A good pair of compression shorts goes a long way, especially during high-intensity workouts. They should make you feel great while performing your best and pushing your workouts to the limit. Comfort, performance, and style aren’t mutually exclusive, and your compression shorts should always deliver on all three fronts.

Nothing can dampen your day like an uncomfortable pair of underwear or compression shorts, especially if you’re doing something important like exercise or work. Even if you’re taking a chill day off, what you’re wearing should allow you to maximize your comfort, not become a nuisance. 

We’re going to break down everything you need to know about what makes a great pair of compression shorts, starting with their most basic functions and benefits.


What Are Compression Shorts?

It’s okay if you don’t know whatcompression shorts are. Compression wear is a type of clothing that is woven with spandex fibers or similar material to be more form-fitting and provide a compression-type fit, making them better for sports and post-workout recovery. It should feel tight, but not tight enough to the point where it causes discomfort. The purpose is to compress your muscles for some extra support and improved blood circulation. 

Not to mention, a good pair of compression shorts should make you look and feel like you can accomplish anything, especially during your workouts. While it’s true they are primarily worn for exercise, compression shorts can actually be worn after a workout as well to help with muscle recovery, and anytime for that matter (a good pair of compression shorts, that is). This makes it the perfect pair of underwear for work, play, and everything in between. 

You may have noticed that we’re going back and forth between calling them shorts and underwear, so which one is it? 

Well, there are certain types of compression wear that are meant to be worn by themselves and others that are meant to have layers like short tights or drawstring pants on top. It’s all a matter of preference. 

Either way, they should be comfortable, high-performance, and stylish. If you hadn’t noticed, those words are absolutely the most important when you’re talking about underwear. 


So, What Makes a Solid Pair of Compression Shorts?

There is a lot more that goes into an above-average pair of compression shorts than you might think. From big factors like material and comfort to the lesser-thought categories such as unique features and eco-friendliness, there’s more to a pair of underwear than meets the eye.

AtAll Citizens, we pride ourselves on offering high-performance and secure underwear and compression wear at an affordable price. Our underwear punches well above its weight class and sets the bar for what menswear should look like, feel like, and cost. 


The Best Material

There’s no better place to start than the thing that can make or break your compression shorts experience: the material. 

You remember the keywords, right? Comfort, performance, and style. Well, you can’t have either of those if the material isn’t suited to your daily activities. 

Cotton and silk underwear are nice, but have you ever walked around in cotton underwear on a hot day? Or worse, worked out in them? It’s awful — an experience we wouldn’t even wish on our enemies. 

The sweat. The stick. The irritation. It’s all too much. Your underwear shouldn’t be an inconvenience. If it is, the material is the first place you need to look. 

All Citizens compression shorts are made with a high-performance fabric that’s 90% polyester and 10% spandex. It is moisture-wicking and quick-drying so it handles even your most sweaty workouts. And the feel? It’s as if a cloud and your favorite bedroom pillow had a baby.

Don’t forget the spandex! This is especially important for our compression shorts, as the flexibility allows the underwear to move with you in any position. The best part? It completely eliminates the possibility of any wedgies or ride-ups. The spandex (and other features — but more on those later) allow the underwear to tightly grip your thighs without causing discomfort. This means you’ll never have to go through an awkward wedgie readjustment in public ever again. 

So, the next time you’re underwear shopping, make sure the material is the first thing you check. It can be your best friend or worst enemy. 


Versatile for Any Workout 


When people are buying compression shorts, versatility isn’t usually the first word that comes to mind. 

Well, we’re aiming to change that. Your compression shorts shouldn’t only be good for one specific function — you should be able to wear your base layer for any type of workout or activity, from marathons to HIIT to calmer hikes to yoga. A great pair of compression shorts should allow you to buy just one pair to handle all activities, rather than buying several different pairs for different workouts - that’s a waste of money and space, and forget about keeping track of the different pairs. 

Our compression shorts are meant to help you take on anything from a relaxing day on the couch to intense exercise, indoors and outdoors. (Pro Tip: Opt for a longer inseam to help the thighs from riding up during a workout. Your compression shorts should look and feel great under your favorite running shorts, athletic shorts, or bike shorts. Going from laying down to a long bike ride? Boom, you’re ready to go, no change needed or questions asked. Anything you need, anything you’re doing, any given day. Your underwear needs to be there for you through thick and thin (or damp and dry) without chafing. 


You’re Not the Only One That Needs to Breathe!

Breathability. Once again, not exactly the first thing that comes to mind when you’re shopping for compression shorts. 

Equipped with Mesh Breathe Zones placed in the areas that sweat the most (between the legs and on the lower back), our underwear and compression shorts will always make sure your boys get the airflow and ventilation they need. Airflow is key in keeping your nether regions dry, and our compression shorts offer plenty of it.

A bad pair of compression shorts will make you feel like your groin is living in a swamp. Sweat can’t evaporate without air, so no airflow leads to a very uncomfortable workout. 

Our Mesh Breathe Zones help evaporate sweat to keep you dry, instead of humidity down there like the Amazon rainforest. This is super important for hot days and exercise — the two times you’ll be sweating the most. 


A Little Too Hot to Handle…

It’s been researched that men who consistently wear tight underwear have alower sperm count. 

We know what you’re thinking. “Why am I being told about the benefits of tight compression wear when tight clothes cause low sperm count?”

Fortunately, that low sperm count has to do with theunderwear heating up your package, not the tightness itself. 

If your underwear isn’t breathable and moisture-wicking like ours, you may be in for a much bigger problem than simply being uncomfortable under your training shorts. Tighty-whities specifically can have major health implications. This is because these types of tight underwear aren’t equipped with the breathability we have. 

It’s certainly an important thing to keep in mind going forward. Protect your swimmers by getting underwear you can breathe in. 


Smart Features

We’re firm believers that the best compression shorts can improve your workouts and help you push yourself to new personal records. 

The best compression shorts have several smart features that make for a more comfortable wear:

  • Mesh Breathe Zones: Micro vents strategically located where guys sweat the most (between the legs and on the lower back). The mesh allows for more airflow and ventilation, so you can say goodbye to swamp ass for good. 

  • Grip Thigh: These gripping bands wrap around your thighs to eliminate ride-ups and wedgies. No more having to try and sneak a quick readjust under your workout shorts when you’re in public. 

  • Phone Pocket: Our compression shorts are equipped with a tightside pocket to ensure you don’t have to leave your phone in a locker or strap it on with an armband. The phone pocket keeps your phone locked down, high on your hip, and out of the way of your workouts so you can focus on your fitness without any distractions. 

  • Thick, No Roll Waistband: Inspired by the trunks of professional boxers, we added a thick, no-roll waistband that stays put on your waist and prevents rolling or flopping over. This means you never have to worry about plumber’s crack during any workout. 

  • Quick Access Horizontal Fly: Vertical fly (also known as keyhole fly) or no-fly underwear makes it awkward to go to the bathroom. You have to rummage about down there or go “up and over”. So we redesigned the fly to be a quick access horizontal fly that makes it much easier and faster to hit the head when nature calls.

  • Reinforced Stress Points: areas that see a lot of action are reinforced with extra stitching to stop rips in their tracks. No rips and tears mean you’ll rarely have to keep buying replacement compression shorts. 

  • Excellent Color Retention: Our fabric has excellent color retention so your underwear always looks brand new and never fades. 

  • Seamless sides: guarantee a smooth all-around feel like a second skin, no chafe and no itch.



The combination of high-performance fabric that handles sweat really well, and smart features that address all of the common frustrations with compression shorts makes for an overall comfortable wear during any activity. 



Boxers or briefs? Loose-fitting underwear may benefit sperm production | News | Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health

Facts And Myths Of Male Fertility: Tight Underwear, Hot Tubs, Marijuana, And More | Office for Science and Society | McGill University

Can Fashion Ever Be Sustainable? | BBC

July 11, 2022 — Bridget Reed

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