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  • Writer's pictureCompression Athlete

What Should I Wear Under Volleyball Shorts?

A few options to keep comfortable and confident on the court.

Female athletes playing volleyball.

So, here’s a question having to do with volleyball shorts that we see quite commonly.

More specifically, it’s athletes wondering what they should wear under their volleyball shorts.

Maybe you’ve just joined the team and aren’t used to the style and fit of volleyball spandex.

Or maybe you’ve been wearing volleyball spandex for a while but just feel like you haven’t quite found the most comfortable solution.

For starters, we get it. It’s not all that easy figuring out the best option to wear beneath those very snug, form-fitting spandex shorts.

And the last thing you want is to feel self-conscious while you’re playing, worrying about your shorts instead of focusing on the game.

Ideally, you want a solution that’s comfortable and keeps you locked in on the court.

Here, we’re going to cover some common practices by volleyball players, as well as highlight the best underwear and volleyball shorts choices available.

Do I Need to Wear Anything Under My Volleyball Shorts?

The short answer is: No, you don’t need to wear anything under your volleyball shorts.

While it may sound strange to the unfamiliar or uninitiated, it’s actually a perfectly acceptable option and a widespread practice to forgo wearing underwear beneath your volleyball shorts (i.e. going commando).

Volleyball shorts, as with all compression-style shorts, are designed to be worn right against the skin.

Volleyball player wearing Nike Pro shorts.

This allows for the compression fabric to effectively wick sweat away from your body while you’re active.

But going commando isn’t always for everyone.

Maybe you’re forced to wear an inferior pair of volleyball shorts as part of a team uniform, or perhaps it’s that time of the month and you want an extra barrier of protection.

No matter the reason, we’ll go through a few of the options available to you.

Best Underwear Options for Volleyball Shorts

Typically, the main concern for most when it comes to wearing underwear beneath their volleyball shorts is a visible panty line.

While of course this doesn’t have any impact on how well you play, let’s be honest, no one wants a pesky VPL if it can be helped.

Because of the second-skin nature of volleyball spandex, really the only way to completely eliminate visible panty lines is to skip the underwear altogether.

Sometimes, however, not wearing underwear beneath your volleyball spandex is simply not an option.

Adding a pair of underwear beneath your volleyball shorts can provide an extra layer of comfort and security to free your mind from any worry while you’re active.

With this in mind, there are a few underwear options that will work better than others.

So, what underwear do volleyball players wear to minimize a visible panty line?

It can depend on the athlete (personal preference, body type, and so on), but typically the solution is a seamless thong or boyshort, or a v-string or g-string.

We’ve picked out some of the best pairs to wear under compression shorts, such as volleyball spandex, that you can find in our Top Picks List.

As you consider different underwear options, be sure to steer clear of any non-breathable fabrics like satin.

Cotton is a better choice and is more breathable, while sport-minded synthetic fabrics like polyester, spandex, etc. are even better when it comes to moisture-wicking.

Choosing the Right Volleyball Shorts

Let’s not overlook the role that a stellar pair of volleyball shorts can play in this scenario.

Whether you’re hoping to minimize the possibility of any visible panty lines or you’re looking for a comfortable option to help you forgo the underwear altogether, sometimes the right pair of volleyball shorts can make all the difference.

So, let’s take a look at how volleyball shorts should fit.

We know already that they’re short in leg length and fit very snug to your body.

If you think about it, these two factors are purposeful. Loose-fitting garments could snag on the court when you dive or ride up your leg when you run and jump, and so on.

With the huge range of motion that volleyball requires, you need the right garments that can handle that motion and maximize your performance.

Female volleyball players in a huddle.

When you try your volleyball shorts on, 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.

One area in which you can get some adjustment with volleyball shorts is in the inseam.

Opting for a 3” or 4” inseam can offer the opportunity to adjust the leg length up or down a bit and give you a little extra fabric to ensure your cheeks aren’t peeking out.

Remember, comfort is key here. Volleyball shorts should actually have a very pleasant and comfortable fit. You should have no problem wearing them for extended periods of time.

It’s also a smart idea to have a few pairs of volleyball shorts handy. This is especially important if you’re competing in a tournament and playing several games throughout the day.

Even with the sweat-wicking fabric it’s a smart idea to opt for a clean (and dry) pair for hygiene considerations.

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

But once you’ve found the right pair, you’ll know it. The shorts will offer support while also allowing you to move freely and comfortably.

Most importantly, the right pair of volleyball shorts means you aren’t thinking about them while you play.

Parting Thoughts: Prioritize Comfort and Function

The absolute most important thing to prioritize when you’re figuring out what works best for you, is comfort and functionality.

When you’re in ready position, you want to be completely locked-in and ready go, not distracted by an uncomfortable fit or self-conscious about your appearance.

You’ve a got a game to play. Find a solution that’s comfortable and allows you to perform at your best.

If you’re at all worried about what you’re supposed to wear or how the other players on your team are going to wear their volleyball shorts, rest assured not every player on a given team is going to wear them the exact same way.

3 female volleyball players on the court.

You might see some consensus among teammates but mostly everyone is going to do what works best for them.

It might sound a tad cliché but everyone is different, so their choices will look a little different too.

Now, it’s also possible that your volleyball team has specific uniform requirements and you’re expected to wear the style you’re provided.

If you’ve found an alternate pair that work really well for you, and you can find them in the same color as your teams uniform shorts, it’s definitely worth asking your coach for a little leeway.

Nothing persuades a coach faster than simply explaining that you’ll play better, faster, stronger in your preferred pair.

Of course, some coaches simply won’t budge on this and you’ll have to do the best you can with the team pair.

In this case, try out some of the different options we covered, maybe even one with which you’re unfamiliar.

We’re confident that you’ll be able to find a comfortable and acceptable choice.

And if you're in the midst of getting ready for volleyball season, be sure to check out our Complete Volleyball Checklist.


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