Perhaps you’ve heard of Saxx underwear and its signature BallPark Pouch. Basically, it’s a hammock for your male parts that aims to significantly reduce friction and chafing. Saxx was founded in 2006 and has made underwear ever since. But now, they’ve introduced Saxx Shorts.
The shorts use the same tech (and some new tech) to protect the male anatomy in a nifty 2-in-1 package. This is our review of the first pairs of Saxx shorts.
Does the BallPark Pouch work?
This is everyone’s first question when I tell them about Saxx and its concept. And the answer is, for most people, yes. The sidewalls of the BallPark Pouch protect the frank and beans from rubbing against the inside of the legs. For a lot of people, this is a comfortable sensation and prevents friction or chafing in situations where it would be prevalent (think walking in wet shorts or running on a hot humid day).
A small group of people either don’t like the feeling of fabric between their manhood and their legs or their anatomy doesn’t mesh well with the 3D hammock design. In my experience, it’s rare, especially for those looking for a friction-reducing product like Saxx shorts or Saxx underwear. If regular shorts or boxers aren’t cutting it, Saxx shorts and their BallPark Pouch are 100% worth a try.
Our Review Process
When we do reviews of non-traditional products like Saxx shorts, we end up seeing a lot of new visitors to the site. It often helps to explain our testing process. For our footwear, apparel, and sporting goods performance reviews our testing involves 10+ hours of wearing or using the product in both normal and extreme conditions. So in the case of Saxx shorts, we used all four of them in the gym, while running, while playing basketball, jumped in the pool with them on, walked around with them soaking wet, and wore them all day.
In the end, we want a good feel for how they perform in most imaginable conditions so we can confidently make recommendations to our readers. The confidence of our readers is the most important thing to us and we work hard to provide accurate and unbiased reviews.
As is the case with Saxx shorts, we often receive products free from a brand or retailer. However, no one at Saxx will see our review until its published and they have no control over the content, nor have they asked for any say over what’s written here.
Saxx Shorts: The Review
Saxx sent us four different shorts to review so we’re going to include a section for each of them. Two of the shorts are meant for athletic wear (Gainmaker and Hightail), one is a hybrid short for athletic and casual wear (Sport 2 Life), and the final one is meant only for casual wear (Go To Town).
The Saxx Gainmaker is a fitness-focused short featuring a full boxer short liner that includes the BallPark Pouch. It’s a relaxed fit that’s a little slimmer than I expected but the semi-compression liner handled my larger-than-average thighs without feeling too restrictive.
The Gainmaker is very stretchy so it handles lifts, jumps, or yoga easily. It’s a little heavy, so long-distance running in them isn’t ideal, but they can easily handle the shorter runs included in CrossFit or Metcon workouts.
My favorite aspect of the Gainmaker is all the pockets. There’s a zipper pocket up front on the right side that can hold a phone or keys. Then on the liner, there’s a hidden phone pocket that keeps the phone from bouncing during exercise. The traditional side pockets are there but they’re a little shallow for modern phones so I always put my phone in one of the other two pockets.
I realize the $78 price tag is expensive, but the Gainmaker is one of my go-to workout shorts and has proven to be super durable over the two months I’ve used it. The build quality is impressive.
Length: 7″ or 9″, Price: $78
The Saxx Hightail is Saxx’s running short. At a 5″ length it’s in the sweet spot for most runners, though that’s likely too short for non-runners. The build quality is in line with the Gainmaker and despite me using these an absurd amount of times during my running shoes testing, they look brand new.
The Hightail doesn’t have traditional pockets, like most running shorts, but features a key or card pocket at the middle rear of the waistband and a hidden phone pocket on the leg of the right liner. Both pockets kept stuff secure and didn’t allow excess movement. The phone pocket won’t fit a monstrous phone but a regular iPhone fits great.
Many running shorts are 2-in-1 so the addition of the BallPark Pouch was nice for longer, hotter, and sweatier runs. Most runners use BodyGlide or some other irritation/chafing protector before longer runs. The Saxx design means using less anti-chafe balm which is a win in my book.
Overall, the Hightail stacks up really well against other running shorts and comes with the added benefit of the pouch making it worth the price.
Length: 5″, Price: $68
Saxx Sport 2 Life
The Saxx Sport 2 Life can do a little of everything. Think of working out, swimming, or chilling. It’s pretty versatile.
I didn’t love the drawstring on the outside, the fake zipper area that’s trying to make the short appear more casual, or the logo patch on the left leg. The Sport 2 Life is caught between two worlds and made some odd design decisions.
It does have normal pockets (though they’re too shallow for big modern phones), two rear pockets (one zippered), and a stash pocket on the right leg’s liner. The small stash pocket can’t hold much of anything as it’s only 3 inches tall. It would be a good place for some credit cards or keys but doesn’t have a top so I worried about that stuff falling out. That pocket doesn’t really make sense with the design of the rest of the short so I’m not sure what it was really intended for.
The Sport 2 Life is great quality, and though it’s a slim fit, feels good. That said, it’s just got some odd quirks. Check it out closely before you commit to make sure it’ll work for your particular use cases. This is a short that will work for some people and won’t fit the lifestyle of some others.
Length: 7″, Price: $74
Saxx Go To Town
The Saxx Go To Town doesn’t fit like the rest of the Saxx shorts. Instead of S-XXL, it runs from 28-40. This wouldn’t be a problem but Saxx’s size chart is confusing and the Go To Town runs super small. If you’re typically a 32, you’ll need a 34 or 36.
In addition to the wonky sizing, the inner liner has a strange waistband at the front due to the button and zipper enclosure. It hits low across the abdomen and can pull on pubic hairs.
All the normal pockets are there but the traditional front pockets are again too shallow for today’s modern phones. I’d recommend storing your phone in the rear zip pocket if you buy these.
They are comfortable (if you can get the sizing right) and the build quality is very good, but the total package is just not as well thought out as the rest of the Saxx shorts.
Length: 9″, Price: $74
Saxx Shorts Summary
The Gainmaker and Hightail are clear winners among the Saxx shorts and easily get our recommendations. The Sport 2 Life is solid depending on your use case. We’d recommend staying away from the Go To Town due to sizing and various other issues.
Overall, Saxx shorts are high quality, comfortable, and durable. Saxx has a few things to fix (like pocket depth) on some of the pairs, but it’s always notable when we find a company that creates high quality products on the first try. It typically means the products will only get better in the future. Let’s hope we’ve got more Saxx shorts coming our way soon.
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