Ideal for racing on tarmac or trails alike, our reviewer Kieran Alger puts the Salomon Sense Aero 3-Inch Short to the test.

Salomon is probably best known for producing high-performance off-road running gear. And the Sense Aero 3-inch shorts are some of the best running shorts that combine some of that trail styling with a road racing cut.

A bit like the hybrid offspring of trail and road-friendly short shorts, if you’re smashing fast miles in the mountain foothills or putting down speed on forest trails, these are an ideal choice. However, performance-wise I don’t think they would be too out of place doing track intervals or racing a 5km, too. So there’s good versatility here.   

Men’s Fitness verdict

Complete with plentiful and easy-access storage solutions, these shorts have a design which would suit runners on trails just as much as runners on the track.
  • Breathable
  • Excellent storage
  • No drawstrings

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 Salomon Sense Aero 3-Inch Short

I found these to be quite slim fitting, with a light and loose four-way stretch Aerotech fabric outer short. These were nicely flexible and offered an excellent range of movement, enhanced by a one-inch side split. There is less of the ‘fall-out risk’ of some race shorts, but if you aren’t comfortable with shorts of this length, you should probably consider some of the top 5-inch and 7-inch running shorts instead. 

The fabric also has tiny holes that improve breathability and a wonderfully lightweight feel, while soft brief liners offer good support with flat seams that reduce the risk of unwanted undercarriage chafe. 

Salomon says its 37.5 fabric technology dries five times faster than similar fabrics and they do dry impressively quickly – even after a few miles in substantial rain. 

They sport a no-drawstring flat waistband that’s comfortable, with no cutting in or rolling up. However, you’ll need to get the sizing right as you can’t tie them tighter. 

Storage compartments

Salomon shows its trail heritage with the shorts’ sensible storage options. Pockets integrated into the front of the waistband provides some of the best easy-access storage in any of the 3-inch shorts on test. 

Basically you get two access points to one main compartment that’s big enough to swallow a larger smartphone or stows keys, cards and even a few larger gel pouches. You need to take care not to overload these pockets but the waistband holds your essentials in place without any irritating bounce. 

Other details include a reflective logo on the right thigh though it won’t particularly enhance your night-time visibility. They come in five sizes from XS to XL and three colors: ‘Deep Black’, ‘Sulphur Spring’ (yellow), and ‘Zinnia Gold’ (orange). 

Length3 inches
Size rangeXS-XL
ColorsBlack, Orange, Yellow