Hands up who takes particular care with choosing their outdoor apparel? Yes? Trousers…tick. Baselayer top…tick. Midlayer…tick. Shell…tick. Shoes…tick. Even socks…tick!
Often overlooked in the sense of critical choice but an essential piece of clothing. If you are like me and suffer from chaffing (no sniggering at the back), you will appreciate good underwear when outdoors. I have tried several types of underwear both style and material and have a few thoughts….
The different styles of pants out there work to a lesser or greater degree when walking (for me). Budgie smugglers are a no-no before you ask! Boxers are my preferred weapon of choice although whether to go for loose or close fitting is another matter. Normally I opt for a long but fairly loose boxer. This allows the material to move in contact with the trousers and not my skin! 90% of the time this is what I wear. However, there are occasions when a close fitting undergarment is preferable. For me the type of close fitting boxers that work are the ones that sportsmen often wear. These tend to come down to just over the knee and more often than not made of lycra or similar material. I wear these types if I am doing high energy walking (or cycling) and do have the added benefit of keeping the upper leg muscles warm (esp in winter).
Next is the material. Cotton? Noooooo….! Normally polyester/lycra/elastane mix. The looser pants tend to be mainly polyester but obviously the closer fitting ones have a higher percentage of elastane or lycra for stretch. One other material I have tried and liked is merino. This is odd because I really cannot wear merino on my upper body as it makes my skin itch. Secondly, although they are comfortable they dont last. I have had 2 pairs of merino pants and they lasted less than 6 months and seeing as they are expensive….
So what are my favourite current pants? (yes I did ask that rhetorical question 🙂 ) In the summer I actually wear bog-standard supermarket type long loose boxers that are normally a few quid a pair. For the winter though I tend to revert back to my Under-Armour compression shorts. They keep everything warm and secure and add a little extra insulation during the cold weather.
Any other thoughts and what works for you…?