The 9 Best Underwear for Running of 2020

Stay dry, cool, and chafe-free with these comfortable undies

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 for Men: Under Armour Boxerjock Boxer Briefs at Amazon

"The fabric provides a lightweight, comfortable fit."

Best Overall for Women: Balanced Tech Seamless Bikini Briefs at Amazon

"The seamless style minimizes chafing and visible panty lines."

Best Budget for Men: New Balance Boxer Brief at Amazon

"The four-way stretch fabric supports you every step of your run."

Best Budget for Women: Reebok Seamless Hipster Panties at Amazon

"Reasonably-priced, quality athletic underwear."

Best for Marathons: Runderwear Performance Underwear at Amazon

"Fans swear by the quality and performance."

Best Thong: New Balance Breathe Thong Underwear at Amazon

"The four-way stretch fabric is breathable."

Best Odor-Resistant: Adidas Sport Performance Boxer Briefs at Amazon

"Feature a soft, elastic waistband and smooth stitching."

Best Quick-Drying: ExOfficio Briefs at Amazon

"Just the right amount of elasticity and breathability."

Best for Chafing: Under Armor Stretch Hipster Underwear at Amazon

"The fit and moisture-wicking you need in a pair of running underwear."

Our Top Picks

Best Overall for Men: Under Armour 6" Boxerjock Boxer Briefs

running underwear

Under Armour 

With four-way polyester/elastane stretch fabric, these Boxerjock boxer briefs from Under Armour allow for exceptional mobility while you’re running. The fabric provides a lightweight, comfortable fit and is moisture-wicking, so chafing during your long training runs isn’t an issue. Anti-odor technology also helps prevent the growth of odor-causing bacteria.

They’re so comfortable that you may even want to wear them when you’re not running. Choose from multiple colors and sizes small to 4XL to find the ones perfect for your next run.

Need more gear ideas? Check out our roundup of the best cushioned running shoes for men.

Best Overall for Women: Balanced Tech Women's Classic Seamless Hipster Bikini Briefs

With exceptional moisture-control, comfort, and durability, these bikini briefs from Balanced Tech are ideal for female runners. They’re made of a super-soft, comfortable, and lightweight nylon and elastane fabric. The four-way stretch allows them to hug and conform to your body, providing excellent support, without being too tight or binding.

The seamless style minimizes chafing and visible panty lines, while the anti-odor and moisture-wicking technology keep you dry, fresh, and comfortable. This pair features a high waistband, which is a plus if you like good coverage, but something to consider if you prefer to run in low-cut shorts or pants and short tops.

Best Budget for Men: New Balance Men's Boxer Brief

Stock up on these affordable boxer briefs from trusted running brand New Balance, so you can put off doing laundry a bit longer. Made of a lightweight polyester-spandex fabric, they’re breathable and wick away sweat, keeping you feeling dry and fresh.

The four-way stretch fabric supports you every step of your run, while the no-ride inseam saves you from annoying bunching or rubbing. A solid choice especially for distance runners, they’re available in sizes small to XX-large in a wide selection of colors and patterns.

Best Budget for Women: Reebok Women’s Seamless Hipster Panties

running underwear


Running underwear made of technical, quick-dry fabric are definitely pricier than the regular cotton varieties, but there are still bargains to be found. Comfortable, soft, and stretchy, these women’s seamless hipster panties from Reebok are a good value. They also stay in place, so there’s no need to adjust on the run and you don’t have to worry about them slipping down, riding up, or causing wedgies. They’re available in a package of five, in a variety of sizes and colors. If you’re looking to stock up on reasonably-priced, quality athletic underwear, they’re a good choice.

Looking for more options? Read our article on the best stability running shoes for women.

Best for Marathons: Runderwear Performance Underwear

running underwear

Marathon runners need underwear that’s comfortable and won’t ride up, bunch, or chafe, and Runderwear Performance underwear checks all those boxes. Made of a breathable, technical fabric, their women’s full-coverage boy shorts are perfect under running shorts, capris, or leggings. Their men’s briefs are lightweight and durable with exceptional moisture-wicking capabilities, so they’ll keep you dry and comfortable, even when logging high mileage.

Runderwear’s technical fabric also helps with temperature control, so you’ll stay cool when it’s hot heat and warm when running in the cold. The seamless technology and flatlock edging provide further protection from chafing and irritation, allowing you to run further without discomfort or distraction. While Runderwear underwear certainly isn’t cheap, but fans swear by the quality and performance and say they’re well worth the price. 

Best Thong: New Balance Breathe Thong Underwear

While they may not be for everyone, thongs are the underwear of choice for some women, who love their comfort and performance when running. Super-soft and lightweight, these New Balance thongs feature a four-way stretch fabric that’s breathable, quick-drying, and allows for a wide range of movement.

The tagless, seamless design helps to eliminate chafing and avoid panty lines when you’re running in form-fitting, thin shorts or leggings. They’ll help with moisture and odor control, with no worries about them bunching up or digging in. If you’d like to wear underwear when running but also want to feel as if you don’t have any on, these are a great pick.

Best Odor-Resistant: Adidas Men's Sport Performance Climalite Boxer Brief Underwear

If you frequently run outdoors in warm weather, these boxer briefs from Adidas would be a perfect addition to your running attire. Made from 100% polyester that wicks away moisture to keep you cool and dry, they’re also treated with anti-odor technology to fight the stink from all that sweat. They also feature a soft, elastic waistband, double-lined support pouch, and smooth stitching, to keep you comfortable and chafe-free. 

Best Quick-Drying: ExOfficio Briefs

running underwear

ExOfficio underwear are the perfect blend of nylon and Lycra, giving them just the right amount of elasticity and breathability. They’re snug enough that they stay in place regardless of how much you’re moving, but they’re not too tight that they feel constricting. Both the men’s and women’s briefs are odor-resistant and antibacterial, so you can keep the funky smells under control. They also feature exceptional quick-drying and moisture-wicking capabilities to prevent irritation and chafing.

Take a peek at our reviews of the best cooling running gear.

Best for Chafing: Under Armor Women’s Stretch Hipster Underwear

Any female runner who has experienced chafing in the groin area knows the importance of wearing athletic underwear that doesn’t rub, bunch, or stay wet from sweat. Made from a combination of elastane and nylon, these Under Armor Stretch Hipster underwear give you the fit and moisture-wicking you need in a pair of running underwear. The high cut and snug fit give you ample coverage with no worries about them riding up or falling down. They also don’t have any hems or tags to rub and irritate skin. Stylish and comfortable, these durable underwear are perfect for female runners who want to stay dry and chafe-free.

Our Process

Our writers spent 7.5 hours researching the most popular underwear for running on the market. Before making their final recommendations, they considered 25 different pairs overall, screened options from 14 different brands and manufacturers, and read over 500 user reviews (both positive and negative). All of this research adds up to recommendations you can trust.

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