The Perfect Running Shorts

One of my favorite places to run is at a vacation destination. It’s a great way to explore the area and an invigorating way to start the day. I tend to eat more rich food than I’m used to when I’m traveling, so making sure I get my exercise in is key to maintaining my weight while I’m away. Plus, it just feels good to get those endorphins flowing!

I was especially excited to run while we were at the Hyatt Chesapeake last weekend because I had some new running gear to put to the test.

Summer Running Outfit: Zella Racer Tank with Zella Sassy High Rise Shorts

These Zella Sassy High Rise Shorts are now officially my new favorite running shorts, and I plan to buy them in the other colors. During the summer months, I always run in shorts. It’s just too hot to run in the capri-length pants.

These Zella shorts stayed put and were sooo comfortable when I ran in them last weekend. The high rise is great for smoothing out the belly area, and they don’t slide down at all. With my other running shorts, I find myself always tugging them up in the waist area as I run, but not so with these. Plus, the moisture-wicking fabric keeps you cool and dry.

They are short enough to keep you cool and comfortable when you work out, but not so short that anything important is hanging out, ha! They are also highly recommended for hot yoga workouts, and I am sure I will wear them for weight lifting as well.


My sneakers are the Saucony Guide. I really love them for a stability sneaker. These are actually the sneakers I run in. I also love and recommend highly the Zella Tab Back Running Socks. They stay in place, and their moisture-wicking material keeps my feet cool and prevents blisters.

I paired my Sassy High Rise Shorts with this pink Zella Racer Tank. It is fitted and flattering, and the flatlock seams don’t aggravate my skin at all. If you like longer workout tops, this one has plenty of length to keep you covered. It is actually a bit too long for me, as I’m short-waisted, but I was able to scrunch it up a little bit to keep it at the right length.

zella high rise shorts racerback tank

Here’s a view of the back. I don’t wear a ton of racerback tops, but they really are convenient for running, especially in warmer weather. The racer back sports bra I’m wearing appears to be no longer available (I got it at Nordstrom a few years ago) but they have several new racer back sports bras to choose from. I buy all of my bras there because their staff is well trained and knows how to fit you correctly.


I got up early Sunday morning for a run. It was only 50 degrees, but these were the only running clothes I brought, so I made do. Once I got moving, it wasn’t so bad.


No, I don’t usually run in makeup and jewelry, but when we took these pictures, I had already been dressed for the day. The next morning, when I actually ran, I assure you, I was not accessorized.


Zella Racer Tank // Zella Sassy High Rise Shorts // Saucony Guide // Elisa Pendant

I’m a huge fan of the Zella activewear at Nordstrom. I can’t believe it took me so long to discover it. The styles are cute but functional, the quality is top-notch, and you get the benefit of Nordstrom’s free shipping both ways and generous return policy. It’s a win-win!

By the way, I realize that has been a bit wonky lately, but I think they’ve finally fixed it, and the links should be working again! Find out more about here. 

Here are some other Zella products I love and recommend if you’re looking to update your summer activewear.


Thanks to Nordstrom for sponsoring this post.

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34 thoughts on “The Perfect Running Shorts

  1. Ok, I am getting those — I am doing two 1/2 marathons this summer and I totally need shorts I don’t have to fuss with 🙂 Thanks for the recommendation.

    1. I understand this and have always been taught to avoid, because it would indicate clothing is too tight. However, I find that a lot of pants, shorts, etc are going to be fitted in this area, even if they aren’t too small. I grew up in the 80’s and we wore baggy pants a lot that show absolutely nothing except extra fabric. I work with several women (younger) who are professionals and still wear pants that are a little revealing in this area. No one really bats an eye. I wonder if this is a new acceptance? I’m almost ok with it, as long as there is no defined ‘split’. I feel like I’m being vulgar, but it’s part of a women’s fashion discussion apparently.

      1. LOL, Barb. I do feel a bit awkward discussing it, but since it was brought up . . . I think it is hard to avoid since pants have so much lycra in them these days. It is definitely something I try avoid in street clothes, but with workout pants, I feel like it’s just the way it is. 🙂

    2. Hey, Janice. I have to say, I find that term quite gauche. I’d rather find a more delicate way of addressing the issue. Second, I don’t know of any stretchy workout pants that don’t create that situation. For me, they are the most comfortable to run in, so it doesn’t bother me. If it is a concern for you, these are a nice option: Or these:

  2. Ha ha…..I’m glad you confirmed you don’t run in jewelry. I noticed your necklace and thought that would drive me crazy bouncing around.

  3. I’m so used to seeing you with makeup on for these posts, that it didn’t even register that you were wearing it for running!
    My cousin & her husband are huge runners too. I know at one time she was wearing a running skirt (i think over her long pants in the winter). I realize you are “just working out” but hey—might as well look good!!

    1. LOL, yeah, I usually lighten it up a bit for athleticwear pix, but we had already shot some other photos earlier with full makeup so I just went with it. 🙂

  4. Those are cute, I am too heavy to wear shorts like that. You look great in that color too!

    Personally, I think if any pants, shorts etc..are too tight in that ahem..general area, a size up is necessary. But thats just me.

    I generally look like a homeless person when I work out. I have just lately started buying actual workout tops…instead of my husbands old tshirts that are about 3 sizes too big for me! So maybe I am not the best person to offer advice. Ha ha!

    Thanks for all your posts! I appreciate reading them each day.

  5. You look so cute!! Love the whole outfit!
    Can I ask what workout bra you’re wearing?
    I’m struggling find some new ones!!

    1. I mentioned that in the post. 🙂 The one I’m wearing has been discontinued, but I highly recommend going to Nordstrom for bras. They have well trained bra fitters who can help you find the best style for you. 🙂

  6. I do really like the shorts, but have always been concerned with the tighter shorts showing things I would prefer not to be seen. This post is convincing me I should try these. Would you mind sharing what size you are wearing? I like that Nordstrom gives you your true size fit but wondering if I should order a size up from what it says.


  7. You look lovely in your workout clothes. I am feeling inspired that it is possible after three kids, with the pregnancies and little time to fit in exercise after! I have two, planning a third, and now that there is so little time I want to make the most of my exercise. That includes nice workout clothes. It’s just more motivating if you don’t wear big shapeless and faded T shirts , LOL. I invested in a nice sporty swim suit as I swim regularly and it’s so much nicer to jump into the pool with that. Next up-workout clothes. I only have time for a bit of stretching and remedial back exercise at home, but even if it’s just me alone I feel better doing those in a nice top…
    One question about your shorts, hope it’s not too personal, but what type underwear do you wear to avoid VPL?

  8. You look cute in your workout gear. I realize that is with make-up and jewelry, and not after running for miles. 🙂 I’ve found that wearing bike shorts with running shorts on top is the most comfortable for me. The bike shorts are too revealing for me to wear alone, but the running shorts make me feel too exposed in different ways. Together, it’s OK. I haven’t run in awhile (stopped when it was too cold in the US, now too hot in Mali right now.) But I’m hoping to get back into it in a few months- not that far, just 1-2 miles. I dislike the actual running, but feel better overall when I do it.

  9. Thank you for sharing this great outfit for working out! I am actually just starting to run again after many years due to a knee injury and got a couple things from Fabletics but I’m going to Nordstrom in Towson this weekend so will check this brand out! You look Fab as usual!

  10. Great shorts. Do you wear the Hanky Panky panties – or whatever – with these shorts or do they have a liner? I have gotten to wear I prefer wearing running shorts with liners but really like the fact that these shorts you are wearing are higher waisted. You look so fit, Jo-Lynne. Inspirational.

    1. These don’t have a liner. And thank you! It’s funny, I am like the chubby kid who grew up and lost weight and still feels like that chubby kid. I was never in shape in my youth, so now that I am, I still don’t see myself like that. But I guess I am! ha!

  11. Hi Jo Lynne! I bought the shorts and tank from your links a couple of days ago – same print/colors. It was delivered today and it’s super cute in person too! – Great fit and great quality. Love it! This is my first time trying this brand. Thanks so much for your post and recommendation! 🙂

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