GORUCK Simple Shorts Review

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Here’s our GORUCK Simple Shorts review.

What are Simple Shorts?

They look like regular formal shorts (with pockets and belt loops) – but they are actually a very different sort of apparel.

GORUCK Simple Shorts in Navy
GORUCK Simple Shorts – like shorts, but tough, comfortable, and built for physical activity – Rucking, Exercise, and more.

Simple Shorts are lightweight, comfortable, tough, and made for physical activity.

These are shorts are meant for physical fitness – like a GORUCK challenge event – or just about anything else.

By the way, if you don’t know what “rucking” is, it’s simply walking or hiking with a loaded backpack – it’s a great workout and the loaded rucksack brings your upper body into play.

GORUCK Simple Shorts - Great for Rucking
Simple Shorts are perfect for rucking – hiking with a loaded backpack. That said, they work for anything else. I can sleep in them too – they are that comfortable!

But given that these are cut like formal shorts (and therefore have pockets and belt loops) means these are very versatile shorts you can wear in many different situations.

(As compared to athletic shorts – which aren’t appropriate in most places outside of the gym).

We’re going to tell you more in depth, here’s the styles available now from GORUCK:

GORUCK Simple Shorts (Men's Coyote) Simple Shorts - they look like regular shorts- but they are better. They are tough, lightweight, and crazy comfortable. Shown here in Coyote.

GORUCK Simple Shorts (Men's Ranger Green) Simple Shorts (any color) are made with GORUCK's ToughDry material. It's a 94% Nylon / 6% Spandex blend - and that means it is both tough, and stretchy. Shown here in Ranger Green.

GORUCK Simple Shorts (Men's Navy) Cut like formal shorts - they have pockets and belt loops. This means you can wear them like normal shorts- and they look like normal shorts- which means you can use these in just about any occasion. Want the comfort of athletic shorts but a more formal appearance? These are your best bet. Shown here in Navy.

GORUCK Simple Shorts (Men's Black) What's the secret to the comfort? The material is just so lightweight! There's no big bulky seams - not for the pockets, belt loops, or anywhere else. The ToughDry material also has a nice feel - and is a bit stretchy.

GORUCK Simple Shorts (Men's Charcoal) Available in a variety of manly colors - here's charcoal. This shade of light gray goes with just about anything.

We’re going to use a lot of GORUCK supplied photos here – because it is hard to take good custom pictures of shorts. I’ll upload custom photos soon.

Before we move on, let’s say a quick few words about rucking as physical exercise.

GORUCK Simple Shorts – Shorts for Rucking

GORUCK is the rucking company.

What’s rucking? It’s walking with a loaded backpack – also known as a rucksack in military parlance.

It doesn’t matter if you are in the mountains, the jungle, or the urban jungle – as long as you are going for distance with weight on your back.

Ruck marches are the foundation of physical conditioning in the US armed forces, including the special forces.

GORUCK Simple Shorts - Ruck Workout with Sand Bag on the Beach
GORUCK built Simple Shorts to stand up to their Challenge Events. These shorts are tough – and made for physical activity.

Soldiers have to be able to move themselves and their essential gear rapidly on foot.

But GORUCK has brought rucking to the civilian masses in the form of GORUCK Challenge Events.

These combine a long walk with weight – and some team building challenges and Physical Training (PT) – all run by a very drill instructor like person known as the “cadre”.

(Most of the cadre are ex-Special Forces – need we say more?)

Ok, so back to the shorts.

GORUCK created Simple Shorts for serious activity – and you can bet if they can stand up to a GORUCK Challenge event – they’ll be tough enough for you as well.

Simple Shorts - ruck march testing
To test these, I did several short ruck marches. I’m not smiling here because it’s July in Florida and even at 8:30 am it’s hot and humid!

Want to see the shorts in action? Check out the video clips in our GORUCK Sandbag & Ruck Training program review.

GORUCK Simple Shorts – Very Comfortable

Simple Shorts are very comfortable – let’s explain why.

First of all, they are made with GORUCK’s ToughDry material.

GORUCK Simple Shorts
ToughDry (94% Nylong/6% Spandex) is tough, lightweight, and sheds water. If they do get wet – they’ll dry quickly too.

It is a 94% Nylon / 6% Spandex blended fabric. The nylon makes the material abrasion resistant and the spandex gives it a two-way stretch fit.

But, there’s more – this material is crazy lightweight (and still tough.)

They just don’t have to use that much material.

And that means there are no big, bulky seams like you’d have on a pair of khakis.

Even though these shorts have 4 pockets, belt loops, a zipper fly – there’s just no big bulky seams in your way.

GORUCK Simple Shorts Navy with MACV-1 Jungle Rucking Boot
There’s no big, bulky seams on these shorts. ToughDry is TOUGH – and they don’t have to use very much of it.

Because they are so lightweight – you have no sensation of being slowed down by bulky clothing either.

Lastly, the Simple Shorts have a curved waistband – for a very nice, comfortable fit.

So, Simple Shorts don’t use much material, but there is one drawback to that.

The Simple Shorts are “lightweight” – there isn’t that much material to them.

They are an athletic style short- so they fit like a glove, too.

GORUCK Simple Shorts Ranger Green
Simple Shorts use that thin, lightweight ToughDry material. If it’s TOO thin, you are out of luck because there’s no heavier option (unlike their Simple Pants).

This means under certain “situations” they may be a bit too, um, revealing.

(We’ll leave further thoughts on this to your imagination.)

GORUCK Simple Shorts – Better than Normal Shorts

Ok, these look like normal shorts, but they are not.

First, the good news -they have front pockets, and back pockets – just like regular dress shorts.

Simple Shorts from GORUCK
Simple Shorts from GORUCK. One thing I love about these – you don’t necessarily need a belt. The snug but stretchy fit ensures that. I did carry an iPhone XS Max in my pocket on this short ruck march – and no belt was needed.

So, you have a place to put your phone, your keys, earbud case, and wallet.

And Simple Shorts are lightweight – I don’t normally need a belt with mine. But after you load up the pockets you can, of course, add a belt.

This is where the stretchy material and tight fit helps – you can often get away with NO belt.

Having belt loops and pockets makes these more versatile than your average athletic shorts.

GORUCK Simple Shorts Navy
Pockets and belt loops make these look like regular jeans. And that means you can wear them just about anywhere.

But – consider this too – because these look like regular shorts, they are a better match for just about any situation.

They are crazy comfortable too – because of that lightweight, stretchy material and the fact that they don’t restrict your range of motion excessively.

Simple Shorts are so comfortable, after you wear them you’ll dread having to put regular jeans on.

Simple Shorts have a 10″ inseam.

GORUCK Simple Shorts
GORUCK Simple Shorts in Navy. Shown here with the MACV-1 in Coyote Suede.

GORUCK Simple Shorts versus Simple Pants

Do you like these, but want a pants length version?

You are in luck – because GORUCK also makes Simple Pants.

GORUCK Simple Pants for Men - Coyote Brown
GORUCK SImple Pants – all the comfort and performance of ToughDry in a jeans-like, pants-length cut.

They are exactly the same thing, but in a pants length.

They are cut like jeans, have the 4 pockets (2 in front, 2 in the back), and belt loops.

Wear them anywhere you wear jeans – and enjoy the exceptional comfort.

They make Challenge Pants too.

What’s the difference?

GORUCK Challenge Pants in Ranger Green
Challenge Pants are more like cargo pants with their mid-thigh zippered pockets, but that also makes them great for travel. They are thin and lightweight, and comfortable, like Simple Shorts.

Challenge Pants look more like cargo pants – they have two zippered pockets at mid-thigh.

The zippered pockets keep your stuff secure – and they are very easy to use when seated in Economy class on a flight.

(I travel exclusively in Challenge Pants for this reason – and the comfort.)

Challenge Pants are also made from ToughDry, are super lightweight , and tough – but they do have a slight edge in comfort and freedom.

GORUCK Challenge Pants in Coyote
You an’t really see it – but there’s a gusset down there – and that’s the secret to the ultimate in freedom of movement.

Challenge Pants incorporate what’s known in the pants business as a gusset.

That’s a diamond shaped piece of material sewn into the crotch – for ultimate freedom of movement.

(Seriously – you can do Yoga in Challenge Pants – or squat, deadlift, etc.)

Secondly, Challenge Pants have fully articulate knees – which means even more freedom of motion.

And lastly, just like Simple Shorts there are no big, bulky seams – even though there are pockets and belt loops.

Challenge Pants are, in my mind, the ultimate travelers tool – but they do look like cargo pants.

GORUCK Challenge Pants
Are Challenge Pants tough? Yes – they are tested by being subjected to GORUCK’s challenge events.

They are also more expensive.

Need pants that look like jeans? Get Simple Pants.

Want the ultimate multi-purpose active wear pants? Get Challenge Pants.

OK, let’s get back to the shorts.

GORUCK Simple Shorts – Good for Travel Too

When I first heard about Simple Shorts I thought they were too expensive.

I rarely pay a lot for shorts, and Simple Shorts cost quite a bit more than the average pair.

But, these are the ultimate travel wear for me – and I travel a lot for my job.

GORUCK Simple Shorts Black
Simple Shorts – also great for travel – comfortable, lightweight, and they take up minimal room in the suitcase.

They are crazy comfortable, versatile, and I can fit two or three pairs in the space and weight that one pair of jeans takes!

Overall, Simple Shorts are great for travel.

Or a GORUCK challenge event.

Or lounging around the house.

Really, they work for anything.

GORUCK Simple Shorts for Men – Cons

Ok, I’ve praised the Simple Shorts and ToughDry for several paragraphs now.

What’s the downsides?

They are expensive (at time of writing $95).

At this point we should mention these are covered by GORUCK’s SCARS lifetime guarantee.

A lifetime guarantee on shorts?

This is unheard of.

How can they stand behind their product like this? Well, it’s that super tough ToughDry and the fact that these are made in the USA.

Simple Shorts are also thin – and can be a bit “revealing” as we discussed.

And for that, you’ll just have to lose some modesty.

Lastly, these shorts do make a bit of noise.

Walking, running, really any sort of movement makes a gentle swishing sound.

You aren’t going to sneak up on anyone in these shorts.

That’s OK, totally worth it.

Given their water resistance, the pockets will hold water for a short while – but that’s not a big deal.

GORUCK Simple Shorts - pockets hold water
Because of the water resistance of ToughDry – the pockets will hold water when immersed. In this case I’ve just gotten out of the pool – and had to empty the water from the pockets. This is a bit of an extreme example.

GORUCK Simple Shorts for Men Review – In Summary

GORUCK has a winner with Simple Shorts.

They are tough, comfortable, and great for any activity.

We look forward to what GORUCK will launch next in the apparel space.

(Challenge Shorts please – we need that mid-thigh zippered pocket!)

Their philosophy of building tough, functional gear really shows in the Simple Shorts.

You should probably check out Simple Pants and Challenge Pants too – they are more expensive, but they are great too!

GORUCK Simple Shorts with MACV-1 Black
GORUCK Simple Shorts and the MACV-1 Black 6″ jungle rucking boot.

Why GORUCK Products?
We are a GORUCK affiliate – so if you order Simple Shorts, rucks, boots, or gear after clicking the links in this article we receive a small commission at no additional cost to you. But that’s not why we recommend GORUCK. It’s because their equipment is innovative, built to last, and much of their best stuff is made in the USA (like Simple Shorts!) They are the driving force behind rucking not just as exercise, but as a way to make people better. And that’s why we love them.

Photo Credits

  • Some product photos on this page are provided by, and property of GORUCK.

GORUCK Simple Shorts - On Leg
GORUCK Simple Shorts. They should have called them awesome shorts.

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