10 Best CrossFit Shirts Tested & Fully Reviewed

0

CrossFit poses unique challenges when it comes to finding the ideal shirt. WODs (Workout of the Day) are designed to create short and intense workouts that have you switching between cardio, plyometric movements, lifting and gymnastics in just one hour sessions. Finding apparel than can keep up with these versatile challenges can sometimes be difficult. We sorted through top activewear brands to find shirts with the right fit, flexibility, breathability and moisture-wicking ability to keep you cool and comfortable through whatever the WOD throws at you.

Under Armour Raid
  • Under Armour Raid
  • 5 out of 5
    Our rating
  • Moisture wicking
  • Price: See Here
Under Armour Twist Tech
  • Under Armour Twist Tech
  • 4.5 out of 5
    Our rating
  • Lightweight
  • Price: See Here
Champion Powertrain Performance
  • Champion Powertrain Performance
  • 4 out of 5
    Our rating
  • Quick dry
  • Price: See Here

 

10 Best CrossFit Shirts

 

1. Under Armour Raid

This fitted shirt from Under Armour is ideal for CrossFit. The lightweight HeatGear material and perforated back help to keep you cool throughout your workout. Mesh underarm panels and 4-way stretch fabrication never inhibit range of motion. Men really love the comfortable and flattering fit for any type of exercise.
Expand to see more
Fit:
The Men’s Raid Shirt has a body skimming fit without the squeeze of Under Armour’s typical compression shirts.

Flexibility:
The 4-way stretch fabrication allows for maximum flexibility in this shirt. No reviewers felt their range of motion was limited.

Breathability:
This lightweight shirt offers a lot in the way of ventilation. With mesh stretch panels on the underside and a completely mesh back, breathability is never an issue.

Moisture Wicking:
Under Armour’s Moisture Transport System wicks sweat away and dries quickly.

Style:
This fitted shirt is available in over 50 colors and patterns. The fit is flattering and the underarm panels create a slimming look. The mesh back appears to be more perforated than the front and is just slightly see-through in some colors.

Value:
Under Armour shirts tend to run a bit more expensive than some other brands. However, users note these shirts wash well and offer more durability that the alternatives.
Pros

Mesh panels for breathability

4-way stretch

Fitted without being tight

Moisture Wicking

Lightweight

Durable

Cons

May run a bit long

Expensive

2. Under Armour Twist Tech V-Neck

This is a basic-appearing V-neck tee that can be worn with shorts or leggings. It has a flattering fit and wicks away moisture to keep you cool and dry through any workout. It has a looser fit that gives you room to breathe without being too loose.
Expand to see more
Fit:
This shirt has a fuller cut that fits the body loosely. It has a flattering V-neck cut and is a bit longer, hitting most women around the hips. Reviewers feel confident wearing this top with both shorts and leggings and do not worry about it rising up with lots of movement.

Flexibility:
The fabric does not have much stretch but the loose fit is not restricting.

Breathability:
There is no added areas of mesh or ventilation. However, all users find the material to be very lightweight and breathable.

Moisture-Wicking:
Under Armour is well known for its moisture wicking ability and this shirt is no exception. Made of 100% polyester and featuring UA’s signature Moisture Transport System, this shirt handles sweat well and dries very quickly.

Style:
This is a flattering, basic tee that can be worn for any workout with any pants or shorts. With over 20 color options, you can fill out your workout wardrobe.

Value:
These shirts are a bit more expensive than some other polyester shirts but the material is softer and more durable than you may find with the less expensive brands.
Pros

Flattering loose fit

Wear with shorts or leggings

Moisture wicking

Lightweight

Breathable

Durable

Cons

Price

3. Champion Powertrain Performance

This dry-quick polyester t-shirt will keep you comfortable through any WOD. At a lower price than Nike and Under Armour, this lightweight shirt offers unrestricted movement and a comfortable fit. It is a great basic shirt to have in any workout wardrobe.
Expand to see more
Fit:
The Champion Powertrain shirt is looser than the Nike and Under Armour models but it still has a snugger fit across the chest and shoulders with a little more room in the torso. In the women’s Some bustier women find the women’s shirt to be a bit too snug across the chest.

Flexibility:
They have no spandex so they will not have as much stretch as a compression style shirt. However, the looser fit and raglan sleeves make for unrestricted range of motion.

Breathability:
This shirt does not have any ventilation but the thin material and effective moisture management seems to keep users cool and dry.

Moisture Wicking:
This 100% polyester T-shirt is great at controlling moisture. Champion’s XTemp technology dries faster as your body temperature rises making sure you stay cool and dry.

Style:
This classic shirt looks like a better-fitting cotton T-shirt. It has a small Champion logo on the left chest and is available in 11 heather colors.

Value:
Price may range based on color but this shirt runs about half as expensive as Nike.
Pros

Inexpensive

Lightweight

Moisture controlling

Quick Drying

Looser fit

Cons

No ventilation

Does not stretch as much

May not work for busty women

4. Nike Legend Long Sleeve

This long sleeve Nike shirt works well as a warm-up but is lightweight enough to wear through the duration. It is a good option for men planning to shed their shirt after the warm-up or women who want something to wear over a tank. It manages moisture well so it won’t become saturated as you start to sweat.
Expand to see more
Fit:
This long sleeve shirt has a loose fit without being too baggy. It skims the body but has a bit of wiggle room for layering another shirt under.

Flexibility:
Raglan sleeves allow for unrestricted range of motion in the shoulders. The material does not have a lot of stretch but users find it flexible enough for any exercise.

Breathability:
There is no added ventilation or areas of perforation but the lightweight material is very breathable.

Moisture-Wicking:
100% polyester material and Nike’s signature Dri-Fit technology wicks away sweat so this shirt will not cling to you.

Style:
This shirt features a prominent Nike swish on the left chest and is available in 20 colors for men and women. It is a flattering, casual shirt that is great addition to any workout wardrobe.

Value:
Price will range but the lightweight material and Dri-Fit technology make this shirt worth investing in over the plain cotton variety.
Pros

Lightweight

Moisture wicking

Quick drying

Breathable

Long sleeve

Cons

Not much stretch

5. Under Armour Short Sleeve Tech

The Under Armour Tech Shirt is lightweight and very breathable. Made of 100% polyester it wicks sweat away from skin and dries very quickly. It has a looser fit across the shoulders and torso than many of our favorite CrossFit shirts but it is slim enough to stay out of your way during lifts.
Expand to see more
Fit:
The Under Armour Tech T-shirt has a “loose” fit that diverges from their typical compression gear. This shirt has a more fitted feel than you may expect from a loose fit. Most men find it is slim enough to keep excess fabric out of your way but still loose enough to breathe and provide more modest coverage.

Flexibility:
The 100% polyester fabric does not have much stretch but the loose fit will give you enough room to move. Users do not note any limitations in range of motion.

Breathability:
The entire shirt is made from thin material that users find very breathable. It does not have any targeted areas of ventilation but the loose fit and light weight make it perfect for hot workouts.

Moisture Wicking:
Polyester fabric and Under Armour’s Moisture Transport System control moisture to keep you cool and dry through the toughest WODs. Men accustomed to cotton T-shirts are blown away by the quick dry time on these tees.

Style:
This shirt has a more relaxed fit and is available in over 40 colors and patterns each with a large UA logo on the left chest.

Value:
Price may range depending on color and size. Despite the very thin fabric, reviewers note these shirts hold up to machine washing and tough workouts without tearing or snagging.
Pros

Loose fit more like a T-shirt

Great for moisture management

Dries quickly

Lightweight breathable material

Good flexibility in the arms

Great color options

Durable

Cons

Can be more expensive

Not as fitted

Thin material can be see-through in some colors

6. Nike Pro Fitted Short Sleeve

This Nike Dri-Fit shirt has most of the same features as the Under Armour Raid at a lower price. It fits snugly across the shoulders and is slightly looser around the torso which keeps your shirt close during workouts. It also features thin Dri-Fit material and a mesh back panel for breathability.
Expand to see more
Fit:
The fitted design skims the body without being tight like a compression shirt. This shirt is intended to have a tighter fit across the shoulders and chest with a slightly looser fit through the torso.

Flexibility:
The looser fit and low collar make this shirt easy to move in. Despite the snug fit across the shoulders and chest users do not feel range of motion is limited.

Breathability:
Back panel mesh and thin material provide excellent ventilation. Reviewers find this shirt works great for humid runs as well as at the gym.

Moisture Wicking:
Nike’s signature Dri-Fit Material wicks sweat away and keeps you dry throughout your workout.

Style:
The flattering fit of this shirt is great for most body types. It hugs in close around the shoulders and arms where most men have the most muscle and gives a little bit more space where they may be carrying more weight. It has a small Nike Swish just below the collar and is available in 10 colors.

Value:
The mesh panels and soft Dri-Fit material set this shirt above budget activewear and may be worth paying a bit extra for.
Pros

Dri-Fit material

Flattering fit

Mesh back panel for ventilation

Flexible

Cons

Some feel it is too loose around the waist

7. Reebok Burnout Graphic Short Sleeve

This Reebok Graphic tee is made with copper based Cupron fabric to fight bacteria and reduce odor. The fit is flattering and tight throughout but is has good stretch is made with Reebok’s BareMOVE system that places cooling and movement zones in targeted areas to maximize comfort.
Expand to see more
Fit:
This shirt is intended to fit tightly throughout but seems to run a bit small. Reviewers find the snug fit comfortable and flattering to show off those CrossFit muscles.

Flexibility:
The fabric has a good stretch and the BareMove system places seams in ergonomic areas for uninhibited movement.

Breathability:
Cool zones in the BareMove system help keep this shirt feeling lightweight and breathable.

Moisture-Wicking:
Reebok’s PlayDry system works to wick away moisture to keep you cool and dry through any exercise.

Style:
This graphic style tee has CR-055 fit in bold letters across the top to leave no question to what gym you are headed to. It is available in purple and blue.

Value:
This shirt is a bit more expensive than your average tee but you are paying for the comfortably tight fit and CrossFit branding.
Pros

Snug fit

Good flexibility

Breathable

Moisture wicking

CrossFit branding

Antimicrobial Cubron

Cons

Expensive

8. Reebok Recycled Triblend Short Sleeve

This shirt is designed with CrossFit in mind. Strategically placed seams give you the same range of motion in the shoulders as a racerback tank with the coverage of a T-shirt. Women love this tight-fitting top for any CrossFit workout. It is on the more expensive side for a shirt and the CrossFit branding is very small.
Expand to see more
Fit:
This shirt has a body hugging fit with short sleeves for unrestricted shoulder movement. It runs a bit long in the torso and is great for wearing with shorts and leggings.

Flexibility:
Ergonomic racerback seams and fabric with a bit of a stretch provides unlimited range of motion in the shoulders.

Breathability:
There are no added panels for ventilation but the cotton and polyester blend is breathable and lightweight.

Moisture-Wicking:
Polyester in this fabric works to wick moisture away from skin, keeping you dry. It also features anti-microbial Cubron to fight odor.

Style:
This shirt has a tight and feminine fit with flatlock seams at the back and a very small CrossFit logo on the side.

Value:
While this may be on the pricey side for a T-shirt it is designed with CrossFit in mind. It allows for full range of motion in the shoulders and has a slim fit that will move with you and never be in your way.
Pros

Slim fit

Racerback seams for better range of motion

Moisture wicking

Anti-microbial

Cons

Pricey

9. Baleaf Cool Dry Skin Fit Long Sleeve Compression

This long sleeve compression shirt works fits like a second skin. Thin moisture wicking material wicks moisture to the surface to keep you cool and dry. Elastane in the fabric provides great flexibility and gentle compression that may improve blood circulation and muscle recovery.
Expand to see more
Fit:
This long sleeve compression provides more squeeze than others on this list. The tight fit can be slimming and improves blood circulation and muscle recovery.

Flexibility:
With 10% elastane in this fabric blend, this is a great option for flexibility and will allow you move through any workout. Strategically placed seams also enhance mobility in shoulders and arms.

Breathability:
There are not any added features for ventilation and the material is thin but not the most breathable.

Moisture-Wicking:
The thin polyester fabric does do an excellent job of wicking moisture from skin for quicker evaporation.

Style:
This shirt has a flattering cut with seams and compression fabric to create a slimming look. It is available in 8 solid colors with brightly contrasting seams.

Value:
This compression shirt is very inexpensive in comparison to the better-known brands.
Pros

Inexpensive

Compression to improve muscle recovery

Good flexibility

Strategically placed seams

Flattering look

Moisture wicking

Cons

Not very breathable

10. Tasc Performance 365 Core Long Sleeve

This women’s long sleeve is a great option for a CrossFit warm up and has UPF 50 for some added protection when exercising outside. Tasc’s MosoTech fabric blend is made up of cotton, bamboo viscose and lycra to create a soft and silky feel with breathable coverage. Despite the snug fit, it has a nice amount of stretch and can be worn easily over a tank top.
Expand to see more
Fit:
This long sleeve shirt has a slim fit that hugs the body without squeezing. Reviewers love the longer torso and long length of the sleeves as they do not roll up and stay close to the body during sets.

Flexibility:
There is 5% lycra in the fabric blend to give this shirt a good amount of flexibility.

Breathability:
The fabric is largely cotton and bamboo which makes for a very breathable and lightweight material.

Moisture-Wicking:
Tasc’s MosoTech fabric blend has moisture wicking properties to keep you dry when you start to sweat.

Style:
The fabric is thin and lightweight without being see through. It has a flattering fit that is long enough to wear comfortably with leggings and is available in 6 colors.

Value:
These shirts are a bit more expensive compared to your standard long sleeve. However, the high quality materials and soft, lightweight comfort make this a great versatile shirt for any workout wardrobe.
Pros

Breathable bamboo and cotton blend

Lightweight coverage

Soft and silky feel

Slim fit

Stretchy material

UPF 50

Cons

Expensive

 

 

The Metrics We Used When Choosing the Best CrossFit Shirts

With so many activewear shirts out there it can be difficult finding the perfect one for CrossFit. We considered the elements needed to support the challenges CrossFit can throw at you and broke it down into the following categories:

Fit

CrossFitters recommend looking for fitted to semi-fitted shirts for CrossFit workouts. Even if you are not ready for skin-tight gear or skimpy tank tops, snugger fitting clothing will be more beneficial during any WOD. The variety of activities during any given workout will vary widely. Loose clothing can get caught on equipment and can get in the way during lifts. Looser fits can also fly up or roll up during jumping or inversion exercises. It is best to stick with clothing that is at least semi-fitted to avoid distractions and keep you focused on your workout. Bonus points for tighter clothing showing off your great CrossFit body.

Flexibility

CrossFit workouts consist of a wide variety of activities that necessitate an unlimited range of motion. Between kettlebell swings, rowing workouts, burpees and olympic lifting, maintaining flexibility across the shoulders, chest and arms is crucial. Therefore, we looked for CrossFit shirts that have some elasticity to stretch with you through the demands of your workout. We also favored designs with ergonomic cuts and seams to keep your movements from feeling inhibited.

Breathability

At many CrossFit gyms you will see your fair share of men shedding their shirt half way through their workout. However, for those wanting coverage throughout the duration it is important to have a shirt that will breathe and not cause you to overheat. We looked for shirts with features for breathability including areas of mesh ventilation and lightweight materials.

Moisture Wicking

If you are doing it right, you have likely worked up a significant sweat by the time the warm-up has ended. Plain cotton shirts can become saturated quickly and can cause chafing and discomfort during the workout. Shirts that can manage moisture and help direct it away from the skin can keep you cool and dry so you can stay focused on your workout.

Style

CrossFit gyms foster a sense of community among their members. There is a great sense of camaraderie in the workouts and you will likely find yourself chatting with other members. Of course you are there to get in shape, but it does not hurt to look good for your CrossFit fam And you never know who you’ll meet at the gym! Unlike many other workout classes that are dominated by one gender, CrossFit has a pretty even representation between the sexes. So, there may be slightly more motivation to look good during your workout.

Feeling good in your clothing can improve your confidence in yourself and in your workout. We looked for flattering fits and styles that you will be excited to wear. Practical considerations about color were also taken into account. CrossFitters may want to avoid whites and lighter colors as they may pick up dirt on equipment or when you hit the floor for burpees. Similarly, gray is not a go-to as it is more likely to show sweat.

Value

There are many factors that play into the value of good CrossFit shirt. We considered branding, specialization and durability when it came to justifying the price tag and finding a good value.

Branding

CrossFit is a demanding sport that requires dedication and a significant amount of time, energy and money. It is no wonder why committed CrossFitters take pride in their membership and love to show it off. However, having that label often comes at an added cost. The name CrossFit is trademarked so not all brands are contractually able to display it on their apparel. Reebok currently dominates the CrossFit label but keep in mind that having the CrossFit brand will add a bit to the price of the garment itself. Consider how important that label is to you and its prominence on the shirt when considering the value. Similarly, other well known brands such as Nike and Under Armour will have higher priced shirts because they have their well-respected logos on the chest.

Specialization

For many, a shirt with key features suited to CrossFit may be more important than having a nice label. This is where springing for a higher cost shirt can be worth the extra money. Ergonomic seams, soft fabrics and mesh panels are all added elements typically associated with the more expensive shirts. Having that attention to detail in design may make a big difference to some people and no difference to others. Consider the pitfalls of your current exercise shirts to determine what elements are worth it for you.

Durability

Again, increased durability seems to be an added benefit of the higher cost shirts. Investing a bit more upfront may result in replacing shirts less often and spending less in the long run.

 

Other Things to Consider

Materials

Like all activewear, the shirts we recommend for CrossFit feature fabric blends designed with sweat and movement in mind. Common elements include:

  • Polyester is the most popular fabric for CrossFit shirts. It is a synthetic fabric works well for wicking away moisture so you do not become saturated throughout the workout. It is not always the softest fabric but it is highly durable and holds its shape better than most other fibers.
  • Spandex is another synthetic fabric that makes up a small portion of many athleticwear blends. A small amount of spandex increases flexibility and elasticity in any garment. Spandex materials generally hold their shape well but they do loose some elasticity with frequent washing and drying.
  • Bamboo is a natural fiber that is growing in popularity among activewear brands. It has a soft and cool feel with natural moisture-wicking and antimicrobial properties. It does tend to be a bit more expensive than cotton or many synthetic fibers but it is very durable and has a luxurious feel.
  • Cotton is another natural fiber that is soft and breathable. However, its tendency to absorb moisture does not make it the ideal fiber for activewear. Cotton is most often seen as a smaller portion of the blend to add softness and antimicrobial properties to the garment.

Versatility

Any shirt intended for CrossFit is inherently versatile as it needs to accommodate a variety of activities. However, as you consider the best CrossFit shirt to invest in, it may be worth considering what you can see yourself using for other activities as well. CrossFit can be expensive and demanding so be sure to have gear that works for lower intensity or alternative workouts as well.

FAQs

Q: Why are there no tank tops?

A. For this list, we focused on shirts such as t-shirts and long sleeve shirts.  There are plenty of tank tops available for women, but tank tops for CrossFit for men do not seem to be as popular. However, in general Shirts provide more protection and can help you maintain a better grip on the bar when resting it against your chest or shoulders. Wearing a tank top does not provide the same assistance.

Q: What bottoms should I wear for CrossFit?

A. Shorts or spandex leggings work well for CrossFit workouts. Women will often opt for longer shorts or short compression shorts while men choose shorts with a longer inseam or additional compression layer. You do not want clothing distracting you during your workout so make sure you choose bottoms that will provide good coverage and flexibility for a wide variety of movements.

Q: What else do I need for CrossFit?

A. First timers need only athletic wear and a water bottle. Once you are willing to commit to a longer membership investing in CrossFit specific shoes should be your first big investment followed by socks, hand protection and other gear to make you more comfortable, such as your own jump rope.

Sources

  1. Haupert, Tina, What NOT to Wear to a CrossFit Class, Web Article, Jul 14, 2023
  2. Abbate, Emily, What You Should Wear For CrossFit, Web Article, Aug 14, 2027
  3. Feirereison, Sharon, The Pros (and Cons) of Each Type of Activewear Fabric, Web Article, Nov 16, 2019