The Best Boys Athletic Shorts

Last Updated on 19 June 2020 by Marie Davis

Athletic shorts are a wardrobe essential for any boy since they can help kids stay active and feeling great while playing his favorite sport. Not only are they ideal for physical activity, but because they are made with comfortable fabrics that are cool, breathable, and moisture-wicking, they tend to be the style that kids choose over other options for everyday wear.  While finding good active shorts should be simple enough, when it comes to kids, there are a few things to consider. Colors, lengths, comfort, and styles all play into finding that perfect pair. To help you narrow down your search, we have discovered picks from some of the best brands, including Nike, Adidas, Under Armour, and some great budget options like Old Navy that boys love and go back to year after year.

Go-Dry Mesh Basketball Shorts

Old Navy is a fantastic place to get inexpensive active shorts that are comfy and super versatile. They have a lot of great choices that change slightly from year to year, that come in plain and bold color options. One style that is nice and long for taller boys or boys who like their knees covered (if your boy likes his knees covered, you will want to look for basketball styles of shorts) is the Go-Dry Mesh Basketball style. They have a nice long length, and the fabric is the Go-Dry moisture-wicking pique mesh that Old Navy uses in most of their boy’s active styles. It is light, breathable, and soft. The waistband is elastic with an adjustable drawstring to help get a good fit on the waist, and it has side pockets that have a decent depth.  They are also pretty cheap (just make sure you get them on sale because it’s Old Navy and no one ever pays full price at Old Navy).

Available from Old Navy

Adidas Boys’ Active Sports Athletic Shorts

Adidas offers quite a few excellent athletic styles for boys, so it is a little hard to know where to start.  A good one to check out is the Adidas Boys’ Active Sports Athletic Shorts. This pick encompasses quite a few designs and different color options, so there is a lot of selection to help you find that perfect pair for your child. The fabric is 100% polyester that is soft and breathable. The basic design features include a waist string to tie along with the elastic waist, the Adidas  Badge of Sport branding somewhere on the front, and the all-important side pockets. The fit isn’t quite as long or baggy as the basketball styles, as it is slightly more fitted. If you are looking for a high quality, trendy option that will last a long time, these Adidas designs are worth checking out.

Available from Amazon

Under Armour Prototype Logo Shorts

The Under Armour Prototype Logo Shorts are one of the best selling athletic styles for boys on Amazon. They are popular because they are well-made, durable, true-to-size “basketball” type shorts. They have the standard elastic drawstring waist with two front pockets and are a longer, looser fit, so they are comfy for almost any body type. They wash well and tend to be durable enough to last until your child grows out of them. You can get this style in multiple different colors.

Available from Amazon

Tek Gear® DryTek Shorts in Regular & Husky

These Boy’s Tek Gear DryTek shorts are another popular budget option that is inexpensive enough that it is easy to stock up for the summer. They come in a fantastic selection of colors, so there is something for everyone, colorwise. They are the basic athletic style with an elastic waistband in a performance material that is sweat-wicking, lightweight, and comfy. The fabric contains a little bit of recycled polyester to help make this budget style a little bit sustainable.

Available from Kohl’s

Russell Solid Active Shorts

These Russell Solid Active Shorts are sold as a two-pack that you can get in a few different color options. They are made with moisture-wicking technology and have a soft elastic waistband. The sturdy and functional quality fabric is partially made from recycled polyester, so it is nice to see the brand working towards being a more sustainable option. The fit is relatively loose, and they are designed to fall a couple of inches above the knee. These are a very budget-friendly pair of shorts. When you buy them in a two-pack, they work out to about $8 a pair.

Available from Walmart

Xersion Basketball Shorts

This Xersion Basketball pick is an inexpensive option that you can find at J.C Penny. They are a basic flat-front design with a drawstring waist. Since they are a basketball-style, they are designed to be quite long (the inseam length is approximately 10″ on most sizes). They come in four colors: black, grey, red, and blue and have either a white or black stripe down the sides. The fabric is comfy and great quality for the price.

Available from J C Penney

Nike Dri-FIT Trophy

Obviously, Nike products are extremely popular with the general population, so it isn’t a shocker that boys also love Nike athletic shorts. Like most of the big athletic wear brands, it is a little hard to knew where to start when looking at all the different designs. A popular option that is a favorite for a lot of kids is The Nike Dri-FIT Trophy. They are soft, lightweight and are quite a thin material, so they are excellent for hot weather or exercising. Some people find the thin material to be a little too thin in some of the lighter colors, and the sizing fits a bit small, so you need to be a little bit careful with that if you are interested in this style.

Available from Dick’s Sporting Goods

Hanes Active Jersey Short

These Hanes Boys’ jersey shorts are a slightly different choice if you are looking for an active style. They are not made from an athletic performance material, but rather a 100% cotton. They are soft and comfortable to move around in and might be a good option for a child that doesn’t like the synthetic feel of most athletic material. The length will fall above the knee length on most boys, so they will be cool on hot summer days. Some kids like this design to wear as a pajama bottom since they are pretty thin and lightweight. The other notable features of this Hanes style is they are easy to wash, durable, and inexpensive.

Available from Walmart

Primary Active Color-block Short

Primary has a couple of different active options, one, like the Hanes options listed above, and one the more athletic type of shorts that are trendy with the boys. Both are great choices for comfortable, high-quality styles that are very soft. The active design comes in a great selection of colors and is unisex, so they work equally well for both boys and girls. They are made of thick cotton that makes a great pair of gym shorts for school.

Available from Primary