When it comes to choosing the right sports bra, having enough support on your run is your first priority, at least for us. But how you get that support can really be a personal preference. Some runners love cups with underwire support, while others prefer wire-free. Or maybe you like a little more compression for a super secure feel, while your running buddy wants looser, adjustable bands and straps. The key is finding the right style that supports your cup size. Take a look at quick info on five of the top-performing bras from our test, then scroll down for a cheat sheet on the most popular support features out there so you know what to look for in your next bra buy, before reading full reviews of these and the other best models.
MOST INNOVATIVE PureMove Reebok amazon.com $60.00 MOST CUSTOMIZABLE Ultimate Flex Shefit shefit.com $69.00 EASIEST TO PUT ON Zip Bra Outdoor Voices outdoorvoices.com $75.00 MOST AFFORDABLE Padded Sports Bra Fittin amazon.com $12.99 MOST COMFORTABLE Original Support Runderwear runderwear.com $70.00
- Our Top Picks
- High Impact Sports Bras: How to Choose the Best Sports Bra for Running
- How will a high impact sports bra help when running or doing cardio?
- What should I look for in a high intensity sports bra?
- What difference will I notice when I’m wearing a high impact sports bra?
- Ready to sweat? Here are 9 high-impact sports bras that can stand up to your most intense workouts.
- Champion Women’s Spot Comfort Full-Support Sport Bra, $48
- Zella Body Fusion Sports Bra, $35
- Danskin High Impact Convertible Seamless Sport Bra, $24
- Wacoal Underwire Sports Bra, $65
- Under Armour Eclipse High Impact Sports Bra, $55
- Chantelle Intimates Underwire Sports Bra, $72
- Brooks Juno Sports Bras, $65
- Panache Underwire Sports Bra, $70
- Elomi Energise Sports Bra, $66
- 7 Sports Bras for Runners That You’ll Actually Want to Wear
- The best sports bras for every cup size
Just like your everyday, nonathletic bra, some sports bras feature wired cups for support. You’ll typically find them in very high-impact bras designed for sizes DD-cup and larger for superior bounce-banishing. The only drawback is that some runners find that they don’t move with your body as well as wireless versions.
Runners seeking an underwire alternative should turn to a sports bra with a molded-cup design. While they typically don’t always match up to wires for support, they do offer more flexibility and often come with removable modesty pads. Molded cups are also great for helping prevent the dreaded “uni-boob” appearance by providing an individualized structure for each breast.
Lululemon Enlite Bra Weave: The Enlite has molded cups.
Triumph Triaction: Underwire supports runners wearing the Triaction.
The easiest thing a bra can do for support is offer you a little squeeze. Some runners opt for tight, locked-in, and bounce-free, while others balk at feeling too compressed. Generally, more compression will mean more support—so the bra will rely less on the other support features like underwire or molded cups—but you’ll have to decide for yourself at what point “jiggle-free” starts to feel more like “constricting.” Encapsulation—a defined cup structure—is another feature in bra tech that keeps bouncing in check. Many designs will feature hook-and-eye back clasps, similar to your everyday bra, that let you set the bottom bust band to the right tightness. Same goes for your adjustable straps.
How We Test
We get it—all the extra doodads on high-impact bras look overwhelming, complicated, or just downright uncomfortable, but they’re not if you adjust them properly. Easier said than done, of course. To guide in your search for the best support, we did the legwork for you.
All of these bras have been tested by our team. We call in the latest models in all constructions, from the more compressive Shefit Ultimate Flex to the more simplified Reebok PureMove, every month. And our team of test editors is made up of runners ranging in size and experience. Besides wearing them for lunch runs and sprints at the local track, we also don the bras for cross-training activities—after all, the best ones needs to keep your girls in check during that CrossFit class, too. We then swap the top performers into this lineup, and the ones that still hold up from previous testing retain their spots. Here are our findings.
Our Top Picks
Fittin Padded Sports Bra
Lakota Gambill Fittin Padded Sports Bra $12.99 amazon.com
- Super soft and comfortable material that doesn’t chafe
- Available in sizes small to plus 2X
- Other colors only available in four packs
A bra less than a box of Franzia? That is indeed something to toast to! The five-star customer rated Amazon Fittin bra is a simple, soft pullover, that we kept reaching for in our bra drawer prerun. The bra has a “butter-soft feel”—yes, we can confirm Amazon’s product description—and four-way stretch that won’t have DD’s holding their boobs later in their run (an oftentimes last ditch resort when pullover bras just don’t hold up after the first couple of miles during a long run). Our tester, Gabi, had low expectations for an “Amazon sports bra”—but she had a change of heart after her first run: “It is. So. Freaking. Soft. While snug, the fit is not suffocating, and I felt comfortable and secure on my runs. The straps sit comfortably, and don’t cut in too close—an area where I tend to chafe from my arm swing.”
—EASIEST TO PUT ON—
Outdoor Voices Zip Bra
Outdoor Voices Zip Bra $75.00 outdoorvoices.com
- Adjustable, wide straps
- Simple zip closure that doesn’t snag
- Thick material
Outdoor Voices’s bra is so easy to put on and take off that our tester editor, Amanda Furrer, ventured the though of owning just bras that zip in the front after her first run in the Zip Bra. The material is slightly thick, however, TechSweat fabric wicks away moisture while PowerMesh and molded cups provide support. The bra also comes in 10 colors, which makes us want to mix and match with the rest of OV’s offerings (see: evergreen, scarlet, and baltic hues).
Brooks Dare Crossback
Available: January 1
The Dare Crossback is just one part of the company’s new line of “run bras” that is both seriously comfortable and supportive. Molded cups encapsulate each breast, and provided support for both our A and D cup-sized testers. The bra has a smooth, seamless construction. “Unlike other bras, the bottom band on this one is fully integrated into the design, so it doesn’t bulge underneath my shirt,” said our wear tester, Hailey. Our D cup tester, Amanda, who was familiar with Brooks’s old collection of sports bras, noted how the Dare Crossback was a major improvement from what she previously tested. “I crossed my fingers that it wouldn’t feel like the last Brooks bra I tested months ago, when my breasts were actually bouncing with pain and I felt a crick in my neck,” she said. “The Dare Crossback did not disappoint.”
Runderwear Original Support Running Bra
Lakota Gambill Runderwear Original Support Running Bra $70.00 runderwear.com
- Soft material
- Supportive, flattering Y-back
- Snug underband
- Runs small
The Original Support Running Bra is from the company that brought you chafe-free running underwear and socks, so you can bet Runderwear’s “Runderbra” won’t cause any unwanted friction on your skin. Early in their testing cycle, our testers were game enough to wear the bra during the RW Half Marathon Festival (racing in the 5K and 10K respectively). Both of them experienced no jiggling when they pushed the pace on the rolling courses, and highlighted the fabric’s softness.
Shefit Ultimate Flex
Shefit Shefit Ultimate Flex shefit.com
- Fully customizable fit
- Easy to adjust
- Thick construction
The Ultimate Flex is activewear eye candy, the bra comes in blush and black, with gold detail on the band and back. But it’s not all looks (though we can’t be the only ones channeling backup dancer in JLo music video); the Ultimate Flex also provides an all-over personalized fit thanks to eight inches of Velcro on the straps—which are easily adjustable from the front—and underband. The bra is easy-on and -off with a front zipper.
Trevor Raab Reebok PureMove $60.00 $38.19 (36% off) amazon.com
- No clasps, non-adjustable straps
- Stiffens from force to support breasts and reduce bounce
- Neck cut is a little high
The PureMove has no hard-to-reach back hooks, adjustable clasps on the straps, or underwire. You simply slide the racerback bra over your shoulders and head out for a run. The front and back have perforated holes for ventilation, and the bottom band is padded for a soft, cozy fit. Reebok wanted to take the next step with Motion Sense technology; shear-thickening fluid (STF) inside the PureMove liquefies while you’re at rest and stiffens when it’s compelled by force. Our tester was expecting to feel a gel-like consistency in the cups, but the STF, she said, is undetectable upon touch or wear. “The bra has a smooth, second-skin feel; there was no digging or scrunching. I ran downhill, took off at race pace, and pranced over puddles in the rain…my breasts didn’t budge.” BestProducts.com agrees, this sports bra from Reebok offers amazing support and is stylish at the same time.
Runderwear Easy-On Support
Lakota Gambill Runderwear Easy-On Support Running Bra $70.00 runderwear.com
- Wide range of sizes from 28D to 40J
- Supportive and padded
- Easy to take off
- Top back clasp is slightly difficult to hook
- Some testers found the cup padding slightly itchy
Runderwear specifically made this bra to provide runners with bigger cup sizes high-impact support and comfort; sizing begins at 28D and goes all the way up to 40J. Our 32D and 40DD testers found the bra supportive, if a bit snug. Some thought the padding in the cups was a little too drastic for their taste. We also had a bit of difficulty clasping the top back hook, causing some testers to re-dub the Easy-On as Easy-Off.
Sweaty Betty Ultra Run Sports Bra
Lakota Gambill Sweaty Betty Ultra Run Sports Bra $65.00 nordstrom.com
- Compression and encapsulation tech equal comfort and support
- Padded straps
- No over-the-top padding in the cups
- Snug band
- Crossback clasp makes straps noisily swish when running
As its name implies, the Ultra Run was made for, well, runners. Encapsulation without molded cups is made possible with triangular panels over each boob, and compression around the torso ensures support during high-impact activities. The bra has a flattering U-shape back that can be converted into a crossback. However, a downside about clasping the X-back was the noticeable rubbing noise the fabric made as we ran. Testers still liked the bra for its simple design—no removable cups and no over-the-top padding to emphasize a bigger bust (as with the Runderwear Easy-On).
Triumph Triaction Control Lite
Lakota Gambill Triumph Triaction Control Lite $67.20 amazon.com
- Adjustable, padded straps won’t chafe
- Underwire band is very comfortable
- Limited color options
When our tester said she would sleep in this sports bra—ahem, underwire sports bra—we were skeptical. But the Triaction’s supportive bits aren’t made of the usual underwire parts. Triumph (a company based across the pond in the U.K.) uses a special patent underwire with soft spring tips that flexes and adapts better to your breasts’ movement. How does this translate on a run? “It was very soft against the skin,” a tester reported. “It felt very high quality, but without that ‘cardboard-like’ construction.”
Lululemon Enlite Bra Weave
Trevor Raab Lululemon Enlite Bra Weave $98.00 lululemon.com
- No removable cups or underwire
- A six-strap weave racerback
- Easy to take off
- Difficult to put on
The Enlite Bra Weave is a reinterpretation of Lululemon’s original Enlite. This slightly altered iteration has an intricate, interwoven six-strap design that you’ll want to show off shirtless or wearing an open-back tank. Its smooth fabric makes it easy to wiggle out of post-run, and the fit is surprisingly not too compressive despite its ability to support breasts through intense activities. The only hangup: It’s quite difficult to clasp on.
Trevor Raab Knix Catalyst knix.com
- Easy to clasp in the back
- Max support for most sizes
- Somewhat stiff material
Knix’s Catalyst provides all-inclusive coverage boasting an incredible support range from sizes 32A to 42G. The bra has molded cups to cradle each breast (keep it from bouncing), perforated vents in between the breasts (the area that usually becomes swampy with sweat), and easily adjustable ladder straps. A 42DD runner and tennis player put the Catalyst to the test and was pleased with the results. “It was very comfortable and supportive,” she said. “I would recommend this bra, especially to a well-endowed woman.” A minor critique is that the bra’s band would occasionally fold up under the side and that it wasn’t available in racerback.
Trevor Raab Panache Wired $70.00 athleta.gap.com
- Crossback to H-back adjustable
- Cool patterns
- Supportive underwire
- Thin material
Some testers were unsure how much they would like this wired sports bra, thinking that an underwire design would chafe or rub. But Panache nails the support with none of the discomfort. Using molded and seamless cups, the bra is contoured to move with you as you run but still locks down unwanted bouncing. Plus, the left strap even has a hook that allows for switching between an H-back and racerback style.
Amanda Furrer Test Editor Amanda is a test editor at Runner’s World and was a middle-of-the-pack Emerson College cross country runner; she’s run the Boston Marathon consecutively since 2013.
High Impact Sports Bras: How to Choose the Best Sports Bra for Running
Find out how to choose the best high impact sports bra.
How will a high impact sports bra help when running or doing cardio?
High intensity, high impact physical activities, such as running can have a significant impact on your breasts. And, it’s not hard to imagine that breast comfort affects women’s running motivation. A lot of the breast pain women experience during exercise is from inadequate support.
Breasts move in a figure eight pattern in all three dimensions. They don’t just bounce up and down, but move side to side and forward and backward as well. When you add all that movement together, unsupported breasts can move about 15 centimetres during every stride. No matter what speed you’re going, your breasts move the same amount, so you need to wear a high support bra all the time.
What should I look for in a high intensity sports bra?
Bra technology is constantly improving, so there are plenty of options when it comes to determining the best sports bra for you. Here are our top five considerations.
- Support level required
Different types of activity, such as running vs yoga, require varying levels of support. Your best sports bra for running is something tailored for high impact activity. The Triaction Performance Sports Bra is designed specifically for cardio activity. For a wire-free, high impact option, the Triaction Extreme Lite Sports Bra might be just what you need.
Other Triaction by Triumph sports bra ranges offering lighter options are:
- Studio specific styles, such as the Triaction Zen Top, perfect for yoga and pilates
- Crop Tops, such as the , great for non-cardio gym activity
- Straps and band
The straps and band should feel firm, but not tight. The larger your bra size, the wider the band below your breasts should be. The stylish Triaction Control Lite Minimiser Sports Bra is ideal for high impact training, with comfort wire and padded 3D straps.
The innovative moisture-wicking eco fabric we use in many of our sports bras allows breathability. This type of material reduces sweating, irritability and chafing by drawing sweat away from your body,
Rather than just picking up your usual size, make sure you try on a range of sports bras. It’s a good idea to choose a bra that fits on the loosest setting, so you can tighten the bra as it stretches over time.
In the fitting room, try a few star jumps, squat jumps or high knees to road test a selection of bras. It might feel silly, but it’s worth it to check the support each one offers. Visit us at Triumph to be professionally fitted and explore our entire range of sports bras. Importantly, the best sports bra is the one you’re comfortable in and happy to wear.
What difference will I notice when I’m wearing a high impact sports bra?
Wearing the best running bra will boost your confidence, feel so much more comfortable and improve your performance. You’ll likely set bigger activity goals for yourself, all the while knowing you’re looking after two of your best assets.
Do you need a lingerie update to better support your breasts during physical activity? Check out our range of sports bras to find the one that’s right for you.
Finding a sports bra you love is practically a workout in and of itself. But, throw in a high-impact class or sprint? Pfft—consider it a full-fledged Olympic sport.
Between searching for something sleek yet supportive, full-coverage, but still comfortable, and somehow still affordable, it makes sense that you may sacrifice one—or more—specs in favor of another. (Or, worse, settle for doubling up on your support efforts by squeezing on *two* bras.)
But settle no more, for there are actually bras out there that stand up to all of your sprints, burpees, and bootcamps. Don’t believe us? These high-impact sports bras are approved by the real MVPs: thousands of reviewers. From adjustable straps to uniquely constructed underwire cups, these options have been vetted by real women who loved them so much they just had to leave a five-star review.
Ready to sweat? Here are 9 high-impact sports bras that can stand up to your most intense workouts.
Champion Women’s Spot Comfort Full-Support Sport Bra, $48
Nearly 3,000 women agree—this bra is a no-frills answer to comfort and zero bounce. Breathable mesh, molded cups, and gel-infused adjustable straps (plus over 30 colors) are why this classic tops the list.
Zella Body Fusion Sports Bra, $35
Not into underwire or heavy-duty straps? This seamless bra from Zella features a thick compressive band and high-neck for bounce control and an open halter back to keep you cool mid-workout.
Danskin High Impact Convertible Seamless Sport Bra, $24
This bra truly has it all: foam-padded convertible and adjustable straps, removable cups, a seam-free construction, hook-and-eye closure, and knit-in textures for comfort, support, and shaping.
Wacoal Underwire Sports Bra, $65
A whopping 1,400 reviews confirm this bra is as good as advertised. Soft and supportive, it has wide shoulder straps and a powerful exterior underwire for a super-secure and comfortable fit. But our favorite part? That it goes up a 40H cup size.
Photo: Under Armour
Under Armour Eclipse High Impact Sports Bra, $55
Although strategically designed for high-impact activities, this bra has a bandeau-inspired front with soft cups to make it feel incredibly comfortable. Plus, reviewers love the soft, stretchy fabric and convertible clips in the back.
Chantelle Intimates Underwire Sports Bra, $72
If you’re looking for serious structure, look no further. This microfiber option from the lingerie brand is built like a regular underwire bra, but with a three-part foam-lined cup to ensure minimal movement.
Brooks Juno Sports Bras, $65
Brooks Running was so sure about their sports bra business that they launched it as its own activewear line, Moving Comfort. This bra feels the most like a comfortable racerback, but with extra support from the lightweight, perforated unicup to keep everything in place. But the best part is the front clasp on the shoulder straps that allows for easy removal (i.e. no minor shoulder dislocation while taking it off post-workout).
Panache Underwire Sports Bra, $70
Those who are curvier or more well-endowed may think a no-bounce sports bra doesn’t exist—but think again. Over 3,000 reviewers agree that this is the creme de la creme for full-support. Designed with full-busted women in mind, this bra reduces bounce by a whopping 83 percent and features wide padded straps to help relieve pressure on the shoulders.
Elomi Energise Sports Bra, $66
Four-part cups on this underwire bra offer a unique support system not unlike the underwire bras of generations past. (One 67-year-old reviewer even said she left it on for work and to sleep because it was so comfortable.) The key here is the individual cups that lift and separate for a flattering shape and minimal movement.
If you’re looking for intel for bras to wear when you’re not working out, here’s a round-up of bras so comfortable you’ll forget you’re wearing them.
7 Sports Bras for Runners That You’ll Actually Want to Wear
When you set out to log a few miles, each step should be filled with the desire to push a little harder, run a little faster, breathe a little deeper. Nothing should stand in the way of you and your run—especially not your gear. From your shoes to your tank, your clothing should feel like second skin. (Hey, negative splits are hard enough, the last thing you should be worrying about is what you’re wearing!)
Negative splits are hard, but not impossible, and Aaptiv’s trainers can help you achieve them.
Next to your shoes, your choice in sports bra might just be your most important purchase. It needs to feel like an extension of you: offer serious support, zero chafing, and have proper breathability—basically, you need to completely forget that you’re wearing it. Whether you’re an A cup or a DD (or beyond), there’s a perfect sports bra for you. Keep reading to see seven quality picks for runners.
The best sports bras for every cup size
Shock Absorber Ultimate Run Sports Bra ($80)
Designed with high-impact activities in mind, this bra boasts soft cups and breathable fabric to prevent chafing and discomfort. Wide, padded shoulder straps are adjustable for maximum support for larger breast sizes. In fact, the Shock Absorber technology boasts a reduction in bounce by up to 78 percent, according to a 2009 University of Portsmouth study.
Berlei Shift Underwired Bra ($34.45)
Berlei is changing everything you know about underwire bras. This bra offers high-performance support for 32B all the way to 40E. Comfort is key with adjustable crossover shoulder straps and full-coverage cups that lock breasts in place even during the toughest of workouts. Plus, the stylish design prevents the unsightly “uni-boob” and looks great under all kinds of tanks.
C9 Champion Women’s Power Core® Compression MAX High Support Racerback Sports Bra ($22.99)
This affordable choice from Target is a solid option for A and B cups. This bra has a traditional compression and racerback design to help athletes feel comfortable during any training session. And, thanks to sweat-wicking fabric, you can wear it in the dead of summer and not worry about extreme wetness.
Lululemon Ta Ta Tamer III ($58)
This crisscross bra is a serious competitor. Adjustable closures aid in comfort while removable padding and a lifted design help ease bounce and potential shoulder or back pain. This bra is also designed with Luxtreme (Lululemon’s sweat-wicking stretch fabric) specifically with a runner’s body in mind.
Athleta Va Va Sport Bra ($54)
This scoop neck and racerback design might look like your typical sports bra, but it’s fine details make this a solid pick for any runner. With no underwire and a flexible sling design, this is a seamless bra that aims to feel like a part of you. You’re free to move around, jump, sprint, do your thing—without worrying about the girls.
Anita Maximum Support DynamiXstar Racerback Sports Bra ($74)
With sizes ranging from 32A to 40E, this is a sports bra for athletes of all shapes and sizes. The “X” back design helps with stabilization and comfort, while padded and adjustable shoulder straps make for an ergonomic fit. And, despite featuring a double-layered cup, this bra boasts a lightweight, breathable fabric design to prevent unnecessary sweat discomfort.
Old Navy Go-Dry Maximum Support Sports Bra for Women ($29.94)
Old Navy might not be your typical go-to when it comes to activewear, but hear us out. The budget shop has a surprisingly fantastic selection of sports bras, especially compression options for runners. This full-coverage bra keeps you in place comfortably while padded adjustable straps and form-fitting mesh detailing around the neck and breasts mould to you to minimize bounce and movement.
Now that you have a good handle on your gear, hop into the Aaptiv app and push play on a class!
If “chafing” and “bouncing” are part of your day-to-day running vocabulary, it’s time to upgrade your sports bra. Sports bras are generally designed to last less than one year, and since running is a high-impact sport, investing in the right sports bra designed specifically for running can leave you feeling supported, dry, and chafe-free at your next finish line.
The sports bra that gets you through strength training or yoga may not have the support you need to power through your long Saturday morning run. A great running bra is one that combines moisture-wicking fabric with maximum support to keep the sensitive skin covered by the sports bra dry and free of painful chafing. The next time you head out to shop for a running sports bra, look for the keywords, “moisture-wicking,” “maximum support,” and “chafe-free.”
We’ve done the research and put together a list of the best sports bras for runners. Whether you’re a fashion-forward runner who wants a variety of colors and styles or you prefer a hook and eye clasp to the traditional pullover style, there’s a sports bra on the list to meet the needs of the most demanding runners.
— Additional reporting by India Yaffe