Should You Wear Underwear When Running? Pros, Cons, and What to Consider

Photo of author

When it comes to running, there are various factors to consider in order to optimize your performance and comfort. One question that often arises is whether or not to wear underwear during your runs. While this may seem like a simple decision, there are several factors to take into account before making a choice.

Comfort and Chafing Concerns

One of the main concerns when deciding whether to wear underwear while running is comfort. Ill-fitting or inappropriate underwear can cause discomfort and chafing, which can significantly impact your running experience. The friction caused by constant movement can lead to painful irritation and even blisters. Therefore, it is crucial to choose the right type of underwear that provides adequate support and eliminates any potential discomfort.

Benefits of Wearing Underwear

Despite the potential for discomfort, wearing underwear while running can offer some benefits. Firstly, it provides an extra layer of protection between your skin and your running gear, helping to absorb sweat and prevent moisture-related issues such as irritation and rashes. Additionally, certain types of underwear can provide additional support for both men and women, minimizing any potential discomfort caused by excessive movement.

Moisture-Wicking Fabrics

When considering wearing underwear during your runs, it is essential to pay attention to the fabric of the undergarments. Moisture-wicking fabrics, such as polyester or nylon blends, are highly recommended for running. These fabrics efficiently draw moisture away from the body, keeping you dry and comfortable throughout your workout. Avoid cotton or other materials that tend to retain moisture, as they can make you feel damp and increase the risk of chafing.

Commando Running: Pros and Cons

On the other hand, some runners opt to go commando and forgo wearing underwear altogether. This practice has its own set of pros and cons. Going commando allows for increased breathability and eliminates the risk of chafing caused by ill-fitting or uncomfortable underwear. It also simplifies your running routine, as you no longer have to worry about choosing the right pair of underwear for each run. However, it is crucial to note that going without underwear may not be suitable for everyone, especially those who prefer the added support and moisture-wicking properties that certain undergarments provide.

Choosing the Right Undergarments

For those who decide to wear underwear while running, it is essential to choose the right undergarments that align with your needs and preferences. Here are some key factors to consider when selecting running underwear:

  1. Fit: Opt for underwear that fits snugly but comfortably. Avoid underwear that is too tight or too loose.
  2. Seamless Design: Look for underwear with flat or minimal seams to minimize the risk of chafing.
  3. Moisture-Wicking Properties: Choose underwear made from moisture-wicking fabrics to keep you dry and comfortable.
  4. Support: Consider the level of support you need and choose underwear that provides adequate support for your body type.
  5. Breathability: Look for underwear with good ventilation to enhance breathability and prevent excessive sweating.

Personal Preference and Hygiene Factors

Ultimately, the decision to wear or not wear underwear while running boils down to personal preference. Some runners find that wearing underwear provides the necessary support and comfort, while others prefer the freedom and breathability of going commando. It is important to consider your own comfort, as well as any hygiene concerns you may have. Ensure that you maintain proper hygiene practices, such as changing out of sweaty clothes promptly after your run to prevent any potential issues.

In conclusion, whether or not to wear underwear while running is a personal choice that depends on various factors such as comfort, moisture-wicking properties, and personal preference. By considering the benefits and drawbacks of both options and choosing the right type of underwear, you can ensure a more enjoyable and comfortable running experience.


  1. Should I wear underwear under my running shorts?
    It depends on personal preference and comfort. Consider wearing moisture-wicking underwear for added support and to prevent chafing.
  2. Can I go commando while running?
    Yes, some runners prefer to go commando for increased breathability and simplicity. However, it may not be suitable for everyone.
  3. What type of fabric is best for running underwear?
    Moisture-wicking fabrics such as polyester or nylon blends are recommended for running underwear, as they keep you dry and comfortable.
  4. Can wearing underwear cause chafing while running?
    Ill-fitting or uncomfortable underwear can cause chafing. It is important to choose the right type of underwear that provides proper support.
  5. Is it unhygienic to go commando during a run?
    Going commando is not inherently unhygienic, but it is important to maintain proper hygiene practices by changing out of sweaty clothes promptly after the run.
  6. Should men wear compression shorts instead of regular underwear for running?
    Compression shorts can provide additional support and reduce muscle fatigue. Men can opt for compression shorts instead of regular underwear if they find them more comfortable.
  7. Are there specific running underwear for women?
    Yes, there are running-specific underwear options for women that offer additional support and moisture-wicking properties.

Leave a Comment