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Running Apparel • June 30, 2022

Nathan Sports Summer 2022 Shorts Review

nathan shorts cover

What You Need To Know


Nathan Sports does way more than hydration gear


Plenty of pockets, but they could be bigger


There’s a difference between wicking and fast-drying


LINDSAY: Nathan isn’t a new brand for us here at Believe in the Run, but shorts are a little something different. We’re used to putting miles in with some of Nathan’s hydration packs and vests, so it’s always good to spice things up. I received two pairs of Nathan shorts, which I’ve (mostly) happily been putting miles in for the last few weeks. They’re not life-changers, but there’s plenty of pocket space in case you’re looking to live out your Robbe Raccoon fantasies.

See also: The Best Running Shorts for Women | The Best Running Shorts for Men

Nathan 2.0 Essential Shorts

nathan essential shorts

LINDSAY: As a petite woman (5’3″ and 115ish pounds), a size Small in the Nathan 2.0 Essential Shorts fit *chef’s kiss* very well. They are lightweight and on the lower-rise side, but we’re not talking ’90s low-rise jeans here. This semi-fitted short sits right below the belly button and flows nicely around the backside and thighs without chafing. Speaking of the backside, these are short shorts, but I never felt like I was falling out of them.

I hate liners in my running shorts, and these didn’t change my mind. While the liner wasn’t uncomfortable, it didn’t go unnoticed. I felt the grip on my skin and feared the underwear line during every stride. Fortunately, the Nathan 2.0 Essential Short is loose enough that it’s not a deal-breaker. I use the word loose… loosely, though, because, as I said before, these are more semi-fitted, and no extra fabric is blowing around on the run.

Another winning feature was the thick shoelace drawcord, a Nathan signature. It makes it easy to adjust if needed or untie quickly when you really gotta go (if ya know what I mean). Once tied, the waistband sits snug and stays in place throughout a workout without riding up and creating a, well… ladies, you know. It even kept a longer tank-top tucked in nicely (because, again, petite girl problems).

There are plenty of pockets on these shorts if you want to carry every credit card and key you have, but don’t plan on running with your phone because none of the pockets will strap that puppy in. I should mention the side pockets (there are two, one on each side) fit my iPhone X. They’ll work great if you plan on wearing these for walks or low-intensity workouts. The design of the back pocket was a little strange, being that it’s on a slant (this pocket can only fit credit cards/keys). It felt a bit awkward to me with my key weight bearing on my right side.

Finally, the fabric is sweat-wicking, but I wouldn’t jump straight to quick drying. I sat on a metal bench following a run, and now all of Baltimore knows the size of my rear end. I shall leave you with that thought and a few final words: Nathan nailed it.

PRICE: $60

Shop Nathan 2.0 Essential Short - Women Shop Nathan 2.0 Essential Short - Men

Nathan 2.0 Front Runner Shorts

nathan front runner shorts

LINDSAY: I really wanted to like the Nathan 2.0 Front Runner Shorts. From a distance, they have all the right parts. The exterior is a lightweight, flowy, sweat-wicking material. Then you’ve got practical features like a back zipper pocket for keys and credit cards and the Nathan signature drawcord. The thick shoelace string is easily my favorite feature, and I never thought I’d say that about a pair of shorts.

Inside is a brief liner with a deceivingly compressive appearance. It has pockets on each leg that are large enough to fit an iPhone X with a case, but the lack of squeeze makes it impossible to run with. One pant leg held my phone, which caused it to hang low or bounce around, while the other was empty and slowly riding up with each stride—no Bueno. I liked that the right leg pocket had a cuff over the opening, so, even if it was bouncing, I knew my phone wouldn’t fly out of the pocket.

Fortunately, aside from a mild shift north, the brief liner was comfortable when the pockets were empty. I’ve said before that I’m not a fan of short liners, but this one felt more flexible and natural than the typical underwear liner. Who’s chafing? We don’t know her here.

All in all, these shorts missed the mark for me. No feature was outwardly a deal-breaker, so I’ll continue to wear them, but it’s just another pair of running shorts to me now when, in theory, it could’ve been one of the greats.

PRICE: $65

Shop Nathan 2.0 Front Runner Shorts - Women Shop Nathan 2.0 Front Runner Shorts - Men

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