A Guide to What Kind of Underwear You Should REALLY Be Wearing to Work Out

The kind of underwear you wear during your workout is largely based on personal preference. But when you’re doing high-intensity exercises that can lead to extra sweat, bunching and everything else that happens in the midst of a hardcore workout, you’ll want this handy guide to inform your panty choice.

The fabric


While your everyday cotton undies are fine for lounging around in, a more breathable fabric that wicks the sweat and moisture away from your body is ideal for working out. The reasoning is logical; you look for wicking fabrics when buying your workout clothing to keep you dry. The same goes for your underwear.


We like stretchy, no-seam fabrics, but the bunching struggle is real. You have to decide what you care more about: visible panty lines or aggravating movement.


Most performance panties are labeled as moisture-wicking, so they should be a breeze to find. If you choose not to indulge in exercise-oriented bottoms, you not only have to worry about your own comfort level when you really start to sweat; you also run the risk of more serious health consequences like infections.

The cut


Newsflash: your go-to thong is not exactly the best underwear for full-on workout mode. Though you won’t have panty lines, bacteria spreads more easily than you'd like to think with the constant movement and sliding that occurs while you exercise. That can lead to friction and heat that can result in urinary tract infections and bacterial infections—oh, and harmful abrasions. 


The bikini cut is a classic. Panty lines are pretty inevitable, but these will stay in place better than undies of any other fit. Briefs or boy shorts—though they’re likely to find their way into some uncomfortable spots throughout the duration of your workout—are also options. Bikini-cut underwear provides a nice amount of coverage, creating a barrier between your pants and your sure-to-be sweaty cheeks.


Many women find the ideal solution is to wear no undies at all. Those who swear by the commando technique insist it’s a comfortable and acceptable alternative to buying an entirely separate pair of workout underwear. There are also some workout pants that come with built-in underwear, which could’ve cracked this case a long time ago.

The bottom line

If going commando is not quite your thing, we suggest moisture-wicking, classic-cut styles for sweaty, high-intensity exercises. But it’s all about what works best for you. Just as with our everyday underwear, we all have our favorite pair. As long as you’re staying dry down below and feel comfortable during your workout, it’s up to you which pair you ultimately choose.

What type of underwear do you swear by for workouts, collegiettes?