Welcome to Take My Money, a column where we geek out about our favorite products.
I tend to be a pretty selective person. That’s really my kind way of rationalizing the frustration I have with stuff that doesn’t make sense. My significant other would probably just say I am impossibly picky. This neurosis extends to everything, but I apply it most regularly to things that don’t matter that much. Like shorts.
To the many terrible workout shorts I’ve bought and been frustrated, I have one question: why? Why the hell would anyone make shorts without a pocket? Unless you are participating in a contact sport where fingers might catch in them, shorts should have pockets. Shorts should be stretchy; why would I want to work out in shorts with no give? That is suffering. I have more complaints, but, in an effort to test shorts for leg day, I stumbled into the ideal workout short: Lululemon’s Pace Breaker Short ($68). If you reflexively reject Lululemon apparel, know that you, like I once was, are wrong to do so. Let me explain.
What Are Lululemon Pace Breakers, and Why Do I Love Them?
Lululemon let loose the Pace Breaker short upon the world in 2017. They’re made of a fairly typical polyester-elastane blend, they’ve got pockets (ones with zippers!), and they come in loads of colors. At first glance, they are unremarkable. But having tried dozens of workout shorts—from premium options like the Pace Breakers, to $15 Soffe’s only ex-military and high school cheerleaders wear—and they combine the most goodness in a single short. Let’s break it down further.
The Everything Short
There are very few places I haven’t worn the Pace Breakers. They’re excellent for big leg days because they’re supremely stretchy, yet don’t ride too far up the leg. And because they have full-sized pockets, they’re also my go-to shorts for playing tennis. I’ve worn them water skiing, hiking, running, playing soccer, and sleeping. There are very few physical activities they’re not suited for.
The baseline for any decent pair of shorts is utility, which we’ve established the Pace Breaker short has in abundance. What separates them from other solid fitness apparel is the breadth of ways you can tailor the shorts to suit your needs.
There are almost 20 color and pattern options (my favorite is the dark olive) , which is nice because I’ve got enough damn black or grey shorts for many lifetimes. More importantly, you can choose your inseam length—5-, 7-, and 9-inch are available—which is an absolute godsend for weirdos like me who lose their mind over shorts that are too long (I’m a firm believer in the mid-thigh, 5-inch inseam). You can even buy the short with or without a liner. Altogether, it’s very nice that a company sells a well-made product that you can tweak to your liking and individual use cases.
The shorts are $68, which is right in the middle of the road for a more premium pair of shorts. That said, part of me—and I assume you, reader—balks at spending $68 plus shipping for a pair of exercise shorts. The good news is that Lululemon runs sales frequently, which bring the price down by $20 or so. I bought a few extra pairs used off Ebay as well, where they’re usually $30 to $40.
The Bottom Line
Lululemon’s Pace Breakers are the best workout shorts you can buy. They’re on sale all the time, they’re incredibly versatile, and you can customize many parts of them.