How to beat chub rub when you’re walking, hiking or running

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Whether you’re done with chafing during runs or you want to safeguard yourself against chub rub while walking to the shops, this handy guide will help to keep you dry and blister-free all summer long.

There’s nothing like a nice, long walk or hike on a warm summer’s day. You can get your steps in, work on topping up those vitamin D levels and calm your mind while surrounded by serene nature. That is, until the familiar burn of chub rub starts. Before long, every step you take stings and you start to frantically pull your shorts down to minimise skin-on-skin chafe.

Chafing is the worst and it’s something that most of us who move experience. I go through periods of developing little brown dots on my thighs from past running rubs; my friend looks like he could fry bacon on his inner thighs after an hour’s jog. Other people experience chub rub when they’re walking down the high street. In fact, one of my mates refuses point blank to wear shorts in the summer at all, plumping instead for loose, long-legged, black trousers to reduce any risk of getting sweaty and sticky.

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People of all sizes experience thigh rub – it’s not an issue exclusive to bigger bodies. In fact, it’s got almost nothing to do with size at all. When journalist Rebecca Reid asked her sizeable Twitter following whether they’d ever experienced thigh chafing, only 31% of those who said they’d experienced chub rub self-identified as being ‘plus-size.’ 

That suggests that it’s more to do with the shape of our bodies – how our hips sit, how we build muscle and how we move rather than how big or small we may be.

If you’ve signed up to join us for the Strong Women Hike happening in September (and if you haven’t, it’s time to grab your ticket!), you might be wondering how you can curb chub rub for any practice walks you’re planning to do on hot, sunny weekends – and how to stay chafe-free during the event. 

To help you move pain-free, we’ve gathered together some of the best anti-chafe products and remedies (as recommended by our team and readers) for soothing chafe when it does happen.

  • Silky Underwear dusting powder, Lush, £9

    This talc-free powder not only smells incredible but is full of moisturising ingredients to keep your skin happy as you exercise. Dust a little between your thighs, under your boobs or anywhere else that tends to get sweaty and chafe-prone and let the smell transport you to sweeter horizons.

    Shop Silky Underwear dusting powder at Lush, £9

    Buy now


    Fully vegan and organic, all kinds of sportspeople swear by this stuff.

    This 100% vegan, organic anti-chafing stick protects against chafing, saddle sores, rashes, blisters and more. It’s no wonder that the company claims it’s used by “cyclists, runners, horse-riders, chefs, swimmers, skiers, divers, climbers… etc.”

    In fact, have a look at their customer feedback and you’ll see that iRELIEF seems to continuously get five stars, with one customer claiming that the stick “changed my life. I can run in vests again and I don’t have to worry about wearing shorts anymore!”

    Shop iRELIEF at iVYVERDURE, £13

    Buy now

  • Anti-Chafing Short, Modibodi (£30)

    Because being on your period shouldn’t mean being less comfortable…

    There’s nothing worse than coming on your period just before you’re due to do something outdoorsy, right? Wrong. Bleeding shouldn’t stop you from walking or running wherever you goddamn please. Forget pads that slide off with sweat or thick leggings that cover any leakage – these anti-chafing shorts are totally leak-proof. 

    Designed for moderate-heavy flows, you don’t need to wear any other underwear underneath.

    Shop Anti-Chafe Short at ModiBodi (£30)

    Buy now

  • Little Angels Liquid Talc, Asda (£1.25)

    Asda’s cheap talc has been lauded online as a chub rub saviour product.

    Loads of parents have been raving about this cheap liquid talc as being a chub rub saviour and given the price, it’s certainly worth trying. 

    Fully vegan and dermatologically tested, it’s been paediatrician-approved. If it’s good enough for babies…

    Shop Little Angels Liquid Talc at Asda (£1.25)

    Buy now

  • Anti-chafing Cream, BeYou (£12.95)

    Full of lavendar and coconut oil, this anti-chafe cream is anti-bacterial and water-resistant.

    This all-natural cream contains delicious-smelling lavender and coconut oils, as well as olive oil, geranium oil and tea tree oil. It’s the latter ingredient that makes it antibacterial and non-greasy, meaning that it soothes and repairs irritated skin while offering water-resistant support against chafe (so no need to worry about sweating and having to reapply). 

    Shop Anti-chafing Cream at BeYou (£12.95)

    Buy now

  • Stay Cool Chub Rub Shorts, Snag (£7.99)

    These moisture-wicking fabric and cotton shorts are designed to keep you fresh and rub-free. Stick under your shorts or pair with a log t-shirt, they look great by themselves or as part of a layered look. 

    Oh, and they have a tonne of colours to choose from so don’t go thinking that anti-chafe products have to be neutral or boring!

    Shop Stay Cool Chub Rub Shorts at Snag (£7.99)

    Buy now

  • Body Glide Anti Chafe Balm, Runners Need (£11.99)

    The OG anti-chafe product for runners, it’s guaranteed to make moving easier.

    The original runner’s friend, this body glide is ubiquitous at marathons up and down the country. Roll it between your thighs, under your sports bra, on your arms – anywhere that friction might crop up – and then stick in your backpack pocket for later in your journey.

    Shop Body Glide Anti Chafe Balm at Runners Need (£11.99)

    Buy now

  • Align High-Rise Short 6, Lululemon (£38)

    Grab a pair of shorts that you can walk, yoga, run, or chill on the sofa in – all while protecting those soft inner thighs.

    You don’t have to go out of your way to find anti-chafe products – sometimes ordinary shorts can do the trick. The key is to find a pair that extends low enough and feels light on the skin. 

    This Lululemon offering may have been designed as a yoga short but because of its Nulu fabric, it feels “buttery soft and weightless”. Wear alone or stick under your hiking gear.

    Shop Align High-Rise Short 6 at Lululemon (£38)

    Buy now

For more tips on moving well and healthy recipes to support your fitness regime, check out the Strong Women Training Club.

Images: Getty/retailers’ own

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