Nothing feels better than popping on a fresh gym t-shirt and waltzing onto the weights room floor. Ok, maybe hitting that squat rack PB, but we digress.
Looking good can quite often have you feeling good, and while we’d always promote sensible and sustainable consumption — a well-made gym tee should last years, not the few months it takes for another to catch your eye — it pays to keep up with the latest sweat-wicking and comfort-inducing technology.
The reasons are two-fold. Firstly, the more comfortable you are in your gym t-shirt the more you can focus your mind on lifting those hefty weights. And secondly, sweat-wicking isn’t just there to keep you cool. It also takes the moisture away from your skin, resulting in less body odour-causing bacteria forming and the likelihood of skin rashes and bacne rearing their ugly head (we’d also recommend a looser fit to prevent skin irritation).
So with that in mind, we’ve rounded up ten of our favourite men’s and women’s gym t-shirts to have you feeling your best every time you squat, heave and row.
The Best Gym T-Shirts Around
Nike Pro Dri-FIT Burnout Top
Remember it’s SexyBack we want to be achieving at the gym, not sweaty back. That’s where the genius in this tee from Nike lies, with a thinner, more breathable fabric around the shoulders and back to wick that sweat away from what is admittedly, a high-heat area.
Adidas x Stella McCartney Women’s True Purpose T-Shirt
Part of a long-running partnership between German sportswear titan Adidas and sustainable fashion extraordinaire Stella McCartney, this punchy pink gym t-shirt comes with laser-cut perforations to keep airflow circulating and the sort of sweat-wicking, moisture wicking fabric that Adidas built its house on.
Gymshark Arrival T-Shirt
No longer a scrappy upstart, British brand Gymshark is now a firm player among the sportswear elite. Its rapid rise has been built on gym kit that accentuates, so expect tees that emphasise the guns and upper body (that’ll be the flatlock seam lines) along with a supreme lightweight functionality.
Men’s UA RUSH™ Seamless Short Sleeve T-Shirt
A pioneer in the compression tee field, US sportswear giant Under Armour has long held cutting-edge tech as its main draw. UA Rush, one of its latest pieces of sportswear engineering, claims to absorb your body heat as you sweat via mineral-infused fabric, converting it into infrared energy to help your muscles recover as they’re working. It’s a bold claim, but one made by a company that knows how to deliver.
New Balance Tenacity Short Sleeve Top
When it comes to comfort and functionality around the gym floor, you can’t go wrong with a raglan sleeve gym t-shirt like this one from New Balance. That’s because the extra space created by the sleeve shape helps your freedom of movement in ways a normal crew neck just can’t — perfect for kettlebell swingin’.
Girlfriend Collective Gia Crop Tee
Seattle-based activewear brand Girlfriend Collective has proved a certified HIIT within wellness circles, largely down to its ethical and sustainable manufacturing practices and applause-worthy approach to diversifying the industry. This crop top is made using a lesser-known sustainable material called cupro, a regenerated cellulose fabric that is 100 percent biodegradable and oh-so-breezy. TL;DR: we approve.
Bamboo Long Sleeve Bamboo Top
Not only is bamboo a eco-friendly material with only rainwater really needed to help it grow and a super-fast yield, it’s also breathable, kind to your skin, and UV protecting. This futuristic-looking long-sleeve gym t-shirt from UK brand Bamboo Clothing puts all of bamboo’s bounty of benefits to good use, for sustainable fashion hero that’ll support all your workouts.
Lacoste Men’s SPORT Breathable Colourblock T-shirt
The inventor of the tennis polo, Lacoste has been leading athletic wear innovation for nearly a century now. While not the first name you’d think of when looking at gym t-shirts, the breathable ultra-dry anti-odour piqué on this colour-blocked tee is perfect for keeping you cool around the bench, while it’s hard to beat the croc for certified style points.
Sweaty Betty Athlete Seamless Gym T-Shirt
A dab hand with a super-soft fabric, Sweaty Betty makes the sort of super-cushy clothing you want to wear to the gym and then lounge around in for the rest of the day. This gym t-shirt is made seamless to aid movement — hello Russian twists — and cut slim with mesh fabric in high sweat areas to keep you looking fresh throughout the day.
Tracksmith Van Cortlandt Tee
While admittedly Tracksmith is first and foremost concerned with the act of running, who’s to say you can’t utilise all that moisture-wicking know-how when you’re in the gym. Plus, the US running brand makes some of the nicest-looking kit around with a real ’70s preppy throwback style that’ll have you stomping into the weight’s room like Gold’s Gym Arnie if he was a plucky track star coming out of Harvard.