There are a whole lot of athletic shorts to choose from out there—seemingly endless possibilities. But there are a few things to consider in order to narrow down the right pair for you. Do you want compression, v-notch or split shorts? What fabric will work best for your activity goals? How low do you want them to go? We’ll help you figure it out.

Versatile Style

This mix of compression and V-notch styles comes with a place to secure your keys or electronic device. BALEAF

Compression style fits your body like spandex. In fact, it’s typically made of spandex to provide muscle support. V-notch, the cut most popular with joggers, has upside-down V-shaped indentations on the sides for easier movement. Split is a style similar to V-notch, except the V isn’t sewn together at the point. It’s formed by overlapping fabric, allowing for an even greater range of motion.

The netted fabric provides 360 degree breathability, and an internal drawstring lets you adjust the waist size. Champion

Length is typically a matter of taste, but keep these points in mind: Shorter is less likely to restrict movement while allowing for easier airflow. On warmer days, if you go long, it can cause heat and moisture to build up if the fabric doesn’t have enough breathability.

Sun Blocker

Anti-odor technology halts the growth of stinky microbes, while UPF 30 protection keeps harmful sun rays at bay. Under Armour

Natural and synthetic fabrics are both popular. Polyester and polyester-spandex blends are good for running because they’re durable and lightweight and manage moisture. Meanwhile, natural fibers absorb moisture, but while soft and breathable, can cause chafing as the skin constantly rubs against it.

Also Consider

The polyester-spandex blend makes it stretchable, while the thin fabric keeps things from getting too sweaty. DevOps

The best options are ones that are suitable for a range of activities or good for just lounge around the house. That way you can go from the couch to the court without having to worry about changing.