When you look around your gym, you’ll likely see someone wearing compression shorts, and it surprisingly no longer sticks out like a sore thumb.
At one point, wearing compression shorts would have been an outrageous prospect. Instead, peak performance was achieved with regular, baggy t-shirts and joggers with holes in them.
Nowadays, compression shorts can improve performance and genuinely help athletes and regular Joe’s train harder.
Many of you would already know that. If you are here, then you are probably interested in getting the best compression shorts for men.
Anyone can walk to their local sportswear store and buy some, but that does not guarantee the quality and benefits that you will get from the best compression shorts.
These compression shorts by Neleus come with an excellent compression design that provides support, protection against the weather, and benefits for all types of activities.
Compression shorts are just fancy underwear, but they’re underwear that you can wear in public without feeling embarrassed or being arrested.
In this article, we’ll be picking out what we consider to be the 10 best compression shorts. On top of that, we will provide you with the top buying tips, plus reasons why you should wear compression shorts.
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|Neleus Men’s Performance Compression Shorts||Check on Amazon →|
|HYLETE Apex Light Compression Short||Check Best Price →|
|Adidas Men’s Sport Performance Climalite Boxer Brief Underwear||Check on Amazon →|
|Under Armour Men’s Heatgear Armour Long Compression Shorts||Check on Amazon →|
|BALEAF Men's 2-in-1 Running Athletic Shorts||Check on Amazon →|
|Compressionz Men’s Compression Shorts||Check on Amazon →|
|Nike Men’s Pro Shorts||Check on Amazon →|
|Hofish Men’s Compression Shorts Active Workout Underwear||Check on Amazon →|
|Champion Men’s Powerflex Compression Short||Check on Amazon →|
|Niksa Compression Shorts Men Quick Dry Black Performance Athletic Shorts||Check on Amazon →|
Before you buy: 8 Things to consider when purchasing compression shorts
As always, the key thing to look out for is quality. This is typically universally applicable across all clothing, and compression shorts are most definitely included.
If you’re going to be spending your hard earned money on a new pair of shorts, then you want to be able to justify that by getting some that are worth what you are spending.
That’s where quality comes into play.
Getting the maximum quality for your money will leave you a happy man. Getting a good quality pair of compression shorts will make all of the difference.
Quality encompasses so many different factors, but they all conjoin to give you exactly what you’re looking for.
For example, if you’re buying yourself a new pair of compression shorts, then there’s almost no doubt that you’d want them to be comfortable.
We will get onto this in more detail in a minute, but comfort, material, style, color, and brand, are all included in judging the quality of an item.
Making sure that you choose an item with a great combination of the above factors will mean that you are going to get yourself a pair of compression shorts that you love.
As we just mentioned, you always want your compression shorts to be comfortable. As noted briefly earlier, compression shorts are actually just glorified underwear and can be worn as such.
As we all know, underwear has to be comfortable. Inevitably, then, this extends to compression shorts.
There would be nothing worse than trying to get on with everyday life or any form of sporting activity if you are feeling uncomfortable while wearing a pair of skin-tight shorts.
Instead, one of the first things that you look for should be how comfortable the shorts are. Many of the other factors, like brand names and style, can take a back burner at this stage. Get comfort in check first, and then everything else will follow.
If you are looking into getting compression shorts, then it is probably because you are wanting to wear them regularly. After all, we doubt that many men will be buying compression shorts just to wear them once a month.
Because you need to be wearing them so often, you need them to be durable enough to match. Buying a new pair of shorts only for them to break within a month or two is something we can only consider as a nightmare.
Even though it is certainly easier said than done, you should try to only buy shorts that you are confident will last you a long time.
If you are wearing them on a daily basis, then 4-6 months will be a good starting point. You can use that to work out how long they should last in relation to how often you will be wearing them.
Style is pretty limited when it comes to compression shorts. Either they are, or they aren’t, but there are very subtle changes that, for some people, can make all of the difference in their purchasing decision.
First of all, the shorts can come in different lengths. You can get compression shorts in a boxer short style. These are fully inoffensive and will be hidden under whatever other clothes you decide to wear.
You also can get them in a slightly longer style; these are what you typically assume compression shorts to be, and are seen on cyclists. They go down to just above your knees and will keep your thighs completely warm.
On the other end of the spectrum, you can get compression shorts that are three-quarter length, stylized by Steph Curry when he plays basketball. You also can get full length, but we believe that it’s quite a stretch to try and claim that they are shorts.
For those who are relatively unimpressed by compression shorts, you could go for ones that have been produced to look and feel like regular boxer shorts.
Similarly, if you are someone who loves to stand out in the gym, then going for something neon or longer could be your chosen item. Either way, the style could make a big difference to your buying process.
We have already explained that we want this article to be about compression shorts that are for all activities, but there is no doubt that the purpose can play a big role in which compression shorts you decide to buy.
For example, the best compression shorts for weightlifting are going to be completely different from the best compression shorts for soccer. The fit will be different, the style will be different, and, most importantly, the purpose is different.
For weightlifting, you’ll be focused on getting your muscles as warm and as secure as possible. If you’re gearing up for a heavy squat, then you need everything held in place and secure as you initiate the movement.
If you do not have that in check, you could risk tearing or pulling a muscle.
On the other hand, compression shorts for soccer will more than likely only cover the upper thighs and will just keep that part of your leg warm while you play.
Most soccer games take place outside, so it makes sense as to why compression shorts are becoming more important in the sport.
This may seem like a futile point to make, but we assure you that it is not.
Ultimately, the brand name that you see on a pair of compression shorts could make all the difference as to whether you trust them or not.
If you are thinking about buying compression shorts, then we can comfortably assume that you are looking to wear them often – and considering they are going to be stuck to your skin, you want them to be as great as possible.
That’s where brand names come into play.
For example, if you are a fan of the top sportswear brands, and Nike or Adidas come out with their compression shorts, you’ll be happy with that. They are world-renowned and recognizable for their quality.
If you buy from them, you will more than likely be happy with your purchase, and that’s what you want.
More generally, it is safe to assume that you will go with a brand that is recognizable and acknowledged to be great. For that reason, we believe you should stick with what you know and only go into unchartered waters if it really seems like a good decision.
Even though the majority of us wouldn’t like to admit it, the price of an item does play a huge role in the decision process.
To illustrate with quite an exaggerated example, if you are looking for a t-shirt, then you more than likely won’t be in a rush to buy Gucci, even though the quality is supposedly better. You will stick to your budget and get the best possible t-shirt in that range.
This extends to items like compression shorts. Ultimately, it is all about maximizing the quality that you can get with the budget that you are willing to spend. If you are only willing to spend $10, then you will have to get the greatest quality for that price.
Previous and current reviews of a product really can tell us whether we should trust it or not. Finding out what other people think about a specific product can let us know whether we want to buy it or whether we will decide to leave it.
A brand will always upsell their products as much as they can. They will discuss all of the latest and greatest innovations to come out of their product line as they try to persuade you to spend your money buying from them.
However, a great description and sales copy do not guarantee a great product. Checking the reviews that thousands of other people have put online will help you to understand whether they actually are great products.
The 10 best compression shorts for men in 2020
Neleus is, broadly speaking, a brand new brand. It was born only in 2008 but prides itself on unique conceptual design and excellent quality. They say that they’re committed to providing the most innovative sports goods on the market.
These compression shorts are perfect proof of that. In terms of length, they go down to just above the knee, a classic length for wearing to the gym or for many sports like basketball or soccer.
In terms of material, they are made from 85% polyester and 15% spandex. This is a material combination typical of compression shorts, as it combines a solid, durable material with one that provides some elasticity and compression.
For those of you aware of Nike’s products, they have very similar Dri-FIT fabric on these compression shorts. That will keep you dry, comfortable, and warm, regardless of the temperatures you are in and the amount that you are sweating.
If we look at the innovative design, the shorts make the most of some smooth heatgear fabric and ergonomic seams. This all leads toward a natural-feeling short that is suitable for all activities.
Many of the reviews on this product are great. Not only that, but quite a few of them have noted that they have picked these up as a replacement for Nike or Champion compression shorts, noting that they love these just as much as those.
This is evidence that it is a great brand to go for, and they are excellent.
Ultimately, these shorts are an excellent choice for athletes, general gym-goers, and everyday wear.
- Excellent dri-FIT fabric
- Overwhelmingly positive reviews
- Great budget option
- Middle inseam can be frustrating
Grabbing a pair of cheap compression shorts that are also highly effective can seem like a tough task. Fortunately enough, these Neleus shorts combine budget with quality to provide you with an option that will not leave you disappointed.
Like Neleus, HYLETE is very much a baby compared to some of the brands on this list. But also like Neleus, they’ve already carved themselves out a sizable following and an impressive line of shorts.
These – the Apex Light Compression Short – are a perfect example of what HYLETE does so well: high-performing shorts which combine an innovative design with genuine comfort. The results are pretty great.
They are made from 90% and 10& spandex, with an athletic fit and 4-way stretch that gives you completely unrestricted movement while remaining totally at ease. The fabric is fast wicking and very breathable, while the v-shaped crotch panel adds an extra level of support and softness– ultimately, they’re just a dream to wear.
But they’ve got more:
The flatlock seams are fantastic for preventing chafing, and you’ll never have problems with these shorts riding or getting in the way.
They are designed to keep your muscles warm during high intensity workouts, and many reviewers report actively replacing every other pair of compression shorts they own with these bad boys the minute they tried them. If that doesn’t tell you something about their quality, nothing will.
Now, it isn’t only good stuff: some reviewers have noted that the sizing can be a little tricky, and it’s important to make sure you refer to their sizing guides online before buying.
But assuming you can get them to fit you right, you’ll be absolutely ecstatic with these compression shorts – even at their premium price. Plus you can get them in 3 different colors, and they come with a 60 day guarantee, so you can purchase with confidence.
- Super comfortable
- Great support where you need it
- An up-and-coming disruptor brand
- Some report having to order a size up from their usual
An innovative, super comfortable compression short which blows almost all competitors away.
Without a shadow of a doubt, Adidas is one of those names that gets everyone excited. Ears everywhere prick up like a dog’s as they recognize the name for quality and excellence.
These boxer briefs are compression shorts that are supposed to be worn as underwear. This may seem like it defeats the point, but it is actually an excellent idea.
Rather than having compression shorts that are on view, you can wear them as boxers and continue wearing your regular outfit over the top.
This is an ideal option if you are a cyclist, footballer, or basketball player and would rather play looking like you aren’t wearing compression shorts.
They are stretchy and provide all-day comfort. The waistband is soft and tagless, and the fabric is breathable, quick-drying, and moisture-wicking. All in all, this is a combination that is sure to be a winner and an excellent choice.
- Recognizable brand and quality
- Good option for underwear compression shorts
- Excellent reviews
- As they are underwear compression shorts, they ride quite high up the leg.
When it comes to Adidas, you shouldn’t think twice. With a well-known brand that has been around since the twenties, it is hard to make a mistake as these shorts will last you literally forever.
Under Armour are a leading force in sportswear and, as the name suggests, for none other than their ‘under’ garments.
What they are truly known for is their compression gear – not just shorts, but also t-shirts, long-sleeve tees, pants, and more. They fully embraced base-layers and reaped the benefits.
Fortunately, that means that their compression shorts are some of the best on the market and fully worth the price if you can afford them. They do not break the bank, but they are still (justifiably so) some of the more expensive.
They have just over 20% spandex, a high amount alluding to the level of elasticity and comfort you can find in them; tough, lightweight fabric and an updated ergonomic design keep things durable and comfortable in equal measure.
One of the biggest things about Under Armour compression is the performance benefits. They are really created to allow sportsmen to perform better and safer, so you will feel the benefits of that, as well.
On top of that, there are still plenty of innovative features that you can find out about yourselves – from moisture-wicking material to a 4-way stretch construction.
- Brand famous for compression clothing
- Many innovative features
- Lightweight, tough, durable, and comfortable
- Pricey option for compression shorts
If you want some of the best of the best, then you should look no further than Under Armour. While they are not exactly bank-breaking, they are still quite expensive for compression shorts.
BALEAF’s 2 in 1 Running Shorts are a fantastic choice in the compression shorts category for many reasons.
For one thing, their 2-in-1 design is molded for an ideal fit, giving you all the security of compression shorts with a little extra breathability to keep you dry and comfortable.
The fabric sweat-wicking fabric is 95% polyester and 5% spandex, giving it a little stretch but plenty of support too
Ultimately, they feel lightweight and breezy – great for any activity where you need plenty of flexibility and freedom.
You also get plenty of space to keep your stuff: with a back zippered pocket and 2 side pockets, there’s more than enough room for your keys, phone and anything else you might need.
The fit is where some feel these shorts come up a little, well, short. While they feature an internal drawcord and can offer a really comfortable, snug fit, many reviewers have noted their problems getting the right fit, with some even deciding against the product outright because of it.
If you consult the sizing guides properly, you shouldn’t have too much trouble. But if you are put off by even the thought of sizing problems, it may be worth considering another pair on this list.
That said, these are a very good, affordable option if you can get them in your size – and most people do seem to have no problem doing so.
- 2-in-1 design is nice
- Plenty of pocket space
- Sizing seems to be a problem for some
A really good, affordable pair of compression shorts. There are some issues, but at this price it’s unsurprising, and many on a budget will be so glad they found them.
High-performance compression shorts are what the majority of you reading this article will be looking for.
While compression shorts can be used for all activities, even sitting down reading a book, the majority of the time they are used for physical exercises. As a result, getting a pair of shorts that can help performance is a welcome bonus.
These shorts provide a perfect blend between comfort and compression, consisting of anti-odor, anti-itch, and anti-bacterial fabric that breathes during prolonged exercise.
This makes them ideal for sports and general physical exercise, as you will be protected against irritation and odors that are prevalent with other compression shorts.
Impressively, these shorts claim to boost endurance and recovery. They use specific compression techniques that promote blood circulation and muscle recovery.
By doing so, you are protecting and supporting the upper leg muscles and stopping fatigue, soreness, and overexertion from setting in.
Even though they are in the regular length fit found with many compression shorts, they are actually boxer briefs. They are fitness shorts that will retain shape and size through multiple washes.
They can be confidently worn while exercising, traveling, or anything else you can think of.
CompressionZ understands that their brand is relatively unknown, too, and to gain your trust they have decided to offer a 100% satisfaction guarantee. This means that if, for any reason, you decide you don’t like their compression shorts, you can get your money back.
This gives you a failsafe option if you feel like ordering a pair of compression shorts but are worried that you will not like them.
- High-performance compression shorts
- Satisfaction guarantee
- Boosts endurance and speeds up recovery
- Waistband can become loose if washed incorrectly
Compression shorts are typically a pretty boring affair they sit on your body nice and tight and keep you feeling warm. These are a different story. With a wide range of pioneering technology, these shorts are sure to be worth the investment.
A top sportswear brand, Nike is known worldwide for their quality and commitment to producing the best sports-related garments on the market.
Their pro line uses Dri-FIT technology that will allow you to stay dry and comfortable, particularly useful if you are into running or sports.
The elastic waistband is stretchy and provides you with comfort. Combining that with the mesh gusset and compressive fit ensures that you will be feeling warm, comfortable, and stylish in these compression shorts.
One of the more understated benefits of having some Nike compression shorts is that they look cool.
There is nothing to be ashamed of when you are repping the swoosh on your legs, and that’s why these are a perfect choice if you are looking for something to wear on a daily basis.
- World-famous brand and product
- Dri-FIT technology
- Designed for cool comfort and support
- Waistline is not tagless so can dig into body
Sticking to a brand that you know can be a great idea. Nike is one of those brands that absolutely everyone knows, and therefore they should always be considered.
They can be slightly pricier than some of the other options, but, since they are Nike, you know that you are paying for quality.
If you are going to be out running or the gym, then the least your legs deserve is comfort.
You are already putting them under a massive amount of stress with your physical exercise, so it could be a great idea picking out a comfortable pair of compression shorts that can just make the process that much easier.
These compression shorts are made from a specialist blend of polyester and spandex, and that allows for a stretchy and comfortable fit that can be worn at home, at the gym, or anywhere in between.
They are designed and produced to feel like a second skin. They provide a relaxed yet close fit that will stay in position but still provide you with all of the benefits that compression shorts provide.
- Deliver all-day comfort for home, the gym and everywhere in between
- Designed to wear like a second skin
- The fit is quite small
These men’s compression shorts can double up as underwear and still keep you feeling comfortable and fresh.
They are made from a polyester and spandex blend and should provide the wearer with comfort all day regardless of the activities that they are engaging in.
The Champion brand died out a while back but suddenly has made an inspiring resurgence. They are a sportswear brand that is gaining traction as an urban brand amongst teens and young adults.
These Champion compression shorts are some of the leading shorts on the market, and it is easy to see why.
First, they consist of an 84/16 polyester/spandex blend, confirming that they are going to be as stretchy and compressed as you’d like.
Next, they include the quick-drying Champion Vapor technology that evaporates moisture. Technology like this is what has made the Champion compression shorts so impressive and famous amongst the sporting community.
Ultimately, these are a great choice for someone looking for a cheap branded name. They will be trustworthy, comfortable, and stylish.
- Made by Champion – leading sportswear brand
- Includes plenty of pioneering technology
- Positive reviews
- Only a single layer of fabric – not too much support
Considering the brand name is recognizable and trustworthy, this is a budget option that you seriously can’t go wrong with.
These shorts are highly elastic, proving that it is possible to have material that is both comfortable and breathable. The moisture wicking material keeps you dry and cool, and you will be able to feel all of the performance-related benefits of the compression shorts.
It is important to note that these compression shorts, in particular, are actually perfect for active wear.
They are best for outdoor and indoor gym workouts and would most likely be the best compression shorts for CrossFit. They allow for breathable movement and will improve recovery whilst reducing injury.
- Perfect for active wear (indoor and outside gym workouts)
- Long list of performance benefits
- Moisture wicking keeps you dry
- Be careful with sizing (34” waist requires XXL, for example)
These shorts are great for all activities – active ones in particular. They are proud of a long list of performance-based benefits, and it is no surprise that CrossFitters and runners would go for these.
How to wear compression shorts
1. Decide whether to combine with underwear
Compression shorts actually are designed to operate as part of your underwear. That is, they are not meant to have anything underneath them. They do not need to have their benefits limited by another layer between the skin and the fabric.
For that reason, you have to make an executive decision as to whether you want to have your private parts hanging out inside your compression shorts or not.
We recommend that you do wear them without underwear, the primary reason being that you don’t want to waste your time and your money by limiting the positive benefits that you can achieve otherwise.
2. As outerwear compression shorts
Most compression shorts can be worn as outerwear compression shorts as easily as they can be worn as underwear compression shorts.
This means that they are worn without anything layered on top of them. A key example would be that they are engineered with high-end materials and have unique construction that set them apart from the undergarment versions.
Outerwear compression shorts typically last longer than the under versions. That is because they need to be washed less and are made of more durable materials.
If you think about it, wearing compression shorts to the gym as outerwear will mean that they need to be made from durable materials. It would be pointless otherwise, as you’ll simply be wearing them out.
3. Go for underwear if you just want comfort and support
If you simply are looking for support and comfort, then you should think about opting for undergarment compression shorts. The reason is that you are probably interested in having compression shorts but not too interested in being seen in them.
After all, they are a dodgy look, and they are definitely not for everyone.
Despite the looks, they are still perfectly optimal in terms of performance, so wearing them as undergarment shorts will give you the benefit of muscle support and blood circulation.
4. Get a fit that is snug but not extremely tight
You can buy compression shorts that come with an extreme compression fit, but that’s not exactly necessary. Compression shorts feel tight as it is, but you don’t want to be stopping circulation with extreme tightness.
Instead, go for a fit that will hug and support your muscles without feeling impossibly tight and uncomfortable.
If your usual underwear size is still too tight, then try going up a size.
5 Benefits of Compression Wear
The general benefits of compression wear are well documented. They are supposed to improve performance, and they do so in a multitude of ways. Aside from that, they are known for being incredibly warm and suitable for activities that involve physical exercise.
Compression wear is supposed to be tight and often is not supposed to be worn over top of anything else, but that does not impact how useful and beneficial they can be.
Without any further delay, here are 10 benefits of compression wear that are worth keeping in mind.
1. Performance benefits
Some of the performance benefits that can arise from compression wear are almost unbelievable. What makes them slightly more believable, however, is understanding that they started off in medicine.
The medical faculty often used compression materials on patients experiencing poor circulation to try and rush blood back into the desired area.
Over time, they adapted the materials to be worn by the average Joe while playing sport.
2. Particularly useful for some sports
For weightlifting and running in particular, compression wear is underrated and ought to be a formality among athletes involved in the sports.
The repeated impact on your joints and bones that these two sports cause can give you some severe pain and discomfort in the long run.
Using compression clothing can really sponge that initial high-impact trauma that you will be getting through your knees and hips.
3. Keep you warm and happy
Feeling warm and supported is greatly important for the majority of people. If it is a cold winter’s day, and a t-shirt isn’t quite cutting it, then a compression top really can fill that void.
4. Can indirectly lead to weight loss
If you think about it, compression wear can make working out a much more pleasurable experience among average people. Not only are you less likely to get injured, but you are more likely to actually enjoy working out, and you will keep going back.
Working out is not so bad after all, and over time you will start to lose weight and feel a lot better about yourself. On the other side of the spectrum, though, you also could try to gain weight with these on.
Ultimately, compression wear can help people to feel warmer and comfortable – a healthy and enjoyable combination.
5. Great for keeping you dry
One of the more underrated benefits of compression gear is the ability to stay dry. If you are someone who sweats a lot, a compression top and shorts can wick away the moisture before it becomes too much.
We’ve all been there before – where we have ruined a perfectly good t-shirt by sweating too much. Compression gear is a great way to avoid that.
How we chose the 10 best compression shorts
To be honest, it was quite a hard task. As you can imagine, there are thousands of compression shorts on the market, and we had to narrow that down to 10.
To make it even harder, we had to pick them out without trying the majority of them on ourselves. After all, it would not make any sense to buy thousands of compression shorts just to see which ones we like the most.
We decided to choose our products off of the back of plenty of deliberation.
Firstly, we had to stay true to our own advice. The tips we gave at the beginning of this article had to be followed. After all, it would be greatly hypocritical if we told you to look out for durability and then completely ignored it ourselves.
So we wanted to make sure that our chosen compression shorts would be top quality, be durable, be comfortable, and cover a multitude of styles and purposes – to name a few.
Aside from those physical properties, we also wanted to cover a few price ranges. It would be easier for us to just go and pick out the most expensive ones from Adidas and Under Armour, as they probably would be the best if we looked at things on a straight scale.
But we did not want to look at things on that scale. Instead, we wanted to find a list of products that would cover at least a few price ranges.
We are aware that not all of our readers can afford the same things, so we wanted to give budget options for those who need it, and vice versa with the more expensive products.
Lastly, we had to make sure that the products we chose were fan favorites among the rest of the general population. If many others have backed up what we felt was true, then it probably deserves a place on our list.
While we rate our opinions, we know that it is better for you to know that thousands of others also have loved the shorts.
Compression shorts are a relatively new phenomenon but one that is worth the hype. They really can improve athletic performance, and that is something that is priceless to many. Not only that, but they are perfect for all activities, physical or not.
In this article, we have tried to pick out the 10 best compression shorts for men. To do so, we considered some important buying tips before coming to our final decision.
If you feel like we have left out any specific compression shorts, then feel free to get in our comments and let us know. We’d love to have a chat with you and take a look at what you think deserves a place in our compression shorts hall of fame.