6 Best Functional Fitness Shorts for Men in 2024

Author: Ihor Shymechko (26 years of Oly Lifting & Training experience)

Reviewed by: Oleksiy Torokhtiy (Olympian with 21 years of Oly Lifting experience)

The popularity of functional fitness training and competition has vastly increased as more people start to enjoy the numerous mental and physical benefits it can bring.

Functional fitness involves a combination of high-intensity strength, cardio, and gymnastic-based functional movements performed in quick succession. This requires you to have durable functional fitness clothing that promotes the correct movement patterns and doesn’t wear down easily.

I’ve broken down the 6 best functional fitness shorts for men that are currently available to purchase online, so you can choose the right functional fitness apparel for your grueling workouts.

 In a hurry? 

In a hurry?

In a hurry and can’t keep reading? How about you check out the 

Rogue Fitness Boardshorts.

Here’s our top-pick choice of the comfortable and breathable men’s shorts that provide a full range of motion, while giving good coverage and thigh support thanks to the built-in liner during sprints, climbs, lifts, or hurdles.

6 Best Functional Fitness Shorts

Top 6 Best Functional Fitness Shorts for Men Reviewed

The table below summarizes the most important factors to consider when choosing a pair of functional fitness workout shorts. These are material quality, sizing, stretch, resistance + protection, comfort, breathability, and value for money.

ProductTotalMaterial QualitySizingStretchResistance + ProtectionComfortBreathabilityValue for Money
Rogue Boardshorts67.5109.599.59.51010
Rogue Ranger Panties67109.59910109.5
Virus Evo V266.59.5109.599.5109
WBCM Compession66.599.5109.59.5109
Virus V20 ¾ Tech669.59.5109.59.5108
Virus Origin V3 Active65.59.59.59.599.5108.5

Founded in 2006, Rogue Fitness is well-known throughout the health and fitness industry for producing high-quality, durable strength and conditioning gear and apparel. This includes their large range of products specially designed for functional fitness.

The brand has been the official equipment and apparel supplier of multiple elite-level competitions including the fitness games, so it’s no surprise that they have produced shorts that meet every fitness athletes needs .

Rogue Fitness Boardshorts
  • Material: 87% Polyester, 13% Spandex
  • Inseam: 10.5"
  • Sizes: 28, 30, 32, 34, 36, 38
  • Color Palette: Black, Blue, Gray, Red
  • Pockets: Side Zipper Pocket on Right Leg

The Rogue Fitness Boardshorts are designed similar to any classic pair of functional fitness shorts looking like normal boardshorts but with a cut-like design. They continue to be popular throughout the fitness community and are my best shorts for functional fitness due to a few main reasons.

In terms of construction, they are made from a four-way stretchable 87% Polyester and a 13 % Spandex blend that provides a great mixture of durability and comfort. The high-quality polyester material is well-suited for repeated contact without wearing down, with the spandex mix giving the shorts enough stretch to respond to movement whilst sitting comfortably against the skin.

On top of this, the fabric is lightweight and moisture-wicking which helps you to stay cool and dry during those intense fitness sequences. The lace-up waistband allows you to pull and tighten the shorts as you need, stopping them from moving or falling down. Another handy addition is the zippered side pocket in the right leg, allowing you to conveniently store smaller valuables such as car keys or cards securely without them getting in the way. 

performing Rogue Fitness Boardshorts

Photo by @andrewmikel

The inseam is slightly longer than my other short choices at 10.5" which may take a little time to get used to at the start. Ordinarily, you would think this would interfere with big movement patterns but the Rogue Boardshort materials combat this well.

Rogue offers a large range of size choices from a 28-38 waist which should be suitable for most fitness athletes. The color choices include black, blue, gray, and red, with the large rogue branding on the left leg.

Overall, the Rogue Boardshorts continue to be a functional fitness staple, with a four-way stretch fabric design providing a great mixture of durability and comfort.

67.5Expert Score

The high-quality polyester material is well-suited for repeated contact without wearing down, with the spandex mix giving the shorts enough stretch to respond to movement whilst sitting comfortably against the skin.

Material Quality
10
Sizing
9.5
Stretch
9
Resistance and Protectio
9.5
Comfort
9.5
Breathability
10
Value of Money
10
(Show More)

Positives:

  • The four-way Polyester/ Spandex stretch fabric design provides a great mixture of durability and user comfort

  • The large side zipper pocket provides an easy-access storage option for bigger valuables

  • The hook-and-loop lace-up waistband keeps the shorts secure and caters to different waist sizes

Could be better:

  • The longer 10.5" inseam may take longer to get used to if you usually wear smaller shorts for functional fitness.

 2. Rogue Fitness Ranger Panties - Best Panties

The Rogue Fitness Ranger Panties are my top pick best panties for fitness, featuring a lightweight Nylon Tricot construction that allows them to breathe by providing excellent airflow when exercising. With an inseam of 2-2 ¼", the Ranger Panties allow you the freedom to move exactly as you intend without getting in the way or rubbing against the skin. Due to the smaller design, the panties can be easily worn over leggings during winter months with no issues.

Rogue Ranger Panties
  • Material: 100% Lightweight Nylon Tricot
  • Inseam: 2-2 ¼"
  • Sizes: Small; Medium; Large; X-Large
  • Color Palette: Black, Blue, Green, Gray, Camo, Freedom
  • Pockets: Inside Key Pocket

If the shorter design worries you, Rogue has included an inner liner brief that keeps everything secure and your modesty intact. Rogue has heavily tested the Ranger Panties to make sure the brief liner can stand up to heavy, intense exercise where you may need to move dynamically or hang from different gym apparatus.

A great feature added by Rogue is the inside key pocket that gets rid of the usual issue of where to put your house or car keys when exercising. With the Rogue Ranger Panties, you don't need to worry about this. Just bring yourself a water bottle, and get exercise.

view Rogue Ranger Panties

Photo by @bishops_gym

Rogue offers the Ranger Panties in a good range of sizes from Small to X-Large, which is enough for the vast majority of fitness athletes. They can be purchased in six exciting colors which include a camo print and freedom design with the American flag stretching across the full short length. The Rogue branding is in white at the bottom left of the shorts.

Overall, the Rogue Ranger Panties are a perfect fit for dynamic movements that require a full range of motion. With a lightweight and breathable construction, you don't even feel like you’re wearing anything.

67Expert Score

Rogue has heavily tested the Ranger Panties to make sure the brief liner can stand up to heavy, intense exercise where you may need to move dynamically or hang from different gym apparatus.

Material Quality
10
Sizing
9.5
Stretch
9
Resistance and Protection
9
Comfort
10
Breathability
10
Value of Money
9.5
(Show More)

Positives:

  • The 2-2 ¼ inseam provides the maximum range of motion, making you feel like you're not wearing anything

  • They feature a unisex design meaning they’re suitable for both men and women

  • The shorts offer excellent breathability which makes them perfect for high-intensity movement involved in fitness 

Could be better:

  • The inside liner could be more supportive, especially when performing dynamic activities

3. Virus Evo 7 Shorts - Best for Storage

Virus wants to empower people who seek to live different lifestyles by empowering themselves to change. The brand designs high-performance shorts that help you to perform better.

They believe that everyone should have access to performance-driven gear no matter their ability level or budget.

Virus Evo 7 Shorts
  • Material: 90% Polyester, 10% Spandex
  • Inseam: 7"
  • Sizes: Small, Medium, Large, X-Large, XX-Large, XXX-Large
  • Color Palette: Blue + Black, Black, Black Crystal
  • Pockets: Side + Back Pockets

The Virus Evo 7 Shorts are constructed using a similar material blend as the Rogue Boardshorts in my number one spot. They are made from a 90% Polyester and 10 % Spandex blend meaning they offer a similar feel with slightly less stretch.

Compared to the Boardshorts, they have a 7" inseam which makes them a great choice for those who love the boardshorts feel but prefer a smaller short design or want to try the material combination out on shorter shorts first.

The shorts use Virus’s lightweight 4-way stretch Airflex fabric that’s been well-tested for heavy exercise. They respond well to movement without feeling overly restrictive or heavy against the skin allowing you to focus on performance in a comfy pair of shorts.

The Airflex material offers excellent breathability, wicking moisture as you exercise, and helping to keep your body cool even during the most intense fitness workouts. The comfort flex waistband wraps around to keep the shorts from falling or riding up unnecessarily.

Virus has included two large back pockets and side pockets on the shorts, giving you plenty of storage options when exercising. The addition of back pockets allows people to choose where they store valuables based on preference and the exercises they are doing.

With sizes ranging from Small to XXX-Large, Virus has given plenty of size options for bigger fitness athletes. Short colors to pick from include black, black crystal, and blue/ black.

Overall, the Virus Evo 7 shorts offer the same 4-way stretch fabric as the board shorts with a smaller inseam and a big variety of size options. The 4 pockets give you plenty of storage options whilst exercising.

66.5Expert Score

They respond well to movement without feeling overly restrictive or heavy against the skin allowing you to focus on performance in a comfy pair of shorts.

Material Quality
9.5
Sizing
10
Stretch
9.5
Resistance and Protection
9
Comfort
9.5
Breathability
10
Value of Money
9
(Show More)

Positives:

  • The Airflex material helps to bring your body temperature down when exercising so you can stay cool and focus on performance

  • The shorts have an XXX-Large size choice that is quite uncommon for most fitness short options

  • The 2 back and side pockets give you plenty of convenient storage options for your valuables

Could be better:

  • The short material used is quite sensitive to washing meaning it needs to be washed and dried carefully

Warm Body Cold Mind (WBCM) believes in a balance between our mind and body. So, their goal was to design a pair of shorts that helps to clean the mind of all distractions and focus on performance.

The brand was founded in 2016 by Olympic weightlifting gold medalist Oleksiy Torokhtiy, who initially found brand fame with his catchy t-shirt slogans.

WBCM L8
  • Material: Supplex Sport
  • Inseam: 6.5"
  • Sizes: X-Small, Small, Medium, Large, X-Large, XX-Large
  • Color Palette: Black
  • Pockets: No

The Warm Body Cold Mind (WBCM) Compression Shorts are made of a unique supplex sport material that's designed for heavy weightlifting use. It's designed to respond to contact with the barbell without wearing down meaning you're able to lift without worrying about the durability or the shots or unnecessary movement. This is especially important for fitness since clean and jerks, snatches, deadlifts, and other movements are regularly performed during training and competition.

A great feature of the WBCM compression shorts is the sublimation process used in the construction process that stops them from losing color after a few washes like most common shorts do. This is one of the main reasons why these are my top-pick compression shorts for functional fitness. Since the sport involves a variety of high-intensity exercises, the shorts will need regular washing.

Using WBCM Shorts

Photo by @torokhtiy

The shorts contour nicely around the upper legs, with a 6.5" inseam providing plenty of room for you to maintain a full range of motion, whether wearing the shorts on their own or under other fitness clothing. The WBCM compression shorts have a pull-on elastic closure mechanism that allows them to sit firmly around your waist without moving or losing shape.

The supplex sport material is breathable and easy to wash in a machine with colors or darks. WBCM has designed an excellent range of size choices that range from X-Small up to XX-Large which provides plenty of options for different-sized fitness lifters.

One downside of the shorts is that they only come in black, meaning they might not be suitable for people who prefer different designs or brighter color choices.

Overall, the WBCM Compression Shorts L6 keep their shape and color well whilst also providing excellent compression when lifting. They come in a huge range of size options up to XX-Large.

66.5Expert Score

The shorts contour nicely around the upper legs, with a 6.5" inseam providing plenty of room for you to maintain a full range of motion, whether wearing the shorts on their own or under other fitness clothing.

Material Quality
9
Sizing
9.5
Stretch
10
Resistance and Protection
9.5
Comfort
9.5
Breathability
10
Value of Money
9
(Show More)

Positives:

  • The pull-on elastic closure mechanism keeps the shorts firmly secured without you knowing it’s there

  • The sublimation process means that the shorts won’t lose color after a few washes

  • The durable Supplex Sport material is designed to respond to repeated barbell contact

Could be better:

  • They only have a black color available to purchase so more choices would be nice

5. Virus V20 ¾ Tech Pants - Best Compression ¾

The Virus V20 ¾ Tech pants are not technically shorts, but they offer a great hybrid design between leggings and shorts. So, I’ve included them on my list. If you prefer more material with added compression, these might be the right choice for you.

V20 ¾ Tech Pants
  • Material: 70% Polyamide, 30% Spandex
  • Sizes: Small, Medium, Large, X-Large, XX-Large
  • Color Palette: Black + Blue
  • Pockets: Welded Side Pocket

Constructed using a 70% Polyamide and 30% Spandex blend, the Bio-poly form fabric moves moisture away from the skin to help you stay cool when working hard.

The ¾ Tech pants provide excellent compression that wraps around the legs whilst still leaving room at the bottom if you don’t like the full legging feel. The 1" waistband keeps the leggings firm around the waist and feels more comfortable compared to waistband closures.

The pants have a welded side pocket which isn’t usually seen on most compression clothing. This gets rid of the usual issue of not having anywhere to store your valuables when wearing them.

The sizes range from Small - XX-Large, with a black + blue color design. The Virus branding is in white on the top right of the ¾ pants.

66Expert Score

Constructed using a 70% Polyamide and 30% Spandex blend, the Bio-poly form fabric moves moisture away from the skin to help you stay cool when working hard.

Material Quality
9.5
Sizing
9.5
Stretch
10
Resistance and Protection
9.5
Comfort
9.5
Breathability
10
Value of Money
8
(Show More)

Positives:

  • The ¾ pants provide a great hybrid choice that combines the benefits of both shorts and leggings into one piece of clothing

  • The welded side pocket gives you an innovative storage space

  • The elastic strap sits comfortably around your waist to secure the pants in place

Could be better:

  • The compression length may feel slightly too much for some people who prefer shorts

6. Virus Origin V3 Active Shorts - Best Customizable

Last on my list is the Virus Origin V3 Active Shorts, the upgraded versions of the V2s. They feature Virus’s patented Airflex fabric that allows your skin to breathe and moisture to escape as you get deeper into a functional fitness sequence.

Origin V3 Active Shorts
  • Material: 90% Polyester, 10% Spandex
  • Sizes: Small, Medium, Large, X-Large, XX-Large
  • Color Palette: Black Cement, Chive Black
  • Pockets: Three-Zipped Pockets

Like most of my other short choices, they are made using a 90% polyester and 10% Spandex blend that stretches four ways and dries quickly to limit odor build-up.

They also have three zipper pockets (one at the back and two at the side) giving you plenty of storage options.

The Origin V3 shorts range from Small to XX-Large and come in a black cement or chive black color. Overall, they offer many of the design features that make Virus apparel well suited for functional fitness, keeping your body cool and shorts sitting comfortably when exercising.

65.5Expert Score

Like most of my other short choices, they are made using a 90% polyester and 10% Spandex blend that stretches four ways and dries quickly to limit odor build-up.

Material Quality
9.5
Sizing
9.5
Stretch
9.5
Resistance and Protection
9
Comfort
9.5
Breathability
10
Value of Money
8.5
(Show More)

Positives:

  • The internal drawstring keeps the shorts from moving without getting in the way when exercising

  • The zipper pockets stop your valuables from falling out when exercising

Could be better:

  • A inner shorts liner would help to keep everything in place and reduce the chance of distractions

What to Look For in the Best Functional Fitness Shorts for Men?

Here’s what to consider when choosing the right pair of workout shorts for functional fitness:

Material Quality

With the high-impact nature of functional fitness, choosing a pair of shorts with quality material is one of the most important considerations.

Firstly, make sure the shorts are made from a durable base material such as polyester as it has been well-proven in the sports apparel industry to withstand repeated wear and tear.

As you’re going to be performing lots of full body movements using a full range of motion, shorts that contain stretchy, comfortable material such as spandex is a must. You need the shorts to move with your body rather than work against you.

Tips From the Champ

Resistance and protection concerns how well the shorts can stand up to repeated impact and how much protection they can offer. How resistant are the shorts to repeated barbell impact? Have they been well-tested by the brand? Do the customer reviews state anything different? These are all questions you should be asking before purchasing a suitable pair of shorts for functional fitness.

Olympic Weightlifting Champion

Sizing

Another important factor to bear in mind is sizing. Before even looking at different short options, make sure you know your waist size. Once you’ve done this, check that the shorts of your choosing are available in a suitable size.

If the brand doesn’t sell the shorts using waist sizes, check the sizing guide to see what waist each size supports. It’s also useful to check if the brand fits true to size so you can consider this when purchasing.

In terms of the inseam, I advise going for a short length that you will be able to use for functional fitness without restricting your movement. A short length of around 5-7" or below is usually good, with longer lengths also being okay if the shorts contain a stretchy fabric.

Stretch

As I mentioned above, functional fitness utilizes your full range of motion on most lifts which means you need to wear shorts that can adapt when your body moves.

Stretchy materials are always best, with compression shorts providing added performance and warming benefits in winter weather.

Exercising in WBCM performing functional fitness ShortsShorts

Resistance and Protection

Resistance and protection concerns how well the shorts can stand up to repeated impact and how much protection they can offer.

How resistant are the shorts to repeated barbell impact? Have they been well-tested by the brand? Do the customer reviews state anything different? These are all questions you should be asking before purchasing a suitable pair of shorts for functional fitness.

Comfort

The last thing you want when exercising is to be constantly adjusting your shorts and taking away from your primary focus, which is functional fitness training.

Make sure the shorts have a contoured fit and a waistband that keeps them from riding up or falling. Inner short linings also help to keep everything in one place, further improving overall comfort.

WBCM performing functional fitness Shorts

Breathability

Even with short shorts, you’re going to produce a decent amount of sweat when exercising hard. Therefore, the last thing you want is for the unwanted sweat to build up and soak your shorts.

Luckily for you, most sports shorts are designed using moisture-wicking material that’s able to breathe whilst exercising, allowing sweat to escape and keep the shorts dry. Check if the shorts you want to purchase have these features.

Value of Money

Most functional fitness shorts offer excellent value for money. However, make sure to compare the price of different shorts to material quality, extra design features, and manufacturer warranty.

When checking the price of functional fitness training shorts, consider all the factors I’ve discussed above to decide how much value for money the shorts offer.

WBCM performing fitness Shorts

Functional Fitness in Shorts vs Leggings

Functional fitness can be performed in both cross training shorts and leggings. Here are some of the differences when using them:

Performance 

This is probably the most important factor when deciding which pair to put on before exercising.

The right choice depends mainly on the weather and your individual comfort. Shorts used to be a much better choice during hot weather, but new legging designs feature breathable materials that keep you just as cool as shorts do.

With this, the biggest factor influencing performance is your overall comfort. If you feel better in shorts, wear them. If leggings are comfy for you and don’t get in the way, choose them instead.

Dimensions

Whilst this is fairly obvious, shorts are much smaller compared to leggings. For some people, the smaller material length feels much easier to achieve a full range of motion which makes shorts the better choice.

Compression  

One of the biggest benefits of wearing leggings over shorts is the compression they provide. Whilst shorts also do this, the extra material on leggings reaches a much larger surface area.

This promotes blood flow and improves leg circulation, keeping your legs warmer and performance up during colder temperatures.

Hard Work in Shorts

FAQ

What Is the Best Shorts Length for Functional Fitness?

A shorter inseam of 5-7 inches is recommended when performing the high-intensity, full-body movements involved in fitness. Slim-fitting shorts that don't drop too low ensure that they don't get in the way of you performing the movements correctly. Most functional fitness shorts have built-in liners to keep everything secure when wearing shorter-length shorts to lift in.

What Should Men Wear to Functional Fitness?

The correct amount and number of clothing items and accessories to wear depends on personal preference and the exercises you’ll be performing. A durable moisture-wicking functional fitness top and pair of shorts are a must, alongside some breathable functional fitness socks and lifting shoes.

Conclusion

Due to the high-intensity, high-impact nature of functional fitness, choosing the right pair of shorts to wear is important.

The Rogue Fitness Boardshorts are my top pick choice, featuring a lightweight polyester/ spandex hybrid design, a lace-up waistband, and a large zippered side pocket. They are a great overall pair of shorts that remain popular with the functional fitness community.

Do you wear shorts or leggings for functional fitness? Perhaps you wear something else? Let me know!

Also read:

References:

  • Spandex // Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spandex
  • Lined vs Unlined Shorts – What Are the Benefits of Each? // Proud To Run: https://proudtorun.org/lined-vs-unlined-shorts/

Why Trust Us?

With over 20 years in Olympic Weightlifting, our team does its best to provide the audience with ultimate support and meet the needs and requirements of advanced athletes and professional lifters, as well as people who strive to open new opportunities and develop their physical capabilities with us.

All products we select are primarily approved and tested by the Olympic Weightlifting Champion Oleksii Torokhtiy. Under his guidance, we provide honest and reasonable assessments of the products we review by checking their characteristics, packaging, design, comfort and durability features, and general product rating. We select products from only high-quality and trusted sports brands, thus vouching for their quality.

The product testing process is described in more detail here
ROGUE FITNESS BOARDSHORTS
  • Author
  • Reviewer
Ihor Shymechko

Coach, PRO Olympic Weightlifter

Experience: 26 years

Best Results: Snatch - 208 kg,

C&J - 240 kg

My name is Ihor and I have been a professional weightlifter since 1996. With over 20 years of competition experience, my resume includes European Champion in 2009 and the silver medalist at 2011's Senior World Championships – 105kg division.

I competed at the 2008, 2012 and 2016 Summer Olympics.

After hanging up my own competitive lifting shoes, I decided to share my huge background as a coach. I am currently coaching multiple athletes who are competing at national and international competitions.


If you have any questions/suggestions/any other inquiry, you can reach out to us via email - reviews@torokhtiy.com

Oleksiy Torokhtiy

Olympic Weightlifting Champion

Experience: 21 years

Best Results: Snatch – 200 kg,

C&J - 240 kg

My name is Oleksiy Torokhtiy. I am a professional athlete with 20 years of experience in Olympic weightlifting. I have won multiple European, and World titles and have taken part in two Olympic Games (Beijing 2008, London 2012).

After finishing my career, I have committed myself to coach, and as of 2022, I’ve hosted 200+ weightlifting seminars all over the globe. I’m the founder of an international sportswear and accessories brand, Warm Body Cold Mind (my motto), author, and creator of a series of training programs and eBooks.


If you have any questions/suggestions/any other inquiry, you can reach out to us via email - reviews@torokhtiy.com

68.5Expert Score

The best value for money on the market.

Packaging:
10
Unique design:
10
Elasticity:
9.5
Material quality:
10
Stickiness:
9
Clean removal:
10
Value:
10
(Show More)

This article was written by our qualified author and proofread by an expert with proven experience. When writing the article we've used our expertise and data from authoritative, scientific, and evidence-based sources. The list of references is provided at the end of the article.


Our team of authors and experts includes professional athletes (Olympians, winners of European and World titles), PhDs in Sports Science, certified coaches, sports nutritionists, CSCSs, physiotherapists, and others. Read more about the team here, and more about how we test here.

1 comment

  • Finn Lempriere

    Your blog post on gym wear is fantastic! As a gym enthusiast, I really appreciate how you cover all aspects, from comfort to style to functionality. Keep sharing such informative articles!

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