Different Styles of Athletic Supporters

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    • The classic athletic supporter is the jockstrap, elastic material supporting the genitals held up by straps encircling the legs and back. Since the 1800s, jockstraps have been standard equipment for athletes. Traditional jockstraps are white cotton, but contemporary jocks come in a wide range of colors and materials. From pink satin to black leather, there are jockstraps for all tastes.

    Compression Shorts

    • Daniel Akst of Slate magazine claims that the popularity of jockstraps is waning. For athletes who find the traditional jockstrap uncomfortable, compression shorts, developed in the 1980s, offer an alternative. The shorts are usually made of an elastic material like latex, and cover from waist to thigh. Compression shorts offer a stable tight fit that provide pressure to support the genitals.

      Akst also stated in his article "Where Have All the Jockstraps Gone?" that Bike Athletic, the "apparent inventor" of the jock, has also turned to making these stretchy shorts. According to Bike, compression shorts go beyond supporting the genitals by holding other muscles in place such as the groin, hamstring, abdomen and quadriceps.

    Athletic Cups

    • Athletic cups are made of firm plastic and intended to fit around the genitals to protect them. They come in regular and slim fit designs. Athletic cups can be worn under a traditional jockstrap or compression shorts. Athletic cups offer the extra layer of protection needed by athletes who compete in sports such as football or baseball.

    Support Briefs

    • Supportive briefs provide an alternative for the athlete who does not require the same level of protection provided by jockstraps, compression shorts and athletic cups. These briefs are made of an elastic material, often cotton, and like traditional Y-front briefs, they cover the entire hip area. They are designed to fit more snugly than traditional briefs and to provide overall support for the weekend athlete.

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