Let’s Talk About Inner Thigh Rub

My thighs rub together. Even when I was thin and did 10 hours of pilates a week and could wear crop tops with confidence my thighs still touched when I walked. My thighs will always touch because my skeleton is held together with muscles and tendons in such a way that my thighs do not have a gap between them. I’m absolutely fine with that.


All-caps THIGHS run in our family, but Linc’s make a way cuter photo than mine do

But no matter how at peace I am with my thighs, the truth is when they rub together it hurts. If you don’t have that problem, it’s hard to explain just how painful and unpleasant inner thigh rub can be. SO unpleasant. Inner thigh rub is why you see women wearing jeans even when it’s 100 degrees outside. It’s why women wear ugly, unflattering shorts instead of cute skirts. It’s why I have to know BEFORE getting dressed if we’re going to be doing a lot of walking. Unplanned 5-mile stroll in inappropriate shoes? Meh. Unplanned 5-mile stroll in a dress with nothing underneath? AGONY.

You would think that because this is a fairly common problem it would be super easy to find a solution. There should be something foolproof, easy to buy,  and cheap that is sold right next to dresses and skirts at the store. I assume that isn’t the case because thigh rub is a “fat” person problem and just like plus sized clothes are harder to find, anyone whose thighs touch should similarly have to be inconvenienced to deal with it. Or maybe I just shop at the wrong stores. But I am here to SOLVE everyone’s inner thigh rub problems with a multitude of options.

In a loose order of least to most effective, I present Thigh Rub Solutions:

1. BodyGlide – This is the original stuff, the kind actual runners use for chafing. It’s…ok. But in my experience it rubs off long before I am done walking. It does work great on bras or sundress straps or other smaller body parts.

2. Monistat Soothing Care Chafing Relief Powder Gel – This is essentially BodyGlide for non-runners. It works medium well, but I still feel like I have to toss it in my purse and bring it with me in case it rubs off. It actually makes me feel thinner – I’m so carefree! My thighs don’t hurt at all! Look at me float! – so that’s a plus.

3. Assets (Fake Spanx) – These are the Target brand of official Spanx and they work about half as well as real Spanx when it comes to sucking everything in. They work well at stopping thigh rub, but since they do MORE than that they are not my favorite. They’re pretty hot and don’t have the access that Spanx do. (If you have never seen real Spanx, I will decode that for you: access = hole for peeing.) That means you have to peel them on then peel them off then peel them on again, which is unpleasant when you’re hot. ALSO, I had a pair that got a hole right in the thigh-rubbing area which meant one tiny section of my chubby thigh poked through and rubbed extra hard and it was 1000% worse than just regular thigh rub. Also, they’re the second most expensive option, right behind…

4. Spanx – If you want to look thinner, smoother and fancy, Spanx are the right choice. Spanx will suck you in and smooth you out and if you buy the long version they will stop thigh rub so well your thighs might actually stop touching all together.  If it’s 90 degrees out and you just want to wear a skirt to stay cool they are NOT the best choice. You cannot relax in Spanx. I can barely sit down in Spanx. Spanx are not breathable (despite the pee hole) and there is a pretty good chance wearing Spanx for several days in a row will give you a UTI. Save your Spanx for wedding receptions and high school reunions and don’t suffer all summer.

5. Jockey Skimmies Slipshorts – I actually have two different versions of these, the regular and the wicking. The wicking version doesn’t have seams right on the inner thigh, so they couldn’t split/cause irritation there, but I didn’t notice the seams on the regular pair either. They are the BEST solution I’ve found for thigh-rub. I wore a skirt to NYC for the New York Baby Show. We walked ALL day. It was warm. I wore Linc almost the entire time. But these were super comfortable, prevented any rubbing and didn’t give me a UTI. I only had to adjust a couple of times – mostly after going from sitting for a long time to standing – and they didn’t stretch out. They don’t suck anything in but they do smooth and make jersey fabric fall much more flatteringly (WordPress says that’s a word). I bought mine at JC Penny’s in person during a sale, so they were about $15 each, which seems like the right price point for something I’m going to wear ALL summer.

Alternative solution: Wear cute pants instead – I know this is not a real suggestion to solve the thigh rub problem in a skirt, but I really really want to tell you about these pants. The other day Evan’s young female bus driver told me I was “always dressed so nice”. Since I often get Evan off the bus in my slippers, I was a little baffled until I realized I had been wearing my new Old Navy pants almost every day. I am still not convinced they are not ridiculous looking and all my friends are lying to me, but they are wicked comfortable and nice and cool and dry quickly even if you walk into a lake to fetch your baby. I have them in black print and blue print and I’m going to buy them in plain black as well.

I assume everyone who wears skirts has their own solution to this problem; they just don’t really TALK about it. So feel free to share your miracle solutions in the comments so I can try them. In the meantime, I will be wearing my Skimmies, my possibly ridiculous pants and hanging out in the lake, where thigh rub doesn’t exist. Welcome Summer!

Non-disclosure disclosure: None of these are affiliate links, feel free to click through and buy or not buy whatever you want freely. I’m really just too lazy to bother.

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12 Responses to “Let’s Talk About Inner Thigh Rub”

  1. Julie S. says:

    I went for a walk last night with shorts on– wrong move.

  2. jessica lynn says:

    I so relate to this post. Since I just had a baby, I’m still rocking my Old Navy Maternity Fold-Over Yoga Shorts (what a mouthful), but before that the best shorts I’ve found are actually from Walmart. I don’t even know the brand, but they’re like $5 and long enough to stop the thigh rub, but short enough to not be seen under the skirts I own. I’m curious about the Skimmies, though!

  3. erniebufflo says:

    I think thighs rubbing has a LOT more to do with bone structure than fat/not fat. I’m intensely bowlegged, and even now that I’m almost back to my late pregnancy weight and I’m…not pregnant and haven’t been in 3 years, my thighs just will not touch. I don’t think there should be so much stigma and there should DEFINITELY be something that helps.

    We dealt with this in a weird way on our beach vacation because within the first two days, all of Etta’s swim diapers chafed the CRAP out of her inner thighs (yes, my 3 year old is not potty trained). She ended up getting lots of naked time and swimming in bike shorts. Honest’s Healing Balm seemed to really help speed up the skin’s recovery, though.

  4. erniebufflo says:

    Oh! And I need to check out those pants, because while thigh rub may not be an issue for me, pants being painfully binding on my smooshy belly certainly is. I’ve been living in two pairs of soft-waisted linen pants from Old Navy lately.

  5. Leah says:

    I would really just like to not have to keep replacing my jeans due to the thigh-rub holes. I need jeans with reinforced crotches. WHO WILL MAKE ME THEM.

    • Amy says:

      I also would love re-enforced thigh jeans. I have found that jeans with spandex in them wear our more slowly than all cotton jeans but they are warmer to wear. It is such a conundrum.

  6. Robyn says:

    This is also a problem for me…why isn’t there a better solution! I’m really not completely happy with anything I’ve tried and I’ve tried # 2 and 5 on your list. I also have bandelettes, which are like giant garter belt things I got on Etsy. they work well, but after a whole day they kind of bug me too.

  7. Alyssa says:

    Thank you for writing about this important topic. It’s nice to know I’m not the only one who dresses to decrease the thigh rub. Ice tried many of these options as well but not the Jockies yet. Thanks for the tip!

  8. Sara says:

    This is so timely. Thigh rub makes me hate summer.

  9. FourInchHeels says:

    You know all the solutions (“solutions”) I’m familiar with. I’m pretty jazzed to try the Jockey shorts! I’m not saying I wear the spandex tennis shorts (complete with ball pockets) that I wore in high school under my tennis skirts ….. but I’m not saying I don’t, either.

    Everyone who wonders what those little mesh pockets on my shorts are thanks you for the advice!

  10. MKP says:

    WHITE UNSCENTED DEODORANT!!! I can’t remember where I heard this, but every time I want to wear a dress I put deodorant on my underarms and allllll around my inner thigh area–I use Dove anti-persperant/deodorant and as long as it is white and not the clear goo, it works like a CHARM

  11. Meghan says:

    I just sort of discovered that I like dresses and bought a couple that make me feel fabulous – but my poor spanx are old and coming apart. I’ll have to go to sears and see if they have those skimmies because they look GREAT! Thigh rub is such a pain, but I’ve never not had it so whatevs.

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