The camo print design of the New Balance Accelerate 5-inch short can’t hide the fact that this is a well-vented, versatile option for training and racing…

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New Balance Accelerate 5-Inch Short


$34.99 / £32.50,


  • Good ventilation
  • Quick drying


  • Minimal storage
  • Not the most supportive brief

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

If you like your short running shorts as expressive as they are light and fast, the New Balance Accelerate 5-inch is worth a look. Designed as a versatile short for training and racing, it comes in three lively prints – grey camo, green camo or black with white horizontal stripes. 

New Balance Accelerate 5-inch Short features

A longer spin on the New Balance Accelerate 3-inch short, this 5-incher is made from the same recycled woven fabric that gives it a lightweight but structured feel, a bit like Inov-8’s Elite 5-inch short. 

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The Accelerate’s sweat-wicking and moisture management is impressive, even in wet conditions. It stays light enough even in heavy rain and cool enough on warmer treadmill runs, helped by the vented mesh sides. Small side splits also marginally improve the range of motion. 

It comes with thin and soft integrated crepe briefs that offer decent support, even when you’re moving at your fastest. They don’t offer the lock-down security of a running brief or a boxer-style liner short, but enough to prevent friction and too much manly movement.    

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Despite the longer 5-inch cut, storage is still minimal and not particularly practical. There are two open, tennis-style hand pockets but not much will stay put in those once you get moving. Beyond that, there’s just one internal, hooded drop-in pocket, hanging at the waist, on the right hand side. It’s about the size of a bank card with limited capacity. At best it’ll swallow a card or set of keys and maybe a stubby Gu-style gel. But not all at once. The lightweight fabric and location means it bounces around if you put too much in. 

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On the plus side, the classic drawcord waistband doesn’t roll, cut, ride up or cause irritating pressure points. It just provides a good, secure fit that makes the New Balance Accelerate 5-inch short a good option for the gym floor, too. Six sizes, from XS to XXL, should allow you to find a good fit.