What is the difference between swim trunks and board shorts?

What is the difference between swim trunks and board shorts featured

Swim Trunks vs Board Shorts: What’s the Difference?

When it comes to hitting the beach or the pool, choosing the right swimwear is crucial for both comfort and style. While there are many different types of swimwear out there, two popular options are swim trunks and board shorts. While they may look similar at first glance, there are actually several key differences between the two.

Design and Style

One of the most obvious differences between swim trunks and board shorts is their design and style. Swim trunks tend to be shorter, usually ending above the knee. They’re often made from lightweight materials like nylon and polyester and may have a mesh lining to provide additional support. Board shorts, on the other hand, are usually longer, typically falling below the knee. They’re often made from thicker materials like cotton and may have a more tailored fit for a sleeker look.


Another key difference between swim trunks and board shorts is their functionality. Swim trunks are often used for recreational swimming and lounging by the pool, while board shorts are typically worn for more active water sports like surfing, paddleboarding or wakeboarding. Board shorts are designed to dry quickly and provide more protection from the sun, as they often have a UPF rating. They may also have features like a drawstring waist and reinforced stitching to withstand the wear and tear of more intense water activities.

Fashion Trends

The popularity of these two swimwear styles has shifted over time in tandem with fashion trends. Swim trunks were the go-to swimwear style for men in the 20th century, often appearing in bright colors and bold patterns. In recent years, however, board shorts have taken over as the more fashionable option, featuring more muted tones, subtle patterns and a leaner, less bulky silhouette. Swim trunks, meanwhile, have evolved to incorporate more features like pockets, zippers, and stylish embellishments.

Choosing the Right Style for You

Ultimately, choosing between swim trunks and board shorts comes down to your personal preference and how you plan to use them. If you’re just looking for a casual, comfortable swimwear option for lounging by the pool or taking a refreshing dip in calm waters, swim trunks may be the right choice for you. However, if you’re a more active swimmer or plan to do water sports, board shorts may be a better fit, offering more protection, flexibility, and functionality. Whatever style you choose, be sure to opt for high-quality materials and construction and find a style that reflects your personal tastes and fashion sense.

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