Lululemon’s heavy duty License To Train Shorts are as useful hiking on a remote trail as they are in the gym.

Lululemon started out in yoga apparel with a focus on flexible and resilient fabrics. Its License to Train Lined 7-inch Shorts are heavy duty and some of the best shorts for men, promising ‘protection against barbells and branches’.

Men’s Fitness verdict

The shorts offered a good, streamlined fit, without being overly tight. They hold up well to all manner of gym-based exercises and allow for complete range of movement.
  • Heavy duty
  • Flexible material great for gym exercises
  • Various pockets
  • Compression lining sits close to knee

How we tested the best gym shorts

Our testers put each pair of shorts through their paces over at least a month. They wore them for a mixture of workouts. These ranged from strength work and HIIT sessions to cardio and cross training, with yoga and stretching sessions thrown in for good measure. They put them through multiple washes and tested them for fit, comfort, versatility, durability and coverage.

They also looked for shorts with good sustainability credentials as well as lightweight, stretchy and moisture-wicking fabrics. They considered extra features such as zipped storage, reversible waistbands and drawcord adjustability. They also considered the range of sizes and colours, as well as style and suitability for wearing them outside the gym.

Best men's 7-inch shorts – Lululemon License to Train shorts
Lululemon’s License to Train shorts are made of a heavier material than others we tested, which makes them more durable but perhaps less suited to hot-weather exercise

Design and features

Most of the weight comes from the waistband and the inner lining shorts. The lining is made of a stretchy fabric and acts like a pair of compression tights. The outer layer of the shorts is a lighter material that feels soft to touch and well constructed. 

The waistband is elasticated and secure, and features a drawstring fastening. This can also be reversed so it is on the inside of the waistband to reduce bulk. 

There are plenty of pockets, so you’ll have no issue taking items with you. There are two zipped pockets on the side, plus a zipped pocket on the back, which features a fabric loop for fastening a key.

Exercising in the Lululemon License To Train Shorts

The inner short lining also features a secret elasticated pocket which is perfect for securing a phone while you exercise. We tested this with a large smartphone (a Samsung Galaxy Note) and the elastic held it firmly in place even during vigorous movements. 

The shorts offered a good, streamlined fit, without being overly tight. The inner shorts fit snugly and stop about an inch above the knee. While we could run comfortably in these, the liner’s proximity to the knee could become uncomfortable over longer distances. 

The shorts hold up well to all manner of gym-based exercises, and there’s a 2.5-inch split in the outer seam, which allows for complete range of movement. 


Lycra™, Luxtreme™
Features:Inside or out draw-cord waistband; quick-drying mesh waistband; secure pockets; 2.5-inch split outer seam; abrasion-resistant
Sizes:XS – XXL
Colours:Black, white, raw linen, tactile print anchor black, arctic green, smoky topaz, bronze green, crest