One Woman’s Journey To Find A Pair Of Running Shorts That Don’t Ride Up Ze Coochie After 3 Steps

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When I took up running in late 2023, I thought that clocking up the kilometres would be the hard bit. But it turns out, the hardest part about trying to become a runner girly isn’t actually running — it’s finding a pair of shorts that don’t ride up into your coochie every three steps.

The thing is, I have fairly thick thighs. I’m a quad-dominant former powerlifter who — I’m not even kidding — has been told that I could “break a watermelon with those things”. So when I decided to mix up my training and attempt to run a half marathon, I started out wearing full-length leggings. By the time I was comfortably running 10km, it was the middle of summer and the full-length tights had to go.

So, I decided it was finally time to bite the bullet and start my journey to find a pair of shorts that were suitable for thick-thighed people. From my experience so far, typical running shorts get gobbled up so these are bike short style.

I’ve ranked these bad boys out of five in a few different areas:

  • Do they ride up? 1 means, yes these shorts are up my ass while 10 means they stay put.
  • Are they squat-proof? 1 means you can clearly see my bits with 10 signifying that the mystery is still alive.
  • How much do these shorts make my pins look like a cut of pork that has been delicately wrapped in string ready to become a delicious roast? 1 means that they don’t cut in tight on my thighs and 10 means they’ve got a lot of compression around the legs.

Here are the shorts I’ve tried so far, but honestly, the hunt for a perfect pair is still ongoing so if you have any suggestions, HMU!!!!!

SA1NT Layers – Women’s 8″ Compression Shorts, $89.00

(Image: Sa1nt Layers)

SA1NT Layers are designed to keep you feeling compressed and comfortable.

I love how snatched they made my tummy look and the way these shorts stayed in place for the majority of a 10+ km run. Also, as women’s activewear is so typically pocket-free, I love how these shorts come with two mesh pockets for my phone and keys.

The downside to this pair was how they looked on my legs. The compression was great on the stomach but on my thighs, it made me look like I had salami wrapped in string for legs. Although I was stoked I didn’t have to adjust these bad boys, by the end of my run, I had some pretty intense indents on my legs. So, if you don’t love leggings that have elastic on the legs, these are not the pair for you.

RIDE UP: 10/10 — they really don’t budge.
SQUAT PROOF: 10/10 — no butthole on display here!!
PORK ROAST: 10/10 — My legs look like a [delicious] pork roast.
SIZE RANGE: XS to XL but I think these sizes run small and could be more inclusive.

You can check out SA1NT Layers here.

Lululemon Align High-Rise Short 6″, $64

(Image: Lululemon)

Lululmon Aligns are one of my favourite lines of activewear bottoms. They’re super soft, subtle and incredibly comfortable to wear. I already had a pair of the Align High-Rise shorts that I would wear to the gym, or just around the house. I’d never considered them for my running endeavours until a very beautiful running girlie on TikTok said she swore by the Align shorts for running. Colour me ~influenced~.

Sadly for me, these shorts were a no-go. They rode up my thighs so quickly that my run turned into a walk and because I was wearing my running vest I felt very silly. So, while I adore the feeling of these shorts, they’re reserved for my gym floor/yoga/pilates workouts.

RIDE UP: 1/10 — Gobbled by the thighs because there wasn’t enough compression.
SQUAT PROOF: 10/10 — This is a win! The material is very thick!
PORK ROAST: 0/10 — The benefit of the buttery material is that it fits my pins perfectly.
SIZE RANGE: These shorts come in an Australian size 4 to 24 size range.

You can check out the Lululemon Align High Rise Short here.

Lululemon Fast And Free High-Rise Short 6″, $89

(Image: Lululemon)

The Lululemon Fast And Free High-Rise Short were another example of how easily swayed I have been by running gals on TikTok. They were touted as the go-to running shorts for curvier women because they had subtle compression elements and a band around the thighs to stop them from riding up.

On my first run, these were amazing. They looked great, they felt great and they didn’t budge. However, after I chucked them in the wash, they lost a bit of their staying power and began riding up. It was kind of devastating because I truly thought I’d found the shorts I’d been looking for.

But now, I’ve come to terms with it. I still love these shorts but just not for long-distance running. This morning I wore them to boxing and they rode up but in a cute way.

RIDE UP: 5/10 — Could be better, could be worse but not suitable for runs longer than 5km in my opinion.
SQUAT PROOF: 10/10 — One of my favourite pairs of shorts to squat in for sure.
PORK ROAST: 4/10 — Not too shabby, honestly.
SIZE RANGE: Available in an Australian 4 to 24.

You can check out the Lululemon Fast And Free High-Rise Shorts here.

UNIQLO AIRism Soft Pocket Biker Shorts, $19.90

(Image: UNIQLO)

I’ll be honest, the last place I expected to find A+ quality running shorts was UNIQLO — but here we are. I was getting desperate and sick of forking out $60+ for shorts that wouldn’t suit the purpose I bought them for. But for $20 it was worth the risk.

The AIRism Soft Pocket Biker Shorts impressed me from the get-go. They’re super soft but have just the right amount of compression on the tummy. To keep the legs in place, these shorts have a rubber lining on the inside, rather than the tight elastic band many of the other shorts have. While I had my doubts, it worked a bloody treat!!

I comfortably ran 18kms in these shorts with only minimal adjustments and they’ve held up in the wash since. The only downsides? I didn’t buy the matching crop and only bought one colour. Time for another trip to UNIQLO, hey?

RIDE UP: 8/10 — Pretty good!
SQUAT PROOF: 7/10 — Not a complete blackout down there but pretty decent.
PORK ROAST: 2/10 — While it’s not as seamless as the aligns, it does create an overall smooth look.
SIZE RANGE: These shorts come in an XXS to XXL.

You can have a look at all the colours of the UNIQLO AIRism Soft Pocket Biker Shorts here.

Muscle Republic Luxe Biker Shorts V2, $60

(Image: Muscle Republic)

I bought this adorable Muscle Republic Luxe set on Depop and let me tell ya, it’s become one of my favourite sets to wear to the gym and to go on hot girl walks with my pals. While I initially bought this set to look cute and active on the weekends, I was actually really impressed by how nice the shorts were.

To be totally honest, I bought these in the mocha colour which is a bit lighter than the picture below. As a result, you can see sweat marks pretty easily so I don’t often gravitate to this pair when I go for runs. However, when I tested them out for this article, I was pleasantly surprised. Well, not by the sweat marks, but how they managed to stay in place. I did have to adjust them a few times during the jog but not enough to make me annoyed or slow to a walk.

The fabric is more on the buttery side, and a little bit thinner than the Lululemon Aligns. However, they’re super comfortable and you can move and run in them without them budging too much. The only downside for me is that you can see underwear lines and I can really feel my junk in the trunk bouncing around when I run. It’s not a huge deal, but a bit of compression can do wonders for my mental state while I’m red-faced, sweaty and generally not looking my best.

RIDE UP: 6/10 — Not too bad! I had to adjust every once in a while but much better than most shorts.
SQUAT PROOF: 5/10 — You can see some outlines, I’ll be honest.
PORK ROAST: 3/10 — The smoother shorts sit on my legs, the stronger I feel they look. So this is a win.
SIZE RANGE: Muscle Republic stocks an XS to XXL in the Luxe Biker Shorts.

Check out the Muscle Republic Luxe Biker Shorts V2 here.

Muscle Republic Live Shorts, $60

(Image: Muscle Republic)

Originally, I purchased the Muscle Republic Live Shorts to wear with big t-shirts at the gym. At first, I found the elastic around the thighs to be a bit too tight but when I got into running, desperate for shorts that didn’t ride up, these were my go-to shorts.

Although these shorts may not look ~amazing~ on me, they have been an incredibly reliable pair of shorts to clock some kilometres in. The Live Shorts are slightly firmer than the Luxe shorts above but the best bit? They come in a heap of cute colours.

RIDE UP: 3/10 — I may look kinda bad while I’m plodding along but these shorts do the job, baby!
SQUAT PROOF: 1/10 — If you have shorts in a light colour like I do, don’t wear these on leg day. Take my word for it, an entire gym has basically seen my butthole thanks to these shorts.
PORK ROAST: 9/10 – These shorts really do cut into my legs and leave marks when I take them off after a run.
SIZE RANGE: The Live shorts come in an XS to a XXL.

You can have a geez at the Muscle Republic Live Shorts here.

Well, there you have it. While I feel like I’ve made significant progress — and spent a lot of money — I feel like my journey to find the perfect running shorts for my thick thighs is still ongoing.

Does the perfect pair of shorts exist? Who knows? But I won’t stop until I find them and I promise when I do, I’ll update you all here too.