Shorts (the best out of the bunch)
Nike is known to be the leader when it comes to basketball apparel. In that regard, the Nike Dri-Fit Elite is one of the company’s flagship basketball shorts when it comes to pure performance and aesthetics because it does not only perform really well for any kind of basketball player but also looks stylish enough with its large iconic swoosh logo, which brings the swag and tells people that you only use the best when it comes to comfort and style out there on the court.
Performance-wise, the Nike Dry Fit Elite comes with the Dri-Fit technology that easily wicks away sweat and dries off any excess moisture on the fabric so that the shorts stay dry and light the entire time while you are playing. Moreover, the same fabric technology also allows you to stay cool because of how easily air passes through so that you won’t have to feel warm even during under the hot summer sun.
The fit of the Dri-Fit Elite is superb. Unlike the old long and baggie basketball shorts that were prominent during the 2000s, these shorts actually follow the same style and fit that is prominent these days. They are above the knee so that it does not hinder your mobility.
The shorts also do not feel bulky but still allows you to move freely because of the mouth opening that is wide enough. In that regard, it is great for those who like to make sure that they are at their best in terms of mobility.
While these shorts might be a bit more expensive than the other ones on the market, you surely are going to enjoy the kind of quality and comfort you will get from the Nike Dry Fit Elite. And because they are made from synthetic polyester, they are quite durable and will last longer than most other types of basketball shorts available in the market.
What Makes the Nike Dri-Fit Elite Shorts Unique:
- The Dri-Fit technology is great at keeping you dry, cool, and fresh throughout an entire basketball game.
- As long as you get your size right, the fit is fantastic and will allow you to feel free and mobile on the court.
- Nobody will ever not like shorts with the iconic Nike swoosh icon on them as this product is not only comfortable and great for performance but also stylish.
Why Choose the Nike Dri-Fit Elite Shorts:
- These shorts should be your top choice if you want a product that allows you to feel fresh and free throughout an entire game.
- Mobility wise, these are some of the best basketball shorts you can find and will allow you to run up and down the court freely and easily.
- Unlike other basketball shorts, these actually come with pockets so that you can also use them off the court.
Under Armour is yet to have the track record of Nike and Adidas when it comes to basketball but this sporting giant is getting there fast. On top of their high-quality basketball shoes, they have also come up with great basketball gear that actually do just as well as any other. That is why we really love the Under Armour Raid basketball shorts.
The Under Armour Raid Shorts is made of some of the best synthetic materials you can find out there. It is about 90 percent polyester, which allows it to stay durable and light the entire time as compared to shorts that are made of cotton. On top of that, the materials are made of Under Armour’s patented Heat Gear fabric, which allows you to stay cool even during a particularly hot day.
Design-wise, the Under Armour Raid might look a bit simple for some but there is beauty in how simple these shorts are. They come with no flair except for the small Under Armour logo that is already enough to make a statement. Meanwhile, these shorts were also designed to be 10-inches long and are supposed to sit right on your thigh to make it shorter than the long shorts we may be used to seeing on the market. However, these shorts still feature a loose fit that makes you feel free and comfortable.
While no one will actually look for these features from a basketball shorts, the Under Armour Raid Shorts comes with added techs. It has an anti-odor feature that makes allows it to stay odor-free. These shorts also offer you protection from the sun so that you can stay confident playing under the hot sun knowing that the Raid will make sure that the sun will not burn your skin underneath. Such features make the Raid a complete pair of basketball shorts that come with everything you need for performance and comfort.
What makes the Under Armour Raid Shorts Unique:
- These shorts come with a UPF 30+ sun protection feature that keeps you safe from the sun’s harmful rays when you are playing outdoors during summer.
- The anti-odor technology makes you feel confident because you know that you will stay fresh no matter how hard you are sweating.
- Made from tough yet still comfortable and lightweight materials that allow it to stay durable.
Why Choose the Under Armour Raid Shorts:
- The Under Armour Raid Shorts is great for players who like to play under the sun on a particularly warm and sunny day.
- These cool basketball shorts feel very feel and light and are ideal for those who are looking for mobility and freedom.
- This product is so durable that it will certainly last for a very long time, which ultimately saves you money in the long run.
- HeatGear fabric is ultra-soft & smooth for extreme comfort with very little weight
- UPF 30 protects your skin from the sun's harmful rays
- 4-way stretch construction moves better in every direction
The Runners-Up for the Best Basketball Shorts (still good but a bit lacking)
Champion might not be the top brand you would think of when you are looking for basketball apparel but its basketball shorts are actually some of the best you can find on the market. There are plenty of different Champion basketball shorts that are made from various materials but you may want to go for the ones that are made primarily from polyester although the variants that are cotton are also pretty good.
One of the features that make the Champion Long Mesh Shorts quite good is the drawstring closure that allows you to adjust its fit. That means that it is quite versatile and will allow you to save money in the long run in case you go through drastic weight changes in the future.
But the elastic waistband also is good enough to make sure that the shorts offer you a snug fit right at the waist. Its waistband is unique in the sense that it actually adjusts while you are moving on the court to make sure that the shorts fit you in the best way possible and will not give you an uncomfortable kind of feeling no matter how hard you are feeling.
While the Champion Long Mesh Shorts do not come with a lot of features and innovations, you are going to love how these basic shorts actually give you everything you need from a good pair. They are durable and comfortable while offering you a nice fit. On top of that, these shorts come in a wide variety of styles, colors, and fabric. And what you will really love is that they are quite affordable.
What Makes the Champion Basketball Shorts Unique:
- Comes with a drawstring closure that allows you to adjust how tight or how loose the elastic waistband is.
- Its elastic waistband is so comfortable and adjustable that it can easily adjust to your movements.
- The shorts have different styles, colors, and fabrics that the product gives you a wide variety of options.
Why Choose the Champion Basketball Shorts:
- Ideal for athletes who are looking for variety in the type of shorts they want to use for basketball.
- If you are unsure if you will stay the same size in the future, these shorts are great as you can easily adjust the fit.
- Good for those who are not looking to spend a lot because these shorts are affordable and are also very durable.
- Lightweight, breathable mesh fabric
- Internal quickcord for adjustability
- Side pockets for storage
The adidas Basketball 3G Speed Short are actually very effective for any kind of basketball player because of how these actually combine functionality and comfort in one uniquely effective package that allows you to perform at your best on the court.
An ode to the classic long basketball shorts we were used to seeing during the 2000s, the 3G Speed Shorts have 12-inch seams that players with long legs love. As baggy as they may seem, these shorts actually do not weigh you down and are just as lightweight as most other shorts.
For those who are looking for shorts that they can use regardless of how much weight they lose or gain, the 3G Speed Shorts are a good option because the product has a drawstring enclosure and an elastic waistband that both allow you to adjust its tightness and fit.
In terms of material, the adidas Basketball 3G Speed Short come with a pure polyester fabric that is light and very durable. On top of that, it is made from Adidas’s own Climalite technology that allows you to feel light, cool, and dry regardless of the climate. It is good at pushing sweat away from the fabric while also allowing your skin to breathe underneath the shorts. This is why there are plenty of basketball players who prefer these shorts.
What Makes the Adidas Men’s Basketball 3G Speed Shorts Unique:
- Its Climalite technology allows it to stay fresh and cool when you are playing in a hot climate.
- Unlike most shorts today, the Adidas 3G Speed Shorts are made to be longer and a bit baggier.
Why Choose the Adidas Men’s Basketball 3G Speed Shorts:
- Ideal for those who prefer extra long basketball shorts that are baggier than the ones you see in the market today.
- Comes in over 15 colors, which are great for those who want variety and style in their comfortable high-quality basketball shorts.
- Climalite fabric draws moisture away to keep you cool and comfortable
- Iconic 3 stripes run down the side seams
- Elastic waist with inner drawstring
The Value Pick for the Best Basketball Shorts
If you are often playing basketball on a regular basis and find yourself looking for affordable shorts you can use wherever and whenever and are not afraid of the shorts going through significant wear and tear, then you might want to go for the more affordable Tesla HyperDri Shorts.
You do not always have to go for expensive brands when choosing basketball shorts that bring quality and comfort. These shorts actually look good and do not seem to look like cheap alternatives. And what most players love about these shorts is that they come in a lot of different colors to choose from so that it would be easier to mix and match.
In terms of material quality, the Tesla HyperDri Shorts are actually made from pure synthetic polyester that is light and durable. It also comes with its own technology that allows it to stay dry and cool when you are sweating hot under the warm sun. The two-way ventilation adds a cool punch and is what a lot of players love about these shorts as they usually feel the breathability that comes with these shorts.
Preferred by those who live in sunny and warm climates, the Tesla HyperDri Shorts come with a sun protection fabric and an odor-resistant feature that make sit perfect for those who often find themselves sweating hard during a warm and sunny day.
What Makes Tesla Men’s HyperDri Quick Dry Active Shorts Unique:
- Has over 50 colors and designs that allow you to mix and match your apparel to get the style and look you want.
- Comes with a lot of different features for those who are in warm and humid climates.
Why Choose the Tesla Men’s HyperDri Quick Dry Active Shorts:
- They are cheap but they come with all of the basic features you would want from basketball shorts.
- Good for simple pickup games and for training sessions because you would not mind the wear and tear that these shorts will go through.
- Hyper Dri Mesh Shorts Series, functional fabric that is Soft to touch and ultra-lightweight
- FUNCTIONAL & DURABLE : Constructed with lightweight Polyester for ease of movement and superior mobility. Active Shorts with deep Side pockets for everyday storage of essentials along with a Elastic waistband for adjustability. Built in (UPF 50+) safeguards your skin from harmful ultraviolet rays.
- COMFORTABLE TECH FABRIC : Features a soft to the touch that is quick dry, long lasting durability along with moisture sensing and sweat wicking function.
FAQ on Basketball Shorts
What Design is Best for Basketball Shorts?
There are actually different designs of basketball shorts even though they usually look the same for most people. But the best ones often come with complete features such as a drawstring enclosure on an elastic waistband. You should also go for basketball shorts that were designed to include front pockets so that you can also use them for your casual wear. There are also tear-away basketball pants you can use as shorts but they are rarely used.
What Are the Best Materials for Basketball Shorts?
Basketball shorts are made from different materials that all have their own niche markets and purposes. However, if you are simply looking for the best in terms of overall quality, durability, and weight, the best shorts are usually primarily made of polyester because of how this material is lighter, durable, and effective at keeping you cool and sweat-free. A lot of brands make their own patented polyester and incorporate technologies such as Dri-Fit for Nike and Climacool for Adidas.
What Size of Basketball Shorts Should You Get?
Different brands and manufacturers have different sizing charts for their basketball shorts. This makes it difficult for you to know exactly what size you should get. However, there are general sizes that some brands follow:
- Small is best for 28 to 31-inch waistlines.
- Medium can be used by those with waistlines of 32 inches to 36 inches.
- Large is ideal for waistlines that are 36 to 40 inches.
- Extra-large are for those with 40 inches or above waistlines.
Is there an Advantage to Wearing Short Basketball Shorts?
Different eras of basketball have seen their own lengths of basketball shorts. Up until the 80s, players wore short basketball shorts that were at least five inches above the knee. Meanwhile, from the 90s to the 2000s, baggy shorts that sat below the knee became a thing as Michael Jordan brought in the long shorts while Allen Iverson made the baggy shorts a thing. Today, shorts tend to be shorter than the 2000s style s they sit right on the thigh and above the knee.
The advantage of wearing basketball shorts that are shorter is that there is more freedom of movement because they do not restrict your knees whenever you are running or jumping. However, this is not always the case as some players feel more comfortable wearing longer and baggier shorts. Meanwhile, the short shorts that were prominent up to the 80s tend to be restrictive because of how tight they are.
How to Choose the Best Basketball Shorts for You
Basketball shorts should be chosen based on the following categories:
The length of basketball shorts is very important when you are choosing the best shorts for you because this affects playing style and preference. Longer shorts tend to be restrictive for some because it disrupts the movement of the knees. Meanwhile, shorts that sit a few inches above the knee tend to be the ideal choice for a lot of players today. That is why a lot of basketball shorts today have 10-inch seams.
Choosing the materials for your basketball shorts all boil down to preference. Cotton is softer and more comfortable but tends to be heavier and not as cool as other materials. Meanwhile, special polyester is the rave in today’s market as different brands manufacture their own synthetic polyester to make their shorts lighter, more durable, and more breathable.
How breathable your basketball shorts are is an important factor to look at because your body will not only sweat a lot but will also heat up whenever you are playing the sport. As such, your shorts should allow your skin to breathe easily and to feel cool even when you are playing hard.
Sweat and moisture wicking
One of the main features you can see in a lot of basketball shorts today is their ability to dry off quickly and to wick off sweat and excess moisture. Look for shorts that are effective at keeping you dry such as Nike’s Dri-Fit, Adidas’s Climacool, or Under Armour’s Heat Gear. Such features are great for those playing in climates that are warm and humid because they are expected to sweat a lot more.
Summary of the Best Basketball Shorts
To sum up, here are the best basketball shorts we looked at today:
In summary, there are plenty of basketball shorts out there but the Nike Dri-Fit Elite tends to stand out for us because of its stylish look and complete features. The Under Armour Raid shorts also come close because this product has features that are similar to the Dri-Fit Elite’s but also has its own unique niche because of how effective it is at keeping you cool and dry on a particularly warm day.
While the Dri-Fit Elite and the Raid are our favorites, we also cannot deny how good Champion’s basketball shorts are because of the different varieties and styles they come in. Adidas’s 3G Speed can also be a good choice for you because it is similar to the Dri-Fit Elite and the Raid in terms of features but is more ideal for those who prefer longer shorts.
But if you want the ultimate bang for your buck if you do not want to go over your budget for basketball shorts, we love the Tesla HyperDri because it comes with the same features as brands such as Nike and Adidas but has a price tag that is much more affordable for those who are looking for everyday shorts to use for training and simple pickup games.
Hopefully, this guide was helpful in making you choose the best basketball shorts on the market today.
If you found this post helpful, check out our other basketball gear reviews here.