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What to Look for When Buying Running Tops

What to Look for When Buying Running Tops

What to Look for When Buying Running Tops
If you're just starting your running journey, don't make the mistake of skipping over the technical aspects associated with the sport, namely, the gear you'll be wearing.
Sneakers, shorts, socks, and of course, a top are all essential pieces of a runner's gear; however, one should think about the style and fit of each of these items. Below, we'll share some key features that you should be on the lookout for when you're shopping for one of those items: a runner's top.

The Style
Running tops are available in three main styles: sleeveless, short-sleeved, and long-sleeved. Each variation has its own specific purpose, and the one that will work best for you will really depend on where you will be running. As you can probably guess, long-sleeved running tops are best suited for cold weather; for example, if you're going to be running outdoors during the early spring, late fall, or winter, a long-sleeved top would be ideal. Sleeveless running tops are usually a racerback style; that is, the straps join together in the back to form a shape that resembles the form of a letter T. The absence of sleeves creates a sense of freedom, as you'll be able to move your arms freely.
Additionally, because there aren't any sleeves, you'll stay cooler running in a tank top. If you aren't a fan of completely exposing your arms, but you aren't going to be running in cold weather, a short-sleeved runner's top would be a good option for you. Because they cover your upper arms, you'll feel more protected than you would in a tank, but since the sleeves are short, you'll stay cooler than you would if your arms were fully covered.

The Fabric
Once you decide on the style that will work best for you, the next factor you should consider is the fabric. As a general rule of thumb, you should avoid tops made of natural materials, such as 100 percent cotton, as they absorb sweat, so you'll end up with a soaking wet top stuck to your body. The best runner's tops are made of a special type of material known as "technical fabric." This material is comprised of 100 percent polyester or a blend of poly and another material, such as Lycra or nylon. This material is breathable, wicks moisture away, and won't chafe your skin, making it the perfect choice for running.

The Fit
Lastly, you'll want to consider the fit. Whether you choose a tight-fitted top or something that's roomier depends on your preference. Tight-fitting tops will cut down on wind resistance, which is important if you want to maintain a fast speed (if you're sprinting, for example). However, with a loose-fitted top, you won't feel as constructed, but keep in mind that you do not want it to fit too loose because if there's too much fabric, you could experience chaffing; not to mention the fact that too much excess material could hold you back.

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  • Memphis, TN.
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