Being old school means wearing stinky polypro underwear for athletic endeavors. Yes, they are functional, wicking away the sweat and keeping me warm even when wet, but recently most of my friends have jumped on board with the wool revolution. The sportswear manufacturers have resurfaced wool as the best fiber for layering, swearing by the ultimate qualities of merino wool. I do not want to be old school anymore, and I jumped on the opportunity to test out SportScience merino running shirt that was to be free of nasty odors and made out of all natural fibers.

The fit of the shirt was a little different than my previous upper layers. The neckline is tight fitting, which made me wonder if it would work with my anatomy. Then I went running in -10F and actually preferred the close feel around my neck to keep me warm. Today I ran in it at 40F and left the zipper undone to create more airflow around my neck. This shirt works like mid weight polypro and functions well as an only layer or as part of layering in colder weather. I tested it mostly running, but I also used it while Nordic skiing and backcountry skiing.

I was pleasantly surprised by the thumb loops, even though I was first wondering if the sleeves are too short to use the loops. To put the loops on, I need to stretch the sleeves some, but after the application, they don’t restrict the movement of my arms yet feel snug. I am a normal built 5’7” and size S shirt is a good fit.

Before jumping into the merino shirt, I was worried about the scratchy feeling of fibers. With dry and sensitive skin, I was apprehensive that the shirt would be itchy. No problem, the shirt feels almost like a soft polypro shirt. Another worry was the ease of care. As a happy go lucky laundry person, the last thing I need is a high-maintenance running shirt. I have been washing the shirt in normal laundry in warm cycle and it has not lost its qualities or shrunk on me. Excellent. Now I am ready to upgrade to a merino T shirt and a heavier layer that is hooded with thumb loops.