The Inov-8 Race Elite 5-Inch Race Short is the best on test and guarantees comfort and performance even on long road and trail runs…

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Inov-8 Race Elite 5-Inch Race Short


$70 / £55,


  • Chafe-free boxer liners
  • Soft-lined waistband


  • Could offer more storage

Comfort: 5/5
Support: 4.5/5
Sweat-wicking: 4/5

These Inov-8 Race Elite 5-inch shorts might be designed for racing but they’re also an excellent, versatile choice for moving fast on roads and trails, in races and in training. They’re even suitable for leg drills in the gym. 

Inov-8 Race Elite 5-Inch Race Short review

The outer shorts are made from a soft and light blend of recycled polyester and elastane. They fit, hang and maintain their shape well – striking a good balance between a lightweight, barely-there fast feel and reliable coverage. There are small side splits to aid movement, too, and perforated panels on the hips and in the gusset help with airflow and cooling.  

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Underneath the lightweight outer, there’s a set of thin, silky-soft fabric liners with a boxer cut. Flat seams help reduce the risk of chafing and ensure reliable comfort over the longer miles. If you’re thinking of shorts for racing a trail ultra, these perform better than some shorts with the classic pant-style briefs.   

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The shorts are lacking a little where storage is concerned. There’s one zippered rear pocket that’ll hold a larger smartphone without too much bounce. Or it’ll fit three or four regular-sized gels at a squeeze. There’s a key loop in there too, though no separation to stop those from scratching your phone screen if you need to carry both. 

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Overall, these are well made, durable shorts that will keep you comfortable on your long efforts on road or trail. We appreciate the wide waistband with its soft lining – which won’t roll up or dig in however long you wear them. The Inov-8 Race Elite 5-Inch comes in five sizes from XS to XL and two colours – black and blue.