2015 Running Gear Guide: Men’s Tops

Short or long sleeves, these tops were tested for fit, feel and performance.


Highlight: Soft and comfortable feel.
Made of polyester and cotton, this shirt is wicking, breathable and ultra soft. It’s also thicker than other short-sleeve shirts we tested, making it a great option when you need to dress a bit warmer. Paired with arm warmers or worn under a long-sleeve top, you’ll be dry and comfortable on brisk days. A rear pocket can fit a key, some cash or up to three gels.


Highlight: Combination of style, comfort and performance.
At first glance, this shirt doesn’t seem like it should wick as effectively as some because of its incredibly soft, thin material. After wearing it on a run, however, you’ll come back dry thanks to a blend of polyester, Tencel and spandex. The semi-tapered fit and V-neck look good and still allow a full range of motion. Reflective patches on the back make this shirt extra visible in low light.


Highlight: Affordable and breathable.
Made from a thin, breathable mesh material (that’s non-see-through), this piece doesn’t feel like much on your shoulders, and that’s a good thing. It doesn’t have the wicking properties of some other short-sleeve tops, but the mesh allows heat to escape. The fit is loose on the bottom while the shoulders and arms are truer to size.


Highlight: Race ready.
Made from a stretchy, moisture-wicking polyester, this shirt is a great option for a race. A lightweight feel and loose fit allow you to move freely as you chase a PR. Vent holes and a thinner material on the back help keep you cool and dry. For training in low light, this top is easy for others to spot thanks to reflective logos on the chest and back.


Highlight: Burly enough for the coldest days.
When temperatures dip into the 20s or even the teens, reach for this long-sleeve top. Depending how cold (and windy) it is, wear it over one or two layers and you’ll hardly feel the weather. During a 5-mile run in sub-20-degree temperatures, this top was an effective outer layer over two thin long-sleeve shirts. The front is windproof, so your core stays comfortable even in a headwind.