What to look for in a running top?
The type of material and fit is very crucial when it comes to choosing a running top.
While cotton is a nice, light, and breathable material to wear while you are warming up, it absorbs moisture so can become very uncomfortable to wear while running.
Similarly, a loose top may cause chafing while running, as well as a baggy top may increase resistance, making it frustrating to run.
Fortunately, the majority of running wear brands are aware of all these factors, and use lightweight, breathable material which keeps you cool and wicks away the sweat.
With that, we have compiled a list of the best men’s running shirts on the market at the moment.
Adidas 25/7 Rise Up N Run Parley
A great shirt for those thinking about taking up running is the Adidas 25/7 Rise Up N Run Parley.
Besides being quite a stylish running shirt, this entry from Adidas is an extremely comfortable and lightweight shirt, with unbelievable breathing and cooling capabilities.
We believe the Climacool technology from Adidas is the best in the industry. The fabric keeps you cool and dry in warm weather. The mesh sleeves and back also greatly enhances the already fantastic breathability.
The reflective material, which appears all across the shirt, greatly increases visibility in low light conditions, guaranteeing safety.
A great draw to this shirt is the fact that it is made from recycled materials and waste, intercepted from beaches and coastal communities before it reaches the ocean.
Under Armour ISO-Chill perforated short sleeve shirt
Under armour is certainly one of the more reputable brands in the sports and activewear department, and for good reason.
This ISO-chill perforated running shirt is one of the top running shirts on the market due to the ISO-chill material from Under Armour. This mesh fabric helps disperse body heat, wicks away sweat, and dries abnormally quickly, leaving you feeling cool and comfortable during long runs on warm days.
The reflective details also ensure you are visible in low light conditions.
Like most Under Armour gear, this shirt is particularly stylish and comes in an array of colours.
You can get this shirt from Amazon with prices starting from $27.99.
Nike DriFit cotton tee
We know we said cotton was a no-go for running tops, but the Nike DriFit cotton tee combines the comfort of cotton with the sweat wicking capabilities of polyester bringing you the best of both worlds and making this running shirt from Nike an iconic piece of running gear.
What actually makes this shirt stand out is how low-key and subtle it actually is. It does not look like your typical running shirt. However, it still functions better than most.
It is quite possibly the most comfortable shirt on this list, due to the cotton properties. It is also quite durable, as long as it is kept out of the dryer.
The one drawback is its breathability. While not as breathable as others due to the cotton, it is a trade-off many have been more than happy to make for the extreme comfort.
You can purchase one on Amazon for about $40, and while it might seem steep for such a plain looking running tee, it certainly is worth it for the comfort alone.
‘On’ has quietly become one of the premium running brands worldwide, thanks to dedicated Swiss inspired engineering catered to maximise performance, comfort, and style.
The Active-T is made to keep you going in total comfort. Its natural fabrics have moisture-wicking properties which are reinforced by an antibacterial treatment, keeping odour and sweat away.
A mixture of cotton, modal and elastane provides unrivalled comfort, protection, and moisture control. It has a natural cooling effect that makes it perfect for before, during and after any workout.
It has a nice subtle style to it and comes in 4 different colours to suit a number of different styles.
It certainly is a premium running shirt and as a result does not come cheap.
You can purchase one from the ‘On’ web shop for $70.
Another entry from On is the Performance-T.
This is a running shirt designed for running at the highest level, providing you with maximum comfort and protection. The lightweight, moisture wicking, fast drying material keeps you feeling cool and fresh, while the taped seam makes you feel like you’re wearing nothing at all.
It is extremely breathable thanks to the mesh back which provides unbeatable airflow throughout the torso.
This one is for experienced runners, and it is certainly designed in that style, with an almost skin-tight fit.
You can purchase one from the On website for $79.99.
GORE Energetic LS shirt
A brand at the top of their game when it comes to long distance running gear is GORE, and their Energetic LS shirt is top choice for experienced runners who want premium running gear.
This shirt has everything an hardened long-distance runner needs in a good quality running shirt.
The material is very comfortable and has quick drying properties.
It also has great stretching capabilities, providing freedom of movement.
It is a slim fit, reducing any chances of chafing on those long distance runs.
It also has reflective details for running in low light conditions, and thumb loops at the cuffs for those cold weather runs.
The sweat panel at the lower forearms enhances the breathability of this top, as well of the base of the back part of the shirt.
It is also quite stylish, with its two-tone colour pallet.
Again, this is one for the seasoned runner and it does not come cheap. You can pick one up from the GORE web store for $75.
Baleaf Quick Dry
If you are looking for a running top that is a bit more on the affordable side, you may want to check out Baleaf’s Quick Dry running shirt.
This is a top that offers great value for the price. The material provides an incredibly comfortable stretch, along with enhancing its durability.
The shirt also has reflective details on the sleeves, as well as the logo providing reflection, making it safe at night.
For the price, it is not a shirt without its flaws. It is quite heavy for a running shirt and not very breathable. So, if you find yourself running in warm conditions quite often and for long periods, this may not be the most suitable running top.
However, at $22 from Amazon, it’s definitely a shirt you should have in your track bag.
Russell Athletic Dri-Power mesh performance.
If you want a more lightweight top for a cheap price, then the Russell Athletic Dri-Power mesh performance may be the top for you.
This budget friendly top from Russell is surprisingly comfortable given its price. It is extremely lightweight and breathable thanks to the Dri-Power mesh fabric, making it really suitable for warm conditions.
Comfort takes precedence over style as this shirt is not the most eye-catching top on the market, with a very plain and subtle design. Although it does come in a range of colours.
However, for only $16 on Amazon, this is certainly great value for money.
Under Armour Tech 2.0
If you are fussy when it comes to brands, and want to be seen running in well known gear, but are not too keen to spend a fortune, then the Under Armour Tech 2.0 is the shirt for you.
It has a nice relaxed fit, making it quite a versatile shirt, suitable for more than just running.
It is a breathable shirt, but there are other shirts on the market that might be more comfortable against the skin.
The real stand-out for this shirt is its versatility and low price as opposed to other features, as other shirts with more running-specific features and a more tailored fit can now be found as affordable options too.
However, being available for as little at $20 from Amazon, this is a top brand shirt which provides a bang for its buck.
Men’s Ronhill Tech Revive
If you are looking for a running shirt that is both comfortable and eco-friendly, the Ronhill tech revive is a shirt that ticks both boxes.
The super soft material is light, breathable, moisture-wicking, and eco-conscious, made from recycled yarn, which has exactly the right amount of stretch.
It has a slim fit to reduce chafing and resistance while running long distances.
It also pushes the boundaries when it comes to style, with this shirt coming in a number of unique patterns and colours.
It is quite affordable too, considering it is sustainably made from recycled materials. Pricing on Amazon starts as low as $14, but can also be bought straight from the Ronhill website for a slightly more expensive price.
Adidas Studio Techfit Seamless tee
We are huge fans of Adidas active gear, and we were delighted to fit this gem of a running shirt that is both extremely comfortable and breathable but also made entirely of recycled materials.
It is made from a lightweight knit blend which is seam free, making it very smooth against the skin and helps eliminate chafing.
The long mesh panels along the side and underneath the armpits provide an airflow in high sweat areas, keeping you cool and fresh throughout your workout.
This running shirt is also a high quality manufactured shirt, making it extremely durable.
$50 may seem expensive for a running shirt, but one of this quality is worth every penny.
Sundried Olympus Men’s LS Compression top
Another brilliant eco-friendly pick is the Olympus Men’s Long-sleeve compression top from Sundried.
The company Sundried believes in reducing their carbon footprint, and the clothes they create are made in a way that reduces CO2 emissions. Their activewear is made from coffee grounds and plastic bottles. However, it is gear that is built to last.
The Olympus LS compression top contains all the features experienced runners look for in a running top.
It is made from premium fabric that is extremely soft and the skin, providing maximum comfort.
It has incredible sweat-wicking capabilities, along with a temperature control technology which keeps you staying fresh and cool throughout any type of workout.
It is a skin-tight fit, making it suitable for a base layer in cold temperatures.
Also, the compression wear helps improve blood flow to your muscles, improving performance and recovery.
At £20 from the Sundried website, this is probably the best shirt you can get at such a low price, especially given the fact that it’s produced from recycled materials.
New Balance Impact Run short sleeve
New Balance are another one of the more well known sportswear brands out there, making them pretty reputable in producing high quality active wear.
The Impact Run Short Sleeve is a versatile men’s short sleeve shirt suitable for a training run or your daily workout. The NB DRYx and NB ICEx fabric technologies help to wick away sweat, keeping you dry, cool, and comfortable.
It is a subtle, sporty, stylish number too, available in an array of colours.
What makes New Balance stand out from the crowd as a dominant brand is their drive towards being sustainable and eco-friendly, the green leaf standard. Their activewear is made of 50% or more environmentally preferred materials such as recycled or organic content.
This is a shirt designed for those more serious about their running, and with it comes a higher than average price.
Prices start at $35 from Amazon
Rabbit EZ Tee Short Sleeve
Another subtle low-key, rather stylish running shirt is the EZ-Tee short sleeve from Rabbit.
The Rabbit EZ Tee will quickly become one of your favourite running tops.
The thin and soft fabric has a great next-to-skin feel, along with moisture-wicking properties that work to keep you comfortable and dry.
It is also designed with raglan sleeves for optimal arm movement and flatlock seams to limit chafing.
The top comes in an array of both dark and bright colours to suit everyone’s style.
It is a small bit on the pricey side, at $45, but is certainly one to keep in mind.
Rockay men’s Tech tee
One of our personal favourites on the list, due to it’s two tone colour scheme, is Rockay’s Tech tee.
The design is absolutely superb and has a nice standard fit to suit all body shapes.
It is made from very lightweight and breathable fabric, and the flat lock seams make it very comfortable on the skin.
It is also very durable, something which Rockay is very confident about, even providing a one-year guarantee.
Aside from the minimal, sleek design, what drew us to this running top was the materials used.
It is made from 50% recycled polyester and 50% seaqual, which is recycled polyester made from ocean waste.
Rockay are a very sustainable and environmentally conscious brand. They remove 536g (57 bottles) of plastic trash from the ocean for every T-Shirt purchased.
A t-shirt does not come cheap, at $75 for the Rockay website, but considering their environmental practices, it is almost worth it.
New Balance Heat Grid Half Zip
If you find yourself running in cold weather more often than not, not to worry, you’ll be kept warm with the New Balance Heat Grid half zip.
This men’s running top features NB’s heat technology to help keep you warm while wicking away moisture, and a soft poly-knit construction with just a bit of stretch for comfort.
There is also a woven chest pocket for you to store small valuables while on longer runs.
The long sleeves also have thumb holes which are a very nice feature when running in colder temperatures.
Technology like this does not come cheap, however. You can pick up a NB Heat Grid half zip on the New Balance website for $89.99.
On Weather shirt
The Weather Shirt from On is a premium running top designed for running in cold conditions.
The technical fabrics keep a handle on temperatures, keeping you warm but also fresh and comfortable as your body naturally starts to heat up.
This is a shirt made for true runners, with thumb hole slits to can the sleeves down, and a clever watch window puts your smartwatch stats on show while keeping the chill out.
It has small reflective details on the front and back, along with a zipped pocket on the side for small valuables.
This is top of the line in warm weather running shirts and as such does not come cheap. One will set you back €129.
Kalenji Run Warm Long Sleeve running tee
If you’re looking for a warm running top that won’t break the bank, they don’t come much cheaper than the Kalenji Run Warm long sleeve running tee.
This budget pick from Decathlon breathable long-sleeved running T-shirt to keep you warm when running in the winter.
The material is soft and warm, making it nice to run in cold conditions, while the fabric wicks away sweat keeping you dry and comfortable.
This is a surprisingly comfortable top for the price, and can easily be worn next to the skin as the material is as soft as cotton.
As standard with warm weather running tops, it has thumb loops and the sleeves.
Perhaps most importantly, the fabric is made from 100% recycled polyester.
The price for such a top is insanely low, costing only £9.99 from Decathlon.
…And always remember, most running shirts are not suitable for washing at high temperatures or tumble drying. So to make sure your running top stands the test of time, always wash them at a 30 degree wash and allow them to air dry.