Performance Underwear

For the Gym & Beyond

Sporty Skivvies Take Center Stage in Active Situations.

Saxx Cannonball.

Fueled by Fitness. Launching for Spring 2019, Marmot’s new underwear collection targets young, active types “not looking for another everyday piece of underwear, but one for specific activities like the climbing gym or the trail,” says Bianka Ventura, category manager for underwear and baselayers at Newell Brands. Fabrics are lightweight, breathable, quick-drying and odor resistant. Product features for men include a soft waistband, flip-out fly, supportive seaming and a jewel harness. For women, specific patterning eliminates side seams to prevent chafing and enable harness/backpack compatibility.

From golf to studio and soccer, UFM’s briefs and trunks offer maximum moisture management in a 90/10 polyester/spandex combo.

UFM CEO John Polidan prides his brand on being “the only men’s fitness underwear product that provides actual support.” Others either “compress by smashing manhood against the thigh, isolate to eliminate contact with the thigh (but you still dangle) or offer no special technology at all,” the exec says.

Marketing director Adam Greene notes that Saxx’s “underwear and shorts are designed to eliminate chafe while providing support and breathability, an area we felt was hugely underdressed in the market.” Research has shown that “men are quite selective in their underwear choices and that they’ll likely wear a performance pair for fitness, weight lifting, running, etc.,” the exec says, so the Kinetic collection is directly targeted to men wanting support during exercise. Meanwhile, the ThermoFlyte line is better suited for outdoor activity. Both offer a BallPark Pouch which keeps everything in place, Flat Out Seams that place the flatter, softer side against the body to reduce itching and a Three D Fit for support around the glutes, thighs, quads and hamstrings. This season Saxx is also introducing Undercover, which is the brand’s take on classic, cotton underwear. Briefs, trunks and boxer briefs are featured in a soft, breathable cotton/Modal blend with odorless technology. For women, KnixWear has updated and improved its Thigh Saver long-leg bottoms designed to combat sticky thighs. The brand’s Leakproof Underwear is superabsorbent and dries two-to-three times faster than regular cotton, making them a perfect accessory for running and high intensity exercise.

Underwear in Overtime. As fitness-wear becomes all-day wear (queue the athleisure trend), performance underwear brands are adjusting. With 2UNDR, “you can easily transition from the boardroom to the golf course or basketball court to Cross Fit as none of our styles contain cotton, which can retain moisture, create heat and promote chafing,” comments national sales manager Jeff Curry. 2UNDR’s patented Joey Pouch prevents skin-on-skin contact to “improve the way a man does anything from sit to walk to run or jump,” he notes. Currently worn by more than 10 professional sports teams and 50 collegiate teams, the Power Shift style contains cold skin technology that decreases a man’s skin temperature up to six degrees.

Marmot Performance 6-inch Boxer Brief
Saxx Vibe
BN3th Active Pro 2.0
2UNDR Swing Shift 6-inch Boxer Brief
UFM 6-inch Boxer Brief
Wood Junction Trunk

Whether in the gym or out, “we encourage men to think about selecting their underwear appropriate to the moment,” says Terresa Zimmerman, founder of Wood. While the brand’s product is performance-based, “we’re much more about being the underwear you put on after the workout,” the exec says. Styles and fabrics are built around all-day comfort without sacrificing technical attributes such as wicking and thermocontrol.

Unquestionably super-technical and results-driven, 2XU bottoms offer graduated compression and a PWK (Power, Weight, Flex) fabric for maximum flexibility. Functionally, the brand’s recovery tights are designed to be worn after workouts for a few hours during the day, depending on the style. To accommodate the tights-under-shorts trend both in and out of the gym, 2XU’s design team recently started creating more styles with flat-lay jacquard waistbands similar in thickness and width to a pair of briefs. The waistband is currently available in Accelerate and Recovery Tight styles, and will soon be featured in its MCS (Muscle Containment Stamping) sport-specific tights designed to reduce muscle fatigue.  

2018 signifies a new start for MyPakage, as the brand looks to expand product lines and distribution. Relaunching with a new name – BN3th – and identity in February, the brand is laser-focused on accommodating “a customer who is all about living his life without feeling uncomfortable,” says Adam Chuntz, director of integrated marketing. Their “guy” is 27, has a disposable income to afford the finer things in life, has a post-secondary education and an active lifestyle. BN3th styles are designed to “take him from point A to B and everything in between,” adds the exec, including the gym. For Spring ’19, Chuntz and his team are excited about “improvements in fabrics allowing for men to work out, go to work and get on with their day without discomfort, sweat or odor.”