Raise your hand if you’ve been victimized by cotton underwear during a particularly sweaty workout.
If you put same level of thought you’d put into workout leggings, a sports bra or socks into your undies, you might be able to avoid dealing with soggy underwear that won’t quit riding up.
The best pair of workout underwear largely boils down to personal preference, but my picks all meet a few standards, including moisture-wicking fabric, have limited show and should remain in place while you exercise.
Read more: These cheap workout clothes are just as good as Nike and Lululemon
This is my all-time favorite underwear for working out. At $12 per pair, they’re on the expensive side, but worth it in my opinion. These Adidas Climacool thongs do everything a pair of workout undies should do: They stay put (no riding up or rolling down), they stay dry, and they don’t show through clothes — not even through tights.
If you don’t like thongs, Adidas also makes “cheeksters” in the Climacool fabric.
For ultimate coverage, try the high-rise Spanx Undie-tectable Brief. It’s hard to find no-show underwear with full coverage, but Spanx did a pretty good job with these. I have one pair and like to wear them during workouts when I’m on my period, because the total coverage feels more comfortable than my usual thong choices.
These high-rise underwear have seamless edges and plenty of stretch with 22% spandex. The remainder is made up of nylon, so they wick moisture and keep odors at bay.
Reebok makes high-quality, durable workout clothes that last a long time, and the brand’s underwear are no exception. Made of 95% nylon and 5% spandex, these Reebok Seamless Hipsters have a lot of moisture-wicking ability and just enough stretch to move with you during your workouts.
The boyshort design offers full coverage in front and back and prevents wedgies during movements with full range of motion, including squats and running. The wide waistband and midrise length provide ample coverage on the hips and stomach, too.
For a budget-friendly option that gets the job done, go for Hanes Comfort Flex Fit undies. They have a low-waist, high-leg design for limited show through clothes, and they’re tag-free for a barely-there feel.
As for material, these Hanes underwear consist of 91% nylon, 7% spandex and 2% polyester, giving them sweat-wicking and odor-reducing properties plus some stretch.
These undies have a hem-free construction made of 68% nylon and 32% elastane, meaning they’re quick-dry and moisture-wicking (nylon) and very stretchy (elastane, aka spandex). They keep you cool and relatively dry even during intense, sweaty workouts.
The laser-cut edges reduce panty lines under tight fabrics, but because there’s no true waistband and ample stretch, you may consider sizing down for a tighter fit. I wear the thong version of this Under Armour panty (described below), and I sized down from my usual medium to a small because of the stretch.
Your best bet for a truly no-show panty is a thong. With more coverage than that, you’re bound to get panty lines in tight pants or spandex shorts, even if the underwear are technically seamless.
The Under Armour Pure Stretch Thong is made of the same super-soft material as the Pure Stretch Hipster. Combined with laser-cut edges and limited coverage in the back, you won’t notice these underwear even when wearing compression tights. The four-way stretch and anti-odor technology are bonuses.
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How to choose underwear for working out
Ultimately, finding the best workout underwear comes down to personal preference. You might find one pair that meets all your needs and swear by it, or you might realize that you like different kinds of underwear for different workouts.
Keeping the following three components in mind when shopping for underwear to work out in can help you make the right choice.
Coverage: Do you prefer more coverage or less? Less is often better for high-intensity workouts that involve a lot of jumping, squatting, lunging or running, because less fabric means less wedgie potential. For days when you feel bloated or plan on light exercise, more coverage might feel ideal.
Material: You definitely want something that wicks sweat away from your skin — bonus points if it contains odor-neutralizing technology. Stay away from lace and cotton during workouts, because lace is delicate and can tear or fray, and cotton becomes drenched with sweat. Nylon, polyester and spandex are good choices.
Seams: Seamless is typically best for workout underwear, because seams tend to create panty lines under tight workout leggings and shorts. However, if you wear loose-fitting clothing to exercise in, seams might not be a big deal for you.
More for fitness enthusiasts
- The best workout shoes for every type of workout
- Best foam rollers for muscle stiffness and soreness
- Best ellipticals under $1,500 for your home gym
- The best kettlebells for 2020: JaxJox, Apex and more
The information contained in this article is for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended as health or medical advice. Always consult a physician or other qualified health provider regarding any questions you may have about a medical condition or health objectives.