24 Best Shorts for Men Summer 2021

best shorts for men

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It’s time to break out your best shorts for the warm weather season, but before you store away your go-to jeans and pull out any old pair of shorts in your closet, it might be time to re-think what type of men’s summer shorts you’ll need for any activity and occasion.

The right length and fit of your shorts make all the difference for flattering style with little-to-no effort required. No matter where you’re heading, from an outdoor cookout to a day at the beach, the wrong pair of shorts will add unwanted bulk to your body (think the wrong kind of gains) and make you look shorter. If you spent the past few months taking your fitness game to the next level, why not sport the right duds to show off your hard work?

Types of Shorts for Men

To rely on just a simple pair of shorts for every task on you summer checklist would be a mistake—a sweaty, smelling, head-turning-for-all-the-wrong-reasons type of mistake. For starters, your active lifestyle requires a few pair of go-to moisture-wicking shorts for the gym, running, cycling, hiking, and all the sweat-inducing fun in the sun to be had. If your focus is more on R&R over PRs, you still need some cool, casual stunners that have the versatility to be worn in both daytime and evening scenarios. Now that offices are re-opening and dinner plans are being scheduled, you might want to opt for a pair of sleek khaki shorts with a comfortable waistband and a hint of stretch, so you don’t find yourself yearning for those comfy sweats you lived in during the WFH days of the pandemic. And speaking of sweatpants, store those bad boys for the fall, because there’s a ton of sweat shorts and men’s leisure shorts on the market that will keep you cool and comfy while you beat the heat. Basically, you need to build up a solid arsenal of shorts that’ll make summer dressing a breeze.

Men’s Shorts Styles and Length

While we like to keep our style classic for the most part (because no one wants to look back on Summer 2021 pictures and cringe), there are a few men’s summer shorts trends you should consider flexing this season. Probably the biggest trend is the return of the Bermuda short, which basically means it’s more acceptable than ever to don some cool shorts for cocktail hour. Like the popularity of pleated trousers, pleated shorts are everywhere this season—and they happen to pair perfectly with a retro knit polo shirt and timeless loafers (think prep-school cool or so-uncool-it’s-cool dad vibes). And for more casual affairs, utility shorts are like the more flattering version of early aughts cargos you never wanted to quit (but hopefully burned). For workouts, now’s a great time to show your leg-day gains in some Dwayne-Johnson approved, flattering, five-inch shorties. Not into showing that much skin? The streetwear scene has been rocking some lengthier shorts that look fresh with cool socks and hyped-up sneakers. No matter your style or physique, there’s a new on-trend men's shorts silhouette that’s worth adding to your summer wardrobe.

For any guy to look his best, check out the 24 best shorts for men to wear this summer that are both flattering and comfortable.

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Vuori Banks Shorts



Working up a sweat can bring on some unwanted odors, but not when you’re wearing Vuori. These athletic shorts have the four-way stretch you need to keep moving during any intense workout session, and anti-odor technology you’ll appreciate when you pack up your gym bag. 

Best Five-Inch Shorts

Lululemon Bowline 5" Shorts


Guys of a shorter height can opt for a five-inch inseam to give the illusion of longer legs. While these shorts might appear to be just another average pair of khaki shorts, they have four-way stretch to provide maximum mobility and a drawstring waistband that won’t accentuate any unwanted love handles—it’s just like wearing gym shorts. If you're a bit more daring with your style choices, we suggest the blush-toned clay colorway. 

Best-Selling Shorts for Men on Amazon

Levi's Men's 505 Regular Fit Short

$25.64 (43% off)

Say what you will about “jorts”, but they're a classic summer style item that guys can’t seem to quit. This pair from Levi’s has thousands of five-star reviews for having just the right amount of roominess in the thigh area that won’t make you look bottom heavy. 

Best Shorts for Boating

Alex Mill Pull-On Button Fly Striped Shorts


Looking for a comfortable-yet-cool short for a day by the sea? This relaxed style stays polished with an eight-inch inseam that hits the perfect length just above the knee. With a breathable cotton blend and a comfortable drawstring waistband, you’ll feel as good as you look in these seriously flattering men’s summer shorts.  

Best Men's Shorts for Hiking

Nike Dri-FIT Flex Stride Trail Shorts


Hit the trail in these lightweight, flattering shorts that have quick-drying fabric to keep you comfortable during the hottest days of summer. The streamlined pockets reduce bulk, making this pair extremely functional and stylish. 

Best Men's Shorts for Work

Mr. P. Dock Cotton-Twill Shorts


From a day at the office to your evening cookout, these polished shorts have a straight-leg silhouette and ideal length that hits on the cool Bermuda shorts trend. Best of all, they have the adjustable waistband that makes transitioning from all-day sweats to tailored trousers a bit more comfortable. 

Best Cargo Shorts for Men

The North Face Class V Belted Short


Men love cargo shorts, but not all cargo shorts are going to flatter your bod, guys. This pair from The North Face has discreet pockets for all your small gear and a cool webbing belt for the perfect fit around your waist. 

Best Shorts for Guys With Thick Thighs

Ten Thousand Foundation Short


Muscular thighs can wear and tear your go-to shorts to shreds by July. Ten Thousand’s abrasion-resistant, seven-inch Foundation Short is built to last through countless summer adventures, which makes them a total steal when calculating cost-per-wear value.

Best Alternative to Cargo Shorts

Patagonia Organic Cotton Cord Utility Shorts


The utility short is trending in menswear because it provide the deep pockets you love with a flattering look. In a cotton cord fabric, these Patagonia shorts add some rich texture to your everyday fit. 

Best Men's Shorts for Travel

Proof Nomad 9" Shorts


Looking for a solid pair of men’s shorts you can wear anywhere, anytime? Proof’s nine-inch summer shorts have a super-soft feel, a minimalist design that makes them extremely versatile, a good amount of stretch that allows you to move with ease, and a water-resistant coating to keep you dry. Plus, they have a hidden pocket that makes them ideal for travel. If you’re making plans for a weekend getaway, you'll want to pack them. 

Mack Weldon Active Short



Warmer weather means more opportunities to up your fitness game in fresh air. These shorts are lightweight, water-repelling, and have built-in stretch for movement with ease. The zip pockets, and laser-cut panels are cool details that come in handy for any guy on the go to look and feel cool, too. 

Rhone Men's 7" Mako Short



The best running shorts for summer should be a solid color, hit right above the knee, and look polished enough to be worn from your morning jog, to an afternoon dip in the pool, to an early evening cookout. Essentially, these Rhone shorts have you covered for all your summer plans. 

Lands' End Pleated 6" No Iron Chino Shorts



One of the best men’s shorts to invest in this summer is a pair of pleated chino Bermuda shorts. Dress them up with a button down, dress them down with a white T-shirt—they’re a great option for guys to give their legs some breathing room without sacrificing their sharp style.

Polo Ralph Lauren Striped Seersucker Shorts



Ah, seersucker—you can never go wrong with this lightweight summer style staple. Polo Ralph Lauren’s version has classic straight-leg fit that allows you move comfortably.

Best White Shorts for Men

Warp + Weft Act Chino Shorts


Forget any ancient style rules about wearing white clothing, but if there’s one thing to keep in mind, it’s that a pair of off-white shorts is a lot more forgiving when summer adventures can lead to confrontations with dirt and liquids that will easily mark up your crisp white clothing. Plus, the D-ring belt loop detail adds a nice touch to amp up your summer style flex. 

Best Sweat Shorts

Faherty Lucaya Sweat Shorts


Lazy Sundays and casual nights in call for a pair of comfy, lightweight sweat shorts. Unlike thicker fleece options that can cause perspiration down there (you know where), these jacquard stunners are breathable and hit the perfect length above the knee. For summer nights and beach-side bonfires, score the matching hoodie for cozy sunset style. 

Best Printed Shorts for Men

Paige Thompson Shorts


A pop of print does all the work for you—just pair it with a white tee, fresh kicks, and you’re ready to go. This pair from Paige has a lightweight rayon fabric that makes it breathable and soft to touch. 

Birdwell 808 Limited-Edition Camo Board Shorts


Okay, these are swim shorts, but you can still wearing them with a vintage graphic tee and some Vans for weekend outings with the guys sans sand. Plus, men of any age can rock these board shorts—just look at how great they look on Barack Obama

Best Men's Leisure Shorts

Nice Laundry Personal Edition Lounge Short


For running errands and other casual weekend activities, these crazy-comfortable shorts from Nice Laundry have the mesh detail of basketball shorts, but with a heavenly soft Micromodal lining. Plus, you can customize your shorts with varsity-style monogramming. 

Best Eco-Friendly Men’s Shorts

Pangaia Move PPRMINT™ Shorts


If you’re looking to curb your carbon footprint, Pangaia is a brand that should be on your radar. These cotton men’s shorts are treated with peppermint oil that has antibacterial properties to combat odor from any sweaty situation this summer. 

ASRV Silver-Lite 5” Liner Cargo Short



Kenzo Sport Shorts



These unique men’s shorts combine cool style and the comfortable athletic material you love to wear, both in and out of the gym. The orange side stripe and back detail pack a punch of style. 

Orlebar Brown Standard Mid-Length Swim Shorts



These Orlebar Brown trunks are cut at a mid-rise length that makes them suitable for guys of all different heights. Though it’s technically a swimsuit, the minimalist design makes these flattering shorts equally suitable for hitting the beach or city streets.

Rowing Blazers Color-Block Cotton Shorts



Rowing Blazer’s cool shorts feature a primary color-blocking pattern that’ll make any man standout in a see of khakis. Wear them with a rugby shirt, boat shoes, and a heavy dose of confidence. 

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