With consumers depending on their apparel, particularly sportswear, to assist them in transitioning from work-from-home life to weekend adventures, morning yoga to evening spin, and maybe even a few happy-hour cocktails in between, the fashion industry has been put to the greatest challenge during the last few years. We all know at this point how difficult it is to find the best pair of biker shorts despite their widespread popularity.
The more we wear our favorite yoga pants or exercise leggings, the happier we get to see how many designers are stepping up to the plate with cutting-edge materials and adaptable styles designed to support a more hybrid, wellness-focused existence without sacrificing style. Even if you may already own a pair of basic full-length black leggings—or several, there are still a lot more athleisure options to discover.
We’ve selected affordable, high-quality alternatives that are nonetheless durable while others are a bit pricey. Either way, it’s time to stock up on some essentials for your wardrobe, and no better place to start than with biker shorts.
Meet the experts:
Alicia, the founder of Suav Activewear, the Quebec-based activewear brand that creates everyday essentials with comfort and performance in mind.
The FLOAT Bike Shorts by Girlfriend Collective are very soft, breathable, and light, making them perfect for both leisure time and leg day.
These recyclable shorts will keep you cool, comfortable, and stylish thanks to their design, which uses a soft, airy fabric produced from recycled bottles. A crop top, sports bra, or oversized shirt looks amazing with these thanks to their high-rise construction.
GC’s shorts come in two color options: “Black” and “Zest,” while sizing ranges from XXS to 6XL.
Alo Yoga’s High-Waist Biker Short is the ideal short for both the gym and the street.
It has a high waist and moisture-wicking technology that moves with you, and it’s constructed of the label’s unique lifting, sculpting Airbrush fabric. Both forward-thinking and practical, wear with an Alo statement shirt or layer with your favorite bra beneath a gorgeous cropped hoodie.
It features a front-smoothing panel for commando comfort, and it is specially shaped to suit every size.
SECONDLIFT’s Seamless Midi Biker Short is a modern take on a classic style.
Its mid-thigh waistband ensures that you’ll never have to worry about rolling your shorts up again—and the sweat-wicking fabric will keep you cool, dry, and comfortable all day long. The flexible ribbed waistband is designed to contour your body, so you can wear these shorts for any activity from yoga class to morning jogs!
If you had the chance to experience the buttery-soft materials and see the easy designs of past Gymshark x Whitney Simmons collections, you can vouch for the high quality and attractive clothing that resulted from it.
This fourth collection encompasses everything Whitney currently values, including happiness, health, and connecting with herself and with nature. As the partnership between the two fitness powerhouses has developed each year, so has Whitney.
Versatile items suitable for any situation, seasonally appropriate colors that can be mixed and matched, and of course, that coveted distinctive buttery, soft fabric. The Whitney Cycling Shorts in particular have a high-waisted fit, an 8″ inseam, and a scrunch-to-back rise.
As usual, the partnership has a tonal Whitney tagline printed on the inner rear of the waistband and subtle gold bar branding on the front.
Slip into the silky embrace of Suav Activewear’s Bike Shorts, crafted from a luxuriously smooth, lightweight, and breathable fabric that feels like a second skin.
These high-waisted wonders boast a wide, double-layered waistband, masterfully designed to slim and flatter your curves while providing a secure, comfortable fit. Elevate your workout and daily wardrobe with these versatile shorts, featuring a buttery-soft, stretchy fabric that sculpts and smooths while maintaining a squat-proof design.
The velvety, matte finish adds a touch of sophistication, making them perfect for any occasion. Engineered for long-lasting wear, these mid-thigh length shorts with a 6-inch inseam are not only stylish but also incredibly resilient.
Designed to retain their shape throughout the day and wear after wear, they’re subtly adorned with a minimalist logo at the back, ensuring your look remains effortlessly chic.
Activewear and lifestyle brand Real Collection is known for its distinctive design and wide range of designs for modern women. The goal of the Australian-based label is to encourage and inspire women to perform at their highest level, whether they are at the gym or anywhere else in life.
This sentiment rings true to the brand’s Balance Seamless Midi Bike Short, offered in size ranges of XS to L. They’re an everyday basic that serves the purpose of reducing perspiration by using a breathable fabric blend. These shorts are a must-have for the gym; they have a moderately ribbed elastic waistband and a special fabric element on the rear that draws attention to your figure.
Combine it with the coordinating open-shoulder crop for a flawless finish that’ll make for an Instagram-worthy look as well.
Form-fitting and versatile, the SKIMS Fits Everybody Bike Short is ideal for wearing alone or under other clothes.
This cycle short has a thin, second-skin fit and may be worn with shapewear for further smoothing and shaping. It’s the ideal foundation bottoms with a single layer, an elastic waistband that hits at the natural waist, gentle softening at the hips and thighs, and all-day comfort.
“It’s the best biker shorts ever!! So soft and I could buy them all. Just love the way they feel every time I wear them! Definitely going to order more,” shared one reviewer.
SET ACTIVE’s Sculptflex Bike Shorts are suitable for spin class and the ideal accessory for a chic day-to-night outfit. Yes, there is no need to make a decision.
You’ll like the high waist, slimming and supportive feel, and universally flattering length thanks to the brand’s patented SCULPTFLEX stretch. Its most compressive fabric was created to withstand even the most intense exercises.
No matter how large of motions you’re making, this fabric expands and contracts with your body since it is seamless, elastic, and has strategically placed ribbing. The biker shorts come in several shades, including “Mojito,” “Rain,” “Pepper,” and “Onyx” in the core range as well as “Oat Milk,” “Barn,” “Blue Jean,” and “Twilight” in a limited-edition run.
The Cycle Shorts from NORBA are made of a flexible material that improves mobility when working out.
Extra support is provided by the high waist, and muscle control is made possible by the smooth, silky fabric. The brand uses cutting-edge technologies to eliminate fabric waste while limiting chemical consumption in the production of each item of clothing.
All of NORBA’s goods are created and produced in Ukraine using fair labor practices and completely ethical and sustainable manufacturing methods.
Jeanne The Label‘s Bike Shorts have a high-waist design that is seamless, ribbed, lightweight, and complements your form.
It’s a flexible addition to your wardrobe that is ideal. They have the optimal number of ribbing for ventilation throughout any activity and are incredibly smooth and silky.
Add a matching Box Crop to complete the outfit, or mix and match with other items from the brand’s lineup.
The Myah 2.0 Bike Shorts are made of Kiht Collective’s luxuriously soft premium compression fabric and are expertly tailored.
Wearers will particularly enjoy the very high waist and wide, supportive waistline. There is no need to pick since their V-back detail is made to accentuate your peach and transport you from day to night in style.
Not to mention that these flattering shorts are available in “Sky,” “Caramel Latte,” and “Pink Lemonade,” three striking hues that are bound to grab some looks.
What to Look for in Biker Shorts
When selecting biker shorts, the material is paramount to ensure comfort, durability, and a flattering fit. Popular materials include spandex, which offers excellent elasticity, and nylon, known for its moisture-wicking properties. For a softer touch, you might opt for a cotton blend, although it may lack the compressive qualities of other fabrics.
“You want your bike shorts to be compressive but also comfortable, a flattering soft and stretchy fabric – something that can be worn both at the gym and at brunch,” SECONDLEFT Co-Founder Matilda Robertson.
Biker shorts come in various lengths, typically ranging from mid-thigh to right above the knee. Shorter lengths provide more freedom of movement, making them ideal for high-intensity workouts. Longer lengths, on the other hand, offer more coverage and can help reduce chafing during activities such as cycling.
The waistband can significantly affect your comfort level while wearing biker shorts. A wide, high-rise waistband can offer better support and create a smooth silhouette, making you feel secured throughout your activities. Some shorts also feature pockets in the waistband, providing convenient storage for small items like keys or a phone.
“It really comes down to personal preference, but high waist bike shorts are definitely the most popular style, super flattering and super comfortable. Bike shorts are like shapewear that you don’t need to layer upon,” Robertson explains.
Opting for biker shorts with seamless construction can enhance comfort by reducing irritation caused by rough seams rubbing against your skin. This design also lends a sleek, modern look to the shorts, allowing them to transition smoothly from workout gear to a stylish component of a streetwear ensemble.
Robertson adds, “Seamfree activewear is always a crowd favorite, comfortable, flattering, minimal, and stretchy with no unwanted seams.”
Breathability and Moisture-Wicking
For those planning to wear biker shorts for exercise, choosing a pair with breathability and moisture-wicking capabilities is vital. These features help to keep you cool and dry during workouts, avoiding discomfort and potential skin irritation caused by sweat. It’s always a good idea to check the product description to ensure the shorts offer these benefits.
What are biker shorts, and how do they separate themselves from other gymwear?
Biker shorts, the chic and functional gymwear staple, stand out from the crowd with their distinctive mid-thigh length and curve-hugging design. These versatile shorts offer a fashionable fusion of comfort, support, and on-trend style.
“Bike shorts are skin-tight shorts that were initially worn for comfort during sport, to prevent friction. In the last couple of years, bike shorts have become a staple in sportswear but also in casual wear. They are such a versatile and comfortable piece that is so easy to style,” Alicia tells us.
In terms of both compression and length, how should they fit?
The perfect biker shorts should embrace your body with gentle, supportive compression, ensuring a snug yet comfy fit. Aim for a mid-thigh length that delivers ample coverage while allowing you to move freely and confidently.
“Fabric composition and conception plays a big role in bike shorts compression. We do believe that there is a bike short for everyone and every occasion. At Suav, we love that our activewear has the right amount of compression for everything to stay in place while working out, but also that it’s comfortable enough to wear every day,” Alicia shared with us.
She continues, “We would say that our pieces have medium compression. As for length, in the past several years, we have seen the length of biker shorts become a bit shorter than before. If you ask us, this year’s perfect length to maintain working out and everyday wear versatility is about 4.5 to 5 inches. “
Whether it be heading to the gym or lounging around, what are some ways to style your biker shorts?
Rock your biker shorts from sweat sessions to off-duty style with effortless ease. Team them with a vibrant sports bra and sneakers for a gym-ready look, or level up your street style by pairing them with an oversized graphic tee and chunky sandals.
Conversely, Alicia recommends pairing your shorts “with a matching bra top and an open zip-up hoodie. Or with any oversized top, whether it’s a t-shirt or a crewneck.
How should you go about washing them?
To keep your biker shorts looking fresh and fabulous, wash them in cold water on a gentle cycle using a mild detergent. Sidestep fabric softeners, and let your shorts air-dry to preserve their shape and elasticity.
“It’s so important to wash activewear differently than normal clothing because they are made of small delicate fibers. To keep them forever we suggest following these tips: Turn them inside out to avoid piling against the washer. Wash on delicate with similar colors, without overloading the washer. Use cold water to keep the color intact in each piece. Hang dry,” she explains.
Should you still wear undergarments beneath despite their body-hugging nature?
The choice to don undergarments beneath your biker shorts is entirely up to you. For some, seamless underwear provides that extra layer of comfort and confidence, while others might embrace the body-contouring allure of the shorts and forgo additional layers.
“Everybody has their own preference regarding wearing undergarments or not under bike shorts,” Alicia notes. “If you decide to wear some, there are such good seamless undies out there that don’t show at all.”