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Endura's Engineered Padded Boxer II brings padded luxury to a pair of knitted pants. Both on and off the bike they feel great, and while they can't quite match the all-round performance of old-school Lycra-and-padding when the going gets tough, they work well for less demanding rides.
Cycling pants, now there's a thing. Not content with fantastic cycling shorts and trousers, Scottish garment guru Endura has gone into the underwear business with these padded boxers. They come in a funky box, a bit like something David Beckham might have his face plastered all over, and are made from a soft, seamless, stretchy and knitted polyester-bamboo charcoal-nylon-elastane fabric. Best of all, they have a padded gusset to protect your delicate parts.
It's hard not to be impressed by the Engineered Padded boxies. Their high-stretch construction feels suitable comfy and you can get away with wearing them under normal trousers or shorts without looking or feeling conspicuous. My test pair came in XL, which should fit me perfectly according to Endura's sizing chart, but because of their stretchiness they still felt quite generous. Construction is fantastic, especially with no seams to cause trouble, and it's fair to say that off the bike you can easily forget you're wearing padded boxies.
On the bike, Endura says its 300-Series mould stretch antibacterial pad is good for up to a couple of hours' riding. I'd say for some riders – especially newbies – two hours in the saddle might be pushing it a bit with these particular shorts, and they're more suited to comfortable commuting journeys of an hour or so. Thanks to the antibacterial nature of the pad, you wouldn't actually need to remove them in between times.
One slight quirk is the knit construction, which does feel supersoft next to skin but, as I mentioned, seems even stretchier than normal Lycra. That means you do need to hoik them up and get the boys happily settled in the barracks before hopping aboard the saddle. Funnily enough, my go-to padded option for wearing underneath normal clothing is the excellent detachable padded liner from a pair of Endura Hummvee Chino shorts, which is almost identical to these boxers. However, the material used in those has a slightly different construction and for some reason seems to feel just a fraction tighter and more secure in the saddle.
The boxers' knit build also naturally helps breathability to some extent, although it can't quite cope with extended hard riding on a warm day. While the wicking and that antibacterial nature of the pad is welcome, you'll find areas like the waistband get a little damp with perspiration.
We've tested more cycling underwear options for women than men, but there are some comparable boys' boxies around. Rapha's Merino Boxers feel suitably luxurious and are only a fiver more than the Enduras despite being made of merino wonder-wool. Although we haven't tested them, Altura makes the Tempo undershorts with memory foam pad for £24.99. Or Madison has the Roam Men's liner shorts for £26.99 with gel chamois.
Endura's Engineered Padded Boxers are a good option for enjoying comfortable time on the bike while wearing 'normal' outer clothes, especially if your ride aspirations aren't too taxing. While I wouldn't necessarily recommend them to either new or returning cyclists who want to knock out a two-hour-plus fast ride, there's certainly more than enough performance to enjoy leisurely spins or get you to work and back.
Fine padded cycling underwear that add in-saddle ability to your civilian wardrobe without anyone knowing
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Endura Engineered Padded Boxer
Size tested: XL
Tell us what the product is for
Padded boxers for in-saddle comfort under non-cycling-specific clothes.
Endura says: "Bodymapping comfort. The hidden secret to comfort in the saddle, Endura's undershorts collection offers a range of options. With a high stretch, seamless knitted construction and a high quality 300 series pad the Engineered Boxer is popular with a range of riders. The 300 series moulded stretch pad uses a plush microfiber face fabric for excellent comfort and features an antibacterial and wicking finish. It has a maximum thickness of 12mm with a dimpled finish to improve comfort on pressure points."
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Seamless engineered knit construction
Strategically positioned ribs provide additional stretch and comfort
Fast wicking antibacterial finish
300-Series moulded stretch antibacterial pad
Very nicely made – seamless construction is great for comfort.
Can get a bit soggy from sweat and won't handle long, hard rides.
Standing up well to lots and lots of use.
Fit is perfectly comfy, but because of the high-stretch build they feel like they could do with being a bit tighter.
Absolutely fine but I'd be tempted to get slightly smaller than expected to see if that's better for in-saddle security.
About as light as a normal pair of boxers but with added padding.
Very comfortable generally, but you need to get everything adjusted and in the right place when in the saddle.
Rapha's Merino Boxers feel suitably luxurious and are only a fiver more than the Enduras despite being made of merino wonder-wool. Altura makes the Tempo undershort with memory foam pad for £24.99, or Madison has the Roam Men's liner shorts for £26.99.
How easy is the product to care for? How did it respond to being washed?
Easy to wash – wing 'em in the machine at 30 degrees (I think I actually wash mine at 40), then hang dry.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Decent added comfort when cycling moderate distances in normal clothes.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Effectively secret padding – no one would ever know you are wearing cycling-specific kit.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
That stretchiness can become a bit annoying when you want to feel a bit more security.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? Yes
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes
Use this box to explain your overall score
Endura's Engineered Padded Boxers do what they set out to do well, which is to provide decent in-saddle comfort underneath otherwise normal clothing. They do have understandable limits to their abilities and they're not particularly cheap, but they are excellently made, comfy to wear and perfect for the daily commute.
About the tester
I usually ride: Islabikes Beinn 29 My best bike is: 25-year-old Dawes Galaxy
I've been riding for: Over 20 years I ride: Most days I would class myself as: Experienced
I regularly do the following types of riding: commuting, touring, sportives, general fitness riding, mtb, Leisure