What’s the Best Performance Underwear for Men?

New designs and better materials mean you should immediately throw out all your cotton boxers

Nov 6, 2015
Outside Magazine
What’s the Best Performance Underwear for Men?

Keep everything in its place when you're moving.    Photo: Sarah Jackson (3)


Men used to have a few basic choices when it came to underwear. You could scrunch into a pair of tighty-whities or opt for more room—but less support—in a pair of traditional cotton boxers. Thankfully, you have better options nowadays. Several companies are making boxer briefs with high-tech materials and innovative designs that are comfortable for all-day use while still keeping everything in place, whether you’re skiing or running. Here are our some of our current favorites.

Saxx Kinetic Long Leg ($40)

saxx kinetic long leg
  Photo: Sarah Jackson

Saxx’s underwear features a deep three-dimensional pocket, or pouch, in the front section that wraps around your stuff, holding it in place during high-output activities. It’s a design that should have been invented 20 years ago because it works so well. That, along with a nearly knee-length tight-fitting leg, made this underwear perfect for long runs or extended workouts in the gym. One tester, who usually applies Body Glide on his thighs before every run, said the Saxx Kinetics kept his thighs from rubbing better than any underwear he’d ever worn, allowing him to forgo the cream. Saxx also eliminated all seams in the crotch area, which also cuts down on chafing. 

Best For: Chafe management and runners

Under Armour 6-Inch Boxerjock ($20) 

under armour boxerjock
  Photo: Sarah Jackson

The Boxerjock has a tight, athletic fit but doesn’t feel like a compression short. It did a fine job of keeping everything in place, even without a pouch like the one on the Saxx. Thanks to a super-stretchy 90 percent polyester and 10 percent elastane weave, they were ideal for squats, burpees, and other workouts that involve a lot of leg movement. The nature-call hole was also the easiest to access.

Best For: Gym rats on a budget 

MyPakage Pro Series ($40)

mypakage pro series
  Photo: Sarah Jackson

MyPakage features a pocket up front just like the one on the Saxx, but this one is bigger and roomier. As a result, the MyPakage has a relaxed feel that’s comfortable for everyday use but still supportive for high-output activities. The Pros also breathed and wicked moisture better than any other option of this list, thanks to lightweight, 100 percent polyester MyDry fabric. One tester noted that he experienced minimal swampiness in these undies, even after an 80-degree seven-mile run with 3,000 feet of elevation gain. 

Best For: High-output workouts

Opedix Core-Tec 2.0 Shorts ($145)

opedix core tec 2.0
  Photo: Sarah Jackson

These are compression shorts, not regular underwear, which is why they cost $145. As such, they’re best suited for endurance races. I ran 50 miles in them. Not only did they prevent chafing and keep everything in place, but they also supported my core, which stopped me from hunching over when I got tired. They feel like a girdle when you first put them on, but you’ll be thankful they’re so tight by the end of the day. 

Best For: Endurance racing

Ridge Merino ($25)

ridge merino
  Photo: Sarah Jackson

The Ridge Merino boxers have the most relaxed cut on this list, but I still found them plenty supportive. I loved the extra warmth the merino delivered on cool morning runs. The wool also helped cut down on stink (one tester went a full week without them getting too smelly—although we can’t condone this), which means they’re great for backpacking or backcountry ski trips. An easy-to-access hole up front earns them extra points when worn under ski bibs.

Best For: Multiday off-the-grid trips

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