Basketball player dribbling the ball.

9 Best Basketball Shorts In 2019 | For Men/Kids

Who wears short shorts?

Not basketballers – not anymore at least!

In this buyer’s guide, we’ll take a look at 9 of the best basketball shorts on the market in 2019, including 3 top of the line boys’ options.

Then, we’ll discuss some key things to consider when buying, helping you pick the perfect gym shorts to use on the court.

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Adidas 3G Speed 2.0 basketball shorts.

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Our overall value rating

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For?

Men

Our overall value rating

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For?

Men

Our overall value rating

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐


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For?

Men

Our overall value rating

⭐⭐⭐⭐


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For?

Men

Our overall value rating

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐


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For?

Boys

Our overall value rating

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For?

Boys

Our overall value rating

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For?

Boys

Our overall value rating

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Contents

Best Basketball Shorts For Men

A basketball player about to make a pass.

Let’s begin our reviews!

In this section, we’ll show you the 6 best pairs of basketball shorts for men in 2019.

1. Nike Dry Basketball Shorts

If you’ve ever looked at basketball shorts online, you’ve probably heard of Nike’s “Dri-FIT” technology. Basically, it helps keep you cool, as the fabric wicks sweat away from your legs as you play. This particular pair of shorts also has mesh vents for extra breathability.

The 100% polyester material isn’t just good for keeping cool – it’s comfortable too. These shorts have a reasonably tight fit for a basketball short, and the inseam is only 9″ long. So if you’re not a fan of the baggier styles, this option is definitely worth looking at.

As you’d expect from Nike, the drawstring is internal, ensuring it doesn’t get in the way. These shorts are also reasonably priced, and available in a few different colorways.

However, they’re not incredibly durable – in an attempt to keep their garment extra-cool, Nike have made the actual material relatively thin. You should still get at least a year or two of use out of these pants though.

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Pros

  • Not too baggy.
  • Keeps you dry – well-ventilated.
  • Great price.
  • Very comfortable to wear – both in-game and for casual use.
  • Cons

  • Could be more durable.
  • Overall value rating

    ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

    2. Adidas 3G Speed 2.0 Basketball Shorts

    If you’re looking for something that offers a little more agility, this pair of shorts from Adidas comes with a 12″ rather than a 9″ inseam. As a result, your legs have a little more room to move – the 3G Speed 2.0 fits quite loosely, and the legs are quite long.

    Like the Nike Dry, these basketball shorts come with moisture-wicking technology. Adidas’s version is called “Climalite”, and for the most part it does an excellent job keeping you cool. Just note though that since these shorts are fairly baggy, the sweat-wicking fabric is more effective in the areas where it’s in contact with your skin – mostly the waist and groin area. Overall, these shorts are still very comfortable – they wick sweat in the areas that matter.

    You also get features that make your life easier. There are two side pockets, and an internal drawcord which allows you to adjust the elasticity of the waist. Just note that the pockets aren’t very big. Considering what you get though, the price is great.

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    Adidas 3G Speed 2.0 basketball shorts.

    Pros

  • Does a superb job keeping you cool.
  • Loose fit allows for excellent freedom of movement.
  • Great price.
  • Comfy.
  • Cons

  • Pockets are very shallow.
  • Overall value rating

    ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

    3. Nike Layup 2 Basketball Shorts

    The Layup 2 is a more balanced option. While the Nike Dry has a 9″ inseam and the Adidas 3G Speed 2.0 has a 12″ inseam, the inseam on these shorts from Nike is 11″ long.

    This basically means that your legs have room to move without the shorts feeling too baggy, enabling you to play distraction-free. After all, this is what you need – the last thing you want to be thinking about is your shorts as you as you go for a crucial 3.

    The Layup 2 comes with a slick pinstripe design, and is available in a few different colors. It has decent-size pockets, and the internal drawstrings are really easy to use.

    Also, the 100% polyester material is really light, and easy to wash. However, this presents a problem. The Layup 2 has a quite thin feel to it, and is almost see-through in some areas. This isn’t really a big deal for basketball shorts, but the durability should be better considering what you’re paying.

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    Pros

  • Looks great.
  • Nimble without being baggy.
  • Comfortable and lightweight.
  • Cons

  • Material is quite thin, which impacts durability.
  • Overall value rating

    ⭐⭐⭐⭐

    4. Under Armour Raid Basketball Shorts

    Looking for an agile, breathable pair of shorts?

    Under Armour have designed what they call “HeatGear” fabric which they use instead of plain old polyester. Essentially, it’s designed to be as soft as possible, even after hours of use and hundreds of washes. This stuff also does a fantastic job wicking away sweat because it hugs the skin, and better yet, it even dries itself.

    Another great thing about the construction of this particular pair of shorts is the “4-way stretch” design Under Armour have gone for. The company love to use these sorts of buzzwords – what it basically means that the shorts will move with you, no matter what direction you’re going. No longer will your sideways launches be hindered by shorts that are too tight or too loose.

    You also get anti-odor technology with these shorts, which comes in pretty handy considering how much sweat they absorb. The fabric is UPF 30+ certified, providing an extra bit of protection from the sun for all you street ballers out there.

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    Pros

  • Extremely agile.
  • Fits nicely – not too baggy but not too tight.
  • Very comfortable.
  • Excellent sweat-wicking capabilities.
  • Cons

  • N/A – top-quality basketball shorts.
  • Overall value rating

    ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

    5. Amazon Essentials Performance Basketball Shorts

    Amazon makes basketball shorts?

    They do now. As you might expect, they’re very reasonably priced, especially considering you get two pairs with each order.

    These shorts are also pretty light, meaning durability isn’t the greatest. It’s hard to complain considering what you’re paying though. This sleek design, combined with the fact that they’re not very baggy, makes these shorts reasonably comfortable.

    You also get basic sweat-wicking technology, although these shorts won’t stay quite as dry as most of Nike or Adidas’s more expensive options. They have reasonably-sized pockets though, which is nice.

    Ultimately, if you’re on a budget, these shorts are a good pick. There are better-quality options out there though.

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    Pros

  • Great value for money.
  • Very light – comfortable.
  • Decent sweat-wicking capabilities.
  • Cons

  • Could be more durable.
  • Overall value rating

    ⭐⭐⭐⭐


    6. Above The Rim Basketball Shorts

    These shorts are another option from a brand other than the “big 3” – Nike, Adidas, and Under Armour.

    Unlike Amazon’s shorts though, this pair is designed as a premium option. You get 360-degree mesh for added breathability, and this fabric is great at wicking sweat away from your skin and absorbing it.

    The best thing about Above The Rim’s shorts though is how well thought-through the actual leg section is. First of all, you get an 11.5″ inseam, which is pretty long, offering excellent agility. But that’s not all – the leg opening is really wide, meaning your forward motion is never going to be restricted by your shorts.

    The freedom of movement these shorts offer is unparalleled. However, the downside to this design is it does feel a bit baggy – it’s up to you whether or not you want loose-fitting shorts.

    You also get extremely deep pockets, and the price is very reasonable. These shorts are also quite tough – if you don’t mind the bagginess, they’re a fantastic buy.

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    Pros

  • Offers amazing freedom of movement.
  • Great price.
  • Good durability.
  • Mesh – well-ventilated.
  • Cons

  • Very baggy fit – not necessarily a bad thing though.
  • Overall value rating

    ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

    Best Basketball Shorts For Boys

    A boy playing basketball.

    In this section, we’ll look at 3 of the top boys’ basketball shorts.

    7. Nike Assist Basketball Shorts (Boys’)

    Kids love bright colors – that’s probably why Nike make this pair of shorts in a range of different styles. There’s everything from “university red” to “wolf grey”.

    How do these shorts actually feel to wear though?

    As we’ve come to expect from Nike, their “Dri-FIT” fabric does a great job keeping you cool – mostly because it’s so good at wicking sweat away from the skin.

    The actual fit is quite comfortable – it’s not incredibly baggy, which is what you want when buying for kids. Nike’s polyester fabric is nice and soft, and washes and dries easily.

    These shorts also come with mesh-lined pockets, which are big enough to store a phone, amongst other things. Importantly, they don’t feel heavy in-game, meaning your son can play distraction-free.

    For young kids, these are great shorts. They can be a little expensive in some colorways though – so watch out for that.

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    Pros

  • Comes in tons of colors.
  • Nice balanced fit.
  • Breathable.
  • Lightweight and easy to wear.
  • Cons

  • Slightly expensive in some styles and sizes.
  • Overall value rating

    ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

    8. Under Armour Space The Floor Basketball Shorts (Boys’)

    Like all of the other shorts we’ve looked at, this pair from Under Armour is made of 100% polyester.

    However, instead of using the material as-is, the company have made a specialized knit fabric out of it. Basically, the means that the shorts have a natural breathability to them without the need for mesh, due to the gaps in-between the fiber strands.

    This stuff is also really strong, but is still reasonably flexible, meaning you can move around unrestricted. Plus, it’s nice and soft, so these shorts are very comfortable to wear, and fit true-to-size.

    Because Under Armour’s product is a little over-engineered, it’s quite a bit more expensive than the average pair of boys’ basketball shorts. However, you definitely get what you pay for.

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    Pros

  • Soft and comfortable.
  • Breathable fabric.
  • Very tough.
  • Great flexibility.
  • Cons

  • Quite expensive, but you get what you pay for.
  • Overall value rating

    ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

    9. Southpole Big Basic Basketball Shorts (Boys’)

    This is another reasonably baggy but ultra-lightweight short.

    Southpole have gone for a design with longer legs with their “Big Basic” product. This is the traditional sort of fit that most basketball shorts have – so if your son’s going to be balling in the NBA one day, it’s a good idea to get him used to these sorts of shorts. However, some kids prefer to not have so much length.

    These shorts fit really well, so it’s probably not a good idea to go down a size. In addition, they also come with massive pockets, and are very reasonably priced. Surprisingly, they’re quite durable as well.

    The mesh does a good job keeping your legs ventilated, but it doesn’t quite wick sweat as well as Nike’s Dri-FIT material. Overall, as long as your kid doesn’t mind a slightly baggy fit, these are super-comfortable shorts.

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    Pros

  • Excellent price.
  • Super comfortable.
  • Quite durable.
  • Comes with big pockets.
  • Cons

  • Long legs.
  • Slightly baggy.
  • Overall value rating

    ⭐⭐⭐⭐

    Basketball Shorts Buyer’s Guide

    Basketball player running with the ball.

    What makes a good pair of basketball shorts?

    Now we’ll outline what you need to look for when picking the perfect pair of basketball shorts.

    Breathability

    These days, nearly every top-of-the-line pair of shorts out there promotes how breathable they are. This normally means they have mesh ventilation to release warm air as you play, helping you keep cool on the court.

    Most premium shorts also wick moisture away from your skin as you sweat, keeping you dry as well as cool.

    Ultimately, breathability is a large part of what separates basketball shorts from your everyday cargo short. It is pretty important, especially if you play outdoors in the summer.

    Length

    NBA players were wearing super-short shorts until as late as the 1990s. These days, they look pretty silly!

    Most modern basketball shorts come down to about the kneecap. However, there is some variation – you can find options which extend a bit further, covering the entire knee.

    This choice is down to personal preference, but most players like the slightly shorter shorts. Although they don’t really have any effect on how you actually play, it can feel a bit better to have an inch or two of extra space when running.

    Comfort

    A basketball player dribbling the ball.

    Different people will find different styles more comfortable than others, as we just discussed with regards to length. However, in general, the most comfortable shorts will have:

    • A slightly baggy feel, allowing greater freedom of movement. However, they shouldn’t be too baggy, as this can begin to feel strange when running.
    • An adjustable waistband with elastic that is reasonably stretchy and not too tight.
    • Soft inner material to avoid rubbing – normally a mesh.
    • Flexible design to allow greater agility when turning.
    • 100% polyester construction – anything else will soak up sweat and become really heavy.

    Sizing

    Obviously, you’ve also got to get the right size to ensure a comfy fit.

    Most brands will include a handy size chart on the product page.

    • To measure around the waist, wrap your measuring tape around your stomach, above the belly button but below the rib cage. You can find your waistline by looking for the crease that forms when you bend to the side.
    • To measure around the hip, wrap your tape measure around the widest part of the area just above where your legs begin – near the hip bone.

    Apart from using the size guide, you can also use pairs of gym shorts you already own to test out your size. Just be sure to match the same brands, as shorts from different companies will fit slightly differently.

    Different basketball short brands

    Basketball players scrambling for the ball.

    You basically have two choices here:

    1. Big brands – the main three are Nike, Adidas, and Under Armour. You can’t really go wrong with these companies – for the most part, they make awesome shorts. However, they can be a little more expensive than other options on the market.
    2. Newer, lesser-known brands. On Amazon in particular, you’ll notice a heap of different basketball shorts from brands you’ve never even heard of. The good thing about these companies is they tend to make more specialized shorts – so if you want a pair that’s particularly baggy for example, you should be able to find something to suit your needs. They are also often cheaper, and smaller brands tend to have better customer service if your shorts don’t turn out to be as durable as expected. Some of these retailers are just selling poorly-made Chinese garments though, so be sure to read the reviews thoroughly before buying.

    Don’t buy shorts just for the brand. Look at each product on its merits: the truth is that smaller companies make some of the best-value basketball shorts on the market right now.

    What other features should I look for?

    Here are some other things it can be handy to have on your new pair of basketball shorts:

    • Pockets. No matter whether you’re an aspiring pro or a weekend warrior, you’ll need somewhere to keep your keys.
    • An adjustable waist, with an internal drawstring – this ensures it stays out of the way in-game. Basically all sports shorts have this, but it’s worth double-checking.
    • A long (11-12″) inseam for maximum range of movement – this is the distance from your crotch to the leg opening of the short. Be aware that (in general) the higher the inseam the baggier the shorts will be.
    • A large leg opening, again for increased agility – ensuring your shorts don’t block you as you move forward.

    Is it worth paying more for expensive basketball shorts?

    Basketball player dribbling the ball.

    To an extent, yes.

    Cheap shorts are generally very poor-quality. The elastic around the waist is likely to fade quickly, and some of the stitching may come apart if you play pretty intense b-ball.

    However, this doesn’t mean you need a $70 pair of basketball shorts. While expensive options are generally very well-made (and quite comfortable), very few of them are really worth spending so much money on.

    Unless you find something that really catches your eye, your best bet is generally to go for a mid-range option – something that’ll cost around $20-$40. This tends to be where the best value lies.

    Keep an eye out for diamonds in the rough though – cheap but excellent-value basketball shorts do exist.

    Gym shorts vs basketball shorts

    You can 100% use gym shorts for basketball, or vice versa, especially when just playing a pick-up match.

    However, you should be aware that basketball shorts tend to be baggier and made with more flexible material, and are normally a few inches longer. This is because they’re designed for maximum agility when running, while gym shorts aren’t really made with this specific sort of activity in mind. On the whole though, the two styles are very similar.

    Conclusion

    Remember, your shorts should be comfortable above all else. Meaning, they fit well, are reasonably breathable, and don’t distract you in-game.

    Don’t worry too much about looks – if loose-fitting shorts are going to enable you to play at the top of your game, it doesn’t really matter if they look a bit odd.

    Still not sure what shorts to choose? Drop a comment below and we’ll get right back to you!

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