Should Guys Wear Shorts Over Their Tights?

No way! Are you kidding?

By Jeff Dengate

Shorts over tights? How is this even a discussion beyond high school age? I can think of only one reason men wear a second layer when running: modesty. It’s akin to wearing a T-shirt to go swimming. What’s the point? You’re certainly not hydrodynamic in the water in that case. And with shorts, you lose any benefits the tights convey. Skip ’em altogether and wear looser fitting pants, will ya?

Time and again, I hear runners say they wear shorts for extra warmth. My response? You wasted money on a bad pair of tights. Or underwear. Or both. There are plenty of brands out there that build briefs with a windproof panel (Brooks and Asics, to name two) and they work very well – even in Antarctic temps. Running in even nastier stuff? Get some real pants with a windproof fabric.

Now, I get the modesty angle. I do. Just a week ago, a photographer posted a photo online of me from the Snowshoe Racing National Championships. The sun was at just the right angle off to my side, the photographer to the other… I blushed for a second or two, thought maybe I could Photoshop it out, but then shrugged and said, “Hey, at least I was in the race.” At the time, I didn’t care what I looked like; I just wanted to run fast. Embarrassing photos or not, I’m still not putting shorts on over my tights.


Of course they should!

By David Graf

There is no shame in wearing shorts over tights. While my debate partner will bring up modesty, I say it has more to do with confidence. When you are out on the open road you are all out there, in full motion, in front of all who pass by. An extra buffer between you and the outside world can do much in allowing you to enjoy your run; especially for runners like me whose build resembles a wrestler more than a cross-country runner.

Second, there is the issue of support. Tights alone tend to not provide enough of it; on the other hand, tights with compression shorts underneath creates a lycra-based Victorian age prison. But throw on a pair of shorts with a liner over your tights and you have the support you need while still keeping your calves warm with the tights.

Finally, back to the modesty issue, I like to end many of my runs with a stop at the local café or a quick trip to the market. While you could wait in line showing your full running pride, have some regard for those around you who are already having to deal with your sweat.


Your Turn

Well, what do you think? When guys are running in winter, should they be wearing shorts over their tights? Leave a comment below.


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