In case you hadn’t noticed, summer is officially over and fall is wrapping up. It’s getting awfully cold outside, and we’ve had to put our singlets and short sleeves into hibernation for a few months. The good news is that means we can bust out our favorite warm pieces and layers. Sure, you might have some long-sleeve race t-shirts floating around, but it’s time to give your gear an upgrade. We’ve put our heads together to come up with the best winter running shirts you can buy.
We’ve done our best to include quite a few of our favorite brands. You’ll also find a few base layer pieces on our list if you’re running somewhere it’s extra cold. As always, we make our picks based mainly on our own experiences, so you can be sure we’ll link to any reviews we’ve written.
Alright, let’s get into the picks.
Engineered Merino mesh | Open around your core, tight on the sleeves | Classic, but subtle, Tracksmith sash
It shouldn’t surprise anyone to see our favorite long sleeve shirt of 2021 among the best winter running shirts. After all, Tracksmith has been around the block once or twice. There’s not too much more you can ask for in a long sleeve shirt — a premium Merino mesh, a seamless construction, and some excellent colors to choose from. Sure, you’ll pay top Tracksmith dollar, but the Brighton Base Layer lives up to its billing.
We’re particularly big fans of the mesh style — open around your core for ventilation but tighter through the sleeves to warm your extremities. Oh, and of course, it has the signature Tracksmith sash across the front.
PRICE: $88Shop Brighton Base Layer – Men Shop Brighton Base Layer – Women
Weighs just 290g (Men’s Large) | All-new Hima-Layer fabric | Snug fit
When it’s cold outside, the fastest way to our hearts isn’t with food (surprisingly), but rather with a pun. And, I mean, how can you not love that the Yushu from Kora is made from Hima-Layer fabric? It’s a premium blend of 60% Yak’s wool and 40% Merino fibers, so it promises some serious warmth. Maybe the Yushu doesn’t come in the most exciting colors — there’s only black — but it’s designed with expeditions in mind.
Specifically, Kora designed its winter running shirt to have extra length in the sleeves and the body so it doesn’t ride up. The slim cut and premium material make it feel pretty close to what we expect James Bond would go for a winter run in.
PRICE: $130Shop Kora Yushu – Men Shop Kora Yushu – Women
Don’t let your mime memes stay mime dreams | Seriously soft Merino | Slightly longer back to warm your bum
First off: READ AND FOLLOW THE CARE INSTRUCTIONS. This is a very fine merino shirt, and after one cold normal cycle wash and about six wears on the run (hey, Merino is odor-resistant), Robbe had holes everywhere. That said, it’s still one of his favorite long sleeves, holes be damned.
As for the striped pattern, we’re not sure if it gives off Hamburglar, mime, or French runner vibes, but we think it’s more classy than cheeky. Nevertheless, the shirt itself is worth every invisible box you want to corner yourself into and then some. It’s made from a 165gsm Merino fabric that stretches easily to fit all types of runners. The slightly longer back and curved hem are nice touches, too, as they offer a little extra coverage.
If you’re not into the stripey style, you can always check out the Maritime Blue or black versions instead. It ain’t a cheap shirt, so when we say take care of it, we really mean it.
PRICE: $125Shop Saysky Merino
Merino that won’t break the bank | Great color names | The perfect partner for HOKA’s trail colorways
Most of our winter running shirt picks so far have been from clothing-first companies, but that’s about to change. HOKA decided to get in on the fun, too, with a lightweight Merino option that’s reasonably priced. The color names are always unique — hello, Persimmon Orange and Real Teal. It’s designed as the perfect trail top with a few reflective hits and must-have odor-resistant qualities. An underarm gusset gives you all the more flexibility to steady yourself on technical terrain.
Unfortunately, the HOKA Merino Blend Longsleeve only comes in a men’s cut, but there are short sleeve alternatives for both men and women.
PRICE: $68Shop HOKA Merino – Men
Best as a base layer | Premium price tag | Rapid humidity regulation
We’ve talked up Falke’s running socks in the past, so it figures that they make some pretty good base layers, too. This is an excellent option if you want to get the warmth started for your coldest days (hello, Winter GRIT). It comes all the way from Germany, which isn’t great for shipping, but at least you know it can handle an alpine chill. It’s made with over 50% virgin wool, which offers a great warming effect and some of the fastest redrying in the Falke family.
You can grab your Falke winter running shirt in Graphite, Pool, or black with colorful hits of Papaya or Coral.
PRICE: $155Shop Falke – Men Shop Falke – Women
Warmth from across the pond | Bespoke Drirelease fabric | Classic running style
Sorry, ladies, but this is another winter running shirt with the gentlemen in mind. It’s nothing personal, Iffley Road just hasn’t decided to expand its line quite yet. The Worthing Half Zip relies solely on a Drirelease micro blend to wick moisture up to four times faster than cotton. It comes in a trademark slim cut with some very British colorways — look no further than Racing Green.
Iffley Road commands a premium price tag for its pieces, though it certainly delivers on quality. It’s styled similarly to Tracksmith, and you know how much we love their gear. You’ll just have to wait a while for shipping from the UK.
PRICE: $135Shop Iffley Road Worthing
Volcanic ash-infused nylon | Anti-stink Merino blend | Great as a base layer or on its own
Janji finally has us covered with a unisex winter running shirt for less than $100. Who knew that would be so hard to do? Like many of our top picks, Janji is embracing Merino wool for its moisture and stank-wicking properties. However, Janji went a step further to combat the stink — there’s volcanic ash embedded in the nylon to improve thermoregulation, too. The Repeat Longsleeve is cut to serve as a base layer on the coldest days, but you could rock it on its own when it gets a little warmer.
As far as colorways are concerned, both the men’s and women’s cuts come in Huckleberry, Jasper, and Midnight.
PRICE: $84Shop Janji Repeat – Men Shop Janji Repeat – Women
Ready to run, lounge, and repeat | Impossibly soft and light | Maybe don’t wear the Quiet Gray color for snow angels?
Rabbit cleaned up on the best shorts of the year this year, but they make some pretty great winter running shirts, too. The EZ Zip is one of the best, as it offers the flexibility of a quarter zip but the comfort of a t-shirt. It’s soft and light enough that you just might forget you’re wearing it, and the zipper is reflective when you run low on light. Rabbit chose a tailored fit for its EZ Zip, so make sure you check on your sizing carefully.
The EZ Zip comes in Quiet Gray and Sunny Lime for men, or you can go for Fresh Salmon or Black Charcoal in the women’s cut. Rabbit’s EZ line also includes long and short sleeve shirts, so you can basically live in this stuff.
PRICE: $65Shop Rabbit EZ Zip – Men Shop Rabbit EZ Zip – Women
Not exactly hunting safe | Cozy Merino and polypropylene blend | Designed for versatility and durability
Tracksmith’s popular Off Roads collection is back from last year, and it’s coming in hot with a trio of new colorways.
Despite the trail focus, they’re not exactly the safest hues if you live near game lands (thanks, hunting season), but the Off Roads Crew packs plenty of style. It’s a 60% merino blend with 40% polypropylene, which is a tough and trail-ready combination. On the run, it doesn’t feel too heavy and it regulates temperature as it should, so throw this on over a t-shirt when it gets in the upper-30’s and you’ll be good to go. Robbe, Taylor, and Alex have all found this to be one of their favorite pieces of Tracksmith ever. In fact, it may even be better suited for wear off the run, as its lounge-ability score is off the charts. It’s just that comfortable.
Right now, you can choose from an Ivy and Moss version, a Midnight and Navy one, or a Sand and Ivory finish for your next adventure. Don’t forget, there’s a whole Off Roads collection to check out, too.
PRICE: $138Shop Off Roads Crew – Men Shop Off Roads Crew – Women
Seamless design for freedom of movement | Rainbow of color options | No Merino this time around
Sweden is a magical land. It brought us ABBA, it brought us some of the inspiration behind Frozen, and now it’s brought us Craft. You might recognize Craft for their wild zebra-print racing shoe, the CTM Ultra Carbon, but we’re here to talk winter running shirts. The Core Dry Active Comfort Baselayer is a great pick for its plentiful color options (with more on the way) and its soft, thermoregulating mesh. The seamless design should keep chafing to an absolute minimum, and the $65 price is just right.
Thankfully, you won’t have to wait for shipping from Sweden to grab a shirt from Craft — all US orders route through Washington instead.
PRICE: $65Shop Core Dry Baselayer – Men Shop Core Dry Baselayer – Women