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Western Rise Movement Shorts Review​

A second piece in the new active line.  Let's see how the Movement shorts perform. As always, should it be considered in your travel wardrobe? 

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Introduction To The Western Rise Movement Shorts

Western Rise is venturing into active clothing. I'd say specifically they are generally a travel focused/everyday lifestyle brand. For me, I look to them for innovative fabrics and features that are good for travel. I think that's their bread and butter. With that, I'd say it makes sense that they also come out with an active line for you to take with you. Some of their clothes up til now can probably do double duty just because of their fabrics - but I wouldn't really call any of them designed for active stuff. We just reviewed their active t-shirt as well which you can read here: Western Rise Session T-Shirt review.


The Movement Shorts are trying to solve your active and exercise problems while you're on the road. They've put a lot of thought into the material and make up in order to address some of those specific challenges, while also thinking about the weight of the shorts themselves.

Let's see how they shake out. 

This is my review of the Western Rise Movement Shorts. For full disclosure, Western Rise did send me these shorts to test and review, but this is not a sponsored article and other than reaching out, they played no part in this review. The opinions are my own.

This page does include affiliate links. When used to make a purchase, we make a small commission which helps keep this site running, but this in no way affects the results of our reviews and is at no cost to you.

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Western Rise Movement Short Overview

The movement shorts are pretty simple - an active short designed to give you flexibility across a number of different activities while keeping you comfortable and built with fabric performance in mind.


It's another 100% polyester make - but something you should keep in mind is that not all polyester is the same. That's the source fabric at its core, yes. But companies do all sorts of things with it to bend it to their will. This version is a Japanese fabric (where a lot of interested fabrics are coming from these days) and is built to be ultra-light.

Beyond the weight - it promises to be extremely breathable, has great stretch to it, and uses bonded hems and flat lock seams to essentially make it so you can't snag the threads on things (like maybe if you're using these to hike in and pass through under brush, etc.).

Further, it's got stain resistance thanks to its DWR finish (a plus for travel), a drawstring (because you can use these for swim trunks), and two zippered pockets (more on those later). Oh and if you DO swim, the pockets have a very small gauge mesh so water can get out but it doesn't feel like netting to your hand.

Sells for $89.00 on their site and comes in black and blue gray right now. I have the blue gray.

Western Rise Movement Short Fit 

I felt like it was a pretty standard experience with these shorts - at least for me. I'm athletically built, but short. So, unlike the model in the website photos, I'm not a 6 foot former D1 athlete that never misses leg day. Because of that, these weren't the tight fitting shorts they showed. For me, they were a bit looser and flowy. You know what? That's just fine by me. One person on their website called it more of a soccer shorts fit. I'd say for me, that's consistent. Pictures below. A modern soccer short in the US is probably a good comparison for me at least. Not baggy, but not a pair of nut huggers either. Sorry, PG-13 alert.

Overall I'd say the proportions were right in how I personally like my active shorts. 7 inches on me is that nice middle ground for shorts. Nowadays, I find 8/9 too long and I'm not quite there on the 6 inch trend (sorry, Chubbies). So your mileage may vary a bit here based on your height, but I think they picked a great middle ground.

No change after a wash, as this fabric shouldn't really shrink. As usual this is a premium fabric. So take care of it in terms of washing and it will take care of you for a long time.

Overall, I was quite happy with the fit, even if some readers might like them a little more snug. The stretch is fantastic, so they won't be constricting if you do like them that way - which is great.


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The Good

Just like when we reviewed the Session t-shirt, I've gotta say I'm impressed with the weight here. It's really fantastic. They set out to make some items that won't weigh you down in your travel/active work kit, and I think they really nailed it. Hard to explain, but I'd say they are light enough like running shorts, but they don't feel that cheap or flimsy. There's still a great hand feel to it. I guess again, weight like soccer shorts but the fabric is much more advanced. Better stretch, water resistance, no shine. I like the matte finish for sure.

Flexibility is fantastic. You wanna go for a run? Great. Hike? Yeah do it up. Need to hop into the waterfall for that sick Instagram opp? Yeah do it, buddy. They'll be quick dry for you and comfortable the whole time. Nice job, Western Rise in thinking about versatility. Specifically with hiking, I've been trying for years to find a short that was more geared towards a runner or gym short for warm weather hiking. Tried a few Under Armor pairs that I just didn't like, the bands were not comfortable. Some Nikes, etc. Got this idea from Clever Hiker (head to their sight if you're into hiking, it's awesome). But the reason I like this is because "hiking" shorts really aren't nice to pack. They can be a bit bulkier than these will be. Especially if you're using cotton versions. So this can save space and weight. I like the fit and look better. The only thing is if you like the hikers for tons of pockets, these won't be your fav. But, one short is a specialist and one prides itself on flex. Make the call based on your needs.

What else? I found the waist band pretty comfortable. I've been wearing them almost every day for two weeks while working from home (with washes, don't worry, mom) and while they do get sweaty in the band sitting down, I don't get uncomfortable. The back also doesn't have the full crinkle section, so it's actually flat against your back. That's comfortable too.

I love the pockets. Mesh for water drainage. The back pocket has a zipper in case you're wearing these out and about in a city with pick pockets. It's a little big, so if you have a small wallet, it's gonna do the ol' fall sideways thing on you. What I really like is a hip pocket, with a zipper that's great for something like a phone, cash, keys, etc. I'm not sure I'd put my phone in there while actually running, but don't think  anyone would claim you should. It's perfect for those items while just generally wearing these or I'd guess while hiking. I like it because it's not bulky, and it's not in your back pocket which gets in the way when you sit down. It's a clever solution for that. Pics shown here of this side pocket. The use of the zippers is well done.

The Bad

If I sound over positive here, I apologize. But when companies make good products I'm not going to complain just to complain. That's not constructive. I didn't have any complaints per say, but a couple ideas for improvements in V2 that I'll mention next. 

Only thing I can say here is the label heat transfer needs work. This won't affect the shorts in any way, shape, or form. But you will find little white letters around your place now and then and need to play a funeral dirge for them before sending them to that big label place in the sky. Tighten that up, WR, and you'll have a short that's hard to complain about.

The Performance of the Western Rise Movement Short

The shorts performed really well for me. I'll make the comment here that I'm not a big runner in this weather or in this current state of things (in NYC, all mask wearing and no gyms open) so I wasn't re-enacting the Greek story of Marathon at all. But, it's hot here. And humid. And sweaty. I'll wear them all day and when out and about in the heat. No issues, no irritation, etc.

From a travel outlook, I did pack these for a weekend trip I took and frankly couldn't even notice them. They roll up tightly and weigh almost nothing. Seemed about the same weight as a pair of underwear. So, packing wise they perform  well and that's why I think they are a great companion while traveling.

From a smell perspective, these are airy, breathable, and  quick drying. That said, there's no special odor performance on these in terms of additional, feature specific stuff. Let's not beat around the bush, they work in close quarters with your boys, after a few wears or sessions they are going to pick up some odors. But they dry fast after a wash and you could wash these while traveling really easily because of that.

Your mileage may vary there, depending on how hard you push them. But they won't be able to be worn indefinitely if you're sweating in them a lot. Not a knock, just making that statement so your expectations are proper (which I find keeps people happier).

The Improvement Requests

Could be some things to think about on V2. Just spit balling here. Fix the heat transfer logo, but that's an easy one. As we just discussed, utilizing some kind of odor treatment would be great. Perhaps a HeiQ or something - that works well but I am sure they will need to make sure it works with this fabric.

Another thing to think about, though it will change the ultimate selling point, is some kind of a liner. Right now, you'll need to use your own and those might not be designed for the water. Perhaps, they can use their fabric expertise to come up with a lightweight and supportive liner (thinking weight of Airism from Uniqlo). Quick dry, odor resistance. Or hey, maybe even the material from the Session T! This will help when using them for a swim. From a design standpoint, Fair Harbor does this well in their swim shorts. But Western Rise could look at making it ultralight and odor resistant so it doesn't add much weight. You have your homework assignment, WR! Go! Just kidding, but hopefully it's something the brand will think about in the future.


Final Thoughts On My Western Rise Movement Short Review

For those looking to be active while traveling (or really, any time) I think the Movement shorts are going to be a solid choice for you. If you're already bought into the Western Rise brand, then I think it's kind of a no brainer if you're in the market for something like this. I've certainly not tried every running short known to man out there. If you've already got your unicorn, hey man stick with that. But if you're in the market, I'd be very comfortable recommending you check these out at the very least. I've been very happy with mine and will certainly be packing them for casual  location trips, resort lounging, super hot cities, or for day hikes (For more context - I wish I had these while riding scooters around the plains of Bagan in Myanmar taking photos. Would have been perfect for that). Or for at home when my gym opens up again!

I like the attention to detail in the build (the flat locked and reinforced seams, the rubber tops on the drawstrings, etc.) and the smart use of pockets. I also really love the weight of these shorts in conjunction with the feel. The fabric is really nice and not shiny or swishy. It's soft and stretchy.

I think these are going to be great for travelers that want to go for runs, hikes, or I guess even yoga. I also think they are great walking around shorts if you're in places where it's acceptable to be wearing gym-style shorts. The flexibility is also there if you're going to be be active on a beach or near a lake, and want to just run into the water. They'll have you covered. Easily packed or honestly, stuffed into a sneaker if you're really pressed for space.

Just keep in mind they aren't using any additional odor treatments, so you will need to plan to wash these eventually while on your trip.


Hop on over to their website to check them out, and consider using our link if you do wish to purchase. Thanks for reading!

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