Can You Wear Normal Shorts In A Swimming Pool?

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Male or female, everyone should have one short or the other, and at times when opportunities of swimming present themselves to us, one might wonder “Can I wear normal shorts in a swimming pool?”

Yes, you can. However, this depends on the material composition of the swimming shorts. Swim shorts are usually made with either spandex or Lycra material which makes them a very good fit for water activities.

However, the same cannot be said for normal shorts because they are made from a different material composition that ranges from a combination of cotton and polyether to other wide range of fabrics which might not be water-friendly like spandex. 

How do I know if my normal shorts can pass for a swim short?

The fact that you have a short in your closet doesn’t make it swimming-worthy. As stated earlier, shorts come in different shapes, designs, and sizes which all have an important factor in determining if they are suitable for swimming or not. Below are the important boxes to tick if your normal sit-at-home short will pass for a swim short:


Swim shorts are known to be very lightweight due to the fabric used in making them. The lightweight nature of swim shorts such as board shorts also makes them ideal for running and other activities. If your regular shorts feel light anytime you put them on, then you’ve just got one box ticked.


When it comes to flexibility, swim shorts are known to have it in abundance. This is due to the spandex material used in the cause of production. Is your regular short flexible enough? Then you just had another box ticked!

Read Also: Is It Ok To Wear A Shirt While Swimming?

Quick to dry

Swim shorts are known to dry very quickly when wet, a characteristic that’s common with all the swim shorts currently in existence. Can this be said about your sit-at-home shorts? If not, then you probably have something to worry about.


Some sit-at-home shorts are known to have nettings just like normal swim shorts, but this by no means makes it ideal for swimming, especially if the shorts do not tick the first and third box. The netting in swim shorts is not put there for the sake of it, rather, it is placed there to provide support to the groin area of the swimmer – a fact lots of swimmers do not agree with.

Do your shorts tick some of the boxes, or all the boxes? If some, then you are probably good to go. However, if your regular shorts tick all the boxes, then you probably have been wearing board shorts without knowing because board shorts tend to look like regular shorts due to the way they are made.

Lastly, before taking a dive into the pool with your normal shorts – whether it ticks all the boxes or not – ensure you give them a proper wash because you probably might have worn them long enough without realizing how dirty they are.

Read Also: Can You Swim In Running Shorts?

Types of shorts and their swimming compatibility

What kind of shorts do you have? Do you know the category of shorts your “normal shorts” fall under? Below, I will be listing the various kind of shorts and how compatible they are for swimming; let’s take a look.

Boy shorts

While one might easily think “boy shorts” are meant for guys, you would be surprised they are actually meant for the ladies. These shorts are a little below three inches depending on the body size and are mostly worn by women who feel very confident about themselves.

Swimming compatibility: depending on the fabric, boy shorts are ideal for swimming

Booty shorts

Booty shorts are simply designed to cover the butt area. They are designed for ladies and are mostly worn indoors, or outdoors depending on the individual.

Swimming compatibility: depending on the fabric, booty shorts can be used for swimming.

Bermuda shorts

Bermuda shorts are typically worn by men, however, the females do have their own form. They are quite longer long than boy shorts, with a sleeve configuration inserted on their design.

Swimming compatibility: Bermuda shorts can be used for swimming due to their lightweight and quick-dry design.

Knee-length shorts

As the name implies, knee-length shorts are known to end at the knee section of the leg. They can be worn by both sex, and they come in different designs and colour patterns.

Swimming compatibility: knee-length shorts can also be used for swimming, but this depends on the fabric composition of the particular short in question.

Read Also: Can I Run In Swim Shorts?

Toreador shorts

Toreador shorts can be worn by both genders, but this depends largely on the design of the shorts. They are very long and would typically have a length that falls around the feet and the knee.

Swimming compatibility: due to their design, Toreador shorts aren’t ideal for any sort of swimming event.

Capri shorts

Capri shorts are probably the mainstream shorts among both sex because of the design that has a method of drawing out the style and looks in individuals. Its length is for the most part beneath the knee, and it’s made in such an approach to embrace the calf without leaving any space, however, this can change depending on the brand.

Swimming compatibility: Capri shorts aren’t ideal for swimming due to their size and design.

Boyfriend Shorts

Boyfriend shorts are normally worn by females, despite this fact, I have ended up spotting it on certain guys and it looks cool I must confess. The length lies somewhere close to the laps and the knee, and they are intended to be curiously large while having a lot of tears.

Swimming compatibility: Boyfriend shorts are originally made from jean material which makes them unideal for swimming, however, if yours happen to be made with a lighter material, then you can go right ahead.

Chino shorts

These shorts are typically knee-length shorts that are planned with a zip front. The material is for the most part made with cotton, and they are extremely famous among youngsters.

Swimming compatibility: Chino shorts are typically made with cotton material which makes them unideal for swimming.

Read Also: Is It Weird For A Girl To Wear Swim Shorts?

Combat shorts

Combat shorts was fundamentally intended for the male people, however, current patterns and development in the fashion business have seen females take it for themselves. They are intended to have a free loose look with loads of pockets. Combat shorts are exceptionally ideal for climbing and camping.

Swimming compatibility: Combat shorts have a similar length to board shorts, but the pocket design of these shorts make them unideal for swimming, although, some combat shorts like this one is very flexible and lightweight.


Skorts are essentially ideal for women. These kinds of shorts are fundamentally shorts connected with a skirt.

Swimming capability: Skorts are designed as skirts which makes them unideal for swimming regardless of their material composition or flexibility.

Read Also: Can You Wear Swim Shorts To The Gym?

Factors to consider when buying normal shorts – what you should know

Normal shorts are shorts you are likely to spend more time in than any of your clothes, so you must look out for certain characteristics if you want to get the real value for your money.

While you might primarily not worry about the design of your shorts since you are likely to wear them indoors and on casual outings, you must take note of the durability of the material amongst other things as I will be explaining below:

How well do they fit you?

When shopping for any kind of clothing, one of the first things you look out for is how well they fit, right? Well, your normal shorts are no different.

When shopping for normal shorts, you have to consider certain characteristics such as the material of the shorts to know if they can be ideal for other activities such as running or swimming your body weight; to know if they are well-suited for your build, then consider your overall height.

There are likely no two brands that fit the same, and that’s why you must take cognizance of all your measurements, and not just your waist size, or else, you might end up in something bigger than you anticipated.

The length of the shorts

When it comes to getting the right length of shorts, especially for men, you have to understand that there are various sizes available depending on your height and body build. To plainly put, the length of short to buy should be dependent on your height.

Shorts can come in a length of 5,7,9, and 11 inches. Men whose height is less than 5.8″ should go for shorter seams, while men with a taller body frame should go for longer seams.

What footwear will you be putting on?

Your footwear option is also fundamental to the shorts you buy. Low fashion shoes are very ideal for shorts that are above the knee, while flip-flops are better for beach parties and swimming shorts.

Style of the shorts

What style fits you more? Are you into baggy shorts or modern slim shorts? Regardless of your choice, your style should depend on your body weight.

Persons with big tummies or protruded stomachs will look nice in moderate baggy shorts that extend a little below the knee, while slim persons with nice legs will look perfect in chinos shorts, especially when they back it up with this low-quality shoe.

Swim shorts or normal shorts, which should be the priority in my wardrobe?

This depends on where you spend more time during your leisure hours. Do you spend more time lazing around at home, or do you spend more time in the beach area which is usually a possibility if you stay in the Caribbean or live in areas surrounded by water activity?

Sit-at-home persons should prioritize normal shorts, while beach lovers should prioritize board shorts or any swimming trunk of their choice without forgetting or neglecting normal shorts because they would certainly need it.

You should also consider the climate of the environment. Swim shorts are not thick, which makes them inappropriate for cold regions, normal shorts on the other hand would be very ideal in cold regions compared to hotter climates.


What kind of shorts can you wear for swimming?

As stated earlier, any shorts made with spandex or Lycra material will serve you well when swimming, be it board shorts or briefs. You only have a problem if the shorts in question is made from cotton or other materials that do not dry faster.

Will chlorine ruin shorts?

This depends on the material of the shorts. Shorts made with polyester are likely to resist any attack from chlorine than shorts made from other materials. Besides, they can also be readily washed with a washer which saves you the stress of handwashing which is what is required of shorts made from other elastic materials such as spandex and Lycra.

Can you wear board shorts in a swimming pool?

Of course, you can. This is made possible because of the material used which dries quickly. Board shorts are mostly desired by younger males because of their versatility. They are perfect for surfers and are also ideal to be used as normal shorts as long as the occasion permits. You are unlikely to get this sort of diversity from other swim shorts designs.

Can you swim with Nike Dri-Fit?

Nike Dri-Fit is designed for all sorts of athletic events be it swimming, running, cycling, and many more. It is designed to keep you dry literally at all times regardless of the weather even if it’s raining.

Can You Wear Normal Shorts In A Swimming Pool – Conclusion

For someone like me who spends more time indoors than outdoors, I take out time to shop for my normal shorts because they happen to be what I spend most of my day in. I hope the few tips I have shared in this article will help answer some of the questions you might have. Kindly drop your comments and observations in the comment section if you have any. I look forward to hearing from you. Cheers!!!

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