I gotta get serious about my sports shorts.
April 1, 2012 3:37 PM   Subscribe

Can you recommend women's exercise shorts with pockets and no built-in underwear (what?!) and no tight elastic waist? My gym just busted me for wearing non-exercise shorts, since apparently there's a no-back-pocket-button rule.

Last night while I was working out, I was informed by an eager new staff member that it was against gym regulation to wear shorts with buttons on the back and that she'd kick me out next time if I wore them again. I've happily been wearing these shorts for over a year to my gym, but I guess it's time to get new ones.

What I've been wearing have been everyday Unionbay shorts similar to these.

My ideal gym shorts would be shortish ones that aren't moulded to my body, don't have built-in underwear (seriously didn't even know this was a thing until today's futile shopping), have at least one but ideally two front pockets, and aren't crinkly fabric but aren't fuzzy sweatpant fabric either. I don't like tight elastic at the waistband - I prefer a drawstring adjustable. And, obviously, no buttons on the back.

My Walmart has these, which didn't look too tight at the waist, but had no pockets. And I would really prefer a drawstring. But otherwise they look about right. They have these, too, but they're longer than my ideal and felt like they'd be slightly warmer than I'd like.

I'd prefer to keep them at $20 or less, but if there's an amazing option that's a little more, I could be convinced.

posted by vegartanipla to Health & Fitness (18 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Have you considered removing the buttons from the back of the shorts you currently favor?
posted by La Cieca at 3:43 PM on April 1, 2012 [8 favorites]

Yeah, just cut the buttons off the back of the shorts you have now.
posted by misanthropicsarah at 3:48 PM on April 1, 2012

Do you live near a Dick's Sporting Goods? I went to go buy some shorts and was overwhelmed at the selection they had. It seriously took me over an hour to pick out some damn shorts and I ended up paying about $20 for mine. I didn't even see any shorts with built in underwear (didn't know that was a thing). They have some expensive stuff but they have reasonable priced items as well.
posted by MaryDellamorte at 3:57 PM on April 1, 2012

Wait. Huh? I admit, I'm not a member of a gym, and I'm old and out of touch, but what? What's the problem with back buttons?
posted by primate moon at 4:00 PM on April 1, 2012 [1 favorite]

I have good luck with workout clothes at Marshalls and TJ Maxx. Lots of shorts there.
posted by mskyle at 4:01 PM on April 1, 2012

Wait. Huh? I admit, I'm not a member of a gym, and I'm old and out of touch, but what? What's the problem with back buttons?

They can puncture or otherwise damage the seats on some equipment.
posted by NotMyselfRightNow at 4:05 PM on April 1, 2012 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Target has the best options I've seen; check out the C9 by Champion line. And actually, all of their Champion shorts are great; my husband and I have many pairs of basketball-length ones that we wear around the house, to the gym, etc.
posted by limeonaire at 4:20 PM on April 1, 2012 [2 favorites]

These have pockets. It doesn't appear they have the liner. Just a tip, you'll probably have to look for shorts not marketed as women's "running shorts." I find that 99% of the time they have a panty, and usually no pockets.

Look for soccer, basketball, or tennis shorts, and if you're small enough, look at kids' clothes. Sometimes I can wear men's XS or S and there are way more pockets in shorts for dudes.
posted by peep at 4:22 PM on April 1, 2012

Title Nine might have what you need.

I've been wearing Lands' End Sport Knits, which DO have an elastic waist, but I've never found them constricting.
posted by brujita at 4:28 PM on April 1, 2012

Yeah, look for tennis shorts rather than running shorts, as they will usually have decent-sized side pockets (the male version anyway - never shopped for female tennis shorts). Also, you can easily cut the built-in underwear out of running shorts or just save yourself some money and cut the buttons off your existing shorts if that really is the only problem.
posted by dg at 4:34 PM on April 1, 2012 [1 favorite]

I just cut the panty out of the running shorts I buy. Presto! Regular work-out shorts. So if you find a pair you like otherwise, just get out the scissors.
posted by Countess Sandwich at 4:34 PM on April 1, 2012 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: I did think about removing the buttons, but (from previous experience) the threading through the buttons on Unionbay shorts is so thick that it leaves four little holes, and I am already so tough on my gym shorts that I think that's just an invitation to have them tear.
posted by vegartanipla at 4:49 PM on April 1, 2012

Seconding the Champion stuff from Target. It even comes in my size, which is basically... well, awesome.
posted by SMPA at 5:16 PM on April 1, 2012 [2 favorites]

If you are worried about tearing, you can always take materiel from an item you no longer need and make a patch.
posted by Blasdelb at 7:04 PM on April 1, 2012

Don't futz with taking off the buttons, patching them with a hole, or somehow other retrofitting the denim shorts into better gym attire.

You've been going to the gym for (at least) a year! Time to celebrate by buying some great shorts, socks, and shirt!

Target definitely has a bunch of options. Hiking shorts might be a good option for you too. It would be easy to snip the thread on shorts like this, and they're better than jean shorts against sweaty bodies. These Patagonia shorts have some elastic at the waist, but they're mostly held up with the drawstring tie. They're out of your price range but it might give you an idea. These REI shorts are really comfortable and 20% off right now. They have a lining but I cut them out all the time.

Athleta has some good options too. They often have sales and coupons.
posted by barnone at 7:57 PM on April 1, 2012 [1 favorite]

Just so you know, you can just cut out the annoying underwear part.
posted by DarlingBri at 9:12 PM on April 1, 2012 [1 favorite]

Nthing the Champion clothing from Target. I have several of their items - shorts and tops - and love them all.
posted by youngergirl44 at 10:02 PM on April 1, 2012

men's shorts are usually very comfortable (often more than women's) and fit easily with a drawstring. Or even boys', if you're very small. I wear men's basketball shorts for all the sports I play.
posted by randomnity at 10:52 AM on April 2, 2012 [1 favorite]

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