A Brief History of the Jockstrap

background for post a brief history of the jockstrap

Men jockstraps have been worn for years to protect men from sports injuries, often being used with a cup for added protection. But men also wear them to help keep their package supported and together in one place. When you’re riding your bike or up to bat, the last thing you want to think about is if you’re going to flop around unnecessarily and hurt yourself. 

The jockstrap was invented in 1874 by C.F. Bennett of the company Sharp & Smith. They were a Chicago based sporting goods company. Originally jockstraps were designed for bicycle jockeys who were going around the cobblestone streets of Boston. Can you imagine trying to ride a bike every day over cobblestones? It sounds awful, especially if your family jewels are constantly bouncing everywhere.

In 1897 Bennett formed the Bike Web Company, he got a patent for the design and started mass producing it. This same brand was not retired until 2017, by Russell Athletic. It was a standalone company until 2003 when Russell Athletic bought their trademark. Quite an impressive run for a business, 1897-2003.

The jockstrap has a design that is simple but effective. There is a waistband, of course, and then a pouch area that covers your scrotum and penis. Straps connect the pouch at the bottom that runs between your legs and wraps around underneath the buttocks.

There are different jockstraps for a variety of sports, but overall that is a general concept. The pouch is usually a sleeve as well that you can put a cup into for sports like baseball. What’s interesting is that this is the same design we have been using since 1874. Usually, items receive some updates by now!

Jockstraps paved the way for the classic Brief to be invented. Briefs are highly supportive, similar to that of a jockstrap because they are tight fitting to the body, and they hold everything in place well due to the brief being right up against your skin. But they cover all of your buttocks. The material is usually somewhat elastic so that it can move when you move. 

Men jockstraps were first invented for sports and designed to hold an athletic cup. Many sports nowadays require men to wear a protective cup to play. These include but are not limited to Baseball, Boxing, Hockey, Football, Fencing, and Lacrosse. Cups are usually made of plastic, although they have been made of steel before as well. They are designed to form a protective shield around the scrotum and penis so that no serious damage can occur to them while playing. Cups are also designed differently for different sports. Soccer would have a more flexible cup because you are constantly moving and kicking, whereas Boxing may have a cup and jock combo that is built into other layers of protection. Baseball would need a very hard and firm cup because the ball would be traveling at it with high speeds. 

Fashion jockstraps are also becoming a more prevalent item. They are often used to lift the man up and forward. Many people use it to enhance the masculine appearance of the wearer. Just like women sometimes wear pushup bras, men wear fashion jocks to pull up their package. I often get comments from spouses saying their man looks great in a pair of jockstraps. 

Jockstraps are now being used more and more for medical conditions. Jockstraps can help with conditions like senior sag, prostate cancer, inguinal hernia, incontinence, and hydrocele, to name a few. Having extra support means that you are relying on the item to support you so that your body can work harder at helping you recover. For ongoing conditions, the support makes life more comfortable. For an inguinal hernia, the support of the jockstrap means less pressure on the inguinal canal. For a hydrocele, it helps control the enlarged area and keeps it secure in one place. Adjusting is a problem that most men deal with regularly, and having something that keeps you comfortable in one place helps to make sure you don’t have to adjust yourself anymore. That means staying comfortable all day long.