It’s not often that running shorts grab our attention, but Saxx brings its reputation for comfy, secure underwear to the category. As the origin story goes, Saxx caught wind of runners cutting the liners out of their shorts to wear the company’s athletic underwear beneath, and designed a two-in-one short to meet those needs. The biggest feature here is the brand’s signature “BallPark Pouch.” Constructed to give the crotch a rounded room up front and thin mesh ‘rails’ to the side, the liner keeps things in place while running and prevents rubbing against other fabric.
Run shorts are usually just a polyester shell of varying quality, construction and storage options. The typical mesh polyester “hammock” with elastic sides often fits too high, requiring it be dug out every so often, or worse, it sags when wet and chafes the inner thighs or other nearby parts. That’s lead many runners to wear liner-less shorts for short distances (cheaper, but no support) or lined two-in-one shorts for longer hauls.
These shorts are the company’s first foray into running –or any outwear for that matter– and they’ve nailed it. Beyond the pouch, the soft fabric and overall construction of the liner short put these ahead of the pack in terms of comfort. The nylon short and nine-panel liner have a five-inch inseam and there’s some spandex in the liner so it fits snug against the legs without riding up. Like the Kinetic boxers, the panels are perforated mesh. Held up to light, the mesh is more see-through looking out through the fabric than in; a good indicator that heat and moisture will wick away when things get active. The shorts will still collect some sweat on long runs, but you won’t feel like you’re running in a soggy diaper, nor return with raw thighs.
The liner has an anti-microbial treatment, which may prevent immediate stench, but we advise rinsing and washing after use just like any other piece intimate with your sweat. Other features include a wide waistband and two full side pockets; one of which has a hidden zip compartment inside.
The Saxx Kinetic Run shorts are available for $74.95. Priced similar to other lined run or trail shorts, existing fans of the underwear will likely put down their scissors and pull out their wallets.
PROS: overall comfort, fit up front and in the seat, no chafing, pockets
CONS: pricy for running shorts; 5″ liner may be too long for some
Note: I think pockets are good for temp storage or stashing gloves mid-run. Others hate them.