Best Running Underwear Reviewed and Tested
A detailed compilation of the Men’s nine best running underwear reviewed and tested in 2017. Great for expert runners and novices alike – see more here!
When it comes to the clothing to wear while running we have one mantra, and that is comfort. If it’s not comfortable you probably should ditch it. This couldn’t be truer when it comes to underwear. Everyone has that unfortunate experience of wearing a pair of underwear that didn’t quite fit right. This discomfort is simply magnified during a run or training session.
We’ve tested, reviewed, researched and come up with a list of our current favorites. Enjoy!
ASICS Men’s Asx Boxer Briefs
- Mix of 92% Nylon 8% Poly blend
- Customized seamless tech built in for variable levels of compression
- Designed athletic support system, hugs the body comfortably
- Plush knitted gusset (or to say another way crotch piece)
- 3 inch inseam
- Avoid the stink: controls odor effectively with anti-microbial properties
Protip: Flashy details down the exterior of both legs make these a comfortable and surprisingly stylish choice in underwear.
- Made with a quick drying nylon/poly blend
- Seamless construction reduces irritation spots
- Anti-microbial properties help control odor
- Secure, but not too tight
- One review though they could be a bit longer
Icebreaker Men’s Anatomica Boxers with Fly
- Weight: 150gm Material is 96% Merino and 4% Lycra
- Made from the lightest weight of merino with a touch of LYCRA® for the ultimate soft touch on your skin
- Breathes easily, with moisture wicking properties
- Contoured pouch is built for comfort
- Anti-itch merino wool, resists odor naturally
- Never chaf again with flatlock stitching
- Label/logo centered at back of the waistband
- Made mostly of soft merino wool
- Plenty of room, does not constrict
- Moisture wicking & breathable
- Many color options to choose from
- Great for almost all activities
- Wicks moisture away well, but still not as good as synthetic material does
Jockey Performance Midway Brief
- Underwear Style Jockey 8051
- Microfiber performance Midway® brief offers up premium performance and mid range pricing
- Contour fitted H-fly provides support and a customized fit
- Breezy microfiber fabric wicks away moisture, making sure that you stay cool and dry
- Odor control technology allows you to reuse with confidence
Protip: Great for all day use. Probably our number one choice to wear to the office and then straight out onto the trail.
- Reasonable price
- The microfiber material is breathable
- Resists odor
- Moisture wicking properties
- A bit constrictive
ExOfficio Men’s Give-N-Go Boxer
- Quick-drying, easy to wash allowing you to pack lighter if traveling
- Treated with Aegis Microbe Shield fights bacteria like no other
- Moisture-wicking, light, and breathable
- Constructed from 94 percent nylon, 6 percent Lycra
- Made in the USA
- Terry elastic backed, easily maneuverable fly
Protip: Be absolutely sure you size these right, the elastic can be tight so go up a size if in doubt. Want to wash them? Rinse, soap, and roll out wait for a few minutes and voila!
- Easily washable
- Aegis Microbe Shield anti-bacterial treatment
- Made mostly of quick drying nylon
- Do not constrict with movement
- They tend to bunch up, as they are looser fitting
Naked Active Boxer Brief
- 100% microfiber
- Athletic-fit boxer brief with tonal seaming, maximum comfort enhanced materials
- Has a contrast logo located at left hip
- Strong elastic rimmed waistband
- Moisture-wicking material, dries quickly
- Made in the USA
Protip: If you plan to run longer distances (particularly in warmer weather) these are a solid go to, few briefs wick away moisture as effectively.
- Breathable construction
- Dries quickly
- durable, yet non-irritating covered elastic waistband
- Seams are placed strategically to enhance comfort in motion
- Really weren't able to find any negatives
Ridge Merino Men's Boxer
- Material: 95% Merino Wool and 5% Elastic
- Can be washed in the machine
- Award winning — cited by Outside magazine as one of the best pairs of underwear for backpacking trips
- Biodegradable Merino Wool 170g, produced in a sustainable way
- Flat Locked seams, maximum comfort zero rub
- Manages sweat and moisture extremely well, fibers wick
- Wool naturally fights odor without the use of harsh chemicals
Pro Tip: Be careful when you purchase a pair of boxers made from Merino wool, because once you’ve experienced them it’s pretty tough to go back.
- 95% merino wool
- Machine washable
- Great choice for backpacking
- Great moisture management
- Natural odor control properties
- The fit tends to be slightly looser than expected
JINSHI Soft Bamboo Boxer Briefs
- Made from 95% bamboo fiber plus a tad of spandex
- Japanese design flair
- Easily machine washable, in cold water
- Thin, flexible and comfortable material
- Soft waistband holds steady but does not create any pinching or binding
- Pairs com neatly folded in their own little stylish baggies
Protip: if you want to avoid being seriously constricted your best bet is to size up with these briefs.
- 95% bamboo
- Funky designs
- Machine washable in cold water
- Super thin and flexible
- The waistband is soft and non-irritating
- They tend ti ride up
Under Armour Original Series 3″ Boxerjock
- Constructed from 100% synthetic Fibers
- Patented HeatGear fabric is light on the skin
- Has an articulated mesh fly panel for superior breathability
- 4-way stretch fabrication allows for a perfect mixture of support and mobility
- Under Armour’s Moisture Transport System wicks sweat & dries fast
- Performance grade athletic waistband
Protip: If you are one of those runners who likes to go commando but don’t want to take the associated risks, these are a great choice. Often times they feel as if you are wearing nothing at all.
- 100% synthetic fibers
- Contains Under Armour's patented HeatGear material
- Breathable construction
- Manages moisture very well
- One review stated that they started to rip, just under the waistband, after some use
Saxx Kinetic Long Leg
- Material: Nylon/Spandex mix
- High performance, boxer brief with ergonomic pouch
- Contour fit design for a comfortable and supportive fit
- Soft, mesh inner slings helps keep everything in its place
- Flat-lock stitching, no chafing problems here
- Sturdy but smooth feeling, 1.75″ moisture wicking waistband
Protip: Excellent choice for winter running and for athletes who suffer from quadricep related injury problems.
- Quick drying nylon/spandex mix
- Ergonomic fit
- Has a soft mesh inner
- Constructed with Flat-lock stitching to prevent irritation
- Moisture wicking waistband
- The tend to ride up, according to a few customer reviews
Criteria We Used For Finding the Best Running Underwear
Running is not only beneficial to your health but also to your mood. However, what you wear under there during a workout can seriously affect your enjoyment. Long runs can cause irritation and chafing. The first thing to consider in terms of running underwear is the problems that you are most likely to experience if you have unsuitable underwear. The major factors are coping with irritations and to ensure that your underwear is consistently dry and comfortable.
Staying dry is a common concern for runners, something that is very difficult to achieve whilst wearing standard underwear not designed to cope with large amounts of perspiration. However, underwear specifically designed for sport incorporating technology common on other items of sports clothing can help to avoid this problem. For example, all the above running underwear incorporates a technology helps you stay dry. This is achieved by simply wicking away your perspiration, which involves immediately absorbing moisture from the inside of the fabric and immediately transferring the moisture towards the outer surface of the fabric. Discomfort is not only caused by perspiration however. There are a couple of key factors to dealing with this problem – a good fit is very important, and the design of the product is also important. The majority of these running underwear components are sewn together using flat stitched seams, helping to limit the discomfort felt.
Selecting the Right Pair
Due to the high impact runners experience, men’s running underwear needs to provide extreme support. The material needs to draw sweat away from the body to protect against infections and chafing, and the overall fit must be comfortable– not too tight and not too loose. When selecting the best quality pair of underwear for running, we kept all these factors in mind to ensure ultimate satisfaction with your purchase.
There are numerous types of fabrics used in making men’s underwear. Gaining a familiarity with each type of fabric will help men select the type of underwear that suits their active lifestyles.
Acrylic: Adding strength and durability to fabrics, acrylic is a synthetic fiber that draws moisture away from the skin and is known for its quick drying time
Bamboo: Bamboo fabric is created out of bamboo grass pulp. Known for being both strong and light, bamboo fabric has some antibacterial and wicking properties and is well-suited to runners with allergies to other fibers.
Combed Cotton: Soft and lustrous, combed cotton goes through an additional step in production to produce a high-quality fabric.
Cotton: Cotton is a well-known, popular fabric that breathes easily, is comfortable, and is all-natural.
Coolmax: Uniquely designed polyester fabric, Coolmax offers supreme moisture wicking abilities that make it a top pick for active-wear undergarments.
Latex: A skintight material made out of rubber, latex is used in elastics to increase elasticity. It is similar to Spandex.
Microfiber: This fabric covers any synthetic poly or nylon fiber. Microfiber fabrics are lightweight and long-lasting.
Modal: A type of Rayon known for its breathability and soft texture, Modal is absorbent while feeling similar to silk or cotton. It will not shrink as readily as cotton and is unlikely to fade.
Nylon: Nylon is a synthetic fabric that is lightweight and durable. It will not tear or break down easily and does not absorb moisture readily.
Organic Cotton: Organic cotton comes from non-genetically engineered plants and is certified organic because it is not treated with agriculture chemicals while growing.
Organza: A unique blend of nylon, silk, and polyester, organza resembles satin in appearance and texture.
Prima Cotton: Durable and absorbent, prima cotton has longer fibers than traditional cotton.
Polyester: Polyester is a common, durable synthetic fiber. It typically remains wrinkle free and dries fast.
Rayon: Rayon feels similar to silk and is manufactured using regenerated cellulose found in plants.
Ring Spun Cotton: Ring spun cotton is soft to the touch and is produced using ring frame equipment.
Satin: Satin has a soft, glossy texture and is derived from acetate, nylon, rayon, and polyester.
Silk: Silk provides wonderful insulation and is very soft and strong. It is formed from silkworm secretions.
Spandex: Spandex, or Elstane, is made from polyurethane and is an alternative to Latex. It is resistant to moisture and is elastic and lightweight.
Supima® Cotton: Superior quality cotton manufactured from long fibers, Supima Cotton tops the list of the best cotton available.
Viscose Rayon: The first of the manufactured fabrics, Viscose is well-suited for garments that are more intimate. Offering top-quality wicking abilities, Viscose is great for people who frequently sweat.
This mostly affects men more than women. Men have many options when it comes to selecting the right underwear for running. There are numerous styles offering varying levels of support and insulation for winter jogs. Select one that feels comfortable while offering the necessary level of support. Below are some of the styles of men’s underwear.
Boxers: Typically, loose-fitting underwear similar to shorts. Sports boxers are typically made from fabric designed to draw sweat away from the body. Minimal support, the wearer would have to depend on the running shorts for protection. Provides some insulation but fits loosely, preventing some heat retention
Boxer Briefs: Combines the best of both boxers and briefs, with a tighter fit for better support yet still feels breathable. Most boxer briefs are designed with a natural pouch that adds just enough tension to provide some support. Provides more insulation than boxers, depending on how tight the underwear fits. Usually made from a light fabric.
Jock Strap: Consists of an elastic belt with a support pouch. Typically worn by serious athletes. High level of support for running or other high impact sports. Provides little insulation.
Support Briefs: Combines the comfort of normal briefs with the protection of a jockstrap. High level of support due to the design. Provides better than average insulation for colder months
Compression Shorts: Provides an adjustable pouch to suit individual support needs and is designed to help keep the wearer cool and dry. High level of support due to the adjustable pouch. Provides superior insulation due to length and design.
A proper underwear fit is extremely important for running. Underwear that is too tight may restrict blood flow and cause rashes. Looser fitting underwear may not provide the necessary support for protection and can lead to chafing as the excess fabric rubs on the inside of the thighs. Always be sure to take body measurements and refer to the designers’ charts to select properly fitting running underwear. Men’s underwear sizes – including jock straps – are based on waist size and not on cup or pouch size. Some men may find that their underwear fits perfectly at the waist but may need to go up a size to receive the proper level of comfort if their cup or pouch needs are larger than average. Because designers vary in size and measurements, pay close attention to the available sizing chart prior to placing an order for underwear. If you are in the shop physically then you can fit in several underwear till you get the one that you are most comfortable in.
Running shorts are sold in men’s, women’s and unisex styles and each have different gender-specific features.
Men’s Running Shorts: Men’s running shorts are cut specifically for the male body. The inseam is often a little longer and the built-in liner has more support in the groin (jock straps are unnecessary) to help prevent discomfort and chafing.
Women’s Running Shorts: The cut of Women’s shorts fits the female waist, hips and thighs more accurately to get the best and most comfortable fit, with less room in the groin and shorter inseams made for shorter legs.
Unisex Running Shorts: Combine the cuts of Men’s and Women’s running shorts and you get unisex shorts. They lack the Men’s and Women’s specific-support features, so they don’t offer as much comfort and chafing-prevention for long runs
Other Important Factors To Consider When Making Your Choice
There are several key features to look for when shopping for running clothing.
Moisture wicking: Moisture-wicking fabrics transport perspiration away from skin to keep you dry and chafe-free while you’re running.
Quick drying: Fabrics that dry quickly, such as polyester and nylon, keep you comfortable as you work up a sweat. If you’re caught in a passing rain shower, they’ll dry quickly to keep you from getting cold.
Compression: Some shorts, tights, shirts and socks for running are designed with compression for a very snug fit.
Chafe-free seams: Look for flat or welded seams placed away from areas that could impede your stride or natural running motion.
Climate / Weather
As with any aerobic activity, running becomes more comfortable when you have clothing that keeps you properly ventilated or—in cold and wet conditions—lightly insulated and dry. Running clothing options include, pants, tights, shorts, shirts, vests and jackets. The weather outside determines what combination of these items you need to stay comfortable on your road and trail runs.
Warm-weather running clothes: For warm days, your running clothes should help wick away moisture, keep you cool and protect you from the sun’s rays. Shorts, a shirt and socks might be all you need on a warm day.
Winter running clothes: When the temperature drops, consider wearing pants or tights, and a vest or soft-shell jacket, but remember that you will warm up once you get moving. Insulated versions of these items are ideal for winter activities.
Q. Does fabric matter?
A. The quick answer is yes; your underwear fabric can make a difference when it comes to your health. To prevent no-fun genital issues like vulvoganities (infections in the vagina or vulva) or jock itch, health experts suggest wearing new, clean, loose-fitting pairs of cotton underwear to allow for breathability and to absorb moisture that can be a catalyst for infection. Fabric that wicks away moisture has also become popular as a base layer for outdoor athletes, especially during the winter. Underwear with wicking fabric (polyester or a polyester blend) can keep moisture away from the neither regions for those longer runs.
Q. Should I go commando?
A. And it turns out, there’s a couple good reasons to “forget” to don a pair, especially during exercise. Underwear like boxers that fit loose enough to move against the skin can rub and cause chafing during exercise. (Ouch!) If your outer clothing is tight or form-fitting and sweat-wicking, underwear is not needed during exercise. If you have no skin issues (rashes, razor-burn, etc.), then no undies is no problem! Enjoy the freedom!
Q. How on earth could underwear be an advantage in a race?
A. Apparently it’s a wind-resistance thing. Yes, even though you wear the garment under your uniform. We don’t entirely understand why. But then, there are lots of science-y things we don’t understand.
Q: How often should I replace my underwear?
Q: What if my underwear is leaving marks or chafing the skin?
Q. What size should i buy?
A. Most running underwear are made so that the fit should be accurate and consistent. Find the style and size you like; it will be just the same next time you order. If you have questions you can email the seller with your measurements along with how you like to wear your T’s and underwear. If you are in the shop then you can consult and also try different sizes till you get the one that best fits you. Most shops will have a guides to show you your size and fit.
Q: What if my underwear is hot and doesn’t absorb moisture?
Generally speaking, men have a few basic choices in underwear. You can go with the traditional cotton boxer, or squeeze into a pair of tighty whities. But the good news is that these options have expanded drastically in recent years. More than a few manufacturers are making boxer briefs with high-tech materials and hybrid designs that are light years away from the old style. There are many more comfortable choices for all-day use and quite a few that offer support as well as coverage.
A nice pair of running underwear adds a comfortable layer of insulation and support. This is especially important during the cold months, because running tights and pants, tend to lack built-in liners that many running shorts have. And during the summer the less you feel the better.
In terms of performance and comfort, choosing the right running underwear is essential for all runners, whether you’re a man or a woman, occasional or regular runner. Choosing underwear that offers the breathability, comfort and support you require will help to make running a more comfortable experience, and therefore a more enjoyable one too. Underwear is one of the most personal items of clothing a man can buy. However, for active men who engage in activities such as running, selecting the right type of underwear is an important part of maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Ill-fitting underwear that offers little cup support can lead to health issues such as infections or rashes. Be sure to make the investment in a quality pair of undergarments prior to starting any exercise regime.
Here are some sources we used while conducting our research:
- Racing and Underwear: FAQ, Running Website, ,
- The Best Underwear for Every Workout, Lifestyle Website, ,
- 10 Athletic Spring Underwear Picks, Lifestyle Website, ,
- ASICS Men's ASX Brief Review, You Tube, ,
- The Best Travel Underwear for Men Review, Sporting Website, ,
- Jockey Sport CottonPerformance Midway Brief, Sporting Website, ,
- ExOfficio Give-N-Go Underwear Review , Lifestyle Website, ,
- Review: Naked Boxer Brief (and Brief) Really Feel Like Nothing At All, Clothing Website, ,
- Woolx Merino Boxer Briefs – First Hand Review, Sporting Website, ,
- 10 Best Mens Underwear | March 2017, Consumer Website, ,