Why Do Runners Shave Their Legs? 7 Beneficial Reasons

why do runners shave their legs

Are you wondering, “Why do runners shave their legs?” The answer ranges from practical to appearance-related reasons.

Most people don’t think anything of runners shaving their legs until they notice male runners confidently rocking smooth limbs. 

But from my experience, they don’t realize that many female runners are less likely to skip their leg shaving days compared to non-athlete women. The reason is that shaving legs can help runners with speed, comfort, and confidence.

Why Do Runners Shave Their Legs? 7 Main Reasons

There isn’t a one-size-fits-all reason runners shave their legs, but it typically comes down to improved performance and health.

Below are some of the most popular reasons runners keep their legs shaved.

1. Improved Aerodynamics (In Theory)

why do runners shave their legs
Shaving your legs for running could potentially reduce body drag.

It doesn’t seem like leg hair would slow down a runner, but science shows that it can create body drag in swimmers. I think I speak for most runners when I say we’d rather not have to run through rain so torrential that it’s akin to swimming!

The reality is that the verdict is still out on whether runners shaving their legs has an aerodynamic impact like swimmers. But if you don’t want to create a fuss in your running group, you might be better off keeping that tidbit to yourself.

2. Reduce Chafing

Chafing is a painful situation that some runners face due to their sweaty skin and leg hair rubbing against their clothes. So, runners who frequently suffer from chafing will shave their legs to reduce the friction.

Applying cream is another effective way to reduce the pain that comes with chafing. You should also wear well-fitted running clothes.

There are a few other tricks to avoid chafing while running. Ever wondered why do running shorts have liners? Why not find out, when you have finished here of course!

3. Easier for Wound Cleaning

Let’s face it—even the most experienced runners trip and fall. Those falls can create some pretty nasty wounds if you run in the woods or on the pavement.

So, keeping your legs shaved when you run makes cleaning and treating wounds easier. It can also make it less painful to take off bandages. But, of course, leg hair grows quickly, so it’s a short-lived benefit.  

4. Reduces Body Odor

Without the presence of bacteria, sweat would never smell. Unfortunately, runners and non-athletes can’t keep bacteria off their skin permanently.

When runners shave their legs, they minimize the amount of sweat that stays trapped on their bodies. As a result, shaving helps reduce how much body odor they’ll emit when running long distances. As a word of caution, though, don’t think that shaving your legs means you can skimp on deodorant!

5. It Looks Good

Runners work hard to keep their muscles lean, so it’s understandable they want to show them off. But if they have a mass of thick curls covering their legs, it’s hard to see all that definition in their calves and thighs.

You likely won’t find many runners admitting they keep their legs shaved to look good. But I assure you it’s a thing!

6. Deeper Massages

It may sound like a stretch, but a runner shaving their legs can improve the quality of deep tissue massages—something they often get to relieve pain and boost their performance.

The reason is that the massage cream can spread easily without hair follicles getting in the way. It may also absorb into the skin faster, allowing for more comfort during the massage.

7. Easier for Sunscreen Application

why do runners shave their legs
Sunscreen is vital when running in the hot sun.

Most runners who shave their legs spend a lot of time running outdoors. However, since sunburn can put a short-term damper on the quality of future runs, smart runners lather up with sunscreen before hitting the trail.

Shaving your legs makes applying sunscreen much easier, especially if you have a thick set of leg hair curls. You might even save some money on sunscreen since it won’t clump up in your hair as you spread it. 

Best Way for Runners To Shave Their Legs

Now you understand the many answers to “Why do runners shave their legs?” I’ll share some shaving tips for runners I’ve learned from trial and error.

Begin by applying a daily moisturizer to your legs. That reduces the chance of razor burn and skin irritation when you shave them. 

I also recommend applying a generous layer of shaving gel, which will help the razor glide over your skin and help you see where you have and haven’t shaved. Then, using a sharp razor, use long strokes, moving the blade upwards against the hair. 

You can finish it off with some more moisturizer so that your legs look in tip-top shape for your next run.

If you’re a runner who’s tired of the seemingly never-ending rat race of shaving your legs, other options are available. Epilating, waxing, and laser are excellent hair removal choices. Laser hair removal is an investment, but it’ll keep the hair at bay for a long time.

So, now we have got you looking your best, let's get you feeling your best! Check out the best music devices for running and create your running playlist! Did you know scientific studies have even proven that listening to music during a workout can increase endurance, boost energy levels, and even distract from pain?