Running shorts. There are so many options. Do you go with classic jersey shorts? What about expensive compression shorts and technical gear? Is there a safe middle ground? You wouldn’t believe how many people are puzzled about what kind of exercise clothing to buy. The shear number of folks curious or concerned about exercise clothing was one of the reason’s we launched the Beginner’s Gear section.
This review will be the first of a few on the Champion C9 brand, available only at Target.
C9 is a good looking line of clothing. I would say Target values appearance and the Champion C9 line is no exception. These shorts are available in a range of different colors; I own a pair in gray, one in teal, one in navy, and there are tons of other colors. Even though these shorts cost less than $20, sometimes even $9.99, they’re well made. On each of the test pairs, the seams were straight, finished, and neat. The Champion C9 running shorts feature two stripes of reflective material on each leg. The first pair of shorts I purchased had a drawstring issue: The drawstring was a loop, there were no bitter ends to tighten or loosen. Quick snip with the scissors and the problem was solved, but clearly this was aggravating. The remaining two pairs of shorts didn’t have the problem.
Comfort and Fit:
These shorts run a little big. When I started running I wore an XL in shorts and these were a bit baggy. Make sure you try them on before purchasing, just to be safe. The C9 shorts feature a drawstring waist for easy adjusting, unless your pair has the same problem I did… The waistband is covered with fabric, no exposed elastic, which makes for a comfortable run. One interesting feature is the liner. Similar to the liner in men’s swim trunks, these shorts feature a small and supportive liner. Nice touch, it does take a bit of getting used to, but once you do, you’ll love the liner. There’s also a small pocket for a key or a small ID.
I’ve worn these shorts in all types of weather; hot and cold, dry and raining, even a little snow once. In all conditions, they perform well. The liner helps wick sweat and keeps the shorts from sticking on all but the longest runs. Both the liner and the shorts overall breath well. In the rain, the shorts didn’t ride up or bunch when wet and dried pretty quickly once the rain stopped. I know there are some folks that don’t wash their gym clothes after every use, but with these shorts, especially in the heat, it’s essential. You really don’t want the liner to be full of sweat and salt when you start the run. I have used these shorts for over 2 year and don’t have any serious complaints. Their durability is second to none.
Overall, we recommend these shorts. They are an excellent value for athletes of any level and financial ability. You can often find the C9 brand on sale at Target and pick these shorts up for less than $10-12. Even at their full price of $14.99, they’re an excellent deal. The Champion C9 running shorts are stylish, breath well, and are incredibly durable. The main drawback is after extended use, they tend to hold odor a bit. By extended use, I mean 4 times a week for a year or more. Still, I continue to use the first pair I bought over two years ago. The smell is not horrible, but it’s certainly there. At $14.99 or less though, you can afford to replace these shorts 9-12 months and still come out ahead.