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  • Writer's pictureCompression Athlete

What Should I Wear Under Baseball Pants?

Learn the favorite choice of players for comfort and confidence on the field.

Professional baseball player wearing compression shorts.

Whether you’re new to the sport, just starting to play competitively, or simply curious about the standard practice, you might be wondering what baseball players should wear beneath their uniform pants when competing.


Having different uniform styles across various sports can always make this choice a little tricky for the uninitiated.


Not to mention, certain sports rely heavily on personal preference whereas others have a best or most common choice.


When it comes to baseball, you want a comfortable solution that keeps you secure, supported, and locked in while you’re moving around on the field.


For many years now, there has been an overwhelming favorite among baseball players that not only meets their basic needs but also elevates overall performance. 


Here, we’ll cover what the common practice is among players when it comes to deciding what to wear under baseball pants.



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



What Do Most Baseball Players Wear Under Their Uniform Pants?


Baseball is all about being prepared, staying ready, and performing at the crack of a bat.


Players perform a wide range of motions and skills across the baseball field with quick reactions in the infield, running grabs in the outfield, power at the plate, and precision from the pitcher’s mound.


And whether you’re making a play in the field or sliding into second for a steal, it’s also fairly common for players to experience some friction and contact with the ground.


Baseball players need baselayer garments to wear beneath their uniforms that are both flexible and durable, while also remaining comfortable and distraction-free.


This is the reason why compression shorts and sliding shorts are the overwhelming favorite among baseball players to wear under their uniforms.


And this holds true among players at nearly any stage of play, ranging from little league all the way up to the MLB. 


Baseball player pitching from pitcher's mound.

So, why is this exactly? What makes compression shorts so well suited for baseball?


For starters, the snug and stretchy fabric of compression shorts fits like a second skin and wears perfectly under baseball pants.


This provides players with a secure baselayer, so no matter how much your baseball pants shift around or ride up during the game, you can count on your compression shorts staying in place no matter what.


And the fabric of compression shorts is lightweight, breathable, and features sweat-wicking capabilities, which is ideal for a sport like baseball that’s often played in hot temperature conditions. 


Additionally, a baseball-specific variation of compression shorts, known as sliding shorts, adds extra padding along the hip and thigh to protect against injury when sliding.

Baseball player sliding into second base.

This padding is lightweight, flexible, and well-positioned to protect against the bruising and scraping that occurs when sliding and it provides this protection without slowing down or restricting your natural leg movements.


Another convenient feature among baseball specific compression short designs is the cup pocket, which securely and comfortably holds a player’s protective cup in place without a need for any additional garments.


Which of these features you choose may depend on the position you play.


For example, if you’re a catcher, you’ll absolutely need to wear a protective cup, so you’ll want to opt for a pair of compression shorts with a cup pocket.


On the other hand, if you’re an outfielder, you may want to prioritize speed with a lightweight design that cuts down on additional protective features.  



The Best Compression Short Picks for Baseball


While there are several great athletic brands out there today, when it comes to choosing the best compression shorts for baseball, a few stand out for exceptional quality and function on the field.


If you’re looking for a classic compression short option specifically designed with baseball players in mind, the Shock Doctor Ultra Pro Compression Shorts are a popular and highly-rated choice.

Shock Doctor Ultra Pro Compression Shorts


These compression shorts feature a super stretchy and moisture-wicking fabric with an ultra-comfortable micro-knit waistband that layers great under baseball pants and offers a secure locked-in fit.


These also come with an Ultra Carbon Flex Cup that fits comfortably in a signature retention system cup pocket and they’re available in both a long version and classic boxer brief length to match your personal preference.


If you want to add some additional protection to your legs while on the base paths or out in the field, McDavid Double Compression Sliding Shorts are the way to go.


McDavid pioneered the use of padded compression garments and remains the gold standard for athletes across several different sports.

Athlete wearing McDavid Double Compression Sliding Shorts.

These sliding shorts feature premium double layer compression for added protection and confidence when sliding and an enhanced compression fit for muscle support.


They also sport an incredibly soft and flexible fabric with hDc Moisture Management Technology to keep you cool and dry while you play and come with an integrated Core Flex Cup Pocket.


Another option that’s increasing in popularity among baseball players is the use of compression tights in both ¾ length and full-length designs.

Compression tights are most commonly worn by baseball players during training or practice sessions when uniform pants aren’t required, and the players can opt for athletic shorts instead.

Baseball players wearing compression tights while training.

However, it’s worth noting that some players actually opt to wear compression tights beneath their uniform pants, as well.


Compression tights offer a smooth second-skin fit beneath the somewhat clunky fit of baseball pants, as well as extending muscle support and a lightweight layer of protection to the entire length of your legs. 


If you’re looking for a great ¾ length compression tight option for baseball, the Under Armour Utility Pro ¾ Slider is your top choice.

Athlete wearing Under Armour Utility Pro ¾ Slider compression tights.

Shop at Under Armour: UA Utility Pro ¾ Length Slider

These tights are specifically designed for baseball with incredibly lightweight and breathable HeatGear fabric and extra leg protection for sliding.


They also have a cup pocket and an extra-wide performance waistband for a secure fit, meaning you can wear these tights under your uniform pants during a game or under athletic shorts during practice.


If you’re looking for a full-length compression tight option, the Adidas TechFit Training Tights offer a smooth and streamlined fit for layering comfortably under uniform pants or athletic shorts.

Athlete wearing Adidas TechFit Training Tights.


These compression tights feature mesh details and sweat-wicking AEROREADY to keep you cool, dry, and comfortable, as well as TechFit technology that supports and focuses your muscle energy.


Now, keep in mind that if you have an underwear preference that fits comfortably and smoothly under your baseball pants (i.e. wont chafe) and offers full mobility and support while you play, by all means go with what you’re most comfortable in.


However, keep in mind that other options typically won’t be able to offer the same benefits that compression does, such as overall security, muscle stability, and sweat-wicking capability, among others.


These characteristics come in very handy during active training, practices, or game scenarios.


And besides being a comfortable and secure baselayer, compression shorts offer superior support to men in the groin region, which for obvious anatomical reasons is an important consideration. 

For more great options, check out our full list of the Best Compression Shorts for Baseball.


Choosing the Right Baseball Compression Shorts


When choosing a pair of compression shorts to wear for baseball, you’ll want to think about maximizing the benefits that compression can offer your game.


Compression shorts should wear like a second skin—tight but not restrictive.


This is the key factor that makes compression shorts ideal for baseball.


They offer benefits that come from a snug fit, such as worry-free security, muscle stability, sweat-wicking, and a great fit under baseball pants that eliminates chaffing, all while still retaining the mobility and flexibility required of you at the plate and out in the field.


Remember, when you’re choosing a pair of compression shorts, comfort is key.

Baseball player fielding ground ball.

Compression shorts should actually have a very pleasant and comfortable fit that don’t give you any problems when wearing them for extended periods of time.


It’s also a smart idea to have a few pairs of compression shorts available, especially if you have a long season ahead with many practices and games.


Even with their sweat-wicking capabilities, you’ll want to opt for a clean (and dry) pair each time and wash after each use.


Finding the right pair may take a little trial and error, as various compression garment fabrics and styles can fit differently on different athletes.


But once you’ve found a winner, you’ll know it.


The right pair of compression shorts offers locked-in support while also allowing you to move freely and comfortably.


Also, you’ll know you’ve found the right pair when the only thought you give them is when you put them on and take them off—but never while you play.



How Should Baseball Compression Shorts Fit?


When you try on either your compression shorts or sliding shorts, they should fit tightly on your body but not too tight that they restrict any of your movement.


While you shouldn’t see any loose or baggy spots in the fabric, any bulging in the thigh area could indicate that the fabric is pressing too tight on your body.

While compression shorts should lay smooth and flat, some leg rolling and bunching is to be expected when you’re active.


This is also true of the additional padding used by sliding shorts along the legs.

Baseball player sliding into home past catcher.

Compression shorts worn under baseball pants can vary in length but typically extend close to the full length of the thigh to optimize coverage and protection.  


An important factor to keep in mind when wearing compression shorts under your baseball pants is that you’ll want to have a pair that layers well, rather than a pair designed to be worn as outerwear.


Compression shorts that are designed to be worn on their own as outerwear tend to have slightly thicker fabric and may have bulky features like pockets, drawstrings, and other unnecessary detailing. 


In other words, you want a lightweight design with a smooth and snug fit beneath your baseball pants that prioritizes breathability, mobility, and security.



Parting Thoughts: Prioritize Comfort and Function


As you’re trying to figure out what works best for you to wear under your baseball pants, remember that the most important factors to prioritize will always be comfort and functionality.


When you’re digging in at the plate or stepping into your ready position in the field, you want to be in the zone, reacting freely and creating plays, not distracted or restricted by an uncomfortable fit. 


Other factors like the style or look of the garment should always be secondary.


Keep in mind that your compression shorts or sliding shorts won’t even ever be visible during a game, as they’re completely hidden under the full coverage of uniform pants.


And if you’re wearing them with athletic shorts during practice or a training session, little of the garment is typically seen beyond the bottom inch or two of the legs as you move.


So, above all, you want to find a solution that’s comfortable and allows you to perform at your best. 


For any other questions you have about compression shorts, be sure to check out our Comprehensive Guide to Compression Shorts.

A great pair of compression shorts isn’t the only baseball essential that you’ll need.

Be sure to check out our top picks for this season's best baseball cleats.


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