Should you wear underwear during your runs and workouts?

By Takia McClendon

You probably know the feeling of finishing up your sweaty session only to find your butt a literal sweaty mess. You just crushed your spin class or your long run but it looks like you peed your pants. Yikes. 

We know it sounds cliche but the choice to wear underwear during a run or workout is really about personal preference. In this post, we discuss the case for and against wearing underwear. We also cover a few underwear options from some of our favorite brands. 

It gets personal. 


The case for underwear.

Wearing moisture wicking, performance underwear during a run or workout helps pull moisture away from the body. If you're uncomfortable going commando - not wearing any underwear at all - then you'll want to find yourself a few pairs that work for you. 

How will you know what a good pair looks and feels like? Here's what you need to know. 

  • Avoid 100% cotton: Although cotton is breathable, it doesn't do a good job pulling moisture away from the body. It takes a long time to dry and can cause rubbing in the vaginal area and chaffing on your booty and between your legs. How about no. 
  • Avoid lace and satin: Just don't do it. These fabrics aren't designed to take on the excessive sweating that is caused by working out. When you workout, your body can release a sweaty discharge that will leave you moist once it combines with sweat. You don't want that sitting around in your cute satin panties during Pilates. 
  • Go seamless: If you don't want a panty line, be sure to avoid underwear with seams. Seams can cause irritation if you have sensitive skin so avoid them when possible.  

Here are a few options that may work for you. 

Many of your favorite brands are in the business of developing underwear that allows women athletes to perform at their best. This list is designed to give you an idea of what types of fabrics and options are out there. 

Under Armour Pure Stretch Hipster -$12: Laser cut edges offer a hem-free construction for a smoother, more flattering silhouette, lightweight, 4-way stretch fabrication improves range of motion & dries faster, anti-microbial technology keeps your gear fresher, longer.  

P.S. This style is also available as a seamless thong. 

Shop here. 


THINX Sport Period Panties - $32: In addition to keeping you dry during your workout, THINX underwear double as period protection panties so you can get your workout on during your time of the month - without having to wear pads or tampons. 

A quick lesson on how THINX works: THINX is made up of four bits of tech that makes ‘em anti-microbial, moisture-wicking, absorbent, and leak-resistant. When you're on your period, THINX's top layer fights bacteria and absorbs any liquid into the über thin layer right beneath it, so you always stay dry.

Shop here.


Dear Kate Hazel Hipster Full - $38:  All Dear Kate underwear products are lined with Underlux technology. It's comprised of two super soft microfiber layers and a thin, silky outer layer. The fabric is moisture-wicking and leak-resistant, protecting you when you need it most.

Fabric content: 76% Nylon, 24% Lycra (body) / 90% Micropolyester, 10% Spandex (lining)

Shop here. 


So what if underwear isn't my thing? 

If wearing underwear during your workouts or runs does not sound appealing to you, don't worry, you're not alone. In fact, athletic wear brands have also been developing shorts, tights and workout pants that combine liners with top notch wicking fabrics to keep your skin safe when you go commando. These liners are usually made with synthetic materials that are designed to keep you dry.

Unfortunately, these liners aren't found in many spandex shorts and tights so using some of the options mentioned above could still be helpful. If that's a no go, try looking for some of the options below to wear when you go commando: 

Nike Pro Compression Short - $28: The Nike Pro 3" Cool - Compression Women's Training Shorts are designed with stretchy Dri-FIT fabric and an inseam panel for streamlined comfort and wide range of movement during workouts. Fabric: Body: Dri-FIT 80% polyester/20% spandex. Gusset lining: Dri-FIT 100% polyester.

Shop here. 


Oiselle (long or short) Flyte Short - $34: The Flyte seamless shorts are comfortably compressive, super wicking, antimicrobial and made to stay put. A powerful punch to any workout.  

- Arque™ Compression (86% poly / 11% nylon / 3% elastane)
- seamless construction
- wicking + anti-odor treatment

Shop here. 


New Balance Impact 4 inch 2-in-1 Short - $50: For your fiercest, fastest moves. With a boy-short underneath, our women's Impact 2-in-1 Short delivers comfort and modesty. Plus, sweat-wicking NB Dry technology helps keep you feeling great mile after mile, rep after rep. Material: 86% Polyester and 14% Spandex.

Shop here. 


If you're completely fine without wearing compression shorts, shorts with liners, or performance panties, that's ok too. We hear you girlfriend. Just make sure all of your workout bottoms are made with moisture wicking fabrics so that you can avoid infections and bacteria that love warm and moist environments. 

Do you have a favorite performance/technical underwear that you use during your workouts? Let us know in the comments below. 


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