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Best Men’s Workout Shirts to Keep You Cool and Comfortable

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Updated April 17, 2024

Everyone’s workout shirt needs are different. Some people need a shirt that’ll wick the sweat away, letting them burn through mile after mile on the treadmill without turning into a lawn sprinkler. Some need a shirt that’ll stand up to many vigorous hours of hauling flaming barrels over gravel, or whatever the extreme new workout of the month is. Still, others just need something that’ll make them look hot in their 30th #gymselfie of the week. Whatever your preferences are, you’ll find something in our round-up of the best men’s workout shirts.

How to choose the best workouts shirts for men

It’s important to consider your personal needs when choosing a workout shirt. Your priority might be finding something lightweight, or it might be something that absorbs your sweat for a drier run. Maybe you urgently need a shirt with odor-control tech (and you wouldn’t be alone in that!) Either way, take the time before you shop to narrow down which features are most important to you. There are so many shirts out there, each with its own very specific set of claims, so you’ll find it easier to go in with a clear idea of what’s a must-have quality.

The best men’s workout shirts picks

Most durable men’s workout shirt: Ten Thousand Durable Shirt

Ten Thousand Durable Shirt

Designed to withstand just about everything short of a meteorite strike, the Durable Shirt lives up to its name and then some. On top of being able to take over 100 lbs of pressure per square inch without giving in, each shirt’s silver ion anti-odor treatment keeps it smelling good, too. “They’re good quality and they fit really nicely,” says movement coach Brock Armstrong. “When I was making YouTube videos, these were the shirts I’d put on because they made me look good! It flows really nicely and fits really nicely, and seems to control the odor really well, and that’s a big thing.”

  • Price: $38
  • Sizes: XS - XXL
  • Material: 65% polyester, 35% cotton
  • Color options: 9
  • Care: Not listed

Pros:

  • Tough as hell, designed to withstand over 10,000 anti-abrasion cycles
  • Anti-odor technology
  • Anti-chafe flatlock seams

Cons:

  • All the color options are very muted, so if you’re looking to stand out, this isn’t the shirt for you.
Men's Training Durable Shirt Gray Large | Ten Thousand

Men's Training Durable Shirt Gray Large | Ten Thousand

Read, Also: Best Gym Shoes for Men: 10 Expert-Approved Picks for Workouts


Best men’s workout shirt with UPF: Arctic Cool Mens Cooling Crew Neck T-Shirt

Arctic Cool Men’s Cooling Crew Neck T-Shirt

If you’re out for a long run in the sun, you want to know your skin’s protected, but you likely don’t want to slather sunscreen under your already soon-to-be-sweaty shirt. A shirt with built-in UPF, then, is a sensible option. Arctic Cool’s shirt offers UPF 50+ protection, meaning it blocks at least 98% of the sun’s ultraviolet rays—more than ten times that of a regular cotton t-shirt. It also features cooling tech and antimicrobial odor control, so you can add “not sweaty” and “not stinky” to “not sunburned” on your post-run win list.

  • Price: $34.99
  • Sizes: S-4XL
  • Material: Polyester blend
  • Color options: 12
  • Care: Machine wash cold, tumble dry low

Pros:

  • Lightweight, four-way stretch fabric
  • Antimicrobial anti-odor tech
  • HydroFreeze X cooling management system
  • Wrinkle resistant

Cons:

  • Most reviews are glowing, but a handful say the sizes run a little small
Arctic Cool Mens Cooling Crew Neck T-Shirt

Arctic Cool Mens Cooling Crew Neck T-Shirt

Best men’s workout shirt for hot weather: Fieldsheer Mobile Cooling Mens Short Sleeve Shirt

Fieldsheer Mobile Cooling Men’s Short Sleeve Shirt

If you like to work out outdoors, summer can be brutal, which is why Fieldsheer’s cooling shirt is infused with special hydrophilic and conductive mineral particles. This means both moisture and heat are drawn away from the skin, leaving you drier and cooler even when you’re working your butt off (or building your butt up, depending on your goal). It also dries fast, offers UPF 50 sun protection, and is made from recycled materials. What’s not to like?

  • Price: $34.99
  • Sizes: S-3XL
  • Material: 92% recycled polyester, 8% Spandex
  • Color options: 7
  • Care: Machine wash cold, delicate cycle, with like colors, tumble dry on low heat

Pros:

  • GEO 365 mineral infused fabric for cooling and sweat wicking
  • Flat-lock seams to help prevent chafing
  • Odor-control

Cons:

  • The design and color selections are very basic, so it’s a case of function over form
Fieldsheer Mobile Cooling Mens Short Sleeve Shirt

Fieldsheer Mobile Cooling Mens Short Sleeve Shirt

Best men’s workout shirt for odor control: Rhone Reign Short Sleeve

Rhone Reign Short Sleeve

The perennially popular Reign shirt is made with GoldFusion anti-odor technology—that’s literal gold particles, woven into the material itself. While that might sound pointlessly flashy, they actually perform a miraculous antimicrobial odor-control function, as well as making the material softer and faster-drying. Over 800 five-star customer reviews (and counting!) can’t be wrong.

  • Price: $68
  • Sizes: S-XXL
  • Material: Nylon, polyester, and elastane
  • Color options: 23
  • Care: Do not bleach, tumble dry, iron, dry clean, or use fabric softener

Pros:

  • Top-of-the-line anti-odor tech
  • Moisture-wicking
  • UPF 50
  • Simple but elegant design makes it suitable for workouts or just casual wear

Cons:

  • Some reviewers complain that the neck opening is too large
  • Pricey
Rhone Reign Short Sleeve

Rhone Reign Short Sleeve

Best lightweight men’s workout shirt: Nike Dri-FIT Miler

Nike Dri-FIT Miler

For those who need a shirt that feels like it’s barely there above all else, Nike’s classic Dri-FIT Miler is a great choice. Review after review describes it as breathable, light, and comfortable, with many also praising its fit and ability to hold its shape. Made of at least 50% recycled polyester materials, it may have fewer features than some of the other shirts on this list, but sometimes, straightforward is what you need.

  • Price: $35
  • Sizes: S-4XL (with tall sizes available up to XXL)
  • Material: Polyester
  • Color options: 2
  • Care: Machine wash

Pros:

  • Lightweight
  • Comfortable

Cons:

  • Lacking in the sweat-wicking or anti-odor tech that many other workouts shirts have.
Nike Dri-FIT Miler

Nike Dri-FIT Miler

Best budget men’s workout shirt: New Balance Accelerate Short Sleeve

New Balance Accelerate Short Sleeve

Obviously, you can get plain cotton tees in bulk for next to nothing per shirt, so if that works for you, go right ahead. If you need something more specifically designed for a hardcore workout, though, New Balance’s Accelerate is a bargain at $29.99. Featuring fast-drying technology and reflective details, it’s fitted without being tight or clingy round the middle. It’s a winning combo of light on the body and light on the wallet.

  • Price: $29.99
  • Sizes: XS-XXL
  • Material: 100% recycled polyester
  • Color options: 3
  • Care: Not listed

Pros:

  • Fast-drying tech
  • Reflective details
  • 100% recycled materials

Cons:

  • Minimal color options
New Balance Accelerate Short Sleeve

New Balance Accelerate Short Sleeve

Read, Also: The Best Gym Bags for Carrying Fitness Gear With Ease


Best sustainable men’s workout shirt: Tasc Recess MicroAir Tech T

Tasc Recess MicroAir Tech T

Tasc is dedicated to creating all of its clothing with a minimum of 85% sustainable materials (i.e., plant-based and/or recycled) by 2024. They also proudly claim that 100% of the power they use in their sewing facility comes from wind and solar, 95% of the water used in the dyeing process is recovered and reused, and all of the brand’s products are shipped in biodegradable packaging. The end result is a soft, lightweight, quick-drying shirt that you’ll feel really, really good about wearing.

  • Price: $58
  • Sizes: S-XXL
  • Material: 48% micromodal, 47% micro polyester, 5% elastane
  • Color options: 5
  • Care: Machine wash, tumble dry low

Pros:

  • Eco-friendly
  • Lightweight
  • Four-way stretch

Cons:

  • More expensive than many shirts on this list
Tasc Recess MicroAir Tech T

Tasc Recess MicroAir Tech T

Best big and tall men’s workout shirt: BadRhino Big Tall Plain T-Shirt

BadRhino Big & Tall Plain T-Shirt

What this shirt lacks in technical innovation, it makes up for in its range of sizes and colors, with the option of 20 different shades, going all the way up to 8XL. Whether you’re a husky dude or a super-swole gym beast, these well-made, 100% cotton shirts will have you covered, literally, thanks to their flattering, longer cut.

  • Price: $15
  • Sizes: M-8XL
  • Material: Cotton
  • Color options: 20
  • Care: Machine washable, do not tumble dry

Pros:

  • Huge range of sizes and colors
  • Inexpensive

Cons:

  • None of the advantages of more technical fabrics
BadRhino Big Tall Plain T-Shirt

BadRhino Big Tall Plain T-Shirt

Best sleeveless men’s workout shirt: Lululemon Fast and Free Singlet Breathe

Lululemon Fast and Free Singlet Breathe

Look, it’s not about showing off the guns, okay? Going sleeveless helps you move more freely, stay cooler, run easier and holy cow, look at my guns in this thing! Yeah, okay, maybe going sleeveless is a flex (literally), but it’s tough to argue with how good it looks in this shirt. It’s also sweat-wicking, fast drying, and made of 100% recycled polyester. No sleeves, no regrets.

  • Price: $68
  • Sizes: XS-XXL
  • Material: Recycled polyester
  • Color options: 2
  • Care: Machine wash cold, tumble dry low

Pros:

  • Antimicrobial anti-odor tech
  • Bonded seams to help prevent chafing
  • Lightweight

Cons:

  • Pricey
  • Only two color options
Fast and Free Singlet Breathe

Fast and Free Singlet Breathe

Best long sleeve men’s workout shirt: Fieldsheer Mobile Cooling Mens Hooded Long Sleeve Shirt

Fieldsheer Mobile Cooling Men’s Hooded Long Sleeve Shirt

On punishingly hot days, it can feel like you’re getting cooked even under your sunscreen, especially on the back of your neck. This top aims for the best of both worlds in that it’s made of the same cooling material as our earlier hot-weather pick, but comes with long sleeves, a neck gaiter, and a hood, so when that giant fireball in the sky blazes down, you can cover up without being roasted from within.

  • Price: $49.99
  • Sizes: S-3XL
  • Material: 92% recycled polyester, 8% Spandex
  • Color options: 8
  • Care: Machine wash cold, delicate cycle, with like colors, tumble dry on low heat

Pros:

  • Lightweight
  • Protective
  • UPF 50

Cons:

  • Some reviews say the sleeves can feel tight if you use the thumbholes
Fieldsheer Mobile Cooling Mens Hooded Long Sleeve Shirt

Fieldsheer Mobile Cooling Mens Hooded Long Sleeve Shirt

How we selected the best men’s workout shirts

We picked the shirts through a mix of thorough research, asking the experts for their opinions, and customer reviews. The selections here reflect overwhelmingly popular choices for each category.

Frequently asked questions (FAQs)

What material is best for workout clothes?

Everyone has their own needs when working out, so the best fabrics depend on what’s most important for you, whether that’s sweat-wicking, odor control, stretchiness, or anything else. That said, don’t be afraid to keep things simple if that’s your preference.

“As an athlete of a certain age, my reference point is always going to be cotton,” says writer and running coach Knox Robinson. “I’ve definitely swung between the two poles of 100% cotton tee and synthetic shirts, but for me, especially if you’re working out in warm weather, shirts are coming off anyway! I’m a proponent of natural fabrics in general. It’s the consistency: You understand the properties of cotton as a natural fabric, so it’s going to warm up in the way you’d expect, it’s got the weight you’d expect. You know what you’re going to get.”

Is cotton or Dri Fit better for the gym?

Again, it’s ultimately going to come down to preference. “I’ve raced in synthetic fabrics, and you can either have sweat-wicking and absorbent properties in a fabric, or you can have lightweight. It’s a Sisyphean bargain,” says Robinson. “Sweat-wicking and absorbent are going to hold, and then weigh down. You can have fabrics that don’t do that at all, and are incredibly lightweight because they don’t hold anything, but you’re gonna look like you just stepped out of the shower when you cross the finish line. It’s a crazy calculus you have to decide.”

Be aware of your workout environment when making your decision, though. “I grew up and did most of my training in Northern Alberta in Canada, so most of the year is very cold, and cotton is just the worst,” says Armstrong. “I actually had shirts freeze to me! I would be out running, I would get sweaty, and then in 30 degrees below zero Celsius, the shirt would freeze to my skin. I’ve got some patches of skin that will never be right again. I think a lot of people reject cotton because it chafes or picks up sweat, but it also freezes really easily and becomes very dangerous.”

Can any shirt be a workout shirt?

“Absolutely!” says Armstrong. “As a fitness instructor and coach, I know the biggest hurdle everybody has is getting past what I like to call the rolodex of excuses for not exercising, or not getting more movement in our day. I would hate to ever suggest that a shirt could be another excuse to not get some extra movement.”

What shirts are best for sweat?

As you might expect, a workout shirt can get stinky over time, so what’s the solution for dealing with that sweat smell? “There are these silver threads they put into some shirts that help control odor, because they’re naturally antimicrobial,” says Armstrong. “But I think it has more to do with how you wash and take care of the shirts, like not putting them in a pile, not leaving them damp, that kind of thing is more important than what the shirt’s actually made of.”

What’s the best way to wash workout clothes?

There are special detergents you can buy for getting the post-workout odor out, such as Win. But it’s about more than just using the right product. “The important thing is to wash them quickly, or at least hang them somewhere so they’re not just staying damp for a really long time,” advises Armstrong. “And hang them to dry, rather than putting them in the dryer. Hang them outdoors if possible, just to get the good old antimicrobial sunshine on them! But also, a lot of technical fabrics, especially the moisture-wicking ones, don’t do well in the dryer.”

The tendency of some technical fabric shirts to deform or otherwise get messed up in the laundry is another reason Robinson prefers cotton. “The ability to consistently wash it and have it come back the same is pretty incredible,” he says. “That’s the consistency of a cotton tee—that’s why you’re paying a premium for vintage tees at the flea market, they’ve lasted longer than maybe your favorite band has.”

The information presented here is created independently from the TIME editorial staff. To learn more, see our About page.

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