What do wrestlers wear under their singlets?

Two wrestlers in singlets

When you watch a wrestling competition have you ever wondered, what do wrestlers wear under their singlets? Or better yet, can wrestlers wear something under their singlets?

If you ever wondered, this we’re going to answer the question of what wrestlers wear under their singlets. Going over if they can wear something under their singlets and if so, what do they wear under them?

We’ll also give you the history of wrestling singlets and why wrestlers started wearing them.

So, what do wrestlers wear under their singlets? Wrestlers have the option of wearing a variety of clothing or protection under their wrestling singlets. From t-shirts, rash guards, sports bras, cups, or even nothing if they want.

What is worn under a wrestling singlet and why?

Now that you know that wrestlers have the option of wearing something under their singlets, we’ll detail why they wear them. Here are all of the pieces of clothing that are worn under wrestling singlets and why they’re used.

Rash guards/T-shirts 

T-shirts or rash guards are an option that some high school wrestlers choose to wear under their singlets. Although rash guards are now more readily available, they are worn more often than regular t-shirts.

The reason that some wrestlers choose to wear these types of shirts are for sweat absorption. Too much of their sweat or their opponents can obstruct their ability to hold and control their opponents.

Sports Bras

For female wrestlers, just wearing a singlet can pose some problems for them during their matches. You’re not allowed to grab clothes in wrestling, but accidents do happen and they could get their chest exposed.

That is why nearly all female wrestlers choose to wear sports bras under their singlets whether practicing or competing. Wearing one will ensure they don’t get their chest exposed to the crowd watching their match and be embarrassed.


Some of the boys that wrestle choose to wear cups under their singlets. It isn’t a rule enforced, but they do have the option of wearing one for protection.


On the other side of the spectrum, many wrestlers prefer to wear nothing under their wrestling singlets. Not shirts or any type of groin protector.

Many top level wrestlers feel that wearing anything under their singlets affects their speed and movement. That is why they choose to wear nothing under their wrestling singlets.

The history of the wrestling singlet

We’ve pretty much covered what wrestlers wear under their wrestling singlets. So, let’s go a little bit into the history of wrestling singlets. Going from when wrestlers started wearing singlets and what they wore before the invention of wrestling singlets.

Have wrestlers always worn wrestling singlets?

While some believe that singlets have always been part of wrestling, they actually haven’t been used for that long. Wrestling singlets were first invented and used during the early 1960s

What did wrestlers wear before using wrestling singlets?

Wrestlers have worn a variety of different types of clothes to wrestle in depending on the era.

Nothing: If you have seen old Greek sculptures of ancient wrestlers, they aren’t wearing any clothes. That’s because ancient wrestlers did not wear any clothing during their competitions. They’re line of thinking was that opponents would grab onto clothes, so it was better not to wear any.

Wrestling Trunks: As time went on, wrestlers began wearing clothes when they wrestled. One of the first types of clothing they would wear were wrestling trunks or speedos. Tight cloth or spandex material that you see pro wrestlers wear on television.

Pants & Shoes: During the late 1800s, wrestlers began to compete in pants and shows. An early version of spandex pants and wrestling shoes. Early wrestlers would often wear versions of these when they grappled with one another.

Black Toms: Black Toms were a type of wrestling uniform that was used during the 1920s and 1930s. They consisted of full body tights with a black crotch protector worn on the outside of the tights. Which is how this uniform got the name Black Toms.

Wrestling Trunks(again): During the late 1930s and 1940s, some collegiate wrestling started wearing just trunks again with wrestling shoes. They were used right up until World War 2 started when the practice of wrestling had been halted.

Trunks & Tights: When wrestling practice resumed after World War 2, wrestlers that practiced began wearing new uniforms. These uniforms would consist of tights, with trunks worn over them, and no shirts. This would be the normal wrestling uniform until the start of the 1960s.

Trunks, Tights, Shirts & Shoes: In the 1960s, the NCAA had banned shirtless wrestling in their competitions. The acquired uniform to compete in collegiate wrestling consisted of trunks, tights, shirts, and shoes with no exceptions.

One Piece Singlets: Originally one piece wrestling singlets were banned by the NCAA in the early 1960s. As time went on, they started to allow wrestlers to wear singlets and they became the official uniform for many universities.

Two Piece Singlets: During the beginning of the 2000s, the NCAA would change their rule on the wrestling uniform allowed in competition. In 2005, the began allowing wrestling two compete in a two piece singlet with a compression shirt under their top. Many wrestlers liked the addition of compression shirts as they would get less friction burns on their stomachs from riding positions.

What are some good brands of wrestling singlets?

Now that you know the history of wrestling singlets and what wrestlers wear under them, here are different singlets available on Amazon. Below are three different brands of wrestling singlets with descriptions and links of each provided.

Adidas aS101s Lycra Solid Wrestling Singlet

  • Youth Small- Extra/Extra Large
  • Lycra Material
  • Comfortable
  • 5 Color Options
  • Used By Many Wrestling Teams

Adidas has been one of the go to brands for wrestling singlets for years. They have produced countless singlets for different wrestling teams across the world.

Their standard singlet is made of durable, yet comfortable lycra material. This wrestling singlet is built to last and affordable. You can get the Adidas wrestling singlet in 5 colors and size options from youth small to adult extra/extra large.

Elite Sports Men’s Wrestling Singlet

  • Polyester/Lycra Blend
  • Flatlock Stitching
  • Comfortable/Breathable
  • 5 Size Options
  • 5 Color Options

The most affordable wrestling singlet available on Amazon is the Elite Sports Men’s wrestling singlet. This is everything you want in a wrestling singlet without breaking the bank.

It is made of a blend of polyester and lycra that is both comfortable and durable. Complete with flat lock stitching and designed for optimal sweat absorption. If you’re looking for a quality, yet affordable wrestling singlet, this one is available in 5 colors and sizes.

Cliff Keen Racerback Women’s Wrestling Singlet

  • Best Rated On Amazon
  • Lyra Material
  • Soft Knit Rib, Neck, & Arm Trim
  • Enhanced Sewn-In Elastic Leg Bottoms

Cliff Keen makes some of the best one piece and two piece wrestling singlets on the market. Their Racerback Women’s Wrestling Singlet is the highest rated women’s singlet on Amazon.

It is complete with top of the line lycra material that is designed to perfectly fit the female form. They included  soft knitting around the trims of the ribs, neck, and arms along with enhanced sewn-in elastic leg bottoms. If you’re a female wrestler, you’ll be hard pressed to find a better wrestling singlet on Amazon.

Last Thoughts on wrestling singlets

If you’ve ever wondered what wrestlers wear under their singlets, this article has clearly answered that for you. You’ve even learned a little bit of the history of wrestling singlets.

Now if you’re looking to get into wrestling training, please check the links above to but some great wrestling singlets.


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