After 23 hours of research evaluating 112 products, we picked Adidas Men's Sport Performance Athletic Boxer Brief Underwear as our top choice.
According to a study done by the Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise Journal, positive mood changes can occur with running, or any active sport performed regularly. We all need to get moving move.
However, not picking the best athletic underwear can seriously affect your routine.
Should your running underwear be moisture-wicking underwear, spandex, or do other options provide the best underwear for running and active sports?
Here's what we mean:
Long runs can cause irritation and chafing. It only takes one run in cotton underwear to know what we're talking about.
A good pair of sports underwear can make all the difference: Specifically, the best underwear for running and other active, high friction sports.
There is no reason to suffer during your regular workout or sports routine. And, now's the time to invest in a good, supportive pair of athletic compression underwear to hold everything in place during your next run!
These compression shorts are not only affordable, but also offer a very sexy fit. Featuring 4-way stretch fabric, they provide maximum comfort and medium compression that is anti-chafing, moisture-wicking and irritant-free.
If you have a muscular backside, you may want to choose a different product. These tend to show a little crack on those with bigger behinds (unless you're into that kind of thing).
The Neleus Compression Shorts are made with 85% Polyester and 15% Spandex - the perfect combination of soft, lightweight, and breathability for comfortable wear and increased blood flow. Therefore protecting your skin from any discomfort like chafing, irritation, and sweat build-up.
With extra durable elastic, the 4-way stretch fabric allows you to enjoy different work out activities and training. The fabric is machine washable, which will make your life a bit easier as well.
These compression shorts feel like a second-skin due to the tight-fit (well, tight enough to make men buy a larger size than their usual pair). However, they still provide relaxed, flexible movement whenever you do extensive training or exercise.
These briefs have medium compression that is flexible, with elastic sufficient enough to hold everything in place. Surely, your stuff will thank you later.
No wonder why these babies are the cheapest on our list - nothing can beat $23 for 3 pairs! Given the excellent quality, $7 per pair is super worth it. Whether you’re hitting the gym or going to a triathlon, maybe you need a set of these - or more.
These ExOfficio briefs are breathable and provide support during any workout or adventure. The mesh material is fitted while still roomy. These briefs are low-rise to give maximum comfort during any strenuous activity.
Some users have noticed pilling after multiple washes. Most users say these briefs run a tad large so make sure to take this into consideration when looking at sizes!
The fabric of these ExOfficios is machine wash friendly and dries within 2-4 hours of washing - perfect for any man on the go. The odor-eliminating Silvadur technology and breathable mesh material together keep you feeling fresh longer. With access to airflow, these briefs remain comfortable as you go about your day.
These briefs are low-rise and fit for adventure. With an extremely lightweight breathable feel, these ExOfficio briefs move with you.
One pair goes for $24 on Amazon. These briefs are built to last and keep you comfortable for all of your adventures.
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These undies are perfect for your active lifestyle. A horizontal fly for quick access works with 360º stretch fabric to prevent riding up. You can also expect moisture-wicking, anti-odor performance for the gym.
What Reviewers Say:
People from all walks of life love these underpants. Here's what they have to say:
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The David Archy 3 Pack Men's Ultra Soft Mesh Quick Dry Sports Underwear has fast drying, breathable fabric to keep you comfortable all day long. Designed for the man on the go, the boxers are lightweight and supportive.
Men with larger sized thighs say the leg tends to ride up.
The fabric is made of Polyamide and Spandex. The Polyamide is ultra fine and quickly wicks away sweat to keep you fresh and comfortable. The mesh is super soft and extremely breathable.
An added bonus to this underwear is the removable tag. Tags often cause discomfort, especially with underwear, and the David Archy brand has designed the Ezy-off tag to provide ultra comfort.
The 3D pouch design provides extra support while not limiting movement. The legs are on the longer side, making this underwear perfect for physical activity. The underwear has a very lightweight feel and moves easily with you through all your daily activities.
A three pack is $29.99 and you get to choose your favorite design out of the three options provided - a great deal for briefs!
Not only are the Under Armour Boxerjocks both comfortable and soft, they also feature a breathable contoured pouch which effectively keeps air flowing.
Some say it can be hard to find the perfect size and fit.
The Under Armour Boxerjocks are super-comfortable, lightweight, and smooth. The 90% polyester/10% Elastane wicks sweat and dries really fast. They breathe well and keep you supported, but not compressed.
These trunks are not compression, but they're not loose either. They are fitted, which means they sit comfortably next to your skin without the squeeze.
Their fit makes them perfect for all sports. They're not so tight you'll be unable to move freely for CrossFit, HIIT, or plyo training, yet they won't ride up as you run, cycle, or train in martial arts.
For heavy sweaters, they'll keep up with even the most intense resistance training workout while wicking moisture away from your downstairs parts to ensure maximum breathability and ventilation.
The u-stitched pouch (think banana hammock), provides ideal support for your man parts, too. They'll feel snug and supported without being too tight. As a bonus, these boxers do have a pee hole.
These Under Armour boxers cost $35 for a two-pack, making them a little over $17 each - 100% worth it! Try these ridiculously comfortable boxer briefs, they're definitely a good bang for your buck.
Affordable running underwear that are lightweight and made with ultra-soft fabric. Designed to hold everything in and prevent chafing.
Comfortable but not compression shorts. These are perfect for running but won't aid in recovery or reduce soreness.
If you are looking for a dry fabric that feels comfortable with just the right amount of stretch, these are your top pick. These boxer briefs are made with 84% polyester and 16% spandex, which makes them super snug and ultra-soft. And, because they aren't made of cotton, they won't cause chaffing.
Despite their low price tag, they are surprisingly good quality and will last a long time. The quick-drying Champion Vapor technology evaporates moisture fast allowing them to dry quickly. This will allow you to stay cool and comfortable during your run.
This pair of underwear has a slightly snug fit, just enough to hold things in place. However, they're not as tight as others on the market. One thing guys loved about this pair is the flatlock seams that protect against chafing (especially in the inner thigh area).
The Champion Men's Powerflex will typically cost about $20. But keep in mind that they frequently go on sale on Amazon for sometimes half the price.
If you suffer from chaffing and need a pair of underwear for running, this is the pair you want!
Made with lightweight mesh that improves airflow, keeps you cool, and is quick-drying. Provides a more relaxed fit that's perfect for any workout.
The fabric is so lightweight, so these can be extremely delicate and start to pill. Not a compression short, will give you a looser fit.
The ExOfficio boxers are super-comfortable and come in a wide range of colors including: black, charcoal, white, hemlock, and riviera.
The reason these babies sell so well? The 94% polyester/6% Spandex is super soft and cool on the skin. They breathe well and keep you supported, but not compressed. The best part is the breathable mesh fabric dries within 2-4 hours.
These boxers run true to size, so order the size you normally would. Also, the ExOfficio boxers are more of a relaxed fit so they aren't going to be as tight as others you might be used to. If boxer isn't your style, the Give-N-Go is also available in boxer brief, flyless brief, and brief. Oh, and they also make running tees and v-necks, too.
Their fit makes them perfect for keeping you cool. The lightweight, loose style will keep the air flowing no matter how long your run.
These ExOfficio boxer briefs cost $20 a pair, but are 100% worth it! Try these ridiculously comfortable boxer briefs, they're definitely good bang for your buck.
Good elasticity, soft and pliable, incredibly comfortable, long-lasting waistband, excellent ventilation, moisture-wicking fabric, great look and fit, and lightweight.
Sizes run small and no front opening.
The underwear are made from 92% polyester, with 8% Spandex to give it just the right amount of stretch. The fabric will wick moisture away from "the gentlemen", keeping you nice and cool no matter how hard you run or train.
For those who want a more natural feel from their underwear, give these bad boys a try. Thanks to their lightweight design and soft elastic band, you'll feel like you're "going commando". The underwear are incredibly good for moisture-wicking and rapid drying, and they'll pull sweat away from your skin to keep everything downstairs dry and cool.
The soft elastic band won't leave marks on your skin or reduce circulation. The tagless and smooth-stitching design makes these a great pair of training boxers!
The material is pliable and has beautiful elasticity. They're fit to complement the natural movements of your body. All in all, one of the most comfortable pairs of athletic underwear you'll find.
$21 is a good price to pay for two pairs of these underwear, and once you try them on, you'll never want to go back to regular boxers!
An affordable and flattering compression short that can be worn as either shorts or running underwear.
These have no fly pouch making it a little more complicated when it's time to go.
The fabric on these bad boys is a beautiful mixture of polyester and spandex. In case you're wondering, this combination of fabric provides excellent elasticity, making it easier for you to move.
As a bonus, it's also got UPF 50+ to protect your skin from harmful UV rays. So you can wear these daily during the longer, sweatier summer days. The moisture-wicking, heat-releasing fabric will help to keep you cool and prevent "swamp crotch".
A tip from reviewers: handwash these if you can. Since they are a cheaper pair, the fabric isn't going to last as long if you stick them in the washing machine.
For a compression short, they aren't as tight as expected. If you're looking for heavy compression, you'll want to look elsewhere, as these offer only lightweight to mid-weight. You can also go down a size if you want a tighter fit and more compression. That said, these boxer briefs fit true to size. Also, if you're a fan of wide waistbands, you're going to love the one on these.
Lets face it, this is the lowest price you're going to pay to get into a pair of Teslas. But all jokes aside, for the price these can't be beat. If you're on a budget, and need a decent pair of running underwear, the Tesla Men's Cool Dry is the pair for you. At just $13 a pair, these are one of the cheapest on our list.
GREAT for heavy sweaters, comfortable fit, lightweight, keeps you dry and cool, great material, decent quality, and well-priced.
Prone to stretching out and some reviewers report durability issues.
Lightweight and made with ultra-soft fabric, these are designed to keep you cool during your run or workout activities.The Climalite technology will keep you cool and dry while performing at your peak. The mesh-lined pouch is great for heavy sweaters, and will allow plenty of air flow over "the gentlemen".
These are made to be all-purpose underwear-great for both sports and wearing around the house. The mix of 91% polyester and 9% Spandex gives you comfort and support for any activity. The smooth seam stitching will reduce chafing and keep you super comfy during your workout.
These boxer briefs are made with a soft, super-elastic material that is comfortable while you run, train, or cycle. They're tight enough to offer support and long enough to be versatile for all sports, but not so tight they ride up.
These underwear will run you around $25 for a 2-pack, making them pricey for regular boxers, but GREAT for athletic underwear. They may stretch out, so having two to use for your workouts is a definite plus.
For the average runner, owning running underwear (or, as I LOVE to call them, "runderwear") isn't necessary. For a short 5K (3.5 miles) run or your daily training, there is very little chance of chafing so you can get by without a pricey pair of underwear. Most athletic boxer briefs or jocks will be just fine for your training session.
So who needs running underwear? In what situations would they be necessary?
Heavier runners – If you are carrying extra weight (in the form of body fat), you may find that the fat around your legs tends to chafe when you run. Having a good pair of running underwear can help to reduce chafing while you run. The underwear can keep you cooler while you run.
Men with thicker thighs – If you're one of those guys who spends A LOT of time working their legs, you may find that your thicker thigh muscles can rub against each other when you run. It won't cause the same sort of chafing you'd get if you had excess leg/thigh fat, but it can still be plenty uncomfortable. Running underwear will help to prevent the problem!
Heavy sweaters – For men who sweat a lot, chafing can be a genuine issue. The material of your regular underwear will absorb the excess moisture and can bunch up around your legs and thighs. As you run, they can rub against your legs and cause serious chafing. But running underwear is designed to wick away moisture and are made of a quick-drying material that won't bunch up or rub you the wrong way. They're a convenient solution for heavy sweaters!
Long-distance runners – This is the group of people that needs running underwear. If you run 10Ks, Ironman races, half-marathons, marathons, or any other sort of long-distance races, running underwear is a necessity. After an hour or two of running, chafing is a very real problem (it's why men tape their nipples as well!). Running underwear will keep your legs and thighs from rubbing together, preventing chafing over a long-distance run.
But what if you don't fall into any of these categories? What if you're just an average runner who thinks they may like to use a pair of running underwear?
If you think running underwear will help you, it's worth trying out. They may be that little addition to your running outfit that makes your run more comfortable, thus easier to keep up with.
Here are a few things to consider before you take the plunge to buy running underwear:
What type of running shorts do you wear? Loose-fitting running shorts tend to have a lining (like a bathing suit) that hugs your skin, offering you support, and preventing chafing. Running tights/leggings (yes, they're a thing for men, too!) are close to your skin. Both of these running shorts are intended to be worn WITHOUT running underwear. They are designed to prevent excessive sweating and chafing on their own. They may be too tight and form-fitting to accommodate underwear, so adding running underwear will just make things uncomfortable.
If, however, you wear generic athletic shorts, a pair of running underwear will come in handy. They will protect from chafing and offer support, and they'll easily fit under a pair of basketball shorts or workout shorts.
What type of underwear do you wear? If you wear cotton boxers, you'll DEFINITELY want to change things up. Cotton gets soggy when wet, and it is the #1 contributor to serious chafing when running. If you're a cotton boxer guy, it could be a good idea to use running underwear when going for a run.
If, however, you wear athletic boxer briefs or jocks, you may not need running underwear for your short-distance runs. Athletic underwear doesn’t offer the same support as running underwear, but it will help to reduce chafing and keep everything in your downstairs nice and cool. A pair of Nike or UnderArmour athletic underwear will be alright for your short-distance runs.
Is chafing a problem? Remember that running underwear are designed for two things: to support "the gentlemen" and to reduce chafing. If chafing isn't a problem (for short-distance runs), you may not need them. The added support and padding may be helpful, but not necessary if there is no chafing.
But if you're the kind of guy who gets rubbed the wrong way when they run, you should use running underwear. Triathletes and marathon runners aren't the only ones who have to put up with chafing—heavier runners, guys with thick legs, and even regular people can suffer. If there is any chafing, a good pair of running underwear can make your runs more comfortable and reduce friction.
What makes running underwear different from your typical underwear?
Material – Regular underwear are often constructed out of cotton, nylon, or a blend of natural and synthetic fabrics. The problem is, natural fabrics tend to get soggy when wet. Running underwear is almost always made of synthetic material that is lightweight, moisture-wicking, and quick-drying. This keeps everything nice and cool downstairs, no matter how much you sweat.
Insulated – Some running underwear is designed for cold-weather use, meaning it comes with an extra layer of insulation that will keep out the winter chill. These are usually sold specifically as a "running base layer" or "winter running underwear." They are designed to keep everything nice and warm while you run in snowy or cold conditions.
Ventilated – Unlike regular underwear, running underwear is designed with special ventilation panels to keep everything cool as you run. There may be mesh or synthetic fabric that allows air to flow over your genitals, preventing excessive sweating.
Supportive – The constant jolting of the running movement can take a toll on important body parts. Running underwear is designed to protect your junk (especially your testicles) from the high-impact workout. It will usually include a fabric pouch that offers testicular support.
Sweat-Wicking – This is an essential element of running underwear. If sweat dries on your skin, the grains of salt can create the friction that leads to chafing. It can also dry your skin out, increasing the risk of minor damage (rubbing and chafing). The sweat-wicking material is intended to pull moisture away from your skin to reduce friction.
Fit – A lot of regular underwear are designed to be form-fitting and hip-hugging, but the fit of running underwear is slightly different. There is a bit more looseness around the hips, with compression around the legs and thighs. The elastic bands around the waist and thighs keep the underwear firmly in place to reduce chafing.
While you can use regular underwear for running (especially jocks and athletic boxer briefs), it's best to use running underwear for serious runs!
It's difficult to tell the differences between workout/athletic underwear and running underwear. In terms of design, they're almost identical. They're both made of the same moisture-wicking, quick-drying material. They're both ventilated to reduce chafing and keep your genitals cool as you train. From a distance, they're almost exactly the same.
There are only two differences between running and workout underwear:
Support Pouch – With running underwear, the testicle support pouch tends to have a bit more padding and fit more snugly. When running, you don't need the same freedom of movement as is required for resistance, HIIT, or CrossFit workouts. Thus, the pouch comes with more padding and support to reduce the impact on the testicles.
Fit – The fit of running underwear is also slightly different from workout underwear. While workout underwear is designed for versatility and freedom of movement, running underwear is created more to be form-fitting and reduce chafing. There is a bit more looseness around the hips, but the thighs are tighter, and the elastic of the legs firmer to hold the running underwear in place.
Small differences, but they can help to make your run/workout more comfortable.
Running underwear isn't your only solution for preventing chafing on your long runs. Here are a few more tricks to reduce friction and keep your thighs and genitals comfortable: