Product Review: The Great British Pants Off

THE GREAT BRITISH PANTS OFF
 #GBPO

 

Readers of the blog will be all too familiar with my quest for the correct running kit for me. When everything feels right and you are comfortable, it makes a difference to how far you can run. I tried dozens of pairs of running shoes before focusing on and finally sticking with the On Cloudracers. I have completed the same voyage of discovery with socks (I prefer Hilly Twin Skins), shorts (Adidas Climacool), caps (again Adidas Climacool), underarmour (Tommy Copper or Nike Pro Combat), headphones (Monster Beats by Dr Dre and Yurbuds) and running bags (OMM).
 

 

 
When training for Berlin the hours running 20-30K LSRs would cause some rubbing but there was one particular run in the torrential rain that caused the worst chafing I have experienced. Honestly, it looked as if my junk had been attacked by a rabid wolverine (the animal not Hugh Jackman) and the top of my inner thighs were left resembling patchwork corned beef.
 
Gis a kiss
So I decided to investigate alternatives to slathering your nethers with cupped handfuls of Vaseline, or trying to rub the Glide stick onto parts of your anatomy that aren’t, by default, an easy surface to cover and the obvious option was to look at underwear designed specifically to stop the chafe from happening in the first place.
 
Runderwear is the brainchild of the guys who brought us Runbreeze anti-blister socks and they are very both very active on social media (a bonus for any organisation wishing to interact more with its consumer base) and visible (inasmuch as you can buy Runderwear from any Runners Need store. I do, from the lovely Rasa at their Monument Store. Twice Lithuanian national Olympic distance triathlon champion no less). 
 
They throw around marketing claims like they produce “the most comfortable running underwear in the world” and are incredibly popular amongst my running communities both online and in the real world. Colours? Black with a blue trim, or just plain blue and as a boxer shorts/trunk or briefs for men.

I have both styles and have worn them on long runs and in races. To be honest the briefs are not really my thing. They are a little too skimpy and much like a Union Jack umbrella in a nuclear attack, they are no good in stopping fallout. The trunk/shorts however are the real deal, comfortable and do everything stated on the box.


Runderwear boasts an ergonomic design, moisture wicking material, microperforations to make them breathable, seamless design and a functional flatlock, and it is this final feature that is my favourite. Along the seam that comes into contact with the leg is a thin strip of very high grade elastane. This holds onto the leg and stops the shorts from moving about and irritating the the skin. 

6 Boxes of Mince Pies and I still got it…

 

Runderwear comes in sizes small to XXL and I am comfortable in the Medium bracket as always, are available online and from all Runners Need stores. They cost £18 for the boxer shorts/trunk and £16 for the briefs.

Would I recommend them? Absolutely.

 

Oddly, given a side by side comparison between the Runderwear and Chaffree boxer, you would think that it is the latter that is the specially designed sports underwear, but this is not the case. Chaffree underwear was not originally designed as sports underwear at all, apparently runners discovering them and loving them is a bonus for Amanda Whaley, the company founder, who just wanted to create underwear to stop the chafing due to her shape and size.

Available in black (tick), blue (tick) and white (really?) you can tell why they were created, with wide waistbands and the leg and gusset stitching the Chaffree long legged boxers (no briefs here) are designed to stick to you and stop anything rubbing together and they remind me of the shorts worn by Rutger Hauer in Bladerunner.

All those bad moments chafing will disappear like teardrops in the rain

 The Marketing Promises

  • Seamless, Stretchy, Lightweight and Quick Drying
  • Keeps skin cool and dry as made in the performance wicking fabric COOLMAX®
  • Latex Free with Anti Bacterial properties giving relief from sweating and chafing
And the cost? The price of allowing you to run around your house with the lights off, street noises coming through the blinds, chasing an imaginary Harrison Ford? £17. 
Downsides: Nothing to do with the apparel, the shorts are incredibly comfortable and stop all chafing as far as I can tell, but their website is a little sucky, especially the drop down that appears whenever you move the cursor to the top of the screen and the zoom feature on the images of the goods. You also have to buy them online  on the Chaffree site, eBay and Amazon.co.uk. However I actually like to see something like this before I buy it because I have purchased my fair share of crap online in the past.

 

What I would add is that the boxers are long legged, the 7 inch version are very long legged indeed. But I would not go as far as saying they are too long. I am wearing them as I type this and not only are they supremely comfortable, I have had a few walking, jogging around the flat moments where thighs have met, and material stopped any rubbing from occurring.

 

For those of you who wear shorter shorts to run in, I think the 5 inch boxers are perfect for this role and I would recommend them for those long runs when you do not want to end up looking like the remnants of a wolverine’s breakfast.
 
This first Great British Pants Off is a tie. Buying Chaffree Online only is a downside for me, as is having no alternative to boxers. However the product is superb with both long and medium legged options. Runderwear wins on the purchase options (online and in-store), and having two options of briefs and boxers is good, although I am not a fan of the briefs myself, and the boxers are too short legged. Some of us need a little more coverage.
So in summary, stick with what works, rather than stick to what doesn’t. I will enjoy both. Let me know what you think.
See ya later, sexy
 
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