As many women seek out the “perfect LBD“, I’m always on the hunt for a great pair of short black running shorts.
Nothing fancy, not too garish or colorful, just a pair of black shorts that fit really well well, keep me cool, wash well, have a few basic features, keep the parts where they should be, and go with anything (yes, it matters sometimes.) That’s not asking a lot is it?
Here I try out three LBS (Little Black Shorts) for the guys. Many women will search high and low for the “perfect” LBD, while most guys (and running gals!) I know would be thrilled with any of these shorts.
I briefly covered these shorts here, but they really deserve a second look. Made from some crazy material (FlashDry) that doesn’t retain moisture at all, these are the shortest of the bunch. They’re light, breathable, never get in the way, and stayed completely dry on my rain run this morning.
They’re also not short on pockets. Two elastic hip pockets (one on each side) that are easily big enough for couple of gels, a credit card, and keys, plus an additional zippered tailbone pocket. However, my iPhone 5S does not fit into the pockets.
The shorts have a traditional waist band up front that transitions to a wide band (with pockets) on the sides and back. The shorts are lined with briefs that haven’t chaffed me yet and keep everything in place well.
Look: Black shorts with a side notch and a thin neon green line.
Verdict: Great shorts and the fastest to dry. These make me feel fast. I only wish my iPhone it in the pocket.
Pearl Izumi Flash Short
The Pearl Izumi shorts have a wide and flat waist band with a drawstring. The liners are “boy short” shape and made with a light honey-combed design that has kept me cool during our heat wave. Although my runs are still short (coming back from injury), I wouldn’t hesitate slipping these on for a fifty.
The material is an 88% polyester blend that I’ve washed probably 6 times and they seem as good as new. Though they lack any side hip pockets, these are the only shorts that fit my iPhone in the zipped tailbone pocket. Score! I can also fit a few gels in there, though it’s tight.
Look: Black with the new Pearl Izumi logo in grey.
Verdict: If I’m running alone, I’m grabbing these first so I don’t have to carry a pack with my phone.
Mountain Hardwear CoolRunner Shorts
These are the longest of the shorts, but they’re still nice and short. They’ve got a traditional waistband with drawstring and interior key pocket. Additionally, there are velcroed pockets on each hip (one each) that are narrow and deep. The designers used the space to ensure that even long gels, baggies, or candy bars (we’re a strange bunch, aren’t we?) would be secure.
However, the tailbone pocket is abnormally small, barely big enough for a small set of keys or more than one gel. There’s room on the back of the shorts and I’m not sure why the pocket doesn’t extend towards the hips more. The remaining section of the top panel of the back of the shorts is ventilated, which is a nice feature that none of the other shorts had.
The liner is seamless, brief-shaped, and soft, and kept everything secure on my runs.
Look: Black shorts
Verdict: The coolest of the three, and also the highest priced.
Dislclaimer: All three shorts were provided to URP for the sake of testing with no expectation of a positive review. All thoughts are my own.