If you’re reading this post, I’m going to assume you’re looking for great supportive running sports bras. You’ve come to the right place!
I’ve written about running shoes, running socks, running shorts, clothes for running the rain and the cold AND lots of posts about running in the heat. And while I talk about my favorite sports bras on Instagram quite frequently, I realized I never wrote a post on it!
Sports bras are one of the more important pieces of running gear for a woman. You can have the best running shoes, great socks, amazing shorts, and a GPS running watch, but if you’re lacking a supportive sports bra, you’ll likely be miserable on your run.
Not only does a sports bra offer comfort so things aren’t bouncing around too much (and that can literally be a pain), but it also supports the ligaments that prevent your breasts from sagging. With so many running and sports brands on the market, there are some GREAT options for supportive sports bras for all shapes and sizes and all types of workouts and intensity. Just like your running shoes, you want to make sure to have sports bras that are made for your specific training.
Not all bras are the same, and you don’t necessarily need or want the same bra for every situation. Sometimes you’ll want high impact sports bras, and other times you’ll want a comfort sports bra. It’s important to understand what makes a bra supportive for high impact and how it relates to your cup size, e.g. strap width, band width, material, etc. I go into more details about how to analyze sports bras and ensure they fit correctly in my running course. But today, I’m hitting the highlights and sharing some of my favorites.
Supportive Sports Bras for Running
I suggest shopping in person (local running stores are a great spot!) or at least ordering from somewhere that you can easily return, and try a few different ones before making your decision. Bra sizing is a little different with each brand, so you’ll want to try things on before committing. And while sports bras may be my least favorite thing to spend money on, they’re something you wear for EVERY SINGLE WORKOUT. So it’s worth the investment.
Okay, now that we have all of that talk behind us, let’s talk about the best sports bras out there and some of my personal favorites. And just like running shoes, what works for me might not work for you so try a few! I’d also love to hear what bras you love and for what types of workouts.
I’m going to break this post down into different types of support, since no woman is the same. My breast size changed drastically when I had Thomas and went to a EE! Now I am back to my usual C cup, so we’re talking pretty big changes. Most women’s breast size will fluctuate in their lifetime, especially on or around their cycle. Keep this in mind when you’re bra shopping, and it might be nice to have one bra that’s a tad bigger for those times or at least buying a bra that is adjustable for a cup size.
My Top Picks
My current favorite sports bra is by On Running. The #1 thing I love about this bra is that the pads are sewn in! I’ve been talking to my running friends about how I want a sports bra with sewn in pads so they don’t fall out in the wash and then I have to struggle to get them back in smoothly! On delivered with this bra. It’s supportive in every way, but not so tight that it feel suffocating.
This is by FAR the most supportive running bra I have. If you have a large chest and have tried every bra (or even layering bras), you’ll want to buy this one. I tried this bra out for the first time while was breastfeeding after hearing SO many people tell me I needed to try it. It has a zip front closure, adjustable shoulder straps, and adjustable band that can be tightened a little extra right before your workout, and bounce-taming fabric. This bra is made from nylon and spandex. This video on their website is a helpful overview!
I wouldn’t wear this for yoga or pilates since it doesn’t stretch enough, but it’s perfect for running and CrossFit when you don’t want too much stretch to ensure things stay in place. It’s also a great option if you are breastfeeding because of the zip front. I would say this is a perfect option if you need a LOT of support, but if you need a medium amount, go with the On bra.
My favorite for breastfeeding specifically is next…
My favorite running bra when I was running during pregnancy was this one from Amazon! While the Shefit might be good for some moms, since it’s so sturdy and has so much compression, I actually think this one is probably better for more sensitive chests. This is made with polyamide, spandex, and polyester and stretchier. I like that the velcro straps allowed me to adjust the bra as my chest size grew throughout my pregnancy. I bet you’ll love this so much that you keep running in it postpartum like I do. 🙂 It’s also great for a pre or post run breastfeeding session since the velcro straps release in the front.
The only downside is that overtime the velcro stop sticking as well but since it’s so affordable (under $30), it’s easier to justify replacing it more often. Mine lasted about 9 months before I needed a new one.
This bra earns another “best” pick since you can adjust it in so many ways! It’s customizable around your ribcage, shoulders, and even the strap positioning. The removable cups also provide more customization.
Best for High Impact
Again, this “best” pick goes to the SheFit bra. Especially if you have a larger cup size, you’ll appreciate the strong support of this bra.
I love the colors of this bra! I haven’t tried Outdoor Voices but it has a cult following, and they have the cutest colors and designs of the bunch I’m sharing. This bra is made for high support, and I especially like the back, and how it’s created to support the chest without straining the back. One of the reviews reads “It turned me into a pancake, but that’s what I want out of a sports bra. I love it for running”. I laughed at that description, but she’s not wrong. Encapsulation and compression is what we’re after! This bra is made nylon and lycra.
This is a New York Times pick for high support. And it’s also on Amazon for around $30! This bra has underwire which adds extra support, and it stands out because it encapsulates each breast, so instead of strapping them down, this bra supports them from all sides for bounce reduction. It has underwire which isn’t my favorite, but that’s just my preference. This bra comes in smaller and larger band sizes (28 to 40) and can easily be converted into a racerback. The hook and eye closure which is handy so you don’t have to pull it over your head when you’re sweaty (which is always more challenging than it seems it should be). This bra is made of polyamide, polyester, and elastane.
The sizing is great because they have SO many options, but it’s super important to note the bra sizing is in UK sizing so you need to check the sizing guide before ordering! The straps convert into a racerback bra, which is great for running. This bra is made of polyamide, polyester, and elastane.
Best for D-cup
This $30 Amazon bra is truly my favorite bra for a size D-cup. It has a enough stretch to feel comfortable while still being supportive, and the adjustable straps make it even more supportive since you can make it as tight as you want. If your chest is on the sensitive side, I think you’ll love this. This is made with polyamide, spandex, and polyester.
Againm bra earns another “best” pick from me since it was the only bra I found that truly minimized bounce without being a nightmare to get on and off when I was a D cup or larger.
Best for Large Breasts
This is The New York Times pick for the most supportive sports bra for bigger busts. It has underwire, making it really REALLY supportive. I don’t personally like underwire in my bras, but again, that’s personal preference.
This bra is made specifically for sizes larger than a DD, so keep that in mind. The sizing runs all the way through an H. The cups are lined, it has a hook and eye closure on the back so you don’t have to pull it over your head, and the coverage is a full figure fit for a natural shape. This is made from nylon and elastane.
Best for Pregnancy Running or Breastfeeding
This bra earns another “best” pick. Like I mentioned above, this was my favorite running bra when I was running during pregnancy was this one from Amazon! As my cup size grew along side my baby ;), the velcro straps allowed me to adjust the bra to fit better. It’s also great for nursing since the velcro straps release in the front.
Best Budget Sports Bras
This is top budget pick under $30. It’s similar to the Syrokan but doesn’t have velcro straps so it tends to last longer. I love that it has a regular bra closure (hook and eye closure) so you don’t have to pull it over your head (great for larger busts!). It’s comfortable, lightweight, and since it doesn’t break the bank, it’s easy to stock up on this one. It’s currently on sale, actually!
I also love the mesh panels and that the cups are molded and padded. I hate removable cups because they just come out in the washer and they’re a pain to get back in. And the straps are gel infused which makes them more comfortable. This is made of nylon, polyester, and spandex.
This bra earns second place in the budget category. It’s $30, easy to find and comes in lots of colors! I own three of these bras.
This is a great bra for large chests and low impact activities. It’s also affordable! I love Nordstrom because of their return policy, so if you’re on the hunt for a new sports bra, you can easily order this, try it on, and then send it back for free if you don’t like it. This bra is also ideal if you don’t need a lot of support. It’s made of polyester and spandex. I found it runs large so size down.
One more cheap high-impact bra: this Amazon find. This has great reviews, and a zip front closure, which is perfect for large busts. This comes in plus-sizes too, so that’s great! I love that this has ventilation, and that the zipper doesn’t go all the way down. This is perfect for breastfeeding. I wish I had tried this one earlier, but I may need to order it now. It’s made of polyester and spandex.
Don’t be fooled by the name, this is great for running in addition to yoga. Hannah loves this one and says it feels almost exactly like Lululemon (but the price is WAYYY better). The only issue she has with it is that the pads are removable and always get folded up in the wash.
If you like Lululemon’s Energy Bra, you will probably love this. It’s almost identical. I haven’t tried this myself but I trust Hannah’s opinions on that! I do think the Lululemon one will last longer but for a quick purchase, this one is a great budget pick. It would also be great for younger girls who are still growing and need a sports bra for the meantime. This is made of polyamide and spandex.
Best Sweat Wicking
This Nike sports bra is the bra you think about when someone says “Sports Bra”. It’s basic, but the Dri-Fit technology really does live up to its name. It’s moisture-wicking and doesn’t let your sweat sit on your skin. The only drawback to this bra is that it’s not ideal for bigger busts since it needs to be pulled over your head. However, it does have great compression! If you’re looking for the best bra to keep you dry, Nike has it.
This bra has a removable 1-piece pad that’s designed to resist shifting or folding (!). The pad pocket opens from the top and can fit a phone.
This bra is only $38, which is much cheaper than some of the other bras in this roundup but is still high quality. This is made of mostly polyester and spandex.
I would wear ONLY this if I had to choose.
Again, I say the SheFit bra. It’s $69, so I’d call that a splurge for a bra, but it’s SO worth it. I would recommend buying one of these over a handful of others. There is a $10 off email sign up link that pops into your browser on their website, so that’s a great way to save a little money! It’s made of nylon, spandex, and polyester.
This bra is made from nylon and spandex.
Best Zip Front
Again, I’d vote that SheFit is the best zip front since I have personal experience with that one. But Women’s Health magazine ranks this the top zip front sports bra on the market. And it’s only $27 (on sale!). This bra only comes in sizes B-DD, and DD is currently out of stock, so it’s a good option for women with smaller chests. This bra has a front zipper which makes it easy to put on and take off, as well as extra supportive. It also has great bounce reduction and RAVE reviews! Some even say this bra is good for horseback riding! Who knew?! It’s made of polyester and spandex.
Best for Low Impact
This is my other favorite for lower impact. It’s supportive enough, but the main reason I love it is because it’s SO cute! Unfortunately they sold out of the pink one I have, but there are 3 other colors.
I actually ran in this for years when I was a 32B cup, but I need more support these days. (I do still love it for the Peloton and strength training though.) This is a standard style sports bra that you pull over your head, and it’s super soft. It has pretty good compression, and removable cups, but nothing is adjustable, so that’s why I pick this for smaller chest sizes or low impact, like Peloton classes, pilates and yoga. They also sell a long line version which has a little more support.
I love that it comes in tons of colors, and it lasts forever like all Lululemon. This is my pick for athleisure outfits as well. This is made of nylon and lycra elastane.
This bra is another great option for a typical sports bra with good support. The wide underband helps prevent bouncing but doesn’t feel like it’s squeezing too tight. It comes in lots of colors, and the great thing about Athleta is that they typically discount specific colors. This bra is made specifically for cup sizes D-DD+, so it’s a great option for larger busts.
I actually went into an Athleta store for the first time this summer and I was blown away by how much I liked their selection. I have always been a Lululemon girl, but I got some shorts that I’m wearing nonstop now! If you’ve never tried Athleta, let me know what you think!
It’s made with recycled nylon and Lycra® Spandex.
Please share in the comments your favorite bras, what activity you like them for and what cup size you are, if you’re comfortable sharing. Your feedback helps others reading this post!
I asked my Rookie Runner members what their favorite running bras are and they recommended the below!
“I really like my moving comfort, now brooks, Juno, Fiona, and mia sports bras. I’m wear a 32F in those. They offer good support and compression.”
“I actually love handful bras for running and high impact work outs.”
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