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The Best Workout Shirts For Men in 2023

Photo: Vuori Strato Tech Tee

Sure, that old college logo tee may reek of time well-spent in the weight room, but it’s not the success of your early 20s that you’re smelling — it’s a sign that your shirt’s seen better days. And while you could continue to use said piece of aged active apparel until it’s reached the end of its life, it’s to your (and everyone else’s) advantage that you go ahead and upgrade. Because let’s be honest. With the advancements we’ve made in areas like moisture management, temperature control, and anatomical fit, you’re only doing yourself a disservice if you have yet to embrace the innovations of modern garment manufacturing.

That being said, it can get to be pretty overwhelming come time to pick a replacement for yourself. Between the sheer number of available options and the plethora of proprietary performance fabrics that come with them, it’s enough to make even the most discerning shopper go dizzy. Thankfully, we’ve got you covered. Having scoured the web for options that are ideal for everything from deadlifts to double-unders, we’ve put together a collection of capable tees that are guaranteed to take your training to the next level. So give your fitness journey a solid start and read on to see what we’ve picked for the best workout shirts for men.

Best Workout Shirts

What To Look For

Materials: While cotton is timeless and soft to the touch, it’s nowhere near as performative as the likes of polyester or other synthetics. Synthetic material can dry exponentially quicker and is significantly more lightweight to boot. Likewise, polyester is more welcome to workout-friendly construction that won’t allow the fabric to stick to your skin while also wicking moisture or precluding odors in the process.

Moisture-Wicking: Speaking of wicking-moisture, if your workout shirt doesn’t have this quality, move up to the next item. The last thing you’ll want to do is head to the gym with a top that gathers sweat for the world to see.

Nike Pro Dri-FIT Top

  • Wallet-friendly
  • Made with 50% recycled plastic bottles
  • Tends to attract lint

Normally Nike comes in at a more premium price point; however, this training tee proves that you don’t have to break the bank if you want to rep the big swoosh. Better still is the fact that it comes with the same great performance you’d expect from any of the brand’s other offerings. For starters, it utilizes Dri-FIT technology in order to wick sweat away from your skin and provide for efficient evaporative cooling. And in addition to being incredibly lightweight, its fabric construction features 50% recycled polyester — a material made from plastic bottles that would have gone to landfills.

Vuori Strato Tech Tee

  • Incredibly soft
  • Sewn-in tag can get annoying

Billed as the softest piece of workout apparel in the world, this pick from Vuori is the one for you if you’re after some next-level comfort. And when it comes to performance provisions, Strato Tech Tee has them in spades. With a four-way stretch courtesy of its polyester and elastane construction as well as an excellent UPF rating because of its unique weave pattern, this is one shirt that punches well above its weight. Good thing too, because were it not for its quick-drying and moisture-wicking abilities, you’d hardly even notice it was there.

Outdoor Voices CloudKnit Shortsleeve

Outdoor Voices CloudKnit Shortsleeve
  • A versatile shirt with multiple applications outside the gym as well
  • Doesn’t wick sweat

Outdoor Voices is a brand built on the principle of getting out in the world and getting active, so it goes without saying that they would know a thing or two about making quality workout apparel. For instance, the CloudKnit Shortsleeve tee was made with the namesake fabric, a proprietary blend consisting of 94% Polyester and 6% Spandex. In practice, this means that it makes for an incredibly soft shirt with a classic fit that’s great for everyday activity. But despite not having any sweat-wicking properties, it’s a solid compromise and a capable performer come time to move. Available in colors like charcoal, fog, and mocha, the CloudKnit Shortsleeve is perfect for those who want a pick that’s as understated and versatile.

Tracksmith Horizon Tee

  • Stylish
  • Dries really quickly for cotton material
  • Horizontal stripes on certain variants aren’t slimming

Just because you’re after a tee that can tough it out through all of your training sessions, doesn’t mean that you should have to sacrifice style. However, the reality is that cotton normally makes for a pretty mediocre performance material, what with its tendency towards sogginess and its heftiness once wet. Luckily, Tracksmith has the perfect solution to such a dilemma: the Horizon Tee. Pairing the timelessness of a cotton t-shirt with the technical features of active apparel, it not only looks the part; it also holds its own in the gym. And thanks to Tracksmith’s innovative drirelease construction, it’s soft, lightweight, and impressively fast-drying — 4x faster than traditional cotton, in fact.

Ten Thousand Versatile Shirt

  • Exhaustively tested to ensure it fits well
  • Shoulder seams tend to stick out

Regardless of a training t-shirt’s impressive moisture-wicking properties or its proprietary featherweight fabric, if it doesn’t fit well, you’ll know. That’s because when it comes to crafting quality workout apparel, fit is among the most important features to get right. Thankfully, Ten Thousand collected over 17,000 measurements, 4,000 fit preferences, and 2,000 field tests to ensure that its Versatile Shirt was up to the task. What results is a tee that’s as comfortable slowing down for a recovery stretch as it is hammering out a HIIT session. And because it’s made with 3M Easy Care fabric and silver ion anti-odor treatment, it’s both breathable and stink-proof. Overall, a solid shirt brought to you by a brand that knows its way around the weight room.

Ministry Of Supply Composite Merino Active Tee

  • Features cutting-edge construction
  • Hems are vented for breathability
  • N/A

Born in the depths of the MIT labs, the Ministry Of Supply is a brand that prides itself on making products as comfortable as they are cutting-edge. The Composite Merino Active Tee is a case in point, with a blend of recycled polyester and merino wool that allows it to be odor-repellent, moisture-wicking, and temperature-regulating with the added benefit of being safe for machine washing. And because of its reinforced stitching and raglan sleeve design, it protects against friction in critical high-wear areas, guaranteeing that it’ll stay the same shape from one workout to the next. Top it off with innovations like vented hems for extra breathability, and what you have is a shirt that’s less advanced activewear than it is a modern engineering marvel.

Rhone Reign Short Sleeve

  • A lot of color options
  • Collar might be too wide for some

As one of the leading players in men’s exercise apparel, Rhone is a brand whose name needs no introduction. And it’s for good reason. For instance, their Reign Short Sleeve is the product of years of exercise garment-making experience, combining GoldFusion technology to ward off odor, raglan sleeves for better movement, and a unique nylon poly jersey blend fabric construction good for UPF50+ sun protection. But the best part is that because it comes in everything from Green Heather Camo to Gray Space Dye, there’s a look perfect for active use and casual wear alike.

Proof 72-Hour Merino Tee

  • Can last you more than 3 days without washing
  • Runs a little small

Proven to prevent stink over the course of three arduous days, Proof’s 72-Hour Merino Tee can stand up to the most shower-reluctant of sightseers. So, while it may be intended for travel, it’s packed to the seams with performance qualities that make it a great option come time to hit the gym. Because it’s made from merino wool, it’s not only naturally temperature-controlling but also quick-drying and impressively soft. Better yet is that it’s been reinforced with nylon, an addition that allows the shirt to be machine washed without running the risk of ruining its shape. Whether you’re wearing the 72-Hour Merino Tee for multiple workout sessions or as an accompaniment to your everyday apparel, you can rest assured knowing that it’ll keep you smelling perfectly presentable.

Lululemon Metal Vent Tech Short-Sleeve Shirt

Lululemon Metal Vent Tech Short Sleeve Shirt
  • Made from 100% recycled polyester
  • Great for those who chafe easily
  • Pricey

If you’re one to wear your eco-enthusiasm on your sleeve, then the lululemon Metal Vent Tech Short-Sleeve Shirt is the shirt for you. Made from 100% recycled polyester, it provides a greener alternative to the above options ideal for those who want to cut down on waste. However, just because it makes for a piece of planet-conscious active apparel doesn’t mean that it can’t deliver when it counts. On the contrary — with its mesh fabric for better breathability, seamless construction to prevent chafing, and Silverescent technology to fight stink, this is one tee whose technical qualities speak for themselves. Sure, it’s a bit of a premium pick, but if you’re after a piece of workout apparel that supports your training and the planet while it’s at it, you can’t do much better than this.

Reigning Champ Polartec Delta T-Shirt

Reigning Champ Polartec Delta T Shirt
  • Regulates temperature very well
  • Not great for larger wearers

Rounding out our list is the Polartec Delta shirt from Reigning Champ. Sure, it comes at a bit of a premium compared our other options; however, the shirt more than pays for itself in terms of its performance benefits. Take, for instance, its Polartec Delta fabric construction. By combining the specialized knit with synthetic polyester fibers, Reigning Champ has crafted a training tee that’s not just an excellent insulator in both warm and cool conditions, but that’s also naturally odor-resistant. And thanks to a patented knit surface, the Polartec Power Wool T-Shirt makes for better moisture management as well as improved airflow efficiency in high-touch areas. Add to that a bound collar and set-in raglan sleeves, and the result is a shirt that’s game for whatever comes its way, whether that’s a heavy squat session or some track interval training.

The Best Men’s Workout Essentials For Every Exercise

Photo: Nike

Some well-fitting active apparel makes for a solid start towards a fitter lifestyle, but you’ll need to outfit yourself accordingly if you want to make the most out of each training session. Head over to our guide to the best men’s workout essentials for an in-depth roundup of important equipment to keep around — no matter what form of exercise gets you going.