Under Armour Heatgear Compression Shorts Review

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Under Armour Heatgear Compression Shorts Review Review Facts

If you are an active athlete, you may know that there are compression shorts, and then there are Compression Shorts. The latter variety provides a tight fit, like a second skin. Our focus for today, the Under Armour Heatgear Compression short, fits the bill and will relieve soreness while allowing you movement in all directions. The shorts are snug, without being constrictive.

Under Armour also makes a long pants version. There are Heatgear shirts, leggings, tanks, and more. To their credit, Under Armour calls the leggings “men’s leggings.” It’s about time men got to experience the comfort, gentle warmth, and all-day non-chafing happiness that leggings can offer.

In reality, of course, people of any gender can wear any pair of leggings as long as they fit and the person likes them. The Heatgear shorts are the same way. Labeled as a male product, they can increase anyone’s performance while wicking away sweat and odor. The fabric is carefully layered and stitched so that sweat and moisture will both dissipate and aid in regulating body temperature. The spandex content meshes with antimicrobial additives for the ultimate comfort and protection from odor or unpleasant rashes.

Editor's Pros & Cons

Product is similar to other Under Armour shorts, but spandex aids in stretchiness and body conformity

Shorts are reasonably priced, compared to other moisture-wicking compression garments

Can be worn every day as underwear, if desired

Length is short enough not to interfere with movement

Shorts come in five different colors

Tall and regular lengths; regular comes in sizes small to 4XL

Material dries fast after use--can be machine washed, but tumble dry low or let air dry


Tall version only comes in XL to 3XL

Shorts may be too tight for some, and not everyone will like the padded crotch cup

Shorts aren't appropriate to wear as shorts--undergarments only

The Rundown

These really aren't running shorts, lifting shorts, basketball shorts or cycling shorts, although the padding and stretch factor suit them partially to any of those activities. For example, shorts meant specifically for road cyclists will have thick padding in the crotch. This cuts down on pain and discomfort when you are in the saddle for miles at a time. The Under Armour Heatgear shorts have some padding, but it is not very thick. So if you need garments for a specific strenuous sport, you may want to look elsewhere. The Heatgear shorts will work to keep in your gym bag as a backup or emergency pair, though.

If you aren't looking to pursue a specific sport, these shorts are a great choice for all your activities. You can wear them to work and make your lunchtime fitness break a bit easier. The shorts will leave you less sore, and you won't have to go back to the office feeling sweaty or gross. The thermal properties of the shorts mean you can wear them year-round, in hot or cold weather.

The fact that these shorts won't chafe or migrate also means they fit tight and snug. If you are not looking for that, you are free to go up a size from your usual. Under Armour has a handy sizing chart, and the short (regular) version of the shorts will fit waists from 26 and a half to 59 inches. If you order the shorts, you will need to measure your hips as well.

Just do your homework and make sure you can live with your purchase choice. When your editors started exploring spandex and compression clothing, we ended up going a size too small more than once. It is uncomfortable because the garments won't stay up, no matter how hard you try. If you go more than a size too big, too, you are at risk of chafing. Under Armour makes it quite easy to pick the perfect size, using the chart on the Heatgear Compression Shorts product page. Ideally, if you are okay with the compression, this style of short will not move around at all and you will never have to worry about keeping things covered.


The Heatgear shorts, according to the Under Armour site, are 79% polyester and 21% spandex. Under Armour calls it "elastane," but that's another word for spandex. We aren't sure why different makers use different names. Either way, the synthetic material emulates the elastane (note the different spelling) that occurs naturally in your skin. Think about the time you did hundreds of push-ups in a gravel pit as part of a Mad Max-style apocalyptic survival contest...wait, are we the only ones who did that? Well, after we got out, the gravel-shaped indentations on our palms went away and our hands went back to their normal baby-skin smooth quality. That was the elastane doing its thing. So you can imagine the Heatgear shorts doing the same, retaining and returning to their original shape even after long periods of wear and cleaning cycles.

There is also plenty of spandex in the waistband, giving it an elastic quality. When properly sized, the shorts will not leave marks or cause discomfort in your waist area. Those of us who have suffered through less than ideal running packs, those lacking soft, pliable back straps, will enjoy the feeling of comfort and freedom from the expansive but secure waistband.

Who Needs It Most

We are of the mind that anyone who pursues an active lifestyle needs compression gear. It isn't a necessity, like water or rest days, but compression socks, shirts, arm sleeves, and shorts or pants will go a long way towards keeping you active. That's because, at their best, compression garments wick away sweat and moisture. This fights odor and also prevents chafing. Anyone who came hammered and sore after a day playing on the beach will appreciate being able to move without discomfort the next day. Sand and sun aren't the only things that cause chafing, but it's the best example we can think of.

The other big benefit of shorts like the Under Armour Heatgear is in circulation. Regular blood flow, to all the far-flung parts of your body, is vital for health and oxygen delivery. By strategically squeezing problem areas like the ankles, compression gear increases circulation. The blood flow cuts down on fatigue, both during a workout and while you recover. There are many gimmicks in the fitness world, but compression is time tested and effective. Just watch out for promises that are too good to be true, like the idea that copper lining will make the compression more effective. There are zero scientific bases for this.

Under Armour has never been one to use gimmicks or make extravagant claims. Years ago, they were one of the first companies to offer affordable moisture-wicking shirts and pants for runners and others. They got into the sneaker game, offering minimalist runners and more when everyone was into barefoot running. Under Armour gives more established companies, like Nike or Reebok, a run for their money. Their advertising is beautiful to watch, with feats of strength and bodies in motion, but it is down to earth and never comes across as phony or over the top.

The Heatgear shorts are the same, embodying Under Armour's no-nonsense approach and mission to provide affordable, durable performance gear. Even the stitching and fabric layout in the shorts encourage free movement and comfort. At the same time, the shorts are snug and form-fitting enough to give you We looked at plenty of competitor products, and it is hard to find something this affordable with this many cool features. If you are consistently active, whether your sport is walking or flag football, we say you are an athlete and you will enjoy these shorts if you decide to purchase a pair. Under Armour will not let you down.

What People Are Saying

We looked at over a hundred customer and commercial reviews to gain a consensus on what users do and do not like about the Heatgear shorts. They are an upgrade over an older design, which contained less stretchy material and more polyester fabric. Most wearers were happy with the upgrade, because of the increased compression, cooling effect, and sweat repelling properties. Under Armour also significantly cut down on odor, by adding an antimicrobial lining to the inside of the shorts.

Under Armour also gets mostly high marks for customer service. If you have an issue with the shorts, including premature wear, Under Armour's agents will work hard to resolve it for you. We chatted with an agent during our research for this review; she was prompt and had quick answers to our question about returns. She told us UA will accept any return up to 60 days after purchase. Beyond 60 days, they may honor proof of purchase with an in-kind gift card. This is on a case by case basis. So, as always, keep your receipt in case something goes south.

The Final Word

Are you an active person on a budget? Are you a man, woman, or member of any other gender? Do you want underwear that is comfortable, snug, dry, easy on your skin, and simple to clean? If so, we can readily recommend the Heatgear regular or long compression shorts, from Under Armour, for daily or gym-specific use. They will more than adequately meet your needs, and Under Armour will work hard to make you happy if you run into a problem. Pro or semipro performance athletes may want to look elsewhere, just because these are all-purpose shorts; but for most of our readers, the Heatgear threads and fabric will be a great fit.