In light of the hilarious Gizmodo article published a while back on the tiny black $9 shorts I’ve worn for years (known affectionately as “Ranger Panties”), and maybe because I’m starting to dream about running in something less than two layers of clothing, I have take it upon myself to offer this defense of absurdly short running shorts. Briefly. (See what I did there?)
Complaint: Short running shorts are exhibitionist.
Answer: It’s function of fashion. If you like running ten miles with shorts that hang past your knees and look like those things we called “Jams” back in the 80s, then more power to you. Me, I want to forget I’m wearing shorts in the first place, so I can focus on what’s important. Like finishing this horrible jog.
Complaint: Short running shorts are feminine.
Answer: So’s your mom…wait. That made no sense. OK, so, yes, the nearest approximation in aesthetic might be found stretched across a waitress’s tushie at Hooter’s. But maybe they’re on to something. Hard-working, blue collar, the shorts go the distance. Silken undies might also be classified as “feminine,” but I’d wear those bad boys without complaint. Hell, I’d run in a skirt if it took ten seconds off my 5k PR.
Complaint: Short running shorts are offensive, especially when worn while stretching.
Answer: This one’s a little hard to get around. No one wants to be eye level with Random Dude’s twig and berries during a post-run stretch. All I can say is that Web MD advises stretching after you run. There is no mention, however, of recommended attire. As my friend says, “‘Rung whatcha’ brung!”
Complaint: Short shorts result in male objectification.
Complaint: Short shorts are outdated.
Answer: Some things never go out of style. Like plain white tees, blue jeans, Chuck T’s, high heels, the Little Black Dress, and a well-worn ball cap. I suppose I could chase current fitness fashion and run in shorts whose inseams never look north of 5″. Maybe some of those lycra booty shorts that pop up in ads for men’s yoga attire. But fellas have been running in shorties since the day some smart human realized that running naked is for the birds. You can’t argue with history.