The purpose of a groin support is to compress the ligaments within the hip joints as well as the muscles in the groin region to add extra support while doing physical activities such as walking or running. To choose the best groin support, you should first decide what you need the groin support for. If you are going to be participating in regular athletic activities, you will need support that will withstand the activity itself as well as the regular wear and tear from sweat and motion. If you are simply walking or sitting during day-to-day activities, you may not need the extra features an athletic support will provide.
The key to choosing the best groin support is choosing supporting material that fits snugly against the body. Compression shorts are made of stretchy material such as LYCRA® or spandex, and the material is tight enough that it provides compression against ligaments and muscles that need extra support. Lycra is a good choice because it is lightweight, relatively comfortable, breathable, and effectively tight against the skin. Cycling shorts are often made of LYCRA® for both support and aerodynamic performance. This material can fit easily underneath your pants without bulking up or causing discomfort.
Some groin support devices are not worn like shorts at all, but are instead wrapped around the thigh and groin and secured with Velcro®. Many such devices are made of neoprene, while others are made of more breathable material. Neoprene will fit securely around the thigh, hip, and groin, but it can cause excess sweating. Neoprene supports are good for athletic activities, but may cause discomfort during day to day activities. Try to choose a groin support made from thinner, more breathable materials for daily activities.
Many athletic shorts combine groin support with other features. Baseball players, for example, can purchase compression shorts that feature support for the groin as well as extra padding on the outside of the hips and thighs for protection while sliding across dirt into the bases. Such shorts may also feature a pouch in which a protective cup can be placed to offer even more support and protection during activity. Whether you are looking for shorts with specific features or just a plain pair of compression shorts meant to support the groin, be sure to choose shorts that feature a strong elastic waistband that will prevent the shorts from shifting or falling during movement.