If you want an ultralight, breathable short for hard and fast sessions on the track, our reviewer Kieran Alger reckons you should consider the SOAR Running Split Short.

Designed for moving at any pace when the weather warms up, SOAR’s classic split short ticks most of the boxes for the best running shorts. The outer shorts are cut close and short (just 2.5 inches in fact). That gives you an instant race-ready feel and makes you want to run fast the moment you put them on. That’s largely thanks to the ultra-lightweight, highly-breathable fabric that creates a speedy, barely-there feel.

Men’s Fitness verdict

If you can tolerate the price tag, these shorts will pay you back with great breathability for high-intensity track workouts.
  • Impressive sweat wicking
  • Airy race cut
  • Expensive

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 SOAR Running Split Short

The inner brief liner provides reliable support and security. You’re going to sweat in these, guaranteed, and a fast-wicking fabric moves moisture to the edges, away from the bits you don’t want wet and cold. That means the briefs dry pretty quickly, too.  

The marginally overlapping side splits deliver extra airflow and increase your leg room and flexibility. There’s a real sense of freedom of movement with SOAR’s split running short (as is the case with most circa-3-inch shorts), which almost encourages you to extend your stride. Meanwhile the flat, wide and adjustable waistband spreads the pressure nicely without cutting in, providing a solid, stay-put fit. Not everyone enjoys such a minimalist short though, so if you’d rather have some extra coverage, be sure to check out our tips for 7-inch running shorts instead.

These are designed for sessions rather than all-out races, so the storage is pretty minimal, limited to the one zippered pocket that’s big enough for the odd gel or a few other run essentials. So if you’re looking for a fast marathon short that’ll stow all your race fuels, this is probably not it. However, paired with a gel belt, it could happily cover that distance in comfort without chafing or rubbing. 

The SOAR Running Split short comes in three colors – coral (as pictured), khaki, and black – and six sizes from XS to XXL which all come up true to size. 

Length2.5 inches
Size rangeXS-XXL
ColorsCoral, Khaki, Black