Different Styles of Athletic Supporters


An athletic supporter is a necessary piece of equipment for participation in many sports. The athletic supporter is designed to stabilize and protect genitalia while allowing for free motion while exercising. Athletic supporters come in several styles for different activities with different levels of protection. While considered a male garment, athletic supporters are worn by women too.


The most common style of athletic supporter over the years has been the jockstrap. The standard jockstrap has an elastic waistband and two elastic loops to put your legs through. The elastic waistband and leg loops allow you to move your body freely while wearing the support. The front of the jock is fabric pouch that holds your genitalia and is often fitted with a domed plastic protecting cup for contact sports. This athletic supporter is used for a wide variety of sporting activities.

Compression Shorts

More recently compression shorts have become a very popular athletic supporter. These short are made of flexible, stretchy synthetic fabrics that hold tight to your body and allow you to move freely. Compression shorts are often considered more comfortable than a jock strap because it is full pair of shorts rather than an elastic strapped garment that can dig into your skin and because there is no need for a genital pouch. Compression shorts are very common for runners, cyclists and basketball players among other activities. Compression shorts can also be found with an athletic cup for contact sports.

Hockey Jock

Hockey players wear athletic supports with special modifications to the jock strap and compression shorts models. Hockey players wear long leg covering socks that are to be fastened and held up by the athletic support. A hockey jock strap is equipped with clips to hold up socks called a garter. For hockey compression shorts, there are two Velcro patches on the front and two more on the back to stick the wool socks to. In hockey, both of these types of athletic supports are known as jocks and always contain a protective cup.


A pelvic protector, or Jill, is the female version of a jock strap. It is designed similarly to a jock strap but has a smaller and flatter genitalia protector. The Jill is only worn during sports where there is risk of contact like tennis, hockey and softball.