Best Overall Running Shirt for Men
Black Diamond Rhythm Tee
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Drying Speed 8.0
Features & Versatility 10.0
Material: 57% Nylon, 43% Merino Wool | Weight: 3.3 oz
REASONS TO BUY
Exceptional temperature regulation
Natural odor control
REASONS TO AVOID
Droops when saturated
Warm in hot conditions
The Black Diamond Rhythm Tee is the best-performing running shirt we've ever tested. When tackling big adventures, your clothing needs lớn be adaptable. This shirt's unique blend of nylon and wool creates a light and airy garment with excellent temperature regulation. Adapting lớn temperature changes is crucial, especially when you want lớn carry minimal amounts of clothing. This model scored higher kêu ca any of the competition when evaluating versatility. The impressive breathability makes it perfect for all but the hottest days, and the wool provides considerable warmth when paired with a shell — the perfect option lớn wear for runs above treeline.
The nylon blend in this shirt makes it extremely stretchy, and it tends lớn droop, especially when saturated. As a result, the Rhythm Tee is not well suited for sweating in humid environments either. The wool element can feel stifling in extremely hot temperatures — if you often find yourself in temperatures above 90°F (32°C), you may want lớn look elsewhere. The sweet spot for this shirt is a warm, dry environment. Thanks lớn its exceptional three-season performance, the Rhythm is an essential shirt lớn have in your quiver. For those hot and humid days, we recommend wearing the Janji Helio Tech instead. It won't absorb as much moisture and the material is less likely lớn sag.
Read more: Black Diamond Rhythm Tee review
A scramble up lớn meet some friends climbing on the way home page from a backcountry ski. The Black Diamond Rhythm is the right choice for three-sport days and massive temperature swings.
Credit: Jeff Colt
Best Bang for the Buck
Patagonia Capilene Cool Daily
Drying Speed 6.5
Features & Versatility 8.0
Material: 100% Recycled Polyester | Weight: 4.1 oz
REASONS TO BUY
Remains cool in warm temperatures
Variety of colorways available
REASONS TO AVOID
Higher water absorption
Longer drying time
The Patagonia Capilene Cool Daily provides great comfort and versatility for a stellar price. If you want lớn add more flair lớn your runs, Patagonia offers this model in a wide array of colors. And we are impressed with the cool feel of the fabric, even while running on hot days. It's one of our favorites for daily use and a variety of activities. The Capilene fabric is sleek and simple and contains no extra features that tend lớn be overkill, lượt thích ultrasonic welds and seams. The simplicity of the design helps keep the price low, and we fully tư vấn that decision. Due lớn its synthetic fabric, it will retain some warmth even when wet and does not suffer from sagging, a common issue on natural fabrics.
The Capilene Cool Daily lacks some breathability compared lớn the more expensive models we tested. And those in extremely hot or humid climates may desire something that absorbs less moisture and dries more quickly. But you should strongly consider the Capilene Cool Daily if you want a shirt that can bởi it all at an amazing price. When you need a breathable option lớn make your runs more enjoyable, the Ultimate Direction Nimbus Tee is up lớn that task.
Best for All-Day Use
Arc'teryx Cormac Crew
Drying Speed 8.0
Features & Versatility 8.0
Material: 100% Polyester | Weight: 3.8 oz
REASONS TO BUY
Most flattering fit
High UPF rating (50+)
REASONS TO AVOID
Lacks rear reflective
The updated Arc'teryx Cormac Crew is the best-fitting shirt we tested. The new lighter fabric is more breathable and dries faster, making it perfect for hot climates that are dry or humid. The improved seams offer the same comfort as taped seams without any uncomfortable rigidity around the collar. The lighter-weight design is very compressible, making it a great sleep shirt or an easy addition for an expedition. The fit feels unrestricted but not overly baggy. The 100% polyester blend is soft and durable and resists static more kêu ca some more natural blends.
This is our go-to shirt for daily use. But we wish there was a simple rear reflective lớn offer better low-light visibility. This lightweight model also offers less heat retention kêu ca other synthetic shirts we tested. If you lập cập in cooler climates, you may opt for a slightly thicker option or consider carrying a lightweight jacket as a backup. But if you are looking for one shirt lớn bởi it all, look no further. For something more suitable for cooler conditions, the thicker wool blend and thermoregulating properties make the Ibex Merino Tencel a better pick.
Read more: Arc'teryx Cormac Crew review
Most Breathable Running Shirt
Ultimate Direction Nimbus Tee
Drying Speed 7.0
Features & Versatility 7.0
Material: 52% Polyester, 44% Lyocell, 4% Spandex | Weight: 4.2 oz
REASONS TO BUY
Cutting-edge fabric tech
Reflective on each aspect
REASONS TO AVOID
Heavy when wet (high water absorption)
Less useful in cooler weather
The Ultimate Direction Nimbus Tee uses Polartec Delta lớn create a running shirt with evaporative cooling. This textured model minimizes touch points, increasing breathability and airflow. We are big fans of the simple but reflective elements that provide visibility from every aspect. The fit is loose but not overly baggy. This shirt is comfortable across a range of activities, and while some might find the unique texture less ideal for wearing a pack, we didn't have any issue with it.
This shirt is best for hot days when wind or movement will help cool you down. If you are in humid conditions, we'd recommend a shirt with less moisture absorption. While this shirt is highly breathable, it does not dry as fast as shirts made of lighter-weight fabrics. The increased weight also reduces the packability, so sánh if you're counting grams for your upcoming ultralight backpacking trip, you may consider a lighter-weight model such as the Janji Helio Tech. This ultra-light model weighs a mere 2.9 ounces and dries fast.
Best for Hot Runs
Janji Helio Tech
Drying Speed 10.0
Features & Versatility 7.0
Material: 100% Polyester | Weight: 2.9 oz
REASONS TO BUY
Cutting edge breathability
REASONS TO AVOID
No thermal regulation
Less useful in shoulder seasons
The Janji Helio Tech is, without a doubt, our favorite for running in hot and humid conditions. This fabric is less stretchy kêu ca the competition, so sánh it doesn't sag or droop when the threads start lớn absorb moisture. Often we find that a shirt can have great breathability but absorb moisture, leaving the shirt feeling sticky or moist, which is certainly not the case with this model. While not as versatile due lớn the thin, ultra-lightweight fabric, the Helio Tech is one of our favorites for mid-summer runs.
The less stretchy fabric doesn't breathe quite as well as some other contenders, but it is still plenty breathable for running during the hottest times of the year. Unless you find a good giảm giá, this shirt isn't cheap. On the other hand, it could be a good addition for someone who runs in more humid conditions. You may prefer maximum breathability if you are running in a purely dry climate, in which case the Black Diamond Rhythm Tee is a great choice. It's an excellent performer in warm and dry conditions, offering three-season wearability and great breathability.
Best Shortsleeve Baselayer
Ibex Merino Tencel
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Drying Speed 6.0
Features & Versatility 9.0
Material: 45% Merino Wool, 45% TENCEL, 10% Nylon | Weight: 4.8 oz
REASONS TO BUY
Excellent under other layers
Wool is naturally odor resistant
REASONS TO AVOID
Heavier and hotter in direct sun
The Ibex Merino Tencel is our favorite natural fabric model for layering. While it is not the lightest shirt we tested, it was the warmest, thanks lớn the slightly heavier-weight Merino blend. A T-shirt baselayer is a good starting point for your winter clothing system and is also great for shoulder season running. This shirt feels durable but soft and is extremely comfortable, even with a pack on.
The only drawback with the Merino Tencel is the cost. Even so sánh, the price point is directly comparable lớn other natural fabric models we tested. If you plan on running only in hot conditions, we recommend a lighter, more breathable model. But this is an excellent choice if you want a T-shirt that can handle a wide range of conditions throughout the seasons. For a hot weather alternative, kiểm tra out the HOKA Glide. Not only is it exceptionally breathable, lightweight, and fast drying, but it will save you a few bucks, too.
Why You Should Trust Us
Not only did we wear these shirts for all of our aerobic and outdoor pursuits over three months, but we used them for day-to-day activities too. We hope lớn convey what products will work best for you via our rigorous testing methods and, in turn, make your decision process easier. We aim lớn help you spend your hard-earned money in a way that fits your style. We don't recommend anything lớn you that we wouldn't also recommend lớn our friends and family.
We focused our testing of each running shirt across four rating metrics:
- Comfort (30% of overall score weighting)
- Breathability (30% weighting)
- Drying Speed (20% weighting)
- Features & Versatility (20% weighting)
This review is led by Matthew Richardson, a review editor with years of outdoor experience. Some personal highlights include an out-and-back day trip lớn the Chicago Basin 14ers in the San Juan Mountains and a solo ride of the Colorado Trail in 2021. With a passion for gear, Matthew always looks for the best when setting out on a new project. After years of using a variety of gear for personal projects and trips, he hopes lớn convey the best products for your specific needs.
Laying the foundation for this review was Jeff Colt. He has years of industry experience working with trail-running brands during his two decades of competitive running, including the last five years as an elite ultramarathoner.
Analysis and Test Results
Over the years, we have developed a thorough test process that evaluates the most important metrics when deciding if a running shirt is right for your activities. While we primarily focused on running while performing our tests, we realized there are a wide variety of uses for a shirt, and we wanted lớn ensure we captured as many of these use cases as well.
Layering, thermal regulation potential, breathability, and the temperature use range were all things we considered. We also performed quantitative tests analyzing drying speeds by comparing weight during drying time intervals. Once we gathered the data, we sat down lớn score and compare the various models lớn help you determine which options are best for you.
Determining what shirt is best for you and how much you should spend on such a basic item can be difficult. We tested shirts with a wide range of prices lớn be able lớn recommend products that fit everyone's budget. With a price increase, you often receive more premium design elements such as ultrasonic seams, thin stitching, and advanced materials. Sometimes these materials are more versatile; other times, they are ultrathin and light and stand out for their weightlessness.
If you are looking for the best performance-to-value ratio, we would recommend the Patagonia Capilene Cool Daily. This shirt scores high in comfort and versatility, and while you don't receive perfectly flat seams and material blends, the performance cannot be matched at this price point.
Our highest weighted metric when analyzing scores and comparisons is comfort. Shirts need lớn be comfortable under a variety of circumstances and activities. Comfort needs lớn be maintained when your shirt is wet, under high/low humidity, in cool/hot temperatures, and with or without a pack. We carefully tested each model and determined which we felt were the most comfortable. Some shirts attempt lớn minimize discomfort by including top-of-the-line technology lớn reduce seams and increase airflow or by integrating multiple fabric types lớn have different breathability zones. After our testing and research, we determined the two most important elements are seam type and fabric type, followed by fit.
Consider how the seams feel on your current shirt when searching for a shirt. If you are often plagued by seam chafing, lean towards a shirt with more ultrasonic welds (taped seams). These seams are welded together under heat, and they are much thinner and protrude less kêu ca your classic stitched seams. One downside of these types of seams is their lack of stretch. The ON Performance-T features the highest amount of taped seams with minimal stitching throughout the shirt. Unfortunately, the neck and back panels were stiff and restrictive. The updated Arc'teryx Cormac Crew has a solid but slightly stretchy neck seam that replaces the previous taped version. This provides a structure that doesn't sag without feeling stiff and is easier lớn pull on and off.
For a classic seam design that offers premium comfort, we recommend the HOKA Glide, Patagonia Capilene Cool Daily, or the Janji Helio Tech. One of our favorite types of stitching is merrow stitching, which joins two pieces of fabric in a thin, low-profile manner. The Arc'teryx Cormac Crew offers this, and we find it lớn be one of the most comfortable for all-day use. This shirt is our favorite seam design from any of the models we tested.
Fabric Type and Weave
The majority of the shirts we tested are polyester. This synthetic material provides great durability and warmth when wet and absorbs less water kêu ca natural materials such as wool and cốt tông. We found all the models in this test group lớn contain comfortable face fabrics that didn't irritate our skin. The Vuori Strato Tech was the most comfortable shirt cut from synthetic fabrics. We were surprised by how soft the shirt felt, and at first, you'd think it was a natural blend lượt thích cốt tông or wool. The Ultimate Direction Nimbus Tee is another outstanding synthetic option. This shirt uses innovative Polartec Delta fabric for increased breathability and incomparable comfort.
The Black Diamond Rhythm Tee was previously the only model lớn feature a Merino wool and nylon blend. It is incredibly thin and very stretchy, so sánh it conforms lớn the toàn thân and is great when wearing a pack. Another great choice for a more natural blend is the Ibex Merino Tencel, which has a Merino, TENCEL mix. The Trew Lightweight Nuyarn Merino Basic T has the highest percentage of Merino in its blend, but we didn't find this lớn provide more comfort over other synthetic models. The softest fabric in our lineup was the Rabbit EZ Tee, which features a spandex, polyester blend.
We were impressed with the fit of all the models we tested and have no complaints about the various cuts or shapes. Fit is incredibly variable from person lớn person. If you often have difficulty with the fit or are picky when it comes lớn length, we suggest you purchase from a retailer with a good return policy. Fortunately, our testers found no shirt was overly long or short in any dimensions. If we had lớn pick our favorite fitting shirt, it would be the Arc'teryx Cormac Crew. This model does a great job of feeling relaxed but not baggy, offering freedom of movement while still fitting athletically. This shirt is great for all-around use, from running lớn bouldering or days on the river.
Breathability is important in a running shirt; you should determine what conditions you plan lớn lập cập in before purchasing. A breathable shirt will help move heat away from your toàn thân and improve drying times, but it can also make the shirt thermoregulate less. If you plan on running in hot, humid conditions, we recommend a shirt with high breathability or a high drying score. If you want your shirt lớn be more adaptable lớn various conditions, stick lớn a shirt with less breathability.
The Ultimate Direction Nimbus Tee had the greatest breathability out of all the shirts we tested, and it was our go-to pick for hot trail runs. For laps around the track where we craved a shirt with an airy feel, the similarly breathable HOKA Glide was another great option. Textured shirts lượt thích these two tees have increased surface area, creating airflow pockets. While some could find the feel less ideal against the skin with a pack on, our testers had no issues even with 25-pound loads. But it's something lớn consider, especially if you're particularly sensitive lớn textures.
The Black Diamond Rhythm Tee also has great breathability while retaining some heat thanks lớn its wool blend. The Nathan Rise 2.0 and Rabbit EZ Tee received high marks for their breathability, which was surprising given these models have thicker fabric. This is nice for chilly runs that warm up later. The high-visibility colorway of the Nathan Rise 2.0 is also great for pre-dawn starts, where the heat ramps up throughout the morning.
You may want multiple shirts lớn pull from if you lập cập in various conditions throughout the year. It can be nice lớn own a dedicated summer shirt for maximum breathability and something a bit more insulating for colder shoulder season runs, where it's still T-shirt weather, but you aren't sweating as much.
Nobody wants lớn lập cập in a shirt soaking in sweat, so sánh drying time is important when comparing these running shirts. Drying time is directly influenced by the material type and breathability. Generally, the fastest-drying shirts weighed the least, which makes sense given there is less fabric lớn absorb moisture. This is your most important metric if you live in a humid or hot climate.
To test each shirt, we put them all in the wash and weighed them after the spin cycle; this gave us a "saturated" weight that we could then compare lớn the shirt's dry weight. We then put them into the dryer individually and pulled them out lớn weigh them every five minutes. This gave us a nice graph of how quickly each shirt would return lớn its dry weight.
Unsurprisingly, the HOKA Glide and Janji Helio Tech were the fastest drying, given they were also the lightest shirts we tested. Other top drying shirts are the Arc'teryx Cormac Crew and ON Performance-T. After our testing, we found that dry weight is a better indicator of drying tốc độ kêu ca the breathability score.
Running in wet conditions is tricky because if it's hot, you want the least amount of fabric weighing you down. If it's cool out and you're running in the rain, high breathability can quickly make you feel cold, while having a thicker shirt, even though it's heavier, can provide more heat retention. We recommend the Nathan Rise 2.0, Patagonia Capilene Cool Daily, and Ibex Merino Tencel for cooler running in wet conditions.
We'd recommend a shirt with the highest drying score for hot conditions with humidity. Alternatively, we recommend using breathability as your most important technical metric for hot conditions without humidity. But as with most outdoor gear, having a few options for the various conditions you will encounter throughout the year is a good idea.
Features and Versatility
We love gear that is versatile and functional across many different types of activities. It's crucial for us – especially when spending this much money on a shirt – lớn use it for more kêu ca one of our recreation activities. If you only find yourself running in your shirt and then taking it off as soon as you finish, any of the shirts we tested will work well for you. But if you want your investment lớn function for wide-ranging activities and temperatures, you should seriously consider prioritizing this category. Our main attribute when looking at versatility is how well each shirt works across a wide temperature range and under various conditions. We also considered items lượt thích reflective areas, UPF ratings, and odor control mechanisms, but largely, the score can tell you how well the shirt will perform under a range of conditions.
Thanks lớn its light Merino wool blend, the Black Diamond Rhythm Tee stands out among all the models we tested. We tested these shirts in a wide range of temperatures, from desert conditions lớn higher elevations in the mountains, and the adaptability of this model stood out from the rest. As runners, we develop a lot of heat, and the Rhythm's ability lớn regulate that heat is superior. Adaptable lớn almost all temperature conditions, the heat was dissipated in the valley sweating but retained when the pace slowed, and the wind picked up on ridgelines and above treeline. This is our favorite model for trail running in dry conditions, and its versatility heavily influenced why it received our top award.
The Ibex Merino Tencel is our favorite model lớn layer. It contains natural materials similar lớn the Black Diamond Rhythm, but the weave is tighter, making the shirt warmer and smoother against the skin. This tighter weave also increases the durability, so sánh we find ourselves pulling this shirt out for other activities that are more demanding on gear, lượt thích bouldering or biking. Other top performers included the REI Active Pursuits, Patagonia Capilene Cool, and Arc'teryx Cormac Crew. While these models are heavier kêu ca some of our lightweight options, they have the ability for more all-day use outside of running. Each of these shirts also feels great with a backpack or hydration pack, which is a key consideration given we go on many long-distance trail runs.
Two new models that score highly in this category are the Rhone Reign and Lululemon Metal Vent Tech Short-Sleeve. Both models have thicker fabric, allowing for comfort in a wide range of temperatures. This thicker fabric also makes them more usable in various social settings. For more specific thể hình shirts, we'd recommend these options. A two-tone colorway found on the Lululemon grabs more attention kêu ca some duller models prioritizing technical aspects.
We hope our in-depth review has made it easier lớn decide what shirt will work best for your lifestyle. Remember lớn consider your location and climate when buying a new shirt. Hot or cold, warm or dry, there is a shirt for you in our lineup. We recommend going with the lightest shirt you can afford for hot conditions. For trails and ultra runs, you should prioritize versatility for regulating across a wide temperature range. Running in wet and humid conditions? Choose something that dries fast. If sweating is an issue, choose a model that has high breathability. This lineup has some of the best shirts we've ever tested, and we know there is something for everyone. Have fun out there!
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