While we’ve rounded up the best women’s running shorts for summer, if you are a lululemon fan, you’re in luck. Here, we’ve put some of the brand’s most popular running shorts through their paces, to showcase our favourites before you invest.
How does lululemon sizing work?
As lululemon are a Canadian brand, they follow the US sizing system, which can be a little confusing for us Brits! You can find their handy US-UK sizing chart here and get the measuring tape out if you want to be sure.
If you're between sizes, it often depends on the style of the shorts and your personal preference whether you size up or down - some runners prefer a more compressive fit, others opt for looser, cooler fabrics for summer running. lululemon stores have now re-opened in the UK for you to try pairs on in person.
The best lululemon running shorts 2021:
Tracker Short V
Best for: Runners who prefer a looser fit
Designed to move with you as your run, the Tracker Short from lululemon is a popular, comfortable choice. The waistband isn’t particularly high but has a thicker elasticated band that sits comfortably against the skin and doesn’t rise up or down when you run. lululemon says the shorts were made with ‘athletic quads in mind; in reality, this translates as a looser fit that doesn’t cling to your legs as you run. The only downside we could find with these shorts is the lack of a phone pocket, meaning you’ll still need to carry a running belt with you if you run listening to music. That said, there are two easy access, zipped pockets for your valuables which are handy.
Fast and Free Shorts
Best for: Runners who love that chafe-free, cycling-short style
Our Deputy Digital Editor, Jane McGuire, branded these shorts a ‘game-changer for summer running. At first, the cycling-shorts style might feel a little revealing, but you soon forget you are wearing them thanks to the high waistband and buttery-soft fabric. The tighter fit avoids chafing as things heat up, there’s two-leg pockets big enough for your smartphone (although the newer, larger iPhones do poke out the top slightly) and a number of smaller, easy-access pockets in the waistband for your keys, lip balm and perhaps a credit card. We’ve tested these over shorter speed sessions and long runs and felt comfortable and unrestricted. The fit won’t be for everyone, but we were impressed. They are also available in a 10’inch leg length for taller runners.
Align HR Shorts with Pockets
Best for: Those looking for the ultimate comfort
These were like gold-dust last year and it's easy to see why - they are some of the most comfortable shorts going. To top things off, this summer, lululemon has released a pair with side pockets, meaning if you do want to wear them for running, you can leave that running belt at home. The shorts are made from Lululemon's buttery-soft Nulu fabric and have a wonderfully high-waistband. While they're not specifically designed for running - there's no drawcord on the waist and the fabric does show when you sweat, we've worn them on gentle recovery runs and for everything from HIIT to yoga. They are also available in a large number of colours to suit every style of runner.
Track That High Rise Short
Best for: Runners who prefer old-school split shorts
If you're a fan of the old-school split short design, which allow you to power through your miles completely unrestricted, these 'Track That' shorts tick all the right boxes. They have a built-in liner for extra coverage as you move, a drawcord waist that allows you to get a close fit and a zipped side pocket for your keys and face mask. Good for speed sessions or race day. These shorts are only available online, and come in three different colours.
Speed Up Short
Best for: Runners who prefer a higher waistband, but looser fit
With a medium-rise waistband, these sit just below the belly button, so you do feel a little more supported than you do in the Tracker Short. That said when comparing the two, the fit of the Speed Up Short is a little tighter on the quads and bum when running, but is still extremely flattering. The shorts themselves feel super lightweight and are made from a quick-drying fabric that keeps you cool on the run. There’s a zipped pocket on the back of the shorts and two easy-access concealed pockets on the waistband, although none of the pockets are big enough for a phone, so you’ll still need that running belt.
Hotty Hot Short
Best for: Runners who still use a running belt
Like many Lululemon fans, we are still mourning the discontinuation of the Squat Strong short, which was our top pick a couple of summers back. These Hotty Hot shorts are similar in design, with a double-layer for chafe-free comfort and coverage. The Nulux fabric is soft against the skin and fast-drying, and the under-layer stays put as you move. The main difference, however, is the lack of side pockets on the legs of the undershorts, meaning you’ll still struggle to find a pocket for your phone with these. That said, if it’s not a deal-breaker for you, these are lightweight and extremely comfortable.
Hot Short II 2.5”
Best for: Race day
If you’re a fan of shorter-shorts and an unrestricted-fit, these are a good choice. The 2.5” inseam won’t be for everyone, but for those who prefer to race with minimal distractions, these lululemon shorts have a built-in liner for modesty, a zipped pocket for essentials and a smaller pocket in the liner to allow for easy access. Like most lululemon shorts, these feature the continuous drawcord design, which prevents the drawcord from becoming unravelled in the washing machine.
Invigorate High Rise Short
Best for: Warm weather running
These Invigorate shorts look very similar to the Fast and Free, but they are made from lululemon's Everlux fabric, which is lighter and faster-drying for seriously sweaty workouts and runs. They've still got the drop-in side pockets for your essentials and the continuous drawcord in the waistband to keep everything in place, but they just feel a little cooler and lighter. We're not blessed with super-warm weather in the UK, but if you're heading abroad for a warmer race, these are a good choice.
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