Most of us have cute workout sneakers and sports bras that double as going-out tops in our closets by now, but the best underwear for working out still isn’t among the first things that come to mind when you think of workout gear. But it’s just as important—if not more so—than any cute pair of bike shorts or black leggings. Your ob-gyn would likely agree.
“Always try to change out of sweaty workout clothes as soon as you can,” says Mary Jane Minkin, MD, clinical professor of obstetrics and gynecology at Yale University Medical School. “That does seem to reduce the incidence of vaginitis, particularly yeast infections.”
In addition, Dr. Minkin emphasizes the importance of finding breathable fabrics for high-intensity workouts. It’s a big factor in what makes some underwear better than others. “In general, I encourage women to wear cotton underwear while working out, but the newer blends that wick away sweat are good too,” she says.
Best Underwear for Working Out 2023:
- Best Invisible Exercise Underwear: Lululemon InvisiWear Mid-Rise Thong, $18
- Best Underwear for Yoga: Alo Airbrush Invisible Cheeky, $18
- Best Underwear for Pilates: Bombas Women’s Active No-Show Thong, $18
- Best Sweat-Wicking Underwear: Fruit of the Loom Coolblend Moisture-Wicking Panties, $14
- Best Underwear for Running: Athleta Ritual Bikini Underwear, $16
- Best Cotton Underwear for Workouts: Anzermix Breathable Cotton Thong, $11
When it comes to fabric, there are several options—including the odor-resistant merino wool blend, breathable modal, and eco-friendly cotton. But it’s also important to factor in comfort and silhouette. You might not want panty lines visible through your workout leggings; and some full-coverage styles can lead to a wedgie, which will definitely kill any zen vibes during your vinyasa flow (and explains why thongs are so popular in this category).
That said, even the best underwear for working out can only do so much. “If it does seem like an infection is ongoing despite these good measures, it’s probably time to check in with your health care provider,” Dr. Minkin says. With that in mind, find several options below that follow ob-gyn guidelines.
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