If you’re looking to enhance your running wardrobe, it’s really a good idea to start with the foundations. Which is why we’ve taken it upon ourselves to gather a list of the best running underwear for men.
Over several months of testing, we put a range of options through the mill and marked them against a range of criteria including fit, support, comfort, moisture wicking and value.
What makes the best running underwear for men?
Before we dive into our list of the best running underwear for men, it’s worth considering exactly what you need to be looking for.
Comfort has to be key. We like to see soft fabrics, minimal (or flatlocked) seams and an uninhibited range of movement. Support is equally as important, but the level you need will depend on your personal preferences and the intensity or duration of your exercise.
For high intensity or long sessions, we like to have a high level of support, but too much can feel uncomfortable.
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Finally, when covering the sort of distances many triathletes do, it’s nice to see fabrics that wick moisture away effectively. This goes a long way in the comfort stakes and the best running underwear for men will feel almost dry to the touch after use.
Fabric choice is likely to impact the above points greatly. Natural fabrics such as Merino wool are anti-bacterial and stay warm when wet, but aren’t best known for their durability or ability to wick away moisture.
Synthetic fabrics, meanwhile, can wick moisture away expertly, but tend to deliver less warmth per weight and don’t have those handy anti-bacterial, anti-odour properties. Having said that, they often come with an anti-odour treatment.
That all said, it’s time to turn to the products themselves.
Best running underwear for men
Runderwear Men’s Running Boxer Shorts
This offering from Runderwear really hits the mark. The seamless construction and soft feel of the fabric ensure optimum comfort, and we experienced zero chafing.
Moisture management was equally as impressive, with sweat being wicked away well. You’ll also find significant levels of support on offer, ensuring these are suited to both low and high-intensity sessions.
Meanwhile, the fabric allows for a full range of movement, while silicone leg grippers help keep them in place during exercise.
Verdict: A popular choice for a reason – no criticisms from us.
CMP Core XP Boxer Short
The first thing to note about the CMP XP Boxer Short is that it’s incredibly comfortable. That’s down to several things, including the use of bonded seams, a four-way stretch material and a special waistband that uses the brand’s C-Cut technology.
The latter is designed to reduce pressure on soft tissue and distribute it more effectively. In practice it works extremely well and we had no comfort issues whatsoever.
These boxers fit closely and offer a lot of support, while any moisture generated is wicked away effectively. If we were to pick fault with anything, it’s that other products are a little better to look at, but that’s no big issue.
Verdict: Comfort and support reign supreme.
Saxx Kinetic HD
Unlike the CMP and Runderwear options on test, the Saxx Kinetic HD boxers do have seams, but they’re flatlocked, so we didn’t experience any discomfort whatsoever.
Impressively, they wicked moisture away with ease, while range of movement was entirely unhindered. The fit is close, but not restrictive which, combined with the brand’s trademark BallPark Pouch, offers very good support.
If you’re not familiar with the BallPark Pouch, it’s essentially a hammock-shaped pocket that’s designed to keep everything in place. It not only offers support, but also helps prevent skin-on-skin friction and chafing.
There’s still not quite as much support as the Runderwear or CXP models, but we found it plenty for providing ample comfort in longer or higher intensity sessions. There are also a range of designs available, meaning you can choose something that suits you.
Verdict: Fantastic moisture management and top performance.
Montane Primino 140 Boxers
As the name suggests, Montane’s Primino Boxers utilise a combination of Merino wool (50%), a PrimaLoft synthetic fibre (25%) and polyester (25%). The idea is that the material will achieve the best of both – the moisture wicking and durability associated with synthetic fibres and the warmth and anti-bacterial properties of natural fibres.
In practice, it works pretty well. We found the moisture management to be an improvement on pure Merino options, but not quite as impressive as Saxx and Runderwear’s submissions. The inclusion of Merino does help in the odour resistance department, though.
The material felt nice against the skin and the low profile flatlocked seams ensured zero, but a short, hipster-style cut meant the legs did ride up a little, which sacrificed top-end comfort a little.
We found the support on offer to be more than adequate, sitting somewhere between the looser Merino options and the closer-fitting Runderwear or CXP samples.
Verdict: Impressive performance, but not quite as comfortable as some others on test.
BAM Air Regular Fitted Bamboo Boxers
Bamboo is a luxuriously soft material, but it also has a number of other benefits. Besides being uber comfortable, the fabric is also known to help regulate your temperature, is anti-bacterial and is more sustainable than many other fabrics.
On test here is BAM’s Air Regular Bamboo Boxers. As we’ve just alluded to, they’re incredibly comfortable, being super soft against the skin and allowing for an uninhibited range of movement.
That being said, support is also minimal, and after numerous uses the boxers do loosen up slightly, but they still fit well. That may or may not be an issue for you (it wasn’t for us), but it’s worth noting if you like having additional support for high-intensity sessions.
They don’t deal quite so well with moisture as some of the synthetic garments tested here, either, but are only slightly less effective than many Merino options.
Verdict: Incredibly comfort, but support and moisture management are lacking.
Smartwool Merino Sport 150 Boxer Brief
Although the name suggests these boxers are made of Merino wool, it’s worth noting that they’re actually a blend of both that (56%) and polyester (44%). That means they’re more durable and better at moisture management than pure Merino options.
Having said that, their ability to wick moisture away wasn’t quite on par with Runderwear, CXP and Saxx. We liked the odour resistance and temperature regulation that comes with Merino wool too.
The fit was as expected; close, but not as fitted as the three other brands I’ve already mentioned here. This means that there’s not quite as much support on offer, but we didn’t find that an issue.
We were pleased with how comfortable these boxers were, with an unhindered range of movement and flatlocked seams combining to great effect. not as great as wicking but warm and comfortable. The Merino-lined waistband was also a nice touch, but is not as low profile as some of the other options on test here.
Verdict: Comfortable, high-quality boxers, but loses points for moisture management.
Kalenji Men’s Seamless Running Boxers
With an RRP of just £12.99, these boxers from Decathlon are the cheapest on test. That’s an amazing price for a pair of seamless running boxers, but they do come with their issues.
The main one is that the sizing is completely off. We ordered in our usual size and yet the fit was so restrictive we felt as if we were being vacuum packed. It made the boxers entirely unwearable, so you’ll definitely want to consider sizing up at least one size, but maybe two.
If you can get a good fit, these boxers are actually pretty comfortable. The fabric is luxuriously soft and the seamless construction is a dream. Due to the close-fitting nature of them, they’ll also be supportive.
Moisture management was reasonable, while range of movement remained unhindered. Being constructed of a mix of polyester, polyamide and elastane, they’re not particularly odour resistant either.
Verdict: If you can get the sizing sorted out, these are a good budget buy.