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Best Workout Shorts For Thick Thighs (Buying Guide)

By Tami Smith, CPT, Nutritionist

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“Thick thighs save lives,” we’ve all heard this saying used to defend those of us who have a little more meat in our thighs than others. However, there’s actually some merit to it. A study that came out of Harvard found that people with big thighs had a lower risk of heart disease and premature death than those with thinner thighs.

Aside from this interesting fact, those of us who have thicker thighs often struggle with finding the right fitting pants and shorts. Thick thighs are commonly associated with a “pear-shaped” body which indicates that you have a curvier lower (hips and thighs) body and a smaller upper body and torso.

Although this creates a lovely physique, it can present a challenge for finding clothing that fits and flatters. This is especially true when it comes to finding athletic shorts that you can feel confident in at the gym.

I wouldn’t say that I have the thickest thighs in the world, but they’re muscular and I most definitely carry the bulk of my weight in my lower half. I’ve tried dozens of different workout shorts and brands and can tell you that there are plenty that just don't make the cut for those with large thighs.

But, thankfully, many do! In this article, I’m sharing with you my top choices for the best workout shorts for thick thighs. If you’ve been searching for a pair of shorts that you can feel comfortable, confident, and strong in, there’s a good chance that you’ll find them here on this list.

Summarized Table of Our Top-Rated Picks and Buying Guide

Product Name


Color Options


Avg. Rating

1st Phorm Women’s Champion Short



86% Polyester, 12% Rayon, 2% Spandex


Maven Thread Biker Shorts



80% Nylon, 20% Spandex


1st Phorm Women’s Aspire Short



80% Nylon, 20% Spandex


Vuori Halo Vintage Shorts



89% Polyester, 11% Elastane


1st Phorm Women’s Amplify Short



78% Nylon, 22% Spandex


Popflex Crisscross Hourglass Biker Short



70% Nylon, 30% Spandex


Astoria Seamless Ribbed Series Short



75% Nylon, 25% Spandex


What Shorts Are Best For Big Thighs?

big thighs workout shorts

The best shorts for thick thighs are pairs that allow ample room for your legs to fit in comfortably without compromising the fit of the waistband. For thicker thighed gals, it’s a tale as old as time; find the perfect pair of shorts, try them on, and one of two things happen:

  1. They fit your thighs perfectly but are huge in the waist.
  2. They fit your waist perfectly but are tight and constricting on your thighs.

The struggle is real! However, there are some unicorns out there that actually fit and flatter big thighs. So let’s take a look at what kinds of things you should be looking for when looking to buy a pair of workout shorts to accommodate your body type.

What to Look For

choosing workouts shorts for big thighs

When it comes to choosing athletic shorts, there are plenty of options out there. The problem is that we often order our favorite influencers' “favorite” pair of shorts because they looked amazing on her, but when we get them, it’s just not the same fit.

Ladies, we all have different bodies! So let’s get to work finding the workout shorts that actually fit you and your body, shall we?

Workout Shorts That Have a Generous Thigh Allowance 

This sounds really obvious, but if you want a pair of workout shorts that work for big thighs, they must be cut in a way that’s accommodating for them. Look for a pair that has plenty of “give” in the upper leg area without being overly baggy and frumpy looking.

Slits in the Sides

Some athletic shorts come with small slits on the sides of your thighs, this is perfect for those with bigger thighs as it creates a little more room for your legs to feel free and non-restricted. There’s nothing worse than a straight, narrow fit on a muscular or big thigh as it is both uncomfortable and unflattering.

High-Quality Material and Stitching

The bugger your thighs, the more likely they are going to put some pressure on your workout shorts, so it’s crucial that you find a pair that’s constructed well enough to hold up through all kinds of workouts and washes, this includes the stitching and the seams. A high-quality fabric will be durable and will bend and stretch but not rip or lose its shape.

High Waist

High-waisted shorts are flattering on virtually everyone, particularly those of us with bigger thighs. A high waist serves to flatter your midsection, keep you sucked in, and create even more of that sexy hourglass shape that you already have going on.


Workout shorts that are more of the tight, athletic, biker short look are a great option for all kinds of workouts, but you need to be careful selecting a pair when you have thick thighs. Look for a pair that offers a close, fitted look but that isn’t too tight and restrictive.

Brand Trust and Reputation

Lastly, take a look around at the brand and the reviews they have from real customers. What are others saying about the brand? Do you trust that they are legitimate? Have you seen any testimonials from other users with a similar body type? Does this brand have a reputation for catering to all kinds of body shapes and sizes? Do your research! P.s. there’s a very good reason why you’ll see three pairs of shorts from the SAME brand on our list 😉

The Seven Best Workout Shorts For Thick Thighs

Ok, the moment you’ve been waiting for! Let’s dig into my top picks for the best workout shorts for big thighs.

# 1: 1st Phorm Women’s Champion Short

womens champion short for thick thighs

This pair of workout shorts is actually one of 1st Phorm’s newest releases, but it’s already making a giant splash. These shorts were designed with one thing in mind: comfort! And that means comfort for all, even curvier ladies!

These shorts feature a high waist, loose, comfortable fit, zippered side pockets, and thick, durable fabric that’s built to last. There’s a drawstring waist, making it perfect for ladies with a pear shape as you can easily adjust the waist to ensure a snug fit. 

The fabric is thick but comfortable. Plus, the Champion Shorts feature a higher cut thigh for a sleek, flattering look that accommodates thighs of all shapes and sizes. These shorts are perfect for everything from weight lifting and running to lounging and everyday activities.


  • High waist
  • Flattering fit
  • Drawstring adjustability
  • Multiple pockets
  • HIgher cut thigh area
  • Strong, durable material
  • Two color options to choose from (black & gray)


  • Can be on the shorter side depending on your height
  • Thick material might get hot when working out

#2: Maven Thread Biker Shorts

maven thread biker shorts big thighs

Maven Thread is one of my favorite women’s workout clothing brands, and their Biker Shorts are absolutely perfect for thick thighs. If you want to hit the gym in style and feel comfortable, these shorts have you covered.

Maven Thread offers their Biker Shorts in 3 different inseams: 4”, 6”, or 8”. Personally, I find the 6” inseam to be a dream for larger thighs as they provide the perfect balance between coverage and flattery.

The fabric is buttery soft, flexible, and not overly compressive. Plus, the luxe fabric includes a 4-way stretch and mid-low compression, giving you a flexible but supportive feel. Of course, there are deep pockets located on both sides of the shorts for easy containment of your items while running or at the gym. Lastly, there is a flattering and sculpting high waistband that offers the ultimate in comfort and style.


  • Super soft, flexible material that glides effortlessly over your thighs
  • Just the right amount of stretch and compression
  • Perfect for all kinds of workouts and activities
  • Don’t roll or bunch up
  • No camel toe
  • Tons of beautiful colors to choose from
  • 3 different inseam sizes
  • Side pockets


  • The material isn’t super sweat-wicking
  • Pricier than some other options (but 100% worth it!)

#3: 1st Phorm Women’s Aspire Short

womens aspire short

If you’re looking for a pair of compression, biker-style shorts to hit the gym, the 1st Phorm Women’s Aspire Shorts are a must-have. These shorts will make you WANT to wear shorts to the gym, trust me. 

Made from a performance-based, sweat-wicking material, these shorts keep you cool and comfortable no matter what your workout of the day holds for you. The Aspire Shorts feature a 4” inseam, which is incredibly flattering on thicker thighs, hugging you in all the right places. Plus, the cut and seaming are so flattering and there are deep side pockets on each side to keep your stuff securely in place.


  • Cooling, sweat-wicking material
  • Compressive but not constricting
  • 4” inseam which is ideal for thick thighs
  • High-waisted, foldover waistband with no elastic
  • Detailed seaming for ultimate flattering
  • Multiple colors to choose from
  • No rolling, bunching, or camel toe


  • If between sizes, I recommend sizing up
  • More expensive than other similar shorts (but higher quality, you get what you pay for)

#4: Vuori Halo Vintage Shorts

Vuori Halo Vintage Shorts

If you’re looking for a pair of workout shorts that will flatter your thick thighs and fit like a dream, the Vuori Halo Vintage Shorts will be right up your alley. These shorts feature their signature DreamKnit fabric which gives you the ultimate softness while still remaining functional for all kinds of workouts.

There’s a moderate 4.5” inseam, a high waist, and a cute drawstring to allow you to customize your waist fit. Additionally, these shorts offer a 4-way stretch, no-slip legging fit, and moisture-wicking technology. These workout shorts are equally as good for working out as they are for everyday wear.


  • Super comfortable material
  • High waist and drawcord adjustability
  • Reputable brand
  • 4.5” inseam
  • Perfect for all shapes and sizes
  • Multiple colors to choose from


  • No pockets
  • The jersey knit material almost gives sweatpants vibes

#5: 1st Phorm Women’s Amplify Short

womens amplify short

1st Phorm does it again with their Women’s Amplify Short. These shorts are perfect for ladies with thicker thighs who want comfort and coverage while still looking cute and functional in the gym.

Made from durable, 4-way stretch woven material and a casual, flattering cut, these shorts are a must-have for workouts of all types. These shorts include an inner sweat-wicking shorts layer, which keeps your thighs feeling supported all throughout your workout. The high waist and drawstring adjustment are great for a flattering and comfortable fit. Plus, there are zippered side pockets to keep your stuff safe and secure.


  • High waist
  • Inner, sweat-wicking compression liner
  • Drawstring adjustability
  • 4-way stretch material
  • Zippered pockets
  • Incredibly comfortable
  • Perfect for all types of workouts
  • Multiple color options to choose from


  • They run a tad small, so size up for the most comfortable fit
  • The material makes a “swooshing” sound (which might be a turnoff for some)

#6: Popflex Crisscross Hourglass Biker Short

Popflex Crisscross Hourglass Biker Short

Ladies, if you want to show off and accentuate your beautiful hourglass figure, the Popflex Crisscross Hourglass Biker Short will do just that. These shorts feature a flattering crossover waistband and v-shaped booty lifting back seam, all crafted from a luxuriously buttery fabric.

These shorts offer just the right amount of compression to hold you in while also remaining pliable and comfortable enough to be worn during all kinds of workouts. Additionally, there’s an extended inseam length that offers more thigh coverage to keep your curves looking sleek.


  • Super flattering for thick thighs
  • V-shaped waistband
  • Extended inseam
  • Squat-proof
  • Excellent for all types of workouts


  • No pockets
  • Only a couple of reviews are available

#7: Astoria Seamless Ribbed Series Short

Ribbed Series Short - astoria

Astoria is known for creating athleticwear that fits and flatters the female body and all our curves, and the Seamless Ribbed Series Shorts are no exception. These custom ribbed shorts feature a Nylon and Spandex blend to give you the ultimate curve-hugging experience that will easily take you from the gym to the couch will comfort and style.

The ribbed material offers a unique, textured look that also allows for breathability and functionality. With a high waistband and a drawstring for adjusting the waist, you can keep that sexy hourglass shape all throughout your workout. 


  • Designed to hug and love your curves
  • Ribbed material for a unique and classy look
  • Drawstring top for waist adjustability


  • Runs on the smaller side, so size up for comfort
  • Not a lot of reviews available


In case you still have some questions regarding how to choose the best workout shorts for big thighs and legs, here’s a rundown of some of the frequently asked questions.

Can big thighs wear shorts?

Of course! Honestly, I dislike that this is a question. Ladies, let’s embrace our bodies and wear what’s comfortable. Especially when going to the gym. You’re there to work out, get stronger, and become the best version of yourself. Embrace where you’re at right now and get after it. Of course, it’s extremely helpful to have a pair of workout shorts that you feel confident and comfortable in, which is the whole point of this list!

Can you hide thigh fat with shorts?

If you have excess fat and/or cellulite on your legs, you might feel more comfortable with a pair of shorts that’s long enough to give you some coverage. A good pair of bike shorts will be long enough to provide coverage while still giving you the cooling comfort offered by wearing shorts to the gym.

Can I wear shorts if I have cellulite?

Of course, you can! Cellulite is a very normal and very common occurrence, regardless of your weight as it’s mostly genetic. The key to feeling comfortable and confident is to understand that cellulite is normal and expected and that your decision to wear a pair of shorts shouldn’t be contingent on whether or not you have cellulite. Once you accept that, you can rock any pair of shorts that allows you to feel comfortable, confident, and powerful.

The Bottom Line

Finding a comfortable, functional pair of workout shorts that flatter your thighs and allow you to feel confident in the gym isn’t as hard as you might think. The best workout shorts for thick thighs are the ones that are designed to fit and flatter the female body. 

We need shorts that offer a nice balance between comfort and functionality so that we can move freely while still looking put together. All 7 of the options on our list are worthy choices. I personally have tried all of these shorts and give them my stamp of approval, and I think you will, too.

Get yourself a pair (or 3!) of shorts and let’s rock them at the gym this summer!

Tips and Tricks for Success

No pair of shorts will replace the need for you to do the inner work to feel confident in your own skin. Confidence is an inside job, if you’re lacking in that area, you might seek help from a professional. 

Make sure you consider what type of workouts you’ll be doing when you choose a pair of workout shorts. For example, many women like compressive, biker shorts for strength training workouts and reserve looser, shorter shorts for running, cardio, and HIIT workouts.

Don’t be afraid to test out several different pairs and see which are best for you. Although these shorts are available online only, you can always return them if they aren’t right for you. In fact, 1st Phorm, which made the list 3x, offers a 110% money-back guarantee, which is unheard of and makes your purchase risk-free.

About the author 

Tami Smith, CPT, Nutritionist

Tami Smith is a certified Nutritionist and an ACE certified fitness trainer, specializing in pre and post-natal fitness. She studied business and earned her bachelor's degree in Business Economics. Tami is a mom of two and women's health advocate. Her passion is to help people live a fit, healthy life through proper nutrition and exercise!

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