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Dress Like a Man: Underwear

There are links to receive discounts in this post, so make sure you check here first if you decide to purchase some of these products. As men, I feel we are often times subjected to poor quality and uncomfortable clothes/undergarments because we (typically) dislike shopping and are just fine with whatever is cheapest or whatever our significant other buys for us. This may not be as true in the running community, where we realize that it is difficult to run enjoyable and successful races in gear that is uncomfortable. About a year ago, I made a decision to forego my cotton underwear and move towards drawers that were made better, lasted longer, were more comfortable, and designed for more of an active lifestyle. Much like running socks (which I scoffed at pre-running, but now can't do without), well made underwear is something that is worth the extra money to me. Here are some of my favorite options (sorry ladies, you can log off now...or keep these in mind for future gifts). 

FRIGO (Updated 12.31.15)

FRIGO underwear is fancy – there is no doubt about that. In fact, they have their own patent for their FRIGO Zone, which is a combination of an internal pouch and an adjustment system on the front. It’s essentially a pocket to keep your…ahem…stuff…away from your body. While this may seem silly, it actually provides comfort and moisture control that other pairs of underwear don’t.  The set-up is definitely different, but it only needs to be done once, so that’s a plus. Just adjust the netted pouch by unfastening the elastic from the button holding it in place on one side, and refasten it depending on if you need more are less support. Then repeat the same on the other side. There are a variety of different options for sizing to make the pouch fit right, and it’s definitely noticeable when you find the correct fit.

The underwear line comes in a few different designs and compositions:

  • Modal
  • Cotton Stretch
  • Mesh
  • Micro Polyamide

I sampled the mesh version and was pleased with the quality. Obviously, when you are paying about $39 per pair, you shouldn’t be expecting anything less than top-notch. The waistband has stayed snug through use and they have these really interesting hem stabilizers that keep them from rising up. These took some getting used to, mostly because of my relatively thick leg hair. It wasn’t really uncomfortable, but there were initially some minor bouts of tugging. While I wouldn’t necessarily tossing all my other underwear in the trash for these, I will admit that their premium fabrics and construction are really superior to those run of the mill pairs that end up falling to bits in a few months.

What I really appreciated were the shirts that they sent in addition to the underwear. They are made with the same technology in mind, complete with cooling and venting properties that would be perfect for runners. Their mesh version will definitely come in handy on a warm summer workout. I have actually seen some major league athletes use these in their pre-game routines. My initial thoughts are that they are functional, breathable, and comfortable – all solid qualities in a shirt. You can see the difference between some of the styles below.

Polyamide on the left, mesh on the right

These shirts run about $70-$100, so you really need to consider your running budget before diving in. These have the look and feel to be in your closet for a while, so it may be a solid investment. There is also a “Premium Line” which is a little less spendy and more in line with everyday running gear.

Rüez (Added 7.29.15)

From their website, the claim to be “Bringing A Clever, Comfortable End to Chafing, Sweating and Adjusting”. I received a couple pairs to try out and they seem to be doing the job.

The underwear come in two different styles – boxer briefs and briefs – and I was able to try out both. The material is 15% spandex and 85% polyester – a blend solid for moisture wicking  and very comfortable to wear, even when just lounging around.

The first feature of the underwear that Rüez highlights is their “Performance Pouch”. Without getting into too much detail, the idea is to keep your manhood in the pouch, between the two layers of material, so that things stay secure and away from your body. This would cut down chafing and

In other words, the shorts have two layers of material in front, with an opening cut into the layer closest to the body. The idea is to slip your junk through the opening, allowing it to be cradled in the pouch. You are thus surrounded by material and separated from contact with your body. I’ll be the first to admit that the first few times I got myself “situated”, I felt awkward – like I was putting way too much effort into underwear maneuvering.  However, I got used to it. I anticipated that the pouch would be uncomfortable, but it really wasn’t. I wasn’t acutely aware that things were different down there. That was a huge plus. I’m not sure how this would work for those men who are extremely well-endowed.

Both pairs also came equipped with a “Personal Pocket”. Surprisingly, I have got a lot of use out of all my pairs with pockets, this one included – especially when I run sans belt and need somewhere to put my work/house key and cash.

Overall, I am quite enjoying these pairs. The pouch is comfortable and appears to be doing it’s job, as I haven’t experienced chafing issues. They seem to be holding up well over the first half dozen or so washes and I’m confident they will continue to do so.

The boxers will run $30 and the briefs run $28.

SWAV

I received a pair of these as part of my very first Kickstarter of the Week. I ended up pledging and got two more pairs of my own. After a year, they are still going strong and holding up amazingly well. Here is some info from my initial post:

SWAV underwear is more than just a pocket on an undergarment. The minds behind SWAV state that they are seeking to provide underwear for “all day use” and “eliminate the need for a man to change into a compression short…going from school or work into the gym.” That is something I can get behind.

Overall the SWAV underwear look and feel like a typical pair of compassion shorts. Their website lists two different styles – Performance and Luxury. The Performance line is made of a blend of Nylon Microfiber and Spandex. The Luxury line (which I tried), is exclusive to their Kickstarter campaign and very similar to the Performance model, but composed of an “ultra-soft custom modal fabric” for added comfort. Both lines are said to utilize “NASA Outlast Technology“, which is a fabric treatment that reacts with body temperature to cool down when your body heat rises and warm up with body temperature cools.

swav underwear pocket.jpg

Swav

To experiment, I wore these all day to work and straight to working out for a week (washing each day of course, cause gross). I, miraculously, found myself by the middle of day 1 forgetting that I was not wearing my normal boxer briefs. Not to get too personal, but typically after only a few washes of my cheap boxer briefs, they start to get bunched up. While I have only had these for a few weeks, there has been no sign of wear and the bunching is prohibited by the unique material. They stay in place without feeling super constrictive in important areas (waist, thighs, and undercarraige).

If you couldn’t tell, I really like these. I am now a backer on Kickstarter even as I received the initial product free of charge.

Get 20% off by utilizing code swav4life!

North Moore Short

I also did a Kickstarter of the Week post on the North Moore Short. Here are a few things about the construction and fabric of the North Moore Short that I wrote about:

  • Merrow Stitching (meaning longer lifespan)
  • Performance Fabric (moisture-wicking and a claim to feel like silk – dang)
  • Ergonomic Fit

But it’s not just about the pocket and the fabric – it’s a little about the style too. A quote from the founders: “There is a fine line between understated and bland. We’re looking to stay far from bland, a unique hybrid of loud yet conservative”. Currently the Kickstarter campaign in one of their three main colors; navy, white, and blue.

These a really solidly constructed pair of underwear. First of all they look great. My wife never notices my underwear – and to be honest, who could blame her. But when I was changing post-workout, she said – “whoa, where did you get those”. I’ll take that as a success. The really do look pretty sharp. Despite it looking great, I’m still not sure I would wear it as shorts – which is hinted at in the campaign. I suppose if you were supremely confident in your looks, but I just couldn’t see myself out there without a covering.

imageThe fit is definitely snug. It’s more on the compression shorts side of things than a typical boxer brief. It definitely keeps things compressed, but the waistband has enough stretch to not feel constricted. I love having two separate pockets, and it especially comes in handy when I am wearing shorts with no pockets or I am not wearing my workout belt. The right thigh pocket did take some getting used to however, even with nothing in it. Due it’s sweat proof capabilities, it is a little more rigid than the rest of the trunk, leaving me cognizant of its existance. I am chalking this up to being a fresh pair and not being used to it yet, because in subsequent wearings I notice it less and less.

Overall, these are a solid pair of multifunctional underwear. I would definitely but more pairs.

Shrine Boxers

Shrine Boxers are yet another Kickstarter-funded piece of apparel.

Shrine Boxers are engineered for: 

  • Comfort: Fabric is a super-soft, breathable, moisture-wicking micro-mesh fiber. Plus, we added a velvety waistband backing for extra comfort.
  • Style: Bold designs for bold men! We are the 1st brand that lets YOU design our waistbands and color combos, which are then voted into production by The Shrine community. This means no more BORING underwear with another man’s name printed around your package.
  • Performance: Technically designed so they never ride up or give you wedgies. The extra bit of spandex gives you the maneuverability and durability you need so your underwear will never hold you back. Don’t believe us? Take the lunges test and see what we mean.
  • Heat Management: Your “Nether Region” produces a lot of heat and moisture. Our breathable micro-mesh fabric pulls that moisture away from your body. No more Swamp A**.
  • Practicality:  3 types of underwear in ONE pair. We’ve combined the best elements of your everyday casual pair ($10), your work out pair ($20) and your night on the town pair ($25) to create the Ultimate Underwear. That’s $50+ worth of underwear for less than half the price.

These continue to be relatively cheap on their website ($20/pair with free US Shipping AND a 100% refund policy)! These remain some of my favorite boxer-briefs that I own.

wearMEunder

image

I also found out about these through Kickstarter. They are probably the most different style of underwear than I typically wear. Though I appreciate the minimal approach to underwear, it’s just typically not my style. These seem to be a bit more on the stylish side – solid for models and rock-hard abs, but not for me.

However, they do have a “Skin” collection, which was made with athletes comfort and functionality in mind. From their website:

wearMEunder products have been especially woven to provide breath-ability even during times of friction and body heat rise, from day to day wear to physical exercise. Seams and stitching have been placed not just to build the product but to accentuate features, provide comfort and support.

I both love these, and am embarrassed by them at the same time. I guess that’s a good (and motivating) thing. I pulled these out of the package and was blown away by the skimpiness. I am a boxer brief guy, and these mini “man-kinis” are a taaaad smaller than I was ready for. I had a good chuckle at first, because I am definitely not in the shape that the model on their website are. But that being said, they are actually quite comfortable and leave me wanting to look better in them.

I received a few styles, one a yellow mesh (almost like a pair of gym shorts – but way smaller), and two pairs of the more standard spandex – one in a short and one in bikini style. There is a pocket for your privates in all the pairs that look kinda odd, but actually provides a solid purpose. I found that they kind of felt low in the back, but I am assuming that is a combination of style/fit and the fact that I have a bit of extra weight tucked away in my love handles after a rough holiday vacation.

My wife is not sure how to really handle me in these. I think she is impressed that I have the guts to put them on, but definitely isn’t knocking my dreams of me wanting to be able to fit into these and look dang good. That’s motivation holmes!

 ——————
Men, we need to do better about taking care of ourselves. And it all starts with underwear.
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About Matt Rasmussen (1046 Articles)
Matt Rasmussen lives in Keizer, Ore. with his wife and three daughters. He enjoys watching the Olympics, sampling craft beers, and all things Canada (he was born there). Matt was raised as a baseball player and officially transitioned over to running in 2010. Matt joined the Run Oregon team in October 2011, and since then he has spearheaded the blog’s efforts to cover product reviews, news about businesses related to running, and running events in the Willamette Valley.

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