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While you might not realize it, there is more than one company making compression shirts for working out. Not everyone has a huge marketing budget, though.

One such small company is called Mike Adams Fitness and they make Steel Stretch compression shirts. From what I’ve seen online, Mike Adams looks to be a cool guy, so I’m happy to support his company and buy his shirts over other bigger names.

If his shirts sucked, I wouldn’t buy them, but let’s just say I’m now the proud owner of four Steel Stretch shirts! So on to the review…

How I Found Steel Stretch

My SteelStretch experience started because I got an Under Armour shirt and it felt pretty good, except the seams cut into my arm pits. So I had to find something else.

I got lucky and read about Steel Stretch shirts, then found out I could order a short sleeve shirt for just $22.90 online (including shipping). So I did. Then I ordered some more!

I have three types of Steel Stretch compression shirts to review. First, the original Steel Stretch compression shirt (very nice fabric, slightly tight). Second, the Steel Stretch ICE shirt (same nice fabric and compression, but thicker for cold weather). Third, the Steel Stretch Sports Performance shirt (slightly different fabric, extra tight).

Steel Stretch compression shirt

First of all, the fabric feels absolutely amazing! It’s very soft, somewhat like Under Armour’s UA Tech fabric (which I love). But this shirt offers the combination of very nice fabric and a nice compression fit. It is the only shirt I have found that offers such a great combo.

Not only is the fabric great, the construction is great as well. You don’t feel the seams at all! No discomfort whatsoever, it simply feels incredible!

I also like how it’s a longer cut. The shirt looks tiny, but once you put it on, it comes down below your waist and covers more of your upper arm. With my UnderArmour shirt, when I did any exercise or stretching, the shirt rolled up above my waist, showing my stomach and back.

Last, the antibacterial factor is cool, especially if you’re working out in public. It keeps you from getting stinky and embarrassing yourself or aggravating others.

Steel Stretch ICE compression shirt

Loving my original Steel Stretch shirt so much, I picked up a long sleeve SteelStretch ICE shirt for winter use. It’s made of the same fabric as the original Steel Stretch shirt, just twice as thick, so it’s still super comfy, but warmer.

It’s cozy in the winter and I love it.

Mostly, I use it for XC skiing. Just a SteelStretch Ice shirt plus a mid-weight coat or windbreaker is good to keep me warm. (I hate bundling up in many thick layers that hinder my movement.)

The Ice shirt was also nice for motorcycle rides on cooler days (below 80 degrees), as the wind chill on a motorcycle is much greater than on a bicycle or while jogging.

Steel Stretch Sports Performance shirt

This is my least favorite of the Steel Stretch line. This one is extra tight, at least as tight as Under Armour, if not a tad tighter. But I think the regular Steel Stretch shirt is tight enough.

What bothers me is that the fabric is a bit different. It’s not awful, but it’s not as smooth or soft as the original Steel Stretch.

All that said, I got a couple of these on sale for like $9.99 each so I can’t complain. I still wear them.

My final verdict is…

Steel Stretch is the best value compression shirt I have found. Plus, it’s cheaper than Under Armour!

I wouldn’t bother buying the extra-tight Steel Stretch sports performance shirts, but…

If you’re looking for a compression shirt to use while weight lifting, running, or as a cycling undershirt, the original Steel Stretch shirt gets my highest recommendation! (In cold weather, Steel Stretch ICE gets my highest recommendation.)

Official website: www.SteelStretch.com

Product Review Details
Company: Mike Adams Fitness
Product: Steel Stretch Compression Shirt
Reviewed by: Coach Levi
My Rating: 4.0 out of 5
Date last updated: 2010-09-28
Obtained Product: Purchased at retailer.
CoachLevi.com Advertiser: No.

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  1. I had a really bad experience with Steel Stretch. My skin is pretty sensitive and the claim of SteelStretch shirts was that it was as comfortable as UA. Tried it on and it did not give as good of compression as any of my other compression shirts nor was it as comfy. It felt pretty cheap. Not even close to Skins brand.

    Just my opinion

    but when I called about returning it they said there were no returns because its like underwear. (even though they offered to give me an exchange. So apparently you can exchange underwear and not refund it.)

    The owner was really kind of a jerk to be honest.

    Its a small business so I get their stance. But come on.

  2. @Aron

    Thanks for sharing your experience! I guess it’s all personal preference. I love the shirt, but still have some other Under Armour stuff that I like.

    Too bad about the return policy. I would have expected them to stand behind their product and have more interest in customer satisfaction.

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