Nike ProCore Compression Shorts Review

It is no secret that Nike has made quite the name in the athletic apparel market, and for good reason.  Their products have become go-to garments for athletes in sports ranging from running to basketball.

The Nike Pro Core compression shorts definitely live up to the high standard they have set, and at a price point that does not break the bank. Our testing suggests that the Pro core shorts are useful for a variety of workout types and sports, giving support, assisting with recovery, and improving performance. They offer a snug fit while still allowing for a natural range of motion. Available in men’s and women’s, Nike’s compression shorts offer quality at a reasonable price.  Along with the Under Armour Heat Gear shorts, they are possible the most common shorts we see on the market and have established a strong identity.

ProCore Shorts Construction

By using Nike’s patented DRI-FIT fabric, their compression shorts keep everything in place while providing excellent ventilation and moisture-management. Comprised of an 84% polyester/16% spandex blend, these Nike Pro Coreshorts have a four way stretch ability.  DRI-FIT is the material that you will find in many of Nike’s products, ranging from athletic shirts to compression socks.  Flatlock seams, strategically designed and placed, ensure a great fit without irritating rubbing or chafing. Their lightweight material makes them ideal for layering, without leaving you overheated. Nike’s shorts sport a wide waistband, stamped with the Nike logo. This waistband prevents rolling and does not dig into your skin. While others have copied this innovative wide waistband design, Nike was among the first to put it on the market and the level of comfort it provides is noticeably better than some of the other competitors.  On most designs, the Nike trademarked swoosh is found on the lower left leg of the shorts in a contrasting color.

In case you are new to the world of compression shorts, we will spend a second discussing exactly how they work. Compression shorts can aid in improving performance by supporting hamstrings and quads. By compressing muscles, oxygen and blood flow are maintained. This focus on the muscles helps reduce swelling and soreness after a workout. In return, your risk for injury can be reduced. We will note that compression shorts are different from cycling shorts, and we explain more on that here.

Functionality and Performance

nike2An important feature for men is that Nike’s shorts offer necessary support to the groin/crotch area without constricting the area. This helps to maintain comfort and focus throughout the workout.  In that respect, they can also double as a jockstrap in some respects when used by men.  Depending on the activity, however, you still may want to consider using other pieces of gear along with the shorts — it all depends on your comfort level as well as the specific activity.  As with most things related to sports gear, there is usually not one answer for everyone.

The shorts are also very functional for women as well, and are listed in our best compression shorts for women post.  Nike Pro Core Compression Shorts for women are available in two lengths, either a 3” inseam or 5” inseam, depending on your needs. The women’s shorts have a body hugging design, with a skin-tight fit. They are action ready for high intensity workouts. The women’s shorts are also fitted with a lined gusset for additional comfort and moisture protection. From size XS through XL, Nike has the right fit for you. The women’s shorts are offered in the following color choices: black/white, carbon heather/black, sport red/white, black/coral, red, or carbon heather. Get the best of your next workout, and look great doing it. If you are ordering online without trying them on, we would encourage you to choose the 5″ inseam unless you will be using them for activities that typically call for very short shorts like volleyball.  3″ on the inseam is quite short — some will like them but for others they may feel too short.  Believe it or not, these shorts used to come in a 2.5″ inseam, even shorter.  The ideal inseam really depends on the activity you plan to use the shorts for, and whether you will be wearing them under other garments or not.

If you plan to order online, we included some sizing charts to help you determine the right fit.

Women’s Size Chart:

XS 0 23 1/2 33 31 1/4 33 1/4 29 1/4
2 26 35 1/2 31 1/4 33 1/4 29 1/4
S 4 26 35 1/2 31 1/4 33 1/4 29 1/4
6 29 38 1/2 31 1/4 33 1/4 29 1/4
M 8 29 38 1/2 31 1/2 33 1/2 29 1/2
10 31 1/2 41 31 1/2 33 1/2 29 1/2
L 12 31 1/2 41 31 1/2 33 1/2 29 1/2
14 34 1/2 44 31 1/2 33 1/2 29 1/2
XL 16 34 1/2 44 31 3/4 33 3/4 29 3/4
18 38 1/2 47 31 3/4 33 3/4 29 3/4
XXL 20 38 1/2 47 31 3/4 33 3/4 29 3/4
22 42 1/2 50 31 3/4 33 3/4 29 3/4

Nike Pro Core Compression Shorts for men have a 6” inseam. Their dynamic fit makes sure that everything stays in place. There is no binding, keeping chafing at bay. By drawing sweat away from the body, you are able to stay comfortable and dry. The men’s shorts are offered in size Small through 2XL. While these shorts are true to fit, you may want to order one size larger than you usually wear according to the amount of compression you are looking for. They are available in the following color choices: obsidian/cool grey, white/cool grey, carbon heather/black, varsity royal/flint gray, varsity red/flint gray, white/varsity royal, black/varsity red, black/varsity royal, varsity maize/matte silver, orange blaze/white, black/varsity maize, club purple/white, team red/white, bright cactus/flint gray, med brown, burnt orange, white/black, or black/blue. With this many options, the wearer can not only enhance performance, but be fashionable as well

Men’s Size Chart:

S 29 – 32 35 – 37 1/2 32 1/4 34 1/4 30 1/4
M 32 – 35 37 1/2 – 41 32 1/2 34 1/4 30 1/2
L 35 – 38 41 – 44 32 3/4 34 3/4 30 3/4
XL 38 – 43 44 – 47 33 35 31
XXL 43 – 47 1/2 47 – 50 1/2 33 1/4 35 1/4 31 1/4
XXXL 47 1/2 – 52 1/2 50 1/2 – 53 1/2 33 1/2 35 1/2 31 1/2

We should note that our reviews suggest that the Nike brand tends to fit a bit more snug than the Under Armour lineup.  If in doubt, order the next size larger.

Adding convenience, Nike’s men’s and women’s shorts are machine washable. It is recommended that you wash them with products that do not contain bleach or a fabric softener. Their quality holds up to multiple washings without fraying or fading. Also, after numerous uses Nike’s shorts maintain their original shape and hold. At an average of $25, Nike delivers a solid product.


Nike Pro Core Compression Shorts are a practical product for the athlete.  The Nike brand packs significant history, design and quality behind it, and the price point is one that makes the shorts obtainable for many different people.  We think they are a good choice for both men and women.  Providing a strong, durable product to aid in optimum support and performance, these compression shorts will not disappoint, and if cared for well they should keep their form and compression for a long time. Consider them a good investment in helping you reach your athletic goals.  If you want to explore alternatives, the UA Heat Gear shorts are a worthy competitor.

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