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Workout Underwear: 7 Best Pairs For Every Type Of Exercise

A man wearing some of the best workout underwear (WAMA hemp underwear) while doing yoga in a park.

According to Elle Woods, “Exercise gives you endorphins. Endorphins make you happy.” But boob sweat, butt sweat, and vagina sweat do not make me happy! Luckily, a solid pair of workout underwear goes a long way in providing that essential breathability and moisture-wicking goodness that keeps things fresh. I’m back on board, Elle.

The secret comes down to breathable underwear that keeps you dry while exercising. Nothing beats hemp when it comes to breathability, but you may be surprised to learn what fabrics make the best moisture-wicking workout underwear. Either way, I’m giving you my best tips on the best underwear for working out.

Boy Shorts

The Perfect Pair of Full Coverage Underwear

 

Hemp Boy Shorts

The Perfect Pair of

Full Coverage Underwear


WHAT IS WORKOUT UNDERWEAR

Really? You need underwear specific to exercise?? Please.

This was my reaction when my BF showed me his new mens boxer briefs for running. Well, after trying my own pair of workout-approved underwear, I wiped that judgemental look off my face and quickly became a fan. The best underwear for working out is the kind that keeps you dry and limits moisture buildup in your undies and your bra—and, trust me, it’s amazing.

A man and woman wearing WAMA underwear, the best brand for workout underwear.

Imagine this: running on a treadmill, attending yoga, or quietly sobbing in a pilates class, all while staying fresh. It’s an athlete’s dream and worth the extra penny. When it comes to finding the best workout underwear, you should focus on two criteria: fabrics and performance. You want to maintain a nice airflow while keeping moisture to a minimum.

 

BEST WORKOUT UNDERWEAR: FABRICS

WAMA uses a hemp fabric blend to make underwear because the material checks nearly all the boxes for the best workout underwear. Compared to other natural fabrics and synthetic fabrics, it’s one of the most durable and breathable, plus it’s soft, contains no toxins or chemicals, and makes naturally antibacterial underwear. This is a huge plus since your undies spend all day in areas vulnerable to bacterial growth.

Is hemp stronger than steel? Believe it or not, it is! So by wearing hemp clothing brands, you’re sporting some of the strongest fabric—perfect for exercising.

A woman doing yoga on the beach while wearing WAMA workout underwear.


BEST WORKOUT UNDERWEAR: PERFORMANCE

The perfect underwear for working out will be breathable, antibacterial, and moisture-wicking. You already know that hemp is a front runner, but, unfortunately, it’s not a moisture-wicking material. The best fabrics that wick away moisture are synthetic varieties, like nylon and polyester. The only natural material to join the ranks is wool, but it doesn’t perform as well as synthetic.

Be a bit wary of synthetics, especially when it comes to your underwear. Your bras and undies sit on you all day, every day, and synthetics can cause bacteria buildup, especially in polyester. One study put exercise-induced bacteria growth and textiles to the test and found that synthetics attracted Micrococcus bacteria almost 100% of the time, even on clothes mixed with other materials.

Overall, your skin and body should sport sustainable fabrics. But if moisture-wicking is at the top of your list, opt for recycled synthetics or undies blended with other natural materials, like hemp, linen, or bamboo.

A couple wearing the best underwear for working out play in the grass.


BEST UNDERWEAR FOR WORKING OUT: STYLE GUIDE

Different exercises call for different types of underwear, so your best pair for running may differ from those you wear to lift weights. I’ve listed different underwear styles matched with exercise types.

 

THONGS: YOGA, WALKING, LIGHT EXERCISE

Thong underwear is an excellent option for any exercise using leggings. With this workout underwear, you won’t have to worry about bunching or panty lines while bending, stretching, and falling while attempting the crow pose (maybe that’s just me…). Stick with weed underwear (hemp) for thongs since they spend a lot of time up in your crack where bacteria mingle.

 

BOY SHORTS: YOGA, PILATES, FLOOR EXERCISES, HIKING

Boy shorts underwear is also a great option for under leggings or any exercise where you’re moving positions a lot. They offer more coverage and hug around the hips and upper thighs, so you know they’ll stay in place.

 A woman wearing womens briefs, the perfect workout underwear.


HIPSTERS & WOMENS BRIEFS: RUNNING, CARDIO, BIKING

When doing cardio exercises, like running or playing active sports, opt for hipster panties or bikini underwear. You’re moving quickly, so you don’t need too much coverage (but probably more than a thong).

 

RACERBACK BRALETTE: ALL

The racerback bralette is like a sports bra, so you can use it for any type of exercise. It’s a pullover style with more coverage than a traditional bra. Plus, it hugs your boobs inward to keep them snug but not restricted. When it comes to the best underwear for working out, a hemp bra does the trick!

 

MENS BOXER BRIEFS & TRUNKS: RUNNING, CARDIO, BIKING

Stick to trunks underwear or mens boxer briefs when running or enjoying cardio exercise. These two styles fit snug around your body, keeping everything in place without bunching. If you prefer a shorter style, opt for trunks.

A man looking out the window wearing mens boxer briefs.

MENS BOXERS & BRIEFS: WEIGHT LIFTING, YOGA, FLOOR EXERCISES, HIKING

Mens boxers and mens briefs work great for slower activities. They both offer support but don’t inhibit movement. Boxers stay loose while briefs don’t extend down your leg, so you won’t need to adjust while exercising.

 

TOP 7 BEST PAIRS OF WORKOUT UNDERWEAR

Now that I’ve detailed why workout underwear is important and what type of styles are best for different exercises, let’s get to the best-of list! I scoured the internet for the best pairs that tick the breathability, moisture-wicking, and/or antibacterial boxes, all important when finding workout-approved undies.


1. WAMA BOY SHORTS, RACERBACK BRALETTE & TRUNKS UNDERWEAR

Two women wearing WAMA hemp underwear, some of the best underwear for working out.

You know that hemp isn’t moisture-wicking, but the other benefits of this natural material make it one of the best options. In the end, even compared to other fabrics, such as hemp vs cotton or hemp vs bamboo, hemp is always the clear winner. You never have to worry about getting too sweaty (or smelly), even on race day or in the middle of a hot yoga class.

BEST WORKOUT UNDERWEAR RECS

All WAMA underwear offers the same benefits for workout underwear, but my personal favorites are boy shorts underwear and the racerback bralette. They’re super comfy and provide more coverage, so I can wear them on their own if I want. For men, give the trunks underwear a try—they’re just like boxer briefs but with a shorter inseam, so an optimal pair for working out.

WEBSITE


2. SWEATY BETTY SEAMLESS HIPSTER BRIEFS

A group of women smiling and laughing while wearing Sweaty Betty underwear.

WHY YOU'LL LOVE IT

The name says it all! Sweaty Betty uses a blend of modal (a wood-based pulp fiber) to make their underwear, so you get a lightweight and breathable pair. Modal is semi-synthetic, so it’s a good alternative (although not as good as hemp in terms of durability and breathability). Plus, they’re super soft.

BEST WORKOUT UNDERWEAR RECS

The company’s Barely There collection offers a light seamless version of almost any women’s underwear styles, but I recommend the seamless hipster briefs. These will cover just enough of your bum without risking panty lines under your leggings.

WEBSITE


3. LULULEMON CHEEKY BIKINI & MENS BOXERS

A woman doing pushups on the stairs wears gear and workout underwear from Lululemon.

WHY YOU'LL LOVE IT

Lululemon makes athletic clothes geared toward yoga enthusiasts, so you know they’re masters of sweat. Their underwear uses a unique mesh structure that enhances breathability. The company also uses semi-synthetic modal material to get those moisture-wicking and quick-drying benefits.

BEST WORKOUT UNDERWEAR RECS

Ladies can go for the Awake to Lace Cheeky Bikini, which gives a lacey look without causing any tell-tale signs under your leggings. Plus, the mesh fabric keeps things breezy down there. Men can try the Always in Motion line, which produces mesh boxers in various lengths. You can get as much or as little coverage as you want!

WEBSITE


4. PATAGONIA ACTIVE BRIEFS & A/C™ BOXER BRIEFS

A man mountain biking through the forest wearing Patagonia clothing.

WHY YOU'LL LOVE IT

Patagonia is an outdoor clothing staple, so the company knows how to create gear for getting sweaty. They opt for moisture-wicking since they’re all about exercise, so they use a blend of Tencel lyocell (a semi-synthetic), elastane jersey, and recycled nylon. They also use plant-based treatments to help with moisture-wicking and odor control.

BEST WORKOUT UNDERWEAR RECS

Women’s active briefs feature both HeiQ® Fresh and miDori® bioSoft, two natural treatments that help control moisture and odors. They work perfectly for cardio exercise. Men’s A/C™ Boxer Briefs uses the signature fabric blend to help keep things breezy and dry down there.

WEBSITE


5. EXOFFICIO BOY SHORTS & SPORT MESH BOXER BRIEF

A man and a woman running on the beach wearing ExOfficio workout underwear.

WHY YOU'LL LOVE IT

As another brand specific to sports and exercises, you’ll find lots of synthetic fabrics, meaning moisture-wicking, quick-drying, and anti-microbial benefits. The company uses treatments to help control odor and a design that reduces chafing. You’ll also enjoy mesh construction for better breathability and airflow while you work out.

BEST WORKOUT UNDERWEAR RECS

Men can wear the Give-N-Go 2.0 Sport Mesh collection, which offers various inseams. They hug your hips and keep things in all the right places, with breathable, moisture-wicking, and odor control properties. Women can go with the Sport 2.0 Boy Shorts, which are breathable, quick-drying, and have the same anti-odor treatments for longer-lasting freshness.

WEBSITE


6. KNIX SUPER LEAKPROOF BOY SHORTS

A woman sits near a couch wearing Knix underwear.

WHY YOU'LL LOVE IT

Knix is known for its period underwear and swimwear. Say what?! Period swimwear—where do I sign up? Basically, this means they know a thing or two about how to control moisture. This company is just for women, and you’ll get a nylon and lycra blend with a multi-layer gusset lined with cotton, polyester, modal, and/or seaweed fabric. This gusset can absorb up to 8 tbsp of sweat!

BEST WORKOUT UNDERWEAR RECS

Choose from different absorbency levels depending on how hard your workouts are, but if you’re known to sweat like me, opt for the “Super” option. Knix boy shorts are a bit smaller than typical boy shorts or boxers for women, so they work well for any type of exercise.

WEBSITE


7. TOMMY JOHN & COOL COTTON TRUNK

A couple lying in bed wear Tommy John breathable workout underwear.

WHY YOU'LL LOVE IT

Tommy John uses Pima cotton, the sister of Egyptian cotton, to make the company’s “Cool Cotton” collection. Pima cotton has longer fibers than other species, so it’s more durable, softer, and breathable than traditional cotton. According to Tommy John’s website, their Pima cotton underwear keeps you 2-3x cooler than regular cotton and dries 4-5x faster.

BEST WORKOUT UNDERWEAR RECS

To test out this fancy cotton variety, men can try the Cool Cotton Trunk, which fits well for any type of exercise. Women can try the Cool Cotton High Rise Brief. I love the shape of this pair, which would work well under high-rise leggings for anything from hiking to running to yoga.

WEBSITE

Hemp Boxer Briefs

The Most Comfortable Pair of

Men's Underwear

 

Hemp Boxer Briefs

The Most Comfortable Pair of

Men's Underwear


WEAR THE BEST BECAUSE YOUR SORE BODY DESERVES THE BEST

Maybe you love working out, or perhaps you’re more like me and need at least two weeks to work up the motivation. Either way, exercise is hard, and your body deserves workout underwear that will keep it fresh, cool, and moving despite the sweat. You probably already focus on getting a supportive pair of sneakers and the right workout clothes, so your underwear should be no different!

What’s your go-to exercise or sport, and what’s the best underwear for working out for you? Lemme know in the comments!





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