10 Best Long Sleeve Shirts for Running Tested

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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. Long sleeve shirts can actually be a smart choice for a runner. As long as you choose the right shirt, that is.

Runners need long sleeve shirts that can breathe and wick. A proper cool long sleeve runners shirt is actually preferable to a short sleeved shirt in a lot of respects. A short sleeve shirt 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 long sleeve shirts for runners. 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.

 

Last Updated: April 1, 2018
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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.

Our Top Picks
Under Armour Threadborne
  • Under Armour Threadborne
  • 4.7 out of 5
    Our rating
  • Soft knit mesh ventilation
  • Price: See Here
Vapor Apparel Performance
  • Vapor Apparel Performance
  • 4.5 out of 5
    Our rating
  • 50+ UV/Sun protection
  • Price: See Here
Adidas TechFit Base
  • Adidas TechFit Base
  • 5 out of 5
    Our rating
  • UPF 50+ UV Protection
  • Price: See Here

10 Best long Sleeve Running Shirts

 

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1. Under Armour Threadborne

1. Under Armour Threadborne
The Under Armour Threadborne running shirt is the best long-sleeved option to choose from. Under Armour is know for their excellent running attire, and they definitely don't disappoint with this shirt!
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This shirt utilizes under armour's Moisture Transport System, which allows it to quick dry as well as keep you cool and dry during your runs. It's stretch and comfortable and allows for full mobility and range of motion as well.

This shirt also comes in several color options (you could have a different one for each day of the week!) and at a great price. With all this shirt has to offer, we definitely believe it is a top pick and a perfect option for all runners!
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


2. Vapor Apparel Performance

2. Vapor Apparel Performance
The Vapor Apparel shirt is a very lightweight and comfortable shirt that is also affordable. One amazing feature this shirt has 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 the runner dry and cool, while Anti-microbial technology is incorporated for a fresh, odor-free experience.

This loose-fitting shirt is stylish and affordable--it also comes in several color options to choose from, so you don't have to wear the same color/style on all your runs.
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 


3. Adidas TechFit Base

3. Adidas TechFit Base
Adidas delivers quality and effectiveness with the TechFit Base. This long sleeve running shirt is ideal for both extensive exercise and intense anaerobic exercise. Suitable for trail running, exercising, HIIT training, and multiple other activities. 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.
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With assistance for muscle alignment, this shirt will enhance both performance and endurance. It's highly breathable and comfortable; materials include mesh technology that fights both moisture and heat.
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

4. DRI-EQUIP Moisture Wicking

4. DRI-EQUIP Moisture Wicking
Nothing fancy here but 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!
Pros
  • Highly affordable
  • 3.8-ounce, 100% cationic polyester
  • Roomy fit and highly breathable material
  • Quick drying
  • Wide range of colors
Cons
  • May not last as long as a more expensive shirt

5. Brooks Distance

5. Brooks Distance
The Brooks Distance shirt is an exceptional long-sleeved option for all runners alike. 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.
Pros
  • Affordable
  • comfortable
  • loosely fitted
  • odor resistant armpit area
Cons
  • Only 3 color options available 

6. Nike Women's Element

6. Nike Women's Element
Nike delivers a long sleeve running shirt design for women. The Element features a half-zipper design. Incorporated DriFit technology protects from moisture and provides warmth.
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The Element includes reflective designs effective in low light.Thumbholes allow the cuffs to stay in place and provide warm. Loops in the shirt will prevent cords frmo bouncing around while running.
Pros
  • Breathable Design
  • Half-zip
  • Odor-resistant and manages temperature efficiently
  • Thumb holes for hand warmth/fit
  • Refleftive Approach
Cons
  • Neck tape is uncomfortable for some users

7. Under Armour ColdGear

7. Under Armour ColdGear
This quarter-zip long sleeve shirt delivered by Under Armour is suitable for almost any challenge. 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.
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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. This model is perfect for prolongued exercising, maintining you dry and fresh throughout the whole workout.
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

8. Craft Brilliant 2.0 Thermal Wind Top

8. Craft Brilliant 2.0 Thermal Wind Top
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. Its vibrant fabric and reflective strip make it a good choice for night running, which goes hand in hand with its warm design. 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.
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

9. Nike Legend Dri Fit Tee

9. Nike Legend Dri Fit Tee
Hard to go wrong with one of Nike’s classic DriFit offerings. This shirt 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.
Pros
  • Lightweight synthetic material
  • Classic Nike design w/ swoosh, many color options
  • Extra long sleeves, offers some hand protection
  • Sweat wicking breathable material, stay cool
Cons
  • Some sizes fit a little baggy

10. Tesla Baselayer Cool Dry Compression Top

10. Tesla Baselayer Cool Dry Compression Top
Tesla Gear’s compression wear is designed for all-season running. 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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The flatlock seam of the Baselayer Cool Dry shirt provides comfort and a seamless feel. No itchy seams bugging you while you’re running. The compression aspect of the shirt promotes quicker recovery after working out by keeping watch over blood waft and forestalling soreness. 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.

We do recommend ordering one size up.
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.

 

Running shirts are not always paid close attention to let’s face it. Especially when the weather is hot they don’t matter that much, you can pretty much throw on any old t-shirt and get away with it. You can even run shirtless or in a sports bra. But the point at which a running shirt matters a bit more is when weather is unpredictable. In the spring or fall sometimes it’s hard to say if you’re going to be hot or cold during your run. This is where forethought into some long sleeve options can go a long way.


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The Criteria We Used In Our Evaluation

We believe it is essential to provide the criteria by which we judge our list for the comprehension of our readership. If our readers know our standards then they can use it to set their own and make the best decisions for them. So here we have provided our criteria as well as our reasoning surrounding said criteria.

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 shirt can’t endure the elements, then it won’t stop them from affecting you.

We looked into long sleeve shirts that didn’t loosen, rip or stretch during use. We also looked into shirts that washed well. Washing can add additional wear onto a shirt. 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 the wide range of attributes needed by runners is questionable.

Comfort is also more than just a runners 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.

Design

Design 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 shirt is capable of. The shirt’s breathability and ventilation in relation to its performance. Does the shirt 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. A shirt with bright colors or complex color placement, along with the placement of reflective materials and logos, are safer and more appropriate for night running.

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

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Materials

Materials play an important role since they tie heavily into every other considered criterion on this list. They determine a shirt 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 a shirt breaths and deals with moisture which also strongly influences the shirts comfort. All these things are what we take into consideration when we look at the construction and chosen materials in a shirt.

Other Important Factors  to Consider When Making Your Selection

There are multiple other factors that you should keep in mind while looking for the top products. These might not seem as important at first sight, but we´ll explain to you the impact they have on the quality of the shirt.

 

Breathability

Breathability is a delicate subject when it comes to long sleeved shirts, especially running one. 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 on a long sleeved running shirt will have a negative impact on your performance.

While compiling our list of the best long sleeved running shirts, 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 running gear that can provide enough protection in almost any situation or surrounding. There are many factors that contribute to the general protection offered by the shirts. For instance, materials resistance to sweat and unwanted odors help to maintain hygiene.

Another important factor to consider is the 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 runners that run during sunny hours.

Price

There are some things we kept in consideration while judging the prices of the shirts. No one wants to overpay, that’s totally fine; but remember that pro equipment isn’t cheap. With higher quality, comes a higher price, as simple as that. For dedicated runners, spending on a high-end shirt will instantly let them know the difference between cheap and pro.

However, this doesn’t mean that all expensive items are good. Prices must be relevant to the quality of the product; some brands will offer poor quality for a big price.

The use of technology might seem expensive at first sight. Though, it offers superior endurance and effectiveness to the equipment. It basically comes down to this; cutting the budget, is cutting the quality.
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FAQ

We compiled a list of the most FAQ regarding long sleeve running shirts. Please refer to this FAQ when in doubt, and feel free to leave a comment if your question wasn’t answered. We’ll try to get to you ASAP with an answer.

 

Q: Will long sleeve designs obstruct breathability?
A: While long sleeve shirts 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 shirts for?
A: The long sleeves running shirts in this guide are meant for aerobic and anaerobic activities. Basically, it can handle both soft motions and intense training.

Q: How adaptable are these shirts?
A:
The slimfit approach along with stretchable technology allow the long sleeve running shirts 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 running shirts in 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.

We hope this buying guide was helpful to you. Please follow this guide when looking for the best long sleeve running shirts, our parameters will guide you into high-quality products. Lastly, feel free to add your own research parameters that help you find the product that is the most suitable for you.


 

Here are some sources we used while conducting our research

 

Sources

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