10 Best Nike Running Shirts Rated

Nike is not just a brand name. For many dedicated runners, it's a way of life. They have consistently delighted the sporting world with amazing quality sporting products since the 1960’s and continues to dominate the industry. Runners have a wide variety of high-performance clothing to choose from that not only protects them from the weather but can actually help improve performance.

For this article, we’re going to be looking at the best Nike running shirts on the market today! These can be worn during the hot day and when the temperature is fairly low. Read on to discover our interesting selection of choices for 2019 and take a look at the stylish and comfortable running shirts, each with their own various specifications and special uses.

Standout Picks

nike legend short
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.
DRI-FIT Cotton Tee
This product combines the comfort of cotton with the moisture wicking properties of polyester so that you get the best of both worlds. This is a really simple item and won't turn heads, but just because it doesn't look like a specialized piece of running gear doesn't mean it doesn't perform like one.
Amazon Link
Men's Legend Long Sleeve
Nike's Legend long-sleeved running top is another go-to choice for 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 a loose fit in a shirt, this is a good choice.
Amazon Link
Dry Training Scoop Neck
Made of a blend of cotton and polyester, this product makes our list for its combination of sweat-wicking ability, comfort, and flattering design. Nike aficionados will love the large logo on the front as well.
Amazon Link
Women's Dri-FIT Cool Breeze
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.
DRI-FIT Countour Long Sleeve
This Nike product is great for running on cooler days and it has thumb holes to help hold the sleeves in place while you run and keep your hands warm. Users love the fit and comfort but pay attention to the sizing chart before you buy to make sure you get the right fit.
Amazon Link
Men's Pro Cool
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.
Amazon Link
Legend Short Sleeve
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.
womens dri fit fitness
This is the perfect choice for women runners who let the cold keep them down. It comes in 16 different colors, so finding one that matches your unique style will not be a problem.
dry miler
The Nike Dry Miler shirt comes in six different colors and styles, but they all provide excellent comfort and breathability. It has a crew neck design for a non-restrictive fit that you will appreciate after a long run.

Criteria Used for Evaluation

Comfort

Running gear needs to be comfortable and easy to wear. It needs to be designed so it doesn’t distract you from your run and so it makes you feel good while you are wearing it. We made sure to find running shirts that are well made and are comfortable for any type of run or workout that you have in mind.

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 comfort. We wanted to know: does the shirt offer real comfort so that runners can enjoy a run without being distracted by loose flapping material? Does the shirt give a nice sensation on the surface of the skin with no coarse irritating effects? Does the shirt sit naturally on the body to a point where a feeling of comfort is beyond questioning?

Generally a product's comfort comes down to two factors; the material and the design. Most of the products on this list, and most sporting apparel of this time nowadays, is made from synthetic materials such as polyester, elastane, spandex, etc. The advantage these materials offer over natural fibers such as cotton is that they cannot absorb moisture, so it passes around them to the outside of the clothing where it can dry naturally. Natural fibers absorb moisture, holding it against your skin, making it very slow to dry and potentially irritating.

We did include a couple of products that are a blend of natural and synthetic materials because they had been rated as being both moisture-wicking and comfortable thus offering you the best of both worlds.

We looked at all of these factors and considered over 1300 reviews to score each product.

Durability

Nike is known for quality design and craftsmanship and these running shirts do not disappoint. They are all made to last and are designed to hold up well to the wear and tear and abuse that runners put their running gear through on a regular basis. Our review team focused on durability as one of the key factors in their search.

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?

Breathability

Running shirts need to be designed to allow for good air flow and to be breathable while you are out on a run or intense workout session. Shirts that are breathable will keep you cool and comfortable and will also help to keep your comfortable when the sweat starts to run and you start getting hot.

With running apparel breathability is almost always one of the most important questions to ask. You don't want your clothing to absorb that sweat and get heavier and heavier the longer you run, which could also be dangerous if you're running in the cold. Today athletic apparel makers such as Nike has at their disposal modern materials and design which allows them to manufacture clothing that is far more breathable than ever before. They can also combine different materials in different proportions to produce fabrics with the exact qualities they're looking for.

All of the products on our list are made at least partially with synthetic fibers, which allow for the maximum possible moisture-wicking ability because, as we mentioned before, synthetic fibers can't absorb moisture like natural ones can, so water and sweat pass around the fibers to the outside air where they can dry naturally.

Materials

There are many different materials available to choose from when you are looking for a running shirt from Nike. We made sure to include several different types of materials in the shirts we feature here on our guide for you. They are all designed to keep you comfortable and to be durable above all else.

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

Another important factor in the search for a good running shirt is the value that it brings. More than the price tag, the value of your running shirt comes from the benefits it brings to you, how you feel while wearing it, and what it can do for your overall running and workout performance!

Finally, we looked at cost vs. how much a product has to offer. For all of 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.

10 Best Nike Running Shirts

1. Men's Legend Short Sleeve

Where to buy
nike legend short
Amazon Link

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.

Read more

Comfort

The fabric is 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.

Durability

The shirt will not stick to you as you sweat. The maximum airflow will regulate your body temperature throughout your running time. The polyester material is also a very strong material and great for running off the track.

Breathability

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.

Materials

The 100% polyester material stretches and moves with you as you run. This is great for long-distance runners who need something that can handle the stress.

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!

2. DRI-FIT Cotton Tee

Where to buy
Amazon Link
DRI-FIT Cotton Tee
Amazon Link

This product combines the comfort of cotton with the moisture wicking properties of polyester so that you get the best of both worlds. This is a really simple item and won't turn heads, but just because it doesn't look like a specialized piece of running gear doesn't mean it doesn't perform like one.

Read more

Comfort

Because this Nike running shirt uses cotton in its blend it's more comfortable than most other options on the market. This is a good option for short runs.

Durability

There were some reports of it shrinking in the dryer and having that affect its moisture wicking properties so you may want to only air dry it. Otherwise we didn't find many complaints about its durability.

Breathability

As mentioned above, as long as it doesn't shrink in the dryer this shirt is breathable, though not as much so as other products on our list. That's the trade-off for the comfort of cotton however, and it's one that many people didn't mind making.

Materials

The material is 58% cotton and 42% polyester made with DRI-FIT technology which enhances the already moisture-wicking polyester.

Value

Some people felt this was a little more than they'd like to pay for what seems to be a simple t-shirt, but most understood that they were getting good value for their money.

Amazon Link

3. Men's Legend Long Sleeve

Where to buy
Amazon Link
Men's Legend Long Sleeve
Amazon Link

Nike's Legend long-sleeved running top is another go-to choice for 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 a loose fit in a shirt, this is a good choice.

Read more

Comfort

The Legend offers all the good features that Nike users love. Dri-Fit technology to keep you comfortably dry and temperate while running. Long sleeves are a big plus on cooler days.

Durability

The polyester in the material blend gives the shirt extra durability and makes it ideal for runners who prefer to take the beaten path.

Breathability

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.

Materials

100% polyester for a stretchy, moveable feeling and range of motion. Plus flat seams for lack of irritation.

Value

The Legend sells 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.

Amazon Link

4. Dry Training Scoop Neck

Where to buy
Amazon Link
Dry Training Scoop Neck
Amazon Link

Made of a blend of cotton and polyester, this product makes our list for its combination of sweat-wicking ability, comfort, and flattering design. Nike aficionados will love the large logo on the front as well.

Read more

Comfort

This is another Nike running shirt that uses cotton in its blend, making this shirt very comfortable. Users also noted how the cut of the shirt fit well and added to the overall comfort.

Durability

The cotton and polyester blend also make this one very durable, with several reviewers remarking on how well it holds up over time.

Breathability

Although it's breathable, it's not the most breathable one on our list. It being made with cotton aids in the comfort, but cuts down on its moisture wicking ability because organic fibers such as cotton absorb moisture whereas synthetic one's cannot absorb moisture so it moves around them to the outer layer of the material where it can dry naturally in the air.

Materials

Most reviewers were happy with the balance of comfort and breathability that the 58% cotton and 42% polyester material gave them.

Value

This product is affordably priced, especially for Nike gear. If you’re a runner on a budget, this is a good choice for you.

Amazon Link

5. Women's Dri-FIT Cool Breeze

Where to buy
Women's Dri-FIT Cool Breeze
Amazon Link

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.

Read more

Comfort

When you think about quality, you 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.

Durability

Polyester is a very durable material, making this an ideal choice for women who really push themselves during their workouts. You won’t have to worry about rips and tears.

Breathability

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

Materials

This is made from 100% polyester, which is a great material when it comes to keeping your body dry and cool.

Value

The cost of this shirt is a real genuine bargain: a low purchase price for a high-quality product with style makes it a nice addition to your wardrobe.

6. DRI-FIT Countour Long Sleeve

Where to buy
Amazon Link
DRI-FIT Countour Long Sleeve
Amazon Link

This Nike product is great for running on cooler days and it has thumb holes to help hold the sleeves in place while you run and keep your hands warm. Users love the fit and comfort but pay attention to the sizing chart before you buy to make sure you get the right fit.

Read more

Comfort

This product reviewers felt that this one is really comfortable especially on cooler days when you want more warmth than short sleeves can offer but it's still not cold enough to wear a sweatshirt.

Durability

The durability is good, but some users say they had a fair amount of shrinkage after they took it out of the dryer, even after the third or fourth wash so you may want to think about air drying this one.

Breathability

Since synthetic materials such as polyester can't absorb moisture sweat passes around them to the outside of the fabric where it can dry naturally. The weave of the fabric on this shirt is light enough to allow for this and it works great and users said the shirt ranked highly in this category.

Materials

This Nike running shirt is made of 100% polyester with DRI-FIT technology, making this shirt extremely breathable and durable.

Value

This product is a little more expensive than others on our list but users felt that was typical of long sleeve shirts vs. short sleeved ones, and that the breathability and thoughtful features made it worth it.

Amazon Link

7. Men's Pro Cool

Where to buy
Amazon Link
Men's Pro Cool
Amazon Link

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.

Read more

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.

Durability

This is designed to have a compressed fit that conforms to your body and allows easy mobility. It’s also easy to wash and care for.

Breathability

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.

Materials

This made with a polyester blend that feels smooth against the skin and a mesh panel in the back for optimal cooling.

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.

Amazon Link

8. Legend Short Sleeve

Where to buy
Legend Short Sleeve
Amazon Link

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.

Read more

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 a female’s body.

Durability

Synthetic materials tend to be more durable than natural materials like cotton. This is great for athletes who have a more demanding workout regimen.

Breathability

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

Materials

Made from 100% polyester, the synthetic fabric is ideal for physical activities as it is great for keeping your body dry and cool.

Value

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

9. Women’s Dri-Fit Fitness

Where to buy
womens dri fit fitness
Amazon Link

This is the perfect choice for women runners who let the cold keep them down. It comes in 16 different colors, so finding one that matches your unique style will not be a problem.

Read more

Comfort

Nike designed this shirt to be as comfortable against your skin as possible. The rib crew neck taping in the interior and seams are flat to prevent chafing and irritation.

Durability

Nike is one of the best brands for athletic wear for a reason. You can count on a high-quality build and stitching for a long-lasting last shirt that can really take on the elements

Breathability

Their exclusive Dri-Fit material provides great breathability, which is very important for your health. Sweat and cold do not mix well and can be dangerous.

Materials

It’s made from lightweight material and provides lots of ventilation to keep you dry, but it also does a great job at keeping the cold away as well.

Value

As one of the best Nike running shirts, this is very reasonably priced. You’ll find that not only will help keep you dry and comfortable, but it will also last quite a while.

10. Dry Miler

Where to buy
dry miler
Amazon Link

The Nike Dry Miler shirt comes in six different colors and styles, but they all provide excellent comfort and breathability. It has a crew neck design for a non-restrictive fit that you will appreciate after a long run.

Read more

Comfort

The crew neck and flat seam design are vital to this shirt’s comfort. There is less friction on the skin and a smoother feel.

Durability

As always, Nike designed this shirt with the athlete in mind. It fits a little tighter than others on the list so there is less snagging when running the trails.

Breathability

This Nike running shirt feature mesh panels on the back and sides to provide you with enhanced breathability. When you’re running and you feel your body heating up, the breeze that flows through will feel amazing.

Materials

The Dry Miler uses a unique blend of materials that feels soft to the skin, yet durable enough to take for a cross country run.

Value

This short is a little more expensive than some of the other shirts on the list but well worth it. If you need something for those long-distance runs, this can handle it.

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
  5. Sascha Wingenfeld, The Right Running Apparel for Any Occasion , web article
  6. REI Co-Op, Running Clothes: What to Wear, web article

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Inside RunnerClick Pro, runners of all strengths come together to meet and support one another, get answers to burning questions, learn from experts, participate in personal challenges, and more.