Pictured Above: Tracksmith Harrier Tee
The workout shirt is one of the most underestimated and overlooked items in a man’s closet. If this applies to you, don’t feel bad. We all know how easy it is to just throw on any old shirt when you’re heading to the gym. So we’re here with a little help: A roundup of the 15 best workout shirts for men.
Unless you’re exercising in a genuine performance-focused t-shirt, your un-wicked sweat or the top’s potentially distracting material could easily curtail what could’ve been your next best workout. And if that’s not a cause for concern for you, stinking up the gym might be. Let’s be kind to our fellow exercisers with one of these options.
Rhone Essentials Training Tee
As its name indicates, this Rhone Training Tee is as essential as a piece of activewear gets. It’s made out of a recycled polyester, which means you can work out hard in it, and you’d be helping the environment. It’s just as basic and no-frills as that old non-performance shirt you keep in the almost-rubbish side of your closet. Except, it’ll last longer, wick your sweat, and ensure that you’re focusing on your workout. Besides, Rhone claims to sell their shirts to bomb diffusers, so if it can handle their sweat levels, you’re golden.
Under Armour Men’s UA Tech 2.0 Short Sleeve
Under Armor is known for their pro-athlete-level performance technology. The UA Tech 2.0 Short Sleeve Shirt allows all guys, at every level, to workout like the big dogs. And when I say all guys, I mean the range of sizes this shirt is available in starts at XS all the way up to 5XL. UA uses a proprietary fabric that feels thin and delicate on the skin, but quickly dries moisture like magic. It’s also anti-odor and prevents microbes from colonizing your body during your workout.
Mack Weldon AIRKNITx Crew Neck T-Shirt
Do you wish you could exercise shirtless, without actually exercising shirtless? The Mack Weldon AIRKNITx T-Shirt is a feather-light four-way stretch option. This crew neck top even has targeted “cool zones” where it matters most, which basically just means they’ve incorporated thin mesh pockets to let your body breathe. And regardless of this engineered breathability and lightness in weight, this ethereal piece of clothing can still wick up that sweat and kill those odors.
Lululemon Drysense Training Short Sleeve Shirt
Lululemon sciences up workout apparel like no other, and the Drysense Training Shirt can take to waterfalls of sweat while retaining its shape and stretch factor. This is thanks to its winning recipe: Recycled polyester, nylon, and Lycra. This shirt can take you from a light run, to an intense yoga session, to an afternoon at the Crossfit gym, in one day. The Drysense is also an excellent option for the style-conscious since it comes in cool colors like a heathered purple and “Aztec Brick.”
Ten Thousand Durable Shirt
The Ten Thousand Durable Shirt is the veritable workhorse of exercise tops, for those of you who love intense circuit workouts and heavy-duty weight training. You’ve got the breathable freedom to go hard, without worrying about barbels grazing and ruining your shirt (or those guns of yours Superman-ripping the shirt seams). The 65 percent polyester is the backbone of its durability, which is further fortified by anti-chafe flatlock hems. This shirt literally passed testing for over 20,000 abrasion rubs and 100 pounds of pressure per square inch.
Smartwool Men’s Merino Sport 150 Tee
For you outdoor athletes, Smartwool Men’s Merino Sport 150 Tee ensures that you can breathe during high-sweat activities and match the energy and enthusiasm of the sun that’s beating down on you. It’s made of merino, which naturally regulates temperature, odor, and moisture. This top also has a UPF 20+ rating, which reduces the sun’s effects on your skin. Go for this tee if you love a good summer run.
Vuori Strato Tech Tee
The Vuori Strato Tech Tee is another super soft option that also happens to come in nine casually stylish heathered hues. This is the kind of shirt that you can wear to the gym, or just with your favorite pair of jeans on a weekend—and if you get challenged to an impromptu footrace, you’ll be prepared. The comfortable performance knit is moisture wicking, flexible, and even has a level of UV protection. Plus, its tumble dry low, machine-washability makes it easy to maintain.
Outdoor Voices Fast Track Shortsleeve
A true-blue performance top, the Outdoor Voices Fast Track shirt checks all the boxes for a workout shirt. It’s made from the brand’s special Sweatee mesh, which takes sweat-wicking and lightness in weight to the next level. Sweatee is a technical performance cotton blend with a state-of-the-art “Drirelease” technology, that physically moves your sweat away from your body, clinging it to the fabric surface, where it will then diffuse and cool the area around you.
Patagonia Men’s Capilene Cool Daily Shirt
If you like to work out near, around, or above bodies of water, the Patagonia Men’s Capilene Cool Daily Shirt has the versatility for that. This technical tee is built for the trail or the rivers, boasting stretch, mobility, and quick-drying properties. Patagonia also has their own proprietary odor control and comfort technology, which accommodates cool or hot conditions, and wet and dry situations. Did I mention it’s fair trade sewn? Consider the Capilene shirt next time you participate in a triathlon race.
Freefly Apparel Men’s Bamboo Motion Tee
Freefly Apparel takes workout shirts into the 21st century with the Bamboo Motion Tee. It’s built with a modern fit and style, and constructed with bamboo textile. Bamboo is luxurious like silk, and is as soft as the highest grade high thread-count cotton that fancy hotels use on their sheets, but you can work out in it. Suffice to say, the Motion Tee won’t rub or irritate your sweaty skin. It offers superior stretch, insulation, and cool down capabilities, all in a lean athletic aesthetic.
Public Rec Elevate Crew
The Public Rec Elevate Crew has two unique strengths going for it. First, it’s built with a baseball-style raglan shoulder. The extra space created by the lack of a shoulder seam gives you more room in the underarm, allows a much wider range of motion than regular sleeves, and also has a cool sporty look. Second, this shirt is made of a special kind of polyester called PROTX2. This eco-friendly zinc based treated fabric is antimicrobial, antibacterial, anti-mold, anti-mildew, and, of course, anti-odor. Looking to level up your sanitary game and your style game? Public Rec’s got you covered.
Tracksmith Harrier Tee
The Tracksmith Harrier Tee takes the dynamic properties of merino, and builds it into a handsomely architected shirt that complements several body types. The structured collar and chest seam create a base for the rest of the shirt to drape over your body comfortably and flatteringly, while still giving you a full and easy range of motion. Meanwhile, the merino construction is lightweight, soft, moisture-wicking, and fights stink even during the hardest and hottest workouts. This shirt doesn’t just boast the right materials, but many well-engineered lines and forms throughout.
Western Rise Session Tee
The Western Rise Session Tee is fueled by the power of micromesh. Astoundingly lightweight, micromesh is a finely constructed textile known for feeling cool and less scratchy on your skin than bigger mesh patterns. This allows your body to breathe right through the fabric. It will basically just sop up all your sweat and make sure your body stays perfectly comfortable. Sure, by the end of a hard workout, the shirt will be fully damp, but your body will be fresh and clean. Naturally micromesh is an effective option for you sweaty gents. This top also features four-way stretch, odor fighting, and antimicrobial properties.
On Running Active-T
Typically known for their running shoes, On Running applies the brand’s “soft landing, big takeoff’ engineering strategies to this Active-T shirt. It’s made of good old fashioned cotton, which is soft and comfortable, but not the first thing your mind goes to when thinking of performance wear. That is, unless the cotton is souped up with modal, a half-synthetic fiber that gives the cotton absorbent and ventilation properties, and elastane, which gives it the stretch and full coverage you need for big movements. On top of that, this versatile shirt sports a body skimming athletic fit, perfect for any workout or casual day.
Adidas AEROREADY Designed 2 Move Feelready Sport Tee
Classic adidas has been serving up reliable athletic wear since the late ‘40s, and their Designed 2 Move Feelready Sport Tee combines the brand’s tried-and-true performance basics with modern innovations. From adidas’ AEROREADY subline of sportswear, this shirt is built with their Primegreen materials. Primegreen uses zero virgin plastic, recycled polyester, and is exceedingly high-performance. It’s water-absorbent, moisture-wicking, and works with your body. Always detail oriented, adidas also implements angled side seams and forward shoulder seams for the most nuanced movements (dancers, take note).