by Will Boucek

September 25, 2021   

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In this guide to the best tennis shorts, we’ve reviewed the top 9 shorts on the market for tennis players. We will show you the best tennis shorts from different brands to help you choose the next addition to your tennis wardrobe.

Each pair of shorts that we looked at were analyzed and ranked based on fabric weight, length, stretch, cooling elements, pockets, color, and price.

There is more to consider than you might think when choosing a pair of shorts for tennis. Below, we will help you find the right pair of tennis shorts for your needs.

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Before we review the shorts in-depth, here is our list of the 9 best tennis shorts.

Best Men’s Tennis Shorts

Adidas Men’s Game Set Ergo 9 Tennis Shorts

Best Women’s Tennis Shorts

Nike Winter Flex Women's Tennis Shorts

Best Affordable Tennis Shorts

Nike Men’s Team Dry Tennis Shorts

The Nine Best Tennis Shorts: Reviewed

Below we review the top nine tennis shorts from major brands and include these features:

  • Inseam Length | How long are the shorts?
  • Pocket Depth | How many tennis balls can fit in the pockets? Average depth pockets can comfortably fit 2 to 3 balls per pocket. Deep pockets can often fit 5 balls or more.
  • Colors | How many colors are available?
  • Price | Scale from 1-3 dollar signs.

#1 – Adidas Men’s Game Set Ergo 9” Shorts

The Adidas Men’s Game Set Ergo tennis shorts offer everything you could need on the court.

Combining lightness and stretch in a unique weave, these shorts support ease of movement and wick away both heat and sweat. Their recycled polyester material helps them breathe and stay dry at the same time. Adidas’ AEROREADY fabric absorbs sweat and dries fast. The waistband combines both drawstring and elastic components, giving you a snug and comfortable fit.

A set of leg stripes and waistband in contrasting colors add to the design. Adidas tennis shorts typically have slightly deeper pockets so you can store 3 or more tennis balls.

Color choices are limited to blue and grey, but the grey design with black stripes will go with most shirts.

Inseam Length | 9 inches
Pocket Depth | Normal
Colors | 2
Price | $$

Pros and Cons

  • Lightweight materials
  • Recycled polyester
  • Great stretch & comfort
  • Stay cool & dry
  • Only two colors available

#2 – Nike Men’s Team Dry Tennis Shorts

Maybe you are not on a tennis team, but that doesn’t mean you can’t get team pricing, plus the colors of your choice, with the Nike Men’s Team Dry Short.

Featuring eight color choices, a flashy side graphic, and the Nike swoosh, these lower-cost shorts have all the basic features you need in a tennis short, while not breaking your budget to pieces. They are also very lightweight and allow for great mobility. The recycled fabric dries fast too, so you can stay relatively dry after a long match on a hot day.

There’s nothing about the design that screams uniform, and there are plenty of colors to choose from.

Inseam Length |  8.5 inches
Pocket Depth | Normal
Colors | 8
Price | $

Pros and Cons

  • Very affordable
  • Wide range of color choices
  • Recycled fabric
  • Lightweight
  • Limited stretch
  • Not as long-lasting

#3 – Nike Men’s Fall London Flex Ace 9” Shorts

The Nike Men’s Fall London Flex Ace tennis shorts feature a classic look and all the features you expect in shorts for tennis players.

These shorts, made of 100% high-quality polyester, include a comfortable waistband with good stretch and an internal draw-cord. The sides have a slight vent at the bottom to help with breathability. Nike also brought back their old school, popular NikeCourt logo with these shorts.

One unique element is the flat front waistband, rather than the crimped elastic that comes with many other shorts. There are three colors available: black, white, and teal.

The cost is on the high end, though not the highest in this review and it’s not surprising: good design sometimes comes at a cost.

Inseam Length | 9 inches
Pocket Depth | Normal
Colors | 2
Price | $$$

Pros and Cons

  • Very comfortable
  • High-quality polyester
  • Classic design
  • Flat front
  • Vents help with breathability
  • More expensive than other options

#4 – Lacoste Men’s Fall Colorblock Tennis Shorts

These high-end tennis shorts from Lacoste are used by several top professional tennis players including Roberto Bautista-Agut.

They incorporate all the practical elements you expect from good tennis shorts. These are made of polyester with a light breathable upper section around the waist. The pockets are average depth and they have a 9-inch inseam.

They have a stripe on the side, the Lacoste croc at the bottom, and come in three different designs.

Seam Length |  9 inches
Pocket Depth | Normal
Colors| 3
Price | $$$

Pros and Cons

  • High-quality materials
  • Durable, long-lasting shorts
  • Breathable around the waist
  • Lacoste pricing

#5 – Adidas Men’s Heat Ready 2-in-1 Shorts

These Adidas Heat Ready shorts are built for staying cool on the court. They feature the Adidas HEAT.RDY cooling technology, and mesh inserts on the back of the waist and inside the legs.

These tennis shorts are made of recycled polyester, nylon, and elastane which helps them stay flexible, lightweight, and dry. They have some unique design elements as well, including a relatively flat front, an aerated waistband, and ribbon stitch seams down the back.

These shorts include a matching set of compression shorts, which means you are getting the whole package at a discount. The compression shorts are separate, so you can wear them with other shorts as well.

Pro players Dominic Thiem and Alexander Zverev wear these shorts on the tennis court. They come in pink and black colors.

Seam Length | 8.5 inches
Pocket Depth | Normal
Colors | 2
Price | $$

Pros and Cons

  • Stay very cool
  • Dry fast
  • Come with matching compression shorts
  • Flexible & comfortable fit
  • Only two colors

#6 – Fila Men’s Essential Modern Fit 8” Shorts

These Fila men’s tennis shorts are comfortable, lightweight, and come with a classic design that is budget-friendly.

These moisture-wicking shorts feature an anti-microbial finish and are made of a combination of polyester and spandex. They also have deep pockets, making them great for tennis coaches or players who practice and need extra tennis ball capacity.

The price is modest and the color choices are white, black, and navy, so they’ll work with any shirt color. After enough washes, the elastic waistband can lose some of its quality. ATP player Diego Schwartzman is sponsored by Fila and wears their shorts.

Seam Length | 8 inches
Pocket Depth | Deep
Colors | 3
Price | $

Pros and Cons

  • Deep pockets
  • Anti-microbial fabric
  • Lightweight
  • Classic design
  • Very affordable
  • Not as long-lasting as other options
  • Less stretchy

#7 – Nike Men’s Fall Rafa Day 7” Shorts

These Nike Rafael Nadal tennis shorts are the shortest length shorts on our list.

These shorts stay cool with Nike’s Dri-Fit fabric and mesh-lined pockets. The shorts have an internal drawstring with a relatively flat front. The elastic waistband is very comfortable and the lightweight material allows for maximum flexibility and movement on the court.

The bright yellow color matches Nadal’s Babolat Pure Aero tennis racquet. The shorts have Nadal’s Nike tennis bull logo on the right leg and the Nike swoosh on the left.

Seam Length | 7 inches
Pocket Depth | Normal
Colors | 1
Price | $$$

Pros and Cons

  • High-quality Dri-Fit fabric
  • Cooling mesh pockets
  • Best short tennis shorts
  • Very comfortable & lightweight
  • Great flexibility
  • More pricey than other options

#8 – Nike Men’s Winter Net 11” Shorts

If you prefer wearing longer shorts, the Nike Net 11″ tennis shorts are a great option.

They have an elastic waistband with an internal drawcord, side pockets, Nike swoosh, and even a zippered pocket on the side. These shorts are made of Nike’s Dri-Fit material and a breathable mesh in the back around the waist. They’re made of both polyester and spandex for flexibility and to help you stay dry.

These longer shorts can help you stay warm if you play in a colder environment.

Seam Length | 11 inches
Pocket Depth | Normal
Colors | 4
Price | $$

Pros and Cons

  • Best long tennis shorts
  • Great for cooler environments
  • Mesh in the back provides ventilation
  • Zippered pocket on the side
  • Added length reduces mobility on court

#9 – Nike Winter Flex Women’s Tennis Shorts

These Nike shorts have all the features you want in a women’s tennis short.

They’re made of Nike’s Flex fabric and side vents help with running and stretching out for the tennis ball. The shorts come with both built-in compression and pockets for ball storage. The Dri-Fit material is lightweight and helps you stay cool.

These shorts come in three colors including black, green, and pink.

Seam Length | 3.5 inches
Pocket Depth | Shallow
Colors | 3
Price | $$

Pros and Cons

  • Flex fabric for better mobility
  • Dri-Fit material stays cool
  • Built-in compression shorts
  • Side pockets
  • None we could find

How to Choose the Best Tennis Shorts for You

When it comes to choosing the right tennis shorts for you, there are several factors to consider.

  • Fabric/Cut: Some tennis shorts are built with more stretch and flexibility than others. Also, some fabrics are built to keep you cool and dry in hot weather, while other shorts will be slightly heavier.
  • Length: Do you prefer long or shorter shorts?
  • Pocket depth: Coaches often like to have deeper pockets to carry more tennis balls, while players will only need to hold one or two balls at a time.
  • Brand: Many tennis short manufacturers also make some of the best shoes for tennis. You may want brands that match.

Before we explain the features of tennis shorts in-depth, let’s look at what the fabric is made of.

What Fabric are Tennis Shorts Made From?

All of the best tennis shorts are made from mostly polyester. Polyester is a great material for athletic apparel because it is lightweight and durable. It also dries fast and doesn’t wrinkle, making it easy to clean.

These characteristics of polyester help the tennis player stay dry and cool during long matches. They also provide flexibility, allowing ease of movement around the court for the player.

Many of the shorts above also have some spandex in them which gives them elastic characteristics. Spandex is primarily used in the waistband. Other materials that can be used in tennis shorts include nylon.

Features to Consider when Shopping for Tennis Shorts

Here is what you should think about before purchasing shorts for tennis.

Inseam Length

The inseam of the shorts is measured on the inside of the leg. A standard length is about 8.5 inches. Rafael Nadal is known for his shorter shorts which have a 7-inch inseam.

Length can affect mobility for low balls and stretching for shots on the run. Advanced players who move around the court a lot should look for shorts with no more than a 9-inch inseam.

Pocket Depth

If you’ve ever had a tennis ball fall out of your pocket during a point, you know how important this is.

Tennis players will hold one ball in their pocket while they serve. Pockets with average depth can hold two or three balls, while deeper pockets like the Fila shorts above can hold 5 or more tennis balls.

Fit and Style

Some tennis shorts have elements that are clearly designed for mobility, such as side vents and stretch fabrics. Also, mesh cutouts along with sweat-wicking fabrics support keeping you cool in a hot match situation. Consider what climate you play in, and look for shorts that match.

Choosing a Tennis Short Brand

If you want your tennis shorts to match your tennis bag, shoes, or shirt, it’s not hard to find a company that makes all three. Here are some of the biggest brands that make shorts and other tennis gear.

  • Nike – also makes shoes, bags, and shirts.
  • Adidas – also makes shoes, bags, and shirts.
  • Lacoste – also makes shirts and other tennis apparel.
  • Fila – also makes shoes, some bags, and shirts.
Tennis player with Adidas men's tennis shorts
Good tennis shorts are lightweight, flexible, breathable, and have pockets on both sides for tennis balls.

Conclusion: Our Picks for the Best Overall Tennis Shorts

The Adidas Men’s Game Set Ergo 9” Shorts are our choice for the best overall men’s tennis shorts. These high-quality shorts offer a great combination of comfort and flexibility while including all the features tennis players need.

For the best women’s tennis shorts, we recommend the Nike Flex Women’s Tennis Shorts. Despite the name, these shorts are great year-round and provide excellent comfort, function, and style.

Will Boucek

About the author

Will Boucek is the Founder & CEO of The Tennis Tribe. He has played and coached tennis for over two decades. Will is a strategy analyst for ATP & WTA tour players and coaches. He also tests the latest tennis racquets, shoes, & other gear from Wilson, Babolat, Head, Prince, and other tennis brands. He currently lives in Fort Worth, Texas where he plays USTA leagues & tournaments.