The 16 Best Workout Shirts for Men of 2022

The lightweight and flexible Pro Dri-FIT Top from Nike is our best overall pick

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Choosing the right workout shirt can be the difference between a good workout and a great workout. Workout shirts for men are made from various materials, with cotton and polyester being the most common. Polyester is lightweight and durable but can hold onto odor and sometimes shrink in the wash. Cotton, although common, isn’t ideal if you sweat a lot during exercise.

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Nike’s Pro Dri-FIT Top is our top overall pick because of its lightweight and flexible material and because it comes in a wide range of colors and sizes. For a budget-friendly option, we recommend Russell Athletic’s Cotton Performance T-Shirt, thanks to its comfortable fabric and protection against the sun’s harmful rays.

“Cotton is the worst material to work out in because it tends to hold on to water, meaning that you’re keeping it on your skin. When cotton shirts get wet, they can stay wet for an extended period of time,” says Matt Scarfo, NASM CPT-OPT, CES, a certified personal trainer, movement specialist, and performance coach. When it comes to popular brands of workout shirts for men, some of our favorites are listed below, but we particularly like the shirts from Nike, Under Armour, and Arctic Cool. 

To choose the best workout shirts for men, we first spoke with two fitness experts for their advice on what to look for when purchasing. We then researched over 45 top-rated products across the most trusted activewear brands and assessed them for fit, materials, comfort, and design. 

Based on our research, here are the best workout shirts for men on the market.

Best Overall: Nike Pro Dri-FIT Top

4.8
Nike Pro Dri-FIT Top

Amazon

Pros
  • Wide range of colors and sizes

  • Made from at least 50% recycled materials

  • Lightweight and high-stretch fabric

Cons
  • No UPF protection

  • Expensive

Our top overall pick is the Nike Pro Dri-FIT top. There are so many things we love about this workout shirt for men, from the wide range of colors you’re able to choose from to the fact that it’s made from lightweight and high-stretch fabric. This means you should be able to move freely throughout your workout while wearing it. It’s also made from at least 50% recycled materials, which is great for the environment.

Note that there is no UPF protection (or protection against ultraviolet rays) on this workout shirt, so if you’re planning to work out outdoors often, it may not be the right option for you. It’s machine-washable and comes in a wide range of sizes, from S to 4XL.

Price at time of publication: $43

Material: 93% polyester, 7% spandex | UPF: No | Sizes: S to 4XL | Sweat-Wicking: Yes | Care: Machine Wash

Best Budget: Russell Athletic Cotton Performance T-Shirt

Russell Athletic Cotton Performance T-Shirt

Amazon

Pros
  • Wide range of colors and designs

  • Lightweight and comfortable

  • Great for outdoor use

Cons
  • Some may prefer shirts without cotton

  • Some may find the fabric too thin

For a budget-friendly workout shirt for men, we recommend Russell Athletic’s Cotton Performance T-Shirt. With this workout shirt, you have a ton of designs and colors to choose from, making it a reliable option for every taste. It’s lightweight and comfortable and includes UPF 30+ protection, which means it’s great for outdoor use.

Note that some people may prefer workout shirts that aren’t made from cotton because, unlike other materials, cotton can absorb moisture quickly. Furthermore, some may find the fabric on this workout shirt too thin. At the price point, however, it’s still a great choice and comes in a wide range of sizes, ranging from S to 4XL.

Price at time of publication: $10

Material: 60% cotton, 40% polyester | UPF: Yes, UPF 30+ | Sizes: S to 4XL | Sweat-Wicking: Yes | Care: Machine wash

Best Value Pack: Real Essentials Dry-Fit Crew T-Shirt

Real Essentials Dry-Fit Crew T-Shirt

Amazon

Pros
  • Five pack of shirts

  • Wide range of colors and sizes

  • Great for outdoor use

Cons
  • May need to order a size up

  • Material may not be as high-quality as other options

Looking for multiple workout shirts for men? We recommend Real Essentials’ Dry-Fit Crew T-Shirt. The thing we love about these workout shirts is that a single pack includes five shirts. They come in a wide range of colors and sizes and offer UPF 50+ protection, making them a dependable choice for outdoor activities. 

Note that the sizing may fit small, so you may need to order one size up. The material of these workout shirts for men may not be as high-quality as other items on this list, but the fact that you get five instead of one makes up for it. They’re also machine-washable and come in a wide range of sizes.

Price at time of publication: $33

Material: 90% polyester, 10% spandex | UPF: Yes, UPF 50+ | Sizes: S to 3XL | Sweat-Wicking: Yes | Care: Machine wash

Best for Outdoor Workouts: Patagonia Lightweight Short-Sleeve Shirt

Patagonia Lightweight Short-Sleeve Shirt

Backcountry

Pros
  • Made from recycled materials

  • Includes anti-odor technology

  • Lightweight and moisture-wicking

Cons
  • Expensive

  • No UPF protection

For outdoor workouts, we recommend Patagonia’s Lightweight Short-Sleeve Shirt. Made from 100-percent recycled polyester, it’s great for the environment. We love that it includes anti-odor technology, which means that you shouldn’t get that sweaty smell as often as you do with other workout shirts. It’s lightweight and moisture-wicking, making it great for warm weather. 

However, note that this item is also one of the more expensive ones on our list, and it also comes in a limited range of colors compared to other options. There’s no UPF protection either, so you may want to consider protecting yourself in other ways if you wear it outdoors.

Price at time of publication: $49

Material: 100% recycled polyester | UPF: No | Sizes: XS to 2XL | Sweat-Wicking: Yes | Care: Not listed

Best Tank Top: Ciele Athletics NSBTank

Ciele Athletics NSBTank

Ciele Athletics

Pros
  • Includes anti-odor technology

  • Made from organic and recycled materials

  • Machine washable

Cons
  • Expensive

  • Some may prefer shirts without cotton

Ciele Athletics’ NSBTank is our top pick for the best tank top workout shirt for men. If you prefer wearing tank tops to regular t-shirts, this one is worth a look. With a unique design made from organic cotton and recycled polyester, you’ll definitely stand out from the crowd while wearing it. There’s anti-odor technology included, which also helps protects against harmful microbes.

The largest size this tank top is offered in is XL, so the sizes offered are quite limited compared to other options on our list (most go up to 2XL, 3XL, or 4XL). Note that it's made with cotton and is expensive compared to other options, but we still think it’s worth it for its sleek look. It’s also machine washable.

Price at time of publication: $65

Material: 60% organic cotton, 40% recycled polyester | UPF: No | Sizes: XS to XL | Sweat-Wicking: Yes | Care: Machine wash

Best Plus Size: Gymshark Essential Oversized T-Shirt

Gymshark Essential Oversized T-Shirt

Gymshark

Pros
  • Wide range of colors and sizes

  • Oversized fit

Cons
  • Some may prefer shirts without cotton

  • No UPF protection

Our top pick for the best plus-size workout shirt for men is the Gymshark Essential Oversized T-Shirt. A crew neck and a straight hem create a basic silhouette that can go from the gym to, well, almost anywhere. There’s a wide variety of colors and sizes to choose from, and the oversized fit means it won’t feel as tight in places you want it to be loose.

However, note that it is made from cotton, which tends to hang on to moisture. There’s no UPF protection either, but it does come at a reasonable price point and offers an attractive fit.

Price at time of publication: $26

Material: 95% cotton, 5% elastane | UPF: No | Sizes: XS to 3XL | Sweat-Wicking: Not listed | Care: Not listed

Most Versatile: Rhone Reign Sweat-Wicking Top

Rhone Reign Sweat-Wicking Top

Amazon

  • Wide range of colors and sizes

  • High-stretch fabric

  • Short and long sleeve options

  • Expensive

Looking for the most versatile workout shirt for men? We recommend the Rhone Reign Sweat-Wicking Top. Made from premium materials, this workout shirt comes in a wide range of colors and sizes. The shoulder seams are designed to facilitate easy movement and flexibility, which is ideal for a variety of workouts, like running and yoga.

We also love that it can be purchased in short or long sleeves, making it a top choice, whatever the weather. Note that Rhone recommends washing this workout shirt in cold water, and it does come with UPF 50+ protection, which is perfect for outdoor use.

Despite all the positives, the main drawback is the price. But we still think it’s a quality option for someone who lives in workout apparel, day in and day out.

Price at time of publication: $68

Material: 56% nylon, 33% polyester, 11% elastane | UPF: Yes, UPF 50+ | Sizes: S to 2XL | Sweat-Wicking: Yes | Care: Machine wash cold, lay flat to dry

Best Long Sleeve: Under Armour HeatGear Long Sleeve

Under Armour HeatGear Long Sleeve

Amazon

Pros
  • Wide range of colors and sizes

  • Lightweight and comfortable

  • Mesh panels for additional ventilation

Cons
  • No UPF protection

  • May need to add layer in very cold weather

With mesh panels on the underarms and back, Under Armour’s HeatGear Long Sleeve is a top choice for a long-sleeve shirt that is still breathable. These mesh panels provide additional ventilation for more intense workouts. 

This workout shirt for men is lightweight and comfortable and comes in a wide variety of colors and sizes. Whatever your taste, we’re confident there’s an option for you. 

However, note that this is more of a compression baselayer than a standalone workout shirt, so you may need another shirt to wear on top of this one if the weather gets very cold. This is because it’s ultra-tight and feels like a second skin. 

There’s no UPF protection, but it is sweat-wicking and can be machine-washed cold. Under Armour’s HeatGear Long Sleeve comes in a range of sizes, from XS to 4XL.

Price at time of publication: $35

Material: 84% polyester, 16% elastane | UPF: No | Sizes: XS to 4XL | Sweat-Wicking: Yes | Care: Machine wash cold

Most Durable: Ten Thousand Durable Shirt

Ten Thousand Durable Shirt

Ten Thousand

Pros
  • Includes anti-odor technology

  • Available in regular or muscle fit

Cons
  • No UPF protection

We recommend Ten Thousand’s Durable Shirt as our best pick for a tough, durable workout shirt that’ll last for years. This workout shirt has been tested by athletes and trainers and is designed for long-term durability, which is why we chose it as our most durable pick.

It includes anti-odor technology for the most intense of workouts, and we love that it can be purchased in both regular and muscle-fit versions. Muscle-fit shirts usually fit tighter to your torso compared to regular-fit workout shirts, which helps to make your physique more noticeable.

Note that the shirt lacks UPF protection. But it does come in a wide variety of colors and sizes, and Ten Thousand also provides a discount if you buy two of these in a pack. The shirt can also be machine-washed.

Price at time of publication: $38

Material: 65% polyester, 35% cotton | UPF: No | Sizes: XS to 2XL | Sweat-Wicking: Yes | Care: Machine wash

Best for Runners: Reebok Running Speedwick T-Shirt

Reebok Running Speedwick T-Shirt

Reebok

Pros
  • Mesh panels for additional ventilation

  • Reflective detail for low-light conditions

  • Machine washable

Cons
  • Limited range of colors

  • No UPF protection

For runners, we recommend the Reebox Running Speedwick T-Shirt. We like that there are mesh panels for additional ventilation, which is great if you’re running longer distances or if you tend to sweat a lot when working out. There is reflective detail for low-light conditions, making this workout shirt for men a reliable choice for outdoor running at night.

Note that no UPF protection is included, so if you’re running in the sun, you may want to consider protecting yourself in other ways. Although there are only two colors to choose from, we like that the Reebok Running Speedwick T-Shirt comes at a reasonable price point. 

Reebok recommends machine washing this workout shirt in cold water, and sizes range from S-2XL.

Price at time of publication: $30

Material: 100% recycled polyester | UPF: No | Sizes: S to 2XL | Sweat-Wicking: Yes | Care: Machine wash cold

Best on Amazon: Amazon Essentials Short-Sleeve T-Shirt

Amazon Essentials Short-Sleeve T-Shirt

Amazon

Pros
  • Wide range of colors and sizes

  • Budget-friendly

  • Sweat-wicking

Cons
  • No UPF protection

  • No anti-odor tecnology

If you’re looking for the best workout shirt on Amazon, our recommendation is the Amazon Essentials Short-Sleeve T-Shirt. This shirt comes in a wide range of colors and sizes, and we love that you can buy multiple of these and rotate between the colors, thanks to their reasonable price point. 

However, note that there are some drawbacks. There is no UPF protection, which means that if you’re going to be exercising in the sun often, it’s not ideal. The fit may be tight for some, so you may need to order a size up. And it doesn’t have anti-odor technology, like some other items on our list. However, we think that the affordable price justifies these drawbacks. It can be machine-washed, and it’s sweat-wicking. Note that the sizing ranges from XS to 2XL.

Price at time of publication: $15

Material: 95% polyester, 5% elastane | UPF: No| Sizes: XS to 2XL | Sweat-Wicking: Yes | Care: Machine wash

Best for Hot Weather: Vuori Clothing Strato Tech Tee

Vuori Clothing Strato Tech Tee

Vuori Clothing

Pros
  • Great for outdoor workouts

  • Wide range of colors and sizes

  • Includes anti-odor technology

Cons
  • Expensive

Vuori Clothing’s Strato Tech Tee is our top pick for the best hot-weather workout shirt for men. It has UPF 30+ protection, making it a great option for working out outdoors. We love the wide range of colors and sizes, and there’s also anti-odor technology included. This helps to keep your body dry and prevents bacteria, especially if you sweat often during exercise.

The only con that we found with this hot-weather workout shirt is the price. The fact that it’s soft, comfortable, and high-quality explains it, however. 

Vuori Clothing recommends washing this workout shirt in cold water, and you can buy it in a range of sizes, from S to 2XL.

Price at time of publication: $54

Material: 96% polyester, 4% elastane | UPF: Yes, UPF 30+ | Sizes: S-2XL | Sweat-Wicking: Yes | Care: Machine wash cold

Best for Cold Weather: Brooks Running Dash Half-Zip Jacket

Brooks Running Dash Half-Zip Jacket

Amazon

Pros
  • Great for outdoor workouts

  • Made from 85-percent recycled materials

  • Mesh panels for additional ventilation

Cons
  • Expensive

  • No anti-odor tecnology

We chose Brooks Running’s Dash Half-Zip Jacket as our top recommendation for the best cold-weather workout shirt for men. We love that it’s made from 85% recycled materials, and its UPF 45+ protection means wearing it will help to keep you protected from the sun. There are mesh panels underneath the underarms to increase breathability and help you maintain an ideal temperature as you move.

Unfortunately, there’s no anti-odor technology. It’s also pricier than other options on our list, but we think the high-quality, sweat-wicking material and UPF rating makes it worth it. Plus, it’s machine-washable and comes in a variety of colors and sizes.

Price at time of publication: $70

Material: 88% recycled polyester, 12% spandex | UPF: Yes, UPF 45+ | Sizes: XS-2XL | Sweat-Wicking: Yes | Care: Machine wash

Best Sweat-Wicking: Arctic Cool Crew Neck T-Shirt

Arctic Cool Crew Neck T-Shirt

Amazon

Pros
  • Great for outdoor workouts

  • Includes cooling and moisture-wicking technology

  • Includes anti-odor technology

Cons
  • Not made from recycled materials

Thanks to its cooling and moisture-wicking technology, Arctic Cool’s Crew Neck T-Shirt is our top pick for a quality sweat-wicking shirt. If you sweat a lot while exercising, this shirt could be right for you. It’s able to pull sweat away from the skin and disperse it throughout the shirt, keeping you dry and cool. It has UPF 50+ protection and also includes anti-odor technology.

It was difficult to find any drawbacks to this workout shirt for men, but the one thing we will say is that it’s not made from recycled materials like some other shirts on our list. Otherwise, it’s a dependable option and can be machine-washed cold, and also comes in a wide range of colors. Note that the sizing ranges from S to 4XL.

Price at time of publication: $40

Material: 100% polyester | UPF: Yes, UPF 50+ | Sizes: S-4XL | Sweat-Wicking: Yes | Care: Machine wash cold

Best Lightweight: Smartwool Sport Ultralite Short Sleeve

Smartwool Sport Ultralite Short Sleeve

Amazon

Pros
  • Lightweight and comfortable

  • Reflective detail for low-light conditions

  • Includes anti-odor technology

Cons
  • Expensive

  • No UPF protection

If you’re looking for a lightweight workout shirt for men, look no further than the Smartwool Sport Ultralite Short Sleeve. Because it’s made from a mixture of merino wool and lyocell, it’s both lightweight and comfortable. Plus, it has anti-odor technology to keep you smelling clean and fresh. And if you’re exercising outdoors in low-light conditions, this workout shirt has reflective detail to help you to stay visible.

Note that there is no UPF protection, so if you’re going to be exposed to the sun often, you may need to protect yourself in other ways. Even though it’s not the most expensive item on this list, it is pricier than other items because of the premium materials it’s made from. Smartwool recommends machine washing this shirt in cold water, and you can buy it in S to 4XL.

Price at time of publication: $50

Material: 53% merino wool, 47% Lyocell | UPF: No | Sizes: S-2XL | Sweat-Wicking: Yes | Care: Machine wash cold

Best Fit: Adidas Designed 2 Move Feelready T-Shirt

Adidas Designed To Move Sport Tee

Amazon

  • Wide range of colors and sizes

  • Made from at least 60% recycled materials

  • Longer back hem for added coverage

  • No UPF protection

  • No anti-odor technology

Adidas’ Designed To Move Sport Tee is our top-rated pick for the workout shirt with the best fit. We love that this shirt allows you to move freely no matter what exercise you’re doing. There’s also a long back hem for added coverage when performing certain exercises.

It’s made from at least 60% recycled materials, which is great for the environment, especially because it also comes at a reasonable price point. And there are a wide variety of colors and sizes to choose from.

Unlike some other options on our list, there’s no UPF protection and no anti-odor technology. Otherwise, Adidas’ Designed To Move Sport Tee is a reliable option for fit and function, and it can be washed in cold water.

Price at time of publication: $25

Material: 65% recycled polyester, 35% cotton | UPF: No | Sizes: XS-4XL | Sweat-Wicking: Yes | Care: Machine wash cold

How We Selected the Best Workout Shirts for Men

In order to find the best workout shirts for men on the market, we research over 45 top-rated products across the most trusted and popular brands. We also spoke with two fitness experts—Matt Scarfo, NASM CPT-OPT, CES, a certified personal trainer, movement specialist, performance coach, and founder of Lift Vault, and Blake Reichenbach, a personal trainer and founder of Self-HimImprovement—for their guidance and expert opinions on what to look for in the best workout shirts for men. 

With the helpful information we gathered from our research and interviews, we evaluated every workout shirt for fit, materials, breathability, and comfort. We also looked at other areas, like if it had UPF protection, what colors it came in, and whether it had anti-odor properties.

What to Look For in Workout Shirts for Men

Fit

When shopping for workout shirts for men, it’s important to find a fit that ties in with the activity you’re doing. “The wrong shirt can cause a distraction, discomfort, or even injury in the form of chafing or tightness,” Scarfo says. Personal preferences are important here too. Some people simply prefer working out in tighter or looser clothing. Finding the right fit helps you to keep confident and committed during a workout.

Sweat-Wicking

Finding a workout shirt with sweat-wicking properties can help you to have a more comfortable workout, especially if you sweat often during exercise. Sweat-wicking technology makes a shirt more breathable, so you'll stay cool and dry. A workout shirt with sweat-wicking properties, like Rhone's Reign Sweat-Wicking Top, is also easier to care for because it requires less detergent and water when you’re washing it.  

Material

Workout shirts for men come in a range of materials. “Look at the materials used for the shirt. That makeup will help you decide if the shirt is a good match for you. You’ll also want to know the conditions you’re working out in. If you’re running in the cold, you may want a polyester or wool fleece, which can keep you warmer than if you’re working out in the summer,” Scarfo says.

Cotton and polyester are the most common materials for workout shirts, but if you sweat a lot or do more intense activities, we’d recommend avoiding cotton because it doesn’t have the same sweat-wicking properties that polyester does.

Technical Performance Features

Workout shirts for men usually have technical performance features that are important to consider. For example, the UPF rating is important if you’re planning to exercise outdoors in warmer weather. And if you generally sweat a lot during exercise, consider purchasing a shirt that has anti-odor and sweat-wicking properties. If you’re planning to exercise in low-light conditions, look for one that has reflective details for visibility, like Reebok's Running Speedwick T-Shirt.

Comfort

A great workout shirt for men means that you’re comfortable while wearing it. And being comfortable while exercising is important for you to stay focused and dedicated to your workout. Depending on the activity you’re planning to do, you’ll likely want a workout shirt that allows you to move freely during exercise. If you don’t feel comfortable while exercising, your performance might be affected.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What shirts are best to work out in?

    Although we love all of the options above for different reasons, we especially recommend our best overall pick, Nike’s Pro Dri-FIT Top. When choosing the best shirt for you, consider the type of activity you’re planning to do and where you’ll be doing it. For intense outdoor activities, you’ll want a shirt that has UPF protection and is moisture-wicking. For low-intensity indoor workouts, a cheaper shirt made from cotton or polyester should do the job.

  • Is it better to wear tight or loose clothing when working out?

    It depends on the activity you’re doing. “The type of workout that you're doing can influence the fit and cut of the shirt that's going to make the most sense. For example, if you're doing yoga, calisthenics, or HIIT training, you're probably going to want to avoid looser cuts that have excess fabric. For weight lifting, it's not going to make that much of a difference if your shirt is looser or more fitted,” Reichenbach says.

  • What should you not wear to the gym as a guy?

    We recommend avoiding wearing fabrics that aren’t moisture-wicking to the gym, especially if you sweat a lot. If this is you, you’ll want to stay as cool and dry as possible, and this usually means avoiding shirts made from cotton. Denim is also to be avoided, as it causes chafing. Instead, opt for polyester or lycra, as these are sweat-wicking and more comfortable.

  • Is it better to work out in cotton or polyester?

    This comes down to personal preferences. If you sweat a lot during exercise, it may be better to stay away from cotton because it’s not moisture-wicking, so sweat doesn’t get drawn away from your skin. However, even though polyester is more sweat-wicking compared to cotton, “a polyester blend is going to be more prone to shrinking after repeatedly washing and drying,” says Reichenbach.

Why Trust Verywell Fit

 As a qualified personal trainer and health and fitness writer, Ravi Davda understands how important quality product recommendations can be. He recommends products that are reliable, comfortable, and genuinely well-reviewed by those who’ve tried them.