American swimmer Michael Phelps won an unbelievable 28 medals across five Olympics, making him the most decorated athlete in the history of the Summer Games.
But somehow, that isn’t the most mind-blowing thing to ever happen in a swimming pool. No, that distinction is reserved for whenever someone decides to wear underwear under men’s swim shorts.
“Do you wear underwear under swim trunks?” is an actual debate being had out in the wilds of the internet. It’s on multiple Reddit and Quora threads. It’s in Twitter feeds. The odds are such that at least one person in your friend group does it. Heck, it might even be you.
The way we see it, the quick-and-easy answer to that question is an emphatic no. If you're wearing underwear under swim shorts, then you're wearing the wrong swim shorts. Because if swim trunks are made right – with an integrated liner and a support pouch that keeps your balls in place – you don’t need the extra layer.
Here are two solid reasons for not wearing underwear under your swim trunks, and what you should be doing instead.
It’s not good for your underwear – or the water.
Sure, your underwear might be fine after its first foray into water. The occasional dip or a random jump into a lake isn’t going to ruin them. Neither will getting pushed into a friend’s pool at a party (that’s going to hurt your ego far more than your underwear). But it’s fool’s gold. The Brits and Australians thought they were keeping pace with Phelps at first, too, before they got destroyed.
Repeated dips are going to annihilate your underwear: chlorine and salty ocean water fade the color and damage fibers. Maybe that’s not a huge deal if you’re wearing some random boxers from the dregs of your drawer – those probably deserve the punishment. But if you’re wearing SAXX, damaging your best pair of underwear is less than ideal.
The water also suffers, since the fibers in underwear break apart in water. If that happens too often, it can damage a pool’s filter. And the world’s oceans have enough problems trying to navigate our impact without us introducing further unnecessary elements.
It’s not good for your comfort.
Even for the vast majority of us who aren’t trying to dominate the podium, wearing underwear under swim trunks isn’t smart. Swimming itself gets harder, as wearing underwear that absorbs a large amount of water increases drag. This makes you slower and heavier in the water – and bulky and uncomfortable out of it. That’s about the worst water-related combination we can think of other than Sharknado.
If you do wear underwear under swim trunks, it’ll also take much longer to dry off. The resulting discomfort is going to be a huge bummer on hot summer days that quickly turn into cool summer nights. Not to mention the irritation caused by chafing and prolonged dampness in the one area where you definitely don’t want prolonged dampness.
Basically, it doesn’t make any sense to inflict such unnecessary misery on yourself when you can easily have the comfortable fit, unreal support, and fast-drying material that comes with our swimwear.
Submerge yourself in the best men’s swim shorts.
If you feel the need for more support when you’re doing laps or cooling off between beers, our collection of men’s swim shorts provides a medal-winning combination. Comfort and support are built right into the shorts, thanks to the patented BallPark Pouch™ – the same great pouch from our underwear collection – and an integrated liner. In fact, we built our swimwear from the inside-out, perfecting the liner and then designing men’s swim shorts to go with it. Plus, they’re made with fade-resistant and quick-drying fabrics.
You’ll never have to worry about feeling clammy, dealing with chafing, being the last to reach the floating doc, or Constanza-style shrinkage again.
Maybe you’re the one who asked about wearing underwear under swim trunks, and somehow, you’re still not convinced. That’s ok – there’s one exception for guys who can’t part with their non-SAXX swimwear, and it’s our DropTemp™ Cooling Hydro Liner. Equipped with the BallPark Pouch™ and made with an ultra-light micro-mesh, it was designed to hold everything in place while you’re in the pool. So if you still insist on wearing that old pair of trunks without a proper liner, at least try a boxer brief that’s made for the water.
Overall, it’s time for the underwear-under-swim-shorts team to part with their pride and admit they’re wrong. Of course, we know it’s not their fault. A lot of swim trunks aren’t made well. And many of us grew up thinking that shorts = swim shorts, as long as you wear something underneath them.
But now we know better, and we can all go back to appreciating Phelps’s domination of the Beijing Olympics as the wildest thing to ever happen in a pool.
Trunks are the only thing you need for the pool – so save your underwear for other activities. Shop our Betawave and Oh Buoy swim shorts.