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The last thing I want is to be worried about during a focused yoga class is anything other than my practice – especially how my shorts feel. Unfortunately, most active shorts not specifically designed for yoga have a way of getting stuck on the thigh or constricting the crotch area and not allowing the boys to settle freely – the absolute worst. So, after years of practicing yoga and making yoga shorts for men, I’ve come up with a few key attributes to look for in choosing your next pair of yoga shorts.
All yoga shorts should have a high level of breathability, stretch, and sweat wicking properties. For me, softness also factors into the equation. The least stretchy fabrics are made from 100% polyester. This is because of the quick drying nature of thin knitted polyester fibers. Think of a swim trunk or board short. The drawbacks to this is a lack of stretch, which means restricted motion. They can also be less breathable and generate excessive heat and sweat as well. And where there’s sweat, there’s bacteria. And where there’s bacteria there is odor.
If there aren't any natural fibers in the fabric blend, or an anti-microbial finish to the material, it’s likely that your shorts will start to smell after just one active session. If you’re like me, and value conserving your washing, look for a pair find one with natural hemp (plant fiber) or tencel fibers (a sustainably sourced wood fiber) woven into the fabric blend (even with some spandex or polyester) or choose one with an anti-microbial finish, which will be listed on the label. In the age of conservation, why not get three to four wears out of your yoga shorts before you need to wash them.
Inner lining or None ?
You’ll also need to decide whether this very popular, on trend biker short liner is right for you. I like this style of short because it keeps all of your man parts securely in place. One does not need to wear underpants with this style of short, but once the activity is over, you probably also don’t want to keep wearing them, as they start to feel cumbersome, especially after a sweat-filled session. One drawback I notice in the liner short is that I get excessively warm and sweaty in the groin area to the point where I started to notice it.
For me, these feel most appropriate to wear on a hike or at the gym or on a jog rather than yoga practice.
Example of a poly liner short
Waistband Elastic / Drawstring Closure
The waist fit and closure is probably the most often overlooked, important component to a high-performance yoga short. Make sure the elastic and drawstring closure are of solid construction, pre-shrunk elastic, and enough cinch in the drawstring. Watch out for a too-thin drawstring or an excessive length. These can also get tangled or come out in the wash and become a nightmare to thread back through.
The elastic should be pre-shrunk so that the waist size won’t adjust over the lifetime of your shorts. We’ve tried yoga shorts that have a terrible drawstring and elastic and therefore feel too loose. It’s worse when you have things in the pockets like a phone or wallet. Make sure your waistband is snug and that there is a sufficiently thick drawstring to close the waistband.
Style / Versatility
Versatility and wear-ability are also key factors. The sharper your shorts look, and the better they feel, the more compliments you’ll receive (and who doesn’t love compliments), the more you’re likely to wear them—that’s important cause you bought them with good money.
Nowadays, all brands make shorts to serve multiple activities and most are moving towards an all-in-one type short. If you’re in the market for a yoga specific short, make sure it can also be worn for other active session like running, tennis, or casually out to lunch.
I highly recommend the Wear AM® Motus Men’s Yoga Short (on sale for $64). This neutral heather gray knitted short is made from a Poly 64% / Tencel 27% / Spandex 9% blend that provides incredible stretch and range of motion and is naturally anti-microbial because of the tencel fibers.
Men's Motus Short
The 8” inseam is on trend in 2022 to show off your recent thigh gains. Premium, pre-shrunk elastic waistband and a thick cotton drawstring completes the closure. The short features a back wallet pocket with button closure and two deep side pockets. They don’t ride down or up and are super soft. Happy shopping.