It seems like a little thing, but finding a go-to pair of underwear for your runs is essential. The best men’s running underwear will effectively do away with swampiness, chafing, and bunching. Some runners prefer shorts with built-in briefs (and if that's you, there's an option for you below), but for those who want an added layer of support, a good pair of moisture-wicking underwear will help you focus less on what's going on down there, and more on the road ahead.
When it comes to cut, most people will find a pair of boxer briefs is the best underwear to prevent chafing. The longer leg provides more coverage for your skin, which reduces the friction that causes irritation. That said, if thigh rubbing is not normally an issue for you, a pair of sports briefs can also work. Most underwear options have a standard pouch, but there are also pairs with a double-walled pouch with no fly for people who prefer extra support.
No matter which style you go for, a moisture-wicking fabric is essential. This will usually mean a blend of nylon or polyester with spandex that's woven to transfer sweat from your skin to the outside of the fabric where it can evaporate. Some pairs are even treated with anti-odor technology to help inhibit the growth of microbes so you feel fresher after a long run.
These four pairs of running underwear will help keep you dry and comfortable no matter how many miles you log.
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The fan favorite
These moisture-wicking boxer briefs have over 24,000 ratings on Amazon, with fans calling this underwear some of the best they've ever owned. They are woven from a lightweight polyester-spandex blend with four-way stretch, and they have a longer, 6-inch inseam to discourage chafing on long runs. There’s a mesh crotch gusset for ventilation and a standard fly front with a supportive pouch, while the specially stitched inseam won’t creep up uncomfortably mid-stride. "So far I haven't had any chafing issues up to 15 miles," one Amazon reviewer confirmed.
- Available colors: Several multi-color sets
- Available sizes: Small – X-Large
The one with extra ventilation
These athletic boxer briefs are made from breathable micro-mesh for 360-degree airflow. They have special stretch panels on each side that give you enhanced mobility and the polyester-spandex fabric wicks away sweat so you stay dry. They’re also tag-free and have a standard fly. "These budget-minded boxer briefs are perfect," one reviewer declared. "They fit nicely and they've seen me through a year of intense workouts without discomfort or significant wear and tear." The inseam on these shorts is approximately 4 to 5 inches, although longer lengths — as well as briefs made of different fabric blends — are available too.
- Available options: 18
- Available sizes: Small – 5X Big
The ones with anti-odor tech
This Under Armour performance underwear combines a proprietary fabric with gym-ready design. The brand's patented anti-odor fabric can help inhibit microbes to keep everything fresh after your cool-down, and the moisture-wicking blend has four-way stretch that moves with you just like a great pair of workout shorts. "So much airflow [...]" one fan wrote. "They are incredibly soft and they don't ride up, fall down, or roll over." There’s a pouch and a mesh panel fly for targeted ventilation, while a gusset gives you total range of motion. Zero side or back seams combined with a longer length (they come with a 6-inch inseam) practically eliminates chafing, too.
- Available colors: 7
- Available sizes: Small – 4X-Large
The minimalist ones
These Jockey sports briefs have a double-walled pouch and no fly for extra support in a cut that doesn't restrict your legs. Their moisture-wicking nylon and spandex microfiber is lightweight, and the mesh panels on each hip ensure extra breathability under shorts. "My favorite briefs for running," one fan wrote. "Much better elastic/material than most. They've been through hundreds of wash cycles and they're still in terrific shape."
- Available colors: 17
- Available sizes: Small – X-Large
The running shorts with built-in briefs
These Baleaf athletic shorts are the ideal length for running: their 3-inch inseam allows your legs complete range of motion without weighing you down. The built-in briefs are just supportive enough and made out of lightweight mesh so you stay covered and cool. There’s a small drop-in pocket on one side for your keys, and the reflective logo helps you stay visible on evening runs. "A month of summer running in Houston makes me a total sweat machine, so I've been putting them through the ringer," one reviewer wrote. "These shorts hold up well. Super light weight."
- Available colors: 25
- Available sizes: Small – 3X-Large