These Are Our 10 Favorite Running Shirts
In a crowded space, these shirts stood out
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Despite owning a drawer of retired race tees and shabby threads for workout sessions, you only truly enjoy running in a handful of shirts each time you pound the pavement. That’s because the best running shirts feature an athletic cut, technical fabrics that actually perform and plenty of airflow to keep you comfortable when your workout heats up. You wouldn’t think this combination of qualities would be so hard to come by, but it is.
For novice runners looking to upgrade from a classic cotton tee, and established competitors looking to add a little versatility to their kit, now’s the time to pick up a new running shirt. Below, we’ve gathered 10 of our favorites.
Dynamic Performance: Tracksmith Harrier Tee
This Merino shirt from Tracksmith is perfect for anyone in search of natural, dynamic fiber. It’s breathable, odor-resistant and it transitions confidently from chilly mornings to warm afternoons. Perfect for shoulder season when it’s cold one minute and hot the next, we’re also fans of the muted color palette and simple design that converts into a casual post-workout tee.
For Serious Runners: Janji AFO Singlet
Run like the wind and keep your cool in Janji’s AFO Singlet, whether you’re training or racing through the next heatwave. Its blend of recycled polyester and elastane boosts airflow and range of motion, and reflective accents on the rear enhance visibility in low-light conditions. To stand out from the crowd on race day, Janji partnered with international artists to create prints you won’t find anywhere else.
Happy Trails: Patagonia Airchaser Tee
Patagonia is better known among hikers, climbers and avid outdoorsmen, but their recycled polyester tee is perfect for runners heading off-road. Breathable mesh on the back dumps heat as you work up a sweat, and taped seams reduce chafing under a pack or vest. Patagonia added a few extra touches for good measure, including a loop for air drying, a tag-free neck and reflective logos to boost visibility.
Make It Two: Brooks Distance Tee
A timeless running tee that doesn’t cost you an arm and a leg can be hard to come by, especially when some of the best running shirts cost as much as a cheap pair of trainers. Brooks didn’t break the bank, but they didn’t sacrifice our favorite features either. The Distance tee’s modern fit reduces excess fabric, and quick-drying properties won’t hold onto sweat. Add a little style to your running wardrobe with the Distance Graphic Tee.
Silky Smooth: Rabbit EZ Tee
We still don’t know how Rabbit’s polyester-blend fabric is this soft, but it makes taking off the EZ tee a challenge all its own. Perfect for tolerable temperatures when cozy fabric is king, don’t let this unassuming contender sweep you off your feet.
For Cross-Trainers: Saxx Hot Shot Tee
You know Saxx as the brand that makes some of our favorite men’s underwear, but they also design a line of apparel to keep you cool when your workout heats up. This tee adds comfort through running or strength training by promoting natural evaporation, and pairs with Saxx’s Hot Shot Underwear to complete the cool and collected ensemble.
Points for Style: On Running Performance-T
You could make the argument that On designs shoes and apparel to be functional over anything else, but we’d argue that their dedication to functionality is what makes them so stylish. We like this tee’s ultralight fabric that’s tear-proof across the front and breathable through the back, not to mention the taped (not stitched) seams to deliver what feels like a unibody fit. A reflective strip along the rear boosts safety on the road.
All-Around Coverage: Fourlaps Level Tech Tee
For those of us who don’t have the luxury of living in southern California, Fourlaps delivered a long-sleeve tee for comfort and protection through shoulder season. Its formfitting silhouette reduces drag as we pick up speed (going downhill, of course) and reflective material along the hem acts like a high-visibility running band. Active particles in the fabric allegedly regulate temperature and increase efficiency, but we’ll let you decide if this tee makes you a better runner.
For Warm Weather: Nike TechKnit Ultra Tee
It comes as no surprise that Nike makes one of our favorite running shirts — the brand has transformed running as we know it since the ’60s. Perfect for long runs in warm weather, the blend of nylon and polyester features targeted ventilation zones along the chest and back where cooling is critical. You can even locate these zones on your body by way of two-tone graphics that also add a touch of style to your kit.
UPF Protection: Arc’teryx Cormac Tee
We love soaking up the warmth and energy of the sun, but we hate the tan lines, burns and age marks it leaves behind (not to mention the potential long-term damage). Thankfully Arc’teryx understands our complicated relationship with the bright circle in the sky, which is why they added UPF 50+ protection that reduces exposure to UV rays. Perfect for running, biking, hiking or climbing, this is a shirt we could wear on a run across town or across the country.
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