to top 10 table

10 Best Long Sleeve Shirts for Running Tested

last updated Feb 16, 2019
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.

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. So you know we only have the best of the best on hand here at Runnerclick.

In a Hurry? The test winner after 15 hrs of research

icon
Vapor Apparel Performance
97/100 our score
Durability
98
Comfort
96
Style
98
Materials
98
Breathability
95
Vapor Apparel Performance
Why is it better?

Affordable price

Lots of color options

UV sun protection

PURE-tech moisture wicking technology

Anti-Microbial technology

Lightweight

comfortable

Loose fit

In a Hurry? Editors choice:
Vapor Apparel Performance
Test Winner: Vapor Apparel Performance
Researched Sources
12
Researched Sources
Reviews Considered
1200
Reviews Considered
Hours Researching
15
Hours Researching
Products Evaluated
21
Products Evaluated
Last Updated:
Avatar
By EJ Callanan:

In this update, we added a nice and warm option for the wintertime: The North Face Ambition 1/4 Zip. We also replaced two products that were no longer performing up to our standards and added the Under Armour Tech 1/4 Zip and the Baleaf Cool Gear.

Sorting Options
Durability Comfort Style Materials Breathability By Default
Rank
PictureProduct
Name
Rating
Shops
#1
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
97
Durability
98%
Comfort
96%
Style
98%
Materials
98%
Breathability
95%
Price Comparison Last Updated (17.02.19)
$19.95
#2
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
95.4
Durability
89%
Comfort
97%
Style
95%
Materials
97%
Breathability
99%
Price Comparison Last Updated (17.02.19)
$23.95
See Deal
$39.57
#3
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%
Breathability
93%
Price Comparison Last Updated (17.02.19)
$39.95
See Deal
$49.99
$64.99
See Deal
#4
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
92.2
Durability
85%
Comfort
96%
Style
91%
Materials
94%
Breathability
95%
Price Comparison Last Updated (17.02.19)
$14.95
#5
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
91.4
Durability
93%
Comfort
88%
Style
89%
Materials
92%
Breathability
95%
Price Comparison Last Updated (17.02.19)
$14.99
#6
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
89.6
Durability
90%
Comfort
90%
Style
85%
Materials
89%
Breathability
94%
Price Comparison Last Updated (17.02.19)
$31.22
#7
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
88.6
Durability
88%
Comfort
85%
Style
85%
Materials
91%
Breathability
94%
Price Comparison Last Updated (17.02.19)
$21.98
#8
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
87.8
Durability
90%
Comfort
90%
Style
80%
Materials
85%
Breathability
94%
Price Comparison Last Updated (17.02.19)
$29.95
See Deal
$31.43
$39.99
See Deal
$55.00
See Deal
#9
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
86.8
Durability
90%
Comfort
81%
Style
85%
Materials
90%
Breathability
88%
Price Comparison Last Updated (17.02.19)
$41.98
$44.93
See Deal
$63.71
See Deal
$64.99
See Deal
#10
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
84.8
Durability
90%
Comfort
83%
Style
83%
Materials
85%
Breathability
83%
Price Comparison Last Updated (17.02.19)
$54.95
See Deal
$55.00
See Deal
$61.88
In Depth Review Top 10
  • Vapor Apparel Performance
  • Under Armour Tech 1/4 Zip
  • Under Armour ColdGear
  • DRI-EQUIP Moisture Wicking
  • Baleaf Cool Gear
  • Nike Legend Dri Fit
  • Adidas TechFit Base
  • Under Armour Threadborne
  • Nike Element
  • The North Face Ambition 1/4 Zip
Table of contents
  • Criteria Used for Evaluation
  • Other Factors to Consider
  • Frequently Asked Questions
  • Sources

Our Favorite long Sleeve Running Shirts

1. Vapor Apparel Performance

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
97
Vapor Apparel Performance
Durability
98
Comfort
96
Style
98
Materials
98
Breathability
95
best offer for today
$19.95
Pros:

Affordable price

Lots of color options

UV sun protection

PURE-tech moisture wicking technology

Anti-Microbial technology

Lightweight

comfortable

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.

Read more

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.

2. Under Armour Tech 1/4 Zip

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
95.4
Under Armour Tech 1/4 Zip
Durability
89
Comfort
97
Style
95
Materials
97
Breathability
99
best offer for today
more shops
$39.57
$23.95
See Deal
Pros:

Very breathable

Comfortable

Stylish

1/4 zip front

Cons:

Not the most durable option

This is one of three products from this company on our list, but we just couldn't help ourselves. This is a great option for running and other activities done in the heat. The fabric is thin and it's extremely breathable so it will definitely help you stay cool. The fit is comfortable and athletic.

Read more

Durability

Because of the thin fabric be extra careful not to get it snagged on a branch or something that could rip it. Other than that users reported it holding up well over time so long as you take good care of it and follow the washing and drying instructions.

Comfort

This is an area where this one rated really highly, with the majority of users really feeling good while wearing it. Keep in mind it does have an athletic cut but it's definitely not tight or compressive.

Breathability

The synthetic material and thinness of the fabric make this ventilation moisture and body heat extremely well.

Materials

It is made out of Under Armour's Tech fabric which is 100% polyester for breathability and super quick drying. It also contains anti-microbial technology for odor prevention.

Style

It looks pretty cool, with the 1/4 zipper in front, off-color seams, and athletic fit. It's also available in a ton of different colors.

3. 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
Breathability
93
best offer for today
more shops
$49.99
$39.95
See Deal
$64.99
See Deal
Pros:

Sweat protection keeps 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.

Read more

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.

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.
92.2
DRI-EQUIP Moisture Wicking
Durability
85
Comfort
96
Style
91
Materials
94
Breathability
95
best offer for today
$14.95
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!

Read more

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. Baleaf Cool Gear

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
91.4
Baleaf Cool Gear
Durability
93
Comfort
88
Style
89
Materials
92
Breathability
95
best offer for today
$14.99
Pros:

Extremely breathable

Great value

Well-made

Comfortable

Cons:

It may not fit well on users with large forearms and/or long arms

If you haven't heard of this company yet you should check out their gear. They make high-quality athletic apparel that's as good, and sometimes better than the stuff from the more well-known brands. This shirt gets high marks for its breathability, comfort, and performance. It does run a bit small so keep that in mind when ordering.

Read more

Durability

This option is well-constructed and holds up well to regular use. The material is fairly thin so be careful not to snag it on branches and other obstacles while running.

Comfort

It gets high marks from reviewers for the way it feels. The material is comfortable and the fit works well for most users. A couple of people noted that the shirt is slightly tapered from the wrist through the elbow and that the sleeves are a touch short for some users so if you have very large forearms or long arms it might not be a good choice.

Breathability

This is where this one really shines. If you're regularly running or working out in high temperatures this is one of the best choices on our list for helping to keep you dry and cool.

Materials

It is made from 92% polyester and 8% spandex. Because of the high percentage of polyester we definitely recommend air drying the shirt or the breathability may be lessened if it shrinks in the dryer.

Style

It has a fairly athletic, tapered fit, although a few users noted it was large in the chest area.

6. Nike Legend Dri Fit

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
89.6
Nike Legend Dri Fit
Durability
90
Comfort
90
Style
85
Materials
89
Breathability
94
best offer for today
$31.22
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.

Read more

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.

7. Adidas TechFit Base

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
88.6
Adidas TechFit Base
Durability
88
Comfort
85
Style
85
Materials
91
Breathability
94
best offer for today
$21.98
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.

Read more

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.

8. Under Armour Threadborne

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
87.8
Under Armour Threadborne
Durability
90
Comfort
90
Style
80
Materials
85
Breathability
94
best offer for today
more shops
$31.43
$29.95
See Deal
$39.99
See Deal
$55.00
See 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!

Read more

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.

9. Nike Element

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
86.8
Nike Element
Durability
90
Comfort
81
Style
85
Materials
90
Breathability
88
best offer for today
more shops
$41.98
$44.93
See Deal
$63.71
See Deal
$64.99
See Deal
Pros:

Breathable Design

Half-zip

Odor-resistant and manages temperature efficiently

Thumb holes for hand warmth/fit

Reflective Approach

Cons:

Neck 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.

Read more

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.

10. The North Face Ambition 1/4 Zip

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
84.8
The North Face Ambition 1/4 Zip
Durability
90
Comfort
83
Style
83
Materials
85
Breathability
83
best offer for today
more shops
$61.88
$54.95
See Deal
$55.00
See Deal
Pros:

Warm

Durable

Breathable

Lifetime warranty

Chest pocket

Versatile

Cons:

Expensive

With winter upon us, we wanted to include a few warmer options on our list. This one comes from one of the most well-known and respected brands in athletic and outdoor gear and apparel and while it's more expensive than other options on our list it's worth it for the high-quality construction and materials and the fact that every product from this brand comes with a lifetime warranty. It's breathable, warm, and has several thoughtful features that runners will love.

Read more

Durability

With The North Face's legendary quality and lifetime warranty you don't need to worry about this giving out before you do.

Comfort

The fabric is really soft and the cut and fit are just right for most users. People really liked the inclusion of thumb holes to help the sleeves stay in place and it's versatile and is great not just for running but also for skiing and other activities where you want to layer.

Breathability

Despite being warm and toasty it also ventilates well. The synthetic fabric and mesh side panels help make sure of this.

Materials

It's 100% polyester for breathability while the mesh side panels are The North Face's FlashDry-XD with 76% nylon, 12% polyester and 12% elastane.

Style

This one looks really cool on the road, trails, or mountain, and the chest pocket is handy for keeping small items close and secure.

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.

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.

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.

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 brand's 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.

Expert Interviews & Opinions

Most Important Criteria (According to our experts opinion)
Sort criterias acording to:
Experts Opinion Editors Opinion Users Opinion By Default
Click on a to rate the most important criteria:
#1
Durability
Rate This Criteria as Most Important
#2
Comfort
Rate This Criteria as Most Important
#3
Breathability
Rate This Criteria as Most Important
#4
Materials
Rate This Criteria as Most Important
#5
Style
Rate This Criteria as Most Important
Reflectivity

Consider choosing a long-sleeved running shirt with reflective accents if your run in low light or dark conditions. There are now also good aftermarket options that allow you to customize your favorite gear with reflective features.

Proper Fit

Be sure to select your proper size. If your shirt is too loose or stretched too tight it may lead to chaffing and will not perform up to standards. This will be easy if you're buying in a store but if you order online read the sizing chart carefully, look for some reviews from people with a similar body type, and try to order from a reputable seller with a good return and/or exchange policy.

Other Factors to Consider

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, material's 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
  2. Gabrielle Dion, Comparison of Fabric for Exercise Clothing,
  3. Hillary Kigar, This Is The Best Material To Wear When You’re On A Run, Apr 03, 2017