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What Are Sliding Pants in Baseball?

Baseball players are sliding all the time. Sometimes players slide to make a diving catch and sometimes they slide to avoid a tag on the basepath. One of the unseen pieces of a player’s uniform that helps those players slide with more confidence is sliding pants. Because sliding pants are unseen by someone looking at a player’s uniform, players can easily wonder about the purpose of sliding pants in baseball. What are sliding pants?

Sliding pants, also known as sliding shorts, are padded compression shorts that are worn underneath a player’s pants. Sliding pants have additional padding along the hips that helps absorb the impact of a player’s slide.

Champro sliding shorts laying flat on a wooden floor

In addition to providing protection when sliding, most sliding shorts have an extra pocket in the front of the shorts that is specifically designed to comfortably wear a cup.

What are Sliding Pants?

Sliding pants are not a visible part of a player’s uniform so not a lot of people what they are or how they function, but most sliding pants include additional padding around the hips as well as an extra pocket that players can use for their cup.

Sliding Pants Have Additional Padding

Sliding pants have a little bit of extra padding around both hip areas that help protect a player’s legs when they perform a slide. This additional padding doesn’t prevent all injuries, but it does help prevent some of those bruises and burns that could happen when sliding.

Although there are plenty of slides a player could perform in baseball where sliding pants may be beneficial, most baseball players associate sliding pants with protecting their hips during a feet-first slide while they are running the bases.

During a feet-first slide, players are sliding on their butt and hips. Because of how baseball players perform feet-first slides while they are running the bases, the extra padding around the hips provides the most protection during these types of slides.

If you’re interested in learning more about when players should slide in baseball, check out this quick guide on when players should slide in baseball.

Most Sliding Pants Have an Extra Pocket for Your Cup

Lots of baseball players, especially catchers, wear cups for protection. One of the benefits of sliding shorts is that most sliding shorts contain an extra pocket towards the front of the shorts that allows players to easily wear a cup.

Not all sliding pants contain this additional pocket, but when baseball players are looking for sliding shorts they tend to favor the shorts that allow them to easily wear a cup while playing.

If you’re looking for a quality pair of sliding pants, check out the current price of these CHAMPRO sliding shorts (link to Amazon). They also have an option where you could bundle these CHAMPRO sliding shorts with a cup (link to Amazon).

Do You Need Sliding Pants for Baseball?

Aerial view of a baserunner sliding feet first into home plate. The catcher is applying the tag and the umpire is signaling the runner is safe.

During the course of a game, baseball players do a lot of sliding. Players will slide on the basepaths whenever there is a close play and they will slide while fielding a ball that is just out of reach. Because of all the sliding that occurs, a lot of players wonder if sliding pants are necessary to play baseball.

As a general rule, baseball players don’t need to wear sliding pants, but it is highly recommended to wear sliding pants during a game. Sliding pants won’t hinder a player’s performance and they will help protect a player’s legs during a slide.

Although sliding pants are recommended, there are some baseball players who simply don’t like the feel of sliding pants. If a player doesn’t like the feel of wearing sliding pants then it is perfectly acceptable to not wear sliding pants. After all, sliding pants are worn underneath a player’s uniform and no one will be able to tell if a player is wearing them or not.

What’s the Difference Between Sliding Shorts and Compression Shorts?

Sliding shorts and compression shorts are very similar, but there are also a few minor differences between the two.

In short, sliding pants are a variation of compression shorts. Compression shorts and sliding shorts are both made of stretchy fabric that provides pressure around the glutes and thighs, but sliding shorts also contain additional padding around the hips to protect a player’s leg when sliding.

While there is a slight difference between sliding shorts and compression shorts, they are also similar enough that these words can be interchangeably used when describing clothing options for a baseball player.

What Do You Wear Under Sliding Shorts?

Because sliding shorts are compression shorts and they are snugger than underwear, lots of people wonder if sliding shorts are the first layer of clothing to touch your skin. What do you wear under sliding shorts?

Players can choose to wear underwear under their sliding shorts or they can choose to wear nothing under their sliding shorts. Sliding shorts fit comfortably enough against the skin that a lot of players choose to wear nothing under their sliding shorts, but it comes down to personal preference.

The good news is that no one will notice whether or not you wear something under your sliding shorts. And since this comes down to personal preference, players are free to experiment to find what makes them the most comfortable while on the field.

How Are Sliding Shorts Supposed to Fit?

Sliding shorts are generally snug. Since sliding shorts are another form of compression shorts, they tend to be tighter than traditional shorts, but how tight should they fit?

Sliding shorts should be close-fitting, but they should not be too snug that they are uncomfortable. Sliding shorts should feel like they are adding some pressure to your hips and butt, but they should not be too tight where they are limiting a player’s mobility.

The key is to feel comfortable while wearing sliding shorts. If the sliding shorts are too tight then they will hinder a player’s performance. If sliding shorts are too loose, then they can start to fall down the legs, which defeats the purpose of sliding shorts adding an additional layer of protection to the hips.

How Do You Wear Sliding Shorts for Baseball?

Sliding shorts are worn just underneath a player’s baseball pants and should be worn similar to the way one would wear compression shorts. Sliding shorts are worn as an additional barrier between the player’s legs and the player’s uniform.

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Steve Nelson

I'm the owner of Baseball Training World. I live in Denver, Colorado and I enjoy playing baseball in an adult baseball team in the surrounding area. Read more about Steve Nelson.