Are you supposed to wear underwear when you run?

By Elizabeth Jenkins

Is this post TMI? Who really knows. Runner’s don’t have many secrets.

When I first started running I didn’t know the underwear protocol, I just assumed it was a good idea.  After doing some field research, and tying the commando thing, I realized a lot of people have my same dilemma.

Here are two important questions to consider when you are determining your own preferences:

First: What kind of bottoms are you going to be wearing? Tights? Spandex? Shorts? Skirt?

Most shorts and skirts will have a liner built in. If the shorts have a liner, leave the underwear out. The fewer seams up in your business, the better.

Spandex shorts or tights often don’t have a liner, in fact, I have never seen a pair of tights with a liner. Even though there is not a liner, tights are intended to be worn without underpants. IF the weather is cold, I would highly suggest a pair of wool underpants, or a brief with a wind-proof panel in the front. This will save your life if it is cold, wet, and windy!

Second: What kind of underwear are you wearing?

Just please do me and yourself a solid and don’t wear anything cotton. Cotton bunches, absorbs moisture and doesn’t wick it away, smells bad, and makes you all hot and bothered (not the good kind of hot and bothered) Cotton can lead to chaffing and that will ruin anyone’s day. Chaffing can be avoided with some preventative measures so why risk it? DITCH THE COTTON! Synthetic fibers or merino wool is the way to go. Going without is always better than cotton though…

The point is, if you don’t need underwear, don’t bother. If you would like a little extra protection, do, but don’t wear cotton. Underwear should be snug and made of synthetics or wool. Also, when you are done with your run, take off those nasty wet shorts.  It is common to go eat breakfast or run errands after a run. Leaving sweaty clothes on for an extended period of time is a good way to develop a rash or an infection. Gross.

Also, choosing to run ONLY in your underwear is not supported by this author. Unless, of course your name is Donny Osmond.

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