Every man needs the right underwear. Schweddy Balls isn’t just one of the best Saturday Night Live skits of all time. It’s an actual issue for guys as the weather heats up, and things below follow suit. It’s why a great pair of underwear is key to keeping your balls from getting hot and very bothered.
We know that when the seasons change and the temperatures start to rise, your groin can end up feeling like the Florida Everglades. It’s a sensation that every man understands on a deep and fundamental level, and it takes your attention from everything you need to focus on. That’s why we’re big fans of warm weather undergarments, which shift the focus from your boiling eggs to where it matters most: your child, your partner, and your life.
First things first. If you’ve been living in a cotton world, it’s time to ditch your pure-fiber fabrics and add in a synthetic, which will add a moisture-wicking component that cotton doesn’t otherwise have. But if you want the best, it’s time to slide your focus to synthetics and cotton alternatives, which perform better than that old standard regardless of what else is thrown in. Check out our favorite pairs of underpants to give your boys of summer some breathing room.
The Ethika mid-rise underwear has a six inch inseam, and is made from super-soft modal yarn that feels light and luxurious.
Pros: The Ethika underwear stay in place, don’t ride up or down, are just stretchy enough, and keep your boys nice and cool. Plus, they look damn cool.
Cons: The six-inch inseam may be a bit too long for some guys.
A modern fit, a modern fabric, and a modern sales model help make this pair a great purchase.
Pros: Made from a soft modal fabric — a natural material sourced from beechwood trees that has a similar feel to cotton — they’re incredibly stretchy and breathable. Thanks to flatlock stitching, there’s little to rub you the wrong way. We also like MeUndies’ monthly subscription model, which knocks a third off each pair’s price while ensuring your draws are always fresh. As a side benefit, the company has new patterns out each month that have some timely aspect, like its recent Game of Thrones partnership or seasonal themes.
Cons: While some prefer to switch their undies out en masse via a multi-pack, MeUndies is really set up to replace your undergarments one at a time over many months. Furthermore, the best deal is via its subscription, meaning those with fear of commitment will pay a premium.
For the understated man who prefers things simple and classic, meet the Bread & Boxers traditional briefs. They're cut slightly higher in the back for a better fit, they're longer in the leg to prevent chafing, and they're made from cotton and elastane for stretch and flexibility.
Pros: These Swedish-designed boxer briefs have a soft, exposed elastic waistband, and a double-layer front panel to support your boys. They’re tagless, which is another bonus. And the cotton blend keeps things soft and cool.
Cons: They’re fitted, so if you like things on the looser side, these aren’t for you.
These drawers are made from a blend of micro modal and spandex fabric. Translation: they're breathable, don't pill, and ensure your undercarriage doesn't stink.
Pros: Where to start? These underwear keep everything contained. They’re made from non-pilling, 360 stretch micro modal and spandex fabric. They’re breathable and stay dry. And there’s a contour pouch to keep everything in place so nothing bunches or rides up.
Cons: They’re an investment, price-wise, and are not a great option if you’re a fan of cotton.
The reality of male genitalia is that during the warming months things can stick together. Saxx solves this age-old issue by separating your boys from your leg via a breathable, three-sided pouch for ultimate comfort.
Pros: Saxx’s design tech is matched with a synthetic blend that wicks moisture, thereby draining the swamp crotch. The boxer-brief style is a longstanding truce between boxer and brief advocates, while the host of summer-appropriate patterns of tropical flowers is a nice touch.
Cons: One look at this garment’s unique construction makes it obvious that these are technologically advanced underwear. As such, you’ll pay out the nose for it. While the difference in fit, feel, and performance is real, many won’t stomach the accompanying cost.
Proof that old dogs can learn new tricks, the Duluth Trading Company Mens Buck Naked Performance Boxers take a classic fit and soup it up with a modern fabric. Is this the best of old and new? It sure feels like it.
Pros: Some men just prefer that classic boxer feel, but that doesn’t mean their bits are relegated to musty cotton. The Buck Nakeds feature a silky, breathable synthetic fabric that wicks sweat while remaining incredibly thin. A smooth waistband prevents the crinkled indentations of your old shorts. They even have a button fly as a nod to the traditionalist.
Cons: Should a modern take on an old standard cost this much? It’s a tough pill to swallow. While we love this company and its product, cheaper options with slightly less performance are out there.
Amazon has certainly sold enough basics through its sales platform to know a thing or two about what men what. Its Essentials 3-Pack Performance Cotton Stretch Boxer Brief gives you everything most men want at a price that most men can afford. Buying in bulk? Look no further.
Pros: The popular mid-thigh boxer brief archetype gets the Amazon treatment with a cotton/polyester blend for breathability, durability, and reliability. They’re unsurprising and unobtrusive, especially for the man who doesn’t want a whole explainer on his underwear.
Cons: Amazon’s option is remarkably unremarkable—a descriptor that can cut both ways. While its fabric is fine, it’s not the best; versatile, but not specific. If you’re at the outer edges of what you demand from your underwear, select any other set on this list.
Proving that time doesn’t stand still, Hanes has tweaked its classic with a small adjustment that brings it into the modern era. If you’re looking for a similar fit and feel to what you’ve always used but with a better performance in the summer months, these are your modern traditionalist option.
Pros: Upgrading the classic scrunched elastic waistband for a smooth brief-style option, Hanes’ cotton-poly blend boxers feel better at the end of the day. Thanks to their fabric’s composition, they’ll also breathe better and move freely than the traditional all-cotton options. Boxers evolve little, but they’re not completely immune to change.
Cons: As counterintuitive as it may seem, a closer-fitting undergarment can actually be cooler than those looser-fitting such as these. Why? Modern fabric’s moisture wicking properties work best against the skin, so for ultimate coolness, you need to get closer. Still, some guys like what they like. For them, get these.
As crazy as it sounds, wool is a killer summertime fabric. In a finer knit, it breathes, wicks, and fights odor better than any other material, natural or synthetic. Icebreaker has been taking this miracle fiber and making it sexy for decades, and brief-lovers will love its take on an old staple.
Pros: Made from a fine, non-itchy merino fabric, these briefs breathe awesome the higher the temperatures go. If you’re a briefs man, this is a modern option on the classic tighty-whitey. Also, they have a super flattering cut that makes guys look great.
Cons: If you’re the type who expects your underwear to perform as well under your slacks as they do under your workout shorts, a word of caution: Sit-ups and other high-abrasion activities can put holes in these over time. Gym rats best find a durable synthetic option for the high-impact activities.
The company synonymous with your partner’s favorite leggings actually has a long history with menswear, and its underwear are often referred to as a gateway to its athleisure options. But if that last sentence was barely legible, than read this: Lulu’s License To Train boxer provides all-day comfort that can also perform as well in a workout.
Pros: As this list will attest, underwear either skews toward everyday comfort or hardcore performance. Lululemon manages to do both, which should be no surprise with the ubiquity of its women’s tights in and out of the yoga studio. Its synthetic Light Luxtreme fabric is an airy version of its popular ultra-cush wintertime fabric. With four-way stretch, extreme moisture management, and precision tailoring, these are your do-all option and the pair we’d ultimately select for a desert-island stay.
Cons: We admit, just going in to a Lululemon store can be akin to diving into a pool of very aspirational sharks and that ultra-motivation can be a bit much to stomach when all you want is to buy undies. For that, we’re grateful that they also offer online buying.
If you want extra protection, might we suggest investing in Jack Black's fine-textured talc-free formula that absorbs moisture fast and keeps everything nice and dry.
Pros: We love this talc-free powder that not only keeps undercarriages fresh, but also prevents friction and irritation. It’s great to use pre-workout, or every day. No more chafing!
Cons: It’s made from cornstarch, so the price tag is a little, well, much.
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