Does anybody make synthetic briefs?
This past summer I started running and now have continued into the winter. On the longer runs my privates get awful cold. Is there any underwear out there made of microfleece and/or windproof fabric? I run in tights and wear cotton briefs under them. The cotton is the problem. I don't like wind pants or wearing shorts over my tights, but are they the only answer? Tom Faherty Scituate, Massachusetts
Thousands of men who read this column are wincing in sympathetic pain, Tom. I read an account somewhere of a winter race where it was so cold a number of the participants actually got…frostbitten (you know where). They were running to the men’s room with paper cups full of warm water, into which they dipped their half-frozen members.
Fortunately, your problem is fairly easily solved: Ditch the cotton briefs. Go to a running store or an outdoor store and buy some synthetic briefs designed for outdoor activities. Patagonia already makes something like this - that company’s Capilene Briefs ($17) are fine; so are Duofold’s Coolmax briefs ($11), which in spite of the name are a good insulating layer. Buy a few pairs, so you’re sure to have some clean ones handy.
One other step is to buy briefs with wind-repelling panels sewn over the strategic location. RoadRunner Sports, a web/catalog retailer of running shoes and apparel, sells something it calls the RRS Tech Windbrief, which are Coolmax briefs with a wind-resistant front panel. In REALLY cold conditions, you could double these up over something like the Patagonia briefs. You might also try a little heavier tights than you’re wearing, or double-up the tights with a light outdoor long-underwear tight, then a Lycra running tight over that.
Stay warm, bro. Your genetic future depends on it.