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The Best Underwear for Working Out

Just imagine for a moment that you're in the middle of a hike up to a beautiful summit: You have the right shoes; your clothes are supportive and are protecting you from the elements; you've prepared for this excursion in every way. Except one. The entire time that you're hiking, your underwear is pinching you, riding up, absorbing heat and your sweat. It turned what should have been a rewarding experience into a mountain climb where you couldn't stop focusing on your discomfort. We've all felt it – at the gym, on a run, in yoga class. Choosing the right underwear to wear when working out is just as important as choosing the right workout attire, and just as tricky when you've never done it before.

Luckily, many of the same principles that make for comfortable underwear choices during your daily wear apply to the panties you'd wear when working out.

What is the Best Underwear to Wear When Working Out?

At the end of the day, the best underwear to wear when working out largely comes down to personal preference and how a certain pair of panties holds up during high intensity movements. That being said, there are still some best practices to keep in mind as you start on your workout underwear journey.

Best Underwear Materials for Working Out

Because underwear is in direct contact with your most intimate parts, choosing the right material for you is super important. From a health perspective, making sure to wear breathable natural fabrics such as cotton is by far one of the best choices. Cotton panties promote vaginal health by wicking away moisture and heat when working out, which helps prevent bacteria from growing. Keeping bacteria from growing also makes cotton an odor-reducing fabric – an added plus when working out.

Making sure to wear fabrics that have large ranges of motion also helps to make sure you're not constricted. There's no point in breathable underwear if you can't do the movements or exercises you'd like to do comfortably. Because of this, choosing flexibility-minded fabrics like nylon, polyester and spandex will help give that "barely there" feel for your most mobile workouts.

Best Underwear Styles for Working Out

What's the point of finding a pair of underwear that's the right fabric for you if the moment you attempt a semi-complicated yoga pose or stretch before a run, the underwear bunches or rides up in a way that makes you feel uncomfortable or overexposed? This is where the style of underwear that you wear becomes super important. Style, as much as material, determines your comfort. So whether you're uncomfortable working out with VPLs (visible panty lines) showing through your workout leggings or are simply trying to find the most wedgie-resistant style to workout in, finding the right silhouette for you is just as important as the fabric.

Avoiding VPLs

Leggings are some of the best work-out pants around. They're cute, flexible, and designed for comfort and movability. They're perfect in pretty much every way except that when they form to your skin, they also form to your underwear and make some of the most prominent underwear lines imaginable. For some of us, panty lines don't matter but for many, VPLs can make you uncomfortable and maybe self-conscious. Never fear, however, just because panty lines are prominent with leggings, it doesn't mean they can't be avoided.

Seamless panties are your best bet when trying to avoid those pesky panty lines. Constructed just as the name suggests—without seams—this trending style keeps your panties camouflage under your tightest workout leggings. Another great thing about seamless panties is they come in nearly every cut and style you can think of, so whether you're most comfortable in a high-waisted brief or G-string thong, there are invisible panty options for every woman and every workout. We've listed some of our favorites below.

Less is More

Outside of avoiding panty lines, the other thing to consider when choosing what underwear style to wear when working out is the amount of fabric that you'll be moving around in. Just think back to any time you've gotten caught between the folds of a well-loved pajama set as it gets tangled up in your sheets and moving body. Fabric doesn't always move with us, and working out in underwear is no different. If you're planning on moving, make sure to choose a silhouette that compliments your workout plans. Put simply, it might be a good time to opt for a low-rise bikini as opposed to a high-rise boy short. Or, if you're looking for some extra hold while you move, consider a shaping panty.

Top 8 Panties for Working Out

  1. Chantelle Soft Stretch Thong

    A thong will always be one of the best choices for working out. They're perfect because they have less fabric to get twisted around and offer a larger range of motion without giving obvious panty lines through form-fitting workout clothes like leggings. The Chantelle Soft Stretch Thong is doubly great because it has a large range of color options that can match any color workout set you can imagine wearing. This one-size thong fits the size range of small to extra-large and eliminates panty lines. It is made of a microfiber and cotton composition to make for a form fitting, comfortable coverage thong that can be worn with high- and low-waisted clothing.

  2. Hanro Cotton Seamless Hi-Cut Brief

    Sports underwear doesn't only come in thongs (thankfully, as we're all different and all prefer different fits and feels). For those that like a brief, the Hanro Cotton Seamless Hi-Cut Brief is a great option for comfort and movability. The stylish high cut does more than look cute, it's also less constrictive around the leg so that you can move freely without restricting your movements. The edges are also made non-binding so that they lay flat and give off a smooth look in clothing. Add in that they're 100% cotton— making them breathable, moisture-wicking, and quick-to-dry; all perfect qualities for the best underwear to wear when exercising.

  3. Calvin Klein Invisibles Thong

    Sometimes a name brand is just as good as they're made out to be, and in the case of these Calvin Klein Invisible Thongs, they do the reputation of Calvin Klein justice. Calvin Klein is known for exceptional quality and these low-rise invisible thongs feature laser cut edges that lie flat against the body and a microfiber and cotton composition to stretch while maintaining the breathable nature of the cotton. All these features combine to make underwear that looks and feels invisible. Don't worry about wearing these with leggings or a leotard. Instead, rest easy that even though you don't feel them. This fitness thong is indeed doing its job.

  4. Chantelle Soft Stretch Hipster

    The most important thing to look for when shopping for the best sports underwear is that they'll be comfortable when you're wearing them. This is doubly important when looking for the type of underwear to wear to the gym because you're moving around and exerting yourself so much more than you would be traditionally. You're not likely to find yourself sweating as intensely on your morning commute as you will on a treadmill, so searching for that perfect level of comfort is super important. In the case of the Chantelle Soft Stretch Hipster, comfort is the quality that this underwear has above all else, in fact there are almost 70 reviews talking about the pure comfort that this underwear provides.

  5. Wacoal At Ease Brief

    When working out, the last thing you should be worried about is VPLs through your leggings. You should be focused on feeling good mentally and physically. To keep your mind at ease and focused on the right things, the Wacoal At Ease brief offers both coverage and discretion. This is done through laser cut edges and a smooth microfiber composition. Add in a modest rise waistband and this underwear becomes the full-coverage exercise underwear of your dreams. While this underwear is one size, those with a curvy body type still note them as the most comfortable panty ever. So no matter the shape of your body, these will work great for working out.

  6. Vanity Fair Illumination Spring Bikini

    Vanity Fair does it again with the Illumination Spring Bikini. As one of the most highly reviewed panties on this list, it should come as no surprise that they're both stylish and comfortable. As a workout underwear they are elegant, comfortable, and delicate with a satin-trimmed string bikini design. Made from a silky stretch microfiber, they rest comfortably at the hip and stay firmly in place. With almost 300 positive reviews, rest assured this is a pair of underwear you'll never want to lose. And with the features that fit them close to the body, they're the perfect bikini to wear when working out.

  7. Bare by Bare Necessities Everyday No-Show Hipster

    It's always a good sign when the name of the underwear you're looking at purchasing uses phrases like "no-show" and "easy". It's an even better sign when the reviews of the underwear reaffirm that they are in fact invisible, soft, and easy to wear. Add in an inclusive size range and it would be hard to turn this underwear down. But what makes them even better? The fact that they're made from a sweat-wicking, smooth stretch microfiber and cotton panel. This means that the modest rise hipster that eliminates panty lines also won't retain moisture while you're working out. Say hello to a fun and comfortable workout, not hindered by the underwear you have on.

  8. Hanky Panky Breathe High Waist Thong

    Usually, when you're working out, trying to wear less fabric is a good thing as you're putting on underwear. You don't want them to get bunched up and you don't want to worry about chafing or the discomfort that comes from having visible panty lines. The drawback of this is that there are many that prefer more coverage and support from their underwear. Striking the right balance can be difficult, but the Hanky Panky Breathe High Waisted Thong offers the best of all worlds. This thong is made of a lightweight and breathable moisture-wicking stretch microfiber while also designed to stay in place while you move. These are all great qualities for a workout underwear, but what really makes this thong stand out is its figure-flattering waistband for those that want a bit more coverage out of their underwear.

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