Having a go-to pair of shorts is a trail runner’s dream. You know, that one pair that you would dig into a pile of dirty laundry for. Yeah, that pair. In my testing, did the Arc’teryx Motus 6 achieve that status? Maybe.

Arc’teryx Motus Short 6 Features:

  • Merrow stitch seam construction reduces seam size
  • Built in boxer liner gives next-to-skin comfort
  • Two front envelope pockets
  • Two deep back hip envelope pockets for secure carry of phone
  • Laminated hem
  • PowerStrech mesh waistband has adjustable drawcord for a comfortable, secure fit
  • 6 inch inseam length with side split
  • DWR treatment for water resistance
  • MSRP: $89
Arc'teryx Cormac Comp SS Shirt and Motus 6 Shorts Review

The Cormac Comp SS and Motus 6 Shorts are a great combo.

The Motus 6… perfect?

The six-inch inseam running short is quite possibly the perfect length, in my opinion. So, right out the gate, the Motus 6 has that nailed. In addition, I’m a fan of long, compression-style liners. Again, the Motus 6 checks off another box. Then, to top it all off, they feature hip pockets that can comfortably carry a phone on even the longest of runs. Check. Check. Check. But, let’s dig in a little.

Slipping these on, my immediate thought was, “These are comfy, but why is the waist so loose?” I’m 5’11” and 170 lbs with a 33″ waist and the size medium felt a little loose in the waist. Thankfully, the simple drawstring cinches them down, but the size of the waist is curiously large. Reading through a few other reviews reveal that I’m not alone in that sentiment. That said, the drawstring has been my friend and everything stays put pretty well once adjusted.

Arc'teryx Motus 6 Shorts Review - Running on Long Beach

The fabric stretches, but does constrict a little when ascending.

That compression liner is quite nice and has proven chafe-free on even the longest of runs. It’s supportive and fits just right for me. Honestly, I prefer a built-in liner, particularly when it’s built well. And, Arc’teryx has done well with this one. You’ll find a contoured front pocket in the liner that keeps your man parts in place at both slow and fast paces.

Speaking of a variety of running paces, the front area of the Motus 6 shorts can get interestingly constricting   in the upper thigh, when trails inch upward. On flat or downhill terrain, it goes unnoticed, but when ascending, there is a small amount of constriction on the upper thighs. Thankfully, the fabric has a good amount of stretch, so it moves with you, but you do feel the mechanical stretch with every extreme stride.

Arc'teryx Motus 6 Shorts Review

Dual phone pockets comfortably carry an iPhone SE or 11.

Another highlight are the abundance of hip pockets. Each one is placed perfectly to carry a phone, gels or other items needed on a longer run. While it won’t replace the capacity of a running vest, there’s a ton of storage. Instead of zippers, each pocket has an envelope-style double flap, which sometimes makes it difficult to access, but secures the contents well without excess bulk or weight. I have the latest iPhone SE and my wife has an iPhone 11. I’ve carried both of them (one on each side) on occasion and it carries one or both well. Of course, the SE carries better, due to its smaller size.

The Good

  • Liner shorts provide chafe-free support
  • An abundance of pockets that carry well
  • Phone pockets carry a phone comfortably
  • DWR adds some protection
  • The perfect length
  • Fabric does have some stretch to it
  • 2-way lateral stretch

The Bad

  • A bit of upper-thigh constriction when ascending
  • Waist initially feels loose, but carries well when cinched

The Bottom Line: Arc’teryx Motus 6 Running Shorts

Arc’teryx has done a very good job with the new Motus 6 running shorts. The only misses are definitely easily-overlooked due to the abundance of pockets and the inner liner. And yes, they have been my “go-to” shorts thus far this year.

Buy Now: Available from Arc’teryx

About Author

A native of the Pacific Northwest, Jason quickly developed a love for the outdoors and a thing for mountains. That infatuation continues as he founded this site in 1999 -- sharing his love of road biking, mountain biking, trail running and skiing. That passion is channeled into every article or gear review he writes. Utah's Wasatch Mountains are his playground.

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