The best compression shorts for basketball have become all the rage in professional hoops in 2023, as in recent years, and there is a reason for this. They have some major physiological benefits, improving circulation and reducing the build up of lactic acid, and they also prevent chafing. On top of this, they help recreational players look a little more like Dwayne Wade – every player’s dream. This article will provide you with a list of some of the best compression shorts for basketball, including men, women and youth basketball players as well as the things to look for when purchasing compression shorts.
Reviews of the 9 Best Compression Shorts for Basketball for Men, Women and Kids, Plus 3 to Avoid
Top 3 for Men
- 2XU Compression Shorts Review: The focus of 2XU is purely on compression gear, so it’s unsurprising that they have come out with the best compression shorts for men. Like most compression shorts, these can be used for a variety of activities, and basketball is certainly one of them. They apply consistent pressure around the entirety of your upper leg, thanks to the 70 Denier knit construction employed by 2XU. They are made of a moisture-wicking fabric, meaning your leg will remain dry even in the presence of significant perspiration. These compression shorts are so light you won’t even notice them, and they provide great breathability for your upper leg. They may be a little more expensive than many competitors, but the cost is well and truly worth it for an excellent product, which will last a long time.
- To watch the 2XU Compression Shorts Review on YouTube, click here.
- Champion Men’s Powerflex Compression Shorts Review: Champion has come up with one of their best products for basketball in these compression shorts. Made from 84% polyester and 16% spandex, these shorts excel in comfort. The stretchy fabric, which results from this composite material means the shorts are firm enough to prevent unwanted movement, but light enough not to restrict your range of motion. Champion have also utilized a Quick-drying Champion Vapor technology, which ensures any moisture evaporates almost instantly. Considering their quality, these are also an incredibly cheap product. They can be purchased for significantly less than many similar quality compression shorts.
- To watch the Champion Men’s Powerflex Compression Shorts Review on YouTube, click here.
- Under Armour HeatGear Compression Shorts Review: Under Armour are now regarded as the main challenger to Nike in the sports apparel industry, and these compression shorts show why. Made from a composite of polyester and elastane, the HeatGear fabric is comfortable enough to be worn throughout the day, not just during your high intensity shoot around. The patented Under Armour Moisture Transport System wicks away moisture, while anti-odor technology means your nose won’t have to deal with the consequences of a tough game. These compression shorts will even protect you from the suns harmful rays, meaning those of you who like to ball without a lot of gear on won’t have to worry about sunburn! Under Armour sponsors many of the NBA’s greatest players, including star shooter Steph Curry, who proudly wears products such as these. As a result, these are the best NBA compression shorts out there.
- To watch the Under Armour HeatGear Compression Shorts Review on YouTube, click here.
Top 3 for Women
- AeroTech Women’s Compression Workout Shorts Review: This little known brand has come from the clouds to make an extremely high quality product in these compression shorts. Made in the USA from 84% nylon and 16% spandex, these shorts have some major physiological benefits. They increase blood circulation, support your muscles, and reduce fatigue. This means you’ll be able to go from end to end faster, and for longer, outlasting your opponents and dominating fourth quarters. They are cheap, comfortable, and available in a range of different colors. There are no major flaws with this product; it is better than most alternatives, and will cost you less too. What more could you want? Overall, these are the best compression shorts for women on the market, and are a purchase you won’t regret.
- To watch the AeroTech Women’s Compression Workout Shorts Review on YouTube, click here.
- Under Armour Women’s HeatGear Armour Long Short Review: Just like the men’s version of this product, the HeatGear compression shorts are a great choice. The Under Armour HeatGear fabric is made entirely from ‘Other Fibers’, and this has resulted in an incredibly lightweight product. You won’t even notice you’re wearing these, but your legs will, as the shorts will support your muscles and wick away sweat before it starts to cause problems. The 4-way stretch construction means you’ll be able to move as freely as if you were wearing nothing at all, while chafing will become a problem of the past when wearing these shorts. Coming from such a high quality brand, they are invariably a little more expensive than some other compression shorts, but they are durable and will be worth the extra money in the long run.
- To watch the Under Armour Women’s HeatGear Armour Long Short Review on YouTube, click here.
- NIKE Pro 5” Compression Shorts Review: These compression shorts are a little shorter than many others, and they will sit well above the bottom of your basketball shorts. This doesn’t take away from their performance though, as is to be expected with any Nike product. Nike has utilized their famous Dri-FIT fabric, which wicks away sweat to ensure your legs remain dry, and you remain comfortable and confident. They fit snugly around your waist and upper legs, providing not only comfort, but also great stability. These compression shorts won’t ride up your waist like many others, and will generally help you feel significantly more comfortable in making the wide range of movements necessary in a game of basketball.
- To watch the NIKE Pro 5” Compression Shorts Review on YouTube, click here.
Top 3 for Kids
- Shock Doctor Men’s and Boy’s Core Compression Short Review: These shorts have all that you would expect in a good pair of compression shorts. They wick away moisture, keeping your kid comfortable while they’re developing their game, and provide great ventilation. Importantly, they are particularly durable, important for those kids who you just can’t keep off the court. An added benefit of these shorts is the groin protection they provide. This means that your young child won’t be turned off the game by a stray knee or elbow to the wrong area, and you can be confident that wearing these shorts minimizes the risk of an injury. This added protection, alongside the array of other qualities present in this product, means these are the best compression shorts for kids.
- To watch the Shock Doctor Men’s and Boy’s Core Compression Short Review on YouTube, click here.
- McDavid Hex 3-Pad Basketball Shorts Review: Many parents worry about their kid getting hurt while playing basketball, and this is understandable. Though technically a non-contact sport, there is plenty of physicality in the game, particularly amongst kids who may be a little too eager to snatch that rebound, and a little unfamiliar with their own developing strength. As a result, compression shorts with padding can provide a little extra peace of mind, ensuring your kid won’t have to deal with a corked thigh or a bruised hip after a physical game. These shorts are often used for football, but they possess all the things compression shorts need to be used for basketball, including a Moisture Management system, and a lightweight feel. Invariably, the added material makes these a little more expensive, but they are the best compression shorts with pads available, and provide extra support not just for the child, but for mom and dad too.
- To watch the McDavid Hex 3-Pad Basketball Shorts Review on YouTube, click here.
- Skins A200 Half Tights Compression Review: These compression shorts are a great option for anybody, but can be particularly beneficial to kids. Skins are a well-reputed compression company, meaning your child’s comfort is in good hands when wearing these shorts. They improve circulation and increase oxygen delivery to muscles, meaning your kid won’t wear out as easily as they would in the absence of compression shorts. They’re flexible and lightweight, meaning they won’t provide any discomfort to kids, who can often be nitpicky about what gear they wear. Invariably, having been created by Skins, they are a little expensive, but it is a price worth paying for your kid’s comfort and enjoyment of the great game of basketball.
- To watch the Skins A200 Half Tights Compression Review on YouTube, click here.
3 to Avoid
- NIKE Men’s Pro Shorts Review: In what is a relatively rare occurrence, Nike has put out a subpar product in this pair of shorts. They are advertised in much the same way as other similar shorts. They have moisture wicking technology, added ventilation and provide a good range of movement, but many reviews note a similar problem – they fall apart. The waistband tends to unravel very early in the life of these shorts, often after just one or two washes, and holes also tend to appear on the leg section of them. Being a Nike product, they are also relatively expensive, and given their extreme lack of durability this price tag is not justified. Stay away from these ones.
- To watch the NIKE Men’s Pro Shorts Review on YouTube, click here.
- Adidas Mens Basketball Padded Techfit Short Review: Another product from a well-renowned brand, which fails to satisfy. These shorts have pads on the hips and the thighs to prevent contusion and other impact injuries, but they are of inferior quality to similar shorts. To start with, they generally don’t fit well, and users often complain that they are too tight. Compression shorts are supposed to compress, but not entirely crush legs! On top of this, they have a tendency to fall apart after a few uses. Considering you have to pay that little extra for the Adidas brand, these are not at all worth it.
- To watch the Adidas Mens Basketball Padded Techfit Short Review on YouTube, click here.
- Blackout Tees Champro Adult Basketball Padded Compression Shorts Review: These are another pair of padded compression shorts, which, while providing extra padding, do not provide the fundamentals required in a good pair of these shorts. They are far too tight, and restrict motion rather than promoting it. Playing basketball in these shorts is significantly less comfortable than playing without them, and can really take away from your focus. The padding is a nice feature, but you will know it there. The best compression shorts provide a consistent feel around the entire leg, and these fail to do this. They are not the most expensive of options, but nor are they a particularly good one. Best to stay away from these.
- To watch the Blackout Tees Champro Adult Basketball Padded Compression Shorts Review on YouTube, click here.
2023 Buyers Guide to the Best Compression Shorts for Basketball
At best, compression shorts can provide you with great comfort, stamina, and quicker recovery time after a tough basketball game. At worst, they restrict your range of motion and hurt your wallet. It’s important to know what to look for prior to buying, so below are the three most important factors to consider before your purchase.
3 Main Points to Consider:
- Physiological benefits: There are a range of health benefits associated with high quality compression shorts. To start with, they assist with blood flow and prevent the build up of lactic acid. Lactic acid is the acid, which develops after repeated high intensity exercise, and causes pain. This is why you might struggle to get back on defense after a couple of quick possessions, but good compression shorts will help to minimize this problem. They can also prevent the onset of muscle soreness after your games, enabling you to get back on the court and playing at your best as quickly as possible. Good compression shorts made out of high quality materials will provide all of these benefits, while cheaper, imitation shorts will do very little to assist you from a physiological perspective.
- Comfort: Comfort is, of course, paramount in the pair of compression shorts you choose to buy. A pair of shorts might provide all of the physiological benefits outlined above, but if you’re running around the court thinking about how uncomfortable they are, they won’t be worth it. A good pair will provide added stability for your entire upper leg and groin area, as well as your muscles; meaning you’ll feel more flexible, and be more able to pull off that Eurostep to the hoop you’ve been working on for so long. Generally, comfort is a result of two things: material and fit. Lower quality materials may itch and cause chafing, while better shorts won’t cause these problems. Likewise, better shorts will fit much more snugly, while lower quality shorts may move around and sag in some places.
- Durability: Your shorts need to be able to last. If the elastic is going to unravel, or the seams are going to come apart after just a few tough games or a couple of washes, then the compression shorts aren’t worth your time. This factor is also directly related to value. As with all products, you generally pay for what you get, meaning more expensive compression shorts are also likely to last the longest. If you pay less, you might save now, but in the long run you could end up spending even more money, as you will continually be forced to buy new compression shorts. Make sure to read the reviews before purchasing, as these will provide a sound idea of whether the shorts will last or not.
What’s the Advantage of Wearing Compression Shorts in Basketball?
The number one advantage of wearing compression shorts during a game of basketball is the added support you provide to your muscles. They will help to prevent soreness both during a game, and after it, allowing you to perform better for longer. On top of this, the best compression shorts can be extremely comfortable, helping you to focus more on your game, rather than the chafing going on in your legs. On top of this, there is of course the more superficial level. Today, there are very few NBA players who don’t wear compression shorts, meaning you’ll develop the confidence to play like LeBron James or Steph Curry with these shorts on.
Best Compression Shorts for Basketball (2023 Buyers Guide):
Final Thoughts on Finding One of the Best Compression Shorts:
Compression shorts can be hugely beneficial to your game. They help you to feel better during games, and recover more quickly, enabling you get back on the court as soon as possible. This article has provided some useful tips on what to look for, as well as some of the best compression shorts in basketball for men, women and kids, and by following the advice provided you’re sure to get a piece of basketball gear you’ll love.