How To Stop Chafing When Running In Shorts

As someone who loves running, I know firsthand how uncomfortable and painful chafing can be, especially when wearing shorts. Chafing occurs when there is repetitive friction between your skin and the fabric of your shorts. It can cause redness, irritation, and sometimes even blisters. But fear not, fellow runners! I’ve gathered some tried and true tips on how to prevent chafing when running in shorts.

1. Choose the Right Fabric

When it comes to preventing chafing, fabric choice is crucial. Opt for moisture-wicking materials like nylon or polyester, which can help to reduce friction and keep your skin dry. Avoid fabrics like cotton, as they tend to retain moisture and can exacerbate chafing.

2. Wear Compression Shorts or Anti-Chafing Products

One of the most effective ways to prevent chafing is by wearing compression shorts or applying anti-chafing products directly to your skin. Compression shorts provide a layer of protection between your skin and the fabric by reducing the rubbing and friction. Alternatively, you can use anti-chafing creams, balms, or powders that create a barrier on your skin and reduce friction.

3. Apply Lubricants

Before embarking on your run, apply lubricants such as petroleum jelly, Body Glide, or even coconut oil to areas prone to chafing. These lubricants create a slippery surface that reduces the friction between your skin and the fabric, preventing chafing. Be sure to reapply during long runs or if you start to feel any discomfort.

4. Opt for Longer Shorts

Choosing longer shorts can help minimize chafing by providing more coverage and reducing the amount of skin-to-skin contact. Look for shorts that hit just above the knee or even mid-thigh. This extra fabric can make a big difference in preventing chafing, especially on hot and humid days when sweat can exacerbate the issue.

5. Stay Dry

Moisture can exacerbate chafing, so it’s important to stay as dry as possible during your run. Consider using moisture-wicking underwear or shorts liners to help keep your skin dry. Additionally, if you find that you sweat a lot, you may want to bring a small towel or handkerchief to dab away excess sweat during your run.

6. Gradually Increase Mileage

If you’re new to running or increasing your mileage, it’s essential to do so gradually. By gradually increasing your mileage, your body has time to adapt and build up resistance to chafing. Pushing yourself too hard too soon can lead to more friction and increased risk of chafing.

7. Hydrate and Nourish Your Skin

Proper hydration and nourishment can also help prevent chafing. Make sure to drink plenty of water before, during, and after your run to keep your skin hydrated. Additionally, consuming foods rich in antioxidants can help promote healthy skin and reduce inflammation.


Chafing can be a nuisance, but with the right strategies and preventive measures, you can minimize the discomfort and keep enjoying your runs. Remember to choose the right fabric, wear compression shorts or use anti-chafing products, apply lubricants, opt for longer shorts, stay dry, gradually increase mileage, and hydrate and nourish your skin. By incorporating these tips into your running routine, you’ll be able to say goodbye to chafing and focus on what truly matters – enjoying the run.