If your runs are peppered with intervals or fartlek sessions, you’d enjoy the benefits of the lightweight, ultra-breathable Asics Metarun

This regular-fit Asics Metarun Short Sleeve Top is your classic lightweight, minimal running top. It’s the kind of tee you reach for when you want to crank out your faster miles and higher intensity efforts.  

Men’s Fitness verdict

Running tops don’t get more minimal than the Asics Metarun. Its featherweight design and plethora of vent holes make it ultra-breathable but we do worry about durability.
  • Vent holes target key heat zones
  • Lightweight and comfortable
  • No insulation
  • Durability could be an issue

How we test running tops

Kieran Alger is a running fanatic and professional run-tester. He tested this running top, as well as those featured in our buyer’s guide, over a wide range of distances, terrains and even countries. One test took him to an Italian ultramarathon; while others were conducted on the towpaths of West London, where he lives.

Vent holes of varying sizes create a complex pattern on the back

Asics Metarun material

The first thing you notice about the Asics Metarun is how light it is. The 100% polyester knit material is not only paper-thin but it’s also highly perforated with hundreds of holes across the tee. Asics calls this ‘body-mapped’ fabric, with targeted ventilation in key heat zones. 

Basically, larger perforations create more breathable panels in sweatier zones like under the arms and across the chest while smaller ones maintain the top’s shape and structure but still boost breathability. The result is one of the best tees I’ve run in for staying cool and managing moisture. However I worry about the durability. The larger holes look primed to snag – and easy to rip – if you’re not careful.  

Fit and performance

However, if you’re not generating your own heat from intense effort or the sun’s not adding any warmth, don’t expect this top to keep you warm in any way. 

I did like the flat and minimal hem, arm cuffs and side seams. They not only reduce the risk of rubbing but they help give this tee a barely-there feel. When you talk about disappearing comfort that lets you get on with business, this is it.   

The Asics Metarun only comes in one colour. However, it’s quite a nice, subtle shade of denim blue. There’s some reflective detailing to help boost night-time visibility, and it comes in five sizes from XS to XL. You have to scan a QR code for the care instructions, which is a pain.