A couple of months ago there was a thread on Twitter about whether runners wore pants under their running shorts or not. Of course, they don’t, I thought. Who would do something like that?! However, as I read on – in increasingly bewildered astonishment – it soon became clear that a lot more people wear pants beneath their shiny new running apparel than I thought. Surely the chaffing must be awful? The extra heat generating further unwanted sweatiness and general stinkyness, not to mention the heightened chance of infertility, if the spermatazoer doomsayers are to be believed. No, I would definitely continue living a life of slightly chilly but well aerated swinging freedom.
However, a few days later – as if some deep underwear telepathy was at work – I was contacted by Runner’s Radar who asked me whether I wanted to try out some new sport specific pants that are designed for wearing under running gear. I know modern day internet algorithms are pretty complex but I didn’t realise Google etc could now read my mind. Crazy. Anyway, I accepted at once, not because I thought I would actually enjoy running in them, but because everyone loves a bit of free stash. It would make a change from lycra and who knows, it might even be a little more seductive during the pre-bedtime routine than sweaty bib shorts. Well in my wife’s opinion anyway.
Where was I? Oh yes. A few weeks later a box arrived with 4 pairs of Saxx Pants and an impressively glossy brochure spouting such technology as, ‘Patented BallPark Pouch for friction free support’ and ‘Non-chaffing flat out seems’, ‘Three-D fit with 9-panel construction’, not to mentioned the ‘Anti-microbial technology’. I scoffed at this over the top jargon: they’re pants for goodness sake! Anyway, in the box were two pair of Kinetics: designed for ‘high-output activities’ i.e. running (before you suggest anything else), and two pairs of Vibes for ‘everyday wearing’. Both sets of pair came as boxer briefs and the long leg.
The first impression I got was that they look really cool. The Vibes had an eye-catching neon lime finish around the edge (sounds weird but actually looks really good) and the Vibes had a funky camouflage pattern. Leafing through the catalogue revealed so many different designs from the plain to the far out. There really is something for anyone’s taste. When I put them on I instantly noticed the semi compression feel and the 90% nylon/10% spandex fabric felt really smooth and comfortable. As the for the ‘Patented Ballpark Pouch’ – which I scoffed at earlier – it felt brilliant! I will avoid too much detail at this point given the subject matter but all I can say is, ‘why don’t other pants have this design?!’. Suffice to say I was immediately won over by these pants. However, the real test would be running in them.
I donned the Kinetics and pulled on my running shorts (Saxx also make running shorts – which I am clearly going to try and review in the future!) and headed off for an undulating 12 miler with some easy miles at the beginning and end and faster stuff in the middle. Mixing the terrain and pace up over a solid distance would certainly reveal any shortcomings in the pants. I immediately noticed the semi compression fit which was just about strong enough to hold the pants in place and offer a little bit of muscular support/proprioception on the quads and hamstrings. The ‘pouch’ held things in place without being squashed or too restrictive and there was absolutely no chaffing even though I was working hard at times and getting pretty hot. The greatest accolade was probably the fact that for long periods of time – unless I actively though about it – I forgot I was wearing pants and was completely lost in the joy of the Cotswold hill trails and the euphoric running induced endorphins.
Quite frankly, I was won over by these pants. Not just because they feel great and are effective, but they look cool. I never thought I would be converted to pants beneath running shorts but I most certainly have been. Next time there is a thread on Twitter about whether to wear pants under shorts or not, I am definitely going to chip in with a resounding thumbs’ up.
About SAXX Underwear:
SAXX is a pioneer in the underwear industry, producing a patented product like nothing else seen before on the market. Created by an athlete and avid outdoorsman, SAXX Underwear Co. was founded with a mission to revolutionize the core staple of every man’s wardrobe. The original producer of internal mesh panel underwear, SAXX continues to develop the most comfortable, authentic design-driven apparel available. Providing unmatched support for men, SAXX is now the fastest growing men’s underwear company in North America.