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5 Different Types of Pickleball Shorts for Women

Couple enjoy playing Pickleball outdoor.

No sooner had we finished ordering some trendy pickleball shirts for Wifey, than she started going on about shorts.

“What? I don’t believe this!” I protested.

But with a twerk of her cute behind, a flirty wink, and an inviting smile, Wifey came back with,

“Now big boy,  wouldn’t you like to see this in some pickleball shorts for women as we play pickleball outdoors…. and indoors.” (wink, wink, tongue lick)

I immediately went soft in the knees and, you could say, also in the head and replied…..

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Yes, yes, of course, baby doll, after all, you must have all the proper gear if you are going to play pickleball well…..right reader?

Middle aged woman playing Pickleball outdoor.

When it comes to racket/paddle sports like badminton, racketball, real tennis, and pickleball, one important thing to think about when buying gear is what type of game you plan on playing. Do you plan on playing for fun or competitively?

Recreational players usually play for fun and can use the gear they have at home. However, if you are planning on playing competitively-as Wifey and I were planning- then you will need the proper clothing and necessary equipment. You will need to find a clothing set that includes wicking shirts and, as Wifey had just reminded me, some pairs of shorts, as well.

And so, some pairs of shorts were the next most important thing we set about getting her, as you should too for your spouse. Just remember that whatever type of gear you choose, apart from being durable and long-lasting, according to Nike, it also needs to have…..

  • Breathability: Opt for fabrics and cuts that feel breezy and light to stay cool as your body heats up throughout the game. Shirts with cutouts and perforations, and lightweight materials, like polyester, help promote better air circulation.
  • Moisture-Wicking Materials: Performance fabrics like Nike Dri-FIT are designed to draw moisture away from the skin and quickly evaporate, so you can keep sweat from getting in the way of your game.
  • Pockets: Some pickleball players prefer to wear shorts, pants, or a skirt with pockets to hold extra balls and any other necessities they want to carry on the court.
  • Stretchy Fabrics: Look for styles designed to move with you. Garments should be loose-fitting enough to not restrict movement but not so baggy that they’ll get in the way. Sleeveless tops or shirts with a seam in front of the shoulder will help provide a full range of motion for the arms. Bottoms with adjustable drawstrings can be great for a customizable fit.
  • Weather Protection: If you’re playing in unpredictable weather, bring along a water-resistant and wind-resistant jacket to protect you from the elements.

And so, with the above in mind, Wifey and I set about….

Pickleball Master Course by Steve Dawson ($199)

Researching the different types of pickleball shorts available. These we found to be:

1. Proper Pickleball Double Layer (Training) Shorts

What is it?

Also known as training shorts in some circles, these retro-looking double-layer shorts that have a layer of padding to help with impact.

Why would you choose this type? Pros? Cons?

The Double Layer Shorts are made of a breathable and quick-drying material that is moisture-wicking and soft. Some come padded on the hips for that all too important extra protection, which is especially helpful when playing pickleball. The comfort is immaculate, and the style is on point.

Liberty Imports 5 Pack Women's 5" Quick Dry Yoga Training Shorts with Zipper Pockets (Ed.1, Small)

The woven outer shorts are made with Nike Flex fabric that stretches with your body, helping you get the most out of your performance—without getting in your way. This tight, stretchy base layer underneath a loose, woven outer layer gives you plenty of flexibility and has sweat-wicking technology to keep you dry and comfortable. However, it might be on the heavy side for some or just too tight for others.

What is it used for?

It can be used for, among other things, pickleball. Great for both on and off-court action and will keep you in style and free of any hangups during intense play.

Key features:

Nike Women's Dry Training Shorts, Sweat-Wicking Running Shorts Women Need for High Intensity Comfort, Black/White, L

Comes in black. Sizes range from XS-XL. Composed of 86% and 14% Spandex. It comprises front-angled pockets, built-in inner pockets, a contoured knit waistband, 4″ inseam on the outer short and 3″ inseam on the under short.

In the case of Nike Flex Essential 2-in-1 training shorts, they come with a tight, stretchy base layer underneath a loose, woven outer layer.

Any other pertinent info to share?

Are amongst the best in FILA‘s lineup.

2. Big to Little Ball Shorts

What is it?

These are shorts designed with ball games in mind. Examples include women’s Ribbed Jersey Baller Shorts, Women’s Game Volleyball shorts

CADMUS Women's Spandex Volleyball Shorts 3" Workout Pro Shorts,Black & Black & Black,X-Large

Why would you choose this type? Pros? Cons?

Just right for wearing underneath a tennis dress or pickleball skirt, these shorts give you just the right coverage and support you need and are looking for when you are playing pickleball. They are “unparalleled in utility and comfort for the player”. This performance-enhancing fabric comes with CoolBest properties that will keep you cooler than other fabrics during competition. Leaving you with the freedom you need. Cons are yet to be found.

What is it used for?

Has been designed with ball games such as tennis and pickleball in mind. Ideal for pickleball.

SAVALINO Women's Under Shorts- Compression Shorts for Gym & Workout Clothing, Tennis Shorts with Ball Pockets, Large, White

Key features:

Have designed with a 4″ inseam, gripper leg elastic, and four-way stretch fabric. Sizes range from XS-XL. Are composed of 86% and 14% Spandex.

Any other pertinent info to share?

Another FILA Essentials is a top-of-the-range product.

3. Pretty in Pink Printed (Tennis) Shorts

What is it?

These shorts take the form of printed shorts. Printed shorts are a popular style of shorts for both men and women.  Examples include Camouflage Shorts,  Tie-Dye shorts, and Print Fitness shorts.

AJISAI Biker Shorts for Women,High Waisted Print Yoga Workout Compression Shorts Grey Leopard Size S

Why would you choose this type? Pros? Cons?

Bring color to the game and highlight the issue of plastic waste. They are designed for comfort on and off the court.

Columbia Women's Sandy River II Printed Short, Breathable, Sun Protection Shorts, -nocturnal magnolia Print, Small x 5

What is it used for?

Depending on what you are into, it can be used for tennis, running as well as pickleball.

Key features:

Their lively colors stand out in these eye-catching shorts. Coming with a perforated wide elastic waistband with perforations and a 3″ inseam, these usually double-knit shorts are 100% polyester. Sizes range from XS-XL.  Coming with a high waistband and moisture-managing AEROREADY, they have separate inner tights that add coverage during every slide and stretch. Printed shorts come in a variety of colorful colors and patterns. They can be worn in a variety of different styles, such as with a plain t-shirt or a polo shirt.

Any other pertinent info to share?

Were part of Adidas’ Fall/Winter Collection for 2022. They were also worn by Adidas athletes during the run-up to North America’s pickleball tournament.

3. Run Babes Run Running Shorts

A girl on the bridge looking at her watch.

What is it?

Shorts are designed with running in mind. Examples include Women’s Trail Running shorts.

Why would you choose this type? Pros? Cons?

Made from lightweight, breathable, quick-drying material, these shorts are not heavy and keep you cool while you are at play. Lightweight and stretchy, they offer a supportive fit and help wick sweat as your miles tick by. For instance, Nike running shorts Dri-FIT technology moves sweat away from your skin for quicker evaporation, helping you stay dry and comfortable. They are, however, not intended for use as Personal Protective Equipment (PPE).

BALEAF Women's 7" Long Running Shorts Back Zipper Pocket Athletic Workout Gym Shorts with Liner Black Size M

What is it used for?

Primarily for running/athletics, and jogging. But it will also do for pickleball.

Key features:

100% polyester, these shorts are characteristically lightweight, breathable, quick-drying shorts that keep you cool and dry during play. Most such running shorts feature an internal draw cord, hem vents, and moisture-wicking fabric to keep you dry and comfortable. On Nike shorts,  a hybrid waistband features smooth elastic on the inside and ruched pleats gathered on the outside.

Willit Women's Yoga Lounge Shorts Hiking Active Running Workout Shorts Comfy Travel Casual Shorts with Pockets 2.5" Mallard Green L

Any other pertinent info to share?

Internal drawcords enable you to customize the fit, while hem vents help you move freely.

4. Bite my big…Bike Shorts

A woman on the gym wearing biking shorts.

What is it?

Bike shorts are primarily designed for cycling. Examples include Women’s Mid-Rise Bike Shorts as well as Jojo Biker shorts.

Why would you choose this type? Pros? Cons?

If a loose fitting is not your thing, then maybe Bike Shorts are just what you need. They are a versatile choice and a layer-up for whatever you require. The super comfortable design wicks help keep you dry as you sweat and play. Stretchy fabric with Dri-FIT technology moves sweat from your skin for quicker evaporation to help you stay dry and comfortable.

BALEAF Women's 4D Padded Bike Shorts Cycling Tights Padding Pockets Spinning Bicycle Gel Cushion UPF50+ Black M

Unlike running shorts, the plus is that others can’t see through the fabric. The non-sheer fabric passes the squat test to keep you covered. The sides are seamless and the waistband is contoured with a V shape on the back to give you a smooth silhouette. So you can feel confident knowing that, other than your curves and service, you’re covered. Best of all, this product is made with at least 50% recycled polyester fiber. Others might, however, find it a bit too clingy to the skin and revealing of physical assets.

BALEAF Women's 4D Padded Bike Shorts Cycling Biking Long 10" High Waisted with Pockets Bicycle Spin MTB UPF50+ Navy Blue M

What is it used for?

As their name suggests, bike shorts are largely meant for biking and cycling. However, in the recent past, they have featured on the soccer field, tennis, and even pickleball courts.

Key features:

This product is made with at least 50% recycled polyester fibers. The design includes 2 hidden pockets in the mid-rise waistband to keep you ready for whatever you tackle in a day. The pocket at the back is big enough to hold a phone.

Any other pertinent info to share?

Riding shorts are designed to combine style and comfort. The high waistband,  flat seams, and side pockets enable storage of your keys, smartphone, or other essentials as you play a game of pickleball.

5. Peezy, Easy Pull-on Stretch Woven Women’s Shorts

What is it?

Are shorts made of a stretchy woven fabric.

Why would you choose this type? Pros? Cons?

The fabric is stretchy and breathable, making it a good summer option. The material is thin, so it will be cool and comfortable in the summer. It is a light material that is perfect for warm weather. These shorts sit comfortably on your waist with a no roll–down waistband. Front and back patch pockets mean you can carry all your essential items. The mock mesh undershorts ensure extra coverage for free movement.

Baddle Women's 5" Stretch Woven Pickleball Short with Inner Brief (White, Medium)

What is it used for?

Perfect for active sports and lifestyle living. Depending on what you are into, it can be used for tennis, running, general training, as well as pickleball.

Key features:

Hanes Women's Stretch Jersey Bike Short

Stretch-woven women’s pull-on shorts are designed with enclosed, contoured elastic waistbands. Front and back patch pockets decorated both the front and back. The lightweight 87% Polyester 13% Spandex 4-way stretch woven body fabric makes the shorts stretchy and easy to put on. There are Silky smooth 90% Polyester 10% Spandex jersey mock mesh undershorts to boot. Moisture Wicking and Quick Dry.

Any other pertinent info to share?

The lightweight 4-way stretch woven body fabric is UPF 50: sun safe protection, moisture wick, and quick dry.

Other types of women’s shorts you might wish to consider for women’s pickleball shorts are Women’s Crossover shorts; Graphic/Pied women’s shorts, Fleece shorts, and French Terry Shorts.

Pickleball Clothing Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Group of friends playing Pickleball outdoor.

Q: How long should women’s running shorts be?

A: The best length for running shorts depends on personal preference. The inseam of a pair of shorts is the length of the seam from the top of the inner thigh to the leg opening of the short. Some runners may feel more comfortable with less fabric and a shorter inseam, but other athletes prefer shorts with more coverage. Nike makes shorts with a 3-inch inseam, 7-inch inseam, and sizes in between, so try on a range of styles and see what feels most comfortable.

Q:  Does pickleball have a dress code?

A: Pickleball doesn’t have an official dress code. For top performance benefits, it’s best to wear breathable, moisture-wicking clothing designed for athletes.

Q: Why do running shorts have liners?

A: Lined running shorts have a few benefits, including wicking moisture away from the skin, adding breathability, and helping prevent bacteria from accumulating. Not all running shorts have liners, but some athletes prefer the ones that do.