Women might understand this better than men, but when you find a brand and cut of underwear that fits your body, you stay loyal. I discovered my perfect underwear about 10 years ago – I was perfect size medium low-rise bikini brief. I’d tell you the brand, but it’s a Secret, and irrelevant and you’ll soon see.
My underwear was perfect – it was low enough that they stayed inside my pants and provided enough coverage and elastic that they didn’t go up my butt. And then two things happened:
#1 – I lost 10 pounds during law school.
#2 – My brand changed the template for my perfect underwear.
My mediums in the old cut still fit but they’re starting to wear out and their replacements (same cut, size small) provide sufficient coverage and comfort except when I go running when they give me a wedgie.
I’ve only been running for a few years so I jumped on the running Subreddit to see what others had to say about underwear and running. I was surprised to see so many women reporting that they wore a thong or went commando when they ran.
Now, I don’t really get thongs. They have a purpose in my life, but it’s more about fashion than function, and that’s pretty short-lived. Since I don’t wear them in my real life, there’s no way I’m wearing one in my running life.
So I thought I’d give running commando a try. I have running shorts with a built-in liner so I suppose it was always obvious that they didn’t need underwear. My shorts have the loose liners (sewed in at the top but not snug to the body) so there’s plenty of movement in the fabric with each step – including the possibility that the liner could go up my ass. Bah! All three pairs of shorts did this and they’re all different brands/cuts/etc.
So back to the drawing board I went. Luckily someone suggested wearing compression shorts as underwear. Compression shorts are very tight and come in a variety of lengths. Given that I wanted mine to double as underwear, I was only interested in the ones with the 2.5” inseam. I tried on every pair available at my sporting goods store and I jogged in place in each pair in the dressing room to test which pair was right for me. I walked out with a pair of Asics low cut compression shorts.
Talk about tiny! These are shorts that will never be worn as a pair of stand-alone shorts outside my house. They work pretty well layered under my shorts but they need to be adjusted occasionally.
A few days later I was at my favorite running store, Runner’s Den, for new shoes. Now that I’m back into running 3-4 days a week, I needed shoes that can support my arches and accommodate how much my feet swell when I run. Runner’s Den has an awesome deal where you get a 20% discount on apparel when you buy shoes. I told the clerk about my challenges with underwear and running and he showed me Asics running shorts that have a built-in boxer brief.
I love these shorts! This is a pair you can wear commando because the built-in boxer brief makes underwear superfluous. The brief is snug but comfortable and stays in place when I run. They are a bit pricey, but I could see myself slowly switching out my old shorts with 1-2 more pairs of these and take advantage of the discount that comes with replacing my shoes.