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Do runners wear incontinence pads?

Yes, runners with incontinence wear pads, but they aren't the best option...

Incontinence pads have been a popular 'go-to' option for runners who need leak protection.

However, there's a better choice now.

Washable leak proof Sports Briefs for runners

women's leak proof sport brief for runners

These are much more comfortable and reliable than pads.

Why? Because they're made from the same types of fabrics as regular sports underwear, but have leak protection built in. So...

  • The protective coverage stays put - it won't curl and bunch up like pads can - and that means you'll get more reliable protection, and...
  • Since incontinence Sport Briefs are all fabric, they're much more comfortable and gentler on your skin than disposable pads or briefs

They are also washable and reusable.

Here at Zorbies we offer both men's and women's leak proof Sport Briefs - here's how they compare to running in incontinence pads.

Leak Proof Sport Briefs-why they're better than incontinence pads for runners

While incontinence pads can work fine for some runners - those with light needs using small, thin pads - leak proof Sport Briefs offer many benefits over pads.

Grid comparing running in incontinence pads vs. washable leak proof Sport Briefs. Comparison points: absorbency, coverage, comfort, cost and enviromental factors

Running in Leak Proof Sport Briefs vs. incontinence pads

Firstly, our leak proof Sport Briefs are both sports clothing and incontinence protection.

They're an integrated solution for runners - no need for separate incontinence pads when running.

Fit and Feel. A well made pair of incontinence Sport Briefs should fit you like a glove!

infographic - zorbies men's sport brief features showing why they are better than incontinence pads for male runners

They should feel pretty much like regular Sports Briefs or undershorts.

Like the kind you might wear under running, or workout, shorts for light muscle support.

So, a close, secure, hugging, comfy fit.

Ideal for running - no loose fabric to bunch up and get in the way.

Also ideal for secure leak protection - gaps can allow leaks to escape.

Waistband. This great fit starts with the nice wide waistband. Designed so it won't roll down on you, or allow the Brief to slip.

All-way Stretch Shell. The shell fabric blend is like what's used in premium regular sports underwear -- and other types of active wear.

infographic - 5-Star Comfort product features, soft gentle on skin fabrics, no-roll waistband, all way stretch shell

Like cycling clothes, men's running tights, ladies leggins, yoga pants etc.

What makes our fabric blend so comfortable is that it stretches 4-ways - up, down and side to side.

The other (not so secret) ingredient is spandex.

Our Sport Briefs have the perfect amount so they stretch easily with you on every step of your run.

This fabric is also more breathable than incontinence pads, or disposable briefs.

And, since the fabrics are gentler on your skin than incontinence pads, there's less chance of chafing.

Excellent product. Comfortable non-chaffing fit is great very happy with my sport briefs. R.L.

Absorbency. Both our men's and women's Sport Briefs have significantly more protective coverage than an incontinence pad.

infographic - women's leak proof sport brief for runners outlining features that make these briefs better than incontinence pads for runners

Also, the protection is built in, so it stays where it should.

No more worry about whether your pad is crunched up and out of place.

The entire Absorbency System is made from layers of fabric, with:

  • Rapid wicking layers to move moisture away from your body quickly
  • Absorbent layers to lock in and manage moisture, and, of course
  • A waterproof barrier

All of these features add up to a great fit, better protection, more comfort and less chafing for runners who are dealing with incontinence. 

Which to choose for running, incontinence pads or Leak Proof Sport Briefs?

Key Considerations

Here are some key factors to consider when deciding which protection option is best for you.

1. Have you missed a run - or other activity - due to lack of confidence in your protection? Definitely consider a Sport Brief.

Doing things you enjoy is way too important to your whole well being - don't miss out!

2. Do you have stress about your pad staying in place? If you spend your run stressing about whether your pad is protecting you, even though you've never actually had an issue, it might be time to consider incontinence Sport Briefs.

Having peace of mind that you are better protected may make your runs more enjoyable and carefree.

3. Are you chafing? Your pad is doing it's job taking care of leaks, but you are experiencing chafing.

Sport Briefs reduce the chance of skin irritation and chafing.

We recommend buying 1 pair to start with. Give it a good test run, or two, to see how it feels, and determine if it's a good option for you.

4. Are your needs are more than a thin pad can handle? If you are up to using larger, bulkier pads, that probably means:

  • Your runs are less comfortable
  • You are more likely to be stressing about whether your protection will stay in place

This is definitely a good time to test how a Sport Brief works for you.   

5. Do you run longer distances? Even if your incontinence needs are light and thin pads have been working for you, running longer distances increases the chance of pads becoming an issue:

  • Even small leaks can add up over time and possibly saturate the pad to overflow level
  • Longer runs means more movement. More movement means more chance of the pad itself moving, causing a coverage issue
  • Pad material is harsher on your skin than the fabrics in (our) Sport Briefs. Also, many pads have chemical additives that turn liquid into a gel. Both can be skin irritants that can cause chafing


      runners in road race in article titled 'do runners wear incontinence pads'

      Recap: Running in Incontinence pads vs. Leak Proof Sport Briefs

      In conclusion, here are the key points on each option. 


      1. Best for light needs that small, thin pads can handle

      2. Prone to have coverage issues since they can move out of place

      3. Can become uncomfortable if they bunch up

      4. Papery material and chemical additives can cause skin irritation and chafing

      5. Single use, less economical and eco-friendly than washable leak proof Sport Briefs

      Leak Proof Sport Briefs

      1. Look, feel and wear like regular sports wear since they are made from the same types of fabrics. Washable and reusable.

      2. Typically handle up to light dribbles.

      For heavier needs, try our washable incontinence briefs with higher protection.

      Men's Absorbent Brief | Women's Classic Brief

      Made from similar fabrics, they are also suitable for sports and running. Although, in order to handle heavier leaks, they are bulkier than Sport Briefs.

      3. Integrated absorbency provides more reliable, stay put protection

      4. Fabrics are gentler on skin than incontinence pads - offer more comfort, and less chance of chafing