Why do Running Shorts Have Netting?

New to the world of jogging wear? Now that the weather is nice enough to enjoy the outdoors, we have the urge to run and enjoy it, but there are functions in exercise clothes that are very different from everyday clothes. For example, what’s with the netting liner in running shorts? 

The netting in running shorts is meant to replace underwear so that the runner doesn’t need to wear anything other than the shorts. The liner wicks also away moisture, prevents chafing, offers support, prevents the shorts from riding up, and keeps the runner cool.

Want to learn more? Keep reading to answer other common questions about running shorts, such as whether you can or should remove it, and if you can ride a bike with them.

What is the Netting in Running Shorts For?

The netting in running shorts has five purposes:

  1. Create the feeling of security and support
  2. Prevent chafing
  3. Wick away moisture
  4. Prevent the shorts from riding up
  5. Be more breathable than daily shorts and underwear

Let’s explain these better.


For men, running pumps blood to your limbs, sending much less to your groin. This usually means you want support while you run. The liner does just that while also giving you motion control.

Chaff Prevention

Running is a repetitive motion that’s faster and harder than walking. If you don’t wear bottoms that fit close to your skin that are also soft, the material would rub back and forth against your thighs and cause a rash, or chafing. The liner is a soft fabric that does just that so that there’s no need to wear anything else.

Moisture Wicking

When you run, you sweat. It’s the natural order. But sweat doesn’t have to cause you discomfort or embarrassment because the liner is made from a water-wicking material. 

Ride-up Prevention

For women, sportswear tends to ride up, but the liner is stitched into place, preventing that discomfort. However, if your shorts are the wrong size, this could still happen.


Running shorts are made so that, during the winter, you can wear running tights under them to stay warm. During warmer months, the liner is not only a water-wicking material, but a breathable one to give you maximum comfort. 

Do I Need to Wear Underwear with Running Shorts?

Running shorts were made so that you didn’t need to wear underwear with them. You can, but they can feel bulky, unnatural, and will probably cause chafing since underwear is usually made from materials that cause friction.

Underwear also doesn’t wick away moisture while you run, which has the potential to cause discomforts such as itching and bacterial infection. Your shorts should be able to give you the support and security you want without wearing underwear. If not, you probably have the wrong size, which brings us to another common question.

How are Running Shorts Supposed to Fit?

For something that’s made to be more comfortable than average shorts, it’s hard to figure out how they’re supposed to fit. I mean, the feeling they don’t fit is the major reason we want to cut out the netting inside. So how are running shorts supposed to fit? How tight should they be? How are they supposed to feel so that we know we didn’t waste our money?

For men and women, running shorts should feel like a second skin so that they’re unnoticeable but you may need a different size for each type of running shorts you buy. There are three types:

  • V-notch
  • Split
  • Compression

The v-notch shorts should feel loose since they are the most likely to chaff if too tight, but not baggy. They’re made to give you a wide range of motion with the v-shaped notches on each side.

The split shorts, while having v-shaped notches, will have two panels, the front overlapping the back to give you the most available motion. These shouldn’t feel tight because they’re made to avoid contact with your body and give you the sense of being free. If you just use the size of your waistline to measure, it should be perfect.

Lastly, the compression shorts (which don’t usually have a liner) are meant to feel more snug than the other two, but not tight. They’re supposed to compress your thighs, so when you get to the size where there are no wrinkles when you put the shorts on, that should be the one. 

Can I Use Running Shorts for Cycling?

Yes, you can absolutely use running shorts for riding a bicycle, just like you can use everyday shorts for cycling. The real question is, would it be comfortable to ride a bike with running shorts?

If you tend to buy loose running shorts, you might run into chaffing from sitting on the bike seat and doing the repetitive bike pedaling action. 

If your shorts are tight, it will restrict the way you can bike. If you get shorts that fit just right, there shouldn’t be any problem wearing them, but even these might turn out to feel different than when you run because they weren’t designed with bike riding in mind.

Can You Cut the Liner Out of Running Shorts?

If your running short liner is still bothering you and you focus much better in something more like your daily wear, there’s no need to run in discomfort. All you have to do is take some scissors and cut the liner out. The material won’t fray when you do, so there shouldn’t be damage over time. Just don’t cut the seams.

If you are a man reading this, you can still keep the supportive pocket if you cut carefully enough.


Running shorts were made to accommodate all sorts of body types for both men and women, but you shouldn’t have to spend a fortune to find the pair that fits just right. While no one wants to use the fitting rooms to see if the shorts fit, we hope we gave you some helpful information today.


Why Do Running Shorts Have A Net? – WearDaddy

What Is The Netting In Running Shorts For? – Cardio Adviser

5 Reasons Why Running Shorts Have Built-In Underwear – Style and Run

Are Running Shorts Good For Cycling? – Cardio Adviser

How Tight Should Running Shorts Be? A Running Shorts Fit Guide – Runners Get Up

Sweaty v@gin@: Causes and prevention (medicalnewstoday.com

Should you wear underwear with running shorts? – Ready.Set.Marathon. (readysetmarathon.com)

What Is Liner In Shorts – BikeHike (cyclinghikes.com)

About Me

Hey, I'm Mark and I've been running for around eight years. I'm by no means an elite runner. I'm in the mid-pack, doing what I can to improve and learn along the way.

I've learnt a few tricks along the which I share on this website and my Instagram: