I have a LOT of running shirts –  either store-bought tech shirts or race shirts, the composition of which ranges from 100% cotton to poly blends. I tend to wear short-sleeve, mesh-like wicking fabric tees in the summer months, but lately this has been causing me some problems.

I start running in the morning around 7:00 am, heading out just as the sun is climbing up over the treetops. The temperature is usually around 75°F and the humidity is high (80%+). It’s a fairly typical Atlanta summer and by the time I reach work, I have sweat a lot; as in my shirt is drenched. That’s normally fine, but when that is combined with a backpack that moves just a little, chafing can become a problem if you are running a longer distance. And it has affected me for the first time this year.


I figure that it’s not just the tiny amount of pack movement, but also the type of fabric and weave style of my shirt. After running a while and building up a good sweat, I found that a more open, rough weave acts like sandpaper on your skin. So to attempt to remedy this issue (since sweating can’t be corrected), I tried out a shirt from a recent 5K race.

Product Description

Here’s the shirt that I used for the review:

Run Commuting, Running Clothing, Run to Work

The Shirt

Closeup of the fabric

From Sport-Tek’s website:

Our lightweight Competitor Tee has a roomy, athletic cut and controls sweat like a champ. Whether you’re training for a personal best or your fun run team needs a no-nonsense tee at a good value, the Competitor delivers.

  • 3.8-ounce, 100% polyester
  • Removable tag for comfort and relabeling
  • Double-needle sleeves and hem

Run Commuting Pros/Cons


  • Soft, lightweight and breathable
  • Excellent for wearing under a backpack
  • Tightly weaved fabric
  • Low stink factor
  • Holds a lot of sweat
Overall Impression

This shirt is awesome! There was not even a hint of chafing noticeable during my 42-minute run. The shirt didn’t bunch up underneath the straps or at the bottom either. That makes it a great addition to any run commuter’s summer outfit (in winter, you can wear a tight, friction-free base layer under another top).

The shirt held a lot of sweat – not nearly as much as a cotton shirt, but maybe a little more than a more open weave tee. It still remained breathable the whole time and would probably work quite well for much longer runs, too. I even prefer it over my Mizuno Aero Tee (the style that I have is no longer being made.) I really like this type of material and will try some more 100% polyester shirts out and let you know how they compare.

Recommended? Yes

MSRP: $9 – $18

Website:   http://www.sporttekusa.com