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For all you dinkers and bangers, these shirts are for you. Premium T-Shirt
IF YOU too are getting swept up in pickleball fever, you’re not alone. The sport dates back to 1965, so it’s nothing new. But, the sudden craze over it certainly is. Over the last year, it’s taken North America by storm and it shows no signs of slowing down. When CBS is running primetime celebrity pickleball matches (complete with Kenny Loggins and Stephen Colbert), it’s safe to say the sport is here to stay.
Sure, it might seem like a novelty sport, but it’s a sport nonetheless. And serious sports require serious equipment. That means good pickleball paddles, a good pickleball ball, the right pickleball shoes, and the right apparel. The best pickleball shirts, in particular, have a lot in common with the best high-performance workout shirts. Save the heavy, slow-drying cotton for your post-match relaxation session. For on-court play, you’ll want to shop instead for t-shirts or polos that are soft, lightweight, moisture-wicking, and affordable. Other great features include built-in sun protection and odor-fighting technology. And good looks don’t hurt because it doesn’t have to be all business on the court.
We’ll assume you already have decent paddles and the best pickleball ball. Ready to upgrade your pickleball apparel? We’re here to help. We shopped dozens of workout clothes from the top-selling performance-wear and athleisure brands on the market today. Read on for our carefully selected list of the best of the best pickleball shirts worth your money in 2022.
Like almost everything in Under Armour’s arsenal of performance wear, the Men’s Tech 2.0 Short-Sleeve T-Shirt is simple, straightforward, and built to move with you. The 100% polyester is buttery soft with a feel that’s more natural than most lesser synthetics. It’s incredibly quick-wicking too, so it actively lifts away sweat to keep you dry and comfortable, even during the hardest matches. A new fit (hence the “2.0”) makes for a fuller cut that’s a little looser and a lot more comfy.
With more than 80,000 mostly glowing reviews on Amazon, it’s clear there’s a lot to like about this pickleball-friendly shirt. At less than $20, it’s surprisingly well priced too (especially for Under Armour wear), which makes this an incredible buy. Plus, it’s versatile enough to wear just about anywhere that demands high-performance apparel, on the pickleball court and beyond. For all these reasons, this is our hands-down pick for the best pickleball shirt overall in 2022.
What do buyers say? Out of more than 80,000 Amazon reviews, 90% recommend the Under Armour Men's Tech 2.0 Short-Sleeve T-Shirt with at least a 4-star rating.
For true p-ballers, every season is pickleball season. Just because winter is coming doesn’t mean you can’t suck it up and get out there. Hanes Sport’s simply named Long-Sleeve T-Shirt is purpose-built for long, cold-weather matches. Double-needle stitching in the neck, sleeves, and hem help this shirt keep its shape for years to come. The 100% polyester construction features proprietary Cool-DRI technology that wicks away moisture like a champ, so you’re not left out in the cold, soaked in sweat. With FreshIQ advanced odor-protection tech, this pickleball-friendly shirt fights odor-causing bacteria too, so you can stay fresh, match after match. Plus, the built-in UPF 50+ sun protection helps keep the harmful rays off you. We also dig that it’s available in a good variety of bold, court-friendly colors.
At less than $20 for a two-pack (we crunched the numbers, and that’s less than $10 per shirt), it’s hard to find much to dislike. More than 50,000 Amazon buyers agree with almost 90% recommending this performance shirt with at least a four-star rating.
What do buyers say? Out of more than 59,000 Amazon reviews, 86% recommend the Hanes Sport Men's Long-Sleeve T-Shirt with at least a 4-star rating.
If you like your pickleball like you like your movies (serious), you need serious performance wear to compete. Nike’s Sportswear Tech Fleece Zip Hoodie is a lightweight, insulating tech fleece that’s perfect for shoulder season matches. The more relaxed fit makes it easier to layer, so it works as part of your winter activewear rotation too. The higher neck and snug-fit hood provide extra protection and warmth when the weather turns south. We like the small zippered sleeve pocket that works great for stashing keys and energy tabs on the go. Available in a dozen colors—from basic black to Elemental Gold to bold Thistle purple—it’s an activewear top that looks great off-court too.
Like most Nike apparel, this is a premium top with a price tag to match. At $130, it’s the most expensive shirt on this list. But, given that it isn’t just a shirt—really, it’s more of a layerable, three-season zip-up—it’s well worth the price for our money. And you’ll be thankful to have it when the weather turns from cool to cold for all those winter pickleball matches.
What do buyers say? “Bought this for my boyfriend for Christmas and the quality is great!! It fits perfectly and I know he will love it. Highly recommend!” said one Nordstrom reviewer.
Read more: Black Friday Men's Fashion Deals
Who says activewear can’t look good? Columbia Golf’s Omni-Wick Drive Polo was designed with hitting the links in mind. But, all the same great performance features make this one of the best pickleball shirts too. The 100% polyester construction makes this a staple top that’s lightweight, breezy, and quick-wicking when the going gets tough. With Omni-SHADE tech, it also boasts UPF 30 sun protection for long days on the course—er, court. The button-top closure adds a bit of formality to this one, while a self-fabric collar with sewn-in collar stays helps it keep its shape for years to come.
Some reviewers note that it runs small compared to other Columbia shirts, so we’d recommend sizing up. At almost $40, it’s also a little pricier than our other pickleball shirt picks. But, we like that the classic polo style and good variety of colors make this a more versatile choice than, say, a traditional T-shirt. This is one that wears seamlessly from the court to the cocktail lounge when you don’t want to waste time changing.
What do buyers say? “Great fitting, lightweight shirt for everyday use or on the course. Big fan of Columbia shirts in general but this one is the gold standard for me,” said one PGASuperstore.com reviewer.
Nike’s iconic “Just do it.” slogan will live forever as one of the world’s greatest sports memes. It’s part inspirational, part tongue-in-cheek in this quirky pickleball-inspired T-shirt. With a lightweight, 100% cotton construction and classic fit, it’s buttery soft for comfy off-court wear. We love that it’s available in a handful of bold colors that let everyone know who the most serious pickleball soft game fan is.
For $15, there’s not a lot to quibble over with this simple T-shirt. But, if you’re serious about your pickle-wear, this one is best saved for wearing after the game. While cotton is soft and comfortable, it’s also notoriously bad at wicking away moisture. That means that once you’ve worked up a sweat, you’re likely to stay wet for the rest of the day. For a better quick-drying alternative that’s guaranteed to keep you dry, opt for a synthetic alternative like polyester. Some buyers also note that it runs small, so we recommend going up 1-2 sizes.
What do buyers say? “Was looking for a cute pickleball shirt to gift a friend. My friend is an active pickleball player and loves to dink in the game. This shirt was perfect,” said one Amazon reviewer.
You don’t have to spend a small fortune on decent activewear. SPX’s Dry-Fit Active Athletic Performance Crew Neck T-Shirts tick all the boxes for a good pickleball shirt. True to their lengthy name, they offer all the required features to get your dink on, including quick-wicking performance fabric and a comfortable athletic fit. The synthetic fabric boasts a four-way stretch and a lightweight, breathable construction, keeping you dry and comfy in any season. Plus, the natural-feel fabric is also surprisingly softer and silkier than most.
What truly sets this shirt apart from every other pickleball shirt we tested, though, is the price. At around $30 for a five-pack, they’re an incredible value. Each pack includes several modern colors, including blue, red, and several shades of gray. With a couple of five-packs, you’ll have more than enough shirts for a full month of pickleball matches, gym workouts, and yard work too.
What do buyers say? “... a great deal not only because of the price but also because of the quality of [the] shirt. They are super soft and include great colors. The material is lightweight and fits well,” said one Walmart reviewer.
When you want a shirt that can transition effortlessly between on- and off-course, nothing beats a polo shirt. The Newport Polo is Wilson’s take on the casual polo shirt that’s originally for hitting the links, but works just as well for afternoon pickleball sessions. The tech pique fabric features a naturally airy weave that maximizes breathability and moisture-wicking. It stands on its own in the summer, but layers up nicely when the temperature drops. It also boasts next-level odor-resistance. In Wilson’s words, “Simply put: you won’t stink.” Bonus: this unique fabric is also perfect for hiding sweat. So, work as hard as you want on the court. To your opponents, those dinks will all look effortless.
Of all the shirts we checked out this year, this is our go-to favorite for maximum versatility. The understated striping detail feels a little bit retro, yet timeless. It’s a look that will always be in style. Sure, it’s a bit pricier than most on this list, but premium “picklewear” is usually worth the premium price tag.
What do buyers say? “Can't beat this polo shirt. The fit is perfect. The fabric is on point with it having some body to it but not too heavy. The look is amazing,” said one Wilson.com reviewer.
Why so serious? Pickleballers know how to have fun. This retro-inspired pickleball shirt features a broken-in, vintage-look design and a prominent “I’d Hit That” graphic with two pickleball paddles that stands out around any pickleball court. With a mostly cotton construction (a cotton/poly blend for some colors), this is one that’s best worn off the court since cotton is less than ideal for high-intensity activity. But, it is lightweight and super soft, making it the perfect post-match attire.
There are plenty of great pickleball shirts, especially cheeky graphic T’s that capture the essence of the game’s humor. But, we like this better than most. It’s subtle and understated with a unique design that sets it apart. We also like that it’s available in ten colors to dial in your perfect pickleball-inspired style. Plus, you get free shipping and free returns through Amazon. It’s like a free in-home trial: if it doesn’t fit or you just don’t like it, you can always send it back.
What do buyers say? “Perfect for the pickleballer who likes funny shirts,” said one Amazon reviewer.
Finding the best pickleball shirt is no different than finding the best workout or performance top. Ideally, you want something lightweight, quick-wicking, affordable, good-looking, and synthetic (because cotton is no bueno when sweat is involved). Here’s what to look for:
Synthetics, usually polyester, are a near-perfect material for activewear. They tick all the boxes for a good performance fabric: lightweight, dries quickly, fends off odor, and is typically very affordable. The best polyester pickleball shirts are also buttery soft too.
Moisture-wicking fabric is key, especially if you like your pickleball games intense, working up a serious sweat. Again, synthetic fabrics like polyester are best, but Merino wool works well too. Just stay away from cotton. Once it gets wet, it stays wet, sometimes for days. And no one likes playing a round of pickle in a sweat-soaked shirt.
Good moisture-wicking fabric is usually, though not always, odor-resistant too. If you pickleball hard, consider investing in a shirt that’s either naturally odor-fighting or one with a treatment that helps fend off stink. The last thing you want to force you to cut your marathon pickleball session short is because you can’t stand your own funk anymore.
There are thousands of performance (and pickleball-friendly) shirts on the market these days. That makes for lots of competition and great prices too. So, you don’t have to spend a fortune to find a good pickleball shirt. You’ll find decent budget options (like those on our list above) for under $20, while more premium shirts, including long-sleeve shirts and polos might run closer to $50.
Heavyweight Cotton T-Shirt We researched and personally tested some of the top-selling pickleball shirts on the market, from budget brands like Hanes to premium apparel markers like Nike and Under Armour. These include a wide range of activewear tops all built for performance. The best shirts were soft, comfortable, lightweight, fast-drying, odor-fighting, and affordable to boot. We carefully selected only the best of the best pickleball shirts for this year’s list.