Running enthusiast and gear tester Kieran Alger reckons this lightweight New Balance Graphic Impact tee would be a great choice for racing…

If you’re after a simple, straight-forward but highly functional running top that’s good for daily training sessions and racing, the New Balance Graphic Impact Run Tee is a fantastic option that balances good looks with great performance.  

Men’s Fitness verdict

This super-light running top from NB ticks all the boxes, whether you’re racing, training or tackling long endurance efforts. It dries well and is comfortable and surprisingly durable too.
  • Lightweight fabric makes it suitable for fast runs
  • Low chafe risk
  • Not much warmth for winter runs
  • Limited reflective detailing

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.

The subtle design and muted colours make the Graphic Impact a versatile tee

Graphic Impact Tee features

The most notable feature of the New Balance Graphic Impact Tee is how lightweight it is. The mesh fabric is incredibly thin with thousands of perforations that give it that airy, barely-there feel. It also wicks well and dries as fast as any of the running tops I’ve tested recently.  

The polyester material felt soft against my skin and the tee has a loose, chest-skimming roomy fit that almost disappears. As a result it didn’t get weighed down, even during the sweatiest sessions.  

The super-light material is also much less of a threat to your nipples on longer training runs where that risk comes into play. On the flipside, because it’s so thin, it doesn’t add much warmth to cold weather training. So unless you’re a runner who tends to get hot easily, it’s much better for spring, summer and perhaps treadmill runs.  

Materials and durability

There’s some eco credentials here too. The New Balance Graphic Impact Tee is made from 95% recycled polyester. But the best thing for the environment is gear that lasts a long time and I felt the durability was pretty sound too. In my tests, it held its shape nicely after a dozen trips into the wash. Not all technical run tees manage this. Speaking of washing, it copes well with 30-degree cycles and will survive a trip into the tumble dryer.  

The colours are more classic and less dayglo than a lot of running tops, so you can wear this to get your post-run coffee without feeling too much like a RUNNER! There are small reflective logo details on the chest and sleeve but these aren’t going to make much difference on dark nights.