Nathan Front Runner Shorts

Nathan debuted its first apparel line this month, but we’ve been testing these shorts on the DL for weeks. The Front Runner Shorts ($55) are the brand’s take at an ultra-lightweight performance training short. They’ve got a nylon-polyester outer and polyester stretch liner sewn together with flatlock seams. There’s also a reflective logo and hits on the right side of the short.

But the star of the show with these running shorts is the liner: a compression liner that provides coverage, comfort, and built-in storage. Two drop-in stretch side pockets adorn the short, in a similar location as a thigh pocket on a hiking pant.

If you’re wondering how Nathan managed to fit a large enough side pocket for an iPhone on a short with a 3-inch inseam, don’t worry, we were stumped too. But Nathan did it. Now, these shorts are minimalist (read: short), which is partly why our editor loved testing them. Best of all, phones stay in place. They’ve got that wispy, barely-there feel that makes you think, “Am I going faster?”

Probably not, but dang do I like the feeling.

Nathan calls them ultralight but also says the shorts weigh under a pound (size medium), which isn’t very helpful. So I weighed my pair (size small), and they ring in at nearly a quarter of that weight — just 4.2 ounces.

Overall, these shorts are a great pick if you want to cut down on weight, whether for a hot-weather run, FKT, or race. Note: The Front Runner shorts are available for men and women, though the men’s version has a longer inseam (5 inches compared to the women’s 3 inches).