I don’t know about other ultra runners, but I have spent many hours tweaking and adjusting my kit to eliminate chaffing. I have been pretty successful so far and am down to one final problem. Pants!
I normally run in your basic snug fitting trunks to hold everything in place, and at shorter distances they do ok. As soon as you step up the mileage though things get a bit more tricky. The issue I have most often is with the seam in the waistband. Even with nothing pushing on it, an abrasive seam will chomp through the skin of your lower back given enough miles and a bit of sweat. Even some running specific underwear has seams in stupid places.
A while ago I decided to bite the bullet and give X-Bionic undies a try. These were a little bit pricey but extremely technical and very well put together. Initially I stuck with the trunks theme and tried the Energizer Mk1 boxer shorts. These were great to start with, but I did bump into a problem as I increased the mileage. I suffered from, how can I put this? I think it’s best just to come out and say it…Chaffy B*llocks….There, I said it. I shall refer to it as CB from now on.
After this experience I put the undies in a drawer and left them for a while. Recently, forgetful of my past experience, I pulled them on for a long run and gave them another try. The CB recurred and the undies did not, unfortunately, return home with me. I contacted X-Bionic about my experience, and they were most helpful. We discussed the matter and I decided to give their briefs a try, in particular the X-Bionic Summerlight Slip.
When the briefs arrived I thought there had been a mistake. I opened the box and pulled out a pair of pants that looked like they would just about fit an action man figure. After waving them around for a minute, and showing them to my wife, I decided to try them on. I have refrained from putting up a picture of me wearing them. I do have some dignity, despite what some of my running costumes may suggest!
The briefs were extremely stretchy, and oh my goodness, so comfortable. I decided to wear them all day, including a training session to see how they felt. Now, it’s very hard not to get personal when describing how you find something as intimate as pants, but the best way I can describe them is as follows:
The X-Bionic Summerlight briefs are so comfortable it is like going commando, but with everything securely held in place. They are soft, stretchy and well made. The seam is in an extremely sensible place and the waistband settles nicely around your hips. They have an abundance of technical features that you can read about here on the X-Bionic website and a premium price to go with such a high quality product.
I have yet to do a long run in them, but I am certain that CB will not be an issue. I do have a long run scheduled at the weekend, so I will edit this if it does return! In the meantime I am going to save my pennies to buy another pair of X-Bionic Summerlight Slips. According to my wife, they are aesthetically pleasing too 😉