Reviews You Can Rely On

Brooks Distance - Women's Review

This soft shirt is best suited to shorter runs and looks cute while doing it
Brooks Distance - Women's
Photo: Brooks
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Price:  $34 List | $23.73 at REI
Pros:  Soft fabric, flattering style, affordable
Cons:  Could be more breathable, potential for chafing under arms, runs small
Manufacturer:   Brooks
By Paige Klugherz ⋅ Review Editor  ⋅  May 21, 2021
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65
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#11 of 13
  • Comfort - 30% 7
  • Breathability - 30% 6
  • Drying Speed - 20% 6
  • Features & Versatility - 20% 7

Our Verdict

With a completely overhauled style compared to last year's model, we were excited to try out this spring's Distance Short Sleeve from Brooks. The recycled cotton blend fabric is easy to wear and has a flattering cut. It lacks some breathability that we expect out of a technical top, but we find ourselves continuing to reach for it despite this. Slightly cropped to pair well with high-waisted bottoms, it feels both a bit trendy and like a well-loved t-shirt. Pull this one out of the drawer for days when you're running a few miles before checking out a new coffee shop, and you'll feel comfy and cute the whole time.

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Awards  Best Buy Award    
Price $23.73 at REICheck Price at REI
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Pros Soft fabric, flattering style, affordableUltralight, super breathable, packs small, smooth and stretchy fabricLightweight, breathable, packs smallRelaxed fit, breathable, quick dryingInexpensive, comfortable fit
Cons Could be more breathable, potential for chafing under arms, runs smallDelicate fabric, not as versatileSnaggable fabricSeams run along the shoulders, no odor controlHeavy, slow to dry
Bottom Line This soft shirt is best suited to shorter runs and looks cute while doing itUnbelievably light and breathable, this is the shirt for hot summer daysThis airy running shirt will keep you cool in the heat of summerThis loose-fitting tee looks casually hip while keeping you cool, all at a friendly priceA simple and comfortable running tee for your daily miles
Rating Categories Brooks Distance - W... Capilene Cool Light... Echo S/S Nike Miler UA Tech V-Neck
Comfort (30%)
7.0
8.0
8.0
7.0
7.0
Breathability (30%)
6.0
9.0
8.0
7.0
6.0
Drying Speed (20%)
6.0
10.0
8.0
8.0
5.0
Features & Versatility (20%)
7.0
7.0
9.0
7.0
6.0
Specs Brooks Distance - W... Capilene Cool Light... Echo S/S Nike Miler UA Tech V-Neck
Weight 3.35 oz (size S) 1.69 oz (size XS) 1.9 oz (size XS) 3.25 oz (size S) 3.81 oz (size XS)
Material DriLayer 88% recycled polyester, 12% lyocell Polyester double knit 100% polyester 100% polyester 100% polyester
Reflective Areas? No No Yes Chest logo, back logo Chest logo, logo on back
Seam Type Flatlock Flatlock Flatlock Flatlock Plain seam
UPF? No No Yes, 15 No No
Odor Control? No Polygiene AirVent No Yes
Zip Neck Option? No No Yes No Yes

Our Analysis and Test Results

The best feature of the Distance is its super soft fabric, but it lacks in a few of the more technical metrics. However, for easy runs and mellow days, you won't be disappointed with this one.

Performance Comparison


This tee was easy to throw on for mellow pre-work jaunts.
This tee was easy to throw on for mellow pre-work jaunts.
Photo: Paige Klugherz

Comfort


We have some mixed feelings about the comfort of this shirt. The fabric is as soft as your most worn-in cotton tee, although it's made of recycled polyester and lyocell, but the sizing does run small, and the underarms are cut high, which some runners could find uncomfortable. The back is made up of three panels, and while this adds visual interest, for those prone to chafing, it may not be the best option. That being said, the overall styling of this top is so cute we would wear it with jeans as often as we would a pair of running shorts, and the quality of the construction makes us sure we'll keep this one in the rotation for a long time to come.

The three-paneled back adds some aesthetic interest, but we'd...
The three-paneled back adds some aesthetic interest, but we'd hesitate to wear it under a running vest on a hot day since more seams equal a higher risk of chafing.
Photo: Paige Klugherz

Breathability


There is decent airflow through this shirt, but you'd find yourself wanting to strip down to your sports bra on hot, humid summer days since it is a bit heavier than others we tested. We love it for shoulder season weather or milder summer climates, though. The shorter hem with a hint of an A-line allows it to slightly flow away from your body while running, which we appreciate.

The slightly cropped and subtle A-line let air circulate as you run.
The slightly cropped and subtle A-line let air circulate as you run.
Photo: Paige Klugherz

Drying Speed


Drying speed is a metric we look at it because it plays a factor in both how quickly your sweat will wick away, as well as how quickly your shirt will dry if you're caught in a rain shower or if an alpine lake is calling your name. The Distance is a mid-pack performer in this regard. It dries faster than some other shirts that are a bit lighter but not as quickly as shirts that are really aimed at running on trails or in the heat.

On the upper end of the middle of the pack when it comes to weight...
On the upper end of the middle of the pack when it comes to weight, it's not the quickest to dry.
Photo: Paige Klugherz

Features & Versatility


This is a simple shirt without many of the performance-specific features we often look for, such as a UPF rating or odor control. However, it is versatile because it's one of the easiest to wear in day-to-day life since it doesn't look like a classic tech tee. There aren't any reflective markings, but we do like the integrated hanging loop on the inside of the neck, and we would definitely wear this to the gym, as well.

A soft hang tab is incorporated into the neckline, making it easy to...
A soft hang tab is incorporated into the neckline, making it easy to hang in your locker at the gym.
Photo: Paige Klugherz

Value


We're pretty happy with the price point of this tee because not only is it one you can run in, it's also one you'll enjoy wearing during all those times when you're not running! It's well made, and we think it's one that will only get better with more wears and washes.

Conclusion


Moderately breathable and quick-drying, the Brooks Distance scores the highest marks for its easy-to-wear fabric and cute styling. You'll feel comfy running easy miles and won't be in a rush to change out of it when you're through.

This tee is comfy for both your easy running days and your easy days...
This tee is comfy for both your easy running days and your easy days recovering on the couch.
Photo: Paige Klugherz

Paige Klugherz