Favorite of Co-Eds and Moms: Tempo Short

College campuses and carpool lines find women wearing the same practical uniform this summer, the Nike Tempo Short (or similar). I once thought only the women who were training for marathons were wearing these out in public, but now I have discovered the reasons for their broad appeal.

If you’ve been an athlete all your life, skip this, because you will only disdain those of us who didn’t know. But for the rest of us – moms who are just trying to stay casual and cool – the running short is worth serious consideration because it is lightweight, launders easily, and most important, the underwear is built in.

If you’ve looked at these types of shorts before and thought the panty was redundant – of course you would never leave the house not wearing your usual trusty underwear! – I only share what a real runner told me: Try it.

It’s true that they don’t flatter every body type, but they really do flatter most. And while it took me actually starting to run a bit to feel entitled to wearing “running” shorts, I now sport them happily on flip-flop and errand days when I have no intention of taking a series of quick steps.

They are easy to wear, easy to wash, and above all, cool. That’s what the co-eds who hoof it across campus have already known, and what those moms you thought were headed to the Y have been keeping to themselves.

Cool comfort and the impression that you rose at dawn for a quick run? Get yourself some running shorts and “run” around with the rest of us.

Note: The price of Nike Tempo shorts has increased over the summer. The suggested retail price was $28 but new stock is $32. Dick’s and Hibbett’s have even tagged over the manufacturer’s label of their existing stock to increase the price from $28 to $32.

What I especially don’t like is that the overlay price stickers are red, which to my mind is a head fake that could make you think they have been marked down. Not so! And while Nike merchandise is routinely discounted 20%, I never like seeing a re-tag that increases a price.

As of this writing, Academy has held steady with prices at $24.99 for solid colors. Of course, there are many other brands and styles of running shorts and at lower price points. Remember that Kohl’s often offers discounts and TJ Maxx and Ross’ usually have name brand athletic apparel.