10 Best Running T-shirts Reviewed & Tested

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If you are searching for the best running t-shirts of 2018 then you have come to the right place. Here you will find our top picks along with their Pros & Cons and what to look for before making your purchase.

Some people may not realize it, but the clothing you wear truly affects your performance. It’s important to take this into consideration before making your purchase so you can perform to the best of your ability everytime you run.

If you are competitive then you know the difference the right gear and just how difficult it is to weed out the best of the best. When looking for the best running t-shirts for you, make sure to take your own needs into account. Long distance runners need comfortable shirts that can be worn with a hydration running vest and that have excellent moisture-wicking capabilities. Their shirts need to be comfortable, dry quickly, and have flat seams to prevent irritation or chafing.All runners, in general, need a breathable running t-shirt that protects them from the sun, is flexible, and provide you with the right fir. It also needs to be lightweight and durable so you can rely on it to pack in the miles.

Since there are tons of options available we have taken the time to research and review the best of the best. We hope our lit of the top 10 best running t-shirts helps you supply your running gear arsenal to help you perform to the best of your ability.

Last Updated: July 28, 2018
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By Giselle Killebrew:

We have added 3 additions to our list as well as updated the list to reflect the best t-shirts out there. Our additions are the Asics cap sleeve top, the Brooks Distance T-shirt, and the Under Armour Tech twist tank. All of these are excellent options for you ladies to choose from and will keep you comfortable, cool, and dry during your runs.

Asics Cap Sleeve
  • Asics Cap Sleeve
  • 4.7 out of 5
    Our rating
  • Back mesh panel
  • Price: See Here
Brooks Distance
  • Brooks Distance
  • 5 out of 5
    Our rating
  • odor-resistant fabric
  • Price: See Here
Under Armour Tech
  • Under Armour Tech
  • 5 out of 5
    Our rating
  • Anti-microbial
  • Price: See Here

But above all else, our goal is to provide a useful resource that highlights some of the best running t-shirts out there. We’ve done the legwork so you can sit back a peruse as you like. For a detailed breakdown of the top ten best running t-shirts read on!

10 Best Running T-shirts

1. Asics Cap Sleeve

1. Asics Cap Sleeve
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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About the product:

Its basic design is minimalistic 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.
Pros

• Flexible

• Fitted

• Lightweight

• Comfortable

• Breathable

• Reflective feature

Cons

• Many don’t like the way the mesh panel looks

2. Brooks Distance

2. Brooks Distance
The Distance Tee from Brooks is made from DriLayer® Burst odor-resistant fabric that is comfortable and also offer 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, run happy as they say.
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About the Product:

Lightweight stretch blend material leaves the run free and flexible

DriLayer Burst, odor-resistant fabric

Material actually consists of 83% polyester 11% Tencel 6% spandex

Subtle logo on the left shoulder

Crew neck. Short sleeves. Overall cut designed for comfort
Pros
  • Lightweight, stretchable material
  • DriLayer Burst, odor-resistant fabric
  • Good choices of different colors and prints
Cons
  • No obvious reflective properties

3. Under armour Tech

3. Under armour Tech
This tanks 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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About the Product:
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.
Pros

• Stylish

• Lots of color options

• Affordable

• Loose fit

• Comfortable

• Moisture wicking

• Odor resistant

• Lightweight

• Anti-microbial

• Durable

Cons

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

4. Joe's USA

4. Joe's USA
This is a pretty standard shirt when it comes to fabrics and construction. The one thing that sets it apart however is its visibility. This Tee has a roomy, athletic cut, its made from 100% cationic polyester and it is budget priced. 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.
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About the product:

Sport cut for maximum comfort.

The lightweight material breathes well and controls sweat with ease

PosiChargeTM technology built into the fabric

Weighs 3.8-ounces, 100% cationic polyester interlocking material

Set-in sleeves

Available Colors: Neon Yellow, Neon Orange, Neon Pink

Adult Sizes available : XS-4XL
Pros
  • Lightweight and breathable
  • High visibility colors
  • Wide range of sizes
Cons
  • The fit isn't exactly the athletic style that some customers were hoping for

5. Nike Dri-Fit Contour

5. Nike Dri-Fit Contour
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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About the product:

Made from 100% polyester

Patented Nike Dry fabric with Dri-FIT technology helps to fight moisture buildup and keep you comfortable

Knit from loose to tight for a form fit

Zoned breathability, overall a very smart design

Comes in a wide range of color options

Have reflective details for low visibility running
Pros
  • Many color choices
  • Extremely breathable
  • Nike's Dri-FIT moisture wicking technology
Cons
  • Not available in long sizes

6. Asics Ready-Set

6. Asics Ready-Set
Essentially all of the shirts on this list are quite comfortable, but the Ready-Set top gets a special nod in this sense. This shirt has a textured mesh construction that rests easy around the shoulder blades and fits nicely around the torso. It’s made from 100% and has flat lock seems to 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. Overall ASICS is a brand we love, and this shirt is no exception.
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About the product:

100% Polyester knitted training top

Made in the USA

Specially textured mesh is extremely comfortable and has sweat reducing technology

Set-in sleeves for a nice fit

Comes in a wide range of colors
Pros
  • Sweat reducing textured mesh
  • Set-in sleeves
  • Many colors to choose from
Cons
  • There aren't really any high visibility color options

7. Baleaf Quick Dry

7. Baleaf Quick Dry
An excellent running shirt featuring nice soft material which wicks away moisture caused by sweat so that you remain dry and cool.

A good FIT allowing lots of mobility for running and other sporting activities.
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About the Product:

A good blend of Spandex at 8% and 92% polyester which ensures comfort, durability and wick capability.

A quick drying fabric with good 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. Designed with raglan sleeves to accommodate muscular arms.

Designed in reflective clothing tech to ensure you are visible to others during low light running conditions.

Cost

Nice affordable price for a good performing t-shirt

Pros

Comfort, Spandex at 8% and 92% polyester 

Breathability

Good wick capability

Reflective

Cons

Some runners would like to see more color options

8. Adidas Performance

8. Adidas Performance
Wear this with hydration packs and you will still feel comfortable and cool. This is an ultra light, ultra comfortable and high performing T-Shirt which is very good for runners, other sporting activities.

The tried, tested and very much appreciated shirt ensures you get maximum breathability combined with bags of wick capability. For comfortable and a broad range of motion movement.

A comfortable blend of Polyester and Cotton.

Looking for high performing characteristics in a t-shirt, you get all you need with this.
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About the Product:

A nice design, very light to wear, really comfortable against the skin, the FlashDry clothing tech certainly ensures very fast drying out with high performing wick-capability.

Very good mobility and effective venting through the side panel mesh systems, safely secure your media cable through the buttonhole built into the collar and note the stylish reflective logo for those times when light conditions are low.

Cost

A fair price to pay and in return to get a long lasting shirt ( durability) and a lot of high performing tech for a sports shirt. This is value for money.
Pros

Nice flexible range of motions

Durability

Comfort

Very good wick performance

Cons

Some runners suggested a patterned version for this shirt.

9. Mountain Hardwear Way2Cool

9. Mountain Hardwear Way2Cool
It’s no secret that the sun can really take it out of you when you’re running, so fight back with Way2Cool tank from Mountain Hardwear. This top is mesh as far as the eye can see, and has built in cooling properties that help you from overheating. 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 shirts ambitious name. Of course the shirt is also sweat wicking, fast-drying, and has an antimicrobial finish to help fight odor. Overall if you run in the heat at all regularly this shirt is definitely worth a look.
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About the product:

The Body fabric consists of: 92% polyester, 8% elastane

Active fit, tactile, flexible, contours nicely with body

Patented Cool.QTM ZERO provides an instantaneous and noticeable cooling sensation

Rigorously user tested for optimum quality

Patented MicroClimate ZoningTM: engineered mesh knit construction helps with ventilation

Moisture wicking, fast-drying fabric that sits light on the skin

True fit, no need to size up or down
Pros
  • Flexible for active movement
  • Patented Cool.QTM ZERO provides a noticeable difference in temperature control
  • Fast drying material
Cons
  • Sleeveless

10. Under Armour Raid

10. Under Armour Raid
This nice top gives ultra comfort through the use of Heatgear-fabric which is very lightweight.

You get underarm stretch-mesh and the same for back panels and this results in strategically placed ventilation capability.

Great 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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About the Product:

Comfort, wick factor and comfort through blended 10 % elastane and Polyester at 90 %, the use of HeatGear fabric means you get high levels of comfort while the material is ulta lighjt.

For the underarm area and designed into the back we Stretchetch-mesh clothing tech, these high-performance shirt is constructed from materials which give prime wick performance and very quick drying out capability.

The shirt has designed in anti-odor capability which also prevents the growth of bacteria known to cause odor problems.


Cost

Cost just a mid-range price and you get a package of style, comfort, and high performance.
Pros

Good Wick capability

Very comfortable

Good Ventilative features

Mesh panels

Durable and stylish

Cons

Some runners prefer sleeves

 

 

Criteria for choosing Best Running T-shirts

Running t-shirts are just as important as the right pair of running shoes–which is why we have taken the time to research and review the best running t-shirts out there for you to choose from. Below are the factors we took into consideration when compiling this list.

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.

FABRIC

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.

SEASONALITY

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.

COMFORT

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.

FUNCTIONALITY

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.

Fit

Fit is 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.

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.

Frequently Asked Questions.

Q. When choosing my running t-shirt, what are technical fabrics should I consider?

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?

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. Herein 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!

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