10 Best Running T-shirts Reviewed & Tested
All of the gear you pick makes a difference in your run, especially your clothing. Check out this guide on the best running t-shirts around.
At first thought a t-shirt may not seem like it makes much difference. A t-shirt is just a t-shirt right? Well in some senses yes, and in others no. When it comes to running, particularly if you’re competitive about it, every piece of gear and clothing matters. So overlooking a garment that covers your torso, and overall a good percentage of your body, seems a poor choice.
But above all else our goal is provide a useful resource that highlights some of the best running t-shirts out there. We’ve done the legwork so you can sit back a peruse as you like. For a detailed breakdown of the top ten best running t-shirts read on!
10 Best Running T-shirts
Mountain Hardwear Wicked
Polyester, comes in a decent range of color choices
Patented Wick.Q technology offers moisture-wicking that’s well above the average grade
Fast drying fabric, performs amazingly quickly
A antimicrobial finish minimizes odor, and helps you maintain hygiene
Flatlock seam construction goes above any beyond to make sure there is no uncomfortable rubbing.
Reflective trim for added visibility.
- Flatlock seams ensure less chance of irritation
- Wick.Q moisture-wicking material
- Antimicrobial finish fights odor
- Reflective accents don't last super long
Lightweight stretch blend material leaves the run free and flexible
DriLayer Burst, odor-resistant fabric
Material actually consists of 83% polyester 11% Tencel 6% spandex
Subtle logo on the left shoulder
Crew neck. Short sleeves. Overall cut designed for comfort
- Lightweight, stretchable material
- DriLayer Burst, odor-resistant fabric
- Good choices of different colors and prints
- No obvious reflective properties
Made from 100% polyester
Specially contoured raglan sleeves provide optimised freedom of motion
World’s lightest run top whatever conditions you are training in
Has very minimal seams, anti-chafe
Only weighs 86gsm (X LITE PRO fabric)
Reflective detailing along the trim for safety
- Made for all types of training conditions
- Chafe resistant construction
- Their X LITE PRO fabric is incredibly light
- Reflective details
- The lightweight material may not be an ideal choice when layering for colder temperatures
Joe's USA - All Sport Neon Color High Visibility Athletic
Sport cut for maximum comfort.
The lightweight material breathes well and controls sweat with ease
PosiChargeTM technology built into the fabric
Weighs 3.8-ounces, 100% cationic polyester interlocking material
Available Colors: Neon Yellow, Neon Orange, Neon Pink
Adult Sizes available : XS-4XL
- Lightweight and breathable
- High visibility colors
- Wide range of sizes
- The fit isn't exactly the athletic style that some customers were hoping for
100% Polyester knitted training top
Made in the USA
Specially textured mesh is extremely comfortable and has sweat reducing technology
Set-in sleeves for a nice fit
Comes in a wide range of colors
- Sweat reducing textured mesh
- Set-in sleeves
- Many colors to choose from
- There aren't really any high visibility color options
Arcteryx Accelerator SS Zip Neck
Midweight fabric construction with luxurious mechanical stretch, protective and mobile
Collar height and front zipper provide coverage and assists in temperature regulation
Merrow stitch seam construction reduces seam size, and ensures no irritation or chafing
Reflective blades located on lower back
Ample sun protection (UPF 50+) material
Comes in four primary colors
Anatomical fit, features no-lift gusseted armpits
- Stretchable midweight material
- Zippered neck makes this a great choice for layering
- Reflective portions on lower back
- Anatomical design
- The higher neck may not be for everyone, especially in hotter climates
Nike Dri-Fit Contour
Made from 100% polyester
Patented Nike Dry fabric with Dri-FIT technology helps to fight moisture buildup and keep you comfortable
Knit from loose to tight for a form fit
Zoned breathability, overall a very smart design
Comes in a wide range of color options
Have reflective details for low visibility running
- Many color choices
- Extremely breathable
- Nike's Dri-FIT moisture wicking technology
- Not available in long sizes
Made from Drilayer® Steady infused material
Brand logo at tactfully placed on left shoulder
Straight hem, along with a nicely fitted construction
83% polyester, 11% lyocell, 6% spandex
Machine wash cold okay, tumble dry low or air dry
Comes in two color choices river and desert
- Drilayer® Steady infused material
- Comfortably fitted construction
- Only two color choices
Made from 120gm jersey 90% merino 10% nylon
Comes in a wide range of color options, (5-8 choices)
Flatlock seams create a smooth rid and prevent chafing
Drop tail hem for added coverage, this shirt won’t ride up like some do
Fabric dries fast, ensuring you stay dry
Regular fit, if sized right won’t constrict or be too baggy
Set-in sleeves, contour nicely with the body
- Fast drying Merino regulates temperature well
- Good amount of color choices
- Drop-tail hem prevents shirt from riding up
- Some may find the material itchy
Mountain Hardwear Way2Cool
The Body fabric consists of: 92% polyester, 8% elastane
Active fit, tactile, flexible, contours nicely with body
Patented Cool.QTM ZERO provides an instantaneous and noticeable cooling sensation
Rigorously user tested for optimum quality
Patented MicroClimate ZoningTM: engineered mesh knit construction helps with ventilation
Moisture wicking, fast-drying fabric that sits light on the skin
True fit, no need to size up or down
- Flexible for active movement
- Patented Cool.QTM ZERO provides a noticeable difference in temperature control
- Fast drying material
Criteria for choosing Best Running T-shirts
Running t-shirts are as good as running shoes or any other important running gear that is why one should be very careful when choosing a pair of running t-shirt from the many variety of them offered in the market and stalls today. Every runner has his or her own requirement, perception and taste, that is why running t-shirts come in both genders, age, different style, color, sizes and made from different fabrics to suit the need of every runner.
A runner can choose a running shirt that is either long sleeved, short sleeved or just without any sleeve depending on the weather, area of trail or just personal perception of the runner. Most runners though would do long sleeved or 3|4 sleeved running t-shirts during cold weather seasons because the long sleeves protect the runner from cold. Short sleeved or no sleeved running shirts are good for hot weather seasons because they help to regulate moisture, heat and body temperatures of the runners body. Early morning and evening or late night runners would prefer choosing long sleeved running t-shirts for warmth purposes whereas day time runner may opt to choose running t-shirts that short sleeved or no sleeved at all.
The fabric of the running t-shirt should be breathable and light weight for efficient running of the runner. Light weight running tees give the runner an easy time on the trail because they do not hold the runner down. Breathability enhances coolness of the runner as is on the trail. Above all, comfort of the runner is key. A runner should choose a running t-shirt that is comfortable so that to have an easy time.
Best running tees should be moisture wicking and breathable. If you’ve never tried a technical running tee, trust us it will revolutionize your running, you’ll never look back! Most should be slim or loose cut with a few form-fitting and stretchy. They wash and dry easily and will keep your running happily in warmer weather. They also work well layered under a windproof jacketin mild but wet weather.
A lightweight, breathable, wicking material is useful. It should fit well and might have any of the extras mentioned above. In addition, if you run at night, some reflective strips on the t-shirt might be useful.
The right running t-shirt will keep you dry and free from chaffing while you train. Luckily there are so many innovative brands offering high-tech running t-shirts, it’s hard to make a bad decision. Still, the perfect option is out there waiting for you. This guide will help you learn how to choose the best running t-shirt for your needs.
Factors to consider when choosing the Best Running T-shirt
So when looking for a running t-shirt think about the following;
There are three basic styles of running t-shirts, differentiated by arm length: short sleeve and long sleeve
SHORT SLEEVE: The most popular style of running t-shirts for men, technical short sleeve t-shirts provide flexibility and comfort when made from the right materials. Running-specific short sleeves are typically made from fabrics that will keep things nice and dry to prevent chaffing and discomfort, while still offering a high range of movement in the arms.
LONG SLEEVE: When the weather gets cooler, long sleeves keep the runner warm, whether in the form of a long sleeve base layer, pullover (some come in half-zip style), or zip-up jacket. Layering long sleeves over shorter sleeved t-shirts or tanks can be a great way to maintain comfort during a long run, especially if the weather might change. Long sleeves are typically worn during regular exercise runs or training runs. Most runners prefer to keep clothing minimal during races to maximize speed.
Running t-shirts are typically composed of synthetic fibers, synthetic-cotton blends or cotton fibers. Fabric type generally dictates how well the t-shirt fits, how breathable it will be and how long it will hold up in the long run.
SYNTHETIC FIBERS: Running t-shirts made of 100 percent polyester, like tech t-shirts, provide the highest amount of moisture-management for breath ability, but styles with sleeves sacrifice best fit for women. While short and long sleeve tech t-shirts tend to fit men better than women, tanks made completely from synthetic fibers do fit the female torso well. However, synthetic blends (think polyester-elastic) can also provide great fit for women in sleeved styles without sacrificing sweat wicking capabilities, especially in pullovers or zip-up jackets.
SYNTHETIC-COTTON BLENDS: Synthetic-cotton blends (like a polyester-cotton or nylon-cotton blend) tend to provide fantastic fit, while still having a good amount of sweat-wicking moisture management. These fabrics tend to be a little less breathable than completely synthetic blends and are more likely to show sweat.
COTTON FIBERS: running T-shirts made of 100% cotton, although breathable; provide the least amount of moisture management. Though breathable, they are also highly absorbent and will soak up sweat, which can lead to chaffing and overall discomfort since the t-shirt will feel heavier. That said, cotton is soft to the touch and provides a comfortable fit for shorter-distance runs.
When running in colder or unpredictable weather, it’s best to layer running t-shirts to maintain comfort through the entire run. Long sleeve base layers under a short sleeve t-t-shirt and jacket can keep the runner dry and warm in the winter. In the heat of summer, it’s best to wear as little as is comfortable on t-shirt to avoid overheating.
Most running jackets and some t-t-shirts and tanks have reflective strips on either the back or arms to help keep visibility as high as possible for running in the dark and around areas with high vehicle and bicycle traffic. Some materials like 3M’s Scotch lite can reflect light up to 160 Meters (a car can see a person wearing dark colors at 30 meters, giving over five times the distance for a car to recognize you on the road).
Another very important criterion when choosing the best running t-shirt for your routine is comfort. In fact, comfort is a key factor for any serious runner whether a long distance or a short distance runner. The most and best comfortable type of T-shirts are the running t-shirts that are made from stretchy and elastic fabrics to fit the body of the runner. Well-fitting running t-shirts prevent rubbing and chaffing of body parts of the runner, hence preventing corrosion of body parts that cause minor injuries. Well- fitting t-shirts are made from fabric that hold the muscles of the runner, creating allowance for energy production by the body of the runner and hence the runner can keep going for a longer time.
For a running t-shirt to be considered comfortable, the technical running t-shirt fabric should be lightweight and breathable. Breathability of the fabric helps the runner to be able release moisture and sweat well without straining. Breathable fabric regulate the amount of heat the body of the runner gets i conduct with. Lightweight fabric helps the runner to move in ease without feeling the gear is too heavy for him or her. Lightweight fabric is not only a consideration to consider in only running t-shirts but also any running gear. Lightweight contributes a handful to the comfortability of the runner.
Comfortable running t-shirts help the runner to concentrate on the trail more rather focusing on how uncomfortable the running t-shirt is as he is exercising.
Running t-shirts are typically made to block wind, retain warmth, and repel water. Most running apparel is made from a lightweight polyester blend; although, you’ll see many brands use special fabric technology to put their own spin on the classic blend. Running jackets and t-shirts are ideal for chilly weather and dusk, when temperatures drop and reflectivity is necessary.
Suit Your Needs Before buying a running t-shirt. It is important to assess your running environment and personal preferences. Is it typically cold where you live or would a lightweight mesh jacket be sufficient? Do you get cold easily or do you need more ventilation? Since you know your body better than anyone, be sure to choose a running t-shirt based upon your comfort level. For those who often encounter windy conditions, a running t-shirt would be more suitable than a jacket, provided that the temperature is mild enough where sleeves aren’t necessary. Running t-shirts do an excellent job at blocking the cold wind so you can retain more heat. Running jackets provide greater coverage and warmth, while some still offer excellent breathability. After assessing your environment, start choosing which specific features you want your running apparel to have
Many women enjoy wearing sports t-shirts both inside and outside the gym. Today’s sports t-shirts are well-designed and stylish affairs that can look as good on an errand run as they can in a yoga class. Many sports t-shirts feature reinforced bra support elements, making them very comfortable garments to wear. Razorback sports t-shirts are particularly popular as they give arms a full range of motion and also add more support to the chest.
Other factors to consider are;
Is the running t-shirt well fitting the runner?
The best running t-shirt is one that is fitting the runners body, just like a model in a t-shirt on the runway. Well fitting t-shirts are more comfortable and are lighter than wearing baggy running t-shirts that may go with the flow of the wind or swing more often as the runner is on the trail exercising, making it harder and hectic to concentrate on the running.
What features does the running t-shirt have?
Every runner has specific designs, features and preference on the kind of running t-shirt they want to choose. It is important when the runner is choosing a running t-shirt to be on the know on the features the running t-shirt has. Does the t-shirt have zips or is it buttoned? Does the running t-shirt have pockets? Knowing what kind of features will help the runner to not only feel good when using the running t-shirt but also enjoy exercising because the t-shirt is comfortable.
Frequently Asked Questions.
Q. When choosing my running t-shirt, what are the technical running t-shirt fabrics should i consider?
A crucial factor to consider when selecting your running t-shirt fabric is whether the fabric is light weight and high-performance oriented to replenish moisture and sweat from a runners’ skin whenever the runner is on the move. Light weight fabric aids the runner to be in control of his or her body’s temperature and heat in both cold and hot weathers. The most used technical running t-shirts material are polyester, Lycra or nylon. These materials make good running t-shirts that keep the runner dry for a longer duration and mostly more comfortable during his or her run.
Technical running t-shirt fabric should be breathable too. Breathability of the running t-shirt bring comfort of the runner as they are exercising. Breathability is basically the ability of allowance of air flow in and out of the fabric on the runners body. a good running fabric, example running t-shirt made out of synthetic fabric and materials, lets the body of the runner to sweat and breathe efficiently and above all regulation of the runners body temperatures.
Wearing a running t-shirt made from good fabric and materials not only keeps the runner comfortable but also cooler during the run because excessive moisture and sweat from the body has been replenished away from the skin with good and fresh air. T-shirts made from technical running fabric give allowance for occurrence of evaporation more often hence keeping the runners body cooler and dryer, giving the runner more comfort.
Q. How do I care for or wash my running t-shirt?
A. it is recommended that you care and wash your t-shirt by;
- Wash on low heat 30 degree, cool wash
- Wash t-shirt turned inside out
- Avoid washing t-shirts with items that have zips
- Avoid drying in long periods of direct sunlight
- Do not add bleach to the wash
- Do not tumble dry after washing
- Hang dry
- Do not iron print
Q. Why can I not have a water based print on ALL T-shirt colours?
A. Some garment colours do not discharge very well. Strong, bright colours such as purple, royal blue and kelly green are difficult to remove colour from. Some black garments can also be problematic depending on the t-shirt dye , and the polyester content. It is best to contact us for our recommendations when discharge printing is required.
We’ve titled this guide “best” running t-shirts, but the thing is “best” can be subjective to a degree. There are very few absolute “bests” when it comes to these type of things. So we’ve gone for a bit of variety. Herein you’ll find t-shirts that get style points, t-shirts that a dream-like comfortable, t-shirts that are high performance, t-shirts that are meant for hot conditions, t-shirts that are reflective and t-shirts that are just downright cool. Did we cover all of it? Phew!