13 Best Boxer Shorts for Men 2024, Tested and Reviewed by GQ

Emma Willis Linen Boxer Shorts

Emma Willis

Linen Boxer Shorts

Emma Willis also makes her underwear like her shirts. The difference is she makes some of the best shirts in the world. These are cut with a slim fit and longer leg and feature a high-quality lightweight linen that’s treated with aloe vera to give it extra smoothness, cooling properties, and wrinkle-resistance. Mother-of-pearl buttons and a covered elastic waistband propel them forward and beyond damn near every other pair on the market. At a hair over $200, though, these are most likely treat-yourself boxers.

Handvaerk Pima Cotton-Jersey Boxer Briefs


Pima Cotton-Jersey Boxer Briefs

We know that the name of Handvaerk’s underwear is a bit confusing. Isn’t this a list for boxer shorts? But the way we see it, these are more like a hybrid. The crotch does away with the supportive pouch, but the legs and seat hug the body for a form-fitting silhouette and it’s all wrapped in a silky-smooth Pima cotton jersey. The result? A pair of boxer shorts that can slip into slim trousers without bunching.

What We Looked For

The boxer shorts community only takes up a modest sliver of the GQ offices, but we remain steadfast and we came together to figure out what makes a great pair based on our decades of personal experience and the countless pairs that have made their way into the office. We wanted to filter out the cheap chaff and get down to the golden wheat, the kind that could satisfy the lifelong boxer shorts advocates and convert (or at least crack open the minds) of the immovable boxer briefs soldiers.

Comfort came first, naturally. Waistbands shouldn’t be too tight, nor too loose, and there should be plenty of room in the crotch and legs to move about freely. Quality was a no-brainer—fabric needs to be breathable, comfortable, and soft. And then it came down to the finer design details like the way the fly functions, how the panels are shaped, and how the elastic is constructed. Ultimately, many of these smaller details will be subjective. For instance, some folks preferred button fly boxers over open fly boxers. With that in mind, we wanted this list to encompass a wide range of options and have each superlative pair be the best representation for a given sub-genre within the boxer shorts universe.

How We Tested

With those parameters in mind, we called in the pairs we knew were already good, the pairs that we’ve heard great things about, and the pairs that looked great on paper but we hadn’t experienced for ourselves. We subjected them to weeks of wear and laundry cycles, logging our notes along the way. We scrutinized each pair of boxers for comfort, fit, quality, breathability, pilling, bunching, digging, rolling, and price and filled out spreadsheets for each pair (this is how normal people wear things, right?).

And then, finally, we got our crack (heh) team of testers together in a room and asked them to assign each pair a score, evaluating its comfort, breathability, fit, quality, support, value—and, perhaps most importantly, overall style. Based on those evaluations, we ran the numbers, collated the anecdotal evidence, and emerged with a list of what we believe to be the absolute best boxer shorts for men right now, from the tried-and-true stalwarts to the modern disruptors, the cheap multipacks to the wildly expensive (but wildly worth-it) solo buys. Whatever your preferences, whatever your lifestyle, there’s bound to be a superlative pair of skivvies on this list for you. (Read more about GQ’s testing process here.)

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