Spring 2019 Long Sleeve Tops

Heidi Kumm

Long sleeve tops have three primary purposes when you’re out running — warmth, protection, and color. Okay, so color might be a personal opinion. Maybe we should say they’re also great nose wipers on the days we don’t have a buff or gloves? Regardless, we can all agree that long sleeve tops are great for keeping us warm and offering up protection against the elements (wind, rain and sun). This review goes into depth on the long sleeve running tops currently on the market.

Everyone has their own requirements for a favorite shirt but it is safe, when it comes to long sleeve shirts, that the arm length, body length and material are a big part of what makes us fall in love with a top. We have reviewed each top for its overall function, but added specific details on how it fits and feels on our body, hopefully in a way that can help each and every one of you find your favorite.

Fit and Feel Note: Since we do go into depth on the length of the sleeves and body of each shirt we’re including two measurements for the person wearing the top — body length (armpit to top of hip bone) and arm length (armpit to wrist bone). Heidi’s body length is 16.5” and her arm length is 22”. We will also measure each top in the individual reviews — please note that the shirts are measured along the seams while laid out.


Saucony Freedom Long Sleeve

The Saucony Freedom is made of a soft jersey blend that is both stretchy and fitted. It has a longer body fit and did not ride up while running. The Freedom, size medium, body length measures at 19” and the arm length measures at 21”. The thumb holes are hidden in the sleeves and fit very comfortably.

What We Loved: The longer waist and casual fitted feel.

  • Thumb Holes: Yes.
  • Fit & Feel: Measured at a size medium and a medium is a good relaxed fit, while a small would have been an option for a tighter fit.
  • What We Would Change: The pocket on the lower side seam worked for light items like a credit card, but bounced too much with any more weight.

Similar Products: Spring UV Lite Hoodie


Icebreaker Cool-Lite Sphere LS

The Icebreaker Cool-Lite Sphere long sleeve uses a unique blend of merino wool, nylon, and TENCEL (a wood fiber) to create a layer perfect for warmer weather when you still need that extra protection. The Cool-lite Sphere, size medium, body length measures at 16” and the arm length measures at 19”.

What We Loved: The shirt is very lightweight and breathable, perfect for spring adventures.

  • Thumb Holes: No.
  • Fit & Feel: Measured into a medium and the medium is a comfortable, loose fit although a small would have also been an acceptable fit.
  • What We Would Change: Thumb holes are always a plus, and a bit more length in the body would make the shirt a go-to.

Similar Products: 260 Tech Long Sleeve Crewe


Title Nine Grace Long Sleeve

The Title Nine Grace long sleeve is made of a buttery soft material (a micro poly and spandex blend) that fits loosely. The is top is thick enough to offer warmth while still allowing your body to breath. There is even a zipper pocket in the left side seam. The Grace, size medium, body measures at 16” and the sleeves measure at 21”. The thumb holes are a traditional slot in the side of the sleeve. They are appropriately placed but the sleeves are a bit short for longer arms so it does get uncomfortable to use the thumb holes for an extended period of time.

What We Loved: The material is so soft and the Stink-Stopper technology really works!

  • Thumb Holes: Yes.
  • Fit & Feel: Measured at the top of a small, opted for a medium. The medium fit, but was a bit too loose making the shirt pretty true to size.
  • What We Would Change: A bit more length in the body and sleeves would make this a more comfortable fit, especially in the sleeves.

Similar Products: Double Time Long Sleeve Top + Alpha Omega Long Sleeve Top


Brooks Distance Long Sleeve

The Brooks Distance long sleeve is a semi-fitted top made of a soft material that is not only comfortable but also sweat-wicking and quick drying. The unique design of the top’s neckline and open back gives you a chic feel while still letting you throw down on the trails. The Distance, size medium, body length measures at 16” and the sleeve length measures at 19”.

What We Loved: The extra attention to the neckline made the top more versatile without taking away from the function on the trail.

  • Thumb Holes: No.
  • Fit & Feel: Measured at a medium and it is a good fit throughout.
  • What We Would Change: A little more length in the sleeves and thumb holes would be a great addition, as would a bit more stretch in the material.

Similar Products: Brooks Dash Running Hoodie + Brooks Dash 1/2 Zip


Smartwool Merino 150 Long Sleeve

The Smartwool Merino 150 long sleeve is made of Smartwools lightest and more breathable blend of merino wool. The material and the design of the shirt offer a next-to-skin fit while still providing warmth and breathability. The Merino 150 LS, size medium, body length measures at 18.5” and the sleeve length measures at 20”.

What We Loved: The overall fit of the shirt is great, especially the body length which allows the top to stay in place when you’re on the move.

  • Thumb Holes: No.
  • Fit & Feel: Measured to a medium and it is a comfortable fit, close to skin without being too tight.
  • What We Would Change: Another inch or so in the sleeve length would be much appreciated as the tighter fit allows for a bit of a ride up when you’re in motion.

Similar Products: Merino 150 Sport Long Sleeve


prAna Iselle Long Sleeve

The prAna Iselle top is made with a moisture-wicking blend of recycled polyester and hemp giving it a very soft feel and comfortable fit. The top provides a relaxed fit with a longer “tail” in the back making it a great option on the trails or out for a post-run meal. The Iselle, size small, body length measures at 14” on the side, 17” at the back, and the sleeve measures at 20”. There are thumb holes built into the end of each sleeve that are quite large and seem more fitted to a palm than a thumb.

What We Loved: Having a bit more length at the back of the shirt seems to help keep the shirt in place when you have a pack on.

  • Thumb Holes: Yes.
  • Fit & Feel: Measured to a small, but a medium would have been a better choice to maintain the looser fit.
  • What We Would Change: In person the shirt was far less of a “relaxed fit” than expected, although sizing up may have helped this.

ioMerino Altitude Crew Long Sleeve


The ioMerino Altitude Crew long sleeve is a durable top made of merino blend that allows for freedom of movement and overall comfort. It is a lightweight top designed to fit like a second skin where it works quickly to wick away sweat and dry if you’re out in the elements. The Altitude, size medium, body length measures at 17” and the sleeves measure at 23”. There are thumb holes cut into the seam at each cuff that are just the right size for your thumb without exposing more of your hand, a comfortable fit thanks to the longer sleeves.

What We Loved: The overall fit of the top is solid, as well as the warmth provided on harsher days.

  • Thumb Holes: Yes.
  • Fit & Feel: Sized into a medium, tried both a medium and large. They both fit good, although the casual fit of the large is preferred (fits relaxed without being boxy or baggy).
  • What We Would Change: A longer body to match the longer sleeves would be great. It’s also worth noting that the shirt maintains a bit of the “wool scratch” until you’ve washed it once or twice.

rabbit ez tee long sleeve

The rabbit ez tee long sleeve is made with an incredibly soft quick n’ fit material that is quick dry. The design is well cut, which combined with the soft, stretchy material makes for a fitted yet relaxed fit. The ez tee, size medium, body length measures at 17” and the sleeve length measures at 20”.

What We Loved: The material is incredibly soft with the cut of the shirt being very forgiving.

  • Thumb Holes: No.
  • Fit & Feel: Measured a medium and it is a good relaxed, yet conforming fit.
  • What We Would Change: A little more length in the body and thumb holes would be a good addition.

Similar Products: Super Sleevie


Skirt Sports Watch Me Go Long Sleeve

The Skirt Sports Watch Me Go top is created with two fabrics — a polyester/spandex blend through the core and sleeve with a polyester/spandex mesh through the back. This second panel of mesh on the back allows your back to breath when you’re on the trails. The Watch Me Go, size small, body length measures at 17” and the sleeves measure at 22”. There are thumb holes at the cuff as well as “watch holes” slightly above the cuff to allow you easy access to your watch when the thumb holes are in use.

What We Loved: The soft material, breathable back panel and watch holes are all great features.

  • Thumb Holes: Yes, plus watch holes on each arm.
  • Fit & Feel: Measured into a small, but an extra small may have been a better fit throughout the body as it did hang quite loose.
  • What We Would Change: The overall fit of the top is very relaxed, which left a lot of extra material loose around the hips.

Similar Products: Cool It Long Sleeve + Wonder Wool Long Sleeve


Le Bent Le Base 200 Lightweight Long Sleeve

The Le Base 200 top is made with a blend of merino wool and bamboo which creates a very soft, yet warm long sleeve shirt. The cut of the shirt allows for a four-way stretch while still maintaining a close-to-skin fit. The Le Base 200, size small, body length measures at 16.5” and the sleeves measure at 21”.

What We Loved: The entire fit and feel of this shirt is amazing, not to mention the merino wool that helps the shirt regulate your body temperature.

  • Thumb Holes: No.
  • Fit & Feel: Measured into a size small and it was a great fit.
  • What We Would Change: A few more color options with be nice, maybe thumb holes (although this is the first time a running shirt without thumb holes hasn’t had me immediately wishing they existed).

Salomon Agile Long Sleeve

The Salomon Agile long sleeve top is designed using AdvancedSkin ActiveDry technology with two styles of fabric. The majority of the shirt uses a durable yet breathable material that offers a stretchy fit while the back panel is made of a much lighter fabric. This allows the shirt to wick away sweat where it accumulates fastest, in the middle of your back, under you pack. The Agile, size small, body length measures to 18.5” and the sleeve length measures to 19”.

What We Loved: The shirt is crazy lightweight and breathable while still providing protection against the elements.

  • Thumb Holes: No.
  • Fit & Feel: Measures at a size small, and the overall fit was solid although it is a bit short in the body.
  • What We Would Change: A longer body or a tighter fit in the core would help make this shirt more comfortable and keep it from riding up when you’re wearing a hydration vest.

Arc’teryx Motus Crew Long Sleeve

The Arc’teryx Motus Crew is a performance long sleeve top made of a lightweight Phasic FL material that provides breathability and quick drying features. The shirt is both stretchy and fitted giving it a very comfortable feel when you’re wearing it. The Motus Crew, size medium, body length measures at 16” and the sleeve length measures at 21”.

What We Loved: The extremely lightweight and breathable material is great!

  • Thumb Holes: No.
  • Fit & Feel: Measured at a small, opted for a medium and it fits fine although the torso and sleeves are still feel a bit short.
  • What We Would Change: A little more length in the body and sleeves would make a big difference (plus thumb holes!).

Similar Products: Arc’teryx Tolu Top


Zensah Run Seamless Long Sleeve

The Zensah Run Seamless top is a stretchy, fitted top that offers both warmth and breathability. Made of a compression material it is able to maintain a second skin fit without restricting your movements at all. The Run Seamless, size large, body length measures at 18” and the sleeve length measures at 22.5”. There are thumb holes cut into the seam of each sleeve and while they’re not discrete or “close-able” the sleeve are long enough to bunch the thumb holes shut when not in use.

What We Loved: The second skin fit and the overall longer length of the shirt are great.

  • Thumb Holes: Yes.
  • Fit & Feel: Measured to a medium, tried both medium and large. The large is less likely to ride up when on the move (presumably due to the compression fit).
  • What We Would Change: A fit that is a bit more true to size when you’re on the move would be helpful.

Under Armour HexDelta Long Sleeve

The Under Armour HexDelta long sleeve tops combines technical materials so you have a lightweight, breathable material across your core and an extra breathable mesh through the arms and ribs. This offers a unique fit and feel with a “second skin” feel in the arm but a loose fit in the core. The HexDelta, size medium, body length measures at 18” (with a slightly longer back) and the arm length measures at 21.5”. The thumb holes are seamlessly cut into the cuff. The material is a bit tighter on the cuff which makes for a nice hug to the hand.

What We Loved: The variable materials offer up the best of all worlds in one shirt.

  • Thumb Holes: Yes.
  • Fit & Feel: Measured between a small and medium, opted for a medium and it is a good fit. The small would have been too tight in the arms.
  • What We Would Change: A consistent fit throughout (arms to shoulders to core) would make this shirt an easy favorite.

Similar Products: UA Streaker 2.0 Half Zip


New Balance Seasonless Long Sleeve

The New Balance Seasonless long sleeve is made of a soft, stretchy fabric with an athletic fit. The lightweight shirt is great to either start your adventure with or pack along for when the sun starts to set. The Seasonless, size small, body length measures at 16” and the sleeve length measures at 22”. There a thumb holes nearly hidden in the cuff of each sleeve, a great design that allows the shirt to fit your arms perfectly with or without the thumb holes in use.

What We Loved: The thumb holes hidden in the sleeve is genius!

  • Thumb Holes: Yes.
  • Fit & Feel: Measured just into a medium, tried both small and medium. The medium is a more relaxed fit with a comfortably long body.
  • What We Would Change: A bit more length on the body of this shirt would allow it to fit over your hips rather than bounce a bit as you move.

Similar Products: Accelerate Long Sleeve


Columbia Sportswear Sandy Trail Long Sleeve

The Columbia Sportswear Sandy Trail top utilizes the Omni-Wick technology for an advanced wicking and quick dry. It also offers sun protection with UPF 50. The colorful design moves with you, providing a comfortable fit and unrestrictive stretch. The Sandy Trail, size medium, body length measures at 18” and the sleeve length measures at 21.5”.

What We Loved: The overall fit is solid with the material feeling very stretchy yet durable.

  • Thumb Holes: No.
  • Fit & Feel: Measure between small and medium, opted for a medium and it is a good, comfortable fit.
  • What We Would Change: Adding thumb holes would put this top…well, over the top.

Similar Products: Solar Shield Long Sleeve + Trail Knit Long Sleeve + Solar Chill 2.0 Long Sleeve

Heidi Kumm

Heidi Kumm

Heidi is a Wisconsin farm girl chasing happy around the Rocky Mountains of Colorado. She can often be found on the trails with running shoes or a splitboard attached to her feet + a stash of almond M&M’s nestled in her pack next to a myriad of other “want to be my friend” snacks!

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