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What's The Difference Between Boxers And Boxer Briefs?

The debate between boxer shorts and boxer briefs has been raging for years. Each style has its unique characteristics, and understanding the differences between the two will help you choose the underwear style that suits you best. The good news is that there is no right or wrong answer, and your personal preferences matter most when selecting your underwear. So, what sets boxer shorts apart from boxer briefs? How do you decide which one is better for you? Read on as we answer the questions: What's the difference between boxers and boxer briefs? And which style is the best fit for me?

Boxer Shorts

Boxer shorts were first introduced in 1925 by the founder of boxing outfitters, Everlast. They were designed to provide more freedom of movement to boxers, and this original purpose is what still makes them popular today. Boxer shorts have an elastic waistband (which may be covered or exposed) to hold them up, with loose-fitting legs. They provide coverage for the legs, but the leg openings have no elastic bindings, making them a great option for anyone with larger thighs or who just prefers a looser fit.

The loose-fitting nature of boxers means that they allow plenty of airflow, keeping you cooler. This is an important consideration, especially if you live in a hot climate or play sports. For anyone who prioritizes comfort when it comes to their underwear, boxers are a great option. They are typically generously sized, loose-fitting, and available in many materials, including breathable fabrics like cotton.

Even if boxer shorts are not your go-to underwear style for everyday wear, they are a great option for lounging at home or wearing while sleeping.

However, the three key details that make boxer shorts so comfortable can also be a drawback for some, and it is worth considering these before purchasing. Because of their loose fit, boxer shorts provide less support than other underwear styles. The absence of elastic in the leg binding makes them more susceptible to riding up when worn. Additionally, the generous cut typically means more fabric under your trousers, which can bunch up and be uncomfortable.

If you are looking for a snug fit or extra support, boxer briefs might be a better choice.

Boxer Briefs

Boxer briefs are a relatively new style of underwear that emerged in the early 1990s. They are a combination of briefs and boxer shorts, providing leg coverage like boxer shorts but fitting closer to the body like briefs. Unlike traditional boxer shorts, the leg openings of boxer briefs are slimmer and contain elastic bindings to prevent them from riding up.

Boxer briefs offer more support than boxer shorts due to their slimmer fit. For increased support, I recommend choosing a boxer brief with a pouch instead of a fly-front. While the choice is personal, a pouch will provide more support while wearing, which may be particularly important during workouts. Recent studies have also shown that 80% of men do not use the fly functionality, so unless you fall into the 20% category, choosing a pouch may be a better option. Boxer briefs come in various fabric choices, so it is best to look for a lightweight, breathable fabric to prevent overheating.

I would also recommend choosing boxer briefs with some elastane in the fabric. Since the style fits so close to your body, elastane or spandex enables the fabric to stretch and move with you. While 100% cotton is great in a boxer short, it may stretch out and ride up in a boxer brief. A blend that contains elastane will stretch with you without stretching out or riding up.

Body Shape

Understanding your unique body shape is important when choosing comfortable underwear. Men with larger thighs need to consider this factor when selecting any style of underwear that covers their legs. Boxer shorts are a good option for men with large or muscular legs because of their roomier fit and lack of leg bindings. Briefs are also a great option for men with larger thighs because they don't cover your legs at all, providing complete leg freedom. If you haven't thought about briefs in a while, I will devote a future article to why they are worth reconsidering.

Boxer briefs can also work for guys with larger legs, but it's important to choose carefully. Boxer briefs come in various lengths, and a shorter inseam may end at a wider point on your thigh, causing pinching or ride-up on guys with larger quads. Often, guys size up in the waist to fit their legs, which may solve the leg fit issue but may cause droopy waist, "wedgies," or waistband roll. A longer leg will end at a narrower part of your thigh, so it will fit you better. A boxer brief with some stretch will also help men with larger legs.

For those with slimmer legs, a boxer brief will fit better than a wider-legged boxer short. A baggier fit will create even more excess fabric that may ride up during the day.

The best thing to do is to experiment with different styles until you find the one that you like best. There's no harm in alternating between boxers and boxer briefs to see if you have a preference. Once you find the style that makes you look and feel your best, stick with it.


Personal preference plays a significant role in choosing the right underwear. While I can offer suggestions, only you can decide what works best for you. Whether you prefer loose and baggy boxers or a more fitted solution like boxer briefs, don't be afraid to try various styles and fabrics. It's okay to wear different types of undergarments for different activities, and there are no set rules except the ones you set for yourself.

If you plan to buy new underwear, consider checking out Alphx's website, where you can find everything you need. Our products are available in sizes XS to XXL and are made from a premium blend of lightweight, breathable cotton, modal, and 6% elastane for added stretch and recovery. We offer two leg fits per waist size in our boxer briefs and trunks. For those with larger thighs or muscular legs, choose your normal waist size in our exclusive Athletic Fit for more legroom without sizing up. If you have slim to average thighs, go for our Modern Fit. At, we've got you covered, no matter your specific needs or unique style.


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