15 Best Sports Bras for Running: Ultimate Support, Comfort, and Performance
Picking the perfect sports bra for female runners is similar to choosing the right running shoes: if it’s comfortable and fits properly, you’ll run faster. In the changing room, a decent sports bra for running may seem restrictive, but keeping your chest secure and avoiding bounce helps relieve back and breast pain. Your cooper’s ligaments, which keep your breasts from drooping, will be protected by a decent sports bra.
However, how should a sports bra fit, and how can you be sure you’re getting the right one? To help you out, we’ve outlined everything you need to know about running bras and compiled a list of the finest running bras on the market, all of which have been tried and tested in the Runner’s World lab and by our editors.
Best running sports bra for all-rounder under
Ultimate Run Bra with Shock Absorber
This technological sports bra is designed to provide optimum support by counteracting the figure-of-eight motion your boobs naturally produce while running, from sprints to marathons. The compression bra makes up for its lack of aesthetic with comfort, due to adjustable straps and a clever clasp that combine for a secure fit, eliminating unwelcome and uncomfortable movement.
Specifications of importance
- Sizes range from 30A to 38G.
- Racerback with no padding
- High level of support
Best running sports bra Lightweight
Brooks Running Dare Crossback Run Bra
This sports bra stands out from the crowd because to its sleek style. Molded cups support the breasts during running and reduce bounce. While it’s a pull-over design, the criss-cross strap makes it easier to pull over your head than racerbacks. Flat-lay seams and a hidden lower band keep the bra smooth against your skin and prevent chafing. Vents strategically placed around the rear band help to keep things cool.
Best with Front Closure
Under Armour Eclipse High-Impact Front Zip Sports Bra
The zip front fastening is the most attractive element of this sleek sports bra, which is designed for high-impact activities like jogging. The sweet pleasure of a quick zipper to remove a sports bra is evident for those who despise taking one on and off, especially when it’s drenched in sweat and stuck to your body. If you’re afraid about the bra flying open mid-stride, don’t be. The zipper is secure and won’t move. Extra support, coverage, and wicking are provided with soft, breathable cups lined in the brand’s SpeedForm mesh. The back’s strong and adjustable criss-cross straps also give security and support.
Most Supportive running bra
Syrokan High-Impact Maximum Support Sports Bra
As you hit the pavement or trail, the double-layered stretch cups of this wireless bra help to absorb stress and keep bouncing to a minimum. Mesh panels on the front and inside keep you cool and dry, while the sturdy straps protect your shoulders and back and relieve pressure. But the true selling point of this sports bra for runners is that the straps can be changed for a specific fit, making it easier to put on and take off. Choose from 11 different colors that can be layered under any tank. (One reviewer even mentioned that the straps adjust to allow her to drop the cup and feed her baby before or after a run, making this an excellent breastfeeding sports bra.)
Best Running Bra For Medium Breasted Women (C/D Cup Size)
Under Armour Women’s Limitless High Sports Bra
While this bra is a little more expensive, it more than makes up for it in terms of comfort and support. Adjustable straps in length and style (U-shaped or crossed) are included, as well as quick-drying, moisture-wicking material that allows your skin to breathe.
A short review
“I was really hoping not to like this because it’s the most I’ve ever paid for a sports bra,” one reviewer raves. Unfortunately/fortunately, it’s also the most supportive and comfy sports bra I possess, and I’m on the lookout for more! This seems to work best with C-D cups (possibly DD)… The molded cup ventilation holes appear to make this bra less swampy than my other molded cup bras. If you’re a C-D cup looking for support for high-impact activities, my suggestion is to avoid buying it because you’ll undoubtedly fall in love with it.
Best Running Bras for Nursing Moms
Nike Swoosh Dri-FIT Maternity Bra
This nursing sports bra doesn’t have a lot of hooks or clasps on it. It’s also equally comfortable to wear while nursing as it is without. The fact that it is so simple to use is by far my favorite aspect of this design.
A few simple fabric folds keep you in place, and you can effortlessly slip the bra down and allow discreet boob access for your baby with one hand—which nursing moms know is literally how you have to do everything.
I used this bra all the time, even when I wasn’t working out, because it’s so stylish and because it’s lower-cut on me than other nursing bras, making it easier to wear under scoop necks. One minor flaw: This bra isn’t as well-padded as others, so if you’re still breastfeeding and prone to leaking, consider slipping in some absorbent nipple pads.
Best sports bra for running large breasts
Aerocool Sports Bra by Royce
Finding a well-fitting compression bra if you wear cup sizes G to K is going to be difficult. This is a comforting solution that enabled testers to go above and beyond with no discomfort. Although the clip is a touch difficult, the adjustable straps can be worn normally or as a racerback. The sports bra runs small, so ordering a size higher is advisable, but this is a well-designed product that also looks excellent.
Specifications of importance
- Sizes range from 32G to 40K.
- Back with hook-and-eye closure and adjustable straps
Best Sports Bra for Running in Cold Weather:
Smartwool Merino Sport Seamless Racerback Bra
The Smartwool Merino Sport Seamless Racerback Bra is the ultimate choice for running in cold weather. Engineered with a blend of Merino wool and nylon, this sports bra offers exceptional moisture-wicking and odor-controlling properties, keeping you warm and dry during chilly runs.
The seamless racerback design provides freedom of movement, allowing you to tackle challenging trails without any restrictions. Its quick-drying capabilities prevent discomfort caused by sweat, while the Merino wool fabric provides natural insulation, keeping you cozy in colder temperatures.
With medium-impact support, the Smartwool Merino Sport Seamless Racerback Bra is perfect for running, ensuring your breasts stay well-supported without sacrificing comfort. The bra’s breathable construction prevents overheating, making it an ideal choice for all-weather running.
Stay focused on your cold-weather runs with the Smartwool Merino Sport Seamless Racerback Bra. Embrace the warmth, comfort, and performance of this top-notch sports bra, and conquer the trails in any weather condition.
Best Sports Bra for Running in Hot Weather:
Patagonia Switchback Sports Bra
The Patagonia Switchback Sports Bra is the ultimate companion for running in hot weather. Designed with lightweight and stretchy materials, this sports bra ensures optimal breathability, keeping you cool and comfortable during intense workouts.
The performance mesh cross-back strap design allows for maximum ventilation, allowing air to flow freely and preventing overheating on hot and humid runs. The quick-drying fabric ensures sweat is efficiently wicked away, enhancing your overall comfort.
With medium support, the Patagonia Switchback Sports Bra offers stability and security for running, ensuring minimal bounce during high-impact activities. The seamless design eliminates chafing and discomfort, making it perfect for long runs and trail sessions.
What sets this sports bra apart is Patagonia’s commitment to sustainability. The polyester fabrics used in this bra are 85-100% recycled, and the bra is made in a Fairtrade-certified factory, reflecting the brand’s dedication to environmental responsibility.
Conquer your hot-weather runs with confidence, thanks to the Patagonia Switchback Sports Bra. Stay cool, dry, and supported as you push your limits in the heat.
best sports bra for breastfeeding runner
Nike Dri-FIT Swoosh Women’s Medium-Support Padded Sports Bra (Maternity)
The Nike Dri-FIT Swoosh is the top choice for breastfeeding runners. This sports bra is specifically designed to provide the necessary support and comfort for nursing mothers, allowing them to continue their running routine with ease.
With medium-support and padded cups, this sports bra offers gentle compression and added comfort for nursing moms. The adjustable shoulder straps make it easy to achieve a customized fit, ensuring maximum support during your runs.
What sets this sports bra apart is its nursing-friendly design. Unlike most nursing bras with clips above each cup, the Nike Dri-FIT Swoosh bra allows for easy access by simply moving the material to the side. This discreet design ensures convenient and hassle-free breastfeeding while on the go.
Crafted with moisture-wicking Dri-FIT fabric, the sports bra keeps you dry and comfortable during your workouts. Its supportive band and breathable materials make it an ideal choice for running, providing the perfect combination of functionality and convenience for breastfeeding runners.
Stay active and comfortable while nursing with the Nike Dri-FIT Swoosh Women’s Medium-Support Padded Sports Bra (Maternity). Embrace the support, functionality, and nursing-friendly design, and continue your running journey as a new mom.
best sports bra for breast implants running
Post-Surgical Comfort Compression Sports Bra
The Post-Surgical Comfort Compression Sports Bra is the best option for running with breast implants. Specifically designed for post-surgery support, it offers gentle compression, full coverage, and a front closure zipper for easy on and off. The soft and seamless fabric ensures comfort and minimizes irritation on healing incision areas. With adjustable straps, this sports bra accommodates changes in breast size during recovery and provides maximum support for running and high-impact activities. Embrace the comfort and confidence this sports bra offers, making your runs a smooth and supported experience with breast implants.
Best Sports Bra for Running with Pockets:
Oiselle Flyout Bra
Oiselle Flyout Bra takes the spotlight as the best sports bra for running with pockets. This innovative sports bra offers a convenient back pocket between the shoulder blades, providing a secure and bounce-free place to carry your phone or other essentials during your runs.
Designed with a pullover compression-style, the Oiselle Flyout Bra ensures a comfortable and supportive fit for various body types. The wide shoulder straps distribute weight evenly, making it comfortable to wear even under a pack during trail runs.
The back pocket design allows for easy access to your phone, eliminating the need for additional accessories like armbands or waist packs. Run hands-free, with your phone securely stowed away, providing you with the freedom to focus on your performance.
For those who prioritize convenience and accessibility, the Oiselle Flyout Bra is a game-changer. Whether you’re training for a marathon or enjoying a leisurely jog, this sports bra offers the perfect storage solution for your running essentials. Embrace the practicality and comfort of the Oiselle Flyout Bra, and take your running experience to new heights
Best running sports bra for small breasts
Marks & Spencer GoodMove Extra-High-Impact Serious Sports Bra
This high-street option is a contender if you enjoy wired sports bras and wear lower cup sizes. It comes in sizes up to an E cup, although our testers who wore the larger cup sizes found that the support was better for cross-training than for pounding the streets. This adaptable bra – created with fabric that keeps you dry while you rack up the kilometers – is comfy, adjustable, and secure for runners who it does suit.
Specifications of importance
- Sizes range from 32A to 42E.
- Wired is a style.
- High level of support
Best Running Bra for DD+ cup size
Ultra Run Sports Bra
The technology behind this Sweaty Betty bra is incredible: it blends encapsulating cups with a compressive fit for added support – it seems easy, but the difference is noticeable. It also features mesh paneling to keep you cool as you sweat, making it ideal for summer running. It’s available in seven different colors, in addition to the traditional black and white.
Available in sizes up to a F cup.
Features: Adjustable straps allow you to wear the bra as a U-back or a racerback depending on your activities and support needs.
Best running bra for plus size
Studio Two-Tone Bra (Plus Size)
This low-impact bra, which is produced from 84 percent recycled textiles, gets your complete attention if you’re looking for eco credentials. It’s an investment, but it fits well and provides fantastic compression – we loved it for both strength training and yoga. It’s not adjustable, but the size range is excellent, going up to 4X, and the smooth finish keeps it comfortable all day.
Expert opinion: This daring bra has fashion and the environment on its side, more than compensating for its premium price.
Specifications of importance
- Sizes range from XS to 4X.
- Orange and pink, ink and navy, black and grey, off-white and beige are some of the colors used.
- Workouts with low to medium impact are recommended.
How to Choose a Sports Bra for Running
Choosing the right sports bra for running is crucial for a comfortable and successful running experience. Here’s an in-depth guide to help you make the best choice:
- Impact Level: Consider the impact level of your running activity. Low-impact sports bras are suitable for activities like yoga, walking, or cycling. Medium-impact bras are ideal for jogging and treadmill running. High-impact bras are necessary for intense running, trail running, and other high-impact activities.
- Size and Fit: Getting the right size and fit is paramount. Visit a specialized store for a professional fitting or use a sizing chart provided by the brand. Ensure the band fits snugly around your ribcage, providing support without feeling too tight. The cups should fully encapsulate your breasts, with no spillage or gaps.
- Support Level: The support level should match your breast size and the intensity of your running. Compression bras work well for smaller breasts, as they compress and hold the breasts close to the chest. Encapsulation bras have individual cups for each breast and provide better support for larger cup sizes. Combination bras offer a mix of compression and encapsulation.
- Material and Breathability: Opt for moisture-wicking and breathable fabrics that keep sweat away from your skin. Look for materials like polyester, nylon, or spandex with mesh panels to enhance ventilation and prevent chafing.
- Straps and Closures: Adjustable straps allow you to customize the fit to your liking. Racerback or cross-back designs distribute weight evenly and prevent straps from slipping during your runs. Some bras have front or back closures, so choose what feels most comfortable for you.
- Seams and Padding: Seamless bras minimize friction and potential chafing points, ensuring a smooth and comfortable fit. Padding or molded cups offer extra support, shape, and modesty.
- Try Before Buying: Whenever possible, try the sports bra on and perform some running movements to assess its support and comfort. Jump, bounce, or simulate running motions to ensure the bra stays in place.
- Activity-Specific Bras: Some brands offer sports bras specifically designed for running, with additional features like targeted support zones, ventilation, and reduced bounce. Consider these specialized options for enhanced performance.
- Budget and Quality: Invest in a high-quality sports bra that suits your needs and budget. A well-made bra will provide better support, durability, and comfort, ultimately making it worth the investment.
By carefully considering these factors and trying on different options, you can find the perfect sports bra for running. A well-fitting and supportive sports bra will enhance your running experience, allowing you to focus on your performance and enjoy the journey.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why do I need a sports bra specifically for running?
Running involves repetitive and high-impact movements that can put strain on breast tissues. A sports bra designed for running provides the necessary support and compression to minimize breast movement and reduce discomfort or potential injuries during your runs.
What’s the difference between low, medium, and high-impact sports bras?
Low-impact sports bras offer gentle support and are suitable for low-intensity activities like yoga or walking. Medium-impact bras provide more support and are ideal for activities like jogging and treadmill running. High-impact sports bras offer maximum support and are recommended for intense running and high-impact exercises.
How do I determine my correct sports bra size?
To find your correct sports bra size, measure your band size by wrapping a measuring tape snugly just below your breasts. Add 4-5 inches to get the band size. For cup size, measure around the fullest part of your breasts and subtract the band size. The difference corresponds to your cup size (e.g., 1 inch difference is an A cup, 2 inches is a B cup, and so on).
Can I wear a regular bra for running?
Regular bras are not designed to provide the necessary support and compression for high-impact activities like running. Sports bras are specifically engineered to reduce breast movement and offer better comfort and support during exercise.
How often should I replace my sports bra?
Sports bras typically last for around 6-12 months, depending on how frequently you wear and wash them, as well as the intensity of your workouts. Signs of wear and tear, loss of elasticity, or reduced support indicate it’s time to replace your sports bra.
Can I wear a sports bra with padding for running?
Yes, sports bras with padding offer added support and modesty. The padding helps maintain shape and prevents nipple show-through during your runs.
Can I wear a sports bra for running with a large bust?
Absolutely! There are sports bras specifically designed for larger cup sizes that offer maximum support and minimize bounce during high-impact activities. Look for encapsulation or combination styles with wider adjustable straps and a supportive band for a comfortable and secure fit.
How do I care for my sports bra?
To prolong the life of your sports bra, wash it in cold water using a gentle cycle or hand wash. Avoid using fabric softeners, as they can compromise the bra’s elasticity. Let it air dry, as high heat from dryers can damage the fabric and elastic.
Remember, choosing the right sports bra for running is essential for your comfort and performance. Take the time to find a well-fitting and supportive sports bra, and enjoy your runs with confidence and ease.
What are the different varieties of running sports bras?
Sports bras are divided into two categories:
Encapsulation bras include two cups, similar to a traditional bra, but with added support.
Compression bras have the appearance of a crop top. They are worn over your head and work by pressing your breasts against your chest. They’re a fantastic choice for women with smaller breasts; if you choose a compression bra, ensure sure the centerpiece lays level against the breastbone.
How should a running sports bra fit?
Start with your regular bra size if you’ve never worn a sports bra before. It should be snug but not too tight that you can’t breathe through it. If the back band rides up, the bra is too big. Adjust the strap and make sure the back band is at the same height all the way around your body. Only one finger should be able to fit beneath the band, and the material should not pucker.
As with shoes, sizes and measurements differ between brands, so try on a couple to discover the one that best fits you. In our guide, you’ll learn more about how your sports bra should fit, how often you should change it, and why your sports bra is chafing.