Do Padded Cycling Shorts Make a Difference

If you are getting started in cycling, you may wonder whether you should wear padded shorts when cycling. Padded shorts can make a big difference in comfort, especially on longer rides, but there are a few things to consider before purchasing a pair. In this blog post, we will dig into why you might want to wear them, what to look out for when buying a pair and when to wear them. 

Why wear padded shorts?

Padded shorts, also known as cycling shorts, are designed to provide cushioning and support in all the right places, making your ride more comfortable. They are made with chamois, a type of padding that reduces friction and helps to prevent chafing, soreness, and even saddle sores, more so when combined with chamois cream. 

The chamois is made from various materials, including foam, gel, and even natural fibres like Merino wool. Padded shorts come in multiple styles, from bib shorts to waist shorts and tights, and are available in both men’s and women’s styles.

The benefits of wearing padded shorts are clear: less discomfort means more enjoyable rides, which can lead to longer, more frequent rides. In addition, padded shorts can help prevent injuries such as bruising or numbness in the pelvic area and damage to the nether regions caused by getting up and down in the saddle

What to look for in padded shorts

When shopping for padded shorts, there are a few things to remember. Firstly, look for a pair that fits well. Ill-fitting shorts can bunch up or ride up, causing discomfort and chafing. Considering the material they are made from, the features such as anti-roll leg grippers and even the fabric and style of the arm bibs can affect the overall comfort levels. 

Secondly, consider the length of the shorts. Shorter shorts may be more comfortable in hot weather, while longer shorts offer more coverage and protection from the sun. Typically cycling padded shorts come in actual shorts, 3/4 length and then tights form for use in the winter. 

Thirdly, think about the type of chamois you prefer. Some cyclists prefer thicker padding, while others prefer a thinner chamois that offers more flexibility and freedom of movement. It’s a good idea to try on a few different types of shorts to find the one that works best for you.

When To Wear Padded Cycling Shorts

Padded shorts can make a difference even if you only plan to cycle for a short distance. Any ride, no matter how short, can cause discomfort and pain if you’re not wearing the right gear. Even short rides can lead to injuries such as saddle sores or chafing, which can be painful and take time to heal. Wearing padded shorts can help prevent these types of injuries and make your ride more enjoyable.

On longer rides, padded shorts are pretty much necessary. Long rides can be particularly tough on your body, especially if you’re not used to spending that much time in the saddle. Padded shorts provide much-needed cushioning and support, which can help to reduce fatigue and discomfort. In addition, padded shorts can help to prevent injuries such as saddle sores and chafing, which can be common on long rides.


In conclusion, padded shorts when cycling can make a big difference in comfort and injury prevention. Padded shorts provide cushioning and support in all the right places, helping to reduce friction, chafing, and soreness. The benefits are multiplied if you combine padded shorts with cycling chamois cream or just plain nappy cream such as Sudafed! The combination of the padding and the moisturising cream helps keep you comfortable and irritation free on rides. 

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