… the main feature, not necessarily the destination or when cycling is not seen as a mean to an end. They are undergarment with extra padding to compensate for the rigidity of the saddle. So, it seems that the point made by the commentator pertained to cycling within a specific context…
They also help protect trousers or jeans from chafing, or wearing out. I wear padded shorts most of the time, whether I'm delivering cycling training or not.