The following gear review is by Rock/Creek Race Team member Daniel Lucas.
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Summary: The Patagonia Strider Pro shorts strike a great balance between value, performance and functionality.
Appearance: I was happy with the length of the shorts. I felt as though the coverage on my legs was a somewhere between modesty, (E.g. I am a man of moral standards) and Curiosity (E.g. But everyone has their skeletons…). They are not so snug that you will be mistaken for smuggling grapes, but there is very little excess material.
Key Features: A pocket on each side with an overlap that keeps things from falling out without the aid of a zipper or fastener. This is handy for keeping a gel pack or two in each one for quick draw access. A rear pocket that is accessible via zipper. This rear pocket is snug and sits at the base of the spine so it doesn’t move much. During races I tend to use it as my personal garbage disposal. I have found that I can store at least 3 or 4 used gel packages without discomfort.
I am not a fan of running shorts that only allow side pockets for storage as when these are used they tend to cause friction which eventually irritates the skin. This is not an issue if you are just running a 10k or less because you shouldn’t need to carry a gel for that distance, but then I would doubt that you are researching running shorts if your longest planned running distance is 6 miles.
Fit: I wear a waist size 31 or 32 on most of my pants and found the Medium to be perfect for me, E.g. I’ve never used the draw strap. My guess is that Patagonia’s Medium runs a bit small vs most popular brands. I would consider these to be a ‘slim fit’ version and sizing of running shorts.
Performance: Over the last year I have run many races, including Leadville 100, and many training runs including a very rainy 3-day Thunder Rock training run, in these shorts and they have always performed well. Let’s face it, whether you are a biker, runner or triathlete, chafing can ruin your day quickly.
Because of the ideal length and material construction, these tend to cause much less chafing than my Brooks shorts. I noticed this when I would alternate between my Patagonia shorts and Brooks shorts on my back to back long runs.
Bottom Line: If you like the fit you must equip.