It was the best of mud, it was the worst of mud, it was the age of extreme, it was the age of couch potato, it was the epoch of dreams, it was the epoch of sorrow, it was the season of podiums, it was the season of despair, it was the spring of medals, it was the winter of burpees, we had Runderwear before us, we had Mudgear before us, we were all going directly to Tahoe, we were all going back to the Box – in short, these undies insisted on a superlative degree of comparison.
Growing up, Christmas around my house was weird. I always got batteries and underwear. The batteries did not go to any toys still unwrapped nor any toys still laying around the house from previous years. Just batteries. The underwear was equally puzzling but nevertheless a staple stocking stuffer for many years. When I reached deep inside Santa’s sock, what I hoped was a Slinky was instead a bundle of tighty whities.
Challenger 1 – Runderwear
My wife must have thought it would be funny to get me underwear for Christmas last year. What she got me was Runderwear. These briefs come from the UK and if they had the Union Jack painted on them, you’d swear they were for Austin Powers. In plain tan for the ladies, these granny panties would certainly fit right in with Bridget Jones. But seriously, these moisture-wicking, flexible, and very lightweight briefs keep the twig and berries right in place without chafing during long workouts and races. I love them. They definitely make me randy. But I would not wear them solo. That’s reserved for the American Thong-man.
Challenger 2 – MudGear
On the other hand, the MudGear compression boxers that I got just a few weeks ago could be perfectly acceptable on the course. They have the same look and feel as cycling shorts sans the chamois inside. Which to me means they are a tad bit warmer. But for this article, I tried them out last week at the West Point Sprint. Yes, as an undergarment, they were a bit warmer. In the future, I would reserve them for cool weather training and events.
What both pairs did equally well. They both kept the mud and loose dirt out of sensitive areas. At the same time, they wicked away as much moisture as they could. Combined with a few strokes of Glide, I feel that either pair is quite satisfactory at keeping the wedding tackle chafe-free.
The material is compressive on both pairs but the construction is quite different. The Runderwear is indeed like briefs while the MudGear has legs like boxers. So the latter gives you a bit more support upstairs. I’m a big fan of compression gear. But I’m also a minimalist. So what’s it going to be? Compression or cool? For me, the race day temperature will be the deciding factor. While I could race solo MudGear, I did, in fact, put a pair of light X-Race shorts on over top. That’s because like true underwear, the MudGear boxers have a front flap. I don’t want my bits and pieces falling out and I don’t want any foreign objects getting in. So the extra layer pair of shorts takes care of that and also means another thermal layer.
That means for me that MudGear will come out from fall through spring and Runderwear will be the mainstay in summer. Yes that also means an extra layer of shorts, but minus all that extra material, the Runderwear does the job. While running commando is an option, and I have done it plenty of times, I’ll save that option for training only where there is no mud or danger of a higher food chain order threat to my trouser snake.
That means that from now on when racing, it will be either Runderwear or Mudgear beneath. But since my next race is a Stadium Series at Citizen’s Bank Park, and since that is a dry race, I may go commando. Groovy baby! I give both Runderwear and MudGear 5 of 5 stars for performance, comfort, support, lightweight, and wicking.