Can You Swim In Running Shorts

Can You Swim In Running Shorts

Swimming in Running Shorts: A Comfortable and Convenient Option

Swimming is a popular recreational activity that offers numerous health benefits. Whether you’re taking a dip in the pool, enjoying the ocean waves, or exploring a tranquil lake, swimming provides a refreshing experience. However, when it comes to choosing appropriate swimwear, many individuals wonder if running shorts can be a viable option. In this article, we will delve into the topic of swimming in running shorts, exploring the advantages, disadvantages, and considerations to keep in mind. Let’s dive in!

Advantages of Swimming in Running Shorts

Versatility and Convenience:

One of the key advantages of swimming in running shorts is their versatility and convenience. Running shorts are designed to provide optimal freedom of movement, making them suitable for various physical activities. Their lightweight and quick-drying fabric allow for seamless transitions from land to water. Instead of carrying separate swimwear, you can simply wear your running shorts to the swimming pool or beach, saving time and effort.

Comfort and Breathability:

Running shorts are typically made from breathable materials such as polyester or nylon, which wick away moisture and ensure ventilation. This feature helps to keep you cool and comfortable during your swimming sessions. The elastic waistbands and adjustable drawstrings of running shorts also provide a secure and customizable fit, allowing you to focus on your swimming technique without any distractions.

Protection from the Sun:

Another advantage of swimming in running shorts is the additional coverage they offer. While traditional swimwear like swimming trunks or bikinis may leave parts of your thighs exposed to the sun, running shorts provide extended coverage and protect your skin from harmful UV rays. This can be particularly beneficial when swimming in open water or spending long hours under the sun.


Purchasing swimwear can sometimes be an expensive investment. However, if you already own a pair of running shorts, swimming in them can be a cost-effective alternative. Rather than buying separate swim shorts, you can utilize your running gear, making the most out of what you already have.

Disadvantages and Considerations

Water Absorption:

While running shorts may offer quick-drying properties, it is essential to acknowledge that they are not specifically designed for swimming. Unlike dedicated swimwear, running shorts are more likely to absorb water, which can add extra weight and cause drag while swimming. This can affect your speed and overall performance in the water.


Running shorts are not constructed to withstand the harsh conditions of chlorine-treated pools or saltwater. The chemicals in the water can degrade the fabric and cause colors to fade over time. Additionally, the friction created by swimming movements may lead to increased wear and tear on the fabric, reducing the lifespan of your running shorts.

Lack of Support:

Unlike swim trunks or briefs, running shorts may not offer the same level of support for your groin area. They are not equipped with mesh linings or built-in briefs that provide adequate protection and stability during swimming. This may result in discomfort or potential chafing, especially during longer swimming sessions.

Fashion and Aesthetics:

Swimwear is often designed with fashion and aesthetics in mind, offering a wide range of styles, patterns, and colors. While running shorts can be functional and practical, they may not necessarily provide the same level of style or visual appeal as dedicated swimwear. If fashion and appearance are important to you, investing in swimwear specifically designed for swimming may be a better choice.


swimming in running shorts can be a viable option for recreational swimmers looking for convenience and comfort. The versatility and convenience of running shorts allow for seamless transitions from land to water, eliminating the need for separate swimwear. The lightweight and quick-drying fabric of running shorts provide breathability and comfort during swimming sessions. Additionally, the extended coverage offered by running shorts can provide added protection from the sun’s harmful UV rays.

However, it’s important to consider some disadvantages and limitations. Running shorts are not specifically designed for swimming, and they may absorb water, causing additional weight and drag in the water. They may also lack the necessary support and stability for the groin area, leading to potential discomfort or chafing. Furthermore, running shorts may not offer the same durability as dedicated swimwear, as the fabric can degrade in chlorinated or saltwater environments.

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