La Sportiva Auster Shorts in action

Running shorts are something I didn’t really consider, for the longest time. In my mind, running shorts were, simply, running shorts – was there any real difference between the cheaper ones and the more expensive? With all the other gear that comes with endurance trail running, and as the costs start to add up, is it really worth it to spend more than the bare minimum on a pair of shorts?

Enter, the La Sportiva Auster Short. A complete game changer for me. After the first run, it was like I only owned one pair of shorts. I would look into my shorts drawer and it wasn’t about grabbing the ones on top, it was about rummaging around for the Auster Shorts. (Better yet, as far as pricing goes, they’re pretty standard!)

So, what makes them so great?

Sam models the La Sportiva Auster Shorts

The front of the shorts are one single panel, eliminating the uncomfortable centre seam found on most running shorts.

First off, the panelling. The front of the shorts is one piece of material that extends from the middle of one thigh to the other – there is no traditional seam down the middle. It’s a bit like wearing a skirt. When you step forward it’s not like you have a tube of fabric around each leg that pull against one another, like you sometimes get with a traditional cut. Rather the ‘skirt’ shape makes it feel like when you take a step the whole short moves with you, there is no resistance.

Second, the cut. These shorts have a 3" inseam and a split, cut seam up the side. When you wear them, you’re going to show a lot of leg. But this cut, with the panelling mentioned above, and with the lightweight materials, means you have complete range of movement. I’d bet that even the most flexible person, taking the most ridiculous steps forward, back, and sideways won’t be able to find a position where these shorts restrict their movements. For me they tick the only box that really matters with this sort of gear: I don’t think about them while I wear them.

Third, the waistband. The Auster Shorts have a semi-wide all elastic waistband. Around the back half of the shorts, on the inside of the waistband is a low-profile strip, about 1cm wide, of what I assume is silicone. You don’t notice it’s there while you’re wearing them (it’s not at all ‘sticky’), but when you go to pull them down at the end of a run, you notice how ‘grippy’ it is! These pants are never going to start falling down on you. That strip really makes it feel like the shorts hold themselves up!

Fourth, the inner. Sometimes the inner brief of running shorts can make or break a short. If they don’t fit quite right, no matter how good the outer short is, it can be a bit of a deal breaker. In my opinion, La Sportiva has nailed the inner on these shorts. Without going into too many details, they hold everything in place very comfortably, and they’re terrifically breathable. What more could you ask for?

Fifth, general features. The Auster Shorts have a centred key pocket on the back of the shorts under the waistband. And small, vertical, unsecured pockets on either leg, just under the waistband; perfect to stash an energy bar or gel. There is reflective detailing, so you’ll be seen on night runs. The blend of polyester and elastane is light and stretchy. And overall, the shorts are very breathable, and they dry fast.

It’s hard to the fault the La Sportiva Auster Short. The length may not be for everyone, but you can’t fault the shorts for that. Not only are they great to run in, but they’re also fantastic for your strength sessions at the gym. No more hitching your shorts up every time you want to do a side lunge...

Give them a try, I can’t imagine a world where you’ll regret it!


Sam McAuliffe,
Bogong Equipment



See our range of trail running gear.

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