One could easily argue that what you wear on the tennis court is just as important as the racket you’re holding. If you’re standing on court in a pair of jeans and a button up shirt, your tennis game may feel somewhat restricted…
You want to be dressed in something that feels comfortable, breathable and smoothly flexible. You don’t want to be sprinting back and forth across the baseline in clothes that are dragging you down, causing you frustration, and making you lose focus in moments where you need to be concentrating.
In warm, sweaty conditions, a good pair of tennis shorts is a must for any player. There’s plenty out there and most sports brands produce new colorful variations seemingly almost daily! It can be very tempting to pick the first pair of the shelf that look fashionable and walk to the checkout.
That’s where we come in to tell you to hold on for a moment! Put your money away for now and sit with us for a-while. We’re here to talk you through some of your options when it comes to selecting the best tennis shorts for men and women!
Best Tennis Shorts for Men
1. Nike Court Shorts
These 100% recycled polyester pair of shorts are some of the most common you’ll see when you take to the internet to search.
The elastic tie waistband means that that they can be custom fitted to your personal hip size and the breathable side ventilation system offers a way for fresh air to keep you cooled during extended play sessions. Add to that a 7” inseam and two pockets for tennis balls, and you’ve got a solid pair of shorts that offer the secure coverage you need when on court.
There are two relatively simplistic designs on the market currently, one plain black and one with a side white design. Nothing over the top but Nike Court are a very good benchmark for what good tennis shorts should be.
2. Fila Men’s Core Tennis Shorts
Another polyester pair of shorts!
Fila’s offering comes in selection of colors, a simplistic white, grey, black and navy. All of these will generally fit well with any pair of shoes or t-shirt if tennis court fashion is at the top of your priority list. So the color selection is nice but what about the shorts themselves?
Well, the drawstring waistband can be tightened to fit you easily enough and the polyster is woven and textured in an effort to swipe away irritating sweat droplets that threaten to disturb you in extended play. Fila are on the (tennis) ball so far with these shorts!
The 7” inseam and the 18” outseam provide that extra security as you’re running around the court and with two side pockets to hold balls, you’ll be all set for play if you pick these!
3. Babolat Men's Play Tennis Shorts
Babolat’s turn now and their polyester shorts immediately stand out because of the panel waist color difference. On the black and navy variations, the waistbands are grey and dark blue respectively. It’s a nice design choice that immediately catches the eyes. There is also a plain white pair as well should you prefer your shorts are entirely uniform in color.
The elastic waistband with drawcord combination will help you ready yourself before a big match and the 6” inseam will be keeping you nicely covered as you’re lunging back to the middle of the baseline. The two pockets are an average depth but there are two of them and they’ll hold your tennis balls easily enough as you’re serving.
These are a slightly shorter offering than some others out there but if you’re looking to let your knees breathe a little, these are the shorts for you.
4. Fila Legend Shorts
With a name like that, we should expect these to be high-quality tennis legwear!
Straight away, the design of these is fantastic, with a speed-stripe stretch-tape line running down each leg. The Fila colors of red, white, and blue make up this tape and they remain the same regardless of which color of shorts you pick. Both the navy blue and white look great with it, although the red pops that bit more on the white.
Now down to the details. The polyester of these shorts is densely woven and stretchable. The result is a pair of shorts that are particularly durable. The two side pockets are of average depth and the 8” inseam means that these shorts are a slightly lengthier option than others on this list.
These are a more expensive offering than others out there but the standard you’ll get could well make it a worthwhile investment for you if you intend to play often. These are built to last through many months of lengthy play sessions.
5. Adidas Men’s Club Shorts
There’s actually two different variations of this product, one being slightly longer than the other. Keep with us and we’ll run you through both.
We’ll start with the 9” pair. These shorts look relatively simply on the surface with two none-flashy color offerings of white and black.
They’re made from recycled polyester which is never a bad thing. The ripstop fabric that’s interwoven into them will help stop any embarrassing moments as you do the defensive open-stance backhand splits to get a ball back in play. A 9” seem means that these shorts will be ending somewhere around your knees if you like that extra coverage.
Over with the 7” pair and there’s a lot of obvious similarities, although this shorter pair comes with a more varied color palette of white, navy, black and red.
They’re made from a polyester and elastane hybrid, meaning that these shorts should be that bit more flexible and comfortably movable around your waist. The exposed elastic drawstring waistband will help you with any quick adjustments between points.
Both these pairs of shorts focus on being comfortable and relatively loose-fitting. They both also have climalite fabric to help keep you breathing properly in humid playing conditions.
If you’re looking for a pair of shorts that won’t stick closely to your skin even in sweaty weather, these are both solid Adidas offerings.
6. Lacoste Men's Novak 7"
These shorts are going to fly off the shelves based on the name of them alone. Including the best male tennis player in the world in the name of a product is a very smart decision from Lacoste!
But are they actually any good?
Made from a combination of polyester and a number of other materials around the waistbands and pockets, these shorts have clearly been put together with care and a target audience of players in mind.
The stretch fabric panels within the inner linings of each thigh will hug and support you as you run back and forth on court. The elasticised waist and adaptable drawstring tightening mechanism will help you when getting ready for a long day of play.
4 different color options are available, with a white, black, navy and sky blue all on offer.
Combine all of that with two solid pockets and the breathability and all-round comfort that comes with this pair of shorts, and we have a great option for players that light their shorts to sit snuggly against them as they’re playing.
If that sounds like you, these shorts might be just what you’ve been looking for.
7. Nike Pro Compression Shorts – Best Compression Shorts for Tennis
Now these are a little bit different and may scare you off unless you let us explain what they are first.
Compression shorts are designed specifically to hug your skin tight like a second layer, wrapping in close to your body. This may seem slightly extreme and you may now be wondering exactly who is brave enough to run around wearing a figure hugging pair of shorts like this…
Well, they’re not. Or at least, they shouldn’t be!
Compression shorts are for going under another pair of regular sports shorts. They help with your oxygen flow through your body in lengthy sessions of exercise. They cling tight to your muscles, helping them warm into motion and pushing them to move as much as you need them too. They’re also handy for helping you avoid cramps or thigh strains!
This Nike pair is a good selection if you’re looking to buy the best compression shorts for tennis. The flexible mesh material is breathable, absorbing sweat quickly without becoming weighted. They can be found relatively cheaply online as well so if you think you need a bit of extra warmth for these cold winter months when you’re next out on the courts, compression shorts are the way to go.
…just don’t get them mixed up with regular tennis shorts. You have been warned!
Best Tennis Shorts for Women
1. Nike Court Flex Women’s Shorts
The Nike Court line is back on this list again, this time with a pair of women’s tennis shorts.
This pair of shorts are made from a polyester and elastane mix and are hyper flexible as the name would suggest. The waistband is easily manoeuvrable and adjustable to fit your size and the hem vents help to direct bursts of much needed fresh air towards your legs as you head deep into that must-win match tiebreak.
The two color options are rather different from each other with these shorts, with one being your typical black pair and one being a stand-out-in-the-crowd bright pink pair! You won’t lose these shorts in the back of your drawers!
Brilliantly, these shorts actually have a pair of undershorts that hug tight to the thigh. Acting like a pair of compression pants, this under-layer provides that bit of extra coverage on those frosty winter morning hits.
With two side pockets for spare tennis balls, this is a really solid bar to set for what women’s tennis shorts should be like.
2. HEAD Women's Shorts
HEAD makes its way onto this list with a pair of general sports shorts! While not specifically engineered for tennis playing, these shorts have a few all-round athletic features that will benefit you if you choose these for all of your all-court needs.
Made out of a lightweight polyspan blend of polyester and elastic, these shorts aim to be seamlessly smooth about your waist as you sprint around the court.
Lightweight, durable and water-resistant, these shorts pack a whole of tennis playing power beneath their navy blue look. Their straightforward all-round design proves usefully versatile, hugging close to your legs when you’re in the middle of an intense rally while giving you room to stretch out before you hammer down a first serve on the very next point.
These are also a very cheap option. If you’re looking for a pair of shorts that you can run, gym and tennis in, these are a brilliant budget pick-up!
3. Fila Women's Core A-Line Tennis Skorts
Fila are all about the colors with this short and skirt hybrid design! Navy, green, purple, black, crimson, maroon, orange, blue, white and yellow… Whew! You still with us?
The color palette alone makes these an attractive option but they’re also a very good pair of shorts as well. The attached undershort and overskirt combo works well together to provide that bit of extra covering when you’re leaping forward to return serve.
The polyester and spandex materials used combine to make a fitted pair of shorts that relax around your midsection with ease. The coolmax lining stitched into the seams will help you keep cool on those lengthy warmer summer tennis afternoons.
The triangular A-design that these skorts are made using is an easily wearable shape and will never feel overcomplicated while you’re playing.
If you’re trying to find something slightly different to try out on the court, pick up a pair of these.
4. Penn Women's Spike Skorts
Penn gives the short and skirt combination a go this time and while there’s no the rainbow set of colors that Fila have, these are still very worthy of a place on this list!
Coming in a white, black, plum, navy, grey and medieval (another blue!), Penn have opted for a rather moody set of colors for their skorts.
A polyester and spandex combination make up the materials woven together to create these skorts. Together, they offer a smoothly flexible feel and four-way movement for players wearing them.
The banded waist is stretchable and comfortable, sitting closely and securely around your hips. While the skirt flows around you, the undershorts remain close to your legs, providing that coverage you need to perform your best on court.
Chaffing is an unpleasant side effect of wearing clothing that isn’t designed properly when working out. Penn know this and have taken steps to help you avoid it by making sure that all the seams on the inside of this skort have are flattened down within the surface of the material itself.
This is another solid general offering from Penn and if you’re looking for a pair of comfortable, easy to slip on shorts to get out on the court quickly, grab a pair of these!
5. ZEALOTPOWER Tennis Skorts for Women
These skorts come in patterns!
Of course there’s regular black, blue, white and grey options still available but who wants those when you can mix it up a little with a few different patterned designs?! We think more patterns should be a thing on tennis clothing…
Anyway, these skorts also have a pretty great design.
Firstly, there’s actually 4 pockets! Yes, you read that right… 4! One’s around the back in an easy to grab place to store an extra ball should you need it. Another is on one of the legs like on a pair of regular shorts. And the other two are on the inside linings like secret compartments. Very cool.
If you aren’t already sold on these, they have a flexible wideband waistline to fit all sizes, built-in mesh undershorts for that extra coverage and warmth AND they’re made out of a dry-fit polyester and elastic combination for that free-flowing tennis movement.
We know. We think they’re pretty fantastic as well. It’s all brought together by a pleated skirt design that looks fantastic when out on the court.
If you’re looking for a pair of standout shorts that’ll have you feeling great while wearing them, you need not look any further than these!
How to Choose Tennis Shorts
What material shorts are made out of should be one of the first things you look to find out when deciding whether or not to part with your money over a pair.
Not so long ago, most tennis clothes would be made predominantly from cotton. This got the job done but didn’t make playing particularly comfortable as it would absorb sweat and steadily weigh on players legs in long matches. You can still get cotton shorts today but notably, they’re usually sold as “classic” tennis shorts.
Nowadays, the go-to material for shorts is polyester or spandex. These provide flexibility and easy maneuverability when you’re lunging around the court in lengthy baseline exchanges. It can be a bit hit or miss (pun intended!) in terms of quality though so make sure what you’re about to buy is made from a reliable manufacturer and is built to last…
Ripped shorts on the court are not fun for anyone!
This one really comes down to your own personal preference.
Back in the day, men’s tennis shorts in particular would be VERY short. This isn’t the case anymore, with many designs actually being nearly three-quarter length!
More typically though, modern tennis shorts usually end around the knees or just above.
There are options out there for all preferences if you’re looking in the right places. Find a pair of shorts that will help you feel at ease on the court and allow you to focus entirely on your game.
You want to feel confident in the moment and if you have a pair of shorts that fit you well and have you feeling good about yourself, you’ll find that you’ll be far more able to produce your best tennis in important matches.
This is an interesting one.
Perhaps more than any other sporting clothes, the tennis pockets have to be good quality. What we mean by that is that they are used a LOT when playing to store a second ball.
When you toss up your first serve, you want to know that you have another ready to go on the off-chance that you need to hit a second. We know, we know, you’re first serve is 100% accurate all the time… But really, have that second ball ready just in case.
So when it comes to buying shorts, make sure that they have deep or tight pockets so that the second ball will stay in place throughout extended rallies. If a ball falls out your pocket mid-rally, that’s a point to your opponent and you do NOT want to get into the habit of giving away freebies.
Fit & Style
If you’re running around a tennis court for a good few hours every time you play, you want a trustworthy pair of shorts that are going to stay in place.
Imagine you’re running to the net for a put away volley, only to find yourself tripping over your shorts that are now tangled about your ankles! Not only is the point now gone but your opponent is on the ground in tears of laughter. Not an ideal scenario.
Get yourself a pair of shorts that fit comfortably around your waist and don’t threaten to impede your tennis playing. If possible, try them on before buying to make sure. If you’re buying online, double, triple, quadruple check your size on your other clothes before ordering.
As for the style, there are so many options out there! If you want some brightly coloured tight neon yellow tennis shorts, you can get them! If you want a flowery patterned baggy surfer-style pair of tennis shorts, you can get them!
The only thing we would say is to make sure the quality of the product you’re buying is good above all else. It can be easy to get carried away with some uniquely glorious looking styles and generally, we say rock whatever colorful designs you like.
Just make sure you’re not left looking the fool when it comes to game time.
So here we are again.
We’ve taken you through some of the best tennis shorts/skorts out there currently and now feel confident enough to send you to find a pair for yourself alone. We won’t always be there to hold your hand but we’ll always be right here if you need to check in with us for a recommendation.
Seriously though, as long as the shorts you’re wearing help and don’t impede your tennis playing ability in any way, you can’t really go wrong. Try and find something that’s going to leave you feeling confident and ready to return that first serve.
And if you’re finding yourself uncertain whether or not to go for that pink and green short-short pair, maybe consider some other options first before jumping all in…