The New Balance Accelerate 3-Inch Split Short is an ultralight option for racers who prefer that barely-there feel. Here’s what our reviewer, Kieran Alger, had to say about it.

The best running shorts don’t come much more minimal than the New Balance Accelerate. With a 3-inch inseam, a 1-inch side split and an athletic cut, they’re extremely lightweight and built for total race-friendly freedom. If you want to run unrestricted with a barely-there feel that sometimes makes you question if you even put shorts on, these are for you. 

With a straight-forward and fuss-free design, the main outer short is made from a light, recycled woven fabric for a featherweight feel. Sweat-wicking and moisture management is solid – these will stay light even in the wettest conditions.

Men’s Fitness verdict

Designed for runners who champion freedom to move above all else, these shorts are the definition of minimal. They also offer impressive sweat-wicking tech and even a pocket.
  • Quick drying
  • One small pocket
  • Not the most supportive brief

How we tested these shorts

Our reviewer Kieran Alger is a highly experienced fitness product reviewer, especially when it comes to running gear and clothing. A seasoned runner himself, Kieran knows exactly what to look for from a running short, including comfort and sweat wicking ability. He has also taken into account factors like cost, but we’ll allow you to make your own conclusions on aesthetics.

Features of the New Balance Accelerate 3-inch Split Short

The mid-rise style of the shorts means they sit just below the waist with a classic drawstring. That mid-waist fit helped prevent any rolling and cutting from the waistband. Plus, I didn’t find that there was any irritating pressure points or riding up either. 

The internal crepe-briefs offer decent enough support, reducing the risk of discomfort even when you’re moving at your fastest. You’re not locked-down secure like you might be in a running brief but they will ensure your bits stay well-housed. That said, if you’d rather have a bit more leg coverage, it’s worth considering 5-inch, or even 7-inch running shorts instead.

As you’d expect, storage is minimal, though they have one internal hooded drop-in pocket at the waist, on the right hand side. It’s about the size of a bank card so will fit one of those, a car key or house keys or maybe a stubby Gu-style gel. You’ll have to pick your essentials carefully, though, as I found that the lightweight pocket fabric will bounce around annoyingly if you put too much in it. 

The New Balance Accelerate shorts come in two very opposing colors: black, or “thirty watt” luminescent green. As far as sizing goes, these shorts cater for anyone who measures between XS to XXL. There’s a reflective logo on the left thigh but it’s not large enough to rely on for visibility on dark nights. You won’t have that issue with the green pair though.

Length3 inches
Size rangeXS-XXL
ColorBlack, Luminescent Green