Best Women's Running Underwear

Updated November 2019
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BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.Read more 
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Why trust BestReviews?
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Read more  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.Read more 
How we decided

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

23 Models Considered
6 Hours Researched
1 Experts Interviewed
261 Consumers Consulted
Zero products received from manufacturers.

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

Buying guide for best women’s running underwear

Last Updated November 2019

Some runners prefer to go commando, but if you’re not interested in an underwear-free running experience, finding the right pair of running undies is key. Whether you’re training for a fast 5K or a marathon that will test your patience and endurance, you’ll want underwear that does more work than your standard-variety cotton undies.

During a workout, women’s running underwear wicks away moisture and sweat and keeps odors under control. The breathable material helps keep you fresh and comfortable even in the hottest conditions. A good pair of women’s running underwear also sits comfortably on your body and doesn’t bunch up as you start to move.

You took the time to choose top-notch shoes, socks, and tights for your running wardrobe, so don’t drop the ball when choosing undergarments. Our buying guide covers everything you need to know about picking running underwear that will carry you through training and beyond. You’ll find our top five pairs in the matrix above.

Women’s running underwear isn’t only for running. Wear running underwear for any type of exercise you enjoy, from walking to cycling to yoga.

Key considerations

Moisture-wicking

When things heat up during a workout, a pair of running tights may not be enough to sop up sweat. A pair of women’s running underwear made of moisture-wicking fabric will keep wetness under control and prevent you from leaving moisture spots on your car seat post-run. Moisture-wicking women’s running underwear also helps to keep yeast infections at bay.

Control top

High-waisted running undies help flatten the stomach, which may increase comfort levels while running. Women’s running underwear with a control top may also give you a confidence boost and may even keep the waistband on your running tights from rolling down.

Easy-care comfort

The ExOfficio Women’s Give-n-Go Sports Mesh Hipkini is an ultra-breathable pair of running underwear with a mid-rise design that stays put and wicks moisture effectively. The blend of nylon and spandex offers a stretchy, comfortable fit.

Warmth

Women’s running underwear made from a thicker fabric or with a boy short fit is the perfect choice for winter running. The extended coverage of boy shorts keeps you warm even on windy days. For extra protection, opt for winter underwear with windproof panels.

Chafing prevention

A pair of women’s running underwear can also reduce chafing. If you experience painful rubbing around your inner thighs while running, a pair of running underwear can prevent chafing by stopping your skin from rubbing against itself while also protecting you from exposed interior seams on your running shorts or tights.

EXPERT TIP

Choose women’s running underwear with a comfortable band. It shouldn’t roll down while you run. Good-quality running underwear stays put even during vigorous workouts.


Staff  | BestReviews

Features

Fit

Like regular underwear, women’s running underwear is available in different rises, including low-rise, medium-rise, and high-rise. The best rise for you depends on what you find most comfortable and the rise of your running shorts or tights.

Women’s running underwear varies in terms of coverage as well. If you prefer a full-coverage pair, choose between boy shorts or full briefs. For lighter coverage, cheeky and thong options are also available.

The fit of your running underwear should feel supportive but not overly tight. Go up a size if you notice that the waistband or leg holes are leaving marks on your skin. Underwear should be the last thing you’re thinking about when you’re running. If you’re tugging and pulling at your running underwear in any way, it’s time to try a new pair.

Material

The number one rule when purchasing running garments – or any workout gear for that matter – is to stay away from cotton. Cotton readily sops up sweat and moisture but dries incredibly slowly. If you wear cotton underwear on a long run, you’ll be left bathing in sweat. Because cotton dries so slowly, wearing wet underwear made of this material for too long may increase your risk of yeast or bacterial infections.

There are a variety of technical fabrics that are far superior to cotton. The choice isn’t limited to synthetic materials either. Merino wool, for instance, is a popular fabric used to make workout gear as it’s eco-friendly and antibacterial.

Winterization

Nervous about those chilly winter runs? A pair of winter-ready women’s running underwear will keep you toasty when paired with thermal tights. Choose fleece-lined undies for extra warmth. Some brands also sell long john-type running underwear for extremely cold running conditions.

Opt for hem-less women’s running underwear with laser-cut edges if you’re concerned about panty lines.

Flat-lock seams

Exposed seams are every runner’s nightmare. At first, they may not bother you at all, but should your form slightly change, you may end your run in extreme discomfort. Choose women’s running underwear with flat-locked seams to prevent chafing.

Antimicrobial

Pick running underwear labeled antibacterial or antimicrobial. Sweaty, moist workout garments offer the perfect environment for bacteria and yeast to multiply. Clothing and underwear with antimicrobial characteristics helps prevent uncomfortable infections and irritations.

Compression

You’ve heard of compression socks, but did you know there are also compression undergarments? These boy short-style pairs are designed to support your musculature and improve blood flow. They may take a bit of getting used to because they’re naturally much tighter than regular running underwear, but many runners swear by compression gear.

EXPERT TIP

Women’s running underwear is available in a variety of colorful styles and patterns. Underwear is hidden from view, so there’s no need to stick with basic black.


Staff  | BestReviews

Women’s running underwear prices

Don’t skimp when purchasing this important piece of running gear. Expect to pay at least $12 for a single pair of women’s running underwear from a reputable brand.

Save money by buying underwear in packs, but don’t buy very inexpensive running undergarments. Inexpensive options often have exposed seams, low-quality waistbands, and poor-quality fabric that will leave you soaked in sweat. They also won’t last long and won’t hold up in the wash.

You’ll pay a premium for women’s running underwear with special features, such as thermal material or compression fabric. Expect to pay at least $25 for a single pair of high-end women’s running underwear.

Tips

  • Change out of your running clothes right after your run. Don’t hang around the kitchen sipping coffee or checking your emails post-run. Jump in the shower straight away to avoid yeast infections or jock itch.
  • Buy enough running underwear. How many runs do you do each week? Five? Buy seven pairs of running briefs, and you won’t need to scramble to do laundry when you run out.
  • Use extra protection. If you’re still experiencing chafing while wearing running underwear, consider using an anti-chafing balm or powder around affected areas.
  • What works for another runner may not work for you. Read reviews to become acquainted with what others have to say about a certain pair of running underwear but know that you may not find them as comfortable as someone else.

Brand-name reliability

The adidas Women’s Climacool Cheekster Underwear is an inexpensive but quality pair of running underwear. The fabric is soft to the touch, incredibly breathable, and made from a blend of materials that hug the body just right.

Other products we considered

If a thong is more your style, consider the Under Armour Women’s Pure Stretch Thong for your next running workout. This well-known fitness brand’s running underwear comes in a pack of three and has a no-show fit, so you won’t have to worry about panty lines showing. The Reebok Women’s Seamless Hipster Panties are sold in a value pack of five pairs and feature a tag-free design with a comfortable waistband. They’re also machine-washable, so just toss them into the washer after your next run.

If you want to run in boy short women’s running underwear during the summer, pick short shorts with leg bands that will keep the underwear in place.

FAQ

Q. Do I have to wear running underwear when I run?
A.
Absolutely not. It’s a personal choice. Some runners may find running underwear necessary, though, especially if they sweat excessively or have issues with chafing.
 

Q. How should I wash my running underwear?
A.
Read the care instructions from the manufacturer. Most running gear can be thrown in the washing machine. You may want to use sport-specific detergent to help remove stubborn stink. Don’t toss your running underwear in the dryer, though. The heat affects the moisture-wicking properties of many technical fabrics.
 

Q. I’ve noticed a surge in yeast infections since I started running. What’s going on?
A.
It could be that your running underwear are not wicking moisture effectively. Instead, the damp environment is encouraging yeast growth. Are you changing out of your running clothes right away post-run? If not, start making it a habit. That said, recurrent yeast infections may not be connected to your running clothing. If you often get yeast infections, the cause could be related to your diet, sexual activity, overall hygiene habits, antibiotic use, or use of birth control pills.

The team that worked on this review
  • Katherine
    Katherine
    Editor
  • Melinda
    Melinda
    Web Producer
  • Steph
    Steph
    Writer

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