Get full access to Outside Learn, our online education hub featuring in-depth fitness, nutrition, and adventure courses and more than 2,000 instructional videos when you sign up for Outside+ Sign up for Outside+ today.
Spandex short shorts might seem simple, but they are surprisingly hard to nail. Most runners have stories of hems that ride up, fabric that bunches, and waistbands that squeeze.
Indura Athletic offers an alternative. Founder Abby Drach, a 25-year-old cross-country ski racer, has set out to create active apparel for muscular bodies—the kind of clothing she and her teammates had always wanted. To that end, the brand’s five-inch Stay Put shorts ($58) boast an innovative cut designed with sizable quads and glutes in mind. First, there’s the graduated hem, which is shorter on the outside and longer on the inside of the leg. This prevents inner-thigh chafing and keeps the bottom hem from creeping crotchward. Drach also fortified each leg opening with a strip of rubbery dots, which cling to your skin to keep everything in place, like the grip pads on a bike chamois. “They never rode up,” said one tester after a day carrying a 30-plus-pound pack on steep Panamanian jungle terrain that required repeated high steps. “Usually I’m self-conscious in short shorts, but in these I felt comfortable and covered, even with our guides behind me.”
A wide, flat waistband, made from the same highly compressive nylon-spandex blend as the rest of the shorts, also stays in place without squeezing. Plus, you can choose a standard high rise or a curved midrise that swoops low on the stomach but remains high-cut across the back. The latter is perfect for those who prefer a lower rise but don’t want to sacrifice butt coverage.
The only downside: the fabric is slightly thicker than your average tights, and some testers found it prone to soaking through in high-sweat areas. Upside: it’s not see-through when you bend over. It’s also more durable, and it held up to several brushy hikes and trail runs without a snag.