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.
Though it may seem like a trivial thing to worry about, the right underwear becomes important when you are into your run and miserably uncomfortable from the lack of support. Another reason why choosing wisely matters, is when running in either hot or cold climates where insulation and breathability also play major roles in your running comfort and even efficiency.
We have taken some time to do our research, in order to find the top products, but also find some helpful information in helping with your final decision on which product you decide to go with to make your runs pleasantly supported. Check out the picks we have come up with, as well as the helpful information we have gathered together, just below our list of top products.
10 Best Running Underwear
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
Nike Pro Combat Core Compression Six-Inch Short 2.0
Waist band bunches 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
Having the right wear for your running is very crucial. Most importantly what you wear under there during any work out is very important. It will not only affect how you perform during your training but also will affect how you relate with everyone in case you are working out in a public setting. When running its very vital that you have the proper underwear, this is because when you go for long runs there is a possibility of experiencing irritation and chaffing. It’s always good to know the dangers of having the wrong type of underwear when running as this will guide in choosing the perfect underwear for your work out sessions.
Most standard underwear is not styled or designed to deal with this challenge but with sport incorporated technology, sporting underwear is able to keep you dry by just wicking away all the sweat from your body as you run. The technology is able to keep the body by absorbing sweat from the body, into the fabric of the underwear and then transfers the sweat to the fabric’s outer surface. This can only be done if your underwear has a good snug fit on you. majority of these running underwear parts are normally sewn together this is done by seams that are flat stitched, this reduces the level of discomfort felt.
There are numerous types of fabrics used in manufacturing running underwear. The fabric used in making the inner garments must have sweat wicking ability as this will protect the body from possible cases of chaffing and skin infections. The fabric should also enhance the perfect good fit that is neither too tight nor too loose. Below are some of the materials that are used in the making of sporting underwear.
Compared to the female athletes, the male athletes seem to have a wide variety of sporting underwear which they can choose from, the list is also endless when you look at the compression shorts. These running clothes are able to offer the much needed comfort to the athletes, but then the comfortability of the running underwear is determined by the fabric used in making the garment. The fabrics used in making the underwear vary from one manufacturer to another depending on several factors. The fabrics offer different degrees of strength and also durability, however the most vital factor to look at when checking the fabric is the comfort level offered by the fabric. Many training sessions often involve movements that are considered to be of high-intensity, these kind of movements can cause chaffing, rashes and any form of irritations to the skin. The most affected parts of the body include the waist and the crotch area.
The fabrics used can be grouped into 2:
The Synthetic Fibers:
Literally 90% of running underwear are made from fibers that are synthetic in nature. Examples of these type of fibers are: nylon, polyesters, combination of polyester and spandex. The fibers tend to be more durable and are most preferred by many athletes cause of this. Also they have amazing breathability features that most runners look for, as it keeps them dry and fresh during a run.
The Natural Fibers:
Natural fibers in the market include the likes of cotton, they provide good stretch to the wearer and natural body movement. There major challenge is that they are unable to hold up the body sweat well. They can withstand frequent use since they are less durable.
Below are some of the fabrics that are used in making sporting and running underwear:
The Combed Cotton Fabric: it’s a more popular fabric used in making sporting underwear for cyclists since it has very good features that prevent skin chaffing.
The Coolmax Fabric: this is a polyester fabric, used by manufacturers in making workout underwear. The fabric has wicking ability which leaves a runner feeling dry and cool. They are also resistant to fading, wrinkle or shrinking when washed. Best worn when doing outdoor training sessions.
The Egyptian cotton Fabric: Gotten from the Egyptian cotton, it has the extra-long staple cotton commonly referred to as the ESL. Recently has been made to be more affordable, considered one of the softest fabric used in making sporting underwear and also provides maximum comfort to the wearer.
The Italian Nylon Fabric: has some components of Lycra for extra stretching, Lycra also offers additional recovery capabilities. The fabric offers athletes an abrasion resistance and a four-way stretch. Mostly preferred by the endurance athletes because it has added strength and its antimicrobial agents play an important role in healing open wounds.
The Pima Cotton Fabric: a generic name for the ELS cotton fabric, which grows in Australia and US. Some manufacturers have opted to have PIMA be a combination of the Egyptian and the American cotton. This means the strength of the fabric is extra and it’s also soft. This hybrid offers a silk feel, which prevents any form of skin chaffing and is also durable.
The Spandex Fabric: very popular and manufactured from polyurethane. Its compression capabilities of the fabric makes it one of the most loved fabrics by athletes especially those involved in cycling and running activities. It’s also lightweight, has extra durability and also no absorbent capability. Best option to the athletes who experience allergic reactions to latex.
Different Types of Underwear depending on Designs.
This mostly affects men more than women. Men tend to have a wide variety of choices to pick from when looking for perfect underwear for their running. These many styles come with different support levels and varied insulation for colder and wet running climate. When picking a running inner garment make sure it gives you the necessary support and also offers comfortability. Below are some of the styles of men’s underwear.
Boxers type of underwear: They can be confused to be normal shorts and offer a fit that is a little loose. Boxers made for sporting activities have been made from materials that offer sweat wicking abilities to the athlete. The support offered by sports brief is very minimal and the wearer will have to enjoy the protection offered by these shorts. They offer insulation and since they offer a loose fit, they are able to prevent any form of heat retention. They also encourage no chaffing of the skin during the workout.
Boxer Briefs type of underwear: A combination of the style used in boxers and the style used in briefs. They offer a more tight fit to one’s body and breathability not forgetting a much more firm support ( due to the added pouch ( natural) that offers additional tension). Has a much better insulation features than the boxers, and greatly determined by the tightness of the boxer briefs with regards to fitting. They are made form very lightweight materials that have compression abilities.
Jock Strap type of underwear: Mostly worn by athletes who are involved in high intensity sporting activities. They have a belt that is elastic and a pouch that offers support. They have low insulation levels to the body of the runner.
Support Briefs type of underwear: they utilize the comfortability offered by the usual briefs and the protection that comes from a jockstrap. This designs offers a very high degree of support and in cold climate offers an above average rate of insulation.
Compression Shorts type of underwear: Personal support needs are handled with this type of underwear due to its adjustable pouch. Its design enable the person wearing it to be cool and ever dry at all times during the workout. Its design and length has enhanced insulation.
Overall Fit of the Underwear
A perfect fit when running is very important. An underwear should not be very tight as this will restrict the flow of blood around the area, cause rushes or even skin chaffing during the run, while a very loose fitting one will not provide adequate support needed for protection: hence high chances of also causing skin chaffing due to friction from the extra fabric and the body. Its best to check that you have the correct measurements as this will help you in picking the proper underwear that will give you a perfect fit.
All of the mens’ inner garments are determined by the size of the waist and never the size of the pouch. Its best to make sure you have the correct measurements with regards to your waist size, as this will help you in picking the proper underwear that will give you a perfect fit. Proper fit is extremely important for running. You can always make a quick reference to size chart used by many manufacturers for their running inner wears and most vary due to gender and other contributing factors. If you are in the shop, physically shopping for a running underwear then you can fit in several attires till you get the one that you are most comfortable in.
Other Important Factors To Consider When Making Your Choice
We have other key features that we looked at when coming up with the list of the best running underwears.
Selecting the Right Pair
When selecting the right pair of underwear, we looked at several factors that will make sure you get to pick the best running underwear for your running sessions. These factors included:
The Running Climate / Weather
Most sporting activities are affected by change in weather conditions, that’s why its vital that your running apparel especially your underwear are able to adapt to the different weather conditions. If its hot and dry, it ought to have enough breathability and sweat wicking ability to make sure it keeps your body dry and cool. If its a cold and wet weather, it should have the proper insulation that will keep your body warm. Th material used in making the running underwear will play a great part in determining the adaptability of any given running under pants. All this makes sure that the runner is always comfortable during his/ her workout sessions.
Running clothes meant for hot and dry weather: They need t have moisture wicking abilities, good breathability and offer protection from the rays of the sun. Boxer type of underwear s are perfect for hot weather.
Running clothes meant for cold and wet weather: A drop in overall temperature of the climate means that you have to keep your body warm. Layering of clothes will help but having an underwear that is insulated will go a long way. They are perfect for winter running and other sporting activities.
Differences in Gender of the Athlete.
Running inner wears are usually sold depending on the gender of the athletes. We have underwear for men, women and we also have the unisex type to suit both sides. These inner garments have different characteristics in order to offer maximum comfortability to the different groups involved.
Running Underwear exclusively for men: Men’s inner garments are constructed with a design to fit the male human body. To prevent skin chaffing and any form of discomfort they have a linear that is inbuilt and offers additional support to the the groin area. Also the inseam seems to be longer than in females’ underwear.
Running underwear exclusively for women’s: Constructed for the feminine body, to offer amazing fit around the thighs, waists and hips. Less room is created around the groin sections and the inseams are also shorter perfect for females ho happen to have short legs.
Running underwear that are Unisex: Combines both the designs of male and female underwear. Since they lack most of the specific features for each gender, they don’t provide as much support and tend to provide less anti chaffing abilities to the athletes during long runs.
Q. Does the fabric of the underwear matter?
A. The fabric of your underwear is very important. It not only affects how comfortable you will be while working out but determines your health too. There are numerous types of fabrics used in making running underwear. 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.There are numerous types of fabrics used in making running underwear. The material used in making the inner garments must have sweat wicking ability as this will protect the body from possible cases of chaffing and skin infections. The fabric should also enhance a perfect fit that is neither too tight nor too loose. .
To prevent genital skin infections or a jock itch, it’s important to wear new and clean underwear. Most standard underwear is not designed with features to deal with this challenge but with sport incorporated technology, sporting underwear is able to keep you dry by just wicking away all the sweat from your body as you run.
The technology is able to maintain the body dry by absorbing sweat from the body, into the fabric of the underwear and then transferring it to the fabrics’ outer surface . This can only be done if your underwear has a great fit on you.
Q. Should I go commando?
A. And Yes, it’s very much “allowed” to skip wearing your running underwear. Research show that there are several advantages of going commando, especially when you are working out. If your outer sportswear to be a compression tight then you don’t need a running underwear. Those athletes who have skin allergies or experience skin irritations when they wear an underwear should skip wearing one.
Q. How on earth could underwear be an advantage in a race?
A. The underwear will not only provide comfort and support it will also makes sure that you remain dry during the whole running experience. This is achieved by the wicking effect that most sporting underwear have. Another thing its light and wind resistant so it wont affect you negatively in the race. It will be more advantageous to have an underwear in a marathon to keep you dry.
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. Though its important to make sure you have the ideal fit. Its also good to consider going an extra size larger so that there is natural body movement when doing exercises and the underwear is not strained too much. Also this will prevent irritation on the skin and nay form of chaffing. st running underwear are made so that the fit should be accurate and consistent.
Its also important to try out different sizes before making any purchase. 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 tight 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.
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, ,