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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.”
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.”