A good crossover option for people who want versatile and dynamic shorts that perform in the gym and on the trails.
Comfortable and ultra stretchy
Two zipped pockets
Generous range of sizing
Colorway prone to showing dirt
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Gym+Coffee Pace Shorts: first impressions
Designed in Ireland, there’s a clue in the name Gym+Coffee Pace Shorts that these shorts are designed as much for gym monkeys as they are for trail bunnies. But as a crossover, crossfit garment for people who like to lift weights, do planks and leg it along singletrack paths, these are a great option, certainly up there among the best trail running shorts we tested, and a great option if you’re a gym regular thinking about getting into trail running.
They’re extremely comfortable, have two zipped pockets for keeping things secure, are made from super stretchy material and feature a split leg to facilitate plenty of movement while running.
There is no inner, but you can either wear performance underwear or go commando – the cut and length is sufficient to protect most men’s modesty. The waistband is particularly substantial, but there is a tie cord as well.
• RRP: $52 (US) / £35 (UK) / €40 (EU)
• Inseam length: 23cm / 9in
• Sizes available: XS–XXXL
• Weight (large): 145g / 5.1oz
• Materials: Nylon (88%), Elastane (12%)
• Colors: Blue / Black / Grey
Gym+Coffee Pace Shorts: on the trails
Generally speaking, I do prefer a running short that comes with an integrated inner – there are arguments for and against this, but I find having to pair running shorts with technical underwear a bit of a hassle. Having said that, it does mean you can get many more runs out of your shorts in between laundering them, so they should last longer.
You can, of course, opt to wear nothing under the Pace shorts – they are made from material with a high degree of next-to-skin comfort, and are long enough to cover most people’s credentials without shocking or offending any other runners out on the trail. However, the dread of chafing can be an issue over longer distances for some people, so if you do choose to go commando, lube first or repent later.
I ran in these short sans underlayer for short distances, and then paired them with some technical underwear from X-Bionic and Falke for longer runs. In both scenarios, the shorts were comfortable and performed well. There is a good percentage of elastane in the Pace shorts, which is great for freedom of movement when running on technical trails (and when doing squats, stretches and lifts, whether as a warm-up before a run, or as part of a gym routine).
The pockets are on the sides, which is alright for carrying gels, but not great for carrying anything heavier, such as car keys or a phone, during running, as the contents will move around a lot more than in a centrally located rear pocket. Both pockets do have zips, however, so that’s good for stashing things you do not want to lose on the trail.
The waist band is really substantial, but very comfortable, and the draw cord provides extra security. I like the length of these shorts, which I find ideal for running. They’re lightweight and quick drying, but feel reasonably robust. If you’re going to use them more on trails than in gyms, opt for the darker colorways.
Author of Caving, Canyoning, Coasteering…, a recently released book about all kinds of outdoor adventures around Britain, Pat has spent 20 years pursuing stories involving boots, bikes, boats, beers and bruises. En route he’s canoed Canada’s Yukon River, climbed Mont Blanc and Kilimanjaro, skied and mountain biked through the Norwegian Alps, run an ultra across the roof of Mauritius, and set short-lived records for trail-running Australia’s highest peaks and New Zealand’s Great Walks. He’s authored walking guides to Devon and Dorset, and once wrote a whole book about Toilets for Lonely Planet. Follow Pat’s escapades on Strava here and instagram here.