In recent years, fabric technology has advanced so much that today’s running T-shirts probably pack more tech than the spacesuits used to walk on the moon back in the day. Well, maybe not, but a decent one can definitely make running a more comfortable and fun experience thanks to lab-tested materials developed by years of research. But what are the differences and, of the countless options available, which is best for you? We’ve tested the best from all the major brands, so you can find the perfect T-shirt to meet all your needs.

Ronhill Stride Short Sleeve

It’s British running pedigree you want, is it? Try this on for size – Ron Hill, the man behind this brand, was the first Brit to win the Boston Marathon back in 1972, clocking in at 2hr 10min 30sec. Obviously, we wouldn’t dream of claiming his retro-looking, friction-reducing and moisture-wicking tee will have you hitting god-league times like that, but it’ll sure make you look pretty trying to reach them. £28 (reduced to £21 at time of publication), buy on

Gore Running Wear Fusion

We’ve heard a lot of technical guff about treating the seams of workout gear to reduce race-stopping chafing. But ultrasonic seams is a new one on us. That’s what you’re getting here, specifically to help stop friction when running with a backpack, as well as extra ventilation in the neck for increased circulation, and an ultra-lightweight polyamide/elastane fabric. Quite the big cheese. £74.99, buy on

Soar Classic T-shirt

The mesh fabric and loose fit on this T-shirt make it a great option for running in warmer weather – it’ll let you breeze along in complete comfort. If you’re someone who prefers a tight tee, it’s definitely worth ordering a size down, but the loose fit is exceedingly pleasant to wear on hot days. The Classic also has bonded seams to avoid unpleasant rubbing and reflective logos on the front and back for extra visibility, which probably won’t be needed if you opt for the bright orange version. £54 (reduced to £27 at time of writing), buy on

Odlo Raptor Running Shirt

This form-fitting tee comes emblazoned with one of two simple, motivational messages – “Train Hard” or “Run”. Wise words. It’s a great shirt for warm-weather sessions because its moisture management system is top-notch. The sweat-wicking fabric dries astonishingly quickly and its odour-resistant properties means that other runners won’t shy away from you on even the sweatiest of outings. £45, buy on

Kusaga Athletic Ecodry Performance Run Tee

Did you know that it can take 3,000 litres of water to produce one cotton T-shirt? We didn’t either, don’t worry. To make its shirts more environmentally friendly, Australian company Kusaga Athletic invented its own fabric, which is a level of commitment meriting applause. Furthermore, Kusaga’s running range is a winner in terms of performance as well – lightweight, comfortable and adept at resisting odours so your gym bag doesn’t become an smelly hell pit after a couple of uses. AUS$55 (£31) + AUS$13.25 (£7.50) shipping, buy on

dhb Short Sleeve Stripe Run Top

All the stripes you could ever wish for, plastered on a comfortable top that’s fitted but not too fitted, so it won’t flap around in the breeze but you won’t have to peel it away from your skin after a run. The top also boasts dhb’s Polygiene tech, which is designed to keep it smelling fresh no matter how much you sweat. £20 (reduced to £10 at time of writing), buy on

UA Threadborne Seamless T-Shirt

The jazzy pattern on this T-shirt (especially the green version) is reminiscent of those Magic Eye puzzles that were all the rage in the ’90s, which can only be a good thing in our view. The top itself is lightweight and well fitted, and dries rapidly, all of which adds up to a top-notch running tee. That looks like a Magic Eye puzzle. £35, buy on

Adidas Supernova Tee

Sweat doesn’t stand a chance when you’re wearing this wicking wonder, with fabric that sweeps perspiration off your skin the moment it leaves your pores to keep you dry and comfortable. There are also reflective strips on the back of the shirt for fans of night-time visibility. £34.95, buy on

Brooks Steady

Brooks Steady running T-shirt

The temperature-regulating fabric in Brooks’s Steady T-shirt doesn’t just wick moisture from your skin, it actually redistributes it to other areas that need its cooling properties. It’s like it has a mind of its own… but not in a creepy HAL 9000 way. We also love that the whole back is mesh – it makes a big difference to overall body temperature, and means no more embarrassingly huge sweat patches. £35, buy on

New Balance Precision Run

New Balance Precision Run running T-shirt

When running at night, you need to make yourself as visible as possible, especially on roads. Thanks to modern technology, that no longer means lighting yourself up like a Christmas tree with legs. Not only does this T-shirt have reflective logos and trim, if you charge it under a light for ten minutes it glows in the dark. £50, buy on

Iffley Road Cambrian Stripe Maple Track

Iffley Road Cambrian Stripe Maple Track running T-shirt

Some sports companies seem to forget about aesthetics in their quest for the ultimate performance apparel. That’s why we particularly love the classic, understated look and slim fit of this T-shirt from upmarket British running brand Iffley Road. But its looks aren’t everything – it’s still light, quick-drying and extremely comfortable to run in. £68, buy on

Running Vests

If you prefer a little less fabric and a little more freedom in your running tops, these singlets will see you right.

2XU X-Vent Singlet

Going sleeveless provides extra breathability but this vest from Australian brand 2xu isn’t content with that: it’s spun from fancy “cross channelled” yarns designed to wick sweat away fast so you can stay as cool and dry as possible on your runs. £35, buy on

dhb Run Singlet

If you’re a committed singlet fan it’s worth stocking your wardrobe with these bargain vests from dhb. The vest is lightweight, has antibacterial properties to keep odour at bay, and fits closely to avoid any flapping when on the run. £7.49, buy on

Odlo Yocto Tank

This slim-fitting tank top is made with Odlo’s breathable Burnout mesh to keep you running in comfort whatever the weather. It also has a reflective stripe on the back for low-light visibility. £40, buy on