When searching for the optimal workout shirt, functionality often takes precedence over style. After all, a minimalist cotton t-shirt is ideal but it won’t look (or smell) so great after an hour-long workout. That’s why in the past decade, some of our favorite activewear brands like Lululemon, Nike, and Under Armour have developed breathable fabrics with moisture-wicking and odor-fighting technology that are now practically must-haves for any exercise gear, especially shirts.
However, not all workout tops are created equal. When it comes to finding the right workout fit, make sure it doesn’t feel too tight or baggy around your underarms, your shoulders, or across your chest, i.e. the areas you exercise most. We sifted through some of the most popular brands to select the best workout shirts that are as practical as they are fashionable.
Looking to invest in a top-notch running shirt? Might we suggest Tracksmith’s gorgeous tee, which comes in an ultra-luxe mesh (that’s not an oxymoron anymore) that moves and feels fantastic. Plus, the sash adds a collegiate touch.
Whether you’re stretching or lifting weights, you’ll need a shirt that won’t bunch up and get in the way. That’s why we love this short sleeve tee from Lululemon, which hugs your shoulders and upper arms just right, and also has an ultra-breathable fabric that leaves us relatively dry even after our most rigorous workouts.
Rogue Fitness makes the best workout equipment in the game. From kettlebells to weight plates, to barbells, they do it all. And as for their apparel, it’s both affordable and optimized for full range of motion. Let everyone know who’s boss in this tee.
Look, the jury’s still out on whether compression shirts actually improve your workouts, but if you’re going to cop one, we recommend any Nike Dri-FIT tee. Yes, it’s fitted so you can show off your hard-earned physique, but not to the point where you’re restricted in movement. They come in a variety of different colors too — we like this earth-toned cargo khaki.
Another Amazon bestseller (rightfully so), Balennz’ top is cost effective, made with a four-way stretch fabric that’s flexible and moisture wicking.
We can’t stop giving love to Vuori’s sustainable shorts, and we found that the brand’s tees are just as noteworthy. Namely this performance tee, which is made with a perforated knit for maximum breathability. It’s light and durable, and works well for any workout.
Much has been said about Rhone’s performance tops, which are made with actual gold, and we’re happy to report that they live up to the hype. Take this running shirt, which includes the aforementioned Midas touch to ward off stench, and we found (or smelled, rather) that Rhone’s shirt remained relatively odorless compared to its competitors.
Kevin Hart’s Fabletics Men continues to churn out some quality fitness fits (see what we did there?), and this tee is no exception. It still holds its shape after four months of heavy use. Simply put: They’re made to last.
One of the thinnest shirts we tested, these were still durable enough to withstand virtually any workout. Plus, it dried quicker than most of the other tops we tried.
Looking for a long sleeve workout shirt? While Hanes is mostly known for its undershirts, underwear and socks you can also find superb line of exercise apparel at a great price. When it comes to workout shirts for men, these shirts will keep you warm for outdoor cold weather workouts and protect you from the sun’s UV rays.
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