Human Octane Men’s Balls to the Wall Shorts

Human Octane Men's Balls to the Wall
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In a market that is flooded with so many choices of what to wear on race day, it is difficult for quality brands to stand out. Often, the best marketing wins out over the better quality product. There have been many quality products that have debuted within the obstacle race catalog, only to dwindle due to poor marketing or the product just not catching on. Enter Human Octane, a new brand of clothing designed specifically for the OCR athlete with durability and utility in mind. We tested out their entire debut line over the course of multiple races of varying type and distance. We’ll be taking a look at their Men’s ‘Balls to the Wall‘ compression liner shorts

Human Octane Balls to the Wall Shorts Features


Right out of the packaging you can tell the quality of the material that Human Octane chose to use. It is extremely lightweight and has a durable feel to it. The shorts have an interior compression liner already built-in, hence the name.  Many men wear compression shorts/tights and (should) wear shorts over them while racing. This eliminates the need for that since they come already equipped. The standard ‘put your crap above your tail’ pouch comes stock on these as well. The last thing to note is there is a drawstring to adjust the sizing, should it not fit properly in the waist.

Rear Pocket

Human Octane Balls to the Wall Shorts Usage

To say I’ve been impressed with these shorts would be a gross understatement. It is pretty much the only shorts I’ll race in at this point. As mentioned before, the shorts are super light-weight. As someone that would run in only compression shorts previously, I barely notice that I’m wearing more. The shorts drain liquids quickly as well. The back pouch has reinforced material around the zipper to keep from snagging when using it, an issue found in many low-end running shorts. The fit is accurate to the sizing chart available on the website. I ended up removing the drawstring since they fit well without it. They also, as the name implies, keep the little boys snug where they should be. The one small negative issue I’ve had is when standing in water. Water will collect under the shirts in-between the liner and the shorts themselves, causing the shorts to ‘balloon’ out. All that is needed is to just push the shorts back to your leg and it is fixed for a few minutes. Ideally you won’t be standing in water while wearing the shorts.

Human Octane Balls to the Wall Shorts Durability

I’ve been really hard on all of the Human Octane gear. It holds up extremely well. It is all machine-wash on cold and air dry. The shorts have yet to fray, rip, or bear threads anywhere on the seams. They look brand new out of the wash every time as well. I’ve had no issues with the rear zipper pocket either. They are also made out of an antibacterial material that keeps them from getting that rank gym smell.

The Pros and The Cons


  • Extremely durable
  • Water-Repellent
  • Working rear zipper pocket
  • 2-in-1 compression and shorts
  • Antibacterial material


  • ‘Balloon’ effect when standing in water


Human Octane Men’s Balls to the Walls Compression Shorts Liner Conclusion

Human Octane’s debut line is off to a strong start. I really can’t say enough about these shorts. I’ve happily worn these shorts for everything from road 5ks to 75 mile trail races, and every distance obstacle course in-between. I would consider the shorts a ‘must-buy’ for any male running athlete, casual or elite. They look good and feel good. These shorts make me really excited to see what other products become available.


Charles Harper

Social Media Dude at Obstacle Racing Media
Charles is an avid runner and general klutz. He was terrible at running in high school and is trying to fix that while in his 30's. He is kind of hick-ish and has a man crush on Ryan Atkins and Atkins' dog, Suunto.
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