The North Face Better Than Naked Shorts – Review


All opinions are our own and never influenced by brands. If you buy through links, we may earn a commission.

As I started to up the mileage on trail runs, particularly in summer, I did not appreciate the chafe that was happening under/around my running shorts.

Without going into too much detail, I also wondered whether it was right to wear pants underneath my running shorts – after all, it’s just another item to potentially rub, or get sweaty, or both. I worked this out when wearing my Salomon S-lab EXO skort (review here) which uses compression and is clearly not designed to be worn on top of other underwear. I liked the compression but sometimes it gets too hot, and I wanted more freedom around my legs.

Cue, The North Face’s ‘better than naked’ running shorts. I picked up a pair in the North Face’s shop in Chamonix last summer, together with the bright orange matching top. LOVE the bright colours. Love even more that when I have these on, I genuinely don’t know it. It really is better than naked, mainly because other people don’t have to see a naked crazy lady running around, I don’t get arrested, and I don’t get as much mud in places it shouldn’t go.

Admiring the views in the hills above Santa Barbara, California, wearing The North Face better than naked T-shirt and shorts.
Admiring the views in the hills above Santa Barbara, California, wearing The North Face better than naked T-shirt and shorts.

The same comments go for the matching top. The material is really light, quick-drying, and it has small cup sleeves, which stops underarm chafing that can happen with vests, and also means that when wearing a rucksack the bag doesn’t rub on my shoulders.

The shorts have a built in ‘pant’ layer, as well as the light outer shorts. My normal size (small) was too tight but the medium fits perfectly. This was a bit odd because I have quite a few North Face items and the clothes are normally reasonably true to size.. but then again they are tops so my bottom half must be bigger than their standard sizing compared to the top half. I wouldn’t say they are particularly flattering around the waist, as they have a scrunchy elasticated waist (and it’s not my best area), but they look great when the t-shirt covers the top.

Enjoying the climbs. The North Face T-shirt and Better Than Naked shorts
Enjoying the climbs. The North Face T-shirt and Better Than Naked shorts

Unlike other lightweight running shorts, which often come without any secure pockets, these have a zip-up pocket at the back, which can just about fit an iPhone (5s) in at a stretch. It also has a few stretchy gel pockets, which come in really handy for stuffing empty gel sachets before you can throw them away when you get home/at a water station when racing.

Even when bought in the sale, the shorts and t-shirt were not particularly cheap, they worked out at about £30ish each, but were definitely worth the investment and are currently my favourite clothes to wear on a long hot trail run.

Running some awesome trails around Chamonix
Running some awesome trails around Chamonix
One of Trail & Kale's co-founders, a mom, and guardian of our resident trail dog, Kepler, Helen can be found trail running with Kepler and enjoying road runs with her mini in a jogging stroller, all while testing out the latest running gear for our readers.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

New Shoe Reviews
Fresh drops from our reviewers

On Cloudspark Review: Tempo Running Shoes With...

Our On Cloudspark review explains what you need to know about these speed-focused tempo running shoes from On.

Teva Aventrail Review: Embrace the Trail with...

For some, trail running is more a feeling than a sport. Aventrail's blend of sandal comfort and trail running performance needs to be bottled by Teva.

New Balance 880 v14 Review: Is This...

The New Balance 880 v14 is a do-everything daily trainer for running and more, but there is room for improvement, where serious runners are concerned.

Updated Roundups
Top performing gear

14+ Best On Running Shoes [2024] Ranked...

Welcome to the ULTIMATE On Running shoes buyer's guide, complete with reviews + rankings of the best On running shoes available | YES, I've reviewed them all!

5 Best Stability Running Shoes [2024]: Best...

These are the best stability running shoes for overpronation to keep your stride steady and injury-free.

5 Best Nike Running Shoes of 2024...

These are best Nike running shoes that I have tested, with detailed reviews and expert insights.
Trail & Kale Running Co logo Email Newsletter

Join Our Community

Gear Reviews + Stories

Rumpl’s Farewell Sale Is Here With 40%...

40% Off Original Puffy & 25% Off NanoLoft and Down Puffy Blankets. Perfect for post race picnics, camping, or cozy nights at home!

On Introduces ‘LightSpray’, The Next Leap in...

Exploring On LightSpray technology and the hyper-light Cloudboom Strike LS race shoe, combining elite performance w/ eco-friendly running shoes.

Running Shoe Drops And Stack Height Explained...

This is how heel-to-toe differential and stack height can impact your running performance and comfort.

Training Plans
5K, 10K, Half Marathon, Marathon, Ultramarathons

Training Plans [PDFs]