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How Short Should Soccer Shorts Be?

How Short Should Soccer Shorts Be?

A soccer short is an essential component of a player’s uniform. Alongside the jersey, soccer shorts are used to differentiate the two teams playing in a match. It also bears the emblem of the team and, in some cases, the logo of the team’s sponsors.

Generally, soccer shorts come in varying lengths for different age grades. However, in most cases, they are about 7 inches long. This length is not fixed, and the variations you come across may make you want to ask the question, “How short should soccer shorts be?”

Looking through the game’s history, you will realize there has been a movement from long shorts to short ones, and now we are back to long ones in the present era. These style changes were pioneered for several reasons as the game evolved.

So, how short should soccer shorts be? We’ll answer this question by showing you the accepted lengths among both sexes and the benefits of keeping the shorts within a certain length. Let’s dive in!

How short should soccer shorts be?

The length of soccer shorts varies. They are usually about 7 inches long. However, there are no specific directives on how long shorts should be in the FIFA laws regarding equipment.

The primary emphasis was on uniformity and ensuring the colors of jerseys and underpants match. But, when you consider the nature of the sport, the ideal length embraced by most designers has proven to be a suitable fit.

Shorts shouldn’t be too long that it hinders performance. Therefore, soccer shorts should not be shorter than 5.5 inches but could be as long as 7 inches.

Any length beyond these limits will undoubtedly look odd and improper. Depending on your height, the 7-inch shorts can be a perfect fit, as long as it is 2 to 3 inches above the knee.

standard length of soccer shorts

However, on rare occasions, you may find soccer shorts that are longer than 8 inches. When this occurs you should know that the player has an obviously larger lower limb compared to other players.

Also, ladies’ shorts are usually shorter than those of men. It can be as short as 3.5 inches and as long as 7 inches. Generally, the choice of shorts depends also on the thigh size and the player’s height.

Taking the rigorous amount of sprinting involved in soccer, extremely short soccer shorts may seem like a better option. But the game has evolved and shorts have become longer in recent times to increase the range of their use and safeguard the game’s aesthetic quality.

In simple terms, shorter shorts look immodest while the longer ones give more coverage and are more fashionable. So, what benefits does this modern range of soccer shorts pose compared to the previous designs?

As earlier stated, soccer shorts generally fall between the lengths of 5.5 – 7 inches, and the rare ones go over 8 inches. You may want to ask what are the benefits of the short 5.5 – 7 inches shorts over the 8 inches.

Let’s take a look.

1. Lightweight

Soccer shorts of 5.5 inches are usually more lightweight than the longer ones. As you know, every added weight in soccer will tend to slow you down.

Therefore, to achieve the perfect fit that wouldn’t hamper your pace, it is advisable to go for the 5.5 inches type of shorts.

5.5 inch soccer shorts

This is why basketball shorts are not ideal for soccer. There is less emphasis on pace in basketball and more emphasis on technique which is why basketball players can play with longer shorts.

2. Groin support

Another vital advantage of the soccer short is how it helps in supporting the groin alongside the underpants. Keeping this portion of the player safe ultimately allows them to give their best in a soccer match.

Shorter shorts tend to give better groin support. Since the groin area is delicate and holds vital organs for male and female athletes, it’s advisable to go for shorter soccer shorts with less firm fit.

3. Better speed

Due to shorter lengths, players can move faster than with longer shorts. The reason for this is because the bagginess of the longer shorts collects more air when players make runs.

a soccer player with great speed kicking a ball

This in turn causes drag for players during runs. Also, longer shorts that go above the knee may irritate the knee every time you bend your knees. This constant irritation may eventually lead to blistering.

4. Weather advantage

Generally, when playing soccer in the summer, spring, or fall months, the temperature tends to range from mild to hot. Now, when players wear short soccer shorts 5.5 – 7 inches, there is enough allowance for air to reduce heat unlike the longer 8 inches shorts.

On the other hand, during the colder months, like winter, the longer shorts have a better advantage. In this case they will provide better warmth than shorter shorts.

What length of soccer shorts should you avoid?

The length of soccer shorts you should avoid is below 5.5 inches or above 7 inches. When a short goes beyond the knee, the chances are that it probably isn’t a soccer short.

Even if the lengths sound confusing to you, always ensure that you buy a soccer short with a length not less than 1 to 3 inches above your knee.

the length to avoid when choosing soccer shorts


So, be wary of the size of soccer shorts you buy. Different types are available in the market and you should choose depending on the width of your waistline and the length of your thigh.

Regardless, longer soccer shorts can be permitted for training purposes. Plus, the weather condition also plays a role when making this choice.

Are soccer shorts supposed to be above the knee?

The straightforward answer to this question is yes. However, no specific rules dictate the short length. Keeping them above the knee is generally the best practice.

Most companies involved in creating soccer equipment spend long periods researching the best possible designs or patterns to use in the creation of their products.

Popular brands like Adidas and Nike have been around for quite a while. However, these two and other emerging brands all want to have an edge and the widely accepted length they use is the one above the knee.

adidas Men's Squadra 21 Shorts, Black/White, Large
  • Men's moisture-absorbing shorts for soccer
  • Moisture-absorbing AEROREADY helps you stay dry
  • Drawcord on elastic waist for adjustable fit

Last update on 2023-11-11 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

The danger in having soccer shorts that go above the knee is minimal. The extra length makes the shorts baggier, and this interferes with pace.

However, what may seem baggy for one player may be the perfect fit for another.


The length of soccer shorts plays a role in affecting player performance. However, it is preferable that you go for the best to stay on top of your game and constantly give your best when called upon by the team.

Whether you go for the shorter shorts or longer ones, ensure you select the one that gives you a perfect fit and does not hinder your performance in any way.