April 21 2017
We asked a board certified gynecologist—and runner—about how to take care of your most-delicate areas and prevent chafing.
Tester: Danielle Cemprola is a WR columnist and blogger from Greer, S.C. Traditional running shorts were fine when she first started running marathons, because she was thinner. She says, “Once I got up to a healthy weight, I found that many pairs of shorts would ride up, either from the material getting caught between my thighs and bunching, or compression shorts that weren’t long enough or tight enough.”
Short Goals: “I’ve really struggled to find shorts that stay down, don’t chafe and are flattering.”
Run Stats: Cemprola runs a few days a week on roads. She’s run 50 marathons, and after recent back surgery has switched to halfs and does about one every month. She considered a couple of dozen shorts in search of three that passed her test.
Gear-Testing Lessons: “The number-one thing I learned was not to judge a book by its cover. My immediate inclination was to just test all the compression shorts, since I haven’t had good luck with ‘traditional’ running shorts lately—but I was absolutely shocked to find that there are traditional running shorts that stayed down and didn’t chafe—they’re not just for very thin people! I also learned that sizes in running shorts vary tremendously and to not take it personally. I wore a small in some brands and a large in others!”
Oiselle Strider Shorts
Cemprola likes these traditional compression-style shorts, because they “never moved while being tested and feature a 6.5-inch inseam for runners seeking more coverage.” A front pocket zips to secure a key, and the material is thicker than what you might expect but still breathable. “No chafing here!”
Pearl Izumi Pursuit 6” Short
Think you need compression shorts to prevent ride-up? Wrong! Cemprola says this material is incredibly lightweight and breezy, but the length is long enough to help it stay down and keep chafing at bay. The back pocket is suitable for a key, phone or fuel, and the wide, comfortable waistband doesn’t cut into your skin. She says, “Runners who prefer a looser fit but still want coverage will love these!”
Skirt Sports Not So Cheeky Short
For anyone looking for something in between revealing compression shorts and baggy running shorts, Cemprola says these are the Goldilocks choice. With a 5.5-inch outer layer and 6-inch inner one and a wide, comfortable waistband, they are flattering yet still modest. She does caution that they run slightly large. Her best feedback? “I took them on a run early in the week and liked them so much that I wore them for my half marathon a few days later!”