Comprehensive Guide to Compression Shorts

Answers for all of your compression short questions.

Male and female athletes wearing compression shorts.

Whether you ’ re on the search for a newfangled couple or just made your very first buy, there are a few things you ’ ll want to know when it comes to your compaction shorts.

Of run, the basics of compaction shorts are square and simple. They are, after all, a pair of shorts. But as compaction garments grow in popularity, in both the sport populace and casual life, many of their benefits are lost on the average drug user.

A fiddling compression brusque cognition can go a long manner. By understanding the intend design of compaction shorts and how to best derive their benefits, you can elevate your acrobatic performance, foster your hard-working muscles, and enjoy a much more comfortable compression wear experience.

In this scout, we ’ ll cover all the basics : how to wear compression shorts, how they should fit, what to look for when buying, and provide answers to common compression short questions.

What Are Compression Shorts?

To start things off, let ’ s establish a base of what we ’ re referring to when we use the term “ compression shorts. ” What puts compaction shorts in their own category is their fabric type and singular invention.

Both polyester and nylon are common fabrics used in compaction shorts, which are then interracial with spandex, lycra, or elastane. The blend of these fabrics provides the signature nasty and stretchable feel and expression of compaction shorts.

Female athlete wearing compression shorts.

It besides maximizes the alone design of compaction shorts, which compresses the muscles underneath the fabric without restricting their range of gesticulate. This design assists acrobatic performance, warm-up, and brawn recovery making compression shorts a very democratic option among athletes.

Whether the shorts are worn as underwear ( under a undifferentiated or training gear ) or as tire ( depart of a uniform or outfit ), compaction shorts are uniquely suited to provide more comfort and better athletic performance in a way that other garments are ineffective to achieve.

The Correct Way to Put On Compression Shorts

Compared to a regular pair of shorts, compression shorts require a bite more wish and attention when putting on due to their alone construction.

Of course, the basics are the lapp as any couple of shorts ( two legs through and pull up to the waist ) but following the extra steps laid out here will help to ensure you receive full compression benefits, reduce potential injury, and extend the life of the garment.

Step 1: Bunch the shorts together thus that the girdle and the leg hem converge, allowing you to gather the garment from top to bottom in your hands.

Step 2: Pass your feet through the leg openings of the shorts. Try to do so without pulling one of the legs up much further than the early, so as not to stress the garment.

Step 3: With both legs through, pull the shorts up to the top of your knees while inactive in bunch class.

Step 4: once over the knee, you can begin to un-bunch and lengthen the shorts over the pelvic region and up toward your shank. There are two points here where you ’ ll want to be careful about placing undue stress on your compression shorts : the thighs and the glutes.

Step 5: Work the shorts up lento over both thighs, moving only a little at a time if necessity so as not to stretch the dress in awkward spots.

Step 6: similarly, guide the fabric over your glutes preferably than yanking at the girdle. The seam that joins the girdle is a common spot of garment breakdown when handled excessively aggressively.

Step 7: Rest the girdle at your normal or ideal waist placement. Make sure it is laid flat without any fold over or under. While it ’ south natural for some bunch, rolling, or shifting to occur in the stage of compression shorts as you move, the girdle should stay securely in home and require small to no adaptation.

Step 8: Smooth out the framework and adjust any areas that feel restrictive to your natural range of movement.

Step 9: While not a necessity component, some people choose to wear underwear beneath their compression shorts. In this case, the underwear may require some adaptation after you have pulled up the compaction shorts and fitted at your shank.

To do then, with one hand pull the shorts outward from your torso at the girdle and adjust your underwear with your free hand. Make certain that it lays flat without any bunch together or uncomfortable spots of clash along seams, as this will entirely amplify and worsen as you begin activity.

Note: Bunching your compression shorts ( preferably than pulling unvoiced from the top ) will not only help to avoid undo stress on the dress, but besides help to avoid any unfortunate injuries when putting on the shorts.

How Should Compression Shorts Fit?

even as the assortment and design of compaction shorts grow and develop, there are a few authoritative characteristics that you ’ ll constantly want to have in your pair of compression shorts.

For starters, compression shorts are designed to fit snuggly against your skin. When wearing compression shorts you should feel their compressive coerce throughout the entire dress, from the girdle all the direction through to the hemline of the legs.

This pressure should be firm but not besides firm. pressure would be considered excessively firm if you found the compression shorts uncomfortable to wear or restrictive of your drift.

Male athlete wearing compression shorts.

Another characteristic of compression shorts is that they ’ re frequently worn underneath a pair of athletic shorts or pants, such as an athlete ’ randomness uniform or discipline gear. compaction shorts have become the standard option of athletes thanks to their smooth layer fit that greatly reduces any bunch, shifting, or riding up ( among other great athletic benefits ).

For case, it ’ s a coarse sight to see basketball players wearing compression shorts under their uniforms. During toy, you can see how important it is that the shorts fit tightly against the athlete ’ randomness stage, about like a second skin. This allows the uniform to fit comfortably over the top of the compression shorts without causing any clash, bunch together, or other distraction.

If you ’ ra concerned in learning more about best practices for choosing the right fit, check out our compression Wear Fit Guide.

How Should Compression Shorts Be Worn: Underwear or Outerwear?

For starters, if you ’ re wondering whether compression shorts should be worn as either underwear or outerwear, it may be helpful to know that this technically is not an “ either/or ” question. compression shorts are unique in that they can be worn as both underwear and outerwear, and athletes normally utilize both styles.

Choosing to wear your compression shorts as underwear or outerwear could depend on any number of factors : personal preference, style of compression short, the frolic or activity you ’ ra wearing them for and indeed on.

Male and female track athletes wearing compression shorts.

In certain sports, it ’ randomness common to wear compression shorts as underwear, i.e. under the uniform. These sports include basketball, baseball, football, tennis, soccer, and more.

While in early sports, such as volleyball, track and field, and others, we see compression shorts worn as outerwear ( i.e. as depart of the uniform ). so, it ’ mho much best to look at the common practice of your given sport when making this decision.

Check out our top picks for the Best Volleyball Shorts

If you ’ re wearing compression shorts outside the context of a sporting consequence, such as to the gymnasium or exercising outdoors, the stigmatize and garment details of your compression shorts can clue you in on whether they ’ rhenium intended to be worn as underwear or outerwear.

For case, compression shorts that utilize thick fabric or have features like a pocket to hold your phone are typically worn as outerwear. Whereas compression shorts that utilize a thin framework and may even be semi-transparent in nature are typically worn as underwear.

Are Compression Shorts Acceptable Outerwear?

Whether you ’ re fresh to compression shorts or you ’ ve entirely been wearing them as an underwear choice, you may be wondering about wearing compaction shorts as outerwear. In particular, you may be wondering if it ’ s acceptable to wear as outerwear due to their mean and form-fitting design.

Yes, it ’ s acceptable to wear compaction shorts as outerwear. In fact, you ’ ve likely seen athletes wearing them as such in some imprint or another. For example, this style is popular among runners ( enthusiasts and professionals alike ), and sports like volleyball feature them as part of their uniform.

Athlete wearing compression shorts as outerwear.

While there is some argument around men wearing merely compression shorts or compression tights when working out at the gymnasium, broadly this option is up to the athlete, as the shorts are designed to be worn either way.

And of naturally, when it comes to activities like running or training outdoors, there ’ s very no debate at all, as you can pretty much wear whatever you prefer.

Do You Wear Compression Shorts Alone?

not lone will you find a big diverseness in style when shopping compression shorts nowadays, the shorts themselves offer bang-up versatility in terms of how they ’ re wear. In general, compaction shorts can be worn on their own as both underwear and outerwear.

In other words, you can wear compression shorts on their own as a layering part ( just as you would typically wear underwear ), and you can wear compression shorts on their own as outerwear ( as the shorts do not require an extra dress beneath them ).

Track athlete wearing compression shorts alone.

bill, however, that certain compression unretentive styles may be geared more directly toward being worn as a layering slice or being worn as outerwear. thankfully, there are celebrated features that can help you make this determination.

compression shorts that have a satiny, fluent match and that forgo any extra features or add-ons will work well if you ’ rhenium looking for an underwear layer option. Whereas compression shorts that have thicker framework and feature pockets and other adornments are probably good suited as an outerwear option.

Should I Wear Underwear with My Compression Shorts?

For those that are new to compression shorts, the most park first wonder associated with the shorts is whether or not you ’ re supposed to wear underwear with them.

Because they ’ re technically shorts, you might be thinking that of course I should wear underwear beneath them. But then as you try them on and feel the cozy and stretchable match, wearing underwear might feel bulky or excess. In this manner, compression shorts are like a hybrid of underwear and outerwear.

so, the simple answer here is that there is no rigorous “ yes ” or “ no ” when it comes to wearing underwear with your compaction shorts. ultimately, this doubt will come down to personal predilection and how you feel most comfortable when competing.

Athlete wearing compression shorts while running.

If we look at the intended design of compaction shorts, we know that they ’ re constructed as a basis layer ( i.e. meant to be break right against your skin ). When wear without any intervention between the compaction fabric and that of your skin and muscles, you ’ re able to achieve the maximal compression benefits of the dress.

That being said, choosing to wear underwear beneath your compaction shorts will not greatly impact your benefits or hinder your athletic ability. This option is equitable as coarse amongst athletes and may help to improve an athlete ’ s overall levels of quilt or security.

In other words, if you want to wear your compression shorts without underwear, you absolutely can. In fact, they ’ re designed to be worn this way. While on the other hand, if you prefer to wear underwear beneath your compaction shorts, you can absolutely do this excessively. many athletes prefer the extra layer of quilt and security while competing.

Can I Wear Compression Shorts as Underwear?

compaction shorts have become the go-to choice among athletes when it comes to choosing a basal layer during acrobatic train and contest.

For exemplar, look at sports like basketball, baseball, softball, and soccer ( among several others ), all of these sports prominently feature athletes that wear compression shorts beneath their uniforms.

In fact, if you ’ re already wearing the compression shorts under another couple of shorts or pants, whether a undifferentiated, training gear, or everyday wear, adding extra underwear beneath your compression shorts would end up being excess, potentially cause discomfort, and besides work against the benefits of the shorts. compression shorts are meant to be worn as a base layer, so wearing the shorts as underwear is no trouble.

additionally, if you ’ ra wearing compression shorts as outerwear, the shorts can typically be worn as an underwear/outerwear hybrid. broadly, there is no necessitate for an extra layer beneath your compression shorts ( unless if there are undifferentiated rules to take into consideration ).

Some people like the fit and feel of compression shorts so much that they ’ d like to extend their practice beyond the acrobatic kingdom and incorporate them into everyday break. There are a few things to keep in beware, however, if you ’ d like to wear compaction shorts as everyday underwear.

The huge majority of compression shorts that you purchase from established activewear brands are fine for casual wear. These shorts feature a normal ( or standard ) level of compression that is safe for offer wear. Keep in beware, however, that easing is always your ally and providing your muscles a break from compaction will help maintain the overall benefits of the shorts in the long term.

If you ’ re looking for compression shorts for everyday break, it ’ sulfur best to look at a hybrid compression boxer brief choice. This choice provides a slightly more relax meet while still offering many of the benefits of compaction shorts, such as the stretchable fit, breathability, and sweat-wicking capabilities.

How Long Can You Wear Compression Shorts?

compression shorts have grown in popularity thanks in region to how comfortable they are to wear during natural process. however, because of the little compressive blackmail that the dress applies to your body, it ’ s not strange to wonder if there are limits on how long you should wear compaction shorts.

If you ’ re an individual in effective health, there ’ s no problem with wearing compression shorts for exsert periods of time. In fact, compression wear is intended to be worn as a root layer, just like underwear, and can be worn for long durations.

however, if you have any health issues that may be impacted by compressive press being applied to your consistency, be indisputable to double check with a healthcare professional.

Athlete wearing compression shorts while exercising.

In general, it doesn ’ t make a dispute whether you ’ rhenium wearing compression shorts for a shorter period of acrobatic contest or for a longer reach of casual wear, you can enjoy their benefits either manner.

however, if you ’ re person that wears compression garments for longer periods of clock time, be sure to give your muscles and body a break from time to time. For the modal individual, there ’ s very no indigence or benefit to wearing compaction garments 24/7.

To learn more about the vary levels of coerce in compaction garments, along with how diverse compaction garments should fit and feel, check out our guidebook on choosing the correct fit.

What to Look for When Purchasing Compression Shorts

Finding the right pair of compression shorts comes down to a act of different variables. possibly you ’ ra looking for a sport-specific pair. Or possibly you ’ ra leaning toward a style that is more outerwear than underwear ( or frailty versa ).

possibly you ’ ve found that some compression short styles aren ’ t your ideal length or that they apply a fiddling besides much blackmail ( or frailty versa ). There ’ south besides taking the price of the shorts into explanation. What ’ sulfur your budget look like and how long do you expect to keep these shorts active and viable ? All of these factors can influence your option.

broadly speaking, however, when purchasing a couple of compaction shorts you ’ ra looking for a blend of quilt, officiate, and choice. These three factors make for a great pair of compression shorts.


first and first, your compression shorts should be comfortable. When you ’ re competing or training, there ’ sulfur nothing more distract than a shrewish discomfort from the garments you ’ rhenium wear. If you ’ re thinking about your invest while you ’ re active ( and particularly if it ’ second demanding your attention ), then you ’ ve got the incorrect pair of compaction shorts.

spirit for compression shorts that fit close and apply coerce while remaining comfortable in terms of both feel against your skin and overall range of motion.

In other words, your compression shorts should offer support to your muscles but not go thus far as to constrict them. If you are experiencing discomfort or constriction, consider sizing up or trying a different post.


following, a good copulate of compression shorts should be providing you with several functional benefits that alternative choices can not. These benefits include sweat-wicking capability, improved circulation, and brawn stabilization for your glutes, quadriceps, and hamstrings.

These benefits work together to keep you performing at a higher level for a longer time period of time. If you ’ re not noticing any benefits from wearing compression shorts during activeness then it may be time to look for an upgrade.


here, we ’ re looking at everything from choice of framework to stitching to waistbands and more. A high-quality pair of compression shorts will have a number of characteristics working in its favor.

One thing you ’ ll want to keep an center out for is flatlock stitching. This is a stitching proficiency in which the wrinkle is butted together, quite than overlock stitching in which there are layers on the bottom.

This distinction can be specially authoritative if you ’ rhenium wearing your compression shorts for an drawn-out time period of time. For exercise, a long-distance runner would benefit from flatlock sew, as it ’ sulfur great at reducing the likely for chaffing.

additionally, you ’ ll want to pay attention to the girdle of your compression shorts. This is one of the ways you can tell a cheap pair from a high-quality copulate. The girdle should provide plenty of confirm and firm elasticity.

Cheaper pair of compression shorts will have waistbands that wear out cursorily, becoming stretched out and loose appointment. If the girdle on your compaction shorts goes, the entire dress goes with it.

Discover the tattletale signs that indicate when to replace your compression shorts.

besides, check the fabrics that are used in your compression shorts. Common fabric choices for compaction wear often include blends of nylon, polyester, spandex, lycra, and elastane. compression wear design is constantly evolving, however, these are the fabrics most normally much found in high-quality compression shorts.

compaction shorts utilize durable framework blends that withstand high-grade bodily process and unmanageable conditions. That being said, the shorts do gradually breakdown and lose their effectiveness over clock. Learn how retentive your compression shorts typically last before they ’ ll need a surrogate.

note : While not a common happening, some compaction wear brands use latex in their products. If you have sensitive peel or a latex allergy, be on the expression out for its use in the framework blend of your compression shorts, which would be listed on the chase.

When Should I Wear Compression Shorts?

In general, you can wear compression shorts whenever you want. The benefits of compression can be derived actually anytime that you choose to wear it. For exercise, if you ’ re wearing compaction shorts during an bodily process, the shorts will wick sweat away from your consistency, stabilize and support your muscles, and reduce the onset of muscle fatigue.

similarly, wearing the shorts for an hour or two after a exercise can assist you, ampere well. The compressive pressure of the shorts can reduce muscle discomfort and inflammation in the enforce area by improving blood circulation.

Though initially designed to be wear during natural process, compression shorts have continued to evolve in function and design over the years. Varying the framework blend and the compressive press of the shorts has opened them up to being enjoyed as everyday clothing.

For exemplar, a newfangled compaction abruptly course for men is known as compression boxer briefs, which is billed as an active underwear translation of boxer briefs. One of the most popular versions of compression boxer brief is the Under Armour Boxerjock pictured here.

Check out all of our picks for the Best compaction Boxer Briefs

If you ’ re concerned in learning more about compression break, including the best wish practices for extending your garment ’ s life, check out our Best Care Guide .

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