Common types of men's athletic wear include compression shirts, running shorts, compression shorts and exercise pants. The ideal clothing type varies based on the activity and the conditions.
Compression shirt features vary depending on the shirt, but common features include muscle support, temperature regulation and moisture wicking. Due to the benefits these shirts provide, athletes typically choose them for high-intensity activities. A combination of compression shorts and a compression shirt is the base layer for men's athletic wear.
Running shorts are typically lightweight and shorter than standard shorts. Materials are generally lycra or polyester, as cotton causes skin irritation. Multiple lengths of running shorts are available.
Compression shorts prevent the groin and thigh muscles from rubbing together. They also prevent the thighs from chafing. Some compression shorts have a pouch for the athlete's cup.
Exercise pants are loose and stretchy. The looseness keeps the athlete comfortable, while the stretchiness allows him full freedom of movement with his legs. Athletes use exercise pants in conditions that are too cold for shorts.
Certain athletic wear has additional features designed for a specific sport. For example, bicycle shorts have padding to keep the athlete comfortable over long rides. Triathlon suits combine a bathing suit with bicycle shorts, allowing the athlete to transition from swimming to biking without changing clothes.