The 8 Best Pairs of Underwear for Working Out

Find the perfect fit

Our editors independently research, test, and recommend the best products; you can learn more about our review process here. We may receive commissions on purchases made from our chosen links.

First Look

Best Overall: Mula Bandhawear Thong at lululemon

"The MicroModal fabric is unfathomably soft."

Best Budget: Comfort Stretch Thong at Third Love

"A smooth, seamless, silky option."

Best For Running: No Show Briefs at Sweaty Betty

"Give you coverage without feeling like it."

Best For CrossFit: Under Armour Women’s Pure Stretch at Amazon

"The ultimate in comfort."

Best for Yoga: Incognita Thong at Athleta

"Designed with yogis in mind."

Best Briefs: Patagonia Active Briefs at REI

"Moisture-wicking with odor control."

Best For Curves: ExOfficio Give-N-Go Brief at Amazon

"Ideal for keeping your body cool and dry."

Best For Men: Always in Motion Boxer at lululemon

"Exceptionally smooth, buttery fabric."

Our Top Picks

Best Overall: lululemon Mula Bandhawear Thong

Lululemon Mula Bandawear Thong

 Courtesy of Lululemon

The lululemon Mula Bandhawear thongs and briefs are so smooth you'll almost forget you're wearing them. The MicroModal fabric is unfathomably soft, light, and incredibly breathable. Aside from the heaven-sent material, the best feature is the waistband—somehow lululemon engineered the waist to not dig into your hips, allowing for a flat lay that is equal parts comfortable, unrestrictive, and discreet under leggings.

Wear them to the gym, indoor cycling class, or the kickboxing studio. They’ll stand the test of time, and that includes machine washes. Just make sure you tumble dry on low to keep them in tip-top shape.

Best Budget: Third Love Comfort Stretch Thong

Third Love Comfort Stretch Thong

Courtesy of Third Love

When you're working out, chances are you’re wearing skin-tight active leggings that show every lump and bump of undergarments. Go for a smooth, seamless, barely-there silky option from Third Love. You’ll get full coverage and won’t even remember you’re wearing them. Whether you’re stretching or taking a Pilates class and doing ab pikes on the Chair, you can rest easy knowing you’re not exposed, which will help you focus on your workout…or just how much your abs are on fire.

Best For Running: Sweaty Betty No Show Briefs

Sweaty Betty No Show Brief

Courtesy of Sweaty Betty 

Running with undies is a subject of debate. Most of the time, runners opt for either “going commando” in a pair of breathable tights, or they’ll wear a lined pair of shorts with built-in panties. For the other times (and for those who aren’t ready for the underwear-free lifestyle), the Sweaty Betty No Show Briefs are the next best thing.

With a like-nothing fit and feel, they give you coverage without feeling like it. They’re high stretch to move how you move, and the material is sweat-wicking (with a cotton liner) to keep you from staying sticky and uncomfortable. These briefs are seamless to reduce friction and chafing, and bonded edges keep them in place, so they won’t bunch or shift around when you’re sprinting through the streets, or turning up the speed on your treadmill.

Looking to step up your running game? Check out our article on the best treadmills.

Best For CrossFit: Under Armour Women’s Pure Stretch

CrossFit is one of the sweatiest activities you could possibly partake in. Make sure you’re wearing a panty that’ll allow for the most moisture-wicking and sweat evaporation when you’re demolishing AMRAPs and EMOM burpees. With no tags and a laser cut, these bikini-cut briefs from Under Armour are the ultimate in comfort so you can keep your focus on adding more weight to your squats.

The Pure Stretch fabric has a four-way stretch that allows you to get into all sorts of calisthenics without restriction. But arguably the coolest part of the fabric is its anti-odor technology, which “prevents the growth of odor-causing microbes.” The last thing you want after a sweaty workout is to stink, and that’s where these come in.

Looking for more options? Check out our roundup of the best CrossFit shoes for women.

Best for Yoga: Athleta Incognita Thong

Athleta Incognita Thong

Courtesy of Athleta 

The Incognita Thong from Athleta was specifically designed with yogis in mind. The lines are nearly invisible and the smooth, stretchy nylon and spandex blend moves with you as you conquer the toughest poses (yes, even crow pose). Made to stay put, the back center seam keeps them from slipping. They're safe to throw in the washing machine too, just make sure to line dry.

Need more yoga wear? Take a peek at our reviews of the best yoga pants.

Best Briefs: Patagonia Active Briefs

Patagonia Active Briefs

 Courtesy of Patagonia

These Active Briefs from Patagonia are comfortable, long-lasting, and Fair Trade Certified™. The fabric blend is breathable and features Polygiene® permanent odor control that works just as hard as you during your morning run. The material is moisture-wicking, so you'll stay dry no matter how hard you sweat. No need to worry about rolling or itching either: they lay flat and are completely tagless.

Best For Curves: ExOfficio Women's Give-N-Go Full Cut Brief

For hikes, trail runs, HIIT class, and beyond, this pair’s got coverage where and when you need it. These high-waisted stretchy briefs are moisture-wicking (sweat is drawn to the surface of the fabric to evaporate) and they incorporate odor-resistant technology (“Aegis Microbe Shield to prevent the build-up of odor-causing bacteria”) to keep things fresh, no matter how tough your workout gets.

With sizes up to 3X, they’re particularly accommodating for curves, and the 6-percent Lycra stretch allows for some wiggle room so they’ll comfortably conform to your body. Fans of ExOfficio sing praises thanks to their restriction-free breathability (particularly in size XL and up), plus a super comfortable fit (without digging) on curvy figures. Because they’re quick-drying, they’re ideal for keeping your body cool and dry, even in a hot outdoor summer workout. They come in a variety of beautiful colors, too.

Best For Men: lululemon Always in Motion Boxer

Lululemon Always In Motion Boxer

Courtesy of Lululemon

Revered as the underwear for active guys, the Always in Motion boxer from lululemon garners its accolades from exceptionally smooth, buttery fabric (known as Modal) that stays in place no matter how your body’s moving. They’re breathable and sweat-wicking, which cuts down on any and all sogginess and discomfort, and they’re machine washable.

These are a boxer brief more so than a traditional boxer, so they’re figure-forming and hug tightly to the body. This particular style comes in a few lengths; 5 inches for a higher cut and 7 inches for more coverage. They also come in multipacks if you need multiple pairs.

Our Process

Our writers spent 10 hours researching the most popular pairs of underwear for working out on the market. Before making their final recommendations, they considered 48 different pairs of underwear overall, screened options from 24 different brands and manufacturers, read over 100 user reviews (both positive and negative), and tested 4 of the pairs of underwear themselves. All of this research adds up to recommendations you can trust.

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