Running, yoga, basketball, tennis: chances are, you’ve seen people using compression shorts for at least one of these athletic activities. If you’ve never tried them before, you might be wondering how effective they are, how comfortable they are, and if they’re here to stay (or just a passing fad).
Believe it or not, one question we get asked all the time is whether someone should start wearing compression shorts instead of underwear.
That’s a great question. We (objectively) evaluated compression shorts on a number of factors, ranging from breathability to price, so you can see the benefits and drawbacks of compression shorts.
Whatever you do, don’t wear compression shorts and underwear. It’s not only super uncomfortable, but you’ll look ridiculous.
One of the key reasons people work out in compression shorts is because they’re simply more comfortable than underwear for exercising. For both men and women, regular cotton underwear can shift, bunch, rub, and tear—all of which can leave you in an uncomfortable spot during a workout.
With compression shorts, you don’t have to worry about any of the above. They keep everything in place and protect your from rubbing or bunching, keeping your mind on your workout and off your undergarments.
But not all compression shorts are created equal. You want to make sure yours prevent against skin irritation or you’ll have to apply aloe vera to avoid chafing. Be wary of cheap compression shorts. Synthetic materials are known to cause irritation.
Regular cotton underwear can allow room for a lot of unwanted movement, especially for men.
When you’re in a coffee shop, that’s fine. But when you’re rock climbing or playing football, this could prove problematic. Compression gear helps keep everything in place, and reduces the risk of awkward injuries.
If you’re using quality compression gear, you can actually recover faster from injury.
Compression gear is known for its ability to help in the recovery process by improving circulation and stabilizing vibrations—both proven methods of helping your body bounce back. And while compression shorts only help your hips and thighs, these are often the areas that need the most support after an intense workout.
Temperature Regulation / Breathability
Not all compression gear is created equal. But if you invest in quality gear, you’ll also be able to regulate your temperature (and “breathe” easier).
Nothing’s worse than feeling chilly at the start of a workout—or so hot that you feel like you’re burning. Advanced compression gear can help you maintain a comfortable temperature, especially once sweat gets in the mix.
Be careful: some compression gear is known to just insulate and not breathe. If you’re stuck with gear like that, you’d be better off with a pair of old-fashioned undies.
In general, compression shorts are more expensive than your standard underwear, but with good reason. They’re made to enhance your workout experience, not just cover your unmentionables.
So if price is a deterrent, think of compression shorts as an investment in your athletic performance (and athletic comfort).
Do You Own A Pair?
Quality compression shorts are not just a passing trend. They can have a huge impact on your athletic performance. They can not only aid in your recovery and your safety, but also help you perform better and feel better in the process.
Simply put, a good pair of compression shorts should be in every athlete’s wardrobe.