Basketball Shorts for Women

If you have been on the hunt for women’s basketball shorts then you know finding a great pair at a price that won’t break the bank can be difficult. Knowing what style, material, cut and price range works for you becomes a complex science. Staring at the millions and millions of choices out there will eventually make you go ‘shorts blind’ and being able to decide on one single pair will become impossible. Here we will break down all the elements you need to know about to make an informed decision and then pick a few of our favorites and review each one.

Women as Athletes

Women throughout history have excelled in the sport of every category and class but it wasn’t until the 1900 Olympics that a woman won an Olympic medal. England’s Charlotte Cooper won the Gold medal in lawn tennis and it marked the first for a woman. It wasn’t until 1928 that Women’s Athletics and Gymnastics were included. Since then, women have become much more represented in all areas of the sporting world and have created a much watched and highly funded area of the sporting world. Today we see a thriving Women’s National Basketball League. The 2017 winner was the Minnesota Lynx with Sylvia Fowles as the MVP in the final. Seeing such high profile representation has encouraged women the world over to don the outfit and take up the sport.

The Difference in Design

Despite the fact that women have been massively active in sports, including basketball, for many years, the representation of them in sportswear has been minimal. It wasn’t until 2015 that Nike, one of the leading sportswear designers, brought out their own range of Basketball clothing for women. The range included only four items but more soon followed as did a number of other brands.

A few important factors come into play when designing basketball equipment for women. Fit, comfort, flexibility and size to name but a few. Women’s bodies are very different sizes to men and sportswear relies on working with the shape of a body to function at its best. A common problem found by women was in the shapes of the shorts. Men’s hips are much narrower than the average woman’s and the restrictiveness would harbor movement. Length of leg in modern shorts also posed a problem. It has become fashionable to wear mid-calf shorts in basketball but for women, who are often shorter than men; these would fall far too low on the leg. The only solution would be to buy smaller shorts but this, in turn, would make the hips smaller and cause further problems.

Making Progress

Since the issue of a lacking in women’s sportswear in the basketball range was finally addressed, the market has boomed with new options. New shoes, shorts, vests and supports have all come onto the market and give a huge amount of choice. Due to this new market, new research is being put into women’s basketball equipment also. Contouring is behind added to clothing to fit a female body much more comfortably, tapering is being added to shorts and much more lightweight materials are being developed to aid in play specific to women.

What are they made of?

Each pair of shorts is made up of a number of different things such as cotton, polyester and often specifically designed materials to help improve your play. We can have a look at each and decide which one works best for each play style.

Cotton – This common material is favored for the warmer and more comfortable shorts. It is hard working and durable. It is excellent if you plan to be lounging around in the shorts or playing outside in cold conditions. Its downsides are that it will weigh a lot more than most other materials and will soak up water and other fluids very quickly.

Polyester – This is a lightweight material seen in much more lightweight and cheaper shorts. It often makes up a part of the whole of the shorts. It is incredibly lightweight and repels water with little retention. It has the disadvantage of not being as hard wearing as cotton and certainly not as warm. It is often seen in the form of a mesh material in shorts which gives a huge amount of breathability. Inners of shorts are often made of a tricot polyester makeup also. This has the advantage of having the running comfort of cotton but the lightweight benefits of polyester.

Special Materials – Some companies have put money and research into newer and much more scientific materials for sportswear. These include materials that draw sweat away from the body, some materials lend strength and support to muscles and others are extra ventilated and pull heat from the body. They are often much more expensive but do benefit the player in numerous ways.

Why Wear Basketball Shorts?

When playing sports it is usually best to go with the sportswear that corresponds to that particular activity. Although it is tempting to just throw any old thing on it is actually beneficial to wear the correct outfit. Each sport has had a lot of research put into it by the multiple sports companies out there. They focus on play style, comfort, movement and efficiency and ensure that the clothing they put out is perfect for the best possible play.

Basketball shorts, in particular, are designed to allow the player to jump, dodge, run, and manoeuvrer at the peak of their physical capability. They have a lightweight design that won’t harbor any play and loose legs that will allow all the movement needed to be the best on the court. Basketball shorts focus on pulling heat away from the body and keep the legs cool. When you feel uncomfortable in the clothing you are wearing it is impossible to focus completely on the game and performance will suffer.

Reviewing Women’s Basketball Shorts.

To help you decide what is best for you we have picked out six different women’s basketball shorts and broken them down into their pros and cons. We will look at the price, material, cut, colors and a tried and tested wearing of each of them.

1. Adidas Women’s Athletic Basketball Shorts

These shorts are priced at $41.45 for the medium size and come in one color of classic Adidas black and white. They feature a mesh outer and a polyester inner.


  • Lightweight for faster and easier movement.
  • Mesh outer to help with staying cool.
  • Classic Adidas style.


  • Polyester isn’t as comfortable or hard wearing.
  • Run a little large.
  • On the more expensive side.

2. Women’s Mettle Basketball Shorts

These cheap basketball shorts range from $12.90 to $16.90 and come in a huge range of colors. The leg features a printed grate design in steel coloring on top of a colored pant leg. They are mid-calf length. This isn’t something often seen in women’s short and is much more regularly seen in shorts for men. They come with an elasticated and drawstring waistband.


  • Elasticated and drawstring waistband for added security.
  • Mid-calf design, uncommon in women’s shorts.
  • Great selection of colors.


  • Scratchy material.
  • Unbranded.
  • Polyester material isn’t durable.

3. Badger 7216 BD Ladies 5Ins

These are high waisted and short legged basketball shorts made for maximum flexibility on the court. They come in a range of earthy colors and feature a polyester mesh outer and polyester tricot liner inside. They can be purchased in the price range of $7.58 to $19.99.


  • Tricot liner – a single yard knit designed especially to be run-proof and stop chaffing or discomfort.
  • Mesh outer for great breathability.


  • No pockets.
  • Slightly see through.
  • Run small.

4. Adidas Performance Women’s Squadra Shorts

These shorts come in a very short mid-thigh length, they are available in 5 colors and all feature the well known Adidas logo on the left leg. They feature a Climacool technology along with mesh ventilation inserts. The material used is part of sustainable product program and uses recycled materials for the polyester material they are made up of.


  • Climacool technology keeps you extra cool on the court.
  • Mesh inserts for added ventilation.
  • Super short and lightweight.


  • Very high waisted.
  • No drawstring waistline.
  • See through.

5. Athletic Works Women’s Active Long Mesh Shorts

Available in green, blue and pink these shorts come in a longer style than usual. Not quite below the knee but longer than mid-thigh. They feature a drawstring and elastic waistband and a mesh fabric. The material is slightly thicker than most other women’s basketball shorts.


  • A great above the knee length.
  • Thick material for comfort and warmth.
  • Good quality workmanship.


  • Not the most fashionable cut.
  • Thick material will be very warm.

6. Adidas Women’s Training On Court Mesh Shorts

These mid-thigh length shorts are made of a material called Climalite. It is advertised as drawing heat and sweat away from the skin and keeping the wearer much cooler during play. They are priced between $11.38 and $38.48 which puts them in the more expensive range of the shorts we have looked at.


  • Climalite fabric helps draw sweat and heat away from the body.
  • Drawstring waistband for added security.
  • Quick drying material.


  • Slightly on the expensive side.
  • Not a flattering cut.

In Conclusion

Now we have broken down and had a detailed look at six separate women’s shorts it becomes easier to identify what exactly it is to look out for when deciding to buy a new pair. Prices can vary dramatically depending on what it is exactly that is being looked for. There is a vast array of cuts, colours, and styles available in women’s shorts that allows for a lot of individuality. Along with the style, there are also a huge amount of different materials and design choices made by the labels to look out for.

Depending on what the shorts will be used for and the play style of the wearer changes what shorts should be bought. The extra short shorts are great for the wearer hoping to play in hot conditions and needing all the flexibility and breathability possible. The long shorts give extra comfort and more warmth for the colder court.

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