men playing basketball in basketball shorts

The 5 Best Basketball Shorts for Athletic and Leisure Wear

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Basketball shorts are a staple for so many reasons: obviously, they're great for pick-up games, but they're also perfect as leisurewear, loungewear, and even pop up in many street style trends. Whatever you're wearing them for, you can't go wrong with a well-made pair of men's basketball shorts from your favorite brand — we're partial to Nike and Under Armour, but we're happy with a good pair of basketball shorts that can stand wear and tear, are loose and breathable, and wick away sweat and odors.

How To Style Them

If you're playing basketball, just pair them with a T-shirt or a jersey. But if you're looking to style basketball shorts as leisurewear, make sure you've got the perfect hoodie and shoes to go with them (we love the look of white sneakers). If you want to make it feel more polished, roll up the sleeves evenly, make sure your drawstrings are aligned, and use a lint roller to clean everything up. Feeling a bit inspired to try something more daring? Pair with a distressed crewneck sweater or a short-sleeved button-down. However you choose to wear them, here's our picks for the best basketball shorts below:

1. Our Top Pick: A Classic Pair of Nike Shorts

Nike Dri-FIT Icon Men's Basketball Shorts - Nike, $30

You can never go wrong with Nike basketball shorts. A true classic, the Dri-FIT Icon basketball shorts are made from a breathable knit fabric, have deep pockets for all of your essentials, and are machine-washable, too. The sweat-wicking shorts have a loose fit that's easy to play ball in. They're truly a staple and will match just about all your workout shirts, tees, and hoodies. They're available in many colors, range from XS through 4X, and come in tall sizes as well.

2. The Most Stylish Option

Nike Dri-FIT Men's Basketball DNA Shorts - Nike, $44.97

Consider these shorts for a trendy look on the court. The jacquard-knit fabric with a geometric print are actually inspired by '90s trading card graphics — and they're bright statement pieces that pair great with a white T-shirt.These shorts are also special since they're made with 100% recycled polyester fibers. (Yes to sustainability! )The sweat-wicking shorts have stripes along the hems to match the elastic waistband's stripes, and the embroidered Swoosh logo won't peel off or unravel in the wash. The roomy shorts are machine-washable and have pockets for your phone, keys, and more. Choose from three colors and sizes S-4X. Be sure to check out Nike for more training shorts, performance shorts, and running shorts.

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3. The Best Fleece Shorts

Under Armour Men's Baseline Fleece Basketball Shorts - Amazon, $21.55+

The fleece in these lined basketball shorts make for a super comfortable option, especially for lounging around the house. The mid-weight performance cotton offers some extra warmth as well, which will come in handy for cooler days or a game of pick-up basketball in the fall weather. There's an elastic waistband for a stretchy and loose fit, and I love the shaped-hem, because the shorter length in the front is fantastic if you want to show off those toned thighs. These also have pockets and come in sizes XS-3X.

4. This Multi-Pack is Great for Intense Workouts

Liberty Imports Men's Athletic Basketball Shorts (5-Pack) - Amazon, $35.95

These athletic shorts are made in the USA and feature an inner drawcord closure and a stretchy elastic waistband so you can adjust them to your liking. They are lightweight and sweat-wicking — plus, with the larger side pockets and no lining, this will make the perfect pair for heavier workouts. The pack comes with five pairs (all different colors) and they're under $40, so this is a steal for anyone who works out a lot and will go through a few a week (plus, they're machine-washable). With over 12,000 positive ratings, many basketball enthusiasts have taken a liking to the budget-friendly shorts. They run up to a size 3X.

5. The Best Budget Option

Amazon Essentials Men's Loose-Fit Mesh Basketball Short - Amazon, $11.80

Don't forget about Amazon Essentials. I can attest that their leggings and socks are just as good as my Nike and PUMA clothing. The moisture-wicking shorts have an open-hole mesh for breathability, a drawstring closure for a stretchy feel, and the machine-washable polyester shorts offer all-day comfort for an affordable price. XXL is the largest size available.

This post was originally published on June 5, 2020.

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