Champion C9 Running Shorts Review

  • A black pair of the Champion C9 running short.
7.3
7.3 score
[Editors rating (7.3)] = (WalkJogRun) score (7.3)/10


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Editor rating: 7.3 / 10
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Champion, whose parent company is Hanesbrands, creates sustainable, basic activewear. Affordable outerwear and athletic wear come as naturally to them as underwear does to their parent company. These C9 shorts work overtime to ensure you feel as amazing as you look when you strap on your running shoes and hit the road. Champion has made it easy to keep cozy and on trend in your performance gear.

Editor's Pros & Cons
Pros
  • Wide, Adjustable Waistband
  • Duo Dry Technology
  • Flattering
  • Inexpensive
  • Anti-Snag Material
  • Zipped Waist Pocket
Cons
  • Not Many Features
  • Runs Wide
  • Shorter Then Expected

Comfort

With the addition of the liner and an incredibly soft waistband, the C9 running short by Champion ends up being quite comfortable. It isn't hard to spend a lot of money on expensive products that fail to feel good when you wear them. Champion makes clothing that will be a refreshing alternative for your wallet. This option by the brand has a wide and cozy waistband. Wide waistbands perform much better than thin waistbands in comfort and utility for multiple reasons. One is that they don’t dig into your hips or stomach, even when cinched very tight. The width helps to distribute the pressure making it not feel strained against your body. Since women often are softest in their midsection, it is useful to have a more forgiving tie around their waist. The wide waist also helps to keep these from slipping or sliding around. Since it is equipped around this area with elastic and drawcord, it creates a texture that makes it hard to slip. Thinner waistbands have the unfortunate find effect of sometimes rolling or sliding down. This one is more likely to stay put, making the wear more pleasant and putting you at ease.

Durability

Champion is known for making more affordable clothes than their competitors, so the expectation for their performance options isn’t that they are particularly durable. While this may be true with some of their cotton options more intended for basic workouts and lounging, that isn’t the case with this C9 running pair. The one hundred percent polyester short will hold up very well with multiple wears and washing. Champion makes this anti-snag to avoid holds and tears when you’re wearing them, or in the laundry. As long as you care for it appropriately, by washing cold with like colors and tumbling dry on low, these will have a more than acceptable lifespan. The thicker band and cut of the leg also help to extend their life, as they make them more capable of handling rougher wear. The waistband is substantial, it won’t tear or fray if you get your foot stuck while quickly pulling them on. The slightly open side on each thigh gives you a larger range of motion and helps reduce stress on the fabric during stretching as well as running. This also helps to keep your stride unrestricted!

Fit

Getting that perfect fit when it comes to women’s shorts can be a serious hassle. What frequently happens is that due to the materials used, they can end up being tight in the hips and the backside. This doesn’t feel great when you’re running, and it especially doesn’t when there is a liner restricting you even more. Though polyester has so many fantastic qualities, when it isn’t made into a woven blend, it can end up feeling too tight on. Though this isn’t a blended fabric, it is woven, adding just a bitch of a stretch to help some issues with the fit. The C9 isn’t out of the woods yet, though. Many women found that Champion consistently makes shorts that are much shorter than they had originally expected. Thanks to the adjustable, thick waistband, you can help this to fit your midsection to your liking. This obviously won’t amend the issues with the length of the short itself. If you don’t mind a short being particularly short then this isn’t much of a red flag. Though the length is shorter, Champion as a whole tends to run larger in width, about a half size. Keep this in mind when sizing for yourself!

Moisture Wicking

Polyester is naturally water-resistant but you might wonder what happens to the moisture coming off of your actual body inside the fabric. You will be relieved to hear that the C9 has fabric that will quickly wick that moisture away. Their Duo Dry technology quickly moves moisture away from the skin and out through the liner and short to evaporate. The polyester will repel moisture from the outdoors if you’re running in cold or wet environments, though you would want a protective legging in that case as well, for comfort. The C9 will keep you dry and feeling fantastic even after long runs or workouts. Similarly, they can help keep you dry and warm in cooler weather thanks to their super fast Duo Dry technology. This is a nice pick to have in your wardrobe to rotate in when looking for an easy athletic option.

Safety Details

When looking at running shorts, reflectivity is crucial. This is for one reason and one reason only: your safety. Running in low light is inherently dangerous. Without visibility, there is a high risk of being left unseen and at risk to be struck by motorists or even cyclists. Reflective details help to improve your visibility in low light by catching the light from oncoming moving vehicles back at them, alerting them to your presence. On this bottom by Champion, there is only the smallest bit of reflectivity, which is concerning. Only the small C9 on the outer corner of the right leg has reflectivity. If you are not wearing addition low light visibility items, this is not a good option for road runners, especially those that run between dusk and dawn. These are much better suited for those who work out indoors. Anyone with a gym they frequent for workouts or a home gym would be fine with the C9 running short. If you mix it up and exercise both outdoors and indoors, please remember that these are not a good choice for low light to increase your safety when outdoors.

Storage

Pockets are an infrequent pleasure on women’s running shorts. It is rare to see a pair of bottoms made for women with any storage at all. Performance options don’t want you to be weighed down, which results in less storage and more streamlined additions to enhance your performance, not your carrying capacity. These luckily contain a small pocket that can help you stash your essentials on your runs. This pocket is hidden and has a zipper for secure storage, regardless of what you are doing to exercise. The hidden inner pocket is perfect to stash your keys if you ever drive to a local park to run their trails. It is also great for energy gels or cash. The placement of the pocket is on the back of the waistband, which means it won’t be as accessible when you’re actually in motion. If you have to carry a phone or something large on your runs, you can find shorts that have more advanced storage to accommodate you. These function well as just an easy option for an array of workouts. The lack of storage does help to keep you feeling light. The small pocket will prevent you from carrying too much that can cause the shorts to ride down or you to feel weighed down.

Style

It can be hard to find on-trend athletic wear unless you shop with big name brands. The C9 has a cute and flattering cut that is sure to please most tastes! The front of this bottom is slightly shorter than the back, helping your leg to seem elongated while also keeping you modest from having the liner show during stretches. On the sides, there is a stitch right before the bottom of the short where it has a slit. This helps accommodate a full range of motion but it is also flattering for a variety of body types. If you are someone who often feels that shorts don’t sit comfortably on your thighs, the C9 may be a better cut for you, since it gives you a larger space to move in. Coming in a selection of colors and patterns, this short can keep you looking stylish even when working up a sweat. If you’ve ever heard the expression that some “glimmer” while others sweat, these shorts are a way to make you glimmer too. Looking good comes from the inside out and it always helps to feel confident before and during a workout!

Technology

Champion keeps it simple. There isn’t anything wrong with that, but for a lot of there more affordable gear, you should not expect a lot of technology or additional features. The C9 short utilizes Duo Dry technology, which combines moisture-wicking power in both the comfy liner and the outer fabric. It works phenomenally to keep you dry and cool. It draws the moisture to its surface to quickly evaporate it, leaving you feeling fresh and unbothered during your workout. Though this feature is wonderful, there isn’t much else going on with the C9. They are a very barebones option for working out and running. Some people can appreciate when something is basic but others will need a bit more. Champion has technology on some other options in their C9 line that increases the wicking capacity the more heat your body gives off. It would be nice if this running bottom included that, as well. I definitely would consider this a short that isn’t up to par with the needs of a professional athlete or a dedicated daily runner. Some designs are more in tune to a runner’s needs.

Value

Performance gear gets very expensive very quickly. Even moderately-priced athletic wear tends to be on the higher side of normal for a similar casual wear item. Champion makes affordable athletic wear for everyone. These are very inexpensive and if you want a cheap athletic option that will still hold up well to wear, the C9 is a great choice. While it has some problems and a lack of unique details, it makes up for it in being such a fantastic price. It is rare to be able to find something made to this standard at such a low price. Even mid-range athletic brands generally sell at a higher pricer. There is no better option in terms of bang for your buck than one of Champion’s bottoms such as this one. With clothing costs continuously rising, it is nice to still have a brand to count on when money is tight and you still need athletic wear.

Versatility

Women liked this short for its ability to be worn comfortably during downtime, as well as during workouts. This is appropriate for most cardio activities. Though people liked it for leisure, the liner within the C9 makes it less than ideal to wear as regular shorts. Liners can be uncomfortable with additional undergarments and can get tangled up when you’re trying to relax. This is better left worn during a jog, a high-intensity workout, or aerobics than it is for everyday casual wear. People may still want to wear this out and about if it works for them but it isn’t made for such a range of wear. They do have diversity in their use but they can’t be considered clothing that seamlessly transitions and adapts to different activities.

Bottom Line

People who are searching for a wonderful value in their next piece of athletic wear can find it with this Champion. The C9 running short uses Duo Dry technology to wick away moisture quickly and easily to help you stay focused on your stride. Its cute style puts a pep in your step by helping you workout with confidence. If you run mostly outdoors or on the trail, you will need something with more storage and reflectivity. For the gym rats and those who just love casual athletics, the Champion C9 will be more than prepared to take on your day to day wear.