A fraction of the price of most compression tops, the Gymshark Element still offers decent performance benefits…

Gymshark Element Base Layer


£22 / gymshark.com


  • Good value
  • Excellent fit


  • Only mild compression
  • Waist can ride up

Comfort: 4/5
Compression: 3/5
Sweat-wicking: 4/5

The most budget-friendly option on test, this Gymshark Element is another baselayer that’s not strictly a compression top. So you won’t get the same levels of recovery boosting that you will from a Skins, 2XU or Kymira top. If that’s your top priority, we’d recommend looking at those first. Still, it’s among the best workout clothes for doing mobility work.

However, this is a snug fitting top that offers a good combination of muscle support, flexibility and warmth at a much more reasonable price than those dedicated compression options. 

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The smooth, soft and skin-friendly stretch fabric is made from 88% recycled polyester. It features strategically placed flatlock seams that hug your muscles. The material is also quite thin, so it’s pretty good at wicking sweat and so dries nice and quickly. We tested it on a two-hour run where it delivered warmth throughout with no rubbing or nipple chafing. 

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The elasticated sleeves are quite narrow, so they stay put but might feel a touch constrictive for some. There’s no watch window, either, and they’re not that easy to pull over a watch when checking stats on the move. The waistband is also only lightly elasticated, and despite a lower hanging cut, it still rides up a little during drills where you reach or hang.

It comes in seven sizes from XS to 3XL and eight colourways. If you’re looking for a simple base layer with some compression benefits at a bargain price, the Gymshark Element is well worth considering.