The New Balance Accelerate 3-Inch Split Short is an ultralight option for racers who prefer that barely-there feel…

New Balance Accelerate 3-Inch Split Short


$29.99 / £28,


  • Quick drying
  • One small pocket


  • Not the most supportive brief

Comfort: 4/5
Support: 3/5
Sweat-wicking: 4/5

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.

New Balance Accelerate 3-Inch Split Short features

The mid-rise style of the shorts means they sit just below the waist with a classic drawstring. That mid-waist fit helps prevent any rolling and cutting from the waistband. Plus there’s no irritating pressure points or riding up either. 

Want more support? These are the best 7-inch inseam shorts

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.    

Need a versatile pair of shorts? Check out the best 5-inch shorts

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 the lightweight pocket fabric will bounce around annoyingly if you put too much in it. 

The New Balance Accelerate shorts come in just one colour – black – and in six sizes from XS to 2XL. There’s a reflective logo on the left thigh but it’s not large enough to rely on for visibility on dark nights.

For a full roundup, check out the best 3-inch shorts for fast running