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  • Writer's pictureCompression Athlete

What Should I Wear Under Softball Pants?

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

Softball player wearing compression shorts under uniform pants.

Whether you’re new to the sport, just starting to play competitively, or simply curious about the standard practice, you might be wondering what softball 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 softball, 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 softball 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 softball 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 Softball Players Wear Under Their Uniform Pants?


Softball 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 softball 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.


Softball 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 softball players to wear under their uniforms.

Softball player diving for catch.

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


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


This provides players with a secure baselayer, so no matter how much your softball 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 softball that’s often played in hot temperature conditions. 


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


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.


Choosing between compression shorts or the added protection of sliding shorts may depend on the position you play, your style of play, or your personal preference.



The Best Compression Short Picks for Softball


While there are several great athletic brands out there today, when it comes to choosing the best compression shorts for softball, 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 softball players in mind, the Nike Pro Softball Slider Shorts are a popular and highly-rated choice.

Athlete wearing Nike Pro Softball Slider Shorts.


These compression shorts feature stretchy fabric for a flexible fit that allows natural movements and a sleek body-hugging design that layers great under uniform pants.


These also come with sweat-wicking Dri-FIT technology to keep you dry and screen-printed panels on the sides for extra durability.


If you want to add some additional protection to your legs while on the base paths or out in the field, the Under Armour Utility Pro Slider Shorts are the way to go.

Athlete wearing Under Armour Utility Pro Slider Shorts.

Shop at Under Armour: UA Utility Pro Slider Shorts

Available on Amazon: UA Utility Pro Slider Shorts

These sliding shorts utilize super light yet incredibly durable padding that includes interior foam spacer padding on the back panel for added protection.


They also sport a very lightweight and breathable HeatGear fabric and a wide and flat elastic waistband that sits comfortably on the hips.


Now, keep in mind that if you have an underwear preference that fits comfortably and smoothly under your softball 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 for softball players during active training, practices, or game scenarios.


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



Choosing the Right Softball Compression Shorts


When choosing a pair of compression shorts to wear for softball, 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 softball.


They offer benefits that come from a snug fit, such as worry-free security, muscle stability, sweat-wicking, and a great fit under softball 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.

Softball players making sliding play at second base.

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 Softball 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.

Softball players celebrating win.

Compression shorts worn under softball 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 softball 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 softball 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 softball 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 softball essential that you’ll need.


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


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