Should You Wear Underwear with Running Shorts with a Liner?

Should You Wear Underwear with Running Shorts with a Liner?

Many running shorts come with compression short underwear underneath. But are you supposed to wear underwear with running shorts with a liner?


It’s a strange feeling, right?

You slip on a pair of running shorts with built-in shorts or underwear and are unsure how to feel.

Do you wear underwear with lined shorts?

It’s a common question. And one I’ll answer for you in this post.

Should you wear underwear with running shorts that have built-in underwear?

Ultimately, this answer is in your hands, and you should do what feels comfortable.

However, these pairs of shorts were designed so you don’t have to wear underwear with them. The design gives you the support you need, and moisture-wicking fabric helps reduce chafing and improves breathability to feel cooler.

Should You Wear Underwear with Running Shorts with a Liner?

So, you’re not supposed to wear underwear with lined running shorts. Having said that, there’s no problem with doing it anyway.

For some people, the liner’s fabric causes chafing because of the friction. And underwear helps by lowering contact between skin and material. Plus, the added support can help you feel better. And, for men, adding a little support (and coverage) is always a good idea.

Ultimately, try both ways and see what you enjoy most.

For me, it varies by the shorts I’m wearing. Some offer great support, and the liner is comfortable. Others don’t.

But, choosing to wear underwear or not won’t have much effect on athletic performance.

Try different options and experiment for yourself to find your personal preference.

Types of running shorts

Types of Running Shorts
Photo by Ketut Subiyanto

Running shorts come in all shapes and sizes.

But, there are primarily three types most runners use. They are:

  • Compression shorts
  • Running shorts with a liner
  • Unlined shorts

Compression shorts

Compression shorts are great for not having to wear underwear under your running shorts

Should you wear underwear under compression pants or shorts?

After all, compression shorts are a favorite for running, basketball, or Sunday house cleanups. They help keep muscles in place, help blood flow, and prevent chafing!

While they’re not specifically runner shorts, people love wearing compression shorts due to their support, motion control, and comfortability. Both men and women wear these because they help keep sweat and moisture away. 

So, you’ll feel cool and dry even on longer runs and humid days.

While you can wear underwear under compression shorts, it won’t be the most comfortable experience.  Due to the spandex fabric of tights, any material underneath will bunch up and simply be uncomfortable.

So, you can, but you don’t need to wear underwear. It’ll feel uncomfortable (especially if you wear boxers or cotton underwear which absorb the moisture).

When choosing a pair, find a pair of running underwear or something lightweight (like nylon). 

For women, a thong isn’t a bad idea but not necessary.

At the worst, you can wear compression shorts to help improve blood circulation post-run.

Shorts with a liner

Lined running shorts are the most common type

Running shorts with a built-in liner are more common than McDonald’s.

Runners of all shapes and sizes choose these for their breathability and comfort. Plus, having the underwear inside already makes your job even easier.

They provide extra comfort and support while running, as the inner liner keeps moisture away from your skin and reduces chafing. The lightweight fabric used in running shorts also helps keep cool air circulating around the crotch area better.

That circulation keeps you cool, light, and dry.

Additionally, many running shorts with a liner come in bright colors or prints that add style to your workouts.

Overall, wearing running shorts with a liner is an excellent choice for athletes looking to maximize their comfort and performance during their runs.

Unlined shorts

Unlined running shorts are used across the world

Wearing unlined running shorts is a great way to stay cool and comfortable during your workout.

They allow you to move freely, reducing the risk of chafing or discomfort due to the fabric not coming into contact with your skin.

Plus, they’re super lightweight and breathable, so they won’t weigh you down while running.

The looser material also helps wick away sweat and increase airflow, which keeps you dry and irritation-free. Additionally, unlined running shorts provide a greater range of motion than lined shorts, so feel free to skip, jump and do cartwheels along your run.

Unlined running shorts are the best shorts to wear underwear with. Since they don’t have any support built-in (nor coverage), it’s a great idea to get a pair of sweat wicking underwear underneath.

Overall, wearing unlined running shorts is an excellent option for those who want to stay cool and comfortable while they exercise.

So, keep these things in mind when comparing lined vs. unlined shorts.

When should I wear underwear with running shorts?

For most running shorts, underwear isn’t going to be an issue, and it’s one less layer you have to wear.

But, there are certain times when underwear would be beneficial:

  • When everything is loose-fitting, and there isn’t much support
  • If you need a bit more “modesty” for your private areas
  • If you don’t like the feeling of it

Ultimately, wearing underwear with running shorts depends on you and your comfort.

If you’re uncomfortable without a pair, wear them whenever you see fit!

Lined shorts FAQ

What does it mean if shorts are lined?

If shorts are lined, it means the athletics shorts already have built-in underwear or lining.

When you look inside the pants, you’ll see a piece of fabric making the outline like a pair of underwear.

So, support and protection are already built into the shorts, so no extra accessories are necessary.

Why do shorts have mesh lining?

Running shorts with mesh lining were designed so runners didn’t have to rely on wearing underwear.

Instead, runners can feel comfortable and secure with just a pair of shorts.

You can buy running shorts without the liner, but it’s offered in many different pairs, including Nike, Adidas, etc.

Why do guys wear lined shorts?

Guys wear lined shorts for added support and coverage.

As everyone above a certain age is aware, there are certain things men require to keep everything secure.

Running shorts with a liner are one of the easiest ways to solve this problem.

Do you wear underwear with liners in running shorts?

If you’re a beginner runner, continue to try out different things to see what works for you.

There’s no right or wrong method for your gear. So choose what you feel most comfortable in.

But I’m eager to hear from you. What are your thoughts on wearing underwear with running shorts that have built-in underwear inside?

Let me know in the comments!

Now that you’ve learned about running shorts, you may be interested to learn more about trail running shoes!

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