Outlier New Way Shorts Review: Overhyped, Imperfect, and Awesome


There's a lot of "WTF?" about the

The curious "WTF?" I kept asking myself while researching them online and seeing their price ($125?!), their over-the-top specs (they're shorts, not airplanes), their photos (we'll get to that), and the obsessive fanboyishness of Redditors (what do these people do for work?).

The disappointed "WTF?" I thought when my New Way shorts arrived in the mail and I put them on for the first time. After all that hype and hullabaloo… they looked and felt like regular shorts.

And the excited "WTF?" I kept thinking the more I wore them. The shorts performed, unlike any shorts I'd worn before.

Let's see WTF's going on.

More than Meets the Thigh…

The short story about the first time I wore my Outlier New Way shorts pretty much sums up this review.

Before that day, I'd never seen a real-life pair of New Ways before. I ordered mine online purely based on fawning Reddit threads and "best men's shorts" blog posts

While waiting for the delivery of the most expensive shorts () I'd never seen, my expectations elevated to Everestian levels.

The hype crashed down like an avalanche.

The New Ways looked like regular old shorts. Kim seemed to think so too. When I put them on and showed them to her, she gave a disinterested, "Nice," then, without pausing, "Hurry up, we're going for lunch."

I went to my room to grab my wallet and… it was gone. As Kim and friends waited by the front door, I frantically looked around.

A couple of minutes later, I found it.

It was in my front pocket. I was used to feeling my wallet in my old short pockets, but not in these new New Ways. They swallowed my money seamlessly.

Maybe there was more to these shorts than first meets the eye (or the thigh)….

Are they worth sinking your money into too?

Use this review of Outlier New Way shorts—how they're imperfect, how they're overhyped, and how they're awesome—to decide.

Stitching of Outlier shorts and Chris' thighs

Quick Recommendation


Buy the if you…

  • Wear the same pair of shorts over and over again like I do.
  • You want your girlfriend/boyfriend/mom not to hate what you're wearing, and still be comfortable.
  • Are a multi-millionaire. Don't you have better things to do than read this Outlier New Way shorts review? Get your assistant to buy you a pair.

Don't Buy

New Ways are the wrong way to go if you…

  • Have thunder thighs. They fit athletic thighs like mine.
  • Aren't sure you'll have enough money to pay rent next month.
  • Want flashy, fashionable shorts that will impress strangers on the street.


If none of the above applies to you, continue with the rest of this Outlier New Way shorts review, where I'll explain why they're:

How the Outlier New Way Shorts Are Overhyped

Chris wearing his outlier shorts on the beach in Valencia
Cool "swimming shorts," man.

Their Swimmability

When researching the New Ways before I got them, I kept reading everyone saying that you could swim in them.

Now that I have a pair, that seems kind of stupid.

I get that they dry quickly and that the mesh pockets don't fill up with water or air bubbles. But in no way are the New Ways swim trunks.

If I were to wear them to a beach or pool, everyone would be like, "Chris, why are you wearing dress shorts instead of a bathing suit?"

Also, the shorts don't have a lining, so am I supposed to swim in my underwear too? Or am I supposed to take off my undies and let my junk dangle dangerously?

Outlier shorts held up on close line, inside out

How the Outlier New Way Shorts Are Imperfect

I'm really stretching with this kvetching, but we gotta keep Outlier's designers motivated to keep improving.

No Pocket Protection

One other reason I wouldn't purposefully wear the New Ways for swimming that I didn't mention previously is they don't have any zipper pockets for holding keys, a credit card, cash, or whatever.

Chris taking a closer look at his Outlier shorts

They Could Be Comfier

, the New Way shorts' F.Cloth fabric is a:

"200gsm plain weave with a substantive 35% two-way stretch," made from, "high tenacity, air texturized nylon 6,6 that is stronger, softer and more matte in appearance than your average polyamide" that they sources "from a vertically integrated mill in Sweden."

Ok. Whatever the F.Cloth that all means.

All I know is that F.Cloth makes for a decent-looking, semi-dressy pair of shorts, but it ain't as soft as silk. Or cotton. Or even my merino wool shorts, which are what I change into as soon as I get home because they're comfier.

Sneaky dangling drawstring on the Outlier shorts
Put that thing away.

The Dangling Drawstring

The New Way shorts fit so well and hang on my hips so nicely that I rarely tie the drawstring. That's a great thing. And so is having a drawstring instead of ever needing a belt.

But the string's so long that when I sit down one end sometimes awkwardly pops out from the leg of my shorts like a tiny testicle.

Chris ready for anything in Valencia wearing his Outlier shorts
The New Ways don't look like anything special… but that's part of what I like about them.

How the Outlier New Way Shorts Are Awesome

They Get Out Of My Way

The less I have to think about my shorts the better, so these are fantastic:

  • They don't get wrinkly and take forever to get stinky.
  • They don't restrict my movement like similar-looking khaki shorts and they didn't even chafe while I was walking 30,000 steps a day in the steaming streets of Valencia, Spain looking for an apartment.
  • They don't get wedgied up in my butt crack like other shorts tend to do.
  • The zipper never catches and the button looks like it'll never pop off.
  • They sit on my hips exactly where they should instead of riding up above my bellybutton or sagging below my butt.
  • The pockets are perfectly positioned so that stuff I put in them doesn't bother me as much.

They're Not Fashion Statements

Nobody's going to see me wearing my New Way shorts and say, "Whoa, nice shorts." Not in a good way, nor in a bad way.

They're complimentary. If you were to wear fashion statement shoes, shirts or whatever, they'd make them look good by not drawing undue attention to themselves. From a design perspective, they're fashion line spaces.

They're Girlfriend-Approved

Before getting my New Ways, I had the Myles Everyday shorts. But I couldn't wear them "Everyday." Barely ever, actually because Kim hated them. They looked way too casual and schlubby for her tastes.

Not so with the New Ways, which get her seal of approval. They're the true everyday short.

This man has a lot in common with the Outlier New Way shorts. (Image from Chensiyuan)

They're the Kawhi Leonard of Shorts

For those of you who don't follow the NBA, Kawhi Leonard is one of the best basketball players in the world.

Unlike his superstar peers, Kawhi's notoriously quiet (which is why you wouldn't have heard of him if you're not into basketball). He's a champion who does his job, including the dirty work, and lets the results do the talking. And he deserves every last cent of the big bucks he got in his new contract.

All the same can be said about the Outlier New Way shorts.

The Photos on Outlier's Website

One more "WTF?" to add to the list from the intro of this review: the photos on .

Look at this:

Photo of the Outlier New Ways Shorts from the website
Ridiculous! Even better, this model's name is Kirill. The photographer, Emiliano Granado, is a genius.

I can't understand it. It looks ridiculous. But I can't stop wondering about it.

It's modern art.

Final Word

While the Outlier New Way shorts are one of my three favorite pairs of shorts, I can't honestly say they'll be the same for you.

Maybe your criteria differ from mine. Or maybe you can find another company making even better shorts. (If so, please tell me in the comments.)

But if you have similar tastes to me and want a pair of shorts that make you think, "WTF?" in a good way,

Last but Not Least

If you want to be an outlier and not just wear the brand, sign up for our newsletter that inspires you to stop following the status quo with one new unconventional idea a month:

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