The best training shirts for men have to do many things well. They have to be robust, but also breathable. They should look sharp, but not like a billboard. And they should fit, but not restrict blood flow to the extremities. For those looking for the perfect training shirt, we’ve found the best for every type.
The best all-round workout shirt
Rhone Reign short sleeve training shirt
The goldilocks of the training shirts, these stick to the right places (for example around the biceps so that the sleeves don’t go up and down) and none of the wrong ones (the shoulders, armpits and …[shudder]- the bowels). It’s breathable enough to prevent soaking, but not so thin that a brisk day will make your nipples stand out for everyone on the track. V-neck styling is a subtle way of standing out from the competition with a round collar. Best of all, however, the fabric is interspersed with tiny pieces of gold, which the company says is delaying the start of that dreaded, eternal funk that almost every other training shirt succumbs to at some point. It sounds silly, but to me, other brands of shirts acquired at the same time have already acquired a certain musk that the guard graciously does not have.
The best affordable training shirt
Nike Dri-FIT Miler short-sleeve running top
Each brand now makes their own version of sweat-wicking fabric, but after nearly three decades in the market, Nike’s Dri-Fit is still a more than capable challenger to some of its more expensive counterparts. High armholes and a slim body make the Miler comfortable enough for runs and fit enough for weightlifting. The stripe pattern politely signals to others that your outfits outside the gym are also a little more sophisticated. At half the price of our other top picks – and Nike products are often retailed – this is the most cost-effective solution to the objectionable cut-off t-shirt collection that you’re still clinging to.
The best airy running shirt
District Vision Air – Wear a short sleeve shirt
Rhone and Nike training t-shirts have good breathability for most runners, but once you start hitting that 10km distance you may find that they start to stick. This is where the District Vision shirt really shines. The feather-light shirt from the cult New York run label is made of a proprietary, hidden mesh that only shows when it is stretched. As you run, the shirt literally lets in air. This technology works so well that we would consider it even if the fit of the shirt was a little different, but the DV Air-Wear is perfect in this department too. Thanks to the laser-cut construction, these T-shirts are neat and tidy at the edges and sit perfectly on any frame, regardless of whether you are in the middle of the run or are “relaxing” on the couch.
The best sleeveless training shirt
Iffley Road Lancaster Vest
In the marshiest of conditions, even the most breathable sleeves can feel like a burden. Step onto the performance tank top or, in Iffley Road parlance, the performance vest. It consists of a layer of breathable, technology-enriched piqué fabric, mainly made of polyester. It’s extremely thin, which means it doesn’t leave much to the imagination, but isn’t that what you work for?
The best airy training shirt
Lululemon Metal Vent Tech short sleeve shirt
Slightly looser than the Rhone, this selection from Lululemon deserves its place in the sacred, sweaty halls of the best men’s training shirts because it lets in plenty of air. This is in large part due to a series of visible, larger than average holes that somehow show no skin. The mottled colors and the contrast stitched seams also provide a nice respite from the bright solid colors available at your local sports store. For those of you who aren’t ready to shill for a sportswear giant without an advertising contract in place, the logo – already small and inconspicuous – is hidden on the back just below the neck.
The best long sleeve training shirt
Jacques Performance Mockneck Long Sleeve Shirt
Our rating of this mock-neck T-shirt from New York label Jacques at GQ’s first annual Fitness Awards sums up the versatility of this long-sleeved beauty: -grandpa’s sepia-tinted university team photos – but packed with modern comfort under the hood. The quick-drying Italian fabric regulates body temperature and the taped seams ensure that you stay comfortable and chafe-free, no matter how hard you push yourself. This long sleeve is just the thing for the fresh late autumn days when you have lunch at noon and a trail race at 2 a.m. “
9 More Workout Shirts We Like
Peak Velocity Elite Stretch Short Sleeve T-Shirt
The fit here isn’t quite as flattering and the material will puff up a little faster than most, but at a price below $ 25, it’s hard to argue with a training shirt that is effective at wicking sweat and drying quickly. Get hold of the weeks when the wash day keeps pushing back.
Under Armor HeatGear short-sleeved compression t-shirt
For those physically built and / or whose invitation to an NFL training camp is just a set of boxing jumps away, Under Armor still offers the best value in compression equipment.
NikeCourt AeroReact Rafa Slam
AeroReact is one of the highest quality fabrics from Nike. Shirts made from it weigh less and breathe better than shirts made from Dri-Fit, which is in no way inferior to the performance (and price) of Rhone and District Vision gear. If you’re willing to pay for the best the Swoosh has to offer, this is it.
New Balance seasonless reflective short sleeve shirt
Of all the shirts we’ve tried, this poly-spandex performance blend felt the most similar to cotton when you breathe, as if you wanted a workout shirt to breathe. If you’re exercising early in the morning or late at night, the neon colors can help with the important task of standing out from the pavement.
Adidas FreeLift T-Shirt
The back of the shirt has a slightly different fabric pattern that lets in a little more air. It is important. Your cloth car seat will thank you later.
Ten thousand light shirt
Ten Thousand’s training shirts are on the lighter end of the fabric spectrum. So where they really shine is the general breeze (as opposed to moisture wicking, where they’re firm but not excellent). In terms of looks, this is a typical badass black workout shirt and one that luckily has no logo. They also come in a range of excellent neutral colors and patterns.
Outdoor Voices CloudKnit T-Shirt
The thinnest option we tested is the OV CloudKnit. It’s the perfect option when the going gets really hot (but you’re still a few weeks away from the confidence it takes to wear McConaughey shirtless).
The North Face essential short sleeve
The material of this shirt feels light and cool, almost like silk, although it breathes a lot better than an ill-advised, colorful pajama set.
Promise Runpaca Henley
Sure, all performance fabrics stretch, but few of the fabrics we tested retained their shape, like this one that simply springs back into its original position as soon as your movement allows it.