Best Running Shirts & Singlets Compared

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Thanks to the arrival of synthetic and modern-day fabric materials, we now have an endless amount of options when it comes to choosing our running gear. Instead of just plain cotton shirts and vests, we now have comfortable, performance-enhancing, durable, and functional athletic gear that also comes in various style and color options.

Most runners prefer lightweight and protective clothing that will improve their performance—such as aerodynamic shirts—and help maintain their stamina. Some of the best running tops are those with reflective tech—specifically useful for night time runners—and those with moisture-wicking capabilities.

Long distance runners, on the other hand, require UV protection, various sleeve length options, and tops specifically designed to maintain their body temperature. If you are going to be out in the hot sun and muggy weather for extended periods of time then it is essential that your running gear enable ventilation, thwart static electrical build up, and prevent body odor. Odor prevention is achieved via compression materials that counter fatigue, additional stretch when necessary, and innovative weaving fibers—where each fiber has a unique function.

New clothing tech that offers runners additional storage options is becoming a norm—there are plenty of comfortable and lightweight options that also provide you with secure pockets to carry a key, ID card, etc. This allows you to be more hands free and lets you focus solely on your run.

Last Updated: June 8, 2018
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By Giselle Killebrew:

Our most recent update brings several new options for both men and women. All of our new additions are great selections for these hot summer months, and most of them can also be used during the winter months as additional layers to keep you warm and dry.

Brooks Ghost
  • Brooks Ghost
  • 5 out of 5
    Our rating
  • In/Out mesh panel
  • Price: See Here
Brooks D'Lite Reversible Racerback
  • Brooks D'Lite Reversible Racerback
  • 4.7 out of 5
    Our rating
  • Reversible
  • Price: See Here
Asics Cap Sleeve
  • Asics Cap Sleeve
  • 4.5 out of 5
    Our rating
  • Mesh ventilation on back
  • Price: See Here

15 Best Running Shirts & Singlets

 

 

1. Brooks Ghost Short Sleeve

The Brooks Ghost t-shirt is one of the best around. It's a perfect option for those hot summer days--it will keep you cool, comfortable, and dry during all of your runs.
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Comfort/Quality
This is a lightweight and extraordinary comfortable shirt. It's highly durable and employs the use of Drilayer fabric--which allows it to be moisture-wicking, and keeps you cool and dry during all of your runs.

Breathability
This shirt is highly breathable and offers stretchy paneling at the underarm section of the shirt. This allows you to have a wider range of motion.

Materials
This shirt is made of a blend of Polyester and Spandex

Fit
This crew neck t-shirt is semi-fitted with some added stretch.

Cost / Value
This is shirt is a little on the pricier side but is highly durable and comes in several style and color options. There are also female versions of the shirt available.
Pros
  • Lightweight
  • Machine washable
  • Breathable
  • Stretch paneling at the underarms for additional stretch
  • Moisture-wicking
  • Comfortable
  • Lots of color options
  • Highly durable
Cons
  • Some find the sleeves to be too tight 
  • A bit pricey 

15. Brooks D'Lite Reversible Racerback

No need to head in reverse with this unique Reversible racerback. It's feather light construction, comfort, and ventilation will provide you with great comfort while you run.
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Comfort/Quality
Its feathery lightweight construction will allow you to run at ease. It has a reversible unique design, and a translucent back that provides great airflow. It will be a soft and comfortable running shirt.

Breathability
This highly breathable running shirt will allow air to flow through quite easily while you run. Its moisture management technology helps keep sweat away while you run.

Materials
This adorable tank top is made from 94% moisture-transfer polyester and 6% spandex materials.

Fit
It fits nicely, not too big or small.

Cost / Value
The price runs about average to expensive in cost compared to similar running shirts.
Pros

Very Lightweight

Extremely breathable

Keeps sweat away

Reversible unique design

Translucent back

Cons

May be seen as pricey

2. Asics Cap Sleeve Top

This is a basic running top that covers all the basis and is comfortable, lightweight, and durable.
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Comfort/Quality
This shirt is great for those summer months--it is lightweight, breathable, and dries quickly.

Breathability
This shirt is highly breathable and has a mesh panel on the back, for maximum ventilation during your runs.

Materials
This shirt is made of 100% Polyester.

Fit
This shirt is semi-fitted and provides ample room for movement.

Cost / Value
This shirt is a bit on the pricey side, but it is durable and long-lasting so it is well worth the cost.

14. Joe's USA All Training Tee

14. Joe's USA All Training Tee
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!
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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 an varies color options for you to choose from.

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

3. New Balance NB Ice

3. New Balance NB Ice
Now this is cool! New Balance offers some neat technology that will help keep your temperature down while you run.
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Comfort/Quality
It's a semi-fitted cut that follows the contours of the body quite comfortably.

Breathability
This highly breathable shirt comes complete with NB ICE fabric technology that lowers the skin's temperature as you heat up. It also blocks the sun's infrared rays and wicks away moisture so you stay cool and dry.

Materials
It is made from 87% Polyester and 13% Spandex.

Fit
It's a fairly fitted running shirt when worn appropriately.

Cost / Value
THe price for this running tee is quite average in price.
Pros

Reflective logos and Hi-Viz trims

Mesh insets for good breathability

Underarm gusset provides ventilation

Media cord guide

Dropped hem provides comfort

ICE fabric lowers the skin's temperature

NB DRY keeps sweat away

Cons

Sizing may run small

13. Brooks Stealth Short Sleeve

13. Brooks Stealth Short Sleeve
The Brooks Stealth short sleeve shirt is one of the best running shirts Brooks has to offer. It's available in styles for both men and women and will keep you cool, dry, and comfortable during all of your runs.
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Comfort/Quality
This shirt is lightweight, soft, and comfortable. It is made of high quality material (like all Brooks products) and is perfect for this season's summer runs. It reduces chafing and its design allows for free range of motion.

Breathability
This shirt is highly breathable and provides ventilation during your runs. It utilizes Drilayer fabric to wick away sweat, and keep you cool and dry during your runs.

Materials
Made with 100% polyester.

Fit
Loosely fitted and will not get clingy or in the way during your runs.

Cost / Value
On the pricey side, but well worth the cost.

4. Nike Legend Tee

4. Nike Legend Tee
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.
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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.

12. Under Armour Women’s Perfect Pace Tee

12. Under Armour Women’s Perfect Pace Tee
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.
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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.
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

5. Nike Dri-fit Cool Breeze Strappy Tank

5. Nike Dri-fit Cool Breeze Strappy Tank
This shirt is stylish, comfortable, and breathable. It will keep you cool and dry during your runs and is a perfect option for you ladies during these hot summer months.
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Comfort/Quality
This shirt is lightweight and comfortable. It is made of thin material, but (like most Nike products) is durable and effective. It is long in length to ensure you are covered during your runs, so you don't have to worry about pulling your shirt down while running.

Breathability
This top features a scoop neckline for a looser fit and utilizes sheer panels for added breathability and ventilation during your runs.

Materials
This shirt is made of 100% Polyester.

Fit
This shirt is longer in length and is loosely fitted.

Cost / Value
It is affordably priced and comes in lots of color options.

10. Women’s Under Armour Heatgear Tank Top

10. Women’s Under Armour Heatgear Tank Top
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.
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Comfort/Quality
It's very comfortable and made with quality materials. Its flatlock seams help prevent chafing and provide comfort, its 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.
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

6. Baleaf Compression Sleeveless

6. Baleaf Compression Sleeveless
The Baleaf Compression sleeveless shirt is comfortable, breathable, and provides a secure fit. It is an excellent running shirt for men--especially during these hot summer months!
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Comfort/Quality
This compression contours to your body and provides you with a secure and comfortable fit. It is made of soft and breathable material and its' four way stretch capabilities allow it to provide you with full range of motion. Its flat seam construction also reduces the possibility of any chafing during your runs.

Breathability
This shirt utilizes a Moisture Transport System for optimal ventilation as well as to keep you cool and dry during your runs.

Materials
This shirt is composed of 90% Polyester and 10% Elastane.

Fit
This compression shirt provides a secure, tight fit.

Cost / Value
This shirt is affordably priced.

7. New Balance Tempo Singlet

7.  New Balance Tempo Singlet
The New Balance Tempo Singlet is a great summer option for you guys. Its affordable, comfortable, and lightweight--and its perfect for those of you looking for a sleek, minimalistic design.
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Comfort/Quality
This singlet is lightweight and comfortable. It has a heat transfer label combined with 40+ UV protection--which provides you with maximum protection from the son and the heat. It is also made of high quality and durable material.

Breathability
This shirt is highly breathable and loose enough to encourage ventilation during your runs.

Materials
This shirt is made of 100% Polyester.

Fit
This shirt has a snug fit but it is not meant to be tight and form fitting.

Cost / Value
This shirt is highly affordable and comes in several color options.

11. Adidas Performance Women's Supernova Mesh Tank Top

11. Adidas Performance Women's Supernova Mesh Tank Top
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 nightfall. This tank top’s unique in that it’s highly reflective and will keep you visible and safe out on the roads.
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Comfort/Quality
If it's comfort you seek 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 is a 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.

9. The North Face Better Than Naked Singlet

9. The North Face Better Than Naked Singlet
Feel like you're running without a shirt, with The North Face's Better than Naked Singlet. You'll be amazed by its comfort and breathability.
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Comfort/Quality
If you go by the name of the product you'll realize its comfort lies in its lightweight nature. It also has stitch-free seams that prevent chafing.

Breathability
You'll be quite amazed at the high breathability North Face has to offer with its Quick-drying FlashDry™ fibers. It will regulate your temperature while you run.

Materials
It's made from 100% polyester-knit jacquard with FlashDry™ materials.

Fit
The fit is an athletic one, and can be a little snug.

Cost / Value
The price is a bit expensive, but well worth it.

8. ASICS Women's Ready-Set Tank Top

8. ASICS Women's Ready-Set Tank Top
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.
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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.

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

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 top five, 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 five 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 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.


 

The Criteria We Used To Make Our List

We’ve done the research for you so you don’t have to waste your time trying to get all the facts about these running tops and singlets. We don’t blindly choose items that we think are popular we actually spend a lot of time sifting through hundreds and thousands of reviews by runners like you so that we can provide you with the most accurate information.

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.

Flexibility

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.

Reflective

It’s always a good idea to snag a running shirt that provides reflective components so that others can see you easily while you run.

UV protection

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.

 

A Few More Things To Think About

 

Choosing running tops, tank tops, and/or singlets does not have to be a difficult task. If you keep these things in mind while shopping you’re sure to find one that will best fit your needs. Below we will focus on preference, features, and fabrics so you can gain a better understanding of what will work best for you:

Preference

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.

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:

Moisture Wicking

These are fabrics that help keep sweat away so your skin doesn’t become irritated while you run.

Quick Drying

You’re going to sweat while you run, if you’re doing it right so you want to find fabrics that will dry quickly and keep you comfortable while you run.

Sun Protection

Many shirts are now offering protection from UV rays which is a great attribute to have if you find yourself out in the sun often.

Support

Some shirts, especially for women will provide a good amount of support in the bra area.

Chafe-Free Seams

These will provide you with the most comfort while you run and your body moves freely.

Mesh Vents

This helps you get airflow in more accurately so that you breathe easier while you run.

Reflectivity

Helps others see you more easily while you run.

Pockets

Not commonly offered on shirts, but a great benefit to have so you can tuck an ID or other essentials in while you run.

Fabrics

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.

 

FAQ

 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. What’s the best way to ensure proper sizing 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. Do mesh fabrics with holes snag easily?

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

Q. What are the benefits of seamless shirts?

A. Seamless, or flatlock seams help prevent your skin from becoming irritated or chafed.


Here are some sources we used while conducting our Research:

Sources

  1. Iouri Goussev, Flickr, Photo Credit,
  2. REI, Running Clothing: How to Choose, Running gear store website, Nov 21, 2016
  3. Fleet Feet Sports, What to Wear When Running Your Guide to Running Clothing, running informational website,