Review of Under Armour Heatgear Compression Shirt

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Review of Under Armour Heatgear Compression Shirt Review Facts

This review is the HeatGear short sleeve compression shirt, from an established company and former brash upstart Under Armour. This brand offers athletic performance gear at a price that appeals to all-around fitness devotees. Whether you are a powerlifter, basketball player, martial artist, or just an outdoor cardio fan, the shirt will meet or exceed your expectations.

How do we know? Well, in addition to crunching both commercial and consumer reviews for research, we know the Under Armour brand. We have interacted with their customer service agents, and they are helpful and efficient. When you buy any Under Armour product, it comes with a 60-day guarantee. Should you encounter any problems under normal use, you can return the apparel for a full refund.

We also remember the days when Under Armour offered almost nothing but thin, sweat fighting thermal undershirts and pants for runners. Over the years, Under Armour has expanded into all types of athletic clothing, hats, and even sneakers. While Under Armour hasn’t knocked Nike or Reebok out of the box, they clawed their way into a sizable market share by offering reliable running shoes at a decent price. That’s no easy task.

Editor's Pros & Cons

Helps regulate body temperature under hot and cold conditions

Provides compression and increased blood flow to your trunk area

Price is in line with competing products, and less expensive than many

The shirt fits tight and snug, with little movement, when properly fitted

Can be used for most physical activity, including outdoor yard work--wicks sweat on hot days

Options include 6 colors, small to 5XL sizes, and a long sleeve version

Fabric allows you to move, and can be worn all day


Seams may dig in, especially during a run

A few reviewers said the material is lighter, less compressive than the UA older version of the same shirt

Shirt is durable, but repeated barbell squats may fray/wear down the back and shoulders

The Rundown

We have reviewed quite a few compression garments here. Since compression socks appeared in 1950, more and more athletes and working people have discovered the energizing and pain-relieving properties of elastane, polyester, nylon, and merino wool blends. The first compression socks were used for medical applications, like treating swollen ankles. There are specialized compression wraps for wheelchair users, who may have limited use of their legs. But thanks to innovation and consumer demand, you can now purchase a compression item that will fit virtually any area of your body. Under Armour's Heatgear line includes shorts, undergarments, socks, long pants, and, of course, the shirts.

Compression therapy will help your body retain heat in the cold. It can also prevent sweat buildup during high heat conditions. The squeezing increases blood flow, and you can take advantage of this both during and after a strenuous workout. Your editors have been known to sleep in our compression stockings after a long urban hike. The Heatgear shirt, when worn as a base layer, can help relieve the lower back pain that comes from carrying a backpack, too. So day hikers can use this product, too.

We do need to note that the Under Armour Heatgear compression shirt is not a cure-all. It will not make you stronger or more fit on its own. It cannot treat chronic pain conditions, though it may reduce the symptoms and severity of back pain or injured trunk muscles. If you have a sedentary job, wearing the shirt under your work clothes can counteract some of the fatigue and tightness. But you still have to remember to get up and move every hour or so--perhaps with a fitness tracker and quiet reminder alert.


This is not a light compression shirt. It is made to fit like an extra skin, protecting you from temperature extremes and light rain. Unlike the Heatgear shorts we reviewed, you can wear this as your only shirt. It will accentuate your body's curves unless you go up a size or two. There are men's and women's versions, but the only difference is in the cut and length. Women's shirts will be narrower at the waist, opening up at the hips to prevent tightness and bunching. Women's Heatgear shirts also come in more colors and have several options for neck style. The fabric composition and pricing are the same for both genders. We always say you should go with what's comfortable on your body, regardless of clothing's gender assignment. Just keep in mind that the Under Armour Heatgear shirt is made to fit tight. You know your comfort level with your appearance better than anyone else does, so choose accordingly.

Why It Is Different

Under Armour's compression products have plenty in common with most other compression products. But we identified a few points of difference that can help you make a purchase decision.

For one thing, it is handy for strenuous team sports. If you play flag, touch, or tackle football, you can wear the Heatgear shirt under your pads and jersey. It will allow you free movement and also help slightly with not hyperextending any joints or tendons. That is because of the snug fit and solid fabric.

The fabric is mostly polyester. Poly is known for its lightweight and breathable surface. It lets air circulate to keep you cool. But the elastane or Spandex content means the shirt will stretch to fit you, then cling tight. Polyester doesn't do that. Like cotton, an all-polyester shirt would gather sweat; sweat can grow cold and lower your body temperature. It's happened to us, the shivers when leaving an air-conditioned gym. The Heatgear shirt is a cheap and easy means of thermoregulation.

The tight fit doesn't break down under repeated washings, either. And you can wash the Heatgear shirt in the washer. Tumble dry low, or allow to air dry. Overnight will be more than enough time for drying. If you are active most days, you could get away with owning one or two of the shirts and rotating out, wearing one while the other dries. In our experience, compression gear (including sports bras) lasts longer if you wash it by hand. But Under Armour gear is durable, so hand washing is an extra precaution and not a necessity.

The other key feature Under Armour added to the Heatgear shirt is in the stitching. We did read in some reviews that the side stitching can dig in during long runs. If this happens, we suggest contacting Under Armour. Reviews are favorable enough that the achy seam is probably a fluke. Still, if long-distance running is your thing, you may want to ask around before making a purchase decision. Cyclists will be happily unaffected since cycling involves keeping the upper body still.

About the stitching. The underarms, typically a sweat factory, are lined with mesh for extra ventilation. This helps keep everything dry and cuts down on odor. UPF 30 sun protection is built-in if you wear the shirt as a top layer. All UA's compression clothing uses 4-way stretch construction. What is a 4-way stretch? We weren't able to find a definition. Looking at images and reading descriptions, we think it has to do with the fabric panels that make up the wear surface. 4-way stretch, unlike traditional t-shirts, will keep you covered while letting you move freely in 4 directions.

Who Needs It

Under Armour made its bones with performance gear for all manner of athletes. And if you own a body, and are physically active, you qualify as an athlete. The NFL is accepting of Under Armour--you can find performance shirts of all kinds with your favorite team logos. If UA passed that test, we are confident the HeatGear shirt can hold up to your fiercest fitness workouts. And the shirt is versatile, too, offering warmth and fatigue relief to lifters, hikers, step aerobics enthusiasts, yoga practitioners, and more.

What People Are Saying

Reviews of the Under Armour men's and women's Heatgear compression shirts are typically favorable. One thing we noticed--when someone leaves a one or two-star review, with details of a problem, Under Armour actually responds and offers resources. We have seen too many fly-by-night companies that don't seem to notice or care about negative reviews. Under Armour is not one of them. They started in 1996, and wouldn't still be around if they weren't proactive and didn't engage with problems.

The Amazon listing we looked at had 963 customer reviews at the time of this writing. 75% of them were five stars. Users praised the shirts' ability to prevent chafing, including during long outdoor runs. We learned that you don't want to use a clothes drier, as this will cause premature wear and possible shrinkage. Air drying is your best bet. The tightness, the most important quality of any compression garment, is reliable and lasts a long time. More than one customer used the shirt for injury recovery. It will keep heat and blood flow to a hurt shoulder or strained pec muscle, which enables you to keep going while you recover.

The Final Word

As a brand, Under Armour provides a consistent quality product, no matter what part of your body or what weather conditions you are working with. We recommend the Under Armour Heatgear compression shirt, long or short sleeve, for all recreational or semipro fitness enthusiasts.

The technology used in making this compression shirt will help keep everything protected. It will help prevent excess fatigue and soreness, keep you dry and comfortable, and it will continue to perform after long periods of use and repeated washings.