If you run regularly and don’t want to miss out during the cold weather season, you need good quality long sleeve running shirts. These are not only good for keeping you warm, but they also offer protection from the sun’s UV rays in summer. Depending on what conditions you’re preparing for, long sleeve running tops can be perfect all year round.
The best long sleeve shirts are lightweight, breathable, and moisture-wicking. Look for high-quality fabrics like merino wool, which is thermoregulating. It will keep you warm in cold temperatures and cool in the heat, too. Additionally, looser fitting tops can be better for summer runs, while tight long sleeve running shirts will be easier to layer under more clothing in winter.
Read on to find out which are the best long sleeve tops of 2023, for all running styles and conditions.
This excellent thermal shirt by Brooks Running has been updated to make it perform even better in the cold. It may be made of 91% cotton / 9% spandex, but it still works to wick away moisture and keep you dry when running in winter. The convenient thumb loops make it an ideal companion during those transition days when you don’t want to wear full gloves, too.
We like the watch pocket which allows you to check your splits without taking off the glove section, thereby keeping your hands nice and warm at all times.
This top looks great worn casually, as well. It has a slim fit cut, without being too constricting, and can be worn on warm weather days too.
For a long sleeve running shirt that performs in the cold and keeps you visible on your night runs, opt for Under Armour’s Streaker range. Both men’s and women’s designs feature useful reflective strips on the back to help you be safer in low light. Additionally, this top has mesh panels for added ventilation, which means you’ll never overheat in it.
The Streaker long sleeve top is made from UA microthread fabric (a combination of polyester and Elastarell), designed to dry quickly and remove sweat from the surface of your skin. We love it for colder days, but would also enjoy the long sleeves for sun protection with no extra sweat in the summer.
This is one of Nike’s best sellers, and deservedly so. The Legend top is made with the brand’s DRI-FIT fabric, which ensures it wicks away moisture while keeping you comfortable on cold days. As far as athletic shirts go, the Nike top can be worn pretty much anywhere and in most conditions. It offers extra protection from the sun in summer, it keeps you warm in winter, and it’s lightweight and moisture-wicking enough that it can be used for indoor training.
The comfortable fabric is 100% polyester, which doesn’t help for odor control, but otherwise we can’t fault this running top. It features flat seams, minimizing any friction and risk of chafing. It is easy to pull on or off if you want to change (during all-day events, for example). And it fits snugly enough to become a tight base layer under other tops (like a lightweight jacket).
It’s important to have a running top that features sun protection, in cold or warm weather alike. Even when it’s cold out, you may be hitting some strong sun, and Coolibar’s LumaLeo top is the ideal choice for those cases. This is thanks to zinc oxide thrown in the mix with the shirt’s fabric.
Although the LumaLeo is made with organic cotton (which is not great at keeping you dry), it also features moisture-wicking bamboo viscose which helps regulate temperature. Finally, added elastane keeps the top stretchy and gives you full mobility.
The relaxed fit is great for any runner, while the thumbholes look good and keep the sleeves down in all types of weather. We also like the flat seams, comfortable against the skin.
This versatile long sleeve top is one of the lightest and most comfortable running shirts available. With a size range to suit all body types and a loose fit, both men’s and women’s versions are made of 100% polyester. They also feature mesh details to keep your skin breathing and avoid sweat and discomfort.
Salomon’s Agile tee is made for all seasons, so again it’s a good price-to-quality ratio if you think about how much wear you’ll get out of the top. Its performance fabric lets you enjoy a bit of a cool breeze in the summer, but will keep you warm enough in winter, especially if layered under a lightweight jacket.
Salomon is one of the absolute reference brands in trail running, always updating their product range with the newest technical fabrics and design innovations. That’s why this top continues to rank among our favorites year after year: it just gathers the best features possible, on the road or on the trails.
Merino wool is one of the best types of fabric for moisture control. It’s naturally odor repellent and it dries quickly, while allowing the air to move freely between your skin and the shirt. Finally, merino also as antibacterial properties, which is how it fights bad smells, and it’s hypoallergenic for the most sensitive skins. This all makes Smartwool’s Merino 150 Baselayer a fantastic running top.
A long sleeve shirt made from merino wool is typically thinner and lighter, which feels good when you layer it under a jacket for cold weather running. Smartwool’s top also has a flatlock seam construction that prevents chafing and irritation, while the fabric itself is soft and comfortable against your skin.
It’s important to note that Smartwool’s tops are colored with plant-based dye and that the wool is all responsibly sourced.
Mizuno makes great running apparel and it’s all reasonably priced, too. This is why we’re excited about the Alpha long sleeve shirt. The brand highlights the fact that this shirt has been developed for running performance and training sessions. It’s designed for good ventilation, with added moisture-wicking properties and a reflective design on the sleeve (called NightLife).
Additionally, stitching has been done according to a seamless design, aiming to avoid any risk of chafing or discomfort. The overall feel is that of a high-quality top for a much smaller price than those from competitor brands.
To make sure you keep warm in winter, you need performance wear that’s been designed to wick away moisture and help regulate body temperature. Reebok’s Performance Thermal Shirt has a “stay put” design to prevent it from riding up when you run. It also features stretch fabric to encourage full range of motion without any discomfort.
We like the way the stitching on this top has been flattened and moved to the outside, so there’s no rubbing on the skin. This top stays close to the body, keeps you from getting cold, and will fit perfectly under other layers if you’re planning a long day out (or a hike or ski trip, too!).
Knowing how to choose the right running shirt will help you get the most suitable one for your needs. You need to keep in mind the type of running environment you’re preparing for, which will influence your choice of material and fit. And, of course, personal preference plays a huge role – so make sure you try different cuts and styles before settling on your favorite.
Layering your activewear can help keep you running in all seasons and weather conditions. Long-sleeved T-shirts are perfect for colder climates, can be layered as needed, and they’re also good in summer for extra protection from the sun’s rays.
Consider whether you’re running in more or less humid conditions. This may impact if you go for a material like merino wool, which is quick drying and naturally moisture repellent. If humidity is less of a concern, polyester and stretchy materials like spandex and lycra are good choices.
Cotton is not the best option when it comes to long sleeve running tops, because it tends to retain moisture and not be very breathable. A blend of cotton and synthetic fibers like nylon or polyester is a much better option. There are long-sleeved T-shirts made of 100 % polyester with the right design and construction, which can be breathable and durable.
Some T-shirts also incorporate Lycra, which makes them stretchy and comfortable. The same goes for spandex or elastane, which can all contribute to a better range of motion when you run.
Choose a material that is easy to clean, too. If you run often, quick-drying fabrics are ideal so you’re not waiting around in between washes!
Though it depends on personal preference, the fit of a running T-shirt is crucial. Some people like it to be loose, while some prefer tight fits. With a long-sleeved T-shirt, it is better not to have it too loose or baggy. This way, you prevent cold air from making its way between the top and your skin.
Be aware of chafing risks, too. It’s easy to get chafed from chunky seams or from materials that are a bit rough against the skin. Flat seams are the best option and most high performance apparel feature them these days.
Finally, if you prefer a tight fit, make sure your top has stretchy fabric in it (e.g. Lycra, as mentioned above). This will prevent you from feeling too restricted during your runs.
The best running T-shirts are designed to keep you cool and comfortable while you go for a run, regulating your body heat in colder climates. Choosing the best long-sleeved running T-shirt is a matter of preference but consider factors like fit, style, and material, all of which are important for comfort. Here, we have listed some of the best running long sleeve T-shirts currently on the market, so start off trying them out and see what you think. Happy running!