Running is a battle of attrition. Against your body, your mind, against physics and against… your clothing? Like with all sports, choosing the correct gear is essential no matter the duration of your run . The wrong shoes can cause blisters so bad you never want to walk let alone run again. The wrong shirt can cause nipple chafing. And the wrong underwear? Well… the wrong pants can cause your privates to bounce around a little too freely. This can lead to mild and in some cases extreme pain. Which begs the question- are jockstraps an essential running mate?
When is a Jockstrap Necessary For Running?
The main reason for wearing a jockstrap while running is to prevent discomfort. This can happen as running can hinder the testes “cremasteric reflex”- the body’s ability to draw them up and keep them safe from the constant bumping during exercise. And during a run a penis can take a whole lot of bumping. When you consider that a ½ mile is 1000 steps, running a whole marathon can bring about thousands of extra bumps and a whole extra world of unexpected pain. A well procured jockstrap is a very good step towards preventing this.
How Does a Jockstrap Help?
There is one main way a jockstrap will help while running: by holding and securing everything in place. The front ‘cup’ or ‘shell’ holds the male genitalia in place, preventing a phenomena known as ‘excessive rebounding’ from occurring. By eliminating rebound, a man will greatly reduce the impact on their penis over long distances. This will prevent additional bruising and injury to the crotch area – an important measure towards a more enjoyable run! (even more important if you have a date the same week and don’t want to have your ball bag in an ice bag.)
Common Medical Reasons For Wearing a Jockstrap
There are a number of common injuries that can arise from running. Wearing a jockstrap can greatly reduce or eliminate the pain.
- Long runs can result in penile and testicular bruising. The constant ‘bouncing’ can injure the soft skin surrounding the testicular region, causing veins and arteries to break. While the pain generally subsides after a few days, it can nevertheless be extremely discomforting.
- A rare enough occurrence, eggplant deformity is where injury to the penus causes it to swell up like an eggplant. Highly unlikely. There have only been 2000 cases since 1924 – it is still a highly undesirable result!
Reducing Varicocele Pain
- Varicoceles are enlarged veins in the scrotum. They can affect up to 10% of men per year. While generally harmless, they can lead to male infertility if left untreated. As running will increase the blood flow to the genital area, it is best to consult a doctor to see if a jockstrap is necessary for you.
- Inelastic scrotum can occur with age. It is where the skin surrounding the scrotum begins to sag. A jockstrap can help hold everything in place and prevent further injury.
Choosing The Right Jockstrap For Running
Like with anything, there are a huge range of brands and jockstraps to choose from. This goes from traditional all-white athletic jocks to leather bound party boy fetish wear. It is important to choose a brand and style constructed specifically for sports use. Why? Because when it comes to sports substance always trumps appearance. A good sporting jockstrap should be built with lightweight and breathable materials, ensuring constant cooling while preventing odors and overheating. The straps should be made from a resistant but soft material – no one wants the elastics loosening and their draws falling off half way through a run! An extra tip would be to choose jockstraps with removable cups. This is more hygienic as it allows for a more thorough cleanse of the garment.
Conclusion: So is a Jockstrap Needed?
Running can be an extremely uncomfortable exercise – and choosing the wrong underwear can make it a hell of a lot worse. By doing everything correctly, the only post run pain should be muscle exhaustion. For example, shoe technology is now such that you can find the right shoe suited to your body and running style- preventing blisters, swollen ankles and all kinds of unwanted physical extras. Short and t shirts are now designed for maximum lightness and air flow. You’re still going to sweat, but excessively heavy and damp rags are now a thing of the past. Nipples still rubbing? Then the old-age trick of rubbing vaseline on the affected area is as true today and it was then.
The same goes for jock straps. Some people may feel funny about wearing them at first, but the physical benefits far outweigh the style benefits. A well chosen jockstrap really can be the difference between a run being a battle of mind vs body or an enjoyable exercise in the great outdoors. And anyway…. Who really wants to win first place for most fashionable at a running event anyway?