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Let’s get the negative out of the way first: The Nike Tempo Shorts are not very flattering. Online reviews tend to point out their “diaper butt.” But if you’re looking for something to run in — whether you’re trying to qualify for Boston or casually hitting the treadmill — no shorts are more comfortable, fuss-free, and functional than these.
When I first started running in 2009, Tempo shorts were at the peak of their popularity. Walking through my college gym, you could spy a veritable rainbow of them between the rows of treadmills and ellipticals. So when I decided to tackle a couch-to-5K program, it was a no-brainer to pick up a few pairs.
As I got more and more into running I tried out a variety of different shorts, but they only left me feeling chafed or picking wedgies, or scratched up by ill-placed seams. There are new Nike styles with features like giant iPhone 7S-sized pockets, as well as far more stylish shorts from brands like Lululemon or Outdoor Voices, but I’ve remained loyal over the years.
Through five marathons, a dozen or so half-marathons, and who knows how many long runs on rainy days or speedwork on blazing hot days, nothing compares to these basic shorts that come in a bazillion colors and will never cost you more than $30. They also last for-freaking-ever.
There’s a lot to worry about when you’re running. Am I hydrating enough? Am I doing my slow runs too fast or my fast runs too slow? What if I have to poop? But my shorts are something I never have to think about. And that’s the way I like it.