…. But Runderwearman, is big into his product.

Ideal for Winter: 

These winter months can really play havoc with our training.

It is never easy to get out there in the cold, wind or rain.

It’s not the lack of desire to run, but the thought of the cold, wind or those initial 5 minutes getting into a rhythm and moving.

The need to keep warm typically sees us reach into the drawer for the cycling short, base layers for under the T shirt, a light wind-proof jacket, and tights.

As soon as the initial move from fire to road is conquered, life is good again, …… until we hit the shower and all those chaffed and irritated spots are highlighted by hot water and soap!

The life of the South African runner, triathlete or/ and cyclist has just become even better!

 Runderwear is the undercover agent that will transform your running comfort.

Underwear had never really been on my list of most desirable running reviews, but around three years ago when at one of the Desert Road Runners’ races in Dubai, I was introduced to Runderwear.

It started with wearing ladies spandex:

Jamie Smalley, the co-founder, and alter-ego of ‘Runderwearman’, has come out publicly that prior to designing the brand, his fetish was to wear ladies underwear – spandex…..only in marathons, and all purely in the interests of a chafe-free run.

The product is a revolution of men’s running, but of course has a full women’s range that includes Bras, Crop Tops, Brief’s and G string’s (none of which are reviewed here, and no evidence exists that they have been tested by the Runderwearman! J )

The Need for Support and Comfort:

Until my Dubai introduction, and for three decades prior, I had typically used a ‘speedo’ as support under my tights.

Tights have always been a favourite clothing choice for cold, night, or any long Ultra running… anything over 3 hours.

The majority of my competitive or training outings longer than 3 hour have been in tights, or longer cycling  / triathlon shorts: whether a Comrades, competitive 100km, 100 miler, triathlon or a multi-day event, tights provided a good non-chafing option with the added benefit of compression, however finding a suitable base layer and support had always been less than satisfactory.

The biggest challenge came from the garments that inevitably had seams, ribs and labels that would cause some sort of irritation, chaffing, or discomfort.

Cutting labels out was a partial solution, but even the remaining ‘edge’ would somehow always manage to leave its own special ‘mark’ on a performance.

Forget the Label…Forget Irritation:

The label-less nature of Runderwear is one of those features that only becomes evident when you realise something is missing: the washing and material details are all conveniently woven into the waist band, never to be lost, and never to irritate!

The crowning feature of course is that there is not a single seam or rib, or overstitch in sight: each garment is totally smooth but utilises different weave densities of the 92% Polyamide and 2% elastane to create more or less support in key regions.

The underwear is designed in Great Britain but now available in the standard or the premium merino-based material in South Africa, but both enjoy similar features.

Little more is to be said about the construction of the garment, quite simply because there is little more to it, which is why it is such a success.  It’s this simplicity that is the key to its success!

A Range to Protect Everyone for Every ‘under need’

And successful it is:

Runderwear: base layer tops, briefs, short and longer boxers, sports bra, crop tops, socks and compression socks are all making their introduction to South Africa

Although my experience has been with the three men’s garments and a pair of socks, the same base features of comfort, irritation free, and support consistently come to the fore.

In the case of the longer boxer a ‘rubberised’ band at the legs assists in preventing leg creep.


Ideal for Multi-day Eventing:

These garments fit comfortably under cycling shorts and running or compression tights and totally remove any form of irritation, while also wicking away the sweat or even rain, from the skin to maintain a warmth.

The material is lightweight and sufficiently ‘perforated’ to ensure quick drying which makes it an ideal choice for multi-day events, particularly those trail type runs, such as Augrabies, where we have to carry everything with us: two briefs or boxers allow for alternate day wearing comfort and chafe-free running.

Giving Life to your Favourite Shorts:

Over the decades of running, I have also found some shorts that were particularly light, or well fitting, some even seem to make you feel faster simply from the cut and style.

However, these tend to have a limited lifespan, not from the outer material, but from the often cheaply structured ‘inner’ with leg elastic that would soon stretch out of shape, lack support and render the otherwise perfect shorts, useless.

Ironically, the more perfect the shorts, the sooner the inner rendered them redundant: Runderwear has come to the rescue in as much as those sagging, potentially embarrassing inners can now be cut out and replaced by a Runderwear brief or boxer, breathing new life into those favoured shorts.

The Runderwear has also a considerable lifespan and over the 3 years with my first pair, it has held its support well

Featuring Feet:

Although I am not a fan of thick socks, particularly in Durban and venues with similar humidity, the Runderwear socks do keep the feet dry.

I have yet to experience the compression socks but everything I have seen indicates that these will also feature the top quality of materials and production of the rest of the range. Proof again that Chinese manufacture can be of the highest standard.

Although well establish in Europe and Middle East, Runderwear became available in South Africa this year which means that your best way of finding a local stockist is through the web site www.runderwear.co.za   or mail hello@runderwear.co.za