top of page
Athletes running in activewear.
  • Writer's pictureCompression Athlete

Your Helpful Guide to Racing Briefs

Everything you need to know and our top picks for 2024.

Track athlete wearing racing briefs.

You may have noticed these go by a few different names: race briefs, racing briefs, running briefs, and even the more colloquial “bun huggers” or simply “buns”.


Regardless of what you call them, tune into any track and field event and you’ll see that racing briefs are a staple among female athletes.


Everyone from sprinters to long jumpers to pole vaulters and more wear race briefs during competition. And there’s good reason for this.


Race briefs cover everything that you need and forgo anything extra (i.e. no superfluous fabric getting in the way).


And when you’re looking for a competitive edge where every second and centimeter matters, so too does every detail.


Here, we’ll cover some of the most common questions associated with race briefs, as well as provide our picks for the best racing briefs of 2024.



Note: Featured products are independently selected and reviewed by Compression Athlete. If you purchase through our links, we may earn commission.



The Top Benefits of Wearing Racing Briefs


While racing briefs have been a staple among professional track and field athletes for many years now, to the uninitiated they tend to raise a few questions.


Most commonly, people wonder about the design and fit of racing briefs.


Why wear racing briefs instead of shorts? Do racing briefs offer some advantage over other options?


Some even mistake race briefs for bikini bottoms because of the similar cut and stretchy fabric.


While the two are alike in appearance, racing briefs are built for a high degree of speed and performance.


Olympic track athletes wearing racing briefs.

The main reason why athletes opt for racing briefs over other options is the snug and minimalist design that’s optimized for competition.


The racing brief design foregoes any superfluous fabric while still providing secure coverage.


Less fabric around fast-moving leg muscles and joints means a greater range of motion and less chance for any friction between fabric and skin, which can lead to discomfort and distraction.


High jump athlete wearing race briefs.

Additionally, the minimalist design optimizes a runner’s aerodynamics for less drag when you’re flying down the track or through the air.


When an athlete is performing in competition where milliseconds and centimeters can mean all the difference, any precaution and advantage is welcome.



Are You Supposed to Wear Underwear Under Racing Briefs?


Because racing briefs are so similar in nature to underwear (there’s even “briefs” right there in the name), you might be wondering whether you’re supposed to wear underwear under your racing briefs.


Most racing briefs, especially those from well-known athletic brands, are designed so that you don’t need to wear underwear beneath them if you don’t want to.


However, it really all comes down to personal preference.


Pole vaulter wearing race briefs.

If you’re someone that’s more comfortable wearing an undergarment while you’re active or want a little extra security while you’re competing, then by all means go for it.


Wearing underwear beneath your racing briefs is perfectly fine to do and is a common practice among track athletes.


Keep in mind, however, that if you’re going to wear underwear beneath your racing briefs there are certain options much better suited than others.


Because of the snug and minimalist design of racing briefs, thong underwear is typically the only choice that athletes wear beneath them.


Track athlete wearing racing briefs.

Not only will this choice help your undergarment remain unseen, but it also reduces the chance of friction between your underwear and racing briefs, which can be uncomfortable and distracting.


In general, when running in compression garments such as racing briefs or compression shorts, you’ll want to avoid underwear with pronounced seams and non-breathable fabric.


The pressure from the compression garment can push seams into your skin, causing chafing and restriction.


And non-breathable fabrics will trap in sweat and heat, causing discomfort and overheating.


The best underwear to wear under your racing briefs will be a seamless thong option that is lightweight, breathable, and designed with movement in mind.




The Best Racing Briefs of 2024: Our Top Picks


A great pair of racing briefs will feature a performance design that’s built for peak speed.


Equally as important, your racing briefs should be comfortable and offer peace of mind.


In other words, you want racing briefs with stay-put coverage so that you can stay focused.


Here, we’ve put together a list of the best racing briefs for 2024.


Check it out, grab a pair, and get ready for race day.



1. Saucony Elite Running Briefs


The Saucony Elite Running Briefs feature a lightweight and comfortable design for fast race-day performances. These running briefs have lightweight support and prioritize breathability for improved endurance.


Athlete wearing Saucony Elite Running Briefs.


Saucony’s Elite Running Briefs have a plush elastic waistband with an internal infinity drawcord for adjustability and a secure fit. These running briefs feature sweat-wicking and quick-drying fabric, as well as a bold Saucony logo.



2. Rabbit Go Time Buns


The Rabbit Go Time Buns feature an incredibly lightweight and quick-drying fabric with Ionic+ silver technology to fight bacteria and eliminate odor. These race briefs sport a performance design with a fitted style and mid-rise elastic waistband.


Athlete wearing Rabbit Go Time Buns.

Shop at Rabbit: Rabbit Go Time Buns

 

Rabbit’s Go Time Buns utilize cheekier coverage in the back with plush elastic leg openings for a comfortable and flexible fit. These race briefs also have a back envelope pocket for small item storage.



3. LSKD Elevate Sprinting Brief


The LSKD Elevate Sprinting Brief features a wide panel waistband with flattering high cut sides and silicone grip dots on the leg openings. These racing briefs sport comfortable 4-way stretch fabric with a soft matte finish.


Athlete wearing LSKD Elevate Sprinting Brief.

 

LSKD’s Elevate Sprinting Brief is moisture-wicking, naturally breathable, and designed and tested by Professional Sprinter Bree Masters to guarantee it’s ready for race day.



4. Free People Speedwork Racing Bun


The Free People Speedwork Racing Bun features a breathable and lightweight hydrophobic fabric that allows airflow and wicks sweat to keep you cool and dry. These race briefs sport a streamlined low-rise design with a smooth finish.


Athlete wearing Free People Speedwork Racing Bun.

Shop at Free People: Free People Speedwork Racing Bun

 

Free People’s Speedwork Racing Bun utilize a quick-drying fabrication with comfortable four-way stretch. These race briefs have an elastic waistband with a back pocket for small item storage and are available in 3 stylish colors.  



5. Alo Yoga Airlift Record Breaker Runner Briefs


The Alo Yoga Airlift Record Breaker Runner Briefs feature extra comfortable Airlift fabric that smooths and sculpts in a high-waisted design for superior coverage.


Athlete wearing Alo Yoga Airlift Record Breaker Runner Briefs.


Alo Yoga’s Airlift Record Breaker Runner Briefs have a lightweight and curve-flattering cut with zero bunching and a second skin feel.



6. Bandit Stamina Racing Buns


The Bandit Stamina Racing Buns feature signature Stamina fabric for a stretch interlock double-knit construction with an incredibly soft and smooth matte finish. These race briefs sport all-way stretch that seamlessly supports and moves with your body.


Athlete wearing Bandit Stamina Racing Buns.

Shop at Bandit Running: Bandit Stamina Racing Buns

 

Bandit’s Stamina Racing Buns utilize sweat-wicking and quick-drying material for superior moisture management and reflective logo details for visibility. These race buns have a brushed elastic waistband with 4 hidden drop-in gel pockets on the back.



7. Tracksmith Race Briefs


The Tracksmith Race Briefs feature an extra comfortable nylon and elastane fabric blend in a performance design that can handle a marathon.


Athlete wearing Tracksmith Race Briefs.

Shop at Tracksmith: Tracksmith Race Briefs 


Tracksmith’s Race Briefs have a high-waist cut with supportive nylon fabric that’s moisture-wicking and quick-drying. These race briefs have a stay-put design and three pockets for convenient fuel storage.



8. Brooks Elite Buns Race Briefs


The Brooks Elite Buns feature a streamlined race-day design that allows a full range of motion with a stay-put fit for focus and peace of mind.


Athlete wearing Brooks Elite Buns.

Shop at Brooks Running: Brooks Elite Buns 


Brooks’ Elite Buns are designed to handle race days, speed workouts, and any hot weather pursuit. These race briefs have a sleek design with easy adjustability and convenient storage.



9. Asics Chaser Briefs


The Asics Chaser Briefs feature a performance speed design that’s ready for race-day with flat seam stitching and comfortable polyester and spandex fabric blend.


Athlete wearing Asics Chaser Briefs.

Available on Amazon: Asics Chaser Briefs 


Asics’ Chaser Briefs have stylish contrast panels and a flat front waistband for extra comfort. These race briefs are available in a variety of colors.



10. Under Armour Mission ’24 Brief


The Under Armour Mission ’24 Brief features mineral-infused RUSH fabric that reflects the energy you give off back into your muscles for improved endurance. These race briefs utilize an aerodynamic, full-coverage design that’s available in 3 stylish colors.


Athlete wearing Under Armour Mission ’24 Brief.

Shop at Running Warehouse: Under Armour Mission ’24 Brief

 

Under Armour’s Mission ’24 Brief sports moisture-wicking material with a 4-way stretch construction to keep you cool, dry, and comfortable. These race briefs have a mesh liner undercarriage, overlock seams, and a brushed waistband interior.



11. Nike Fast Briefs


The Nike Fast Briefs feature a performance fit designed for speed with a secure cut for coverage you can count on.


Athlete wearing Nike Fast Briefs.

Shop at Runners Plus: Nike Fast Briefs


Nike’s Fast Briefs utilize sweat-wicking fabric to keep you cool, dry, and comfortable, as well as a drawcord waistband for convenient adjustment.



12. New Balance Athletic Briefs 2.0


The New Balance Athletic Briefs 2.0 features soft moisture-wicking fabric in a sleek performance design that’s perfect for track and field, cross country, and club teams.


Athlete wearing New Balance Athletic Brief 2.0.

Shop at Running Warehouse: New Balance Athletic Brief 2.0


New Balance’s Athletic Briefs 2.0 have comfortable overlock seams, a mesh undercarriage liner, and a brushed waistband interior for a distraction-free race day.



13. Oiselle Race Day Briefs


The Oiselle Race Day Briefs feature a sleek performance design that’s optimized for racing and a stay-put fit for distraction free running.


Athlete wearing Oiselle Race Day Briefs.

Shop at Oiselle: Oiselle Race Day Briefs


Oiselle’s Race Day Briefs feature a stylish and comfortable polyester and spandex fabric blend with a convenient interior drawcord for a customizable locked-in feel.



For more great running bottoms, check out our picks for the Best Compression Running Shorts and the Best Bike Shorts for Running.

Comments


Featured Articles:

APL_Shoes_Banner.webp

Trending Articles: 

Athlete Recovery:

Athlete using CopperVibe Back Wrap.
bottom of page