Review: UA HeatGear Armour Compression Shorts || More realistically, “fitted underwear”

The UA HeatGear Armour Compression Shorts (left) look very similar to my trusted UA Sonic Shorts (right), but they are NOT a worthy substitute.

For several years my go-to short for long runs and cool temperatures as been the Under Armour HeatGear Sonic Compression Short. Read my long-term review.

Unfortunately, the Sonic Short was discontinued a few years back, and leftover inventory is just about gone. I was hopeful that a similarly spec’d model, the Under Armour HeatGear Armour Compression Short — which also features a 6-inch inseam, simple design, and 84/16 polyester/spandex fabric — would be a one-to-one replacement.

It’s not. It’s not even close.

The Armour Compression Short is not worthy of the name. It offers no compression or support, and the fabric is too sheer and revealing for a standalone short. Let’s be honest about what they are: fitted underwear.

Sadly, they’re not very good underwear either. The Jockey Men’s Sport Mesh Midway Brief are $5-10 less and more supportive, and have high-airflow panels in the most sweat-prone areas. And the Saxx Mens Kinetic Boxer Briefs cost a bit more, but redefine “support.”

Bottom line: Avoid the Armour Shorts.

Oh, and avoid the Nike Hypercool Compression Short, too, for many of the same reasons. If you have a pair of beloved running tight shorts, please share — I’m getting desperate.

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5 Responses to Review: UA HeatGear Armour Compression Shorts || More realistically, “fitted underwear”

  1. Brian April 6, 2017 at 12:23 pm #

    Hi Andrew,

    I have the UA compression shorts as well, and I wear them mostly under tights for running or xc skiing and things like that. For me, they definitely seem too much like underwear to wear alone.

    Lately I have been running in these super simple Nike half tights:

    They are not nearly as tight and compressiony as the UA shorts, but they are very comfortable. I never think of them while I’m running in them. In inseam says 9″; however, I think they wear a bit more like a 7″ short (I’m 6’1″ and 160 lbs if that helps, and I’ve been wearing a medium).

    As a bonus, they have a super sleek zip-pocket in the back of the waist band. I like it more than I thought I would.

    • Brian April 6, 2017 at 12:25 pm #

      Spoke too soon, perhaps. The pairs I have (which I got in December) have a waist pocket. This version does not appear to.

  2. Russ Bailey April 6, 2017 at 12:52 pm #

    I buy bikini briefs from Aliexpress (china) – I do not like the extra material rubbing between my thighs – especially when sweating – the salty material can rub things raw. The prices are reasonable at a couple of bucks a pair rather than the banditry of Under Armour and others.

  3. jesse April 7, 2017 at 3:53 am #

    I’d suggest checking out Patagonia’s Nine Trails short-the 8″ version. It has a built in compression short/liner. I’ve had good experience with them. They run about $65 dollars. Worth a look IMO.

  4. Mark April 7, 2017 at 6:15 pm #

    Compression shorts. “First world” problem. (Just kidding, folks. Relax)

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