Do you wear underwear under running shorts?

No. Running shorts are designed to be worn without underwear. The built-in liner is designed to be worn directly against the skin for optimal moisture-wicking and compression. Wearing underwear under running tights can also cause chafing and discomfort. So it’s best to avoid wearing underwear under running shorts for optimal performance and comfort.

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Ever wondered whether you should wear underwear under your running shorts? Well, you’re not alone. This debate has been going on for ages among athletes and casual runners alike. Ultimately, the choice comes down to what’s most comfortable for you and your personal preferences. Let’s dive into this topic and explore the different aspects of wearing (or not wearing) underwear under your running shorts.

Types of Running Shorts

Running shorts are a great option for the gym or a long run. They can be worn either with or without liners, depending on your preference.

If you’re going to be doing high-intensity workouts, or lifting weights at the gym, then I recommend wearing shorts with liners. They’re usually made of cotton, with a layer of mesh fabric in between layers of cotton (this helps to prevent chafing). It also helps if they have moisture-wicking properties so that sweat is drawn away from your skin as you work out.

But if you’re just going to be running at a steady pace, or maybe doing some weightlifting, then I recommend wearing shorts without liners. These can be made from a variety of materials, including cotton or polyester blends and nylon material.

Factors to Consider

When deciding whether to wear underwear under your running shorts, several factors come into play. Personal comfort is key: consider the materials and fit of both your shorts and underwear.

Chafing prevention is also essential, so look for moisture-wicking fabrics and anti-chafing products like Body Glide. Don’t forget about hygiene, either—ensure your running shorts are washed and cared for properly, and consider the role of underwear in maintaining cleanliness.

Finally, take into account modesty and personal preference, as cultural factors and individual comfort levels can influence your decision.

Perspectives from Professional Runners and Coaches

Professional Runners’ Perspectives

We’ve reached out to several professional runners to get their take on this debate. Some swear by the convenience and support of built-in liners, while others prefer the freedom of choosing their undergarments when wearing shorts without liners.

A few professionals also endorse compression shorts for their chafing prevention and support. Ultimately, these athletes emphasize that personal preference and comfort play a huge role in determining the best choice for each individual.

Coaches’ Advice

Coaches often advise their athletes to experiment and find what works best for them. Some coaches recommend starting with moisture-wicking underwear, especially for long runs or races, to reduce chafing and increase comfort.

Others suggest trying different types of shorts and gradually eliminating options that cause discomfort. They also emphasize the importance of paying attention to your body’s signals and making adjustments as needed.

Key Takeaways from Professionals

The consensus among professionals is that there’s no one-size-fits-all solution when it comes to wearing underwear under running shorts. The best approach is to try various options, consider factors like comfort and function, and prioritize personal preference.

Remember, what works for an elite athlete may not be the best option for you, so listen to your body and find the most comfortable and functional choice for your unique needs.

Tips for Finding the Right Solution for You

Experiment with Different Options

To find your perfect fit, try out various combinations of running shorts and underwear (or no underwear). Experiment with shorts with built-in liners, those without liners, and compression shorts. Don’t be afraid to switch things up until you find what feels most comfortable for you.

Prioritize Moisture-Wicking Materials

Choose fabrics that wick away moisture to help prevent chafing and keep you feeling fresh during your runs. Look for materials like polyester or nylon, which are known for their moisture-wicking properties, and avoid cotton, which can hold moisture and exacerbate chafing.

Focus on Fit and Support

Make sure your running shorts and underwear fit well, providing the necessary support without being too tight or too loose. A proper fit will help reduce chafing and discomfort while ensuring you feel secure and comfortable throughout your run.

Adjust Based on Weather and Running Conditions

Consider the weather and running conditions when deciding whether to wear underwear under your running shorts. For example, during hot and humid conditions, moisture-wicking underwear might be essential to reduce chafing and keep you cool. In contrast, on colder days or when running on rough terrain, you might opt for compression shorts or additional layers for extra support and protection.

Don’t Forget About Hygiene

Always keep hygiene in mind when deciding whether or not to wear underwear under your running shorts. Make sure your running shorts and underwear are washed on a regular basis, and consider using antimicrobial or moisture-wicking fabrics to help maintain cleanliness and freshness.

Give Your Body Time to Adjust

When trying out a new combination of running shorts and underwear (or lack thereof), give your body some time to adjust. It might take a few runs before you can accurately assess your comfort level with a particular setup.


Preventing moisture build-up

Running shorts are designed to prevent excess moisture from accumulating. They accomplish this by pulling sweat away from the body, onto the surface of the fabric for quicker evaporation.

Running shorts brands often use moisture-wicking fabrics such as polyester and nylon. These materials are best for wicking sweat.

Often, performance shorts come with a built-in liner which also helps to keep you cool and dry.

Some shorts feature ventilation panels. These allow air to circulate the body and remove heat and moisture.

Support and comfort


Two important factors to consider when buying running shorts are support and comfort level. No one wants to wear shorts that offer great support but don’t feel good when you wear them. Vice versa is also true.

Choose shorts with an elastic waistband, mesh liner, and drawstring. These prevent the shorts from moving around, which can cause discomfort and chafing.

Additionally, many shorts offer built-in compression features. This helps to reduce muscle fatigue. Compression shorts should fit tightly against the skin to increase blood flow and oxygen to the muscles.

The type of fabric used also plays a role. The material needs to be stretchable so you can move freely during your workout. Look for flat seams to prevent any chafing or discomfort.

Lastly, consider the fit. They should be snug, but not tight, and allow for a full range of motion. Finally, choose the appropriate length of the shorts. Go with shorter shorts for hotter weather and longer for colder weather.

FAQ – Should You Wear Underwear with Running Shorts



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