Have you ever wondered if you should wear shorts or leggings for your morning run? As an avid runner, this debate is always on your mind. Do you want to feel the breeze on your legs with a pair of shorts or stay snug and supported in leggings? The answer comes down to personal preference and the type of workout. 

If you're going for a leisurely jog around the neighbourhood, a cute pair of shorts will do the trick. But if you have a high-intensity interval session planned, leggings are probably your best bet. At the end of the day, the most important part is that you get out there, get your body moving, and feel comfortable and confident while doing it. So whether you choose shorts, leggings or something in between like capris, get ready for an amazing workout! 

In this blog, we will explore gym outfit ideas, and the pros and cons of shorts and leggings. 

Shorts vs. Leggings: What to Wear in Different Weather Conditions?

When it comes to activewear for women, the debate between shorts and leggings is real. Both have their pros and cons depending on the weather and activity. Here are some factors to consider:


If it’s warm outside, gym shorts women are probably your best bet for breathability and comfort. Look for workout shorts made of moisture-wicking fabrics like polyester or nylon to keep you dry. For cooler days, leggings made of insulating materials like fleece will keep your legs warm during cardio or outdoor exercise.

Also Read: Women Fitness Wears For Your Exercise

Type of workout

For high-intensity interval training (HIIT) or running, gym shorts women provide maximum mobility. But for yoga or weight training, leggings may be more suitable. Leggings also often have handy features like elastic waistbands for flexibility.


If you prefer more coverage for your legs, leggings are the obvious choice. Capri-length or full-length leggings will keep your whole leg covered during exercise. For shorts, choose a length you feel comfortable with, from mid-thigh to knee-length.


Leggings can be more versatile and convenient since you can wear them as workout pants but also as regular clothing before and after your workout. Some best leggings are so comfortable and stylish, that you may find yourself wearing them all day!

Both shorts and leggings can be excellent choices for exercise—you really can’t go wrong either way. Focus on finding high-quality, comfortable pieces that motivate you to get moving!

Also Read: Athleisure Outfits

Factors to Consider When Choosing Shorts or Leggings

Shorts or Leggings

When it comes to your outfit for gym, here are a few factors to consider when making this important choice between shorts and leggings.


Comfort is key for any workout, so choose what you feel most at ease exercising in. Leggings tend to be more figure-hugging and compressive, which some find supportive and motivating. Shorts are breezier and lighter, ideal if you overheat easily or prefer more range of movement. Think about the activity too - leggings may be better for yoga while shorts are great for high-intensity cardio.


How much coverage do you want? Leggings provide full coverage from the waist to the ankle. Shorts, whether loose gym shorts or form-fitting bike shorts, leave your legs exposed which may not suit all workouts or weather conditions. Consider your personal comfort level with how much skin you want to show.


Think about any gear you need to carry - will it fit comfortably under or over your chosen outfit for gym? Look for options with additional straps if you need to hold essential items. Some essentials leggings and shorts also have other useful features like sweat-wicking, tummy control or extra stretch.

Don't be afraid to mix it up and come up with a cute gym outfit - there's no rule saying you have to stick exclusively to one or the other. With the range of stylish, high-performance activewear for women available today, you'll be sure to find the perfect shorts and leggings for all your fitness needs.

Also Read: The Best Gifts For Women 

Best Fabrics for Running Shorts and Leggings

When it comes to running, the fabrics you choose for your shorts and leggings can make a big difference in your comfort and performance. The best options are breathable, moisture-wicking, and provide the right amount of compression and support.

Synthetic Fabrics

For high-intensity runs, synthetic fabrics like polyester and nylon are ideal. They're lightweight, sweat-wicking, and quick-drying. Some options include:

  • Polyester - Extremely durable and wrinkle-resistant. Moisture-wicking to keep you dry.
  • Spandex/Elastane - Provides stretch and compression. Often blended with polyester.
  • Nylon - Lightweight, breathable, and fast-drying. abrasion-resistant.

These synthetic fabrics are also generally affordable and long-lasting. However, some people find them less comfortable against the skin for long periods.

Natural Fabrics

For low to moderate-intensity runs or recovery runs, natural fabrics like cotton can be a good option. Cotton is very breathable and soft against the skin. However, it absorbs moisture rather than wicking it away, so cotton running shorts and leggings won't keep you as dry during high-intensity runs. Some natural fabric options include:

  • Cotton - Extremely soft and breathable but moisture-absorbing rather than wicking.
  • Bamboo - Naturally moisture-wicking and temperature-regulating. Very soft. More expensive.
  • Merino wool - Excellent at moisture wicking and temperature control. Naturally odour-resistant. Can be itchy for some. Expensive.

If possible, look for shorts and leggings that blend the benefits of both synthetic and natural fabrics. With the right combination of fabrics and the perfect fit for your body, you'll be ready to run in comfort with the cute gym outfit.

Also Read: Athleisure vs Activewear

Must-Have Activewear Essentials: Sports Bras, Joggers, Etc.

When it comes to your gym outfit ideas, the options can seem endless. But there are a few essential pieces that no active woman should be without. Focusing on high-quality staples that you can mix and match will ensure you have a cute gym outfit for any workout.

Sports Bras

sports bras


A supportive sports bra is a must for any high-impact exercise. Look for bras specifically designed for activities like running, cycling or CrossFit. These provide extra compression and bounce control so you can move freely without discomfort. Padded straps, moulded cups and breathable mesh fabrics are all pluses. Having a couple of different sports bras means you can rotate and wash them regularly.

Leggings or Shorts

Shorts vs leggings


Leggings and shorts are staples of any activewear for women's wardrobe. Leggings provide coverage and compression, perfect for running or yoga. Look for a mid-rise waistband and opaque, four-way stretch fabrics. Cycling shorts for women are ideal if you prefer less coverage. Made of breathable, quick-dry fabrics, they wick away moisture to keep you comfortable. Consider shorts with built-in padded liners for extra comfort.

Joggers or Sweatpants

Joggers or Sweatpants


For warm-ups, cool-downs or rest days, a pair of essentials joggers or sweatpants is ideal. Lightweight, breathable cotton or cotton-blend pants are cosy yet functional. An elastic waistband and ribbed cuffs are useful details. Neutral colours pair well with any top and can transition seamlessly from gym to street.


long sleeve crop top


From t-shirts and tanks to long sleeve crop tops and jackets, the options for active tops are endless. Look for tops made of breathable, sweat-wicking fabrics like polyester or nylon blends. Fitted styles are ideal for layering under jackets for outdoor exercise. Cropped lengths pair perfectly with high-waisted bottoms. And don’t forget extras like headbands, socks, gloves or wraps.

Focusing on high-quality gym fits in colours and styles you love will motivate you to get active and give you confidence in any workout. Mix and match these staples to create cute gym outfits for every activity. Your body and workout performance will thank you.

Pros and Cons of Running in Shorts vs. Leggings

When it comes to your outfit for workout, the debate between shorts versus leggings is ongoing. Both have their pros and cons for running that you can check below: 

Pros of Running in Shorts

  • Shorts allow for maximum breathability. Your legs can stay cool and sweat-free, preventing overheating.
  • Shorts don’t restrict your movement. You’ll have a full range of motion for activities like sprinting, lunging or squatting.
  • Shorts can be more budget-friendly. You may be able to find high-quality shorts at a lower cost than leggings.

Cons of Running in Shorts

  • Shorts offer little insulation. Your legs may get cold during cooler weather runs or recovery periods after high-intensity intervals.
  • Shorts provide less coverage. You may feel more exposed or experience chafing, especially during long-distance runs.
  • Pockets are limited. Most running shorts only have one or two small pockets, so you’ll need to carry essential items like your phone, keys or fuel in your hands or a separate belt.

Pros of Running in Leggings

  • Leggings keep your legs warm in cold weather. Thermal leggings can insulate your legs even in very low temperatures.
  • Leggings prevent chafing and provide more coverage. You’ll feel less exposed and won’t have to deal with skin irritation from continuous rubbing.
  • Leggings often have more storage. Many leggings designs include side pockets, zippered pockets and inner waistbands to hold your items securely in place.

Cons of Running in Leggings

  • Leggings can feel restrictive. Tight-fitting leggings may limit your range of motion, especially for high-intensity workouts. Loose or flare leggings can also get in the way.
  • Leggings tend to cost more. High-quality leggings made of performance fabrics are often pricier than basic running shorts.
  • Leggings can cause overheating. During warm weather, leggings trap heat and moisture against your skin which can make you uncomfortably hot.

You need to weigh the pros and cons of your unique needs and running conditions. Having a mix of both shorts and leggings on hand will ensure you have the perfect outfit for gym. And of course, you can’t go wrong pairing either one with a cute sports bra and top!

Finding the Right Fit: Shorts and Leggings for Your Body Type

Finding the perfect activewear for women can be challenging. Do you go for shorts, leggings, or something in between? The right choice depends on the type of exercise, personal style, and body type.


If you have an hourglass figure, athletic shorts that hit mid-thigh are a great choice. Look for shorts made of moisture-wicking, stretchy fabric that skims your curves without clinging. Drawstring waistbands provide extra comfort and adjustability. For high-intensity interval training or kickboxing, compression shorts under loose gym shorts will prevent ride-ups. Avoid very short shorts which can be uncomfortable during exercise.


Leggings are versatile and a good option for most body types. For pear-shaped figures, leggings that are fitted at the waist and hips but slim to the thighs and calves are the most flattering. Look for the best gym leggings with mesh panels, cut-outs or other details at the knee or calf to create balance. If you have a straighter figure, colourful patterned or printed leggings add visual interest. For bustier body types, a longline sports bra provides support under a loose crop top or tank.

Capri Leggings

Capri length, hitting at mid-calf, is a great compromise. They provide more coverage than shorts but are more breathable than full-length leggings. Capris are perfect for outdoor running or hiking in warm weather. They suit most body types, but curved figures may prefer capris with compression panels or a wide, foldover waistband.


For low-impact exercise like walking, joggers or sweatpants are comfortable and stylish. Look for joggers in a tapered cut for the most flattering fit on any body type. Elasticated ankle cuffs prevent the excess fabric from bunching up. Made from soft jersey or French terry, joggers keep you cosy before and after your workout.

Whether you opt for classic shorts, curve-hugging leggings or cosy joggers, choosing gym fits that you feel confident and comfortable in will make your workout more enjoyable and effective. Focus on fit and fabric over trends to find options that suit your unique shape. With the right gym outfit, you'll be ready to hit the ground running!

Also Read: Activewear Style Guide for Women 

Tips for Styling Shorts and Leggings

When it comes to your gym outfit ideas, you have two main options: shorts or leggings. Both have their pros and cons, so here are some tips to help you decide which is better for your needs.


If maximum comfort is your top priority, leggings are probably your best bet. Leggings are form-fitting but stretchy, giving you a full range of motion without feeling restricted. Shorts, on the other hand, can ride up or chafe your thighs during high-intensity workouts. For low-impact exercise like walking or yoga, either one would work great.

Weather Appropriate

Consider the climate and weather conditions where you plan to work out. Leggings are ideal for cooler weather since they cover your whole leg. Shorts are more breathable and better suited for warm summer days. If you want one option for year-round wear, leggings that are made of moisture-wicking, breathable fabrics like nylon and spandex can work in multiple seasons.


If making a fashion statement at the gym is important to you, you’ll probably prefer leggings. Leggings come in a variety of patterns, colours and styles, from basic black to neon prints. You can also pair them with a matching sports bra and tank for a coordinated activewear look. While workout shorts have gotten more stylish, they still offer less versatility.

Activity Specific

For high-intensity cardio like running or cycling, breathable cycling shorts women are ideal since they won’t overheat your legs. Leggings can work too, as long as they are made of sweat-wicking, quick-drying fabrics. For weight training, leggings may be slightly better since they reduce chafing from equipment like barbells. 

The bottom line is that both shorts and leggings can be great options for your cut gym outfit. Focus on factors like comfort, weather, style and your specific activity to determine which is the best choice for you. And of course, you can always switch between the two to match your needs and mood!


So there you have it, the pros and cons of running in shorts versus leggings. At the end of the day, you need to go with what makes you feel most comfortable and confident. Whether that’s the breathability of shorts or the extra coverage of leggings, choose an option that will motivate you to get out there and move. Don’t forget the most important thing is that you actually get your workout in and feel good doing it. 

Mix and match different styles such as long sleeve crop tops with leggings to find the best workout outfit ideas. Your workout wardrobe should inspire you and make you excited to sweat, not hold you back from achieving your goals. Now get out there, pick a cute gym outfit that makes you feel like the athlete you are, and get running!


What factors should I consider when deciding between shorts and leggings for my workout?

Consider comfort, weather, the type of exercise, and personal style when choosing between shorts and leggings.

Are shorts or leggings better for hot-weather workouts?

Shorts are a great choice for hot weather due to their breathability. Look for moisture-wicking fabrics.

What type of workout is best suited for shorts?

Shorts are ideal for high-intensity workouts like running and HIIT due to their mobility and breathability.

Are leggings suitable for low-impact exercises?

Yes, leggings are versatile and can be worn for low-impact exercises like yoga or weight training.

What should I prioritise when choosing workout attire: comfort or style?

Prioritise comfort, but don't sacrifice style entirely. Leggings offer more style options, but comfort is key for a successful workout.

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