One man’s journey to find the perfect running pants


What pants you put on to go for a run is probably not the most exciting thought you could ever have. But wear the wrong under garments for your run and you’ll soon know about it. Here is a story about one man’s obsession with finding the perfect pair of running pants. 

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Let’s talk pants

How many times have you thought, “What are the best running pants for men?”

“Siri, what do I wear under my shorts when I run?”

“Alexa, what’s the best running underwear for men with fat bellies?”

It’s not a problem that solely affects the male runner, of course; I hear that pants is also a topic of discussion among my female counterparts in running circles. However, I can only give you my own personal experience in this area.

Let’s talk the good old days… if they ever existed.

Back then, gentleman used to wear tiny short shorts with a little net lining to hold their crown jewels in place when running. Now, this wasn’t ideal as one could and did chafe one’s bits quite easily. To be honest it wasn’t that comfortable, as the nets were badly made and not supportive.

So the answer was to cut the nets out and wear cotton pants – chafe city and they held the sweat in, yuck!

I used to wear swimming trunks. Don’t laugh! They were very supportive and wicked away sweat, but you couldn’t get away from the fact they were Budgie Smugglers.

What men needed was a proper running brief that held things in place and then wicked away the sweat.

The development of running pants

There were some early running brands that got on board with the idea. Helly Hansen produced some boxers, as did a winter sports company called Newline. Both products were excellent, but sadly no longer available easily.

Then British bastion Marks and Spencers created a brief for sport that ticked all the boxes. Sadly, they also appear to have been discontinued.

Then, out of nowhere, Runderwear UK appeared. Based in the UK – local to me actually in Poole, Dorset – they started to offer good-quality running pants for both men and women.

So I bought a few pairs, and I wear them in the gym and out running. We’ve already done an in-depth review on Runderwear products, so I won’t bore you with the going over the same ground.

Read the Run Deep Runderwear review here 

Shop Runderwear products here 

Recent discoveries

I popped into my local running shop Up and Running Bournemouth. I chatted to Simon, the owner, about this and that as it was a quiet day. Then, as one does, we talked about underwear.

I suppose it was just a matter of time before some other clothing company thought, ”Aha! We can make pants too!” Enter British runner’s favourite Ron Hill. If you’re old, like me, you will remember Tracksters.

Last update on 2022-06-16 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

So I bought a pair of briefs, similar to the Runderwear ones I already own, out of curiosity really. I now have more running pants than I can wear in a week

Ron Hill running pants

What is the difference? Not much that I can find to be fair. Both are good quality and fit my beautifully chiselled buns. I think the difference is feel of the material, but when you’re wearing them you don’t notice.

Both Runderwear and Ron Hill make great products; Ron Hills shorts are great sturdy and wick well. Both products, for me at least, have been chafe-free both running and in the gym.

Final thoughts on running pants

I’m surprised there are not more companies making really good running underwear in the UK. For me, right now, I’d say that Runderwear and Ron Hill have cornered the market with a great range of products.

But that’s not to say that I’m not open to trying more – so fling any recommendations this way. There are some great products available overseas too, that I have yet to try. T8, for example, have had great reviews, including our own appraisal here on Run Deep.

Main photo by RUN 4 FFWPU from Pexels