Become a Member

Get access to more than 30 brands, premium video, exclusive content, events, mapping, and more.

Already have an account? Sign In

Become a Member

Get access to more than 30 brands, premium video, exclusive content, events, mapping, and more.

Already have an account? Sign In

Brands

Culture

The Great Leg Shave Debate

Is less really more when it comes to men’s leg hair, or is shaving merely a vanity ploy borrowed from cycling?

For access to all of our training, gear, and race coverage, plus exclusive training plans, FinisherPix photos, event discounts, and GPS apps, sign up for Outside+.

Is less really more when it comes to men’s leg hair, or is shaving merely a vanity ploy borrowed from cycling? We checked in with a proponent on either side of the leg-shaving debate to better understand both the nude and au naturel stance.

Grin and bare it

As an Ironman 70.3 world champion in the 40–44 age group and founder of men’s grooming product line Every Man Jack, Ritch Viola is a qualified manscaping expert. “For big races, I go with shaved legs,” Viola says. “I feel race-ready with smooth legs, I race faster and I think my muscles look more powerful shaved—and thus they are.”

RELATED – Andy Potts & Cam Dye Debate: To Shave Or Not To Shave?

Razor shy

Olympian and multiple Ironman champion Andy Potts has followed a notoriously furry-legged regime throughout his illustrious career, though prior to October’s Ironman World Championship he admitted reconsidering his Yeti-like ways. “I’ve foregone shaving mostly because I thought it was a waste of time and vanity-focused,” Potts says. “However, after reviewing the most recent data, there might be a real speed factor. The only reason I’d shave my legs is to go faster; I wouldn’t shave my legs to be part of the crowd.”

RELATED: Shaving Products For Cyclists