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Much like our political system, the men's underwear market is mostly dominated by two parties: boxer briefs and boxer shorts. Unlike America's gridlocked electoral landscape, though, the best men's trunks deserve a bit more consideration than whatever crackpot nominee shares ballot space with the real contenders. So much so, in fact, the right pair of boxer trunks might convince you to switch your underwear affiliation once and for all.
If you just googled “difference between boxer briefs and trunks”, you’re not alone. There isn't much of one, really—the differentiating factors are so minute that they don't even register to most people. To add even more confusion to the mix (underwear: it's a lot like politics), plenty of brands take liberties with what they label as men’s trunks versus what they label as boxer briefs. Sometimes, the two overlap, making the distinction even blurrier. But the general consensus is this: trunks are shorter than boxer briefs, but not as short as straight up briefs. They still hover around the upper reaches of the thigh, while maintaining an obvious margin away from your derriere. And since every body is different, it's easy to see how the delineation gets diluted—a 5-inch inseam works for a lot of folks, but not all.
The Best Boxer Trunks Shopping Guide
- The Best Boxer Trunks, Period: Calvin Klein cotton stretch low rise trunk (3-pack), $29
- The Best Boxers Trunks for the Gym: Nike Dri-FIT ultra stretch micro trunks (3-pack), $48
- The Best "Damn, I Look Hot" Boxer Trunks: CDLP boxer trunk (3-pack), $89
- The Best Boxer Trunks for All-Day Comfort: MeUndies Breathe trunk, $34
- The Best Light-As-Air Boxer Trunks: Mack Weldon Airknitx trunk, $30
But other than a truncated inseam, men’s trunks aren’t all that different from boxer briefs. They still offer the same support and booty-hugging silhouette to help avoid bunching, even with your slimmest jeans; they’re just a wee bit shorter. When you’re rocking short shorts, a pair of trunks can mean the difference between a tastefully bare thigh and a mildly uncouth display of skivvies peaking past your Daisy Dukes.
Like any other type of underwear, men’s trunks come in a range of styles and materials, from no-frills all-cotton trunks to spec'd out synthetic options that promise unprecedented levels of breathability and moisture-wicking. So, being the manic shoppers that we are, we gathered the best men’s trunks from around the web and compiled them in a definitive list just for you. Need a pair that works as hard as you do in the gym? There’s a trunk for that. Or what about a special pair you bust out for sleepovers? Oui, oui! And if all you’re after is a workhorse trunk in a cost-effective multipack, we got you covered, too. See you at the voting booth.
The Best Boxer Trunks, Period
Calvin Klein's game-changing boxer briefs are a go-to for leagues of dudes—take a look at any underwear drawer and there's a good chance that there are several pairs stuffed in there somewhere. The silhouette is confidence-boosting, the cotton jersey is breathable and soft, and the slight hint of stretch helps keep its shape through countless wears and launders. The shorter trunk version hits all those points with the addition of a lower rise so you can even hop on the low-rise jeans trend without exposing your underwear secrets.
The Best Boxer Trunks for Hitting the Gym
When your gym partner bails on you, you can still rely on the Swoosh to spot you when you're making major gains. These 4-inch trunks are made with a super flexible four-way stretch fabric that has even better range of motion than the most advanced yogi. Plus, the Dri-FIT fabric wicks moisture like a champ so that you can walk away from a hard workout without a swampy nether region.
The Best "Damn, I Look Hot" Boxer Trunks
CDLP's boxer trunks are just as contouring as their best-selling boxer briefs and even sexier thanks to that shortened inseam. They're made with a silky soft and naturally cooling lyocell fabric with a dash of stretch, yielding a trunk that'll hug you in all the right ways and have you feeling good about the person you see in the mirror.
The Best Boxer Trunks for All-Day Comfort
Say what you will about DTC brands, but MeUndies really gets it. They're responsible for some of the most comfortable boxer briefs on the market thanks to a velvety-soft modal fabric and a smooth, contoured pouch that forgoes the usual fly exit to give your precious jewels a more seamless hammock. Their Breathe trunks are made with a balanced blend of nylon and spandex, a formidable duo that lends these skivvies their quick-drying, odor-blocking, and feather-light properties.
The Best Light-As-Air Boxer Trunks
While science is still figuring out how to cure the common cold, Mack Weldon has developed a super effective cure against swamp ass. Their AIRKNITx fabric is like the Three Musketeers defending against must and moist. It's lightweight, moisture-wicking, and odor-blocking, and designed with strategic mesh ‘Cool Zones’ to provide even more airflow where you need it most.