Although social distancing guidelines due to the coronavirus pandemic are in effect this summer, there are still tons of outdoor activities we can all safely participate in as the weather heats up. Biking, for instance, is done outdoors and often solo — which is perfect for staying safe while still getting some fresh air. Of course, if you plan on getting into cycling, you’ll want to ensure you have the right gear. Biking (especially for long periods of time) can be rough on the body, so things like padded bike shorts are an important investment.
Luckily, there are tons of padded bike short options for both men and women on Amazon, many of which are highly rated by shoppers for their versatility and quality.
So, why go for padded bike shorts instead of non-padded? Basically, the padded inserts, whether they’re made of gel or foam, act as a shock-absorber while you ride. This is particularly useful if you’re cycling long distances — it will cushion your backside against the bike seat and keep you as comfortable as possible while you’re riding. It also prevents painful chafing, which is extremely important for comfort while riding in warmer temperatures.
There are tons of bike shorts available to buy online, but none are more highly rated than the following options. There are choices for both men and women that cover a range of sizes and styles. Some offer thicker padding than others, like these Santic cycling shorts for men (which one shopper says feels “prominent” as you’re walking around but “comfortable” once you’re on a bike) while others, like these Nooyme bike shorts for women, have a more lightweight type of padding for shorter rides.
Keep reading to see the best padded bike shorts on Amazon, according to customer reviews, and shop your favorite before your next cycling trip this summer.
These are the 4 best padded bike shorts for men:
The number one best-selling men’s cycling shorts on Amazon, these bike shorts have over 1,600 five-star reviews from customers who love the thick inner padding, made of gel cushions, that offers full protection for long-distance rides. Available in sizes S to XXXL, the shorts are made of a sweat-wicking polyester and spandex fabric blend, and even have UPF 50 for sun protection. “The padding is dense enough to make a difference, but not so thick that you feel like you're wearing a loaded diaper,” said one customer.
To buy: amazon.com, from $36
Another Amazon best-seller, these cycling shorts have gel padding that molds to your body when you’re riding for maximum comfort. As one Amazon shopper writes, “They're so comfortable that I often forget that the padding is even there. Best of all, no more pain while riding. These things are great.” The shorts are made of four-way stretch spandex material that’s also moisture-wicking, so you don’t have to worry about getting soaked in sweat as you’re biking. They also have an elastic waistband that stays put, so these shorts won’t ride down during even the most intense cycling journeys. Starting at just $20 a pair, they’re available in sizes S to XXXL.
To buy: amazon.com, from $20
With thick padding made from 4D gel inserts that are meant to offer maximum comfort, these bike shorts will keep you chafe- and abrasion-free no matter how long you plan on biking. As one customer wrote: “The 4D padding provides the perfect amount of cushion to protect on long 3+ hour road rides. I would definitely purchase again!” The useful features don’t end there, though: The shorts also have silicone leg grips that prevent them from riding up your thighs while you’re biking — an important detail if you’re doing particularly strenuous exercise. There’s also breathable mesh panels on each side of the shorts to help you stay cool and dry while you ride.
To buy: amazon.com, from $26
These bike shorts include three layers of sponge cushioning and a “second skin” fit that’ll keep you comfortable for rides up to 20 miles long, while still remaining breathable enough that you won’t overheat. And with over 1,500 reviews on Amazon, it’s safe to say the durable shorts do their job. What’s more, they have reflective logos on the thighs that will shine bright in the evening, keeping you safe if you choose to cycle at night.
To buy: amazon.com, $22
These bike shorts for women, which come in sizes XS to XXXL, have a thick, three-layer gel padding that nearly 900 Amazon shoppers have rated five stars. “The padding and shorts have made a noticeable difference, during and after my bike rides,” one customer wrote. “I went on a 15 mile ride yesterday and I had no discomfort anywhere, which is wonderful as now I feel confident that I can ride further and not worry about any pain in those areas.” The spandex material of these shorts is also slightly compressive, which will help reduce muscle soreness after long cycling trips. There are more than 30 colorways to choose from, including bright options like purple and blue.
To buy: amazon.com, from $24
These shorts are made with 3D foam padding that’s designed to mold to your body,and considering the shorts are a number one best-seller on Amazon, they’re clearly a hit. As one customer wrote, “I wore them on a short 2 hour ride and I felt nothing. No pain, no chafing, and definitely no painful pressure on my lady bits. These shorts offered the perfect comfort for riding.” The polyester and spandex fabric blend is also lightweight enough for summer rides and sweat-wicking, so you can workout as hard as you want and still feel cool and dry — without sacrificing the comfort of four-way stretch material. They come in sizes S to XXL, and four color options: dark gray, blue, pink, and purple.
To buy: amazon.com, $22
According to reviewers, these bike shorts include gel insert cushions that are a little thinner than others, so if you’re looking for comfort with less bulk, this is a great option for you. “The padding is not as heavy as some bike shorts, but this is fine with me,” one customer wrote on Amazon. Along with a stretchy and slightly compressive nylon and spandex fabric makeup, they also include a silicone gripping construction on the thighs (so you’ll never have to worry about them riding up as you bike) and have UPF 50 — meaning you’ll stay protected from the sun if you wear them on hot summer days. And since these comfy shorts have a 9-inch inseam, they’re also a top choice for riders who prefer a longer fit.
To buy: amazon.com, from $27
These bike shorts have more than 500 positive reviews on Amazon, with many customers commenting on how comfortable the gel inserts are while they’re cycling. “The padding is just right — you don't feel like there is a bulge in the front. Love, love, love this item, and glad I found it.” Along with flatlock seams that prevent uncomfortable chafing, they also include reflective strips on the back of the thighs to keep your visibility high if you go riding at night. But if you choose to wear them during the day, they’re also made from a breathable, stretchy spandex and polyamide material so you can stay cool.
To buy: amazon.com, from $25
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