Panties Evolved: A Delicate Matter

Run_Oregon_LogoAfter deciding Matt shouldn’t have all the fun testing and talking underwear, I’ve been on a quest to find the perfect pair of workout panties, Being average in every sense of the word, I make an ideal candidate to test out panties. The panties I tested for this round would be considered specialty underwear and are definitely not average undergarments. I tested a pair of padded briefs for cycling, a set of panties for women dealing with incontinence and some undies for that special time of the month. I can take the teasing that will follow this post and I’ve laughed a lot testing these out. Is it uncomfortable to talk about? Heck yeah, but I’ll do just about anything for the Run Oregon Blog.

Style: Women’s Padded Brief
Price: $23.25
Fabrics : A lightweight, technical blend of 96% wicking polyester fibers spun with 4% lycra to provide snug yet flexible comfort. This silky, stretchy fabric supports and insulates like a fine layer of air under your clothes, keeping you cooler in warm weather and warmer in cool weather.A seamless pad is a low profile, dense construction of five layers – 1/2 inch open-celled nylon foam bonded to polyester terry on the body side and nylon tricot on the outside. This pad is then sandwiched between two layers of our wicking fabric.

Impressions: I have dozens of cycle shorts and they all are boring black. All of them have varying degrees of padding, depending on how long you’re going to be in the saddle. Most of them make me feel like I’m wearing a diaper and I can accept that to prevent saddle issues. These were a great find for any triathletes, cyclists or gym rats just looking to make their cycle class a little more comfortable. I love that I can wear any workout gear over them, so I’m not limited to my plain old black spandex. They also fit perfectly. I’ve purchased other liners in the past, which made me feel like I was wearing a cross between a diaper and underwear from the Little House on the Prairie. These fit perfectly, don’t move around and definitely keep you comfortable ‘down there’ while you ride. That’s the worst area to chafe or bruises and padding is a must for me. I’m excited that I can have discrete padding under my workout gear. It should stay my business what I wear down there- and the bikini cut makes that happen.

These are also easy to wash and dry. My cycle shorts have to line dry, but these have lasted just fine running through the wash (on hot) and through the dryer. I don’t have time for extra loads of laundry, we don’t have a delicate cycle at my house so these were a perfect fit. Literally. They fit perfectly, kept me comfortable on the bike and easily washed up for the next sweat session. The padded brief is thick enough to keep you comfortable in the saddle for a few hours, but thin enough to jump off the bike and go for a run. Comfortable and functional, the Andiamo padded brief was a good find.


Company: Icon
Style: Bikini
Price: $30

  • Body: 78% Nylon, 22% Lycra ™Spandex
  • Gusset: 80% Polyester, 20% Nylon
  • Gusset Lining: 100% Polyester

Impressions: According to their website, one in three women experience light bladder leakage. I giggled a little when it was suggested that I give this a test. I’ve been lucky in this area after three kids, but age can also play a factor with incontinence and I’m not getting any younger. First off, I love their website, noting there’s no such thing as TMI in this area. It’s a fact of life and nothing to be embarrassed over. I also love that their panties are designed by women and made by women in Sri Lanka, and not some sweat shop, but a family run factory. Finally, I’m excited that each purchase helps support the Fistula Foundation. Fistula is a hole between the vagina and rectum or bladder caused by prolonged obstructed labor and leaves a woman severely incontinent. 1,000,000 women suffer from this condition and fewer than 20,000 are treated. A woman with fistula is often rejected by her husband and pushed out of her village. Each purchase helps fund treatment and surgeries for women suffering from fistula.

Enough about the humanitarian side to this company and back to the panties. The first thing I noticed when I opened my bikini was how thin they are; they are not super padded. So thin, I had to take them (packaged and unused) to some classes to see if I was the only one shocked by these modern panties. I was not alone and everyone was curious with how much they could actually absorb being so thin. They claim to hold 5 teaspoons of fluid and I say possibly more from my sink test. They stayed thin and absorbed the water, expanding with the fluid, but still staying ultra-thin. Made with anti-microbial fabric, these eliminate odors and are fast wicking.

They definitely held up with the protection test and, even more exciting, these are extremely comfortable. They are much more convenient than pantyliners and fit so nicely you forget you’re wearing panties with secret protection. I would definitely suggest these for any ladies who might have leakage problems during runs, issues with jumping on a trampoline or surprises when they sneeze. These are soft, comfortable and come in several color options with black, nude or grey. For ladies who want a little more coverage, they also offer a high wasted brief. I thought the bikini cut was pretty much perfect for my shortness. I’m actually pretty excited with this discovery, for my lady friends who might have this issue and my future self. Down the road, if I have any sort of bladder issues related to exercise or control in general, I have a secret weapon.


Company: Thinx
Product: Sport- Medium Days
Price: $32
Fabrics: Interior Innermost 95% Cotton, 5% Elastane; Middle breathable PUL, 95% Cotton, 5% Elastane; Outer 89% Nylon, 11% Elastane; Trim 100% Polyester

Impressions: Last year a woman made headlines when she decided to run a marathon sans any feminine hygiene products after starting her period on race day. She was trying to make a statement, but I just thought it was gross. I think we can discuss the subject without the shock factor and accept it’s something all women have to deal with and there’s no shame in it. With that said, I gave these panties a test and will admit I was somewhat skeptical and even teased about wearing ‘period’ panties.

With Hip Huggers for heavier days, Sport Shorts for medium days and Boy Shorts for light days, these panties have plenty of options, depending on your needs. I tested the Boy Shorts, which claim to hold 1 1/2 tampons’ worth of liquid. I didn’t measure, so I can’t say if that’s accurate, but I can say that these are super comfortable and actually won over this skeptic. The size seemed to be true and when you look at these, you have no idea there’s padding in the middle. It’s thin, absorbent and wicks away moisture. They are also anti-microbial and leak resistant.

TMI warning, as if this whole post isn’t just one long stream of it, but my cycle isn’t heavy, so I’m not sure if ladies with a heavy flow would be as thrilled with these, but I think they’re worth a try. These are soft and comfortable and you forget they’re there, definitely way better than a pantyliner or old-fashioned pad. These stay put, so you won’t have chafing and do their job. These would be great for a runner who doesn’t want to hit the port-a-potty mid-race to change a tampon or a great option for an endurance athlete who wants a little extra security for a long race. These would make good back-up protection to use with a tampon or cup for longer events.

Overall I loved these, I didn’t think I would and I kind of laughed that they were even created. Considering there are tampons, cups and liners out there, I didn’t see the need for ‘period’ panties. But, after giving these a test run, I can see where these would be useful and, at times, necessary. Young ladies who might worry about leakage with a long day at school, moms who need protection for weeks after giving birth and women who like to run without worrying about soaking through a tampon. A simple rinse and wash and these look like new and they definitely don’t look or feel like you’re sporting extra padding, which is how it should be. While having a period is nothing to be embarrassed about, it doesn’t mean I want to share it with the world and these panties are perfect for that. Thinx wants to break the taboo surrounding menstruation and I, for one, appreciate that.

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