What Are 2-in-1 Running Shorts? (With 6 Reasons To Try Them!)

When I first realized that you could buy running shorts with the liner already built-in, I was pumped. For years, I simply ran in whatever underwear I normally wore along with my running shorts. 2-in-1 running shorts changed the game for me and I bet they could also work for you! But, what are 2-in-1 shorts?

Two-in-one running shorts mimic the benefits and coverage of both traditional running shorts and compression shorts without the bulk of two waistbands. This results in two layers in a pair of shorts that can reduce friction, improve circulation, provide extra protection, allow for better muscle movements, and absorb moisture.

Keep reading to learn all the possible benefits of 2-in-1 running shorts and the potential disadvantages.

What do 2-in-1 running shorts include?

Most running shorts are either short and loose or tight enough that they provide support without compromising your stride. Two-in-one running shorts give you the best of both worlds.

Two-in-one running shorts include two layers with the outer layer of fabric that comprises your standard running shorts and an inner layer that’s basically compression shorts or lining. These two layers help comfort the wearer while removing the need for underwear. You can usually find 2-in-1 running shorts in both 5-inch and 7-inch options.

Man in runner's stance wearing 2-in-1 running shorts.

These 2-in-1 shorts might sound a bit redundant – why do you need an extra layer when you can just put on some underwear or use the inner lining of running shorts?

The reason is that having two separate layers provides another point of friction when you are running. The waistbands will rub together and potentially cause rubbing on your wait, resulting in chafing and irritation.

By including both layers in a single pair of shorts, you can also avoid buying separate compression shorts or leggings that might cost you more money.

These days, you can find 2-in-1 or lined shorts in pretty much any length or pocket configuration so should be able to find something that works for you.

Personally, once I discovered and started using 2-in-1 or lined running shorts, it was a complete game changer. Not only were they more comfortable during the run, they also cost less overall than buying separate shorts and liners, and the laundry was easier, to boot!

Benefits of 2-in-1 running shorts

Two-in-one running shorts are useful for the day-to-day runner, general workout geek, or overall athlete and deserve a spot in your closet!

There are a variety of benefits when it comes to 2-in-1 running shorts. If you tend to run or exercise or play running sports on a regular basis, running shorts might just become your favorite piece of clothing to keep you comfortable, flexible, and safe.

Two-in-one running shorts provide the benefits of both standard running shorts and compression shorts.

Benefits of 2-in-1 running shorts include:

  1. Reduced friction
  2. Improved performance
  3. Improved circulation
  4. Better muscle movement
  5. Moisture resistance
  6. Increased power

Whether you have been having trouble with your current shorts or are simply looking for a durable and do-everything kind of an option, you should definitely consider 2-in-1 running shorts.

Reduced friction

One of the main benefits of 2-in-1 running shorts is the fact that they reduce the friction between the fabric and your skin, especially on parts like your waist, thighs, and crotch.

Coarser and looser fabric pieces or shorts are more likely to move around and rub against your skin, resulting in chafing, rashes, and redness. By including the compression shorts as an internal layer, the fabric will sit snugly against your skin and ensure a tight fit, thus removing the potential of too much rubbing.

This also helps you maintain the overall hygiene of the sensitive parts of your skin to avoid pain, discomfort, and infection.

Improved performance

How can a piece of fabric improve your performance while running or exerting yourself physically?

Performance benefits with running shorts are usually subjective, but many runners report that they are able to run more comfortably for longer periods with lined running shorts.

These shorts can also allow you to endure the exercise for a bit longer than you might be used to with regular shorts, resulting in lower levels of fatigue as well.

Improved circulation

Compression sleeves are often used in a medical sense to increase blood flow and reduce swelling, but they can be used similarly on your run.

Blood circulation also improves a bit due to the inner compression layer of the 2-in-1 running shorts. Due to the tight but comfortable presence of the inner layer, the muscles receive a good level of oxygen that can allow them to function better.

This can also improve the circulation of blood and oxygen to various other parts of the body, promoting healing and recovery, reducing inflammation, and ensuring protection against injuries.

This can result in a more holistic form of development, allowing you to maintain and produce consistent results through your running exercise or workout.

Better muscle movement

Muscles perform better when they have better access to blood and its nutrients and oxygen levels.

Due to the constant support of the compression layer in lined shorts, many runners feel like they are able to maintain proper running form a little more easily and avoid some of the most common issues with irritation.

After you are done working out, compression clothing can also help a bit with soreness, aches, and general recovery.

Moisture resistance

Running tends to result in high levels of sweat, which can be a big problem for runners as it can cause irritation on the skin, add weight to your running clothes, reduce your ability to stay cool, and generally make running less enjoyable.

Since the outer and the inner layer of 2-in-1 shorts are made from materials like spandex, nylon, or polyester, the sweat resistance level tends to be much higher. These materials manage to get rid of sweat much more quickly through evaporation.

Add to this the compression level, and you will experience even more breathability.

Increased power

Due to a combination of factors like excess friction, shorts riding up, excess sweat levels, and more, you might be unable to focus on running correctly and generating the speed and power you are looking for during the run.

With 2-in-1 running shorts, however, the compression provided by the shorts, along with all of the other potential benefits, can make it possible to use increased power and energy levels.

A good example of this is your jumping prowess.

Potential disadvantages of 2-in-1 running shorts

Despite the numerous advantages that 2-in-1 running shorts seem to offer, there are still a few disadvantages that you should be aware of. These will help you understand which way the scale tips in terms of the final performance so that you can make an informed choice.

Here are some potential disadvantages of 2-in-1 running shorts:

  • Layering – Since 2-in-1 shorts already have an internal layer, they serve as underwear on their own. When worn with that additional layer, discomfort and chafing are possible.
  • Material – It can become uncomfortable to wear these shorts for a long period of time due to the synthetics that make up these shorts.
  • Cost – They can be a bit more expensive than other shorts.

It is clear that there are many more benefits of 2-in-1 running shorts as compared to the disadvantages. If you’re a serious runner, they’re definitely worth a try!

What is the point of 2 in 1 shorts?

The point of 2-in-1 shorts is to provide the benefits of both a liner or compression underwear and running shorts in one package. Lined running shorts can provide increased support and comfort while reducing irritation and overall weight.

Are 2 in 1 shorts worth it?

2-in-1 running shorts are worth it for serious runners that are running for longer distances and/or at faster paces. They can be very cost-effective, reduce laundry, and provide performance benefits.

Why do runners wear split shorts?

Some runners choose split shorts because they are the smallest, lightest, and least restrictive type of shorts that you can find. Split running shorts can potentially improve a runner’s performance at the highest levels.

What are the different types of running shorts?

The most common types of running shorts are split shorts, v-notch shorts, compression shorts, and 2-in-1 or lined shorts.