Running Shorts: This Brand Feels Like You're Almost Butt-Naked

Want running shorts so smooth and lightweight, it feels like you're naked? 

You'd have to test a lot of running shorts to find a pair that fit like this.

You know...

  • Spandex shorts
  • Singlets
  • Shorts with different inseams
  • Running shorts with a liner or without
  • Shorts made with different materials

But who's got time for that, when you'd rather be out running?

If you're looking for running shorts that feel so good, it's like you're naked, check this out...

The author wore Oiselle Roga running shorts for years, until she found a brand that was so lightweight and smooth, it felt like running naked.

When you find running shorts that work...

I've been running in the Oiselle Roga shorts. Morgantown Running introduced me to the brand, made by women athletes for women athletes. 

Prior to Oiselle, I ran in:

  • Patagonia Nine Trails, Strider Pro and models they no longer make
  • North Face
  • Nike 
  • Marmot
  • Reebok
  • And in my teens, any cotton short under $10

None of these I particularly loved enough to recommend.

But I loved the Rogas, especially the super stretchiness and snug yet unrestrictive fit.

My Oiselle Roga collection: The top three are the Long Roga, which I wore during pregnancy and now for hiking; The middle four are the classic Roga; the bottom left in blue is the Toolbelt Roga; and the bottom right in green is the Featherweight Roga.

Oiselle Roga Shorts

The Roga shorts carried me through runs and races from single digits to ultramarathons.

🔥But when the weather turned hot, even these shorts didn't always do the job.

In search of running shorts that prevent chafing...

When I trained through a hotter-than-usual southwestern Pennsylvania drought for a 50K trail race, the Rogas began to lose their appeal for a couple of reasons:
.
🔥Reason #1

The race was at the end of September, so my big miles fell in late July, August and early September, when temperatures were in the 80s and sometimes 90s and humidity was at its highest.
.

💦Reason #2

Without fail, on a long, hot run, by mile 16, no matter if I wore the original Roga, the Toolbelt Roga or even the Feathweight Roga, they were soaking wet, barely wicking moisture.
.

😱Reason #3

Even worse, by mile 16, I would begin to feel the subtle burn of chafing forming as high up the inner leg as possible, as near as my lady parts as possible, where one would place a tape measure if measuring for inseam, where the inner liner of the shorts sat. 

On both legs, hot spots about one inch long and a quarter inch wide resulted. Though miniscule, they were painful enough to hurt, thankfully not until post-run, when...

  • I would step into a warm shower. 
  • The water would hit that part of my leg. 
  • And I would hold my breath and tense in agony. 
  • Or, I would go white water kayaking after a long run. A bikini bottom was out of the question because of the hot spots. And when the river water hit, I would balk and squeal in pain. 
  • Sometimes it even altered the way I walked. 
If your running shorts fail to wick moisture away and dry sweat fast in hot weather, chafing "down there" can become painful.

Chafing...This had to stop!

I could have changed the time of day when I was doing long runs, but I didn’t want to, because I love running in the broad daylight under the bright sunshine.

No, I was not willing to forfeit my cherished time with the sun and begin running at 5 a.m. to avoid heat and sweat to prevent chafing.

A better solution was needed.

.
✅I tried some stretchy, spandex shorts, thinking that perhaps without the liner, it would be OK, but I prefer the breeziness of the classic running short with a built-in liner. 

.
✅No, I was not willing to forfeit my favorite style of short, either.

.
✅Finally, when the September 50K came around, I chose the Featherweight Roga Shorts, in hopes that they would wick moisture better than the others. 
.
✅Fortunately, the race began at 7:30 a.m., earlier than my preferred running time, and race day temperatures were mid-70s. I came out of it chafe-free. 

When the author heard the host of the Trail Runner Nation podcast describe Janji AFO running shorts with the statement: "I feel naked in them," she decided to give the brand a try.

The discovery: Feel-naked running shorts

I was thinking about more summer runs and the trouble with chafing when I heard an advertisement on my favorite podcast

The hosts were talking about Janji, a running apparel company that gives two percent of proceeds from every purchase to support clean water projects in countries that need it.

One of the hosts was describing his experience running in the Janji AFO Shorts.

He said something like, “I feel naked in them!”

Sold. 

My Women’s Janji 3” AFO Middle Shorts collection, all in size small. You’ll notice that the pairs on the right and left do not have an external drawcord. The newer version (pictured in the middle) has the drawcord on the outside. I prefer the internal drawcord, but it is less of a deal breaker than anti-chafing, high dry time and the like.

I looked them up and found the Women’s 3” AFO Middle Short.

Keywords that hooked me:

  • Ultra-light 
  • Barely-there-feeling
  • Moisture-wicking liner
  • Anti-chafe
  • Fast dry time
  • High breathability
  • Excellent sweat wicking

Sold, sold, sold.

I purchased one pair.

After trying them on a 20-mile trail run, I purchased two more. 

What it's like to run (almost) butt naked...

Since I started wearing Janji running shorts, I've put these through some pretty good tests. 

For example...

The best trial of their fast dry-time feature, which is the one I needed most to prevent chafing, happened during the North Fork Mountain Trail Fastest Known Time.

  • It was 46 degrees and raining before I even started, and it continued to rain for the entire 23.79-mile exposed, ridgeline trail run.
  • By mile five, I was so wet it felt as if I had leapt into a river.
  • By the middle of the run, the rain softened just enough. 
  • I’m not sure if it was the wind created by running, or the light wind itself, but even after hours of running in a downpour, and as it still sprinkled, the Janji 3” AFO Middle Shorts actually dried out.

Indeed, I felt naked.

Then the rain picked up again, and nothing stood a chance of remaining dry. 

Still, I finished that run with zero chafing, not even the tiniest hint of it, after running on a mountaintop sopping wet for five hours. 

Fast forward to summer.

When you're drenched in sweat rather than rain, armed with the Janjis, you will have already won the chafing battle. 

In addition to the North Fork FKT, I have run the following distances in the Janjis:

  • Two 20-milers
  • One 11.2 miler
  • Several eight to seven milers
  • A few five to six milers
  • Countless single digit runs 

 Plus, they are my short of choice for the upcoming Laurel Highlands Ultra 50K trail race in June. 

Janji running shorts: Never worry about warm-weather chafing again

Don’t get me wrong, I still love the Rogas.

  • And in their defense, they do not claim to be anti-chafe or extremely moisture wicking. 

But these days, I reach for the Janjis as often as possible and leave the Rogas for non-rainy runs that are less than 10 miles and under 70 degrees.

😭If you have suffered from that awful way-up-the-inner leg chafing or want running shorts made of breezy cool fabric, I highly recommend trying the Janji 3” AFO Middle Shorts. 

Because who doesn’t want to feel naked while running?

How do you prevent chafing during hot-weather runs?

Share your tips in the comments.

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Brynn Cunningham
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Trail runner, ultrarunner, white water boater, cyclist (mostly MTB), swimmer, triathlete, cross country and backcountry skier...

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