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10 Best Running T-shirts Reviewed & Tested

last updated Nov 28, 2018
If you are searching for the best running t-shirts of 2018, then you have come to the right place.

Something as simple as the shirt on your back can play a significant role in your running performance. If you are competitive then you know the difference it makes when you're using the right gear, and just how difficult it is to weed out the best of the best. All runners, in general, need a breathable running t-shirt that also needs to be lightweight and durable so you can rely on it to pack in the miles.
Researched Sources
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Researched Sources
Reviews Considered
1698
Reviews Considered
Hours Researching
17
Hours Researching
Products Evaluated
24
Products Evaluated
Last Updated:
By Kelly Lowis:

With this update we updated some of the information and we upgraded to a new layout. The new layout makes it easier to look at all the products available, and shows you their information and the criteria we used to find the best running shirts available. We also updated the FAQ section so don't forget to check it out for more information.

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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.
94.5
Style
95%
Materials
94%
Comfort
95%
Size
94%
Price Comparison Last Updated (13.12.18)
2
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
92.8
Style
94%
Materials
93%
Comfort
92%
Size
92%
Price Comparison Last Updated (13.12.18)
$31.95
Best Deal
$37.05
3
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
89
Style
89%
Materials
90%
Comfort
89%
Size
88%
Price Comparison Last Updated (13.12.18)
$16.83
Best Deal
$37.00
4
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
85.8
Style
87%
Materials
85%
Comfort
86%
Size
85%
Price Comparison Last Updated (13.12.18)
$12.95
5
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
83.5
Style
84%
Materials
83%
Comfort
83%
Size
84%
Price Comparison Last Updated (13.12.18)
$24.97
$28.00
Best Deal
6
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
82.5
Style
83%
Materials
82%
Comfort
83%
Size
82%
Price Comparison Last Updated (13.12.18)
$19.87
7
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
80.3
Style
80%
Materials
81%
Comfort
80%
Size
80%
Price Comparison Last Updated (13.12.18)
$13.99
8
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
78.5
Style
79%
Materials
78%
Comfort
79%
Size
78%
Price Comparison Last Updated (13.12.18)
$18.75
$79.95
Best Deal
9
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
77.8
Style
78%
Materials
78%
Comfort
77%
Size
78%
Price Comparison Last Updated (13.12.18)
$27.99
$32.98
Best Deal
10
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
75.5
Style
76%
Materials
75%
Comfort
76%
Size
75%
Price Comparison Last Updated (13.12.18)
$27.93
Best Deal
$29.99
$29.99
Best Deal
In Depth Review Top 10
  • Under Armour Tech
  • Asics Cap Sleeve
  • Brooks Distance
  • Joe's USA
  • Nike Dri-Fit Contour
  • Asics Ready-Set
  • Baleaf Quick Dry
  • Adidas Performance
  • Mountain Hardwear Breeze
  • Under Armour Raid
Table of contents
  • Criteria Used for Evaluation
  • Other Factors to Consider
  • Frequently Asked Questions
  • Sources

10 Best Running T-shirts

1. Under Armour Tech

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
94.5
Under Armour Tech
Style
95
Materials
94
Comfort
95
Size
94
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Pros:

Stylish

Lots of color options

Affordable

Loose fit

Comfortable

Moisture wicking

Odor resistant

Lightweight

Anti-microbial

Durable

Cons:

If you are curvy you may need to size up for the right fit

This shirt is cute and stylish and available in lots of color options. It fits loosely, but won't drown you, and is comfortable and breathable enough for all distance running.

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This tank is made of 100% Polyester which makes it comfortable, breathable, and moisture-wicking. It has a relaxed fit, meaning it is isn't form fitting or so big it drowns you--it lies in a happy medium in between the two. It is lightweight and moisture wicking thanks to its signature moisture transport system. It is also odor-resistant and anti-microbial, which makes it more long-lasting in the long run.

2. Asics Cap Sleeve

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
92.8
Asics Cap Sleeve
Style
94
Materials
93
Comfort
92
Size
92
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$37.05
$31.95
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Pros:

Flexible

Fitted

Lightweight

Comfortable

Breathable

Reflective feature

Cons:

Many don’t like the way the mesh panel looks

This shirt is made of Nylon and Lycra and is incredibly lightweight and comfortable. It's averagely priced and perfect for those hot days. The back has a mesh panel for optimal breathability and reflective features to keep you safe.

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Its basic design is simple and works for everyone so it will appeal to almost all tastes. It has a breathable back mesh panel and reflective features for added safety. It is fitted, flexible and comfortable and will keep you cool and dry during your runs thanks to its moisture-wicking capabilities.

3. Brooks Distance

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
89
Brooks Distance
Style
89
Materials
90
Comfort
89
Size
88
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$37.00
$16.83
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Pros:

Lightweight, stretchable material

DriLayer Burst, odor-resistant fabric

Good choices of different colors and prints

Cons:

No obvious reflective properties

The Distance Tee from Brooks is made from DriLayer® Burst odor-resistant fabric that is comfortable and also offers a high degree of functionality. This shirt is built for the long haul and does extremely well with sweat build up and the aforementioned odor. It is semi-fitted, which means that it would be loose or baggy but also won’t choke you like say Under Armour does on occasion. All in all a great pick!

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This Brooks running shirt is made of a lightweight stretch blend material, which leaves the run free and flexible. This fabric is also odor-resistant, which will certainly come in handy for those warm days. This crew neck also has a subtle logo on the left shoulder, which is stylish enough to define it apart from other products without calling a great deal of attention to the wearer. For a runner interested in comfort and breathability, this is a solid choice.

4. Joe's USA

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
85.8
Joe's USA
Style
87
Materials
85
Comfort
86
Size
85
best offer for today
$12.95
Pros:

Lightweight and breathable

High visibility colors

Wide range of sizes

Cons:

Less stylish than competitors

This is a pretty standard shirt when it comes to fabrics and construction. The one thing that sets it apart, however, is its visibility.

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This Tee has a roomy, athletic cut, made from 100% cationic polyester at a budget price. Each of the color choices here are neon, making you hard to miss on the road or sidewalk. Top drawer quality these shirts are not, but they absolutely have their utility. They’re great to throw on for an evening run and can be worn over a base layer easily as well. You should expect to receive, more or less, the quality that you are paying for.

5. Nike Dri-Fit Contour

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
83.5
Nike Dri-Fit Contour
Style
84
Materials
83
Comfort
83
Size
84
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$24.97
$28.00
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Pros:

Many color choices

Extremely breathable

Nike's Dri-FIT moisture wicking technology

Cons:

Not available in long sizes

Nike succeeds with the Dri-Fit contour shirt by delivering an excellent bang for your buck (among many other things). As the name obviously implies, this shirt is going to go a good distance toward making sure you stay dry. Part of its secret is a body-mapped design that is knit with mesh to increases airflow. This helps regulate temperature along with the all-important wicking dynamic. The bottom line is that you know what you’re getting here a well designed running t-shirt that performs well and isn’t going to break the bank.

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Much like most other Nike apparel products, this shirt is made from 100% polyester. This cheap and unassuming material is made much more impressive thanks to the implementation of patented Nike Dry fabric, incorporating Dri-FIT technology to fight moisture buildup and keep you comfortable.

In addition to a form-fitting knit pattern, the Dri-Fit Contour features zoned breathability for greater comfort. Overall, it's a very smart design, especially when considering the fact that it offers fashion and function through its visibility enhancing neon color palette and reflective elements.

6. Asics Ready-Set

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
82.5
Asics Ready-Set
Style
83
Materials
82
Comfort
83
Size
82
best offer for today
$19.87
Pros:

Sweat reducing textured mesh

Set-in sleeves

Many colors to choose from

Cons:

Lacks high visibility color options

Esentially all of the shirts on this list are quite comfortable, but the Ready-Set top gets a special nod in this sense. ASICS is a brand we love, and this shirt is no exception.

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This shirt has a textured mesh construction that rests easily around the shoulder blades and fits nicely around the torso. It’s made from 100% polyester and has flatlock seams, so the odds of it irritating your skin in any way are minimal. This top also performs well in the heat, with highly breathable, sweat-wicking properties.

If you need more convincing, consider the fact that this article of running apparel comes in a variety of fun colors and is made in the USA. With this combination of features and selling points, the cost of admission seems worthwhile for many.

7. Baleaf Quick Dry

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
80.3
Baleaf Quick Dry
Style
80
Materials
81
Comfort
80
Size
80
best offer for today
$13.99
Pros:

Comfort, Spandex at 8% and 92% polyester

Breathability

Good wick capability

Reflective

Cons:

Some runners would like to see more color options

Baleaf has designed an excellent running shirt featuring nice soft material which wicks away moisture caused by sweat so that you remain dry and cool. It also provides an exceptional fit and comfort level, allowing lots of mobility for running or any other sporting activities.

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The Baleaf Quick Dry features a decent fabric blend of Spandex at 8% and 92% polyester. This allows them to keep the costs of manufacturing, and the final price tag, low, while also ensuring comfort, durability and wick capability.

It's pretty impressive how this manufacturer created a shirt with such quick-drying fabric, especially since it also provides terrific breathability and sound moisture control. A designed in rear longer hems gives more coverage and the ergonomic seam system gives a very good range of motion. Reflective clothing tech was also added to ensure you are visible to others during low light running conditions. All in all, it's an affordable price for a well-performing T-shirt.

8. Adidas Performance

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
78.5
Adidas Performance
Style
79
Materials
78
Comfort
79
Size
78
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$18.75
$79.95
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Pros:

Nice flexible range of motions

Durability

Comfort

Very good wick performance

Cons:

Some runners suggested a patterned version for this shirt.

Looking for high performing characteristics in a T-shirt? You get all you need with this! Adidas created an ultra light, ultra comfortable and high performing T-shirt which is very good for runners but can also accommodate other sporting activities. The tried, tested, and very much appreciated shirt design from Adidas ensures you get maximum breathability, unparalleled comfort, and a broad range of motion movement.

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A potent blend of cotton and polyester endow this shirt with a nice design and feel: very light to wear and highly comfortable against the skin. The FlashDry clothing tech certainly ensures very fast drying out with high performing wick-capability.

With admirable mobility and effective venting through the side panel mesh systems, you can safely secure your media cable through the buttonhole built into the collar and enjoy your music while running, hassle-free. Note the stylish reflective logo for those times when light conditions are low. Ultimately, the Adidas Performance comes at a fair price to pay to get a long-lasting and high performing article of running apparel.

9. Mountain Hardwear Breeze

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
77.8
Mountain Hardwear Breeze
Style
78
Materials
78
Comfort
77
Size
78
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$27.99
$32.98
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Pros:

Flexible for active movement

Excellent temperature control and moisture management

Fast drying material

Cons:

Sleeveless

It’s no secret that the sun can really take it out of you when you’re running; fight back with the Breeze tank from Mountain Hardwear. This top is made from mesh as far as the eye can see and has built-in cooling properties that help keep you from overheating.

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This 92% polyester, 8% elastane shirt has tiny blue circles embedded in the fabric which contain a cooling polymer. It is this small piece of technology that is responsible for the shirt's ambitious name. Of course, the shirt is also sweat-wicking, fast-drying, and has an antimicrobial finish to help fight odor.

The patented MicroClimate Zoning engineered mesh knit construction helps with ventilation, which is what enables this product to b moisture-wicking and fast-drying. The best part is that this product comes in a true fit: no need to size up or down. Overall, if you run in the heat at all regularly this shirt is definitely worth a look.

10. Under Armour Raid

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
75.5
Under Armour Raid
Style
76
Materials
75
Comfort
76
Size
75
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$29.99
$27.93
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$29.99
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Pros:

Good Wick capability

Very comfortable

Good Ventilation features

Mesh panels

Durable and stylish

Cons:

Pricier than the average shirt

This nice top gives ultra comfort through the use of Heatgear-fabric which is very lightweight. You get underarm stretch-mesh, as well as around the back panels, resulting in strategically placed ventilation capability. It also means that this Under Armour tank shirt manages mobility in all directions due to four-way stretch fabric and a designed in clothing tech system to disperse moisture and promote rapid dry out.

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Comfort and sweat management is handled through a fabric made from blending 10 % elastane and Polyester at 90 %. The use of Under Armour's HeatGear fabric means that you get high levels of comfort while the material is ultra lightweight.

For the underarm area and designed into the back we Stretch-mesh clothing tech constructed from materials which give prime wick performance and a very quick drying out capability. The final cost is just around the mid-range price and you get a package of style, comfort, and high performance. For these reasons, this product is well worth your consideration!

Criteria Used for Evaluation

Style

The basic styles of running t-shirts are categorized into running tanks, short-sleeved running t-shirts, and long-sleeved t-shirts. Tanks provide more flexibility and allow for more breathability–making them a great option for those hot summer runs. The short sleeve t-shirt is the preferred option for men and is flexible, comfortable, and breathable. The long-sleeved t-shirt is perfect for those cold mornings or days and keeps you warm and dry.

Materials

You want to wear a shirt that is not only comfortable but also wicks away sweat while you're running. Running t-shirts are made from three basic comfortable materials: Pure polyester, pure cotton, and synthetic fibers. Each of these is comfortable and provide different features that are beneficial to the runner. The materials differ in weight and are used during different seasons and weather conditions. Running t-shirts with the highest rate of moisture management are made from synthetic fibers or 100% polyester.

Comfort

Everyone wants to be comfortable. You don't want to run in a t-shirt that is itchy, or scratchy, or if it makes you chafe. We went through and made sure the shirts on this list won't cause discomfort. Comfort is a highly important criterion to consider. The most comfortable running t-shirts are those that are flexible, prevent chafing from occurring and are durable–because we all want them to last. For it to be comfortable it also needs to be lightweight, breathable, and moisture wicking so you can stay cool and dry during all of your runs.

Size

Finding a shirt that is the right size for you isn't always easy. One brand's small is another brands medium, so you always want to check the manufacturer's sizing chart. The size and fit of a shirt are important and is a contributing factor to overall comfort. Make sure to consider your own specific needs as well as the features you need to perform well in your runs. If you need a tight fitting shirt it won’t do you any good to get a loosely fitted thank, or vice versa.

Expert Interviews & Opinions

Most Important Criteria (According to our experts opinion)
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Read The Tags For Washing Instructions

When it comes time to wash your running t-shirt, remember to check the tag on the back. This will let you know what settings to run these clothes on in your washing machine. Different fabrics and dyes can require the use of particular heat settings, washing cycles, and detergents in order to avoid damaging your clothes or your washing machine.

Visibility Is Important

It's a good idea to invest in some sort of running apparel that offers improved visibility. Although an effective method to doing so is to wear brightly-colored clothing, this isn't as effective when running at night. In these situations, the best course of action is to choose apparel with reflective elements so that car headlights and street lamps will shine on them, making you more visible.

Other Factors to Consider

Features

Every runner has specific designs, features, and preferences and they should definitely be taken into consideration. Ask yourself if you need zippers or buttons, pockets, or any other feature that may make your run more comfortable.

Value

The price of these products are generally reasonable, but it is still an important thing to look into. Usually the higher the cost, the better the product. But that isn't always the case sometimes you can get the same quality product for a better price.

Bottom Line

Some other things we looked into was the weather, and functionality. The weather condition or climatic season can be a determinant factor on the type of running t-shirt to select. The style and fabric of the running t-shirt also coordinate in making the right running t-shirt for the running season of the runner. If it a cold weather season, it is preferred for a runner to consider having a t-shirt that is of heavy fabric and long sleeved. The opposite should apply during summer.

Functionality is key because it ensures it is versatile and comfortable enough for your runs but also looks good enough for you to wear out and about if you had to.

Frequently Asked Questions

q: When choosing my running t-shirt, what are technical fabrics should I consider?
a:

A crucial factor to consider when selecting your running t-shirt is the fabric it is made of. Technical fabrics are lightweight, moisture-wicking, help regulate your body’s temperature, and provides you with breathability you need to stay cool and dry during your runs.

q: How do I care for or wash my running t-shirt?
a:

it is recommended that you care and wash your t-shirt by;

Wash on low heat 30 degrees, cool wash
Wash t-shirt turned inside out
Avoid washing t-shirts with items that have zips
Avoid drying in long periods of direct sunlight
Do not add bleach to the wash
Do not tumble dry after washing
Hang dry
Do not iron print
We’ve titled this guide “best” running t-shirts, but the thing is “best” can be subjective to a degree. There are very few absolute “bests” when it comes to these type of things. So we’ve gone for a bit of variety. You’ll find t-shirts that get style points, t-shirts that a dream-like comfortable, t-shirts that are high performance, t-shirts that are meant for hot conditions, t-shirts that are reflective and t-shirts that are just downright cool. Did we cover all of it? Phew!

q: Is a better to wear a tank top or a t-shirt when you're running?
a:

This is more a personal choice question. Some people prefer to wear tank tops when they are running, while others prefer wearing a t-shirt. A tank top offers more breathability and air flow. While a t-shirt provides more coverage, and can sometimes be more comfortable to run in. But you can find lightweight, breathable running shirts in both options.

q: What kind of shirts are lightweight, and will help keep me cool?
a:

Finding a shirt that isn't going to cause you to overheat is becoming more and more easier. With moisture wicking technology, they have figured out how to absorb perspiration. That is really helpful to have while running. So when buying a shirt you want to make sure it has moisture wicking materials built in. Nylon is also a good material to wear while running that will help keep you cool as it already wicks moisture away.It's breathable, and lightweight so it won't drag you down. It is also stretchy which makes it comfortable. Polyester is also a good material to have in your running attire. It is lightweight, breathable, and very durable so it will last throughout the years.

Sources

  1. Bryan Boyle, Runner's World, Article, Jul 29, 2015
  2. Lora Mays, Sports Rec, Article, Jul 28, 2017