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Best women’s underwear for running: 7 pairs for comfortable workouts

Stretchy, sweat-wicking and seam-free, a good pair of gym knickers needs to tick a lot of boxes. To save you the hassle of scouring the internet, we’ve rounded up the best women’s running underwear from all the leading brands

Compilation of running underwear on a cream background

Finding a good pair of running knickers can be easier said than done. Women’s running underwear needs to perform well in a number of different categories, keeping you dry and comfortable, relatively fragrant and irritation-free.

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Ideally, you’ll also want to avoid the dreaded VPL on tight-fitting clothing like leggings.

Quick list: 

What to look for when buying underwear for running

The best women’s running underwear is made with stretchy, breathable fabrics. Avoid natural materials like cotton, which become heavy when wet, and instead opt for a sweat-wicking, quick-drying technical fabric.

To avoid chafing and annoying VPLs, you’ll want to go for a seam-free design – preferably without big labels and tags, too.

Look for these features:

  • Stretchy
  • Lightweight
  • Breathable
  • Sweat-wicking
  • Quick-drying
  • Seam-free/tag-free
  • Anti-odour

Best women’s running underwear

Runderwear Women’s Running Briefs

With a name like Runderwear, you’d expect this brand to know a thing or two about workout briefs.

These Running Briefs use a breathable fabric with micro-perforations that is said to improve airflow and stop you overheating. The sweat-wicking fabric also purports to quickly whisk moisture away from your skin, even in extreme temperatures, claim Runderwear.

The high-waisted, seam- and label-free design is meant to further improve comfort and remove the risk of chafing.

The Running Briefs come in black, navy or blue.

ODLO The Women’s Performance Light Sports Underwear

Designed to offer better coverage than briefs – and potentially less chafing and fewer VPLs – short-style underwear is a popular choice.

This design comes from Odlo, which was founded in Norway over 70 years ago. Its women’s running underwear is ‘engineered in Switzerland’ and claims to perform well in the harshest of conditions, so these boxers should easily stand up to everyday runs and workouts.

Odlo has incorporated ventilation zones into the design, which they say provide up to 20% more breathability. The shorts also include Odlo’s ZeroScent technology which claims to reduce bacteria build-up.

Sweaty Betty Barely There Pant

Sweaty Betty is a go-to brand for many of us, so its women’s running underwear should also be a solid choice. This multi-pack of gym knickers boasts a seam-free design and bonded edges to reduce chafing.

While the gusset is made from 100% cotton for comfort, the rest of the design is crafted with, the brand claims, lightweight, breathable and sweat-wicking fabric.

These running knickers come in a range of colours, including this versatile beige tone.

Under Armour UA Pure Stretch Thong

The Pure Stretch Thong from Under Armour is an interesting alternative to gym knickers with their larger silhouettes, like briefs and shorts

With laser-cut fabric and a hem- and tag-free design, these thongs are designed to avoid VPLs and remain comfortable as you run.

Under Armour has created this line of women’s running underwear with soft, stretchy fabric and a cotton gusset that’s designed for extra comfort and breathability.

Gymshark Seamless Boxers

Gymshark has designed this line of running boxers with a high-rise shape and a thick waistband to, they say, provide more comfort.

A seamless finish and 100% cotton gusset lining should further help you perform at your best on long runs.

The biggest plus point of this line of women’s running underwear is its inclusive colour options to suit a range of skin tones. Choose between neutral shades, including ‘fawn’, ‘golden’, ‘walnut’ and ‘espresso’.

Kalenji Breathable Running Briefs

If you’re looking for a budget-friendly option, then these women’s running knickers from Decathlon could be an option for you.

Tested and approved by runners to make sure they perform to the highest standard, the silhouette combines the look of briefs at the front and hot pants at the back to, the brand claims, provide flexibility and coverage.

Ventilated panels and quick-drying fabric complete the package.

Higher State Seamfree Briefs

These running knickers come from Yorkshire-based brand Higher State. Crafted with durability in mind, they should stand up to everyday wear and tear.

According to Higher State, this line of women’s running underwear stays in position and quickly removes moisture and excess heat to keep you feeling comfortable on long runs.

It also has a ‘zero seam construction’ which should be ideal for reducing chafing and VPLs.

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Find more high-quality running gear for women in our guides to the best running tights, running shorts and running tops.