Best Running Underwear Reviewed and Tested

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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.

ASICS Asx Boxer Briefs
  • ASICS Asx Boxer Briefs
  • 5 out of 5
    Our rating
  • Seamless construction
  • Price: See Here
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Icebreaker Anatomica Boxers
  • Icebreaker Anatomica Boxers
  • 4.5 out of 5
    Our rating
  • Soft merino wool
  • Price: See Here
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Jockey Performance Brief
  • Jockey Performance Brief
  • 4.5 out of 5
    Our rating
  • breathable microfiber material
  • Price: See Here
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We’ve tested, reviewed, researched and come up with a list of our current favorites. Enjoy!

ASICS Men’s Asx Boxer Briefs

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What better way to ensure that you get the best underwear for running than to buy underwear from a running specific company? ASICS Asx Boxer Briefs offer up an advanced support system engineered just for the type of stresses running puts on the body. They also include innovative seamless technology that make the pouch and waistband soft and comfortable. The price is fairly reasonable, and the value you get in return for these briefs is exceptional. Take a look.
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Details:

- 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.
Pros
  • Made with a quick drying nylon/poly blend
  • Seamless construction reduces irritation spots
  • Anti-microbial properties help control odor
  • Secure, but not too tight
Cons
  • One review though they could be a bit longer

Icebreaker Men’s Anatomica Boxers with Fly

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Extra fine merino wool offers up a plush, warm, and comfortable fit in the form of the Anatomica Boxers. A dash of LYCRA mixed into the material of these boxers makes them just that extra bit sporty and well suited for training. They also include a contoured pouch, making sure there’s a good bit of support but no feeling of constriction. Coming in a lot of different colors and styles there’s something for everyone here.
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Details:

- 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
Pros
  • 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
Cons
  • Wicks moisture away well, but still not as good as synthetic material does

Jockey Performance Midway Brief

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At a glance these briefs from Jockey might not appear all that different than their plain cotton predecessors. The fabric of the performance midway brief has just enough polyester and Lycra to wick moisture like a more synthetic material. Factor in a really smart design — which includes an H-fly (providing no-gap support) — a fit that feels tailored and you’ve got a winning combination.
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Details:

- 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.
Pros
  • Reasonable price
  • The microfiber material is breathable
  • Resists odor
  • Moisture wicking properties
Cons
  • A bit constrictive

ExOfficio Men’s Give-N-Go Boxer

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Built to perform at a high level with minimal maintenance the Give-N-Go Boxers from ExOfficio are another good choice for runners. Made with Aegis Microbe Shield incorporated material, these underpants are well suited for a hard run or anything you can throw at them really. They also feature a functional fly making access a breeze. Made from high grade materials, these will last for quite a while and will certainly not turn into next year’s throwaways.
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Details:

- 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!
Pros
  • Lightweight
  • Easily washable
  • Aegis Microbe Shield anti-bacterial treatment
  • Made mostly of quick drying nylon
  • Do not constrict with movement
Cons
  • They tend to bunch up, as they are looser fitting

Naked Active Boxer Brief

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As the name implies these briefs are meant to feel as if they aren’t there. With shockingly smooth microfiber fabric and a contour pouch they get about as close to achieving this as is possible. Designed to provide uniform support through your down belows (with a strong seamless feel) the Active boxer from Naked is a comfortable choice for any runner. Try them on in comparison to a standard cotton boxer and you will quickly see the difference.
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Details:

- 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.
Pros
  • Breathable construction
  • Dries quickly
  • durable, yet non-irritating covered elastic waistband
  • Seams are placed strategically to enhance comfort in motion
Cons
  • Really weren't able to find any negatives

Ridge Merino Men's Boxer

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If you’ve ever tried a piece of the clothing that is made from Merino wool you know that not much selling is needed beyond simply stating these are made from Merino wool. Made from one of the most comfortable materials out there the Ridge Boxers are additionally comfortable due to a relaxed cut. Not the strongest boxer in terms of support but these will keep you warm on cool mornings and can go quite a ways before developing any type of an odor. Their use extends well beyond running, and we highly recommend you treat yourself and have a pair on hand the next time winter rolls around.
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Details:

- 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.
Pros
  • 95% merino wool
  • Machine washable
  • Great choice for backpacking
  • Great moisture management
  • Natural odor control properties
Cons
  • The fit tends to be slightly looser than expected

JINSHI Soft Bamboo Boxer Briefs

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If you like to experiment the Jinshi Bamboo Boxer Briefs are a fun option. Originally produced and designed in Japan these briefs are designed with ultimate comfort in mind. They also (with their bamboo fibers) are said to fight bacteria accumulation at an impressive rate (75% killed over a 24 hour period). While sporting these you can rest easy knowing that eco healthy bamboo plant from which your trunks are made is sustainable, growing naturally without chemicals. One hundred percent organic.
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Details:

- 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.
Pros
  • 95% bamboo
  • Funky designs
  • Machine washable in cold water
  • Super thin and flexible
  • The waistband is soft and non-irritating
Cons
  • They tend ti ride up

Under Armour Original Series 3″ Boxerjock

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On the lower end of the price spectrum, the Original Series Boxerjock from Under Armour is a great way to get higher end performance without paying the price. Beyond the economic advantages these boxer briefs have a three-inch inseam and extremely lightweight fabric which keeps them from committing the cardinal sin of boxers, riding up. With an extra-breezy front mesh panel you aren’t going to get a whole lot of protection from these underwear, but what you will get is a comfortable fit and an extremely high moisture absorption rate.
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Details:

- 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.
Pros
  • 100% synthetic fibers
  • Contains Under Armour's patented HeatGear material
  • Breathable construction
  • Manages moisture very well
Cons
  • One review stated that they started to rip, just under the waistband, after some use

Saxx Kinetic Long Leg

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Going back to our mantra the Saxx Kinetic long leg briefs are extremely comfortable. They are more comfortable than your average brief due to a spacious three-dimensional pocket, or pouch, in the front section that wraps around your junk, keeping everything in place during high intensity activities. There are no seams in or around the crotch area, essentially eliminating the potential for chafing or irritation. Another notable feature of these briefs is that they are are a relatively snug, long fit with a bit of support extending well down the leg.
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Details:

- 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.
Pros
  • Quick drying nylon/spandex mix
  • Ergonomic fit
  • Has a soft mesh inner
  • Constructed with Flat-lock stitching to prevent irritation
  • Moisture wicking waistband
Cons
  • 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.

Fabrics

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.

 

Styles

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.

 

Fit

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.

Gender Differences

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.

 

FAQ

 

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?

A: If you’ve got a few pairs on rotation, it’s a good idea to replace your underwear every 6-9 months. However, pay attention to the elastic waistbands and legbands. They can wear out and fray over time, which will feel uncomfortable on the skin and no longer provide support.

Q: What if my underwear is leaving marks or chafing the skin?

A: You might want to size up. If it’s still irritating to the skin, consider switching to a design without an elastic waistband or legbands, or try a synthetic blend fabric like microfiber or modal. You can also try boxer briefs, which will protect your legs from rubbing.

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?

A: If you’ve got a few pairs on rotation, it’s a good idea to replace your underwear every 6-9 months. However, pay attention to the elastic waistbands and legbands. They can wear out and fray over time, which will feel uncomfortable on the skin and no longer provide support.

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:

Sources

  1. Mark Remy, Racing and Underwear: FAQ, Running Website,
  2. Samantha Lefave, The Best Underwear for Every Workout, Lifestyle Website,
  3. Editor, 10 Athletic Spring Underwear Picks, Lifestyle Website,
  4. Claire Cadwell, ASICS Men's ASX Brief Review, You Tube,
  5. Jack Cramer, The Best Travel Underwear for Men Review, Sporting Website,
  6. Max Gosling, Jockey Sport CottonPerformance Midway Brief, Sporting Website,
  7. Editor, ExOfficio Give-N-Go Underwear Review , Lifestyle Website,
  8. Rich, Review: Naked Boxer Brief (and Brief) Really Feel Like Nothing At All, Clothing Website,
  9. Best Hiking, Woolx Merino Boxer Briefs – First Hand Review, Sporting Website,
  10. Editor, 10 Best Mens Underwear | March 2017, Consumer Website,

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