12 best women's running tops
Fancy making your own marathon effort? Start with some eye-catching gear
Tuesday 21 April 2015
Whether you're in your final days of training for the London Marathon or you're still huffing and puffing your way through your first 5K, your running gear is crucial to your performance. We've put the latest running tops through their paces to test for comfort, style, value for money and that all-important sweat-wicking. Here's what we found.
1. Ron Hill Aspiration Tee: £26, cotswoldoutdoor.com
If a tank top feels like too much skin on show, this one gives a bit more coverage but is also ultra-light. Mesh panels are strategically placed to cool you down effectively, with sweat- busting properties added to the fabric. Choose from four bright colour-ways.
2. LuLuLemon Run Swiftly Tech Racer Back: £42, lululemon.co.uk
Sweaty, smelly gear after a run isn’t an inevitability with this super-lightweight tank top from stylish US sportswear specialists. The techy fabric – available in 15 colours – stops the growth of odour-causing bacteria. Even after a 10-miler our tester wasn’t getting whiffy.
3. Bershka Start Moving Vest Top: £19.99, bershka.com
Spanish brand Bershka is known for its affordable trend-led fashion but it also does a keenly-priced sportswear range. This under-layered racer back flatteringly contours to your body shape and is snug enough not to flap in the wind, but isn’t overly tight.
4. CW-X Ventilator Web Top: £89.99, fitness-cafe.co.uk
If you’re serious about running, this features a special supportive web that improves posture and balance, while also giving your back muscles a boost to help reduce runners’ lower-back pain. We really noticed the difference the next day, with no stiffness at all.
5. Reebok One Series Tokyo Tank: £20, reebok.co.uk
This is a slim fit, feather-light, racer-back top with an unusual city map print (there’s also a London version). The mesh strip down the back will keep you extra cool and the high-vis trim means no one will miss you after sunset.
6. Nike Dri-fit Knit Tank: £25, wiggle.co.uk
Nike claims this wicks away sweat faster than previous versions; that’s hard to measure, but we foundit effective at keeping us dry. It’s super-comfy and longer than some tops, so gives good coverage for taller women.
7. Adidas Climachill Tee: £35, adidas.co.uk
The ClimaChill features aluminium silver dots that lift heat away from your body to keep you cooler than ever before – and we can vouch that it works. Sleek and simple, it’s one for runners who mean business.
8. Sweaty Betty Home Straight Run Tank: £60, sweatybetty.com
If less is more when you’re running, this bright cropped top from the women’s fitness specialists is one to show off. Made from premium fabric and ideal to wear with a sports bra underneath, it’s lightweight and super-flattering. In this case, you get what you pay for.
9. Saucony Speed of Lite Tank: £35, saucony.co.uk
The fabric on this keeps bacteria growth at bay, ensuring you still smell fresh 15 miles in. The loose fit with deep armholes made it more comfortable than some styles we tried, and the vivid orange ensures you’ll be visible on the roads.
10. Roxy Cutback Tank: £21, roxy.co.uk
This soft, lightweight top comes in an assortment of summery prints. The wicking fabric keeps you dry and it looks good enough to wear for post-run drinks. Our pick is this aqua and purple one with a light turquoise back panel.
11. No Stress Vest: £52, everysecondcounts.co.uk
With its super-soft and snugly-fitting material and moisture wicking technology, this yellow vest will add a pop of colour to your running wardrobe. Designed to be durable and long-lasting, it's an investment that will last you until next year’s marathon. With ventilation zones to keep you cool and stitched armholes to prevent chafing, the team have thought of everything. Even the washing instructions are sewn into the hem instead of annoying, scratchy labels.
12. South Beach Fitness Vest: £18, southbeachofficial.com
With a dazzling Aztec front and lime green back, this top it wouldn’t look at of place at a rave. But, more crucially, it’s fast drying and super-stretchy: we couldn’t see a single sweat patch on show after 6 miles. This is a good one for everyday training, too.
The South Beach vest was our favourite design, providing a fun spin on traditional sportswear, and Adidas’s ClimaChill tee lived up to the hype. But it was the Saucony tank that ticked all the boxes; the bold colour and simple design places it as a stylish running choice, but the loose fit and comfortable material means it’s the perfect option for everyday training. We found the odour-preventing tech fabric a reassuring extra, too.
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