Nike Miler Review
Our Analysis and Test Results
A longtime favorite among runners, the newest version of the Miler lives up to the hype. It's stylish while still performing well, and sits at a reasonable price point.
When we're judging comfort, we're looking at the fit, construction, quality, and overall feel. The Miler does great in a few of these components. It's a distinctly different look than some other shirts we tested with its baggier overall fit and slightly cropped front, but we think that makes it easy to wear and gives it a bit of style. It wouldn't look out of place with a pair of jeans after a workout. We always appreciate when short sleeves are still long enough to give our upper arms some sun coverage, and these hit at a great length.
Most of the seams on the Miler are flatlocked, meaning there isn't extra fabric flopping around that can potentially rub. Unlike more expensive shirts, though, there are no gussets around the arms. This means that there is a seam running down the length of your shoulder, so if you're sensitive to chafing, you may find this is problematic for long distances while wearing a pack or running vest.
A defining characteristic of this shirt is the mesh panel that takes up over half of the back. It has a curved seam at the top and drops into a curved seam at the bottom, hanging a couple of inches below the front hem. We think this is a cute feature and adds to the comfort of the shirt with the way it lets air in. Apart from that section, the rest of the shirt is a standard polyester with a good amount of stretch. The quality seems good, and while the mesh could potentially snag, it's not in a place where it's likely to do so.
With the combination of the mesh panel and the overall loose fit, the Miler scores high for breathability. While we probably should have picked one of the lighter colors to wear while testing in the desert heat around Bishop, CA, we still felt comfortable as the temperatures rose on our runs.
A lot of airflow comes through the mesh panel and up through the bottom of the shirt because of its ever so slightly cropped front hem and relaxed fit. The standard polyester in the main part of the shirt obviously doesn't let as much air through as the mesh, but we still think it performs well. It is a pretty standard weight for a running shirt, falling right in the middle of the ones we tested this season, with a size small weighing in at 3.25 oz.
When we did our drying speed test, the Miler held its own against the more expensive shirts. We drenched each shirt in a bucket of water, wrung them out by hand until no more water was dripping out, and then hung them on a clothesline and watched the clock as they dried. A few of the top performers finished within minutes of each other, and this shirt also earns a solid score for this metric.
Additionally, this is another category where the mesh panel on the back plays a role. This portion of the shirt dried faster than the rest of the shirt that is made of a traditional, tighter weave polyester. In practice, we found that even the areas that got sweaty underneath our running pack dried quickly once taking it off. We never felt drenched in sweat, and the evaporative cooling effect from the quick drying time was enough to help cool us down. This attribute means we wouldn't hesitate to recommend the Miler for backcountry travel where a fast drying speed is critical for both safety and comfort.
Features & Versatility
While most running shirts are simple in nature (and we like them that way!), there are a few features we enjoy having. The Miler has two reflective logos, one on the front and one on the back, which is a definite plus if you're a nighttime runner. Unlike a lot of shirts we test, though, there is no odor-control in the fabric. If you've worn 100% polyester shirts before, you know that they can get pretty stinky with extended wear, and it doesn't always wash out! While we didn't experience any odor buildup on this one, be aware that it could be possible with more use.
Sun protection is an important quality to think about, and if you're wearing a t-shirt as opposed to a tank top in the heat, you probably agree with us. We are satisfied with the coverage provided by the sleeves and crewneck cut, but the mesh panel on the back is pretty large, and you may want to keep in mind that more sun will be able to get through that fabric. There is no UPF rating for this shirt, but standard polyester fabric has a UPF of 15 — this one just hasn't been specifically tested for it.
When looking at versatility, this shirt has a few pros and a few cons. Purely stylistically, it certainly fits in a lot of settings — the gym, road running, trails, and daily life. Also, because of its breathability and drying speed, we think it can be a good backcountry performer for day hiking or running. However, the location of the seams along the top of the shoulders may prevent you from wanting to take this on longer excursions like backpacking trips. Many of us dabble in a variety of sports, and this isn't a shirt we'd use for rock climbing or layering for snow sports. The shorter front hem that we like for running wouldn't stay put under a harness, and the mesh won't be helpful in the winter.
This shirt is a good value, especially when taking into consideration that its popularity means you'll often be able to find it on sale. It's comfortable, stylish, and keeps you cool for its main purpose — running. We think you'll enjoy this shirt from spring to fall and find that it meets most of your performance needs.
The Nike Miler has consistent scores across all of our metrics and it's a reasonable price. When you're not looking to shell out a ton of money, but still need high performance, this is the one we recommend.
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