What Do Guys Wear Under Running Shorts?

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Sometimes, figuring out whether you should wear something underneath your running shorts can be a little complicated. But then, with the risk of chafing lurking, you have no choice but to ask, “what do guys wear under running shorts?” Well, let’s find out.

What do guys wear under running shorts?

What guys wear under running shorts depends on the type of running shorts they have. But generally, if your running shorts come with a liner, you do not need underwear.

man getting ready to start running field

However, if they don’t, you need underwear – preferably a pair with moisture-wicking fabric.

Below, we go over various pieces of clothing guys can wear under running shorts. We talk about how each option feels, the upsides, the downsides, and much more.

What Do Guys Wear Under Running Shorts?

What guys wear under running shorts ultimately depends on them. But as we already said, if your running shorts come with a liner, you do not have to wear anything under them.

On the flip side, if your running shorts do not have a liner, you should wear something under them to prevent chafing. The following are some options you can work with:


sporty man and woman running together  grass field

Speedos might not be the first option that pops up in your mind. But you’ll be surprised to know that many runners actually wear them beneath their running shorts.

Speedos are pretty comfortable to wear, especially during cold seasons and at night. With them, you are unlikely to experience chafing. But the issue is they might become uncomfortable in warmer seasons. Of course, if you can get Speedos with breathable material, you won’t experience as much discomfort in warm weather.

Compression Shorts

closeup view man running wearing Compression Shorts

The use of compression shorts under running shorts is pretty commonplace. In fact, wearing compression shorts under running shorts transcends running. Athletes wear them for virtually all sports, including football, soccer, and basketball.

The popularity of compression shorts is not surprising because of all the benefits they offer. Compression shorts are moisture-wicking, so you won’t feel irritated as moisture builds on your skin while running.

Besides wicking moisture, compression shorts provide muscle compression. This helps promote blood flow across the muscles.

With increased blood flow, more oxygen can reach the muscles and help remove lactic acid, making post-exercise recovery easier.

Compression shorts also eliminate the risks of chafing. Besides, they are pretty light, so they will not get in your way while you run.

Sports Underwear

young man and woman perform exercises wearing sportswear

Of course, sports underwear is one of the many things guys can wear under running shorts. While they come in various forms, sports underwear shares the mutual property of being moisture-wicking.

Typically made with materials like spandex, nylon, and polyester, sports underwear draws moisture away from your skin quickly, preventing irritation. The moisture-wicking also helps reduce heat while keeping you relatively fresh.

One downside to using sports underwear is the possibility of getting wedgies while you run. Because of their material, sports underwear sometimes travels upwards and gives you a wedgie when you are racing.

sideview feet athlete man running blue short

Wearing Running Shorts Without Underwear

You have the option to wear your running shorts without underwear. This is referred to as going commando.

Going commando is pretty commonplace amongst people wearing running shorts with a liner. But sometimes, those whose running shorts have no liner do it too. Unfortunately, there are a couple of downsides to this.

Wearing running shorts without a liner or underwear leaves the genitals unsupported. This may cause chafing. Apart from that, your private areas may be exposed through the collar of your shorts.

So, we recommend you wear underwear if your running shorts have no liner.

young athletic fit man running on track sunset

Why You Do Not Need Underwear When Your Running Shorts Have a Liner

  • You won’t have to deal with your underwear riding up if your running shorts already have a liner. As long as the running shorts are your ideal size, there will be no distraction from underwear riding up.
  • The liners in running shorts are typically made of moisture-wicking material. So, you do not need underwear to get the moisture out and keep you cool; the liner will do that.
  • Obviously, without underwear alongside your running shorts liner, you’d have one less layer of heat to worry about.
  • There is a chance that wearing underwear alongside your running shorts’ built-in underwear might cause chafing.
  • Built-in running shorts underwear is typically lighter and more breathable than regular underwear. So, by wearing them alone, you’ll enjoy more coolness and freedom without worrying about moisture or smell.

Choosing a Running Underwear

When choosing running underwear, pay attention to the following:


When choosing running underwear, opt for a fabric that has moisture-wicking properties.

Fabrics like spandex, polyester, elastane, polyamide, and nylon are top moisture-wicking materials. They will keep your thighs from chafing while preventing bacteria buildup.

As much as you can, avoid cotton.

Type of Running Shorts

As we have highlighted multiple times already, if your running shorts have a liner or built-in underwear, you do not need running underwear. Also, if you are running in compression shorts or tights, you do not need underwear.

Even if your running shorts do not come with built-in underwear, observe whether you are comfortable running in them without underwear. If you are, you may go commando. But if you aren’t, get underwear.

Your Preferences

Ask yourself what you want in your underwear. Do you want the compression that comes with compression shorts? Or do you want extra moisture-wicking?

You could try out various options to see which satisfies you the most. With each one, ensure you pay attention to how they prevent chafing. Once you find what works for you, keep using it until you find something better.

body man runner wearing blue athletic clothes

Final Thoughts

Guys may wear compression shorts, Speedos, or sports underwear under their running shorts. Then in some cases, if their running shorts come with built-in underwear, they may go commando (not wearing underwear). Sometimes, guys go commando with running shorts that have no built-in underwear. However, there are downsides to doing that.


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