How do I buy an athletic cup ?

Are you new to the sport and do you want to buy a new athletic cup? Finding the correct cup can be an important task if your crown jewels are precious to you. When reading this guide you'll learn what to look for when you're ready for the job.

Getting hit below the belt is always a bad memory, because you will never forget that kind of pain. It’s not just painful but also a very serious kind of injury. This is the reason most of the male athletes who play contact sports are using an athletic cup. These are a big part in a lot of sports since the 20th century. But the athletic cups kept advancing through time and are very different than they were back in the days.

The athletic cups that are used in this generation of equipment are lightweight and designed to protect the groin area from impact during the game. Shopping for cups can be pretty difficult, especially as a parent. The most common questions are about the what material to go for and what size to pick. This Buying Guide should provide you with enough information to answer all of your questions.

The material

When they invented the athletic cup, they used perforated steel to protect the private parts. The protection part worked, the comfort part didn’t. Now they have upgraded the comfort as well as the protection. Some brands offer lightweight plastic cups, where others offer a tough polymers or carbon fiber. These two materials shield and transfer the shock from impact away from the area.

Most of the athletic cups have a gel pad around the edges for more comfort. This prevents the polymers from digging and pinching into the skin. The padding fights against irritation during movement.

Nowadays, most of the cups are machine washable, but always check the packaging to be a 100% sure. You are always able to wash it but then just by hand in a tub or sink filled with hot water. Soak it before scrubbing with a sponge or cloth. Make sure to let it dry or dry it after washing the cup. Otherwise it will start to smell.


A lot of the manufacturers make it easy to pick the right size. All you really need to know is your waist size. The size in this will measure the included supporter or boxer. The attached cup size is also shown in the table below.


Most of the brands that sell these athletic cups, also sell supporters you wear under your gear. This keeps the cup in its place during training or games. There are three main types of supporters, these are impact shorts, jockstraps and compression briefs or  -shorts.

Compression shorts and briefs, also known as boxers, are very comfortable form-fitting underwear. They have a pocket in the front which holds the cup in place. These compression shorts or boxers are perfect to wear under most of the uniform bottoms.

Jockstraps are more like supporters. These feature a pocket in the frond and a connected waistband with retention straps. These straps wrap around just under your backside. This option is becoming less popular because of the new invented compression option.

Impact shorts is the last option here. These also have a pocket for the cup, as well as additional pockets for hip and thigh guards. These impact shorts are more suited for athletes who play high-impact sports. However these are more expensive, they also provide more protection.

Protecting the private parts is essential in any sport. So don’t feel embarrassed to ask questions to an employee or your coach about athletic cups. Remember, safety first!