Remember in the nineties when virtually all men wore plaid boxer shorts daily? Are you old enough to remember when the only option for men was essentially a pair of tighty-whities? These days, as with everything else we consume and purchase, there is no shortage of options when it comes to our skivvies. No matter where you fall on the style spectrum, if you’re an athlete, you likely have underwear designated for your workout days. If you still haven’t found the perfect pair of undies for when you’re getting in your workout, during a competition, or just a leisurely weekend hike, keep reading for the best men’s underwear styles for men who break a regular sweat.

The Best Men's Underwear Styles For the Athlete - underwear, men, fashion


While the term “trunks” may conjure memories of your childhood swim trunks, this underwear style is a hybrid of boxer and brief. You may think that means a boxer brief, but trunk underwear is slightly shorter than a traditional boxer brief. They’re the perfect fit and length to be able to hide under a pair of running shorts or your regular gym shorts. They provide the support and comfort of a brief with a length in which many men feel more comfortable.

Wool Boxer Briefs

If your exercise generally has you in the great outdoors, say hiking, skiing, snowboarding, or anywhere else where you may want to keep your netherregions warmer, wool boxer briefs are your best friend. While the thought of wearing wool underwear may sound unappealing and itchy, don’t worry – companies you trust to make your wool socks for hiking and more have perfected the wool boxer brief. Wool boxer briefs are also great when you’re not working out, but it’s the dead of winter, and you have to shovel your driveway full of snow. Great to have on hand in general if you live in a climate that gets cold during parts of the year.

Sports Briefs

Maybe it would surprise you to know that over half of men prefer brief-style underwear, or maybe it wouldn’t if you’re part of the 57% of men that do. Whether you’re team brief or boxers, sports briefs are a game changer when it comes to your workout gear. Sports briefs are designed to keep things in place and move with you and keep you comfortable no matter how much you’re squatting, how far you’re running, or whatever yoga pose you’re perfecting. Don’t think you can get away with a traditional cotton brief with an elastic waist. Look for briefs specifically marketed as sports briefs from well-known athletic underwear brands like Tommy John or Tracksmith.


Of course, we must include the tried and tested jockstrap in this list. Jockstraps are considered essential and a no-brainer for most men if the type of athletics you’re getting into includes high contact. The jockstrap has been around since 1874 for a reason – the protective cup. You know the pain it can protect you from, so why not avoid it? Whether it’s lacrosse, football or soccer, or any sport, it’s best to avoid injuries and protect such a sensitive organ with a jockstrap.

Material Matters

Now that we’ve covered the best types of underwear to purchase based on your style and workout needs let us discuss how material matters. When shopping for regular underwear or even clothing, you likely gravitate toward natural textiles like 100% cotton, linen, or wool. While this is a great practice for your regular underwear to keep things cool and dry, you need more of a blend to keep things cool and dry while breaking a sweat. You want to invest in athletic underwear that moves with your body, is flexible but cooling, and wicks moisture. No one wants a fungal infection with their weekly workouts. Even sweat-proof undies on the market are worth checking out if you tend to sweat a lot. No shame, cover your bases.

So there you have it, no matter what type of workout or sport you compete in, what you wear under your uniform or shorts makes a major difference. If you’ve been wondering which type of athletic underwear works best for you, let those mentioned above be your starting point to finding your perfect pair.