8 Best Sports Bras

8 Best Sports Bras

12
Hours
Researched
110
Products
Evaluated

After 12 hours of research evaluating 110 products, we picked Panache Women's Underwire Sports Bra as our top choice.

According to Women’s Running, one in three women don’t work out as hard as they could because they aren’t properly supported with a high impact sports bra. That’s why buying high-quality sports bras and underwear for working out is incredibly important.

There were a lot of bras to sift through as we tried to find the very best sports bras. But to be honest? Most of them didn’t live up to the test. You need performance, support, breathability, and most importantly, comfort.

Regardless of what sort of physical activity you’re into, you need the right kind of sports bra to hold you in place. Whatever type of sports bra you need, we’ve covered all the bases so you can stay focused on getting healthy and into shape.  

Oh, and if you're currently pregnant or nursing, don't forget to check out our best nursing bras. Our list of the best push up bras also has a couple options for sporty bras with lift, too. 

Why trust us: Faveable has spent thousands of hours researching, interviewing experts, and testing products to come up with carefully selected lists trusted by millions of consumers since 2013.

8 Best Sports Bras

  • 8. Athleta Double Dare Bra
  • 7. Natori Women's Performance Sport
  • 6. Lululemon Enlite Bra
  • 5. Champion Shape T-Back Sports Bra
  • 4. Armour Mid Crossback Women’s Sports Bra
  • 3. Champion Spot Comfort Max Support Molded Cup Sports Bra
  • 2. Brooks Fiona Medium-Impact Sports Bra
  • 1. Panache Women's Underwire Sports Bra

Best Sports Bra for A to C Cups

#8

Athleta Double Dare Bra

Best Sports Bra for A to C Cups: Athleta Double Dare Bra
Starts from $49
Get from Athleta.gap
76 % Editor Score
80 % User Score
151 Bought

Why People Love it

  • Great sports bra for A to C cups
  • Provides low to medium impact performance
  • Awesomely vibrant colors to choose from

This vibrantly colored sports bra is more than just something cute to wear under your workout clothes. Nope, it also works well for the woman who wants a comfortable, wireless bra that’s comfortable and supportive for low to medium impact workouts. 

Some A-cup wearers say this bra feels too restrictive for them. 

Size: Best for A to C cups if you don’t mind the extra compression.

Performance: This is best for low to medium impact workouts.

Comfort: Athleta tends to make workout clothes that not only hold up well during performance, but that feel great too. Since this one has back cutouts and mesh lining, it also gives wearers a more breathable and cooling experience while exercising.

Support: There are some women who say that there’s too much compression with this bra, but that can probably be adjusted if you remove the padding in the cups.

Price: This is a surprisingly affordable sports bra, considering it comes from Athleta, a premium athletic clothing brand.

Best Low Impact Sports Bra

#7

Natori Women's Performance Sport

Best Low Impact Sports Bra: Natori Women's Performance Sport
Starts from $54
Get from Amazon
90 % Editor Score
82 % User Score
120 Bought

Why People Love it

  • Great low impact sports bra
  • Comfortable amount of compression
  • Light-feeling fabric made with Coolmax polyester

If you’re looking for a low impact bra to get you through a hot and steamy yoga workout (or some other non-bouncy activity), say hello to the Natori Performance Sport. Customers love the light-feeling and cooling properties of this fabric as well as the light support and compression that keep everything held in. 

Because there is no padding, there’s quite a bit of nipple show-through when things get cold. 

Size: Comes in sizes B through DD, but is probably best for the smaller end of the spectrum.

Performance: This is strictly low impact. Do not use this if you’re planning to do any cycling, running, boxing, etc.

Comfort: This bra is incredibly comfortable, not just because of the soft and thin fabric lining, but because of the Coolmax polyester.

Support: While customers do claim that this bra is supportive and provides a good amount of compression, it isn’t supportive enough to do any sort of strenuous activity in.

Price: Some reviewers think the price is too high on this bra, but you get what you pay for when you buy Natori. 

Best High Impact Sports Bra

#6

Lululemon Enlite Bra

Best High Impact Sports Bra: Lululemon Enlite Bra
Starts from $59
Get from Shop.lululemon
86 % Editor Score
84 % User Score
70 Bought

Why People Love it

  • Lightweight and breathable
  • Won’t constrict, dig in, or ride up
  • Added Lycra Fibre for shape retention

If you’ve ever felt hindered by your sports bra, the Enlite Bra by Lululemon is the answer to your prayers. This revolutionary bra provides comfort, movement management, and a natural shape. Plus, it’s from Lululemon, so you know the quality cannot be beat.

While we’re not super crazy about the high scoop neck design, this bra is so comfortable and supportive we’re just gonna let that go.

Size: Available in sizes 32B through 38E, the Enlite bra is designed for anyone on the move looking for a high-impact sports bra.

Performance: Perfect for high-impact exercises like running and aerobics, but also great for lower-impact exercised like Pilates and yoga. The stitch-free hook-and-eye closure lays flat against the skin and the back closure is fully adjustable for a customized fit.

Comfort: Rather than weighing you down like the traditional high-impact sports bra, the Enlite feels light against your skin--providing adequate support without being overly constricting. Additionally, the Ultralu fabric is soft, smooth, and pulls moisture away from the skin so the bra feels equally as comfortable before, during, and after each workout.

Support: Lightweight, breathable built-in cups are engineered to soften bounce, and the bonded underband keeps the bra firmly in place without digging in or riding up.

Price: While the original price of $98 is slightly outrageous, the sale price of $39-$59 is super reasonable for a comfortable, stylish, supportive sports bra perfect for any size and activity.

Best Cheap Sports Bra

#5

Champion Shape T-Back Sports Bra

Best Cheap Sports Bra: Champion Shape T-Back Sports Bra
Starts from $40
Get from Amazon
86 % Editor Score
87 % User Score
221 Bought

Why People Love it

  • Keeps the girls in place and feeling supported
  • Provides a nice shape through clothing
  • Great high impact bra for smaller breasts

Back in 2012, the Champion Shape T-Back Sports Bra won the “Undie” award for Favorite Sports Bra (Average Figure). One of the reasons it won? Because of how well it keeps everything in place while fighting the dreaded uniboob and giving ladies a nice shape. 

No major issues noted.

Size: Comes in A to C cups.

Performance: For women with smaller cup sizes, this is a fantastic high impact sports bra.

Comfort: This bra is known for its ability to keep your breasts in place—and separated.

Support: Champion touts this bra for its “encapsulation” and “compression” properties, and customers seem to agree that if you need that extra support, you’re going to get it here. 

Price: This is a really good price for a sports bra, probably because it’s been around for a while. 

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Best Medium Impact Sports Bra

#4

Armour Mid Crossback Women’s Sports Bra

Best Medium Impact Sports Bra: Armour Mid Crossback Women’s Sports Bra
Starts from $35
Get from Amazon
93 % Editor Score
91 % User Score
47 Bought

Why People Love it

  • Great medium impact sports bra
  • Moisture-wicking fabric for more comfortable workouts
  • Sleek and lightweight—fits and feels great

The Under Armour Mid Crossback Bra is our pick for best medium-impact bra and it’s because its ergonomic details enhance your shape while adding an extra edge. Reviewers agree that it’s a fantastic pick for those low to medium workouts that you want to feel comfortable and supported throughout. 

For anyone who needs to order using a specific cup size (usually larger chested gals), this might be a tough one to find the right sizing for online.

Size: Comes in XS to XXL. Unfortunately, these only correspond with the chest band size and not your cup size, so it might be hard to get a good fit if your specifications don’t fall in line with the “average” user.

Performance: This bra is great for low to medium impact workouts…you can do just about anything in this bra including cycling, weight training, and boxing.

Comfort: This sports bra has fabric that’s super soft, moisture wicking, and quick drying. The soft, breathable cups provide extra structure and coverage, while the super supportive cross back straps move with you while still staying put. It is the epitome of comfort and not something typically found in a sports bra.

Support: Despite being so lightweight, this bra does still offer a good amount of support. If you’re looking for solid compression, however, this is not necessarily the bra for you.

Price: Pricing depends on the color and size, so it could either end up being the cheapest bra on this list or simply just average in price. 

Best Sports Bra for C to D Cups

#3

Champion Spot Comfort Max Support Molded Cup Sports Bra

Best Sports Bra for C to D Cups: Champion Spot Comfort Max Support Molded Cup Sports Bra
Starts from $28
Get from Amazon
83 % Editor Score
93 % User Score
313 Bought

Why People Love it

  • Great medium impact sports bra
  • Comfortable wireless design
  • Offers a great fit overall

Of all the complaints we’ve seen women make online about sports bras, the majority of them have to do with the fit. That’s not going to be an issue with this Champion sports bra that provides a great fit, good amount of support, and comfortable padded straps.

Some customers who purchased the DD or DDD bras said that their breasts bounced around too much when wearing this.

Size: Comes in C to DDD, but is probably best for C and D due to compression issues with the larger sizes.

Performance: This is a medium impact bra, so you can do weight training, cycling, and other somewhat stationary exercises that require a little more support and compression than something like mat work.

Comfort: Because these bras provide such a great fit and come with smooth seams as well as padded straps, comfort is not going to be a concern.

Support: In terms of impact, you’re really only looking at an intermediate amount of support here. That doesn’t mean you won’t feel supported, but it does mean that compression may be lacking somewhat.

Price: Champion bras usually tend to be on the cheaper side, and this one is no different. 

Best Sports Bra for D Cups or Larger

#2

Brooks Fiona Medium-Impact Sports Bra

Best Sports Bra for D Cups or Larger: Brooks Fiona Medium-Impact Sports Bra
Starts from $33
Get from Amazon
98 % Editor Score
96 % User Score
83 Bought

Why People Love it

  • Provides ultimate support for medium to high-impact running
  • Super comfy and doesn’t ride up
  • You’ll want one in every color

One of the most popular styles brought to you by Brooks, the Fiona adjusts in front and back for custom fit and comfortable support thanks to molded cups with a hint of stretch.

Keep in mind that this is a medium-intensity support bra, so if you’re looking for something to wear to HIIT activities this is not the bra for you. Additionally, the band runs smaller than most brands, so make sure to order a size or two up.

Size: Ideally for our full chested ladies that wear size D cup or larger.

Performance: Encapsulation and compression with medium-impact support; ideal for long-distance running, weight training, and other cardio. As an added bonus, it comes in a variety of stylish colors.

Comfort: The adjustable straps and back closure provide a custom fit for lasting comfort. Additionally, the trimmer size of the straps and the open back provides for a more comfortable fit under leotards as well as other fitted workout wear.

Support: Provides comfortable support with molded cups and moderate stretch for a natural-looking shape ideal for medium-impact activities.

Price: Between $30 and $50 for a medium-impact bra is a reasonable price to pay, especially for a bra designed for anyone D cup or larger.

Best Sports Bra Overall

#1

Panache Women's Underwire Sports Bra

Best Sports Bra Overall: Panache Women's Underwire Sports Bra
Starts from $70
Get from Amazon
99 % Editor Score
98 % User Score
117 Bought

Why People Love it

  • Moisture wicking
  • Reduces bounce by up to 83%
  • The girls will rejoice over this support

Panache Women’s Underwire is the ultimate sports bra designed for all you full busted ladies out there. It provides both comfort and maximum support to reduce bounce by 83% while fitting like a normal bra.

No question this bra will live up to performance and comfort expectations, but the quality of the material leaves something to be desired.

Size: Ideal for fuller figured ladies ranging from D to J cups.

Performance: The wired design of this bra cups each breast individually, which provides adequate support needed for every sport or activity. Plus, the racer back option provides more freedom of movement for running and HIIT workouts. Also available in a variety of colors and patterns.

Comfort: The Panache Women’s Underwire is created with lightweight microfiber fabric that wicks away moisture from the skin, while the breathable mesh panels keep everything feeling fresh and airy. The smooth molded inner cups reduce friction and improve comfort by encapsulating breasts rather than compressing. Additionally, the flat seams fit perfectly under even the most form fitting of sportswear and the underwire is wrapped in silicon and sewn between fabric layers for comfortable support.

Support: Repetitive bouncing can stress, stretch, and damage the connective tissue that maintains the shape of your breasts, but, by encapsulating each breast individually, the Panache Sports Bra provides the support necessary to reduce movement in all directions. As an added bonus, the wide padded straps help to distribute weight comfortably and the underband anchors the bra to the body for comfort and support.

Price: Depending on your size, you can snag this bra for anywhere between $30 and $80. While not cheap, the price could be worse for a bra that provides unbeatable support for busty ladies.

Faveable Expert Tips

Benefits of Sports Bras

Why should you wear a sports bra?

  • Support your breasts. A lot of high-impact movement can stretch and tear the ligaments surrounding and supporting your breasts, leading to breast sagging. This sort of damage cannot be reversed. Sports bras provide the support to prevent drooping and sagging by preventing ligament damage.
  • Regulate temperature and sweat. The fabric used to make sports bras is usually moisture-wicking, cooling, and sweat absorbing, thereby preventing high amounts of underboob sweat (a common problem for all men and women). The increased air flow promoted by the sports bra will keep your skin dry and cool.
  • Reduce movement. This is important particularly for women with heavier breasts, as excess movement can be painful and inconvenient. A sports bra will hold your breasts in place to prevent them from moving around as you run, jump, and play.
  • Protection. Sports bras are made with thicker material that prevents your nipples from poking through your shirt. For women who work out at gyms with a lot of guys (some of them with wandering eyes), this is a definite plus!
  • Better comfort. Sports bras are designed with active use in mind, so they remove everything you hate about bras (mainly the underwire). They're soft, supportive, and make you feel comfortable as you run and train.
  • Storage space. Not just for your breasts, but for other items: keys, cellphones, money, etc. Most sports bras come with a handy pocket for carrying small items, making your workout hands-free and worry-free!

Types of Sports Bras

Sports bras aren't a "one type fits all" item of clothing. You'd be amazed by how many different types of sports bras there are:

Racerback – These are designed to reduce shoulder pressure, providing good support for heavier breasts while running, rowing, and training the upper body.

Compression – These bras press the breasts close to your body, keeping everything firmly in place. For maximum support and minimum bounce, these are your top choice.

Encapsulation – These have a defined cup for each breast, enhancing your feminine shape while ensuring maximum support. Great for looking good at the gym!

Padded – For those who want to stay modest in cold environments, the extra padding built into these will prevent your nipples from showing through your shirt. And the padding will give you a little extra volume in the bust.

Front Fastening – If you're looking for comfort and user-friendliness, these easy-on/off bras are just what you need. They're also good for post-surgery comfort when mobility is limited.

Underwired – These offer extra support for heavier/bigger breasts, but without the pressure of a regular bra. These are made of the same soft, comfy material of non-wired sports bras, and enhance bust support.

Non-wired – These are ideal for sensitive breasts (usually smaller or developing). They provide some support without restricting movement or cutting into sensitive skin.

High impact – These are designed for high-impact activities: CrossFit, HIIT training, running, horseback riding, snowboarding, etc. They are usually made sans underwire, but ensure your breasts stay firmly in place through the high-impact exercise.

Plus-size – These are designed not for plus-sized women, but for plus-sized breasts (beyond a G-cup).

Low impact – For sports activities like Yoga or walking that don't involve high impact, these sports bras are ideal. They're super-comfy, provide good padding, support, and comfort, and will often be an added stylistic element.

Mastectomy Sports Bra – These are designed to be worn post-mastectomy, providing comfort and control during recovery.

Signs You're Wearing the Wrong Sports Bra

How can you tell you're wearing the wrong sports bra? Here are a few simple things to notice:

  • You're uncomfortable.  Discomfort can be caused by insufficient support, an underwire, or a bra that's too tight/loose.
  • It's old. Sports bras worn for more than 4-6 months will start to lose their elasticity and support. Hand-wash your sports bras to extend their lifespan, but change them out no less than once a year.
  • Bra band doesn't fit right. Maybe the band rides up in the back, or you've got it cinched on the tightest hook. Either way, it's a sign the band (which does most of the support work, not the shoulder straps) is too loose. Time to change it up!
  • Uniboob. Your sports bra should provide support for each breast individually, and any bra that pushes your boobs together is the wrong bra!
  • Painful straps. The straps of your bra should never dig into your skin. If they do, it's a sign the band isn't offering the required support and thus requires a change of bra.
  • Visible nipples. If your nipples poke through your bra, it may mean the molding is too light or faded, or the padding has fallen out.
  • Two bras are required. Double-bagging your breasts may seem like the best way to enhance support, particularly for large ones. However, you should look for a single sports bra that offers the precise level of support and comfort required.
  • It's hard to take off. Bras that require a struggle to get out of are NOT sized correctly!
  • It's too cheap. Sports bras shouldn't be the cheapest item of clothing you own. Paying more for a high quality bra is 100% worth it!
  • Breast pain after your workout. This could mean the sports bra isn't providing sufficient support or compression, so your breasts are moving around. NOT GOOD!
  • Spillage. If your breasts spill out of your bra (especially when bending over or doing inversion poses), you need to look for a bra that will keep everything securely in place. You may be wearing the wrong size cups as well.

Sports Bra Buying Guide

Buying a sports bra is a surprisingly challenging activity! With so many styles to choose from, each with their own unique features, you may have no idea how to buy a sports bra.

Here is the fail proof way to know you are walking out of any store with the perfect sports bra:

Step 1: Determine the sizes. Obviously you need to think about bra cup sizes, but the band size also matters. Without a shirt or bra on, run a measuring tape around your back, measuring just above your breasts. The tape should be pulled tight enough to be accurate, but not so tight it squeezes anything. Seeing as the band does most of the support work, it's vital to get the band size right.

Next comes bust size. Wrap the tape measure around the fullest point of your breasts. Always round that number up to the nearest inch. Depending on the size of your cup, you'll find this number is anywhere from 1 to 4 inches higher than your band size.

The formula for cup size is: Bust size – band size = cup size. So, for example, a 3" difference between your band and bust size would be a C or D cup, while a 1" difference would be an A or B cup.

For A and B cups, you'll want to find a bra that offers protection and a snug fit, without too much compression. Padding may also be a bonus.

For C cups, coverage is vital. You'll also want to think about supporting your breasts without compressing them too tightly.

For D cups, support is definitely what matters most, and compression can help keep everything firmly in place as you move around.

Step 2: Consider the required support. Bras come in different impact types, from high to medium to low impact. The higher the impact, the more support provided.

Think about what type of exercise you're going to do:

  • For running, mountain biking, HIIT, CrossFit, or aerobics, you definitely want a high-impact bra.
  • For walking, stretching, mobility training, and Yoga, you'll want to go with a low-impact bra.
  • For fast-pace walking or hiking, road cycling, or skiing, stick with a medium-impact bra.

Women with larger breasts may need to use a high-impact bra for medium or low-impact activities, while women with smaller breasts will be able to perform more activities with low impact bras.

Step 3: Think about compression and encapsulation. Compression refers to the amount of pressure on your breasts. Encapsulation refers to the individual support offered by the bra, enhancing the feminine curves of your bust.

Compression bras are good for those with larger breasts, as well as anyone doing high-intensity exercise. Encapsulation bras are more stylish, but they offer good individual support for large-chested women. You can find bras that offer both compression and encapsulation.

Step 4: Consider the features. Bras come with a wide range of features to consider, including:

  • Band thickness, tightness, and elasticity. Remember that the band is doing most of the support work, so you have to find the band that works best.
  • Shoulder strap design, including spaghetti strap, tank top, criss cross, or racerback style. The straps should feel secure and snug, but shouldn't dig into your shoulders. Consider adjustable straps if you want better customization.
  • Padding can enhance comfort and size, as well as prevent your nipples from poking through softer fabrics.
  • Moisture-wicking fabrics will keep you cool and your skin dry.
  • Flat-lock seams will reduce friction and irritation against your skin, a must-have for high-intensity activities.
  • Venting (a mesh or perforated panel integrated into the side/underside of your bra) can help to keep things ventilated and cool.
  • Underwires may seem like the devil in some bras, but they can provide maximum support for high-impact activities.
  • Closures can be in the front or back, and they can make the bras easier to put on/take off. Not all bras need to be the pull-over style.

Step 5: Test the darned thing. This is the important final step in buying a bra! You have to test it out to determine whether or not it fits, if it's too tight/loose, or if it offers good support.

To test the bra:

  • Move around, including a bit of running and jumping. See how much/little your breasts move when you do. Less is better!
  • Test the fit. Insert your fingers inside the skin, the straps, and the cups. You should have enough space to insert a finger or two without too much effort.
  • Evaluate the chafing. If you feel it rubbing your skin, imagine how much worse it will be when the material is wet or crusted with dried sweat.
  • Look in the mirror. If you see uniboob, the bra isn't the right fit! The sports bra should enhance your feminine figure without pushing everything too flat or tight.

How to Make Your Sports Bra Last

Sports bras are more durable than regular bras, but they still require delicate care to keep them in good condition. To ensure your sports bra lasts:

Hand wash only. Wash with warm water, and don't scrub too hard. Washing the sports bra in the machine will speed up the wear and tear, meaning you'll have to replace the bra soon. If you're going to dry it in the machine, run it on the cold cycle.

Have a few bra choices. Don't just have one sports bra you use for everything. Buy 6 to 10, so you can switch between them. This will extend the lifespan of your bras and help you get the most out of them.

Use the right bras for your activity. This is VERY important especially for women with larger breasts. You need to find the right bra compression/support/fit/impact according to the exercise you're going to be doing.

Replace regularly. Your sports bras have an average lifespan of 6 to 15 months, depending on regular use and care. Once the bra starts showing signs of wear, replace it!

 

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Article Staff

A six-year marketing veteran and a writer since the womb, Suzanne Scacca now specializes in writing content for a variety of audiences. She has been published on Inc.com, Examiner, SEJ, Elegant Themes, and other marketing, tech, hospitality, and business blogs. When not writing about the latest news and trends, Suzanne can be found hanging out with her dog, eating way too much dessert, and watching horror movies.

Editor Jenna Holtz
Researcher Ronnie Langston
Art Director Cherry Barbacena

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