If you’re considering shaking up your workouts by going on a gym clothes buying binge, you’d be remiss to discount the power of a great pair of sports underwear. To be plain: you may well be wicking sweat and looking fly on top, but how swampy is it getting inside of those new P.E. Nation shorts? The wrong pair of boxers won’t only be causing a riot of bacteria while you work out, they’ll be contributing to any chafing problems you’ve been experiencing, especially while running — whether outside or on the treadmill.
What specialised sports underwear does that your standard boxer briefs don’t is protect your unmentionables in all the right ways. Comfort and performance are prioritised through designs that stretch, protect and dry quickly. So if you’re prone to below-the-belt sweating — even if that’s in the wider world outside of the gym — an underwear drawer full of running-specialised boxers could be the life-saving sportswear hack you’re missing.
More and more brands in both fitness-specific and underwear-specialist verticals are bringing ergonomic undies to market, meaning that it’s never been easier — or cheaper — to transform the comfort of your workouts for good.
In a hurry? here are some top picks:
The Ronseal of running underwear, Runderwear does what it says on the tin. A brand with comfortable jogging kecks at the forefront of its ethos, you can rely on this label for sweat-wicking four-way stretch and what it guarantees to be no chafing.
Stretch, seamless and sweat-wicking, these Adidas boxers offer everything that its more expensive counterparts do, for a fraction of the price: for your 25 English pounds, you’ll receive three pairs of these fail-safes.
Merino wool and seamless for that invisible look underneath tight clothing, Tracksmith’s boxers (and briefs) offer the best-looking comfortable running experience going.
What should I look for in good sports and running underwear?
When you’re seeking out the best for you and your exercise routines, you should be thinking about The first thing you should look for in your newly comfortable base layer is fabric: both what it’s made of and how it’s pieced together. Performance boxers should fit snugly, but make sure you’re opting for moisture-wicking or fast-drying fabrics like lyrca, spandex, polyamide, merino wool or even bamboo. When it comes to chafe avoidance, these materials should be put together with as little reliance on seams as possible.
The other essential to seek out in your new pair of pants is four-way stretch: the give that will allow you to complete a full range of motion without issue, even if you’re completing a rigorous set involving side-lunges followed by weighted step-ups. To turbo boost the effect of these positives, consider adding a dedicated pair of compression shorts or running tights which work with the same benefits in mind.
What type of exercise do you need sports underwear for?
Whether you’re looking for something to wear when you’re heading to the gym for a weights session or you’re jumping on an exercise bike for a brisk outdoors adventure, most options are versatile enough for the majority of exercises. That said, cyclists should consider underwear that offers additional padding while runners may prioritise briefs that remove unnecessary seams to minimise chafing.
Shop GQ’s pick of the best sports and running underwear…
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