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Best Running Tops & Singlets Compared

last updated Jan 06, 2019
When you’re looking to update your workout clothes, it’s nice to have a little variety – a long-sleeved shirt, a short-sleeved shirt, and a tank top, for instance. With our list, we’ve got you covered when it comes to all of these, as well as a handful of classic-looking t-shirts. All of the shirts that make the top 10 are highly breathable, flexible, and comfortable. They’re available in a bunch of different colors. Thanks to modern-day tech, they’re also fantastic when it comes to wicking away sweat and odor with antimicrobial qualities. With so many options to choose from, we limited this guide to the products that were rated the best by general customer review.

In a Hurry? The test winner after 19 hrs of research

icon
Under Armour Tech Short Sleeve Tee
94.4/100 our score
Comfort
95
Breathability
96
Materials
93
Features
95
Protection
93
Under Armour Tech Short Sleeve Tee
Why is it better?

Affordable

Breathable

Comfortable

Wide variety of available colors

In a Hurry? Editors choice:
Under Armour Tech Short Sleeve Tee
Test Winner: Under Armour Tech Short Sleeve Tee
Researched Sources
12
Researched Sources
Reviews Considered
1700
Reviews Considered
Hours Researching
19
Hours Researching
Products Evaluated
17
Products Evaluated
Last Updated:
Avatar
By EJ Callanan:

In this update, we replaced 4 products that were no longer performing well with new ones that come highly reviewed: the Baleaf 50+ UPF, Under Armour Tech, Amazon Essentials Racerback, and the Adidas Training Ultimate. We'll update this buying guide again soon, so come back again to see what's new and good. Happy running.

Sorting Options
Comfort Breathability Materials Features Protection 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.
94.4
Comfort
95%
Breathability
96%
Materials
93%
Features
95%
Protection
93%
Price Comparison Last Updated (20.02.19)
$14.99
See Deal
$19.99
$24.99
See Deal
#2
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
93.4
Comfort
95%
Breathability
96%
Materials
94%
Features
97%
Protection
85%
Price Comparison Last Updated (20.02.19)
$27.98
#3
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
91.8
Comfort
93%
Breathability
95%
Materials
91%
Features
95%
Protection
85%
Price Comparison Last Updated (20.02.19)
$14.95
#4
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
89.6
Comfort
92%
Breathability
92%
Materials
90%
Features
94%
Protection
80%
Price Comparison Last Updated (20.02.19)
$15.99
#5
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
88
Comfort
91%
Breathability
93%
Materials
90%
Features
86%
Protection
80%
Price Comparison Last Updated (20.02.19)
$18.00
#6
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
86.4
Comfort
95%
Breathability
83%
Materials
89%
Features
80%
Protection
85%
Price Comparison Last Updated (20.02.19)
$15.99
#7
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
84.8
Comfort
91%
Breathability
90%
Materials
80%
Features
81%
Protection
82%
Price Comparison Last Updated (20.02.19)
$18.00
#8
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
83.6
Comfort
90%
Breathability
85%
Materials
85%
Features
75%
Protection
83%
Price Comparison Last Updated (20.02.19)
$34.99
#9
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
82.2
Comfort
85%
Breathability
90%
Materials
86%
Features
75%
Protection
75%
Price Comparison Last Updated (20.02.19)
$24.99
#10
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
79.6
Comfort
88%
Breathability
85%
Materials
80%
Features
75%
Protection
70%
Price Comparison Last Updated (20.02.19)
$23.27
In Depth Review Top 10
  • Under Armour Tech Short Sleeve Tee
  • Nike Legend Tee
  • Joe's USA All Training Tee
  • Baleaf 50+ UPF Sun Protection Long Sleeve
  • ASICS Ready-Set Tank Top
  • Adidas Training Ultimate
  • Amazon Essentials Racerback Tank
  • Under Armour Perfect Pace Tee
  • Under Armour Racer Tank Top
  • Adidas Performance Supernova Mesh Tank Top
Table of contents
  • Criteria Used for Evaluation
  • Other Factors to Consider
  • Frequently Asked Questions
  • Sources

Top 10 Picks

1. Under Armour Tech Short Sleeve Tee

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
94.4
Under Armour Tech Short Sleeve Tee
Comfort
95
Breathability
96
Materials
93
Features
95
Protection
93
best offer for today
more shops
$19.99
$14.99
See Deal
$24.99
See Deal
Pros:

Affordable

Breathable

Comfortable

Wide variety of available colors

Cons:

Quality differs depending on color

This product is Under Armour's classic running shirt. It's affordable, comfortable, and does a good job of wicking moisture away from the body. As always when ordering online be sure to go through a reputable seller as some users reported receiving knock off products.

Read more

Comfort and Breathability

Depending on your body type this option has a looser fit than many similar products, or you can size down for a tighter fit. Either way both will leave you happy and comfortable. Users reported a solid ability to wick away moisture and dry quickly, just be sure to air dry this product because shrinkage can majorly affect its ability to deal with moisture.

Materials and Features

Made of 100% polyester for breathability, it also features anti-microbial technology that helps stop odor-causing bacteria from forming. Users reported that this is really effective and kept the shirt from smelling, even after intense runs and workouts.

Protection

This option doesn't offer extra protection in the form of a UPF rating.

2. Nike Legend Tee

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
93.4
Nike Legend Tee
Comfort
95
Breathability
96
Materials
94
Features
97
Protection
85
best offer for today
$27.98
Pros:

Extremely comfortable

Great temperature regulation

Cons:

May run small

Nike is a well-known brand among athletes and runners--so it's no surprise that they've earned a spot on this list. The Nike Legend Tee is an excellent option for all runners, especially during these hot summer months.

Read more

Comfort/Quality
This shirt is comfortable, breathable, and lightweight. It has a flat seam construction, which prevents any chafing, blisters, or irritation during your runs.

Breathability
This shirt is lightweight and highly breathable. It utilizes Dri-fit fabric to keep you cool, dry, and comfortable.

Materials
This shirt is made of 100% Polyester.

Fit
This crew neck t-shirt is slightly loose fitting and has a stylish design.

Cost / Value
This shirt is moderately priced and comes in several color options.

3. Joe's USA All Training Tee

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
91.8
Joe's USA All Training Tee
Comfort
93
Breathability
95
Materials
91
Features
95
Protection
85
best offer for today
$14.95
Pros:

Great range of motion

Quick dry moisture management fabric really keeps you cool

Great temperature regulation

Cons:

Some colors may be semi-see through

This shirt has quickly become a favorite among runners and athletes this season. It is a comfortable, lightweight, and highly affordable option we are sure you will love!

Read more

Comfort/Quality
This shirt is lightweight and comfortable--and still durable. It is made of good quality materials and is specifically designed for runners.

Breathability
It is highly breathable and utilizes quick dry, moisture-wicking fabric to ensure you are cool and dry during your runs.

Materials
It is made with 100% Polyester.

Fit
This shirt features an athletic fit. It also comes in various color options for you to choose from.

Cost / Value
This shirt is highly affordable, definitely the most affordable on our list.

4. Baleaf 50+ UPF Sun Protection Long Sleeve

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
89.6
Baleaf 50+ UPF Sun Protection Long Sleeve
Comfort
92
Breathability
92
Materials
90
Features
94
Protection
80
best offer for today
$15.99
Pros:

50+ UPF sun protection

Flatlock seams and no collar tag = no chafing

Long sleeves for protection

Loose, comfortable fit

Cons:

Some difficulty finding the right size, read sizing chart carefully

This product comes from a company that has become well known for their high quality running apparel and outdoor gear, and this long sleeve shirt is no exception. It's a great option for runners looking for a looser fit than a lot of the more form-fitting options, is made of 100% synthetic materials for breathability, features flatlock seams for comfort that won't chafe, and is UPF rated at 50+ to keep you protected from the sun.

Read more

Comfort and Breathability

Across the board users thought this option was very comfortable and were glad to find a product that has all the normal features of a running shirt such as moisture-wicking and breathability, but in a looser fit. This one is very breathable, a quality that comes from being 100% polyester, a synthetic fiber which cannot absorb water so moisture passes around it to the outside air where it can dry naturally and also help keep you cool.

Materials and Features

It's made from 100% high-quality polyester and is designed with flat seams and no collar tag so it won't chafe. It also features sun protection rated at 50+ UPF.

Protection

This one really shines in this area, giving the user 50+ UPF to guard against the sun and it's long sleeves help with this as well as keeping you slightly warmer on chilly morning and evening runs.

5. ASICS Ready-Set Tank Top

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
88
ASICS Ready-Set Tank Top
Comfort
91
Breathability
93
Materials
90
Features
86
Protection
80
best offer for today
$18.00
Pros:

Texturized mesh provides comfort and inherent wicking technology

Semi-fitted to feminine form

Great temperature regulation

Cons:

Size runs big

This Asics tank top is a great option for you ladies looking for a loose, lightweight, and comfortable running top. It comes in several color options and in a minimalistic, yet stylish, design.

Read more

Comfort/Quality
This shirt is comfortable, lightweight, and breathable. It has a longer hem, so you don't have to worry about it riding up during your runs.

Breathability
It is extremely breathable and provides additional ventilation during your runs.

Materials
It's made with 100% Polyester.

Fit
This shirt is semi-fitted. Some reviewers mentioned it tends to run large, so you may want to order a size down.

Cost / Value
This shirt is affordably priced and comes in several color options.

6. Adidas Training Ultimate

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
86.4
Adidas Training Ultimate
Comfort
95
Breathability
83
Materials
89
Features
80
Protection
85
best offer for today
$15.99
Pros:

Breathable

Very soft

Affordable

Reputable company

Cons:

Some users preferred previous version

Made of both cotton and polyester, this option combines the best of the worlds of natural and synthetic fibers. The polyester makes it breathable, the cotton super soft and comfortable. It may look and feel much like a regular t-shirt, but underneath there's so much more.

Read more

Comfort and Breathability

Because it includes cotton, which is rare in a shirt made for running, this one feels great and users loved it for this. Moisture-wicking is good, especially for something with this much cotton, but it's still not as moisture proof as other options that are 100% synthetic.

Materials and Features

It's made of 80% polyester and 20% cotton making it both breathable and comfortably soft. Features are pretty minimal, but for the price and considering it comes from one of the world's leaders in athletic gear it's not a big deal.

Protection

This doesn't offer additional features such as a UPF rating to keep you safe from the sun, but it does come in a massive array of colors.

7. Amazon Essentials Racerback Tank

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
84.8
Amazon Essentials Racerback Tank
Comfort
91
Breathability
90
Materials
80
Features
81
Protection
82
best offer for today
$18.00
Pros:

Very soft and comfortable

Value price for 2-pack

Loose fit flatters most body types

Cons:

Some users felt the armholes were too big

This new product is made of super soft and comfortable fabric and the cut is great for those looking for something that isn't form-fitting but still flatters their uniquely shaped bodies. They come in a two pack at a value price and do a good job of wicking moisture and keeping you cool as you run or workout.

Read more

Comfort and Breathability

Most users raved about how soft these are and how good they felt against the body. A couple of users felt differently but it seemed to be an isolated issue and not a recurring problem. The collar tag is also printed on the fabric instead of being a separate piece so it won't chafe in that area. Breathability has been rated as good, but not as much as some other products on our list.

Materials and Features

This one is made from 95% polyester for breathability and 5% spandex for some stretch and bounciness which users enjoyed. It features a no-tag collar that prevents chafing and an athletic but loose cut that flatters most body types.

Protection

This product does not feature any additional protection features.

8. Under Armour Perfect Pace Tee

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
83.6
Under Armour Perfect Pace Tee
Comfort
90
Breathability
85
Materials
85
Features
75
Protection
83
best offer for today
$34.99
Pros:

Soft fabric

Semi-fitted to feminine form

Great temperature regulation

Moisture Transport System wicks sweat to keep you dry

Long enough to be worn with leggings

UPF 30+ protects your skin from sun

306 Degree Reflectivity

Cons:

Sizes may run small

As Under Armour puts it, this is your new favorite t-shirt. The tee is available in numerous colors with a light stripe pattern. Under Armour is known for some of the best sporting wear, and this tee doesn’t disappoint.

Read more

Comfort/Quality
It's quite comfortable and you'll feel that while you're running at your "perfect pace".

Breathability
It's highly breathable allowing air to flow through easily while you run. It regulates your temperature while you run, and it has a Moisture Transport System that wicks sweat to keep you dry.

Materials
It's made with Polyester and Elastane.

Fit
One thing women love about this tee in particular is that it’s purposely constructed to hang long, which makes it a great choice for running as well as yoga. If you’re a little insecure in running tights or leggings, this shirt gives you a little more coverage as well. It does seem to run a bit small in size so make sure you order a size up to compensate or check the measurements before making your purchase.

Cost / Value
The price is quite average and affordable compared to other running shirts.

9. Under Armour Racer Tank Top

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
82.2
Under Armour Racer Tank Top
Comfort
85
Breathability
90
Materials
86
Features
75
Protection
75
best offer for today
$24.99
Pros:

Antimicrobial tech keeps you fresh and clean

Four-way stretch construction provides mobility 

Light and flowy or well-fitted 

Mesh with pinholes  increases breathability

Signature Moisture Transport System wicks away sweat

Super lightweight

HeatGear construction

Flatlock seams provide comfort

Cons:

You'll need to try it on to get the best size

Does not provide a lot of support

When you’re looking for the best running singlets, Under Armour should be one of the first places you look. They’re consistently ranked as top quality when it comes to workout clothing. This singlet is available in neutrals, bright blues and pinks. It really has everything you need in a reliable singlet. You’re going to want to buy multiples of these.

Read more

Comfort/Quality
It's very comfortable and made with quality materials. Its flatlock seams help prevent chafing and provide comfort, it's lightweight, and its 4-way stretch material allows you to move easily.

Breathability
It's highly breathable with its mesh material and pinholes that allow air to flow through easily while you run. Its signature Moisture Transport System helps keep sweat away.

Materials
It's made of Polyester & Elastane.

Fit
This is a well-fitted tank so if you prefer a looser fit you'll want to get a size up.

Cost / Value
The price is average to expensive in cost.

10. Adidas Performance Supernova Mesh Tank Top

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
79.6
Adidas Performance Supernova Mesh Tank Top
Comfort
88
Breathability
85
Materials
80
Features
75
Protection
70
best offer for today
$23.27
Pros:

Great ventilation keeps you cool and dry

Very comfortable

Cons:

Runs big

Adidas makes the list for one of the best running singlets thanks to this tech-packed Supernova Mesh tank top. In hot weather, one of the nicest times for running is at night. This tank top is unique in that it’s highly reflective and will keep you visible and safe out on the roads.

Read more

Comfort/Quality
If it's comfort you're looking for, this one should do it. Most runners appreciated the comfort and quality materials.

Breathability
It's highly breathable with its thin, lightweight materials. Its Climacool technology assists by providing moisture management and keeping sweat away while you run.

Materials

It's made of 89% Polyester & 11% Elasthane.

Fit
Fit depends on preference, but most runners agree that the size of this runs small, and they wish there was support in the bra area.

Cost / Value
It is actually quite expensive, but highly breathable.

Criteria Used for Evaluation

Comfort

No one wants to be uncomfortable when they run. That's why comfort is the number 1 thing we look at when going through thousands of reviews. We'll give you the feedback and provide you with only the top comfortable running shirts, tees, tank tops, and singlets.

Breathability

There's some fantastic new technology out there to help keep you ventilated while you run and keep sweat away. We are going to tell you what we find so you can enjoy the benefits of these features.

Materials

Most running shirts and singlets seem to be made of polyester, but we'll let you know every material that it is made with so that you can decide what's comfortable for you.

Features

 There are many features to think about when choosing a top. Would you like the one that breathes easily, one that keeps sweat away, or perhaps you're seeking one that prevents UV rays from damaging your skin? Whatever your favorite feature is I'm sure it's on this list.

Protection

Shirts that are easy to move definitely make running easier as well. We've sifted through to find the ones that provide you the most flexible movement while you run.

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
Comfort
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#2
Protection
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#3
Breathability
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#4
Materials
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#5
Features
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Get A Good Fit

Surprisingly, many people don't know what the proper fit is for a t-shirt. Whether it's intended to be worn for running, layers, or just casual everyday wear, there's a specific level of tightness and coverage that signifies a proper fit. The best rule of thumb to follow here is to choose a shirt that is tight enough to conform to your body without cutting off circulation. The shoulder seams should be positioned on your shoulders and the cut of the shirt sleeves should be halfway down your bicep.

Pit Stains Are Bound To Happen

When wearing any tight-fitting apparel for a running session, including a t-shirt, you're going to run the risk of developing large, visible sweat stains. The most common and embarrassing variation of this is the armpit stain; however, this is just something you're going to have to accept in this scenario. While some anti-perspirant deodorants claim to solve this problem, they often lead to a worse problem: caked-on residue around the armpits of your shirts.

Other Factors to Consider

Water Resistance

These are fabrics that help keep sweat away so your skin doesn't become irritated while you run. You're going to sweat while you run, so you want to find fabrics that will dry quickly and keep you comfortable while you run. This helps you get airflow in more accurately so that you breathe easier while you run

UV Protection

Many shirts now offer protection from UV rays which is a great attribute to have if you find yourself out in the sun often. What a great idea. Worried about not having enough sunblock on while you run? Some shirts actually offer UV protection from the sun. We've detailed which ones on our list so you have minimal research to do.

Fit

Everyone likes different styles, fabrics, lengths and so much more when it comes to what they like to wear. Most often choosing the best running top or singlet will simply come down to preference and what suits you best.

Not commonly offered on shirts, but a great benefit to have so you can tuck an ID or other essentials in while you run. A high percentage of running tops and singlets are made of Polyester and some with Elastane to provide some stretch and flexibility. Here are the most common fabrics that are best for runners:

Polyester: Typically dries quickly, and keeps sweat away.

Merino wool: It dries quickly and keeps sweat away. It also has antimicrobial which helps fight bad odors. It regulates your body temperature while you run.

Nylon: This is also quick drying, and keeps sweat away. It is often used in combination with other fabrics and is quite durable.

Frequently Asked Questions

q: Does Dri-Fit technology really work?
a:

Yes, it's a fabric that helps to keep sweat away while you run. It has strategically placed ventilation zones so your body cools more easily.

q: Do mesh fabrics with holes sang easily?
a:

It's not advisable to try to stick things in the small pinholes for sure, but they are typically made from quality materials that don't snag easily.

q: What the best way to ensure the proper fixing of shirts?
a:

Make sure you know and measure you neck size, chest size, arm size, and around your waist for the most accurate sizing.

q: What's the best way to care for a running shirt?
a:

Most running shirts are made with synthetic materials because these fibers are incapable of absorbing moisture, so your sweat passes around them to the outside air where it can dry quickly and naturally. If you put them in the dryer and they shrink however, the weave becomes tighter and moisture can't pass through as easily which comprimizes the breathability of the shirt.

Because of this we recommend hand washing and air drying synthetic running apparel. If hand washing is too much trouble that's ok, but for the maximum longevity of your gear you should let it air dry at least.

q: What's type of fit should I look for?
a:

This is up to your personal preference. Most runners enjoy a snug fit with their shirts, and this actually helps with breathability as well because when the shirt fits tight to your body your sweat hits it right away and is wicked away to the outer layer where it can dry naturally in the air. But plenty of athletes also like a looser fit which allows for more freedom of movement and comfort for some. In the end it's all up to you and we have shirts that fit tightly as well as those that hang loose so you can find one that's best for what you like.

Sources

  1. Roxana Clares, Discount Mugs, Article,
  2. Brian Boyle, Runner's World, Article,