Let's put it all on the table right now: How annoying is it when your underwear crawls up your butt or (gasp) your front while working out? Just like your sneakers or sports bra, your underwear can make or break your workout.
You want your underwear to fit securely to your body, but you don't want it to be too tight that it restricts your movement. At the same time, it should provide the coverage you need without feeling like you're wearing an extra pair of shorts.
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But with so many cuts, fabrics and styles out there, finding the best underwear for working out can be daunting — and costly. Luckily, we've teamed up with Jodie Horton, MD, an obstetrician-gynecologist based in Washington, D.C., to do the research on your behalf.
Read on to find the 10 best women's underwear for working out.
The 10 Best Underwear for Working Out
1. REI Co-op Active Bikini Underwear
These bikini-style undies are great for working out because they have thin seams, which means they won't cut into or show prominent panty lines on your bottom. They also come in black and neutral shades of beige and nude, so they wear well under a variety legging colors.
"They are everything I would want in active underwear — full coverage but seamless and lightweight," Horton says. Plus, they have the antimicrobial treatment, which is great for reducing down-there odors during sweaty workouts.
Buy it: REI.com; Price: $16.95
2. Women's UA Pure Stretch Hipster 3-Pack
The laser-cut edges on this workout underwear for women provide a seamless look while giving you full front and back coverage, Dr. Horton says. It also has four-way-stretch and anti-odor technology so you can move freely while breaking a sweat. More than 100 reviewers say they love how comfortable this hip-hugging women's underwear fits and feels.
Friendly buying tip: The laser cut can allow the undies to glide and bunch up if you don't get the right size. So choose wisely.
Buy it: Underarmour.com; Price: $25 per pack of 3
3. Parade Re:Play High Rise Thong
You'll never think of thongs the same way once you try on Parade's super breathable version. This specialty women's workout thong underwear has ventilated mesh panels on the sides and is said to stretch up to two times in size for added comfort. It also sits high on your waist, giving you a secure fit and a seamless look under a pair of high-waisted leggings. Who wants their thong slipping down their leggings mid-burpee?
The bonus is that Parade has a 30-day refund policy. "I love the try-on guarantee," Dr. Horton says. "If you don't like the fit, you can try another size or get a full refund. I love a good return policy, especially when buying underwear online."
Buy it: Yourparade.com; Price: $10
4. Lululemon Smooth Seamless Thong
The delicate, feminine design of this women's workout thong underwear makes it look like lingerie, but its sweat-wicking material makes it built for movement. We also appreciate the laser-cut edges and chafe-free bonded seams, which prevent skin irritation.
Dr. Horton says this underwear is particularly great for slow, steady workouts, like a Pilates or mobility session, but they're also great for everyday wear.
Buy it: Lululemon.com; Price: $48 per pack of 3
5. Born Primitive Athleisure Undies
Designed with athletes in mind, this workout brief is a perfect fit for anyone with strong glutes. "I love the ruching in the back," Dr. Horton says. It also has a hip-hugger design so it sit where it needs to be.
This women's workout underwear comes in seven bold colors and six different sizes, from extra small to 2X large, and based on the website's reviews, pairs run true to size.
Buy it: Bornprimitive.com; Price: $10
6. Spanx Under Statements Thong
This body-flattering, quick-drying thong doesn't look like it belongs in athleisure wear, but it is certainly designed to withstand the sweatiest workouts. The nylon, cotton and Spandex fabric blend gives you freedom of movement while keeping you cool.
It also comes in a variety of fun prints and colors.
Buy it: Spanx.com; Price: $20
7. Boody Midi Brief
If you have sensitive skin, you'll be glad the bamboo fabric on these midi briefs is breathable and keeps odor-causing bacteria at bay.
We love their unique design, which is halfway between a brief and bikini, giving you the support and coverage you desire. They also have a flat-ribbed waistband and seamless sides, so they won't pinch your skin. Buy them as a single pair or in a pack of four.
Buy it: Boodywear.com; Price: $12.95
8. Everlane The Invisible High-Rise Hipster
This high-rise nylon hipster will give you maximum tummy support with a comfortable fit and stretch for unrestricted movement, Dr. Horton says. And because it sits flat on your skin and has a seamless construction, it's a great accessory with any type of outfit, workout leggings or not.
The other great perk is that it's made with 100 percent regenerated nylon. "If you're looking for an environmentally friendly option, this is it," Dr. Horton says. "They are made from recycled plastic bottles and nylon."
Buy it: Everlane.com; Price: $15
9. REI Co-op Active Thong Underwear
REI's sweat-wicking, antimicrobial thong is a pretty safe bet where workout underwear is concerned.
Unlike other laser-cut varieties, this thong has thicker seams to help you feel extra secure, no matter how your workout has you moving.
Buy it: REI.com; Price: $14.95
10. Bombas Women's Seamless Bikini
If you want a seamless construction with extra coverage, Bombas' bikini is an excellent choice. This underwear is tag-free, breathable and has a comfortable waistband that hugs at the hips.
We also appreciate that it comes in six sizes and eight colors with different shades of nude.
Buy it: Bombas.com; Price: $20
How to Find the Best Underwear for Working Out
Just as you may have a preferred type of sports bra or workout leggings, once you find the absolute best underwear for your body and workout style, you'll be hooked.
While you may prefer cotton panties for day-to-day wear, they're not the best choice when exercising. Cotton is a natural fabric but it doesn't dry as quickly as synthetic fabrics or wool, according to the National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM).
While wearing sweaty underwear won't necessarily cause a yeast infection, it can disrupt the natural balance of yeast and bacteria in your vagina. So, it's important to choose quick-drying, sweat-wicking fabrics like bamboo, nylon or polyester, Dr. Horton says.
"The vagina has normal bacteria that prevents the overgrowth of bad bacteria like bacterial vaginosis and yeast," Dr. Horton says. "However, a warm, wet environment after a sweat session can be a breeding ground for infection."
You'll want to consider the design, too. If you like to exercise in snug leggings, a seamless pair can help hide any lines. Or, if you run in light, loose shorts, you may prefer more coverage with a brief.
It's all about feeling confident, comfortable and ready to rock your workouts.