Choosing the Right Sports Bra

By:Written by Caroline White, updated and edited by Alyssa Cervantes Oct. 2nd, 2017

A quality sports bra is an essential piece of apparel for any female tennis player. Top-notch support allows you to move freely on the court and, more importantly, feel comfortable so you can perform your best. Sports bras are easily categorized into three main categories: high-impact support, medium support, and light support—all having their own physical benefits on and off the court.

1. High-impact sports bras.

Our well-endowed friends might gravitate (pun intended) toward our selection of high-impact sports bras. Bolle Barely Bolle Tennis Sports Bra, the Nike Pro Rival Bra, the Fila Running With Roses Seamless Bra, and the Under Armours Space Dye Bra are just a few great options for a high intensity workout or match. All four include top of the line compression, some even feature molded cups to maintain shape. They have advanced technology that’s designed to wick away sweat and optimal moisture management to keep you cool during a long match. Take the court with confidence no matter your bust size with one of these super supportive options.

2. Medium-impact bra.

Depending on your intensity level on the court, a medium-impact bra might adequately suit your needs. As the name suggests, they provide mid-range support, and the compression fit is ideal for all athletic activities. Some of the most popular medium support bras include the adidas New York Pharrell Williams Tennis Bra, the Nike Pro Classic Padded Sports Bra Bordeaux, the Fila Prism Seamless Bra, and the adidas Techfit Bra. All four include optimal support and range of motion, as well as advanced technology fabric for the ultimate in breathability. You’ll find these bras to be a comfortable option for a day at the courts.

3. Low-impact sports bras.

Low-impact sports bras place a premium on comfort, though they can still be ideal for recreational tennis, yoga, a brisk walk or even a lazy day at the house. Some of the top sports bras in this category include the EleVen Power Play Tennis Bra, designed by Venus Williams, the Bolle Seamless Multi-Way Adjustable Tennis Bra, the Bluefish Sport Tennis Bra and their Hipster Tennis Bra. All bras include support and light compression, as well as technology that is designed to keep you feeling dry at all times.

To find the right bra for you, check out our website at TennisExpress.com.

Twitter: @myshariiamor

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If you’re looking to update your summer kit without the price tag, look no further – we’ve been sale shopping so you don’t have to. An essential piece of kit for female runners, a good sports bra is essential, whether you’re running 5K or your first half marathon.

For more advice on how to find the perfect sports bra, have a read of our comprehensive guide, then browse the best of the Nike, adidas, lululemon and wiggle summer sales below, plus the best shock absorbing running bras for larger breasted women:

Buy here: Nike Rival Women’s High Support Sports Bra, £33.47, nike.com

With moulded cups for a supportive fit, sweat wicking fabric and adjustable straps, this is the ultimate in support bras. The mesh design improves the breathability, whilst the racer back design makes this a great sports bra for running – we also love the seam free design.

Buy here: Lululemon Enlite Bra, £44.00, lululemon.co.uk

If you’re quick, you can save £34 on this brilliant running sports bra from lululemon. Designed for running, the Enlite bra is soft, stretchy and so comfy you’ll forget you’re wearing it. The compression style keeps your chest firmly in place.

Buy here: Adidas Stronger for it cross-back bra, £31.46, adidas.co.uk

A high-support running bra, the adjustable cross-back straps and moulded padded cups minimises movement and keeps you comfy. According to customer reviews, it fits well and is supportive for women with both smaller and larger breasts.

Buy from wiggle: SKINS DNAmic Sports Bra, £24.00, wiggle.co.uk

Save 40% on this SKINS sports bra in the wiggle running sale. With mesh cross over straps and a elasticated band under the bust, this medium impact sports bra is better suited to runners with smaller breasts.

Buy here: Panache Sports Moulded Bra, £29.40, figleaves.com

A great sports bra for larger breasted women, this bra is a great buy. The wide, comfortable straps convert between straight and racerback styles and the underwiring is soft enough not to be noticeable. The back closure makes the bra easy to take off even after a sweaty run and if you’re quick, you can save 30% in the Figleaves sale.

Buy here: HM sports bra high support, £10.00, hm.com

A high support sports bra with adjustable shoulder straps and an elastic hem with hook-and-eye fasteners. It might not last as long as some of the others on this list, but it’s a good choice for a tenner.

Buy here: Nike Classic printed Dri-FIT stretch, £18, net-a-porter.com

A compression sports bra perfect for women with smaller breasts, this Nike bra has an elasticated under-band for a flexible fit, removable padded cups and a supportive, racer-back design. The best part? You can save 40% on this eye-catching, summery print.

Buy here: Nike Dri-FIT stretch sports bra, £25, net-a-porter.com

We love the look of this simple, sweat wicking, compression sports bra from Nike, with an elasticated under band and even a handy in-built pocket (genius). Compression bras are usually best suited for smaller breasted runners, so if you’re a D cup or above, you might want to try a size up.

Buy here: Victoria’s Secret Angel Max Sport Bra, £17.36, victoriassecret.com

Save over £25 on this high-impact sports bra from Victoria’s Secret. With flexible underwiring, full-coverage cups and a super-soft material, this bra won’t chafe, no matter how far you’re running.

Buy now: Nike Pro Classic Padded Sports Bra, £16.50, johnlewis.com

Another compression sports bra from Nike, you can’t go wrong with these comfy, high impact bras. With removable pads, racer-back straps for additional support and sweat wicking fabric, this is a bargain at £16.50 in the John Lewis sale.

The best cheap sports bra for most women is the Champion Women’s Freedom Seamless Racerback Sport Bra. It is a nice sports bra that you can wear anytime you are doing anything active.

You will find out that it is just long enough to give you extra support, and it will not cut into your skin when you are wearing it. The bra gets an excellent rating on Amazon and is available in a wide range of colors.

If for some reason the Champion Sports Bra is unavailable or out of stock, the Under Armour is our runner-up.

Read the in-depth reviews below to decide what to buy. All of these are available at a discounted price on Amazon.com

Reviews of the Best Cheap Sports Bras for Women

Champion Women’s Freedom Seamless Racerback Sport Bra

There are a lot of women who get put off by sports bras that ride too high, but you can wear this bra in any color you want without it riding up.

The bra is perfect because it comes in every single color you could ever want. The bra is a really nice option when you are trying to get ready for the gym, and you will be able to use the bra to look your best when you come to the gym.

You can color coordinate everything, and you can make sure that you look your best when you are trying to get that work out in. There are a lot of women who love the best cheap sports bras because they allow them to have enough gym clothes, and you will feel much better when you go off to the gym.

Things We Liked

  • The material
  • The colors
  • The length
  • The coverage

Things We Didn’t Like

  • The thickness of the fabric

Encounter Women’s High Impact Strech Racerback Strap Workout Yoga Sports Bra

The Encounter is almost like a push-up bra when you are at the gym, and you will be able to get the support when you need it at the gym.

Women who are busty will need to try this bra because it has a hard band on the bottom that will help you feel even more supported, and this is going to make it much easier for you to feel like you have gotten the support you need. Some bras claim to have support, but this bra backs it up for you.

The Encounter is also a great bra that comes in a lot of colors, and it comes with a space age material that you will enjoy. The bra material is much softer than normal, and it works well for women who have sensitive skin and might have a hard time with skin irritation.

You will be able to enjoy the bra when you go to the gym, and it is so soft that you will feel like you are not even wearing it. You will have a nice bra that will absorb the sweat that happens when you go to the gym, and it will remain soft when you are working out.

Things We Liked

  • The soft material
  • The full coverage
  • The full range of colors
  • The supportive lower band

Things We Didn’t Like

  • It might be too absorbent

Coobie Intimates Women’s 6 Pack Sports Bras

The Coobie Intimates is a six pack of bras that you will be able to use whenever you want.

The molded shape of the bra is really helpful for you when you need better coverage, and it is very helpful if you are very tender when you are working out.

There are a lot of people who are going to be able to use these bras because they have a pre-set shape, and you will not have to worry about the bra losing its ability to keep its shape.

There are many people who are going to be able to use these bras when they need more protection, and the bras help you keep comfortable when you go to the gym. You need to try these bras when you are looking for better ways to get your workouts in without discomfort with the best cheap sports bras.

Things We Liked

  • The molded shape of the bra
  • The full coverage of the bra
  • The six pack design
  • The wide straps

Things We Didn’t Like

  • The molded shape may be uncomfortable for your cup size

Under Armour Women’s Mid Sports Bra

Under Armour is the biggest producer of sportswear in the world today, and they create something that is supportive for everyone who wears it.

You get a really tight fit from the sports bra, and it prevents you from being uncomfortable when you are on the run or at the gym. There are a lot of women who have pain when they are going to the gym, and the bra is the best resource for women who are looking for ways to make their lives better.

You can have the support you need all the time if you are really tender, and you can get more support because of the flexible lower band on the bra.

You need to try the Under Armour bra to make sure that you will be comfortable, and you should be sure that you have tried it in all its colors.

The racerback design of the bra will help you stay comfortable, and you will be able to use the wide band to make sure that you get the most support possible. There are many people who are going to need this bra because they cannot get the support they need anywhere else.

Things We Liked

  • The wide supportive band
  • The woven fabric
  • The blend of fabrics
  • Complete coverage that goes beyond a normal bra

Things We Didn’t Like

  • The support band may be too wide for some women who are quite short or have short torsos

Women Padded Sports Bras Push Up Seamless Fitness Workout Genie Bra

The workout genie bra is a great bra for you to wear when you are trying to make sure that you are comfortable when you are at the gym. There are a lot of women who want to get a really nice bra that will be comfortable for them, and there are many people who will appreciate that it does not have a thick lower band. That is perfect for women who have a unique bust shape, and it helps women who are looking for the most support possible.

These really nice bras come in many colors, and you will avoid problems that you have when you wear other bras. This is a great bra that is made from a really nice polyester, and it has a pull on closure that is easy to use. You can pull it over your head to get it on easily, and it will be just as easy for you to use. There are a lot of people who will be able to use the bra when they need to get changed quickly, and it works well for women with a very high bust who need a cheap sports bra.

Things We Like

  • The high support
  • No heavy lower band
  • The polyester fabric feels really good on your skin
  • The pullover design that makes it easy to put on

Things We Didn’t Like

  • The racerback straps might be too thin for some women with a large bust

Where To Find Cheap Sports Bra?

You can shop on Amazon or another large shopping outlet for a sports bra. Places like Dick’s, Sports Authority and Champs will have many choices, and you can try specialty stores that sell their own products along with the sports bras on this list. You will probably get the best prices from Amazon, but you might find more selection at a sporting goods store.

Five Important Factors To Consider Before Buying A Sports Bra

You must consider the size choices, colors, support, molding, and straps. The straps on the bra will prevent you from getting uncomfortable, and the molding on the bra might help you if you are particularly busty. The size choices need to fall in your personal range, and the colors will help you look your best. Determine which one has the most support, and you will have the right bra for your body.

lilcammo93, did a great video on sports bras – check it 0ut below:

  1. A Guide to the Padded sports bras

What cheap Sports bra do you think is worth buying? If you something to say, use the comment section below. Cheers!

The right sports bra can make all the difference in your workout. Whether you’re walking, running, or exercising in a gym or studio, you’ll need a sports bra that’s comfortable, supportive, and easy to get on and off. Not to mention, it should be durable and good-looking if you’re hoping to check off all the boxes.

First off, you’ll want to make sure to find a style that’s best for your particular size and activity level. Here’s what to keep in mind as you shop for sports bras:

• Sizing: Make sure to check the brand’s size chart – each one is a bit different. Don’t be concerned if your sports bra size is different from your normal bra or T-shirt size. A sports bra should feel more compressed than a regular bra to hold you in, but it shouldn’t be constricting or uncomfortable.

• Compression vs. Encapsulation: You may see these terms in the description, so here’s what they mean: Compression bras hug against your body and are best for smaller cup sizes, while encapsulation bras separate breasts for individual support (and often look more like a regular T-shirt bra beneath clothes). Bras that offer encapsulation, or a combo of compression and encapsulation, are best for larger cup sizes to protect from movement in all directions.

• Moisture management: If you’re going to sweat, you’ll need a bra that wicks moisture from your skin and dries quickly so you won’t stay soaked with sweat. If you’re unsure whether a bra lives up to its moisture-wicking claim, try placing a drop of water on the inside where the fabric touches your skin. It should spread out quickly; if the water beads up, it’s not a wicking material.

• Chafing and irritation: These common sports bra complaints are caused by the combination of sweat and rubbing. On top of a moisture-wicking fabric, you’ll need a bra that has minimal seams and stitching to help reduce friction during exercise, especially in activities like running where there’s a lot of movement. Make sure your bra isn’t too big or too small, too.

• Styles: There are a variety to choose from, but your best one depends on your personal preferences and activity level. For upper body movement, a racerback style gives you a greater range of motion. For extra support, look for bras with an underwire and built-in or removable cups. If you have trouble finding a good fit, try a style with adjustable straps and hook-eye closures.

How we test sports bras

The Good Housekeeping Institute Textiles Lab tested dozens of sports bras, checking how well each one managed sweat, held up during the wash, and maintained its color through perspiration, crocking, and laundering. We then had real testers — women ranging from A through H cup sizes — try them out during workouts to give us feedback on things like comfort, support, constriction, and ease of use. After more than 400 hours of exercise and over 5,000 data points, we’ve selected the picks ahead that are either winners from our test or newer styles with unique features and rave reviews from users. These are the best sports bras for support of 2019.

Panache Bra

If you are into trail running (also called fell running in the UK), mountain biking in rough terrain or perhaps just execute your hikes in a high tempo, you might be better off wearing a high-impact sports bra rather than a medium support sports bra. For each running stride you take without a supportive sports bra, your breasts will bounce in a horizontal 8-figure motion, moving as much as one inch for an A cup and up to three inches for a D cup. This might not only result in discomfort (and thus possibly a diminished performance), but also damages on the breast tissue which can cause drooping and sagging. A good sports bra will reduce the bounce of your breasts with 50-60% – as long as it fits you right and is appropriate for the activity you are performing, e.g. high support for high impact activities (running, jumping etc.), medium support for medium impact activities (hiking, skiing) and so forth. You can of course also wear a high impact bra for low and medium impact activities such as hiking, mountaineering and climbing – or even in your everyday life if you just prefer that extra support.

In the following we have found the five best high impact sports bras for trail running as well as hiking, climbing and mountaineering.

We regularly update our reviews and selections to always recommend you the best products on the market.

1. Buying a High Impact Sports Bra – What is important?

Support:

Unlike the majority of medium impact sport bras, high impact sport bras often provide encapsulation instead of – or in addition to compression of the chest. This means that rather than compressing the breasts against the chest wall, each breast is encapsulated in its own cup. Hereby you get a higher level of support while medium impact bras mainly rely on the wide elastic band beneath the breasts for support.

Material:

The material of the sports bra should be breathable, moisture-wicking and soft to the touch as the skin on the chest and around your armpits can be quite sensitive. However, it should be mentioned that the more supportive a sports bra is, the less likely it is to be completely effective at wicking sweat away due to the stronger and often thicker material and construction. A more secure sports bra is also likely to cover more skin on your front and back in order to provide the best support possible.

Fit:

It is very important that your bra fits you right – especially if it is a sports bra for high impact activities as you are otherwise more prone to issues like back pain, shoulder pain and general discomfort. When you are putting on your sports bra, pay attention to the following:

Signs that it is too small:

  • If you are spilling out of it (front, back or both). However, also make sure that the straps are not too short/tight; they should be secure, but comfortable.
  • It is severely digging into the flesh around your arm pits.
  • You cannot take a deep breath comfortably. A high impact sports bra should be tighter than your everyday bra, but not THAT tight.

Signs that it is too big:

  • If the (new) sports bra has a hook-and-eye closure in the back, it should feel secure at the most loose setting. As a sports bra loses elasticity with time and use, you will then move towards the tighter setting.
  • The cup material puckers or creases. It should lie smoothly over your breasts. The cups should hug (but not squeeze) your breast rather than feeling loose.
  • If the elastic band under the breasts travels up your ribcage, when you raise your arms above your head. It should stay in place.

For more information on how to make sure that your sports bra fits you beautifully and efficiently, we recommend watching the Panache sports bra video below.

Finally it should be mentioned that not all sports bras are suitable for all sizes of breasts. There is no reason to use a super supportive bra like the Enell sports bra below for a small- or medium- sized chest, while women with very large breasts will not get the desired high impact support from the Champion or Asics sports bras below, even if they can fit in them.

Care:

Three of the five sports bras below can be washed in a machine, but it should be noted that hand washing will prolong the life of all bras – not just those for sports. However, it can be annoying to wash by hand in the 21st century – and if your machine has a special gentle program, it might be okay to throw your bra in the washing machine once in a while. Just remember to put it in a special washing pouch (or closed pillow case), steer clear of softeners and keep the temperature low. Never tumble dry it, though!

Expert Selections
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2. The Best High Impact Sports Bras Review

Best High Impact Sports Bras for Hiking and Trail Running

The Best High Impact Sports Bras – List

  1. Champion Show-Off Sports Bra
  2. Panache Sports Bra
  3. Enell Sports Bra
  4. Triumph Triaction Endurance Sports Bra
  5. Asics Adjust Sports Bra

Comparison

Feature/Product Champion Show-Off Sports Bra Panache Sports Bra Enell Sports Bra Triumph Triaction Endurance Sports Bra Asics Adjust Sports Bra
Material 76% Nylon, 24% Spandex 49% Polyamide, 36% Polyester, 15% Elastane 90% Nylon, 10% Lycra, Spandex 82% Polyamide, 18% Elastane 72% Polyester, 28% Spandex
Sizes S-XL (4) 34B-34J (65) 00-8 (10) 32B-38F (22) XS-XL (5)
Fits approx. 32A-38D All but smallest 32C-52G Most 32B-40C
Cups Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Adjustable straps Yes Yes No Yes Yes
Closure Pull-on + hook Hook Hook (front) Hook Pull-on + hook
Care Machine wash Handwash Machine wash Handwash Machine wash

Champion Show-Off Sports Bra

1. Champion Show-Off Sports Bra

Suitable for:

  • Trail running
  • Hiking
  • Mountaineering
  • Mountain biking

As mentioned in our review of the best medium support sports bras for hiking, Champion has a lot of good sports bras – categorized as providing either medium, high or maxium support. The Champion Show-off Sports Bra is classified as a Maximum support bra as the wide bottom band and smooth molded cups help to keep your curves in place and looking good at the same time! The sports bra has a classic, if somewhat bare racerback with a small keyhole detail and a hook-and-eye closure for tightening the band and easier access. The material is moisture-wicking mix of Spandex, nylon and polyester with panels of performance mesh in front and back for additional ventilation. The Champion Show-off Sports Bra is available in multiple color combinations, ranging from bright and funky to elegant and downplayed.

Pros:

  • Breathable material
  • Natural shaped cups
  • Straps adjust in front

Cons:

  • Limited range of sizes compared to other sports bras

Share your opinion and help others!

Where to buy?

Video

Panache Sports Bra

2. Panache Sports Bra

Suitable for:

  • Trail running
  • Hiking
  • Mountaineering
  • Mountain biking

The Panache sports bra has several awards under its belt, such as the UK lingerie award in 2015, 2013 and 2012 and will fit most women with its whopping 65 available sizes, starting at 34B. Rather than compressing the chest, this sports bra encapsulates each breast which according to Panache’s own research reduces up to 83% bounce. The straps are broad, padded and adjustable, with a quick criss-crossing option to hook the straps together in the back. The bra is always available in black, grey and white, but also in several vibrant colors which change according to season. The Panache sports bra also comes in a non-wired version; however, it only goes up to H38 and thus covers slightly fewer sizes.

Pros:

  • Encapsulation design
  • Great breathability
  • Wide selection of sizes
  • Straps can easily be criss-crossed

Cons:

  • Handwash

Share your opinion and help others!

Where to buy?

Video

Enell Sports Bra

3. Enell Sports Bra

Suitable for:

  • Trail running
  • Hiking
  • Mountaineering
  • Mountain biking
  • Everyday use

When it comes to holding in and supporting the largest chests during high-impact sports, nobody quite beats American Enell. The high-impact sports bra is actually patented due to its amazing ability to support C-cups and above. That being said, it might not be for everyone as the Enell sports bra has some very different features such as the 10 hooks which are closed in the front and a full back with stabilizing panels. However, users say that with a little practice you can actually get in and out of it pretty fast. Enell also has a slightly different sizing system than other lingerie manufacturers. Rather than relying on you knowing your cupsize (which may or may not be valid for particular brands and their models), the sizes (00-8) are based on the measurement of your chest at its widest and the width of your rib cage. Hereby the sizes can accommodate busts measuring from 32 inches (size 00) to 60 inches (size 8) – which should cover most well-endowed women. The shiny material might not look too modern, but is treated with Naturexxx to wick away sweat. The Enell sports bra is available in several bright colors as well as black and white.

Pros:

  • Both encapsulates and compresses
  • Wide straps
  • Stabilizing criss-cross back panels

Cons:

  • Mediocre moisture-wicking

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Where to buy?

Video

Triumph Triaction Endurance Sports Bra

4. Triumph Triaction Endurance Sports Bra

Suitable for:

  • Trail running
  • Hiking
  • Mountaineering
  • Mountain biking
  • Everyday use

In 2016 Triumph celebrates its 130th anniversary as a lingerie manufacturer, but there is nothing old-fashioned about the Triumph Triaction Endurance sports bra. It is made of an advanced moisture management fabric which dries quickly and the hook-and-eye closure is made of microfiber to reduce rubbing and irritation. The inflexible top panels and double layer molded cups of the Triumph sports bra ensure superior support, while also giving a nice natural shape to your breasts – no mono boob here! The straps are quite wide and cushioned with gel pads over the shoulders. The Triumph Triaction Endurance sports bra comes in 22 different sizes, starting at 32B and ending at 38F and 40D.

Pros:

  • Natural shaped cups
  • Straps can be adjusted to run straight or criss-cross
  • Great moisture-wicking performance

Cons:

  • Handwash
  • Limited colors

Share your opinion and help others!

Where to buy?

Asics Adjust Sports Bra

5. Asics Adjust Sports Bra

Suitable for:

  • Trail running
  • Hiking
  • Mountaineering
  • Mountain biking

Among the top-notch running underwear Asics offers, we had to choose the Asics Adjust sports bra for this list as it offers maximum support for medium-sized chests (approx. 32B-40C) and has a versatile fit with adjustable straps (which can also be crisscrossed) and a special hook for the bottom band, so it can be tightened further. Its interior is seam-free and the encapsulating molded cups both hold you in and provide coverage and shape. The soft material has good moisture-wicking properties and strategically placed mesh panels enhance breathability. The Asics Adjust bra is available in solid colors as well as more funky prints.

Pros:

  • Great breathability
  • Supersoft material
  • Straps can be adjusted to run straight or criss-cross

Cons:

  • Only offers support for medium-sized chests
  • Limited range of sizes

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Where to buy?

3. The most attractive product in the review

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Post Author

Laura P.

I loved to climb trees when I was a child – as an adult I use these skills for climbing and scrambling up mountain sides! I always wear a Merino baselayer, sunscreen and my hair tousled.

Best encapsulation sports bra

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