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Which women’s running underwear is best?

Everyone has their own preference when it comes to whether they should wear underwear while running. But if you choose to wear underwear, it’s important to wear the right kind. Everyday underwear, especially if made from cotton, can cause chafing or overheating during exercise. Running underwear is designed to stay in place and wick away sweat for a comfortable, more hygienic run.

If you’re looking for a top pair of women’s running underwear, check out the ExOfficio Women’s Give-n-Go Sport Mesh Hipkini

What to know before you buy women’s running underwear


If you’ve ever worn regular underwear while running or at the gym, chances are you’ve experienced chafing. Chafing is what happens when there’s too much moisture (such as sweat), and friction and fabric irritate the skin. Running underwear can prevent chafing.

Moisture-wicking properties

One of the most important considerations for running underwear is its ability to wick away moisture. Moisture-wicking underwear can wick away sweat and reduce the risk of yeast infections.

Many moisture-wicking running undergarments also have antimicrobial properties. This helps keep bacteria from growing, which in turn prevents skin irritations or infection.


During the winter or chilly fall days, look for running underwear that is thicker and provides more coverage. A pair of boy shorts is a good option. On warmer days, opt for a lighter pair like a mesh hipkini.

Wearing underwear vs. going commando

There are some advantages to wearing running underwear. It can prevent stains from appearing on your running pants or shorts. It also provides more coverage and warmth while running in colder conditions. Plus, depending on the fabric of your outer layer, running underwear can prevent chafing.

There are also benefits to going commando. Running without underwear means better breathability and a reduced chance of infection or yeast buildup. For many, it also provides a more comfortable overall experience.

If you haven’t already tried both options, give them a shot before deciding whether to get running underwear. Another option is to get a pair of running shorts with a liner.

What to look for in quality women’s running underwear

Style and fit

The most common options for fit are medium-rise, low-rise and high-rise. The fit is largely based on personal preference and the type of running pants or shorts you wear.

As for style, there are also several options. Some running underwear, like thongs or bikini panties, provides basic or minimal coverage. Other types, like briefs or boy shorts, provide full or medium coverage. Just as with fit, the type you choose depends on you. Just make sure it fits well. No running underwear should ride up or leave marks along your waist or upper legs.


Visible seams are awkward if you’re wearing running tights or tight-fitting shorts. If this is a concern for you, get running underwear with flat-lock, or invisible, seams instead. Even if you don’t mind having visible seams, flat-lock seams may be better, since they can prevent discomfort and chafing while exercising.


Any type of workout clothes should be made from the right type of material. While this can vary based on preference and weather, there are a few things to be aware of.

Never wear cotton. Cotton is great for absorbing moisture, but it takes a long time to dry. Plus, it can only absorb so much. After a certain point, any excess sweat will simply stay on your skin. With cotton undergarments, bacterial and yeast infections are a big problem.

Instead, choose polyester, nylon, spandex or wool. And make sure it’s breathable, moisture-wicking and antibacterial.


Some running underwear, especially boy shorts, offers compression. Although this option has a tighter fit than other running underwear, it can also improve performance, minimize the risk of injury and reduce chafing.

Control top

Some women’s running underwear has a control top. This can help flatten your stomach, as well as keeping your running pants from slipping while running.

How much you can expect to spend on women’s running underwear

A high-quality pair of women’s running underwear will cost around $12-$25. 

Women’s running underwear FAQ

Are women’s running underwear elastic?

A. Some have an elastic, seamless waistband that provides more comfort and mobility while running.

How can I keep running underwear clean?

A. As with other athletic clothes, you should wash your running underwear regularly. Usually, it’s safe to wash it in the washing machine with cold water. Let it air dry.

What’s the best women’s running underwear to buy?

Top women’s running underwear

ExOfficio Women’s Give-n-Go Sport Mesh Hipkini

ExOfficio Women’s Give-n-Go Sport Mesh Hipkini

What you need to know: Made with nylon and Lycra, this underwear is great for any type of exercise, from running marathons to hiking mountains to doing yoga.

What you’ll love: The material is antimicrobial, quick-drying, moisture-wicking and highly breathable. It’s comfortable enough to wear under any running tights or shorts as well.

What you should consider: Since they’re a hipkini, they sit lower on the waist and may ride down a little while running.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Top women’s running underwear for the money

Balanced Tech Women’s 6-Pack Seamless Hipster Brief Bikini Panties

Balanced Tech Women’s 6-Pack Seamless Hipster Brief Bikini Panties

What you need to know: If you’re looking for a pack of high-quality running underwear at an affordable price, this is a great option.

What you’ll love: With six pairs of running underwear, this pack will last nearly a week before you have to do laundry. Each pair is tag-less and seamless for a barely there look and feel. The underwear also has moisture-wicking properties, is breathable and prevents chafing. Plus, with four-way stretch, you can wear it while doing any type of exercise.

What you should consider: The sizing is a little small.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Worth checking out

Balanced Tech Women’s Wicking Performance Seamless Thong Panties

Balanced Tech Women’s Wicking Performance Seamless Thong Panties

What you need to know: For those who want a different fit, these running thong panties are a great option.

What you’ll love: Comfortable, moisture-wicking and tag-less, these are stretchy and durable enough to withstand intense exercise. They’re also antibacterial and antimicrobial, making them a great option for those prone to yeast or bacterial infections. Plus, they’re resistant to odors.

What you should consider: The size chart isn’t accurate, so it can be difficult to find the right size.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon


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Angela Watson writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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