Differences Between Swim Trunks & Swim Boxers

Written by cathy o'brien
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Differences Between Swim Trunks & Swim Boxers
Swim trunks can be worn at the beach. (jungs auf dem weg ins meer image by Falkenauge from Fotolia.com)

Swim trunks and swim boxers both are popular choices for men engaging in recreational water activities such as lounging by the pool, surfing, and playing beach volleyball or splashing around in a swimming pool. The durable fabric—a thick cotton blend resistant to ultraviolet rays and pool chemicals—make both swim trunks and swim boxers more desired by men rather than competition-style swim suits, which are skin tight; much like men’s briefs. Some men, however, don't need much more room and prefer boxers. Others prefer the roomier trunks.


Swim trunks have a flat waistband that can be adjusted with a drawstring or snap. The waistband on swim trunks is more comparable to a regular pair of men’s shorts than to swim boxers. Swim boxers have an elastic waistband that is easy to take on and off. The waistband is similar to men’s underwear, which also bear the name, "boxers."


Men’s swim trunks offer a roomy leg and tend to be longer than swim boxers. Swim boxers hit the leg between the hip and the knee while swim trunks can hit anywhere between mid-thigh and the middle of the knee. Swim trunks are shaped more like regular men’s shorts than swim boxers. Men can wear swim trunks in lieu of regular shorts if they do not have time to change their cloths between water activities and running errands. Swim boxers do not have the appearance of shorts and usually are worn only at the pool or beach.


The pockets on swim trunks are on the sides and back of the garment. Swim trunks have pockets with zippers or snaps and they can fit keys and a wallet. Swim boxers do not have pockets on the backside. The only two pockets on swim boxers are hidden between the seams, one on each side, of the swimsuit. Men can rest their hands in the pockets of swim boxers as well as fit a set of car keys.

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