The Chafing Survey

Hello, my name is Nicole, and I have a chafing problem.


Can you see the chafe pain on my face?

I switched up my bras and went back to the cheap roadrunner sports bra I have and it hasn’t completely scarred me like the Moving Comfort Fiona did after the Rutgers 1/2 so thank God for small miracles. But I’ve noticed that I can’t wear short sleeve shirts any more and run. The inside of my arms are chafed and you know, there was that shower moment. I used to think the lululemon scoop neck tank top was my fail safe. But at the WDW Marathon, it failed me badly. By mile 18 I was slathering vaseline under my arms and it wasn’t working. Nothing was working. It still has the vaseline stains on it that I’m still not able to get out and serves as a reminder. A constant symbol of what can happen to me any time I put on clothing and go for a run.

The disillusionment continued when my sparkle skirt, the one I considered my absolute this-skirt-will-always-make-me-happy article of running clothing, failed me. Big time. Huge. Those shorts rode up and bunched me something fierce like bike shorts on Kenny at the AIDS bike-a-thon.

No item of clothing is safe anymore.

And since the hell that is summer is fast approaching, I ask you all: What’s the best thing you run in?


46 thoughts on “The Chafing Survey

  1. Actually, my Target running capris have never failed me. The problem is, they’re frickin’ capris, which means that they can get a little hot in the summer. I cannot fully trust any pair of shorts, although I can MOSTLY trust one pair of shorts and one running skirt with shorties provided I skillfully apply copious Vaseline beforehand.

    Basically, yay, chafing sucks.

  2. I ALWAYS wear capris, otherwise the chafing on my thighs is unbearable. Thankfully I haven’t had a lot of issues with underarms, although if I wear a loose tech shirt, the seams can chafe, so I usually go with tanks. I’m so sorry you’re having a tough time of it!

    • I think I went through this last year and eventually just gave up and switched to tank tops, I have great ones from Old Navy that I loved last summer.

      But I sadly see capris in my future. Just have to get a really shirt to wear with them, I guess.

  3. Ugh chafing is the worst and honestly it strikes me at unexpected times. Sometimes things that have worked for years suddenly rub me the wrong way. Body Glide is amazing and works the best. Nothing like not knowing something chafed and turning on the shower…my husband knows what those screams are for.

  4. I always opt for capris in hot places…they seem to offer the most chafe protection….well, that and places that I know I have issues with I drench in Body Glide. I tend to pair any capris with tanks at hotter events to try and keep somewhat cool.

    I have never had a shirt chafe, but I have had bras (I know I told you my story), undies, a zipper from a long sleeve lulu hoodie and ipod arm bands chafe the living daylights out of me. Oh and when I ran my first marathon, I opted for shorts–that was a mistake. I had to walk through the Mall of America like a sore cowboy that weekend. lol.

    My typical hot weather outfit are these old “sun runner” capris from lulu– (they are about 2-3 years old) which they don’t make anymore, but are great and I will be sad the day I have to toss them, my Under armour sports bras, with a bit of body glide around the clasp/band just in case and then a fitted tank top.

  5. I had one of my favorite pairs of capris that I’ve worn for 3 years fail on me during a short 5k. I never had a problem on a short race before, and had a spot that was possible the worst I’ve ever had.

  6. My go-to bra is the under armor ones that clasp in the back and are fit to your size. I have run in Nike skirts, loose shorts, and compression shorts without problem. My shirt is where I run into issues. If I had it my way, I would always race half nekkid in warm/hot. I don’t seem to have issues out of long sleeve shirts but eff that jazz while running in warm/hot months.

  7. I’ve found one pair of lululemon shorts that with the perfect (i.e. A TON) of body glide I can wear without chafing (NOTE: this has only been tested up to 13.1 miles!), otherwise capris it is! I find them more comfortable with my water belt to for really long runs.

    I always run in loose fitting tank tops, not so much for chafing issues, it’s just what I find comfortable (under armour are my favorite) and the moving comfort mia bra with lots of body glide on hot/ sweaty days has worked pretty well for me most of the time – I did have some issues during the last 2 WDW marathons…honestly, when it’s that hot & sweaty for 26.2 miles I’m really not sure there was much else I could have done!

  8. I’ve never had issues with Lululemon Swiftly Tech Racerback tanks and capris, and I find them more comfortable and better-fitting than other brands. I’ve had some issues with their bras, skirts and shorts, but I’m willing to pin that on myself and say I inadequately Body Glided.

    All three of the full marathons I’ve run have been in warm to hot weather, but I’ve always worn capris because I’m pretty sure there is no possible way my thighs won’t chafe in the course of 26 miles. CAPRIS ARE EVERYTHING. If I’m just doing short runs in the summer, I wear shorts and a tank and a lot of Body Glide. Like, a lot. If I’m doing longer-type runs in the death heat of summer, I wear capris and a sports bra and that’s it. It makes me a little uncomfortable not to run in a tank and I don’t really like the idea of it … for that first mile, at least. Then it’s like MAYBE I SHOULD HAVE EVEN FEWER CLOTHES ON

  9. Nike Filament shorts and capris. I just wear them with a long-ish shirt and try not to be self conscious. I’ve never had a chafing issue with them.

  10. I love my nike Dri Fit capris. They are thin enough that I don’t get too hot (but I also don’t have humidity here like you have over there in the summer) and I never have chafing issues. I have wanted to try shorts just to try something new, but I can’t find any that i don’t have put compression shorts underneath. I hope you find something that works, because chafing is a bitch! UGH! so Sorry!

  11. I used to get chafing around the band area of my bra when I ran in Moving Comfort bras. Then I discovered lululemon and haven’t had a problem there since. I also like their cool racerback tops. I bought an Under Armour tank because it was the right color for a costume and the seam under the arm dug a hole in my skin. That was a fun shower! It tends to be the hotter days that are the problem. The excess sweat, I guess…good luck on your search for what works for you!

  12. I tend to stick with capris because I am just that skeptical of my ability to run in shorts. Most of the ones I have are snug on the thigh but I guess slightly “flare” towards the knee so they’re not as hot as wearing capris that are tight the entire length and they seem to work well.

    Btw, I’m stealing all these suggestions for my running shopping “spree”

  13. I can’t tell you the best thing that I run in but the worst? UNDERWEAR. The chafing in my crotchal region after a half earlier this month reminded of that fact.

    • I always forget about underwear til… well, that happens. I know people run without underwear, but I feel like that would be worse? I got a pair of runderwear at Target on clearance that I save for special occasions.

      Is it weird/kinda sad that my special occasion underwear is for running?

      • I decided to go sans underwear at NWH and of course I had to let EVERYONE know that I wasn’t wearing underwear. My friends were like “Yes, Meridith. We know. Shut up.” And you know what? No chafing!

        But now I want special occasion running underwear. (Also, I sort of hate the people who can wear the little tiny shorts and NOT CHAFE. HOW?)

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