I have had this doubt for quiet some time now.
The place where I live is quite hot & humid. So, I wear cotton briefs always, including while running.
While I run the half marathons or while I go for long distance cyclings, my briefs really get wet. I have got used to this.
But then I am going to run my first full marathon next month and then the subsequent month, my first full Ironman.
I definitely can't use the cotton briefs for the long events.

Now my questions is, is there any special briefs for these purpose or is it not required to wear briefs at all?

  • 2
    Wear what you want, no race that I know of requires underwear as long as your bits are covered. Many people prefer long lycra type underwear that is designed for sweat wicking. It's really a personal preference.
    – JohnP
    Sep 24, 2013 at 14:31
  • 1
    In cycling competitions tight functional clothing is very common, a lot of people only wear padded shorts and no underwear. I guess this is the same for running, minus the padding of course.
    – Baarn
    Sep 24, 2013 at 16:46

2 Answers 2


Generally speaking, for running you should never wear cotton. Once it gets wet it chafes and that hurts.


  • Wear nothing under your shorts. Most shorts have a liner that may be perfectly sufficient.
  • Wear short running tights. This is mostly for chafing to prevent the skin of the thighs rubbing together. You don't need to wear anything underneath. Personally, I wear running shorts on top of the tights (unless it's very hot) because I don't wish to display that much.
  • Wear wicking briefs. Personally I use Patagonia Men's Capilene® 1 Stretch Briefs. I wear the briefs, then tights, then shorts. The briefs mean that the tights remain somewhat hygienic.

Lastly, I recommend a liberal usage of some form of lubricant (I use BodyGlide) around your nether regions. This is especially important for long races, when it is wet and when it is hot.

The most important advice is to try your system out thoroughly well before the race. Race day is not the time to find out that your system chafes!


Consider the following:

  • You should be non-allergic to the cloth material under two condition atleast (when it is dry and when it is wet/soaked with sweat)
  • Are you comfortable wearing it?
  • Does it make you feel good? (Because you'd be running long distances and this(inner-wear) should be last thing in your mind bothering you.)
  • Prevent chafing.

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