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10 Best Long Sleeve Shirts for Running Tested

last updated Nov 24, 2018
Long sleeve shirts are ones that less experienced runners like to avoid. And it makes sense when the things you are looking for are keeping cool and sweat free covering your entire upper body seems like a bad move. These can actually be a smart choice for any athlete who exercises outside. As long as you choose the right one, that is.

For physical activity outside what's really needed are options that can breathe and wick. A proper cool top with long sleeves is actually preferable to a shorter sleeved version in a lot of respects. A short sleeve product cannot provide nearly as much protection from the sun and the elements. Long sleeve shirts can also offer better compression.

Bellow is our selection of the best products for athletes who exercise outdoors. We scrutinized and poured over many options before selecting these. So you know we only have the best of the best on hand here at Runnerclick.
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By Mark Smith:

All of the long-sleeved shirts on this list are some of the best options you will find on the market this year. We gave recently added the Under Armour Threadborne, Vapor Apparel Performance, and Brooks Distance long sleeved shirts. Check out what these awesome shirts have to offer and which one would fit best with your style and running routine. 7/23/18 This time around we've gone through and updated our assessment criteria for accuracy as well as clarity. We also went ahead and updated our top three so we know our readers know what we think is the very best. We also placed the Craft Brilliant 2.0 at the number 8 place on our list since it is a long sleeve that peforms as its name suggests.

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PictureProduct
Name
Rating
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1
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
98
Durability
98%
Comfort
97%
Style
99%
Materials
98%
Price Comparison Last Updated (11.12.18)
$39.95
Best Deal
$39.99
Best Deal
$55.00
Best Deal
2
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
97.5
Durability
98%
Comfort
96%
Style
98%
Materials
98%
Price Comparison Last Updated (11.12.18)
3
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
97
Durability
98%
Comfort
97%
Style
96%
Materials
97%
Price Comparison Last Updated (11.12.18)
4
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
95.8
Durability
94%
Comfort
98%
Style
97%
Materials
94%
Price Comparison Last Updated (11.12.18)
5
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
94.5
Durability
93%
Comfort
96%
Style
97%
Materials
92%
Price Comparison Last Updated (11.12.18)
$29.95
Best Deal
$43.99
Best Deal
6
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
93.3
Durability
93%
Comfort
94%
Style
96%
Materials
90%
Price Comparison Last Updated (11.12.18)
$64.99
Best Deal
$65.00
Best Deal
$84.95
Best Deal
7
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
93
Durability
90%
Comfort
95%
Style
95%
Materials
92%
Price Comparison Last Updated (11.12.18)
$39.99
Best Deal
$64.99
Best Deal
8
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
92.8
Durability
90%
Comfort
93%
Style
94%
Materials
94%
Price Comparison Last Updated (11.12.18)
9
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
90.5
Durability
90%
Comfort
96%
Style
87%
Materials
89%
Price Comparison Last Updated (11.12.18)
10
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
88.5
Durability
92%
Comfort
90%
Style
86%
Materials
86%
Price Comparison Last Updated (11.12.18)
In Depth Review Top 10
  • Under Armour Threadborne
  • Vapor Apparel Performance
  • Adidas TechFit Base
  • DRI-EQUIP Moisture Wicking
  • Brooks Distance
  • Nike Element
  • Under Armour ColdGear
  • Craft Brilliant 2.0 Thermal Wind Top
  • Nike Legend Dri Fit
  • Tesla Baselayer Cool Dry Compression
Table of contents
  • Criteria Used for Evaluation
  • Other Factors to Consider
  • Frequently Asked Questions
  • Sources

10 Best long Sleeve Running Shirts

1. Under Armour Threadborne

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
98
Under Armour Threadborne
Durability
98
Comfort
97
Style
99
Materials
98
best offer for today
more shops
$39.95
Best deal
$39.99
Best deal
$55.00
Best deal
Pros:

Moisture wicking

Moisture transport system

Dries quickly

Comfortable

Stretchy

Affordable

Comes in lots of color options

Keeps you cool and dry

Cons:

Runs a little large in size

The Under Armour Threadborne is the best long-sleeved option to choose from. Under Armour is known for their excellent athletic attire, and they definitely don't disappoint with this product!

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Technology
This product utilizes Under Armor's Moisture Transport System, which allows it to quick dry as well as keeps you cool and dry during your workouts. It's stretchy and comfortable and allows for full mobility and range of motion as well.

Colors Galore
There are several color options (you could have a different one for each day of the week)! With all this product has to offer, we definitely believe it is a top pick and a perfect option for everyone!

Cost and Value
Modestly priced when considering that you can really spend a pretty penny on specialized athletic gear. Not to mention the stellar reputation Under Armour has, all the versatility in style, this option is tops.

2. Vapor Apparel Performance

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
97.5
Vapor Apparel Performance
Durability
98
Comfort
96
Style
98
Materials
98
best offer for today
Pros:

Affordable price

Lots of color options

UV sun protection

PURE-tech moisture wicking technology

Anti-Microbial technology

lightweight

comfortable

durable

loose fit

Cons:

Sizes run small

Vapor Apparel is a very lightweight and comfortable product that is also affordable. There are no limitations on personal preference, with 22 different colors to choose from.

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Functionality
One amazing feature is the permanent sun protection (50+ UPF), recommended by the Skin Cancer Foundation. Apart from that, PURE-tech moisture-wicking technology is built in to keep you cool and dry, while Anti-microbial technology is incorporated for a fresh, odor-free experience.

Versatile
It has a unisex cut, so men and women alike can benefit from this product. Sizing may be a bit smaller for some men because of this, so take that into account. If you love outdoor activities like hiking, fishing, kayaking, sailing, or swimming you can do it all with this option.

Cost and Value
This is loose-fitting and stylish. It is also very affordable which is always a plus. Customize to your style with all the color options so you don't have to wear the same color/style any time you enjoy the outdoors.

3. Adidas TechFit Base

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
97
Adidas TechFit Base
Durability
98
Comfort
97
Style
96
Materials
97
best offer for today
Pros:

Climate® Sweat Protection Technology

Solid Compression

Smart design

TechFit™ technology gets the most out of your energy

Soft flatlock seams to prevent irritations

Cons:

Not waterproof

Adidas delivers quality and effectiveness with the TechFit Base. This top is ideal for both extensive exercise and intense anaerobic exercise. Suitable for trail running, exercising, HIIT training, and multiple other activities.

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Protection
The TechFit Base keeps you well protected, as it counts with UPF 50+ UV Protection, Climalite® fabric that sweeps sweat away from your skin, and compression technology to reduce muscular vibration.

Performance
With assistance for muscle alignment, this top will enhance both performance and endurance. It's highly breathable and comfortable; materials include mesh technology that fights both moisture and heat.

Cost and Value
Given the high quality of materials and the reputable brand name of Adidas, this product comes with a fair price tag.

4. DRI-EQUIP Moisture Wicking

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
95.8
DRI-EQUIP Moisture Wicking
Durability
94
Comfort
98
Style
97
Materials
94
best offer for today
Pros:

Highly affordable

3.8-ounce, 100% cationic polyester

Roomy fit and highly breathable material

Quick drying

A wide range of colors

Cons:

May not last as long as a more expensive shirt

Nothing fancy here but DRI-EQUIP Moisture Wicking is a solid budget option for a long sleeve running shirt. This shirt does everything you need: It breathes, it dries quickly and provides a bit of protection. At this price, it’s a steal!

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Comfortable
This top is super light and airy. It is fitted with a comfortable amount of room so it is not going to squeeze the body but it also isn't overly baggy. It is very breathable which will help keep your body temperature and skin dry and balanced.

Variety of Sizes
Anyone who wants a specialized top like this has the ability to find one in a wide range of sizes XS-4XL. There is a wide range of colors as well, to better customize your choice.

Cost and Value
It doesn't get any better than this. For the selection and functionality offered to a wide population of people, no one will break their budget with this product.

5. Brooks Distance

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
94.5
Brooks Distance
Durability
93
Comfort
96
Style
97
Materials
92
best offer for today
more shops
$29.95
Best deal
$43.99
Best deal
Pros:

Affordable

comfortable

loosely fitted

odor resistant armpit area

Cons:

Only 3 color options available

Brooks Distance is an exceptional option for everyone. It is made of Polyester and Cotton which allows it to be soft, comfortable, and keeps you warm on those cooler days. It is loosely fitted and odor resistant.

This shirt is highly affordable and comes in 3 color options.

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Better Feel
Made of synthetic materials, you wouldn't know it by the feel. It feels more like high-performance cotton. You can layer it with ease so it is super versatile.

Features
There is built-in UV protection for your skin. Go hard when you are exercising and sweat it out because this material is odor-resistant. It has specific odor-blocking technology built into the armpit area.

Cost and Value
This is a highly affordable product and as it layers well, you would do yourself good to buy more than one.
Read more at https://www.brooksrunning.com/en_us/womens-distance-long-sleeve/221177.html#O5cqToteHyRBoJPP.99

6. Nike Element

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
93.3
Nike Element
Durability
93
Comfort
94
Style
96
Materials
90
best offer for today
more shops
$64.99
Best deal
$65.00
Best deal
$84.95
Best deal
Pros:

Breathable Design

Half-zip

Odor-resistant and manages temperature efficiently

Thumb holes for hand warmth/fit

Reflective Approach

Cons:

Neck tape is uncomfortable for some users

The Nike Element delivers a superior design for athletes. The Element features a half-zipper design. Incorporated DriFit technology protects from moisture and provides warmth.

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Features
The Element includes reflective designs effective in low light. This is the product you want if you like to exercise in the wee morning hours or later in the evening when its dark outside.

Comfort
Thumbholes allow the cuffs to stay in place and provide warmth. Loops in the shirt will prevent cords from bouncing around while running.

Cost and Value
Moderately priced, this product is not going to break the bank but you will be needing a couple extra bucks in your budget to buy it.

7. Under Armour ColdGear

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
93
Under Armour ColdGear
Durability
90
Comfort
95
Style
95
Materials
92
best offer for today
more shops
$39.99
Best deal
$64.99
Best deal
Pros:

Sweat protection maintains you dry

Superior breathability and comfort

Lightweight design with a 4-way stretching system

Wicking interior regulates moisture

Cons:

Fails to maintain heat while not exercising

A bit expensive

This quarter-zip long sleeve shirt delivered of the Under Armour ColdGear is suitable for almost any challenge. This model is perfect for prolonged exercising as well as maintaining your dry and fresh body throughout the whole workout.

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Comfort and Breathability
The 100% polyester build makes it extremely comfortable and breathable; no shoulder or side seams to improve comfort. Included Moisture Transport System technology prevents moisture from accumulating and Smooth Armour® panels provide enough protection and style.

Flexibility for Custom Fit
The elastic cuffs allow an easy stretch with a solid fit that remains in place. Both the internal and external sides are utterly soft, providing warmth and superior comfort.

Cost and Value
This product is definitely on the higher end of the market.

8. Craft Brilliant 2.0 Thermal Wind Top

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
92.8
Craft Brilliant 2.0 Thermal Wind Top
Durability
90
Comfort
93
Style
94
Materials
94
best offer for today
Pros:

Colored vibrantly with safety in mind

Reflective

High-quality construction

Zipper pocket

Thumb anchors

Soft and comfortable

Breathable

Various linings for protection where you need it

Cons:

Zipper pocket may be too small

The Craft Brilliant 2.0 Thermal Wind Top is a great choice on this list for so many reasons. It's warm and comfortable which will come as no surprise after just looking at it. The Brilliant 2.0’s real strengths lie elsewhere.

Read more

Materials
Its vibrant fabric and reflective strip make it a good choice for night running, which goes hand in hand with its warm design.

Made for Cooler Weather
The Brilliant 2.0 also features specialized lining in different sections so that you have the chaff and wind resistance where you need it. Overall this is a warm shirt that is overall it excellent for night and cooler weather running.

Cost and Value
This product has a ton of features which are really valuable for anyone who exercises outside. It is equipped with the reflective materials needed to be used when it is dar. Moderately priced, it is a value overall.

9. Nike Legend Dri Fit

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
90.5
Nike Legend Dri Fit
Durability
90
Comfort
96
Style
87
Materials
89
best offer for today
Pros:

Lightweight synthetic material

Classic Nike design w/ swoosh, many color options

Extra long sleeves, offer some hand protection

The sweat-wicking breathable material stays cool

Cons:

Some sizes fit a little baggy

Hard to go wrong with one of Nike’s classic DriFit offerings. This tee excels in controlling body temperature and does it in style. It also has a Rib crew neck so the collar won’t sag after a bit of use.

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Natural Movement
The design uses Raglan sleeves so there is natural movement in the arms. No restriction of range of motion here, this is a super comfortable and ergonomic option.

Construction
This product fits like a dream and was constructed to feel like one too. It utilizes flat seams which are essential for warding off irritation on the skin.

Cost and Value
Constructed for protection and comfort, this top also comes in a wide variety of color options. It comes at an eye-catching price point, so it is worth the time taking a look.

10. Tesla Baselayer Cool Dry Compression

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
88.5
Tesla Baselayer Cool Dry Compression
Durability
92
Comfort
90
Style
86
Materials
86
best offer for today
Pros:

All-season wear

Fabric wicks moisture and cools the body

Seamless build to prevent irritation

Promotes earlier recovery from hard workouts

UPF 50+

Deodorization Function

Non-abrasive fabric with elasticity and durability

Two-way air circulation

Cons:

Sizes run small. We recommend ordering up one size

Tesla Gear’s compression wear is designed for all-season exercise. The company produces clothing for both athletic wear and casual wear. Non-athletes enjoy the compression of the clothing for general health benefits, which inspired the clothing line to design a wider variety of casual compression wear. The Tesla Baselayer Cool Dry Compression Top is very breathable - it wicks moisture away and adds a cooling effect.

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Compression
The flatlock seam of the Baselayer Cool Dry shirt provides comfort and a seamless feel. No itchy seams bugging you while you’re exercising. The compression aspect of the top promotes quicker recovery after working out by keeping watch over blood waft and forestalling soreness.

Functional Materials
With UPF 50+, the shirt shields from ultraviolet rays. Other features include deodorization function; repels unpleasant smells; 87% polyester and 13% spandex; non-abrasive fabric with elasticity and durability; moisture sensing, quick dry, and two-way air circulation.

Cost and Value
Super affordable, this top has all the features you want in a comfortable design. The compression is great for support during your workout as well as for muscle recovery afterward.

Criteria Used for Evaluation

Durability

Durability is always an important aspect of any piece of gear you buy. You want to be able to say that your money was well spent and that you got something that lasts for your investment. The way we look at durability takes this concept slightly further. We want to know that the durability of the shirt can provide its wearer with protection as well. If your product can’t endure the elements, then it won’t stop them from affecting you.

We looked into those designs that didn’t loosen, rip or stretch during use. We also looked into those that washed well. Washing can add additional wear to any piece of clothing, but especially to specialized athletic wear. We want to include only shirts that do well with washing and last just as long no matter what.

Comfort

Comfort is something we take seriously in regards to our considerations for a number of reasons.

Firstly, its a standard of quality. If a brand can’t effectively design and produce something comfortable, the most basic of tenants in clothing design, then their ability to manufacture shirts with a wide range of attributes needed by athletes is questionable.

Comfort is also more than just an individual finding wearing the clothes enjoyable. Comfort is also about the functionality of the gear. Comfortable wear means that the design took into accounts fabric and seam placement that can cause chaffing. Chaffing and irritation can not only noticeably affect your performance but also can lead to serious skin infections.

These are the reason we take runner comfort seriously. We only want gear on our list that will keep you healthy and have you performing at your best.

Style

The design of a product is a straightforward attribute that covers a lot of territory when it comes to long sleeve shirts. We need to look at exactly what the product is capable of. It's breathability and ventilation in relation to its performance. Does it have any liners and are they placed well? How are this brands standards and sizes and they are accessible to all runners?

Appearance is another aspect of design that we need to take into account. Now we obviously can’t judge for preferences in appearance but we can judge color choice for other reasons. Those with bright colors or complex color placement, along with the placement of reflective materials and logos, are safer and more appropriate for night workouts.

These are the aspects we consider very seriously in the shirt’s design before potentially placing it on this list.

Materials

Materials play an important role since they tie heavily into every other considered criterion on this list. They determine the construction and durability within their quality. They certainly play a heavy hand in comfort as well, and not just in how they feel. The materials also factor into how products breathe and deal with moisture which also strongly influences comfort. All these things are what we take into consideration when we look at the construction and chosen materials in any design.

Other Factors to Consider

Breathability

Breathability is a delicate subject when it comes to performance gear, especially when engaging in cardio. All aerobic equipment should feature enough breathability to allow the user to stray refreshed.

We consider this factor to be of extreme importance. The lack of breathability will result in the concentration of heat in certain spots of the body. For instance, heat concentrations might happen in the armpit areas. Additionally, the lack of breathability will have a negative impact on your performance.

While compiling our list, we looked for high standards of breathability. The shirts should include light and breathable materials such as mesh and linen.

Protection

Running is an activity that can be performed in a very wide variety of surroundings. Long sleeve shirts are not an exception. Knowing this, we looked for gear that can provide enough protection in almost any situation or surrounding. There are many factors that contribute to the general protection offered by this gear. For instance, materials resistance to sweat and unwanted odors help to maintain hygiene.

Another important factor to consider is protection against the sun. This not only covers normal sunny day; it also offers and the additional layer of protection to your body with UV protection. The sun can be harmful under certain circumstances, such as frequent exercisers that workout during sunny hours.

Frequently Asked Questions

q: Will long sleeve designs obstruct breathability?
a:

While they certainly cover more skin, they are properly equipped to maintain a fresh flow of air to avoid heat accumulations.

q: Are expensive brands really worth it?
a:

As we previously explained, you can’t get pro equipment for cheap. Pro equipment comes with a large variety of advanced features; so expect the price to be proportional to the quality.

q: What kind of activities are these for?
a:

The products in this guide are meant for aerobic and anaerobic activities. Basically, it can handle both soft motions and intense training.

q: How adaptable are they?
a:

The slim-fit approach along with stretchable technology allow them to expand and contract accordingly within their size range. As long as it’s within your size, it should adapt just fine.

q: Are they warm enough for cold environments?
a:

The products this list feature warming technology that keeps decent body temperature. Isolating features prevent moisture, humidity, and heat from accumulating; keeping the user fresh and dry.

Sources

  1. Runner's World, Ask the Gear Guy, Running enthusiast publication, Jul 29, 2015