Readers’ Roundtable: Do You Wear Underpants On the Run?

Chafing is not an option.  (img via Wikimedia)
Chafing is not an option. (img via Wikimedia)

All my running shorts have liners, meaning there’s a built-in brief that protects my lady bits and prevents chafing.  This is ideal to me, since wearing underwear is unthinkable: cotton retains too much moisture, and all my other pairs are too frilly to be comfortable.

A couple years ago when “running underwear” started popping up in stores, I made a joke about it to a friend.  She looked at me like I was crazy and confessed that she had been wearing it for years!  I was completely confounded until she gave her reason: she didn’t want to have to haul her running shorts down to the laundromat after only one wear.

That seems pretty logical, but I remain an advocate of dropping your panties when you go running, even (and especially) when you’re wearing tight bun-hugger shorts.  To me, commando is just more comfortable!  But I’m curious to know how many of you are wearing your knickers out there.

Do you wear underpants under your running clothes?  How would you defend your position to someone who takes the opposite stance?

Leave your skivvies in the comments!

Cinnamon made Salty Running, takes lots of pictures and drinks lots of coffee. By day she's a camera assistant for films and tv in New York, and by night she's on a quest for zen in the 10k. Her writing is a mix of satirical humor, finding wholeness as an average runner, cheering for runners at all paces and more.

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12 comments

  1. I am right with you (um, though in my case it would be the ‘man bits’ 🙂 ). All of my shorts have a liner and that is what I wear spring-summer-fall.

    However, in the winter (in upstate NY where I had more than 10 days with temps below -20F this past year) … I started two years ago wearing compression shorts under my heavy winter running tights, and last year bought some ‘runderwear’ to wear under the tights from November – March. Works great for wind and cold and keeps me from having to add another layer.

  2. When I first wore running shorts I didn’t understand that the liner was supposed to fill in for underwear and I wore underwear with my shorts and the liner! One day it clicked and the rest is history 🙂

    as for spandex, it’s meant to be worn with nothing underneath. If you have chafing issues, put some body glide on the offending area of the garment. If it’s cold then do whatcha gotta do to stay warm, but otherwise no underwear!

  3. Funny, I just blogged about that this week too. I’m finding that I’m in the minority. I ALWAYS wear underwear under my shorts/tights/spandex. I’ve tried running without and it just seems weird. I’ve been thinking about checking out the athletic underwear. I don’t know. I’m all confused by this. 🙂

  4. NO undies with shorts or buns, ever. I have a couple pair of capris and tights that are awesome, but have unfortunate seams – those sometimes require the dreaded undies if I’m going longer than an hour or so. But when given the choice and proper seams, all commando all the time. You gotta let those lady bits BREATHE!

  5. I appear to be in the minority. I ALWAYS wear underwear when I run. . .under my spandex shorts. This seems ridiculous when I think about it, but I feel like I get a wedgie when I don’t wear underwear and it just seems weird wearing only one layer. . .I have never had an issue with chafing and my current system works for me. I will not attempt to convince anyone else to change, but I’m also not planning on divesting of my dual-layer approach.

  6. Usually, and usually inside-out (so the tag and seams are on the outside). Though most underwear now is tagless. No underwear for race buns on race day.

  7. It depends on how I’m feeling. I’m all about just going with the shorts liner, but sometimes I’m too lazy to strip all the way down (can I still be lazy if I’m going out for a run??). I always wear undies under spandex or shorts with no liner. But on race days, I usually go sans underwear because, I don’t know, maybe I think it’ll make me fast without all that extra 2 oz. of weight. 😛