Shall we or shall we not wear an underwear while exercising?

Though it may boil down to personal preference. But I am looking at it from health point of view. Some say that it's harmful not to wear an underwear while exercising or playing or running. But I am not able to find any concrete data/study regarding the same.

So, is there any consensus yet?

  • I doubt you'll find such a thing. The biggest problems have to do with sweat and chafing. Sometimes undergarments provide just enough of a buffer to minimize those things. In either case, if you are already chafed then sweat will only make it worse Feb 18, 2015 at 12:31
  • 1
    Actually some people talk about severe health issues to testicles, if unsupported while running. That made me curious to get a reliable information.
    – aarbee
    Feb 18, 2015 at 12:36
  • Some critical thinking about running and free hanging testicles should be all you need on that one. Same issues for women and other parts of their bodies. Feb 18, 2015 at 13:12
  • Do you think prehistoric man went hunting in compression shorts? Or chased gazellas across the African country in speedos? No.
    – user8264
    Feb 20, 2015 at 12:14
  • @Soccerman - And of course you have empirical data to support that they did this and did not suffer injury as a result, yes? Don't make dumb correlations that have no meaning.
    – JohnP
    Feb 20, 2015 at 16:34

1 Answer 1


The harm would be found in a lack of support for parts of your body (or another person's body) that needs support and doesn't benefit from getting tossed about as you run.

Chafing is another issue, and a lot of runners will wear bandaids over their nipples to prevent bleeding and broken skin. A lot of folks with big legs wear slick shorts that cover at least the tops of their thighs, so that their hip adductors don't rub the skin raw.

Jockstraps have been replaced largely by compression shorts, which for some people (like male Olympic weightlifters) is critical because you really don't want anything sticking out when the bar flies up across your pelvis.

In short, if you can run without the need for protective gear, have fun. People who need support will wear clothes that provide it.

  • 2
    As an anecdotal bit, I personally find running in a kilt exhilarating.
    – Sean Duggan
    Feb 20, 2015 at 19:52

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