There are a few fashion items that are particularly divisive among the fashion crowd. (Think: Crocs, micro purses or even the thought of wearing socks with sandals.) But there are some pieces that manage to make a resurgence so strong, it’s impossible to deny their staying power — and bike shorts are one of them.
The polarizing athleisure trend first made waves with one miss Princess Diana back in the ’90s, and after a two-decade hiatus, bike shorts aren’t just back in the trend cycle: They’re a veritable closet staple for just about any woman, no matter if you’re heading to the gym or not.
“They’ve lasted this long as a trend because they are not only comfortable but they are also easy to style in various ways,” says influencer and freelance marketing consultant Stephanie Arant, whose audience knows her as @shhtephs. “They really do look good on everyone.” Arant is no stranger to incorporating the style into her everyday wardrobe too: “One of my favorite ways to wear bike shorts is with an oversized button-down, usually a printed one, and cropped tank underneath,” she says. “I go for the more ‘resort’ style.”
Stylist Rachel Nosco, who calls the trend turned mainstay “versatile,” says she’s always finding new ways to style bike shorts for everyday wear. “We all love the go-to bike shorts/blazer combo, but lately I’m changing it up and wearing them with a frilly blouse and some chunky sandals!”
For those who are looking for more function than style, bike shorts are a fantastic alternative to leggings in the summer, especially when it’s too hot for pants, and you may be trying to avoid chafing under dresses and skirts. “I love Zella bike shorts, which is Nordstrom’s brand,” says Kristina Zias, a style expert living in Los Angeles. “They’re so thick and they have pockets!”
Either way, bike shorts aren’t just back — they’re here to stay. Ahead, 23 pairs of top-rated bike shorts that have almost perfect reviews (and the co-sign of Arant, Nosco or Zias).
CRZ Yoga High-Waisted Biker Shorts (starting at $22; amazon.com)
CRZ Yoga makes one of our favorite Lululemon lookalikes, and these are no different in their excellence, boasting a 6-inch inseam and pockets on either side. With reviewers specifically calling out how much they feel like Lululemon (but at a quarter of the price tag), the cute prints available just make them that much more irresistible.
Colorfulkoala High-Waisted Biker Shorts (starting at $19.99; amazon.com)
Another Lululemon lookalike we love? These Colorfulkoala bike shorts. With pockets, a high waist, a 6-inch inseam and plenty of colors and patterns to choose from, their budget-friendly price tag is the icing on the cake.
Aoliks Women’s High-Waist Yoga Short ($16.99; amazon.com)
These top-rated bike shorts are Amazon’s bestselling pair — and with more than 3,100 4- and 5-star reviews, it’s not hard to see why. One reviewer calls them “super soft” and “the perfect length,” as they’re a bit longer than most styles, hitting just above the knee.
Good American Essentials The Icon Bike Shorts ($65; shopbop.com)
Good American’s Bike Short exclusively boasts 5-star reviews, one of which commends them for how well they stay in place: “I’ve worn them for high-intensity cycling and just out and about and they literally do not budge. They are super high-waisted, which creates really nice support. Also love the matte black color — not shiny or sheer at all. Just perfect!”
Baleaf Women’s 8-Inch/5-Inch High-Waist Biker Shorts (starting at $19.99; amazon.com)
These Prime-eligible biker shorts have more than 30,000 5-star reviews. One reviewer lauds their ability to stop thigh chafing: “I bought these shorts not for exercising but actually for the sole purpose to wear under dresses to help keep the dreaded chub rub at bay,” she writes. “To that end, they did their job! The shorts are soft and very stretchy, and as an added bonus they helped keep my belly under wraps as well as protect my thick thighs from chafing under the dress.”
Beyond Yoga All for Run Space-Dye Short ($64; urbanoutfitters.com)
These subtly patterned bike shorts are top rated on Urban Outfitters, among other multi-brand sites. One reviewer even says she’s obsessed with them: “Since they came in the mail I have been wearing them constantly! They are so soft, perfectly high-waisted and … they make your legs and booty look SO GOOD! I’ll definitely be buying more from Beyond Yoga in the future!!” Talk about a glowing review.
Anine Bing Blake Biker Shorts ($79; aninebing.com)
These are hands down Nosco’s favorite pair: “The material and fit are so nice!”
Joyspels Biker Shorts for Women With Pockets (starting at $16.99; amazon.com)
There’s not a single bad review of Joyspels’$2 8-inch bike shorts, which come in nine colors and patterns that range from XS to XXL. Plus, pockets!
Halle Berry x Sweaty Betty Jinx Power Bike Shorts ($78; nordstrom.com)
Available in XXS to XXL, these top-rated printed shorts feature a high-waist compression band and a side pocket for convenience.
Lett Madrid Biker Short ($48; verishop.com)
Arant says this is her most worn pair because they “have a beautiful rib to them and they hit perfectly on both the waist and on the leg.”
Persit Women’s High-Waist Print Workout Yoga Shorts (starting at $16.50; amazon.com)
This bestselling pair of biker shorts has two pockets, a high rise and four-way stretch to keep you comfortable. Nearly 10,000 reviewers agree: They’re well worth the money.
Splits59 Airweight High-Waist Shorts ($68; shopbop.com)
“These are by far the greatest biker shorts I’ve ever tried on. From the super-flattering fit to the silky soft material they are 10/10!” says one reviewer. Another 5-star review says they’re true to size and “so comfy.”
Alo Yoga High-Waist Biker Short ($56; aloyoga.com)
These bike shorts are a cult favorite for myriad reasons, but let the 600-plus 5-star reviews tell you: One calls them “the only bike short” to buy, and another raves about how “comfortable and flattering [they are] for yoga and other activities. I live in shorts during the summer months, and these are my go-to shorts for my daily practice! The fit and feel are dynamic and fit perfectly.”
Nike One Mid-Rise Shorts ($40; nordstrom.com)
These plus-size bike shorts are top rated, thanks to their Dri-Fit moisture-wicking technology, hidden pockets and overall ease of wear.
Onzie High-Rise Bike Shorts ($58; shopbop.com)
These bike shorts, which are great for everything from hiking to yoga, are made from lightweight jersey with four-way stretch.
Electric & Rose Cali Tie-Dye Bike Short ($98; urbanoutfitters.com)
“The quality of these shorts is amazing,” says one reviewer of these hot-pink bike shorts. “They are so stretchy and hug my curves. The color looks amazing. These are perfect shorts to work out in or dress up with.”
Nike Yoga Luxe Bike Short ($45; urbanoutfitters.com)
These Nike shorts come in a fun orange color, and the material is super soft and comfortable, according to reviewers. “I love that there is no seam on the thighs, so it’s very comfortable and flattering — no cutting into your thighs!” one writes.
Hot Lava Lace-Up Bike Short ($68; urbanoutfitters.com)
Available in sizes XS to XL, these bike shorts with lace-up detailing are beloved by reviewers too.
Girlfriend Collective High-Rise Compressive Bike Shorts ($48; madewell.com)
Editors and influencers alike are always raving about Girlfriend Collective’s leggings and biker shorts for how soft and comfortable they are.
Beyond Yoga Love the Bump Maternity Bike Shorts ($72; nordstrom.com)
These top-rated maternity bike shorts have glowing reviews from customers, who call this pair “super soft and comfy” and “all-around perfect.”
Zella Live-In High-Waist Pocket Bike Shorts ($49; nordstrom.com)
These top-rated bike shorts, one of Zias’ favorites, also have more than 150 5-star reviews.
Lululemon Align Short 6-Inch (starting at $58; lululemon.com)
“These have a super high rise I love and different leg lengths, which is great depending on your height and how short you want them,” says Zias. “Plus, they go up to a size 20.”
Hanes Women’s Stretch Jersey Bike Short (starting at $6.99; amazon.com)
If you’re looking for a pair of bike shorts that are more comfortable than compression-first, this top-rated pair from Hanes is them. They’re 90% cotton and 10% spandex for a super-soft feel.