What Are The Best Technical Running T-Shirts In 2018? [Budget, Comfort & Warm Weather]

Need a technical running t-shirt to make your runs more comfortable? Check out our detailed buyers guide to find your perfect tee.

When I was looking for a technical running t-shirt, I quickly became lost. I saw t-shirts at $15 and others upwards of $50. Naturally, the better-known brands tend to be more expensive, but there’s more to it than that.

There’s a perfect t-shirt out there just for you.

I’ve listed the best running t-shirts (in categories) that are cheap, offer superior comfort, have excellent moisture wicking properties, are designed for running in warm weather, are perfect for all weather and finally, the overall best running t-shirt (the one I purchased).

Best Moisture Wicking Running T-Shirt

Saucony Freedom Tee

Saucony is a brand that needs no introduction in the running world. Although this running top is at the higher end price-wise, it’s excellent moisture wicking properties mean it’s well worth the cash.

Unlike other moisture wicking t-shirts, the Saucony Freedom Technical T has both water-absorbing and water-repelling fibres; so, it can deal with sweat, as well as a bit of light rain.

After finishing a reasonable sized run, the Saucony Freedom will be dry within a matter of minutes.

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Vaiden Running Tee

I’ll be honest, I didn’t know much about Vaiden before I started looking for a running t-shirt. As it happens, that means that even though their products are high quality, they are cheap.

The Vaiden technical running tee is 100% polyester, so you’ll hardly even notice you are wearing it. It’s worth bearing in mind, this is suitable for those that prefer a loose fit, rather than a slim fit.

Alongside excellent moisture wicking properties that help to keep you dry, they’ve focused on creating a tee that’s almost odor resistant. This is all thanks to their Silver Ion Technology.

The Silver Ion Technology incorporates antibacterial properties. Bacteria is broken down instantly, keeping you fresh right up until the end of your run. Perfect for those running a 5k/10k.

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Saucony Freedom Or Vaiden Running T-Shirt?

If you’re on a restricted budget, I’d be going with the Vaiden technical t-shirt.

If budget isn’t an issue, I’d be leaning towards the Saucony Freedom. I’ve had some of their clothing before, and it’s certainly worth the price tag.

Best Budget Running T-Shirt

ASICS Ready-Set Short Sleeve

Although the ASICS short sleeve is a running tee, many prefer to use these as a base layer in the winter months. That’s because in the summer, it breathes nicely, but in the winter, it retains heat well.

The ASICS Ready-Set gets a good moisture wicking set up. The mesh of the tee allows moisture to breathe, so it dries incredibly quickly.

Like the Vaiden shirt, the Ready-Set is cotton-polyester, giving an extremely lightweight feel.

ASICS are offering a lot of value for money here.

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Champion Running Tee 

Champion have been creating quality running clothing since 1919. And, they are possibly a victim of their own success. The sheer volume of product they sell, means they can price competitively, cheapest of all in most cases. And, sometimes the low price gives off unnecessary bad vibes.

So, although the Champion tee is the cheapest of the bunch, don’t let that fool you. It’s the perfect all-rounder, although it is tailored more towards those running in the summer months.

If you regularly run in cool conditions, this probably isn’t the technical running t-shirt for you.

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ASICS Ready-Set Short Sleeve Or Champion Running Tee?

Price wise, there’s little in it. So, it comes down to the weather you run in.

If you run all year round, you’ll need two things; breathability but also protection from the elements. The ASICS is a much better option for the all year-round runner.

On the flip side, if you tend to run in the summer months (or have a separate winter running t-shirt), I’d highly recommend going for the Champion.

Best Running T-Shirt For Comfort

Under Armour Tech Short Sleeve 

Let’s face it, any specifically designed running t-shirt has some level of moisture wicking ability. So, sometimes it’s all about comfort.

Under Armour’s Technical T utilises odor-technology, a moisture transport system and quick-drying UA tech fabric; it has everything anyone could ask for from a running tee and more. It’s lightweight and loose fit mean it’s incredibly comfortable too.

It’s not just a good all-rounder, it’s competitively priced.

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ZITY Technical Tee 

The cool thing about the ZITY t-shirt is the fact it doesn’t just focus on the norm. It’s got a unique feature; UV ray protection. It’s surprising how many UV rays can penetrate lightweight t-shirts which is exactly why ZITY has incorporated this feature.

So, if you’re running in the sun, day after day, this is going to be a good shout. Protection is right up to UPF 50+.

Asides from the UV ray protection, it does have anti-odor technology. I wouldn’t say the moisture wicking abilities are at the level of other t-shirts, but it’s more than enough for a recreational runner.

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Under Armour Tech Short Sleeve Or ZITY Technical T?

I don’t think there’s any competition here, especially when the price is so close. I’d pick the Under Armour Tech running t-shirt all day long.

Best Running T-Shirt For Warm Weather

Odlo Evolution Warm Crew Neck 

The Odlo Evolution is at the top of its game when it comes to moisture wicking abilities. A bit of light rain? It will dry off in minutes. A really hot day and sweating like crazy? No problem, the Evolution T will be drying as quickly as your sweating.

The problem? The high price.

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New Balance Ice Short Sleeve 

The name says it all. If you’re running in warm weather, then this is the perfect t-shirt for you. Not only does it offer excellent breathability, moisture wicking qualities and UV protection, it’s also got hi-viz trims to keep you safe if you plan on running after dusk.

It’s about the lightest and comfiest technical running t-shirt on the market, but that does come at a price.

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Odlo Evolution Warm Crew Neck Or New Balance Ice Short Sleeve?

This one is quite tough, as they both have some excellent features.

I’d be leaning towards the New Balance Ice short sleeve t-shirt for flat-out performance. This t-shirt is specifically designed for warm weather, and nothing else.

Best Sleeveless Running T-Shirt

ASICS Sleeveless Shirt 

Like the ASICS short sleeve, the ASICS running vest is 100% polyester, so it’s incredibly lightweight. Although moisture wicking properties are present, they are almost not needed. The lightweight construction offers excellent breathability.

Either way, ASICS have integrated hydrology to ensure when you do get your sweat on, it dries quickly.

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Nike Legend Dri-Fit 2.0 Vest 

The first appearance for Nike on our list. And, it’s a worthy entry, with the Nike Legend Dri-Fit 2.0 sleeveless vest.

Nike’s Dri-Fit technology is about as good as it gets when it comes to: moisture wicking, breathability and comfort. If you want maximum comfort for a reasonable price, this is an excellent choice.

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ASICS Sleeveless Shirt Or Nike Legend Dri-Fit 2.0 Vest?

The ASICS vest is more tailored towards the recreational runner, or a runner that might only wear a vest half a dozen times a year. If that’s you, save yourself the cash and grab an ASICS.

If you wear a vest every time you run, or plan on using it in a marathon like a 5K, I’d be breaking out the extra cash and investing in the Nike Legend Dri-Fit 2.0 Vest.

Our Top Pick: Under Armour Tech Short Sleeve T-Shirt

It took a bit of time, but I got there in the end. I went for the Under Armour Tech T Shirt. For the price, it offers excellent value for money. 

After using it a handful of times, I went out and bought couple more.

I do a lot of outdoor activities and so I’m not just using the Under Armour Technical Tee for running, but for hiking and mountain biking too.

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What’s Next?

Thanks for reading our review of the best technical running t-shirts.

If you’ve not checked it out already, take a peek at our beginners guide to running.

Written by
Grant Draper

Grant's a motorcycle geek, outdoor enthusiast & confirmed racing nut. He road tests all the gear he buys, and then gives his feedback here on NoobNorm.

He also details any quick fixes he stumbles upon, whether that's to stop brakes on motorcycles sticking, or unusual noises coming from gaming wheels.

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Written by Grant Draper