About this review
The goal of these reviews is not to provide a definitive "best running shorts" list, but to help others decide whether a pair of shorts might work for them based on what shorts they already own and like, without specific size or weight information, including unedited, real photos. Nobody is paying me to do this or providing me with free or discounted product, I just own a lot of styles of shorts and I'd love to put this knowledge to use.
Want to play along from home? I've made it easier to share how a pair of shorts fit you! Drop a tip here.
Product: Kiara Short
Color(s) shown: Redmond
Would I buy them again? Yes
The Jolyn Kiara shorts are my favorite running shorts under $50. When I started swimming as cross-training, I became a big fan of Jolyn as I looked to buy from brands focused on women’s sports, and loved that their suits are made in the USA, so when they expanded their running apparel, I was excited beyond belief. I struggled to get the right fit in Jolyn’s swimwear on my first few tries, but the few running pieces I’ve bought fit perfectly with no guesswork. The zippered rear pocket is large enough for a credit card and a key, but I wouldn’t personally try to run with a phone or something heavy in the back pocket.
The Kiara shorts fit true to size with lots of room for quads. They’re a similar style as the Speed Up shorts or the Mac Roga shorts, but the waistband allows you to wear them higher with more support, or lower for more leg coverage.
I have an inch or two of room in the thigh in these shorts (so if you liked the narrower leg on the prior years of the Mac Roga shorts, these might not be the shorts for you). Following Jolyn’s size chart for swim, I take one size up from what I wear in casual swim, but take my standard size in these shorts. Because the waistband is so stretchy, it looks like it pinches a little bit at the top, but they’ve never felt tight and simply feel securely held on. These are perfect on a hot day and I can’t recall a time I’ve ever chafed in them.
The fabric on these shorts is smooth and soft but also extremely light. The lining is a light, stretchy mesh rather than a heavier fabric, so I feel nice and cool running in them. The shorts feel substantial enough that I’m not self-conscious running to the grocery store in them after a run, and I love that they can be worn lower if I need extra coverage.
For me, the Kiara shorts are nearly without fault. They do have a full drawstring (rather than an infinity drawcord) which is quite long, but I’ve kept the very ends tied together and haven’t lost the drawcord in the wash in the four months I’ve had them. If you really hate drawstrings in shorts, you’ll probably feel more strongly.
Jolyn purports that the material has UV protection and is sunblock- and oil-resistant.
Do you have the Jolyn Kiara Short? How do they fit you? Drop a tip here.