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10 Best Nike Running Shirts Rated

last updated Oct 19, 2018
Nike is not just a brand name for many dedicated runners – it is a way of life. The company was founded in 1964 in Beaverton, Oregon, under the name Blue Ribbon Sports. By 1978 the founders Phil Knight and Bill Bowerman had opened a retail outlet and made the Nike brand public. In 1996 they created the brand Nike ACG (All Conditions Gear) for extreme sports like mountain biking and snowboarding. At the beginning of the 21st century, Nike enriched their offer with sports technology accessories, such as wrist compasses and portable heart rate monitors.

Over the years, Nike spent extensive time and energy creating and refining the high-quality gear we know and love today. Their goals have been ambitious and successful.

Around since the late 1960s, they have consistently delighted the sporting world with their ever-increasing quality sporting products. One advertisement used in the companies early days easily sums up the ambitions of Nike to provide quality products. In this review, we look at something for everyone. An interesting selection of choices for 2018, here is your class choice of stylish comfortable running shirts with their various specifications!
Researched Sources
18
Researched Sources
Reviews Considered
1689
Reviews Considered
Hours Researching
24
Hours Researching
Products Evaluated
22
Products Evaluated
Last Updated:
By Kelly Lowis:

With this latest update we updated the links to some of the sites. We also upgraded to our new layout which makes viewing our top ten lists that much easier for you.

Sorting Options
Comfort Durability Flexibility Materials 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.
94.8
Comfort
95%
Durability
94%
Flexibility
95%
Materials
95%
Price Comparison Last Updated (15.11.18)
$29.98
2
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
93.5
Comfort
95%
Durability
94%
Flexibility
92%
Materials
93%
Price Comparison Last Updated (15.11.18)
$40.92
3
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
91.5
Comfort
92%
Durability
91%
Flexibility
92%
Materials
91%
Price Comparison Last Updated (15.11.18)
$13.93
Best Deal
$23.74
4
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
89.5
Comfort
90%
Durability
89%
Flexibility
89%
Materials
90%
Price Comparison Last Updated (15.11.18)
$27.99
5
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
87.5
Comfort
88%
Durability
87%
Flexibility
88%
Materials
87%
Price Comparison Last Updated (15.11.18)
$44.95
Best Deal
$61.88
$65.00
Best Deal
6
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
86.5
Comfort
87%
Durability
86%
Flexibility
87%
Materials
86%
Price Comparison Last Updated (15.11.18)
$38.83
Best Deal
$65.00
7
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
86
Comfort
87%
Durability
86%
Flexibility
85%
Materials
86%
Price Comparison Last Updated (15.11.18)
$32.50
8
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
83.5
Comfort
84%
Durability
83%
Flexibility
83%
Materials
84%
Price Comparison Last Updated (15.11.18)
$22.49
9
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
79.5
Comfort
80%
Durability
79%
Flexibility
80%
Materials
79%
Price Comparison Last Updated (15.11.18)
$35.97
10
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
76.3
Comfort
77%
Durability
76%
Flexibility
75%
Materials
77%
Price Comparison Last Updated (15.11.18)
In Depth Review Top 10
  • Breathe Rapid Challenger
  • Men's Pro Cool
  • Legend Short Sleeve
  • Men's Legend Short Sleeve
  • Women's Dry Element
  • Men's Dri-FIT Element
  • Men's Legend Long Sleeve
  • Women's Legend Long Sleeve
  • Women's Dri-FIT Cool Breeze
  • Dri-FIT Contour
Table of contents
  • Criteria Used for Evaluation
  • Other Factors to Consider
  • Frequently Asked Questions
  • Sources

10 Best Nike Running Shirts

1. Breathe Rapid Challenger

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
94.8
Breathe Rapid Challenger
Comfort
95
Durability
94
Flexibility
95
Materials
95
best offer for today
$29.98
Pros:

Has Nike's Dri-Fit technology

Has reflective elements on it

Decent price

Comfortable and flexible

Cons:

Couldn't find anything wrong with this shirt

An excellent running shirt made from Breath Fabric which will ensure you stay cool when you start sweating, the short sleeved design allows air ventilation and enables a good amount of flexible mobility.

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Comfort

The material used in the construction for this shirt is light, comfortable woven synthetics. This system of materials is called Dri-Fit because it allows you to stay cool when the heat and sweat build up. for comfort and protection against chafing the shirt is made with flat seams, the neck area has an elasticated quality which gives more flexibility for movement while wearing the shirt. For a comfortable fit, the shirt is designed with a flexible half round neck feature.

Moisture Wicking

The shirt is a Dri Fit construction, meaning that the materials do not absorb sweat; they allow sweat to pass through the material onto the shirt surface where evaporation takes place

Cost and value

The cost of this shirt is about average. For a runner's shirt this is not that expensive especially for this type of quality.

2. Men's Pro Cool

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
93.5
Men's Pro Cool
Comfort
95
Durability
94
Flexibility
92
Materials
93
best offer for today
$40.92
Pros:

Dri-Fit technology keeps you dry

Low rise collar

Moisture-wicking technology

Flexible

Cons:

Some consumers have said that it runs small

The Nike Men's Pro Cool is one of the best-rated long-sleeved compression running shirts available through Nike. But remember, it is a compression shirt. If you order your usual size, it will feel snug. Some reviews complained of the shirt being too small. The compression aspect explains this sizing issue.

Otherwise, the Pro Cool sports the classic Dri-Fit technology, ergonomic seams, and vented panels for optimal cooling and comfort.

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Comfort

Comfort starts with the Dri-Fit fabric system which adjusts to your sweat ratio and wicks away moisture, so you can run at your own ideal body temperature. You will not feel discomfort or irritation from sweat sodden fabric on your skin while you run.

Moisture Wicking

Nike's classic Dri-Fit technology continues its effective work of keeping you dry while running. The fabric also helps regulate body temperature without making you overheat.

Cost and value

The shirt is attractively priced and will be a great addition to your running kit. It also comes in a wide variety of colors to choose from so, you can choose what color fits you the best. Or, if you end up loving them (like we do), you can have a different color for each day of the week.

3. Legend Short Sleeve

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
91.5
Legend Short Sleeve
Comfort
92
Durability
91
Flexibility
92
Materials
91
best offer for today
more shops
$23.74
$13.93
Best deal
Pros:

Nike's Dri-Fit technology

Comfortable and breathable

Mesh back and shoulders to keep you cool

100% Polyester

Comes in wide variety of colors

Cons:

Some consumers have said that it runs small

This one's for the ladies on those warm summer days. A short-sleeved Legend is a go-to option for the modest woman who wants to stay cool and comfortable. Unlike the Cool Breeze, this shirt is not made from mesh and see-through. (You'll read more about the Cool Breeze later in this article) It's available in a variety of beautiful colors to match almost any running outfit.

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Comfort

This is a great clothing item for lady runners to add to their wardrobe. With this running shirt, Nike was extensively attentive towards design, materials, functionally, and comfort all blended into a stylish piece of clothing specifically suitable for lady runners.

Moisture Wicking

The Dri-Fit tech fabric works superbly at wicking away moisture so that you feel comfortable and free from skin irritation.

Cost and value

The price is right! This is an investment so that you can enjoy your running when the weather warms up, especially with regards to style, functionality, and comfort.

4. Men's Legend Short Sleeve

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
89.5
Men's Legend Short Sleeve
Comfort
90
Durability
89
Flexibility
89
Materials
90
best offer for today
$27.99
Pros:

Flexible and comfortable

Moisture-wicking

Temperature control

Durable

Reasonable price

Variety of colors

Cons:

Sizing runs a bit large

If you like the Nike Men's Legend long sleeve running shirt for cooler days, the short sleeve is the ideal choice for warmer days. Just like the long sleeve, the short sleeve Legend is made of polyester with Dri-Fit technology. It is available in a variety of colors. The flexible fabric will allow you to move around as needed while running. The breathable fabric will keep you dry, cool, and regulated in body temperature.

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Comfort

The 100% polyester material stretches and moves with you as you run. The fabric is also equipped with Nike's Dri-Fit technology for moisture-wicking, breathable abilities to keep you dry and comfortable. Additionally, the seams are stitched flat so as not to rub and irritate the skin.

Moisture Wicking

As with most Nike shirts, the short-sleeved Legend is equipped with Dri-Fit technology so moisture will wick away from the skin. The breathability of the shirt will keep you dry. The shirt will not stick to you as you sweat. The maximum airflow will regulate your body temperature throughout your running time.

Cost and value

At a very reasonable price, the Legend will pay for itself over time. You'll wear it time and again. And maybe even purchase more of them!

5. Women's Dry Element

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
87.5
Women's Dry Element
Comfort
88
Durability
87
Flexibility
88
Materials
87
best offer for today
more shops
$61.88
$44.95
Best deal
$65.00
Best deal
Pros:

Useful for both running and going into the public

Extremely comfortable

Reflective qualities

Great wicking capability

Fair price

Cons:

Color is different than described on Amazon

Ladies, you won't need to search far and wide to find a running top that feels so comfortable. The Nike Women's Dry Element keeps you warm on chilly days and cool when you get warmer. This top is suitable for going out as well. If you need to run a few errands before your run, this top is fashionable for being out in public.

Read more

Comfort

The half zip feature acts as both ease of access and a warming/cooling tool. At the beginning of your run, keeping the top zippered up will let you warm up faster. After you've reached your desired body temperature, you can unzip the top to maintain that temp. And when it's extra chilly out, you can keep the top zipped up the entire way to encase your neck and keep cold air out.

Moisture Wicking

The Ultra Soft Dri Fit materials wick away sweat so rapidly that you will barely notice you are sweating. Run a marathon or go for a short local ride and either way you’re going to stay comfortably dry. Plus, by using the half zip tech to regulate your body heat, you will enhance the wick factor to an even higher level.

Cost and value

The price is fair for the quality of product you are purchasing. Plus, after getting so many uses out of this top, it will pay for itself with time.

6. Men's Dri-FIT Element

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
86.5
Men's Dri-FIT Element
Comfort
87
Durability
86
Flexibility
87
Materials
86
best offer for today
more shops
$65.00
$38.83
Best deal
Pros:

Nike's Dry-Fit technology

100% Polyester

Moisture Wicking

Thumb holes in the sleeve

Reflective features

Cons:

Runs small

For the men, start of your run right on cooler days in a Nike Element half-zip shirt. Look good and feel comfortable! Designed as a running top, this shirt can be used for any activity or even casual wear. This shirt is designed with nice athletic features.

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Comfort

Tailored with an athletic cut, the built-in ergonomic seaming is a highly-functional feature because it enhances your range of motion while keeping you looking good. The Dri-Fit fabric wicks away unwanted moisture while ensuring comfortable breathability. The inclusion of discrete reflective features ensures you will be spotted if you're running on dark and dusky evenings.

The days of cotton running shirts seems to be behind us due to clever technology. Cotton feels nice on the skin but it easily soaks sweat while having minimum wick values.

Moisture Wicking

Manufactured in 100% polyester, the wick factors of this running top are greatly appreciated by runners. Not only will the fabric keep you warm while it is still chilly out, but also keep you cool enough after you've run a solid distance and don't want to overheat.

Cost and value

Surprisingly, the price is reasonable when you consider the shirt is excellent for running and can be worn for many other purposes. It is comfortable and durable so you get longevity for your purchase.

7. Men's Legend Long Sleeve

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
86
 Men's Legend Long Sleeve
Comfort
87
Durability
86
Flexibility
85
Materials
86
best offer for today
$32.50
Pros:

Loose fit

Breathable polyester material

Variety of colors

Moisture-wicking

Warm on cool days

Regulates body temperature

Full range of motion

Cons:

Shirt is very loose and/or too long

Nike's Legend long-sleeved running top is another go-to choice for the guys who like to run in cooler weather. While this shirt is similar to the Pro Cool, the Legend is not a compression top. For those who like the loose fit in a shirt, this is a good choice.

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Comfort

The Nike Legend offers all the good features that Nike users love. Dri-Fit technology to keep you comfortably dry and temperate while running. Long sleeves for cooler days. 100% polyester for a stretchy, moveable feeling and range of motion. Plus flat seams for lack of irritation.

Moisture Wicking

Nike's reliable Dri-Fit technology will keep you dry after you've warmed up and begin to sweat. The breathable fabric lets air flow freely from your skin. You will stay dry and your body temperature will regulate easily.

Cost and value

The Legend's sell for a fair price, which will pay for itself over time. Once you feel the comfort and quality of the shirt, you will wear it again and again. And maybe even buy another!

8. Women's Legend Long Sleeve

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
83.5
Women's Legend Long Sleeve
Comfort
84
Durability
83
Flexibility
83
Materials
84
best offer for today
$22.49
Pros:

Very comfortable and breathable

Lightweight yet warm for cool days

Stylish and durable

Reasonable price

Machine washable

Cons:

Sizing runs large

Why yes, this is the ladies version of the Nike Legend! It is quite similar to the men's except it has a flattering fit for women and their curves! It's also available in a large variety of colors.

Read more

Comfort

The fabric is 100% polyester for a fitted, yet flexible feeling. The Dri-Fit technology will keep you dry and comfortable. The long sleeves will keep you warm on chilly days while the breathable fabric will keep your body temperature regulated until you are done running. No matter which color you choose, the simple Nike swoosh will give you sleek style and confidence to wear the shirt out in public, even when you're not exercising.

Moisture-Wicking

The Dri-Fit technology is pretty straight-forward. The material is breathable and wicks moisture away from the skin. With this, you will stay warm enough on chilly days without over-heating or becoming soaked with sweat.

Cost and value

You can grab a good deal on Amazon; afterward, the shirt will pay for itself with time. You'll want to wear the Legend time and again and maybe even buy another!

9. Women's Dri-FIT Cool Breeze

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
79.5
Women's Dri-FIT Cool Breeze
Comfort
80
Durability
79
Flexibility
80
Materials
79
best offer for today
$35.97
Pros:

Lightweight and breezy

Very stylish

Ultra comfortable

Reasonable price

Cons:

Too transparent for some runners

Just by looking at this ladies' running top we see a major cooling factor for running. Not only is the fit designed to be unquestionably cool due to ventilation and the tailored style but in a stylish fashion.

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Comfort

When we think about quality we can be sure that Nike will have factored this into the design of this ladies running top. If you want a top that performs to your expectations, this is the shirt. If you want satisfaction and comfort, this is the running top for you.

Moisture Wicking

Dri-Fit fabric from Nike stays dry and comfortable while you run. 'Nuff said!

Cost and value

The cost of this shirt is a real genuine bargain: a low purchase price for a high-quality product and a nice addition to the wardrobe.

10. Dri-FIT Contour

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
76.3
Dri-FIT Contour
Comfort
77
Durability
76
Flexibility
75
Materials
77
best offer for today
Pros:

Ultra comfortable

Nice and light

Dri-Fit wick-ability tech

Very nice affordable price

Loose fit for ease of movement

Cons:

Colors are brighter than presented

This Nike running top is a nice choice for ladies looking for a short sleeve option. The Contour is a versatile and lightweight running shirt with Nike's classic Dri-Fit technology. The moisture-wicking material will keep you dry while also keeping your body temperature even and properly heated.

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Comfort

The Contour is a loose-fitting top that will allow air to flow easily between the fabric and your skin. It is very light-weight and stretchy for ease of movement. It does not hold moisture or odor; the loose fit will let you move as needed. The scoop neckline will let you breath easily without a tight feeling. The overall feel of the shirt is very natural.

Moisture Wicking

Nike's familiar high performing Dri-Fit fabric is the ongoing top choice for wick-factor. This is what you need and this is what you reliably get with this shirt.

Cost and value

This product comes at a nice price and is very affordable with the skin-hugging and shirt yielding comfort, versatility and quality.

Criteria Used for Evaluation

Comfort

Nobody wants to run in something that is made out of scratchy or irritating materials. So the first thing we looked for in these shirts is its comfort. We wanted to know: does the shirt offer real comfort so that runners can enjoy a ride without being distracted by loose flapping material? Does the shirt give a nice sensation on the surface of the skin and no coarse irritating effects? Does the shirt sit naturally on the body to a point where a feeling of comfort is beyond questioning?

Durability

We want to make sure you're not going to waste your money on something that is going to fall apart. so durability was high on our list. When we invest in a running shirt we look for durability: no early fraying on the seams or stitching coming loose. Does the fabric retain its consistency and how does it react in different weathers? Does it fade under sunlight? Does it feel too heavy in damp running conditions? If a zip or pocket is sewn into the fabric, will they stay true or will they pull on the seams and eventually break away from the fabric?

Flexibility

When you are running you need a shirt that you can move freely in, and not be held back with your range of motion. Flexibility is important, the shirt needs to be designed so that its flexibility works with the motions of the body while running, if your arm momentum is forward, you don’t want the shirt restricting you at the shoulders or riding up your back.

Materials

The type of materials that your running clothes are made out of is extremely important. You don't want something that is going to make you too hot. And you need something that is going to be breathable, and comfortable. We looked closely at the use of synthetic materials as we wanted to review how these materials work for a runner, comfort, adding to wick factor, durability, weight and flexibility. For shirts blended with synthetic and natural fibers, we looked at the same criteria as just mentioned. Synthetic materials do have great water resistant abilities but in the wrong combination they can cause the body to sweat and the material might rub and cause skin irritations.

Value

Finally, we looked at cost. For all us, we know the buying rule: the more you pay, the better the deal and vice versa. However, sporting brands are smart and they know that if they offer quality at often bargain prices that they still win because they increase their customer loyalty and customer base.

Expert Interviews & Opinions

Most Important Criteria (According to our experts opinion)
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Beware Of Fabric Allergies

Even if a shirt is highly breathable and offers excellent moisture management, the use of certain materials can still cause skin irritation for some runners. This is because certain chemicals used in the manufacturing and treatment of these textiles can trigger certain allergic reactions. This most commonly occurs with polyester and wool.

Remember To Wear Sunscreen!

Although most of these running shirts from Nike offer protection from the sun, it's still highly recommended that you put on sunscreen if you plan on spending a long time in the great outdoors. Even if the sky is overcast, the threat of skin damage from UV rays is always present, so be sure to put on some decent SPF spray or lotion.

Other Factors to Consider

Features

Moisture wicking is important, we all accept that on warm days we will sweat and it’s important that this sweat is wicked away so that we do not feel uncomfortable and distracted by resulting skin irritations. We reviewed the ability of the fabric to repel water penetration, though this factor cannot be 100% we wanted to see how good the water-resistant factors are in the fabric.

Style

Innovative shirt tech is interesting, for example, a half zip system designed into a long sleeve shirt can be used as a body temperature regulator when the air flow is cold up goes the zip to close it off, when feeling hot, the opposite action will allow a cooling entry of flowing air.

Breathability

Does the shirt offer natural and designed in body airflow ventilation features, when we run, we create air flow, and well-designed shirts will utilize this and design a warm weather running shirt which makes use of the air flow to strategically enter the shirt at key areas to keep the body cool. Alternatively, we looked at cold weather running shirts and how the design is introduced to keep out unwanted cold air.

Frequently Asked Questions

q: Long sleeve shirts tend to make me sweat, what can I do?
a:

Nike shirts offer a body temperature control tech through the innovative half zip system in their pullover running tops. It’s not just a zip for the convenience of putting on the top. When you’re running and you feel too hot, use the zip to regulate how much frontal air flow gets into the shirt to cool you down.

q: I bought a cheap running shirt and within minutes I am sweating when I run, why?
a:

Cheap low-grade fabric sports shirts overuse types of cheap mass produced synthetic materials, the make of the shirt looks colorful and stylish but the material traps body heat causing you to over sweat and the wicking factor is weak.

q: When I run my long sleeve shirts bother me a lot as it keeps slipping back up my arm, any suggestions?
a:

Nike long sleeve shirts offer a thumb- hole feature, slip your thumb in the thumb-hole while you run and keep control of the sleeve.

q: Armbands have a pouch for holding a key and ID card while we run, but the shirts I see, often don’t offer a pocket, why?
a:

Some Nike shirts do offer a pocket but think about the style of a shirt when you run. The only place ideally for a pocket is on the chest, do you really want the weight of a metal key tapping at you there while you run? The solution is choose running shorts ( or an armband) to have a pocket for carrying items.

q: Which is best for a running shirt, synthetic or cotton/wool?
a:

This really is a choice for runners in terms of personal preference. Synthetic fibers blended with wool or cotton are the middle ground and you still get good wick factor.

q: Who makes the best running shirts?
a:

It depends on what type of running is to be done, certain brands specialize in a quality shirt for road running and some focus on quality shirts for trail running, if you read runner click reviews you will see which brand choice is best for you.

Sources

  1. Editor, Run in any condition with Nike Winter running gear, Brand information,
  2. Andy Wellman, How to Choose the Best Running Shirt, Informational guide,
  3. Florence Griffith Joyner, John Hanc, and Jackie Joyner-Kersee, How to Pick Running Clothes and Other Running Gear, Running article,
  4. Editor, Choosing Running Tops, Running article,